UPDATE: Apparently the n4g story was just sourcing a freelancer who was just giving his thoughts instead of the official word from DF. DF is denying it.
The big question - did Digital Foundry botch its Battlefield 4 captures?
We've now examined Xbox One and PlayStation 4 game and UI/dashboard elements and have concluded that the equipment did exactly what was asked of it - it acquired digital video in a mathematically lossless format at 1080p60, in the full range RGB (0-255) colourspace. Dashboards and control panels were all set accordingly to match the requirements of the equipment. We're now satisfied that the captures on PS4 and PC are exactly as they should be - digitally lossless transmissions of what came out of the hardware.
So what's going on with Xbox One?
Xbox One was also acquired at full range 0-255 RGB with the dash set accordingly, in line with the other versions - exactly how we approach every Face-Off. We have now had informal confirmation from a very good source that current Xbox One hardware has issues with full-range RGB output that are not present on either PC or PS4. We asked DICE for comment and were told that they are "investigating the video output range and settings for Xbox One".
Is this the result of you processing the footage to make it look better compared to PlayStation 4?
Um, you don't make a game look better by crushing subtle detail. The lowering of dynamic range like this physically can't make a game look better - it can only look worse. The only regret here is that the drive for the best possible assets has resulted in captures that do not fully represent how DICE wants the game to be played.
Why isn't anyone else's footage from the same event showing the crushed blacks?
EA provided Elgato Game Capture HD consumer-level devices at the Stockholm event. They're great little units but they are unsuitable for DF work because they cannot acquire 1080p at 60 frames per second and they do not provide lossless video. The reason they do not show crushed blacks on Xbox One is because they operate at limited range RGB (16-235) and the XO dashes were set accordingly. We are told that the current Xbox One appears to be fine operating in limited range RGB, so this is a good match for the unit. We also know that both PS4 and XO hardware at the EA event was set by default to limited range RGB, so other attendees were good to go straight off the bat while we had to make changes to suit our more specialised equipment.
\lol I knew something was wrong.
Felt this deserved its own thread seeing as how this DF bullshit has been going on for a while and people did not seem to know about it. Getting caught red handed like this must be embarrassing.
A Digital Foundry employee went on NeoGAF to explain what went wrong with their PS4/Xbox One Battlefield 4 visuals comparison:
Here's what the persons said:
"The issue here is simple; Tom had a limited amount of time to capture this stuff and was not able to do so in a normal environment. If mistakes were made normally, it would be easy to go back and correct, but with the way this worked, it wasn't really possible.
Why so different? DF uses their own hardware for capturing while DICE were handing out Elgato boxes to everyone else. The DF hardware is actually much more capable but it works differently and, without the experience of working with these new consoles, I can see a situation where settings were dialed in wrong.
JackFrags used what DICE provided and probably didn't even attempt to change any settings which, in this case, turned out to be for the best."