Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 16

Mirror's Edge, Brothers in Arms, Fracture, Guitar Hero, Baja, FIFA, Quantum of Solace.

The latest bloody skirmish begins here. Seven more cross-platform releases are appraised for your feverish attentions across the next few pages, backed - as usual - by the best range of comparison assets on the internet. That'll be full 720p and 1080p HDMI 24-bit RGB screengrabs, and h.264-powered 1:1 precision videos.

Before we begin proper, let's kick off with a bit of good news. 2K has just updated BioShock with a brand new patch for the disappointing PlayStation 3 conversion of the game. The numerous promised bug-fixes have all materialised, but better than that, the vastly annoying blur effect has been substantially reduced. What blur there is now appears to be down to the reduced sub-720p resolution and, alas, this combined with the wildly variable frame-rate remain. More details on the befores and afters at the author's blog.

Getting back to the present, there's an intriguing selection of seven games in the line-up, including one of my personal favourite games of the year: DICE's innovative Mirror's Edge.

The videos in this feature have come out pretty well, but if you feel the need to watch extended, downloadable versions running at the full 720p 60fps, check the Digital Foundry Blog in the next day or so.

Coming next: we're taking a return trip to Face-Off Bonus Round territory with an in-depth special on Ubisoft's Far Cry 2, featuring Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and of course, PC versions of the game. Expect a detail-rich critique of the engine itself, the gameplay and the map editor - hopefully this Friday. After that, we'll be taking a little break before returning in a few weeks with a roundup of the rest of the major Q4 releases.

Previous Face-Offs:

Baja: Edge of Control

We did have plans to bring you a series of face-off roundups for this edition, one of which would've been aimed at taking a look at the state of cross-platform development at the low-rent end of the gaming market. Unfortunately, looming deadlines and the sheer amount of work involved meant that we'll have to save that for next month's potentially epic comparison clean-up. Baja: Edge of Control did manage to sneak into contention though, and it manages to be quite an extraordinary release: astonishing in that a game that is so fundamentally bereft of appeal manages to be even worse on the PlayStation 3.

Baja: Edge Of Control - Comparison video

Collapsing frame-rates (even on the vehicle-selection screen - that must have taken some work), zero anti-aliasing, pared-down lighting and missing environmental detail... were it not for the fact that Baja: Edge of Control does indeed run at 720p on PS3, we'd pretty much have the full house of cross-platform calamities. The solitary act of redemption is the inclusion of upscaled 1080i/1080p support.

The real problem both versions of the game have is that the competition is staggeringly superior compared to this lame effort. MotorStorm and its sequel effortlessly wipe the floor with it, while both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 owners can enjoy Black Rock's brilliant Pure. Neither game has the openworld environment that Edge of Control proffers, but who actually wants or needs sandbox gameplay when it's bereft of fun?

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