Xbox 360 Versus PlayStation 3 Graphics Comparison: Round 2

Find out how the Xbox 360 and PS3 compare in our latest graphics comparison.

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It's been more than six months since we published our first Xbox 360 versus PlayStation 3 graphics comparison feature. Games on both systems looked great, but the Xbox 360 games had more polish. We found that the Xbox 360 edged out the PlayStation 3 with higher-resolution textures and better lighting. The result of the first comparison wasn't surprising--the Xbox 360 had been available for a year and developers were already cranking out second-generation games, while the PlayStation 3 had just arrived in retail with its first-generation games. We decided to check on a few games released in recent months to see if the PlayStation 3 has caught up to or overtaken the Xbox 360.

We took all our screenshots at 720p using component video cables. The Xbox 360's component output has more color saturation than the PS3's. Users can adjust TV display settings to account for the color differences, but we did not modify the color levels in the images because we wanted to preserve the original output as much as possible.

Armored Core 4

Armored Core 4 has a lot of wide-open maps for mech combat. The buildings don't have much detail, and there isn't a lot of clutter in the streets and other outdoor environments. That means there's less to distract you while you're busy looking out for enemy mechs. The game looks similar on both systems, but we did notice that the PS3 has sharper road textures in the first shot. You can see the traffic lines all the way up the street in the PS3 shot, but those same lines melt away on the Xbox 360. The PS3 had its own share of blurriness with the buildings in the background, but you could argue that it's a simulated camera trick designed to focus attention on the foreground.

Mouse over the default Xbox 360 image to see the PlayStation 3 comparison shot.

Def Jam Icon

Def Jam Icon has richly detailed maps that include several dynamic elements that move with the music. It was difficult to capture matching images with clouds rolling overhead, objects bumping onscreen, and rappers beating the crap out of each other, but we came close. Both games look fantastic. The only real difference we noticed was the Xbox 360's antialiasing. Compare the Xbox 360's clean cable lines to the jagged lines on the PS3. The porch railing in the second map also has better antialiasing on the 360.

Mouse over the default Xbox 360 image to see the PlayStation 3 comparison shot.

NBA Street Homecourt

It was difficult to spot graphics differences between the Xbox 360 and the PS3 in NBA Street Homecourt until we examined the character models in the cropped comparison images. Both games looked almost the same when we compared them on two HDTVs sitting side-by-side, but the PS3's player models appeared slightly grainier than the Xbox 360's when we took a close look at the screenshots. There's a big difference between sitting six feet from an HDTV and sitting a foot away from a computer monitor flipping back and forth between JPEGs.

Mouse over the default Xbox 360 image to see the PlayStation 3 comparison shot.

Virtua Tennis 3

The stadium objects in the PS3 image visually pop on the rollover. We can't tell which lighting style is more accurate, but it's a noticeable difference between the two games. One judgment we can make is that the Xbox 360 version has sharper textures. You can see it in the netting and in the Dunlop logo on the box to the right of the net in the third image set. The Xbox 360 players also seem to cast softer shadows on the court, while the PlayStation 3 has hard shadows.

Mouse over the default Xbox 360 image to see the PlayStation 3 comparison shot.

Oblivion

Bethesda delayed Oblivion for the PS3 from Q4 2006 to March 2007, but it looks like the developers made good use of that extra time to improve graphics for the PS3. The PS3's textures have more detail and stay sharp farther into the distance. We actually preferred how the 360's low-res ground outside the stables looked compared to the PS3's sharper yet bland-looking ground, but it could just be an artwork issue since the PS3 has better looking stonework in our city shot where both systems share similar base textures. Character models definitely look better on the PS3. The armor on the standing guard shows more intricate detailing on the PS3. Bethesda has indicated that it plans on upgrading the 360 version's graphics up to PS3 levels, but last week's 360 patch didn't seem to include any of the PS3's graphical improvements.

Mouse over the default Xbox 360 image to see the PlayStation 3 comparison shot.

Spider-Man 3

If there's one game that we expected would look better on the PS3, it was Spider-Man 3, but developer Treyarch didn't do Sony any special favors in the PS3 game based on the Sony Pictures movie. (Well, unless you're really into big trees.) Spider-Man's costume is much cleaner on the 360 compared to his PS3 outfit. However, the PS3 suit's softer lines do make Spidey's movements smoother. Several building details are missing on the PS3 in the first image set and in the ground view of the city. We're not sure what's happening with the traffic lines and crosswalk pattern on the PS3, but it could be a filtering issue similar to what we saw on the 360 in Armored Core 4.

Mouse over the default Xbox 360 image to see the PlayStation 3 comparison shot.

Major League Baseball 2K7

The system graphics are remarkably close in MLB 2K7, but GameSpot editor Aaron Thomas wanted us to mention that MLB 2K7's "frame rate on the PS3 was terrible compared to the 360." Looking beyond frame rate issues, we really had to nitpick to come up with graphical differences, such as the sharper grass textures and more detailed dirt around home plate in the 360 version. The outfield "405" distance marker is also sharper on the Xbox 360. Shirt logos on the fans, though blurry on both systems, are slightly more detailed on the 360.

Mouse over the default Xbox 360 image to see the PlayStation 3 comparison shot.

Conclusion

Our quick seven-game tour has shown that the PlayStation 3's game graphics are getting closer to the Xbox 360's. The Xbox 360 had an edge in texture quality and antialiasing in many of the games, but we didn't see any nasty lighting deficiencies like the ones we found in Fight Night Round 3 in the original comparison feature. Additionally, in what may be a hint of things to come, Bethesda's Oblivion proved that there can be a PS3 game port with better textures than the Xbox 360 version. The PS3's graphics win in Oblivion gives us hope that game developers will be able to produce competitive graphics if given enough time to work with the hardware. We can't wait to see how the games compare this holiday season!

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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chainvector

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The PS3 one looks better to me. But whatever. Armored Core 4 is old now its time to do a comparsion using Assassin's Creed or COD4 or some other new game.

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Bannsai

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To ptownzson89 well only half right. 360 have 512MB shared memory with rest of the system. ps3 have 256MB garfic memory and 256MB system memory. You can use system memory for textures also if you want by rederecting it to the system memory. so the have the same amount basicly.

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dnlflinders

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The PS3 has a lot sharper graphics, and a higher colour level, but the 360's detail surpasses the PS3's

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ptownzson89

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well xbox 360 has a 512MB graphics card and ps3 has a 256MB graphics card so of course 360 will have better texture... the real reason why its hard to make ps3 games is because it only has 256MB of memory RAM and 360 has 512MB so it makes it easier... that's why games like BioShock cant be played on the ps3...its the facts man

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MAMMOTH_dude

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The x box 360 has better shading. and in the 3rd to last pic the 360 had reflections on the glass ps3 didnt. and besides the online status is WAY BETTER for the 360. more people have the 360 than the ps3 so more people online. and a small thing to point out is, xbox.......small.....ps3....HUGE!!

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PapiCee

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1st of all i have a a sony HDTV1080p both systems connect thru. HDMI cables generally graphics are about the same PS3 looks shaper on the edges blueray looks better than hd dvd, you could surf the net, but besides that the colors are dull, has framerate problem ,controller stinks and online stinks as well. 360 is way better as far as gaming goes its way smoother, colors pop, realistic detailing controller response makes sense(it has a trigger like play shooting games) online is excellent lots of games to play. beside that graphics could be shaper on some edge's, should surf the net and carry blueray. I think 360 is a better gaming system, but PS3 offers www. blue ray you make the choice?

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im-a-roustabout

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Still not enough of a difference to warrant a specific purchase. i just bought both systems to play everything :) Luckily each has strenghts and weaknesses such as while i have to pay 49.99 a year for x-box live, I don't pay anything for ps3 which helps owning both much more easier.

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Optimus_Prime83

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Both Consoles Are Great i own a 360 and it is obvious that Xbox 360 has more game titles to offer at the moment - and also game prices are considerable 60$ for a PS3 game is Alot ! i buy a Xbox 360 game like Halo 3 or Ace Combat for 7 $ ! so it works for me !

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EZy_EZ

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its all abt games.. wat 360 have, ps3 have it.. bt wat ps3 have, 360 wont have it.. like mgs4 n haze.. exclusively for ps3.. is der any any titles only for 360..?

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PolkaStripe

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hmmm ps3 is brighter.. not better

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reachammad

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We need a round 3 and more better games for the rounds...The new games. I think PS3 has higher resolution..and xbox 360 has better graphics.

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sickside6

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we need a round 3

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elzacharychi

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Assasin's.....COD4......ProStreet.....Some sort of comparable multiplatform, next-gen exclusive title.

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purified-7

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only diffrence to me is ones brighter than the other which is an easy fix with a remot and it is a crapy game do it with cod 4

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ENDOT12123

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i dunno , crap game anyway,GS why you choose this game to demonstrate?

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xBLOODDRUNx

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ok look at the pics one more time people the top ones are better for ps3 and ones below are better on 360 we should look for game play not the graphics this fights never going to end because there both THE SAME!!! so just buy one and play

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DaMastaGangsta

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totally agree with fariam.. The only thing is see in this example is that the 360 version is a little blury and maybe a little warmer/darker.. The ps3 version looks a little sharper/clearer but somehow foggy and cold.. I just dont know which i would choose being better.. just a matter of taste in my opinion The comparison of Resistance and GoW was better in showing what both systems can do at THIS moment.. on the other hand it is very likely to compare the same game, because the result would give a more direct result.. but if you want to compare pure potential, this just doesnt work.. however! we've been hearing about PS3’s potential for about 3 years now, but if no company wants too put money and/or time in it (because you can make lots and lots of more money on the other consoles), it is completely useless.. like Iwata once sad: “What are you going to do with all that power??” Still think the Wii is a TOO underpowered, which can lead to serious boundaries (and already does)

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fariam

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You need to look at a game that was developed just for the PS3 and one just developed for the 360 to see the full potential of that system (Unchartered - Drakes Fortune) for the PS3 shows the great potential of the PS3. The way the trees sway in the wind and the ripple of the water. When we compare like games they are obviously not going to put in a ton of effort to change all the details. They will obviously make if for the weaker console and then port up to the next one. When Sony gets more games made for the PS3 that will utilize the true potential of the system then we will all want one.

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christiandk1

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The picture comparison doesen't work for me..

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Zhaosuke

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Its all about graphics now sadly i remember the days of the Snes, NES etc where a game could look tacky as crap but still storm a good long gaming session and loyal fan base whatever console is powerful, you decide, then get it, Consoles are for fun, n thats all they should ever be for

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Jedi_Lord77

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PS3 rules, man. Developers haven't tapped into it's full power yet.

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DarthMatoro

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Yeah, sure the road lines are sharper in the first couple of pics for the PS3, but other than that, the PS3 images suck. I mean, they're all blurry and have less resolution, and it just makes it look messy. I mean, look at the picture with the map. The XBox 360 picture is way better.

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Propitious

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Just get both Consoles and enjoy the best of both worlds......

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benboz

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Xbox 360 has better games and there graphics are a lot better than the PS3 and the 360 games have more polish in them than PS3.

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Archaicstigma

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We can all agree that the Atari Jaguar had the best games Tempest anyone? lol but seriously there isn't enough of a difference to even constitute an argument I saw the comparisons from PS3 and 360 for CoD4 and to be honest I had trouble telling the difference =\ the best graphics always have been and always will be on PC I've had fan boi's disagree though =| -AS

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wii-g

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i'm up for both systemes, but i own a ps3, even then i barely find any differences with the systemes. the only reason 360 glitches is cuz of how the users treat 'em....so plz guyz no rumorz

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pmase14

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there's not a terrible difference in the graphics other than the 360 looks darker in these screen shots. From the specs, the PS3 is a superior system, but with the lack of software and the fact that some developers have stated they perfer developing for the 360 over the PS3, Sony will have a hard time surpassing Microsoft if they have no games, and the ones they do have run at a slower framerate, no matter how pretty the picture is. (ie see PS2 vs XBox)

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omegakie

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360's are slightly darker

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mikefoy

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whats the point in this? the graphics are a little different but you just have to look at who has better games. and what is this about the glitches in 360's programing? likely to be lies I assume.

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Nacho2006

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is it just me or does these graphics just seem bland either way?

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akt42

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ps3 is going to destroy the 360, 360 has so many glitches in its programming and every month ps3 graphics is getting better evening after all the talk of how the graphics are so bad....

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hyak

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I know that maybe the 360 is ahead of the race since it came out first but in the long run ps3 will overcome 360. That s a matter of time

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Ares_hot

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This whole thing is stupid, if u really want to compare the graphics take the best looking PS3 game and the best Xbox 360 game and compare. These games have the exact same data on both the versions so there is really no difference.

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LittleYoshi

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[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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Frozenchild

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in these time's ,poeple dont care about spec. they will look at the games available in store :P

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Petri87

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Al3x_n90

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Cozm1kaos: really? what is your problem with the ps3? except for the fact that u clearly prefer the 360? what did the ps3 ever do to you? you'll realize in time which is the better system...

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Frozenchild

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one more thing,you waited the ps3 for soo long, for what? BleuRay annyone? and look what happend,the 360 games are cheaper,faster release, and now 3th party dev's want to leave ps3, for what? BleuRay annyone? Bleu Ray is realy cool, hd dvd is realy cool, but its that realy what we need? do you want to pay 200$ more for it? just for games? one more thing,every one knows that the ati chip is way betther then the ps3 nvidia chip, and the 360 have 10 mb T1 on the chip,so??? and the ps3 have a single core cell for 8 treats,xbox have a triple core for 6 threats,so the ps3 and 360 have there own shortness

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Frozenchild

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LOL , i have a 360 why do i want the ps3? i have no **** idea,360 give me everything, maybe the bleuray? i dont know, dvd is still kicking ass, and with the 360 you have betther playback with dvd , tnks!!! and realy,the controler of the ps3 is still sucks

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smghottie

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both systems are sick, and i dont think xbox 360 is near its limit like everyone says, but we'll see

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ahmed_009

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Yeah,I think taht xbox360 is much better than PS3,even in the price

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osxgp

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It's just cheaper right now for developers to make games for the 360, especially for multiplatform games. All it matters is what works best for you, regardless of what platform you chose. All the minor visual details don't really matter in my opinion. Get what makes you happy and enjoy being a gamer.

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weblinks

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how does the ps3 have better hardware o ya they spent more money to get a second video card. kinda sad when xbox out sells playstation in japan so two video card = looking more bright and Fuzzie are better... and lets see playstaion just sucks i hav eplayed the ps3 many times and can say im quite happy with my xbox 360 and the 50 dallors a year to run xbox live and halo 3, gears of war, bioshock,

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Dawq902

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I've played both and they are both amazing. It's really just the online multilayer and the game selection that is different.

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ooHotaruoo

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some say ps3 looks more realistic, but i think xbox360 looks more realistic. PS3 is too smooth, without real black shade. but that's only my opinnion. and also have both, cause ninja gaiden sigma and genji is good reason to buy ps3.

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Dan2002sk8er

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I think they both look good in different ways, Plus they need to compare more recent games like Assassins Creed, Call of Duty 4, and Rock Band.

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eater445

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Ok,ps3 free online, 360, awsome online, shut up and buy one!!! one really isn't better than the other, the ps3 is a super psp, and the xbox360 is like an add-on to the original, so there

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