Sharp eyes…

Final Fantasy XIII

I was reading the Metro newspaper on the train to work a few weeks ago and came across a funny article. I’ve only just found it again.

The article basically reports that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found the advert for the Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy 13 misleading because the footage used was from the “sharper” PS3 version. They quoted an anonymous “expert” saying:

A ruling like this could prove devastating to sales of the Xbox, simply because gamers are a very demanding lot who expect the very best

I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but I buy games I think I will enjoy playing, not because it can show off how good it looks on my games console. Enjoyment from a game comes from the gaming experience made up of elements that make up a game and graphics is only one of them, albeit the most obvious one. I remember when Google put the pacman game as it’s banner and I had loads of fun with it. They didn’t change the graphics at all, in fact it looked very much like the original pacman except the walls spelt Google instead. Oh yeah, I also own a copy of SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection on the 360 and it’s an amazing collection of retro games. Again, no re-vamping done but the games are really fun and will keep you entertained for hours.

Something else I don’t agree with is that generally, the PS3 is more expensive than the 360 console by about £60~£80 yet it only performed “marginally” better for this particular game:

we considered that the use of PS3 footage in the ad exaggerated the quality of the footage available on the Xbox 360, albeit marginally, we concluded the ad was misleading

So surely the pressure should be on Sony to justify the price difference and why it doesn’t look clearly better? But they’d probably justify it with all the features the PS3 has on offer such as the built in Blue Ray player.

This leads onto that the “expert” seems to have forgotten the many games out there where the 360 version looks better than the PS3 version. Want an Example? It’s actually quite common for this to be the case too but this does not mean the PS3 is not as good. The main reason I can think of why it’s like this is that to take advantage of the PS3’s hardware, specific coding will be required. This can be time consuming and expensive to do especially if you need your developers to write the same thing twice and try to make one of them look better. If both versions retail for about the same price, then is the extra effort and cost really going to justify doing this? From my limited games programming knowledge and reasoning, I would conclude that it’s not worth it.

I also feel that Metro acted a bit irresponsible to have published a random “experts” biased view towards the PS3 in this article because the main focus of the article should’ve been the ASA are not happy with the 360 ad to use PS3 footage, instead they printed something which tried to influence the readers opinion that the 360 is inferior and will struggle in the future. It’s a shame because I feel journalism should be objective and factual so that the reader can form their own opinions. But if opinions do have to be published, then at least provide both sides of the argument – not just one.

I’d like to finish off by saying Final Fantasy 13 is a great game and yes the graphics are amazing but the main attraction for me is the depth of the game play. It’s very impressive how Square Enix teaches you how to use the new system. It’s very clever. Even if the graphics aren’t as “sharp” as the PS3 version it doesn’t really concern me because it’s already a beautifully made game.

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