Playable demos are often the first chance we get to check out gaming performance before the full retail or review code is made available to us. In the vast majority of cases, demos are actually produced after the final game has been submitted for evaluation to the platform holder, and it's very rare indeed that there are any palpable differences between the sampler and the "real thing" in terms of pure performance.

So with that in mind, let's take a look at Tales of Vesperia, the demo of which has recently found its way onto PSN... analysed by MazingerDUDE. Curiously, the actual content of the demo is very different to what Xbox 360 owners got in their download, but there are several differences and similarities that can be discerned. Tales of Vesperia runs at 30FPS in the field sections, while the battle sections run at a crisp 60FPS on both systems. Similarly each version is v-synced, with no tearing.

In terms of visual quality, there are some differences though, as the shots below demonstrate.

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Flat colours and the nature of this image play down the difference level, but due to demo content variance, it's the only similar-looking shot we can produce for now.

Yup, a it's sub-HD detail level resolved on PlayStation 3, with a bizarre 1280x576 resolution chosen for the game up against 720p on Xbox 360. This results in a somewhat uneven form of scaling for PS3 owners, compounded by the anti-aliasing solution chosen: quincunx, which combined with the lower resolution adds a somewhat obvious, and unwelcome, blur to the game. For its part, Xbox 360 also uses a blur filter as opposed to a proper edge-smoothing solution, but with the additional detail level, the impact is not quite so distracting. Away from the performance elements, and perhaps by way of compensation bearing in mind the delay in launching, Namco Bandai is promising a wealth of unseen content for the full retail release of the PS3 version, including new playable characters, costumes, quests and game areas, along with some level of interfacing with the forthcoming PSP release, Tales of VS.

Some related trivia: the only other sub-HD game we've come across that employs a 1280x576 resolution would be PS3 Soul Calibur IV, and even then, only when the game is forced to run in the 1080i/p compatibility mode (that is, with 720p disabled on the XMB), otherwise it is proper 1280x720.

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About the author

Richard Leadbetter

Richard Leadbetter

Technology Editor, Digital Foundry

Rich has been a games journalist since the days of 16-bit and specialises in technical analysis. He's commonly known around Eurogamer as the Blacksmith of the Future.