Well this is the one that I have been waiting for, the Eurogamer face off between PS3 and Xbox 360 for Grand Theft Auto IV.
The fact that it has been released on a Friday is a bit disappointing because some of you may feel like this is purposeful flamebait… it is not.
So how has GTA IV done?
GTA has always been one of the main PlayStation ‘brands’ and is a mainstay of the industry, when it was announced that GTA IV will be arriving on the Xbox 360 a lot of Sony fans were in an uproar, however they calmed down quick enough as they were going to have the better version.
Then it came to light that the 360 was the lead platform which made everyone a bit nervous however Rockstar came out just before release and said they preferred the look of the PS3 version. Someone also mentioned that the 360 was a problem as it had no HDD for the mandatory install which would affect it quite badly.
GTA IV has been analysed by every Joe Soap on the planet now and everyone has their own opinion, however I don’t think anyone has gone to the incredible depths of analysis like Eurogamer, if your interested in how they did it then click the link and take a look. Please no one call bias before reading the technical details.
So now that you have some brief history lets see what happened.
Loading times are marginally improved on the PS3 thanks to the mandatory 3.3 gig installation. The installation has also improved the texture streaming on the PS3 version but in their own words this is barely perceptible. However what is cute is that the TV shows inside GTA are of a much better resolution on the PS3 which again is presumed to be because of the installation and added space of Blu-Ray.
On the flip side the resolution of the PS3 version is 20% less than that of the 360 version however it doesn’t knock it down in anyway and at many time the PS3 version looks as good if not better than the 360 version.
Now the big one, Draw Distance. We have been told this is where the PS3 will excel due to its Cell chip and 7 SPU’s, well the reality is that both versions have just as good a draw distance, however one thing that was noticed is that the shadows on the PS3 version are slightly better than the 360 version.
Pop in was more pronounced on the 360 version but it had to be caused and playing the game normally meant that this hardly happened.
So the PS3 is quite comfortably winning this one at the moment even though the games are pretty much identical, so onto something that is quite important.
Frame Rate, the Xbox 360 version has a better frame rate overall, this is now an indisputable fact. However in general the frame rate on both consoles varies but hovers around the 30fps mark. However when things start to get exciting the PS3 version has a much more noticeable drop in frame rate.
So their end conclusion? While the PS3 version shaves most of the graphical tests it is only marginal and unfortunately doesn’t make up for the frame rate issues.
If the question you are asking yourself or are asked is “Which version of GTA IV is technically the better one?” then the answer is the Xbox 360 version. This is before looking at the bigger freezing problem on the PS3 and the better online service in Xbox Live as well, not to mention those horribly addictive achievements.
I was trying to keep a counter of the results but it became to complicated with people accusing me of missing out certain reviews. As always I personally think Eurogamer.net is a completely unbiased website with the best comparisons around.
Last Updated: May 9, 2008