These are good games on both platforms. Obviously Xbox 360 isn't quite as blurry owing to the higher resolution and MSAA, but it's worth pointing out that the odd, almost watercolour-like filtering on the 360 game still remains, and we still don't particularly like it. The look of the PS3 game combined with the resolution and MSAA of 360 would be the ideal. In theory that should be easily attainable on the PC, but alas, we still can't particularly recommend that particular version of the game.
We spent some time with Episodes on PC and came to the conclusion that not much has changed with the GTA engine on that particular platform. The computer version of GTA IV received plenty of criticism in the past owing to its enormous system requirements, which saw a triple-core AMD CPU as the minimum in getting reasonable performance: the inference being that the game is based heavily on the Xbox 360 codebase (undoubtedly optimised for the system's own triple-core CPU). You can see the wildly variable performance by checking out our triple-format performance analysis, which put the two console builds of the game up against the PC version running on i7/GTX295 system at 1080p.
You need a monster CPU and graphics card to get the job done here. Even at 720p on reasonably high settings, our PC struggled to get anything close to 60FPS. Indeed, according to various hardware tests, even the most high-end GPU/CPU combo still produces uneven performance.
Overall then, it's still difficult to recommend the PC build of this particular slice of the GTA story, unless you're happy to settle for console-level quality settings with a few enhancements here and there. It's also worth pointing out that in-game there are absolutely no settings to control anti-aliasing, making for a very jaggy, unrefined-looking release - so unless you're happy using the NVIDIA or AMD control panels to force it on, perhaps with unpredictable results, that's something else to take away from this...
PS3 and 360 owners though? Knock yourself out. While performance is lacking some of the time and controller response remains pretty laggy, the bottom line is that this is still masterful stuff: always entertaining and still by far and away the best open world gaming tech seen to date on console.
Super Street Fighter IV
|Xbox 360||PlayStation 3|
|Install||5.9GB (optional)||2.99GB (optional)|
|Surround Support||Dolby Digital||Dolby Digital, 5.1LPCM|
Capcom's Super Street Fighter IV clearly has much in common with the GTA episodes. Both are newer, more refined versions of an existing product, and once again, a great deal of our analysis performed on this particular game is based closely on revisiting our findings on the original.
To recap, Street Fighter IV arcade code ran on a PC variant that possessed a graphics card which had much in common with the PlayStation 3's RSX GPU, and used a technologically lightweight Intel Core 2 Duo to run the show. In theory then, no problem at all in producing arcade-perfect versions of the game on both PS3 and Xbox 360. However, Capcom did seem to have some issues with the PS3 version: no anti-aliasing made it into the final game, while Xbox 360 also benefited from some minor additional background effects.
So how does the sequel shape up? Here's the movie for your perusal.
As we discussed in the original Street Fighter IV Face-Off, it's important to point out that despite the clear technical differences between the two games, the actual impact on the gameplay experience is negligible. In motion, it's virtually impossible to tell the two apart, and even the lack of anti-aliasing on PS3 isn't really missed that much - most likely because the super-smooth 60FPS update is such that the eye itself tends to "blend" the images together.
So, even if Capcom had done absolutely nothing to the core engine, nobody would have been disappointed. Fundamentally this is a great-looking, beautiful game that now has more content and a perceptibly smoother feel: that 10/10 game just got even better. But the fact is that there have been improvements.
While the anti-aliasing is still a notable omission on the PS3 version of the game, the original Street Fighter IV's switch to sub-HD for sections invoking character close-ups has now been removed. Just like the Xbox 360 game, Super Street Fighter IV is now native 720p throughout. However, small environmental differences are still in evidence, yet have no impact on the overall appreciation of the game.
Another thing you'll note is that Capcom has also made use of additional storage potential of the Blu-ray disc. The movie sequences in Super Street Fighter IV are all encoded into extremely high bitrate videos using Sony's own PAMF video compression tools. While the difference in quality up against the much smaller 360 files isn't hugely relevant to the overall gameplay experience, the fact that Capcom chose to utilise the space available is worthy (about 10.7GB of the overall 14GB disc usage is allocated to the movies) and it's an example we wish other developers would follow. If you've got the space, use it!
Overall then, not only has pretty much the best fighting game been significantly improved, but we now have something much closer to platform parity between the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game, with the Microsoft console's advantage being even less of an issue than it was previously. As before, the decision on which version to buy effectively comes down to controller preference and whether you wish to pit your online battling skills up against your PSN or XBL friends list.