The PlayStation 4 hasn’t been released yet. In fact, it’s still about half a year away from being released. But that hasn’t stopped PC enthusiasts from comparing the PlayStation 4’s hardware to today’s PCs.
And the results? PC graphics continue to blow consoles out of the water. That’s surprising, because soon after the Xbox 360 and PS3 were released, it took average PC users about a year to catch up to the latest consoles.
It doesn’t look like that will be the case this year – at least with the PS4. In a recent comparison between the Unreal Engine 4 on both the PC and the PS4, the PC was noticeably better.
Be sure to watch the video in 1080p (if your internet can handle it). At first glance, it may not look like there’s a significant difference between the two engines shown in that video. When the video first starts, the most noticeable difference is in the way the engine handles lighting.
But eventually, you’ll get to the lava scene, where lava cascades off a rock onto the floor below. On the PC engine, the lava looks like a real moving liquid. On the PlayStation 4, it looks like the rock and the lava are two completely separate things that aren’t really interacting with one another.
Other differences include the way the engines handle falling objects and disintegration. As the humanoid creature walks out of his throne room, rock starts falling down the walls around him. The PlayStation 4 demo appears to use significantly fewer rocks and small pieces compared to the PC version.
And by the end of the video, you get to a scene that isn’t even possible on the PlayStation 4 engine. The video takes viewers outside the volcano to a beautiful snowy landscape before focusing back on the volcano for a spectacular eruption of lava.
Also, am I seeing things, or was there a slight bit of choppiness on the PlayStation 4 side of the screen?
Why there’s a difference
Apparently, the difference is largely to do with something called Global Illumination (GI). The GTX 680 has it, and the PS4 doesn’t. GI simulates realistic lighting, allowing light to bounce of objects in the scene in order to add to the illusion of reality.
In any case, I’m unimpressed by the PS4’s graphics thus far – at least in the way it handles Unreal Engine 4.
Why the comparison may be unrealistic
We may have exaggerated above when we talked about ‘average’ PC users already surpassing the PS4 in terms of graphics quality. The Unreal 4 comparison was run using an Nvidia GTX 680, a graphics card that costs more than the probably price of the PS4. The 680 costs between $500 and $700 while the PS4 is rumored to cost around $400.
But several months from now, when the PS4 gets released, the GTX 680 will have dropped in price. And that means that more average PC users will be installing it in their rigs.
So I stick by my sentiment that the average gaming PC will have better graphics than the PS4. Sorry, console users. We’ll have to wait and see what the next Xbox has to offer.
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