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Three-Way Comparison Shows PCs Slaying Consoles In Dragon Age Inquisition 227

MojoKid writes: "BioWare's long-awaited Dragon Age Inquisition has dropped for the PS4, Xbox One, and PCs. A comparison of the visuals in key scenes between all three platforms shows that while the PC variant clearly looks the best in multiple areas (as it should), there's evidence of good, intelligent optimization for consoles and PCs alike. After the debacle of Assassin's Creed Unity, Inquisition could provide an important taste of how to do things right. As expected though, when detail levels are increased, the PC still pulls away with the best overall visuals. The Xbox One and PS4 are largely matched, while PC renders of characters have better facial coloring and slightly more detailed textures. The lighting models are also far more detailed on the PC version with the PS4 following behind. The Xbox One, in contrast, is rather muddy. Overall, the PC and PS4 are closest in general detail, with the Xbox One occasionally lagging behind.
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Three-Way Comparison Shows PCs Slaying Consoles In Dragon Age Inquisition

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  • Duh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ultra64 ( 318705 ) on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @01:34PM (#48418853)

    PC will always beat console.

    Consoles are obsolete when they come out.

    PC graphics hardware isn't obsolete until a month after it comes out.

    • Re:Duh (Score:5, Funny)

      by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @01:40PM (#48418927)
      Unless you use Monster cables of course.
      • Re:Duh (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @01:52PM (#48419043)

        I use them because of the free oxygen exchange at the electron level produces better warmth of both the highs and lows. Especially the optical ones. Those are unmatched in how the binary data passes thru them.

        • Re:Duh (Score:4, Funny)

          by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @03:03PM (#48419789)

          Tell me about it. Before switching to Monster Cables, I was using TOSLink cables from the dollar store and after only three days of use, a TWO was able to pass through the binary stream. My gold-plated analog amplifier was totally rueened.

        • by Adriax ( 746043 )

          Someday I will discover their secrets.
          I tried gold plating my own fiber optic cables but they just stopped working.

      • by tepples ( 727027 )
        In the previous generation, before HDMI was an expected feature, Monster would occasionally sell cables for less than the console maker would. That's why I bought a Monster Game Wii component cable.
  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Carewolf ( 581105 ) on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @01:34PM (#48418863) Homepage

    The Xbox One and PS4 are largely matched... Overall, the PC and PS4 are closest in general detail

    Okay...

  • That's because (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <(dadinportland) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @01:34PM (#48418865) Homepage Journal

    the PC is objectively better.

    • Well, by some metric, a top fuel dragster is objectively better as a car. Provided you have the money for an expensive hobby, of course. And only need to travel in a straight line.

      If you want to define "objectively better" as lower TCO over the life of the product, and good enough for most applications ... then I'll say a console is objectively better.

      My XBox 360 cost me about $350, has never needed a hardware upgrade, and still works after several years. And I can run it completely offline from the inter

      • Re:That's because (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Skarjak ( 3492305 ) on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @02:10PM (#48419263)

        You pay for xbox live and your games are more expensive. A PC can be built for 600$ which beats an Xbox One and will quickly beat it in price if you only buy games from online sales (which you really should). Also, consider that a computer is needed anyway. Then it's no longer even the full price of the PC that you must consider, but the extra you are paying to have a gaming PC vs a working PC. Then the advantage is even more in the PC's favour. The inherent backward compatibility and mods inherent to the platform put the final nail in the coffin.

        Your analogy fails because dragsters can achieve a higher top speed, but are inherently limited compared to normal cars. For games, PCs can have more raw power and are more versatile.

        • You're overlooking a few key points.

          First the PC will have better specs on paper, but when it comes to running the actual game, the performance may be worse simply because having a console allows for more highly tuned and specialized code.

          Second, that $600 PC purchased now will definitely be a lot better, but if it were purchased at the time of release, even the raw numbers wouldn't be all that much better, never mind the actual performance. Also if you don't already have a good monitor, that's even m
          • First the PC will have better specs on paper, but when it comes to running the actual game, the performance may be worse simply because having a console allows for more highly tuned and specialized code.

            Yeeeah, not in this generation. That's because Sony and Microsoft went for 1.6GHz AMD Jaguar Fusion family of x86-64/GPU processors instead of custom processors this time around.

            Second, that $600 PC purchased now will definitely be a lot better, but if it were purchased at the time of release, even the raw numbers wouldn't be all that much better, never mind the actual performance.

            The consoles use faster RAM (actually, only the framebuffer does for the XbOne), but the PC's clock speed advantage is likely enough to close those gaps... and is pretty much guaranteed if they use a dedicated graphics card (as the RAM speed advantage largely goes away in that case).

            Also if you don't already have a good monitor, that's even more of an investment, unless you want to hook up the PC to your TV as well.

            If you were doing a Gaming PC, this is exactly wh

            • For the vast majority of games, it's more about the power of the GPU than the CPU, which is why both Microsoft and Sony spent a lot more of the silicon and power budget on graphics than they did on the CPU. There's still an issue of most games and game developers failing to take advantage of all of these cores, but hopefully now that the consoles have been pushing increased core count for a while (the PS3 had it's cell processor that was similar to having multiple cores) that developers will get better at w
        • You pay for xbox live

          You don't need an Xbox Live Gold subscription for single-player or local multiplayer.

          and your games are more expensive

          It'd have to be a really deep Steam sale for four copies of a PC game supporting LAN play but not shared-screen to be cheaper than one used $30 copy of an Xbox 360 game supporting up to four Xbox controllers.

          Also, consider that a computer is needed anyway. Then it's no longer even the full price of the PC that you must consider, but the extra you are paying to have a gaming PC vs a working PC.

          If you prefer a laptop as your working PC, the difference between a working laptop and a gaming laptop can pile up even faster.

        • You pay for xbox live

          That's right and PSN+ too, but you get something for that besides online gaming...you get freebies tossed in.

          and your games are more expensive.

          No, they aren't. Same price, at least here in the US. Dragon Age Inquisition, the game this entire discussion is about, is the exact same price on EVERY platform, PC/PS4/XboxOne/PS3/360

          if you only buy games from online sales

          If you're wondering the reason why the PC version of many games is an afterthought...it's guys like you. The "I only buy games for $5 at steam sales"...cheapskates who then complain when the PC version comes out la

      • It's objectively better in all metrics except cost.

        Here's it's shown to be better than consoles visually. And the modders haven't even touched it yet.

      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        You're parameters are screwy.
        "and good enough for most applications "
        You don't use most applications on the console. Do you use excel? audacity? Can you write and add any mod you like to minecraft? Use it for your email?

        IN your example. the console would be the dragster. It's the specialized device.

        I have a PS3, and Xbox, and a Wii. Looking at life time and usage, the PC's are cheaper.

        Anyway, I was talking about technical play-ability.
        Example: On a PC you can make tighter turns. I think it was Gabe Newall w

        • You don't use most applications on the console. Do you use excel? audacity?

          As a matter of fact..... I have used OO Calc and Audacity on a PS3.

          Use it for your email?

          I have. Kmail, Thunderbird, claws-mail. On both the PS2 and PS3. I could now if I stuck to webmail, thanks to the PS3 and PS4's web browser. The vita has an e-mail app already. There is nothing stopping Sony from slapping up versions of OO or Audacity compiled for the standard PS4 OS on PSN. Hell, their video editing app is based on ffmpeg!

          http://www.psdevwiki.com/ps4/L... [psdevwiki.com]

          I think it was Gabe Newall who did a technical write up on that issue when discussion getting PC players and Console playing together. The solution? make PC client slower. In effect lower PC's to console level
          On a PC response times is quicker.

          That was entirely due to mouse-aiming being easy-mode. That's w

      • What you gain in lower hardware you make up for in game costs. TCO for PC includes a MASSIVE array of functionality and a back catalog that spans DECADES. I would say with a smartly designed PC, the PC has the overall advantage in TCO.
    • So you're saying my PC with built-in Intel 4600 graphics is better than a PS4. Great to know. Guess I won't have to get a new video card after all.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Vastly superior gaming platform demonstrated to be vastly superior. Next up, water proven to be wet.

      Seriously, is this a surprise to anyone. A PC with more modern and more powerful hardware is faster and more detailed than a gaming platform with older and less powerful hardware...

      It's like someone who drives a VW Golf complaining that it's not as fast as a Nissan 370z.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @01:36PM (#48418877)

    I see what you did there. Don't do that. This is Slashdot, not "10 reasons" and "you won't believe what happened next".

  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @01:37PM (#48418897) Homepage Journal

    And they haven't really done anything regarding hthe "stop shitting all over customers" promise they threw out on a PR damage control press conference.

    • Sadly, because at this very moment EA isn't Ubisoft, people will buy the game anyway.
    • Oh thanks, I've been trying to decide whether to get Dragon Age or not. When you reminded me it's EA, you totally made my decision for me.
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @01:44PM (#48418967)
    PC is the best then PS4 then Xbox One. I guess hardware does matter when it comes to gaming. Anyone else not surprised? As for Xbox, it looks like they will be behind until the next generation unless they update the hardware. The ESRAM buffer does not seem to be making up the gap as they hoped it would.
    • PC is the best then PS4 then Xbox One. I guess hardware does matter when it comes to gaming. Anyone else not surprised? As for Xbox, it looks like they will be behind until the next generation unless they update the hardware. The ESRAM buffer does not seem to be making up the gap as they hoped it would.

      Only behind (in graphics) to PS4 owners. Hardware is virtually the same.

      • PC is the best then PS4 then Xbox One. I guess hardware does matter when it comes to gaming. Anyone else not surprised? As for Xbox, it looks like they will be behind until the next generation unless they update the hardware. The ESRAM buffer does not seem to be making up the gap as they hoped it would.

        Only behind (in graphics) to PS4 owners. Hardware is virtually the same.

        Lets pull some quotes from the article.

        When detail levels do rise, the PC still comes away with the best overall visuals. In this close-up, the Xbox One and PS4 are largely matched, while the PC elf has better facial coloring and slightly more detailed textures.

        Above, you can see that the green crystal is far more detailed in the PC version with the PS4 following behind.

        As things stand, the PC version has some notable edges over the consoles, with the PS4 nearly matching PC visuals and the Xbox One trailin

      • by zlives ( 2009072 )

        considering all AAA titles tout the "stunning graphics" ....

  • by Halo5 ( 63934 ) on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @01:48PM (#48419013) Homepage

    Apparently, it's pretty bad. I bought this for my wife yesterday and she's pretty frustrated with the mouse+keyboard controls on the PC. Apparently, it was developed with a console controller in mind. She HATES controllers; it's one of the reasons she is strictly a PC gamer. Here is a thread about it on Reddit:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/dragonage/comments/2mnbyl/dragon_age_inquisition_not_enjoying_the_pc/

    I'm thinking about getting her a Razor Orbweaver for her machine; I'm hoping that it may solve some of the problems:

    http://www.razerzone.com/gb-en/gaming-keyboards-keypads/razer-orbweaver

    • by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @02:21PM (#48419385)

      If I may make a recommendation, consider trying out logitech G13 before going for orbweaver.

      It has a few significant advantages over orbweaver, like actual analogue joystick (orbweaver's "thumbstick" is just a directional pad). It's also shaped differently, and I found it to be a much better fit for my hand. It's also significantly cheaper.

  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @02:05PM (#48419191) Homepage

    When creating comparison images, use PNG not JPG. One of the images compares the texture detail on the face, but the "more detailed" PC image just shows more JPEG artifacts. That indirectly shows there was probably detail there, but you can't really see it. If you do JPEG it, use the ridiculously high settings.

    • by krkhan ( 1071096 ) on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @03:43PM (#48420229) Homepage
      I honestly, sincerely, without-any-prejudice, spent 5 minutes on that page trying to figure out the differences in quality in "three-way comparison" but for the life of me all I am able to discern is minor differences which can be attributed to a plethora of reasons other than the hardware capabilities.

      If anything, this comparison served well to make me consider buying a console. I mean, if I'm not able to see a significant difference, why would it make sense for me to spend extra bucks on the PC? Just because some videophile found the console version to be "muddy"?
      • why would it make sense for me to spend extra bucks on the PC? Just because some videophile found the console version to be "muddy"?

        Higher framerate and/or resolution.

    • by uolamer ( 957159 )

      Exactly. I was thinking the same thing. Most the images looked virtually identical, but the main image where the PC showed more detail I just see jpeg artifacts as you said. I looked up at the URL and saw .JPG and thought.... wow you went through all this trouble to show which was better and you ruined your visuals by using JPG when PNG was right there probably one drop down box away when you were saving the images.. At this rate I am not sure if they save the screen shots in JPG then put them together in s

  • What we should have instead are gaming PCs.

    Give them nice living room form factors, a good TV friendly GUI, make sure there are HDMI out plugs in the back, and have them come with some controllers.

    But there is no reason the OS can't be windows or linux or macos.

    We don't need console OS's. They're stupid. Their only questionable purpose at this point is as a form of DRM because they're so locked down. And that isn't in the consumer's interest.

    Furthermore, the value to the console makers or the game developer

    • Gaming PCs already exist. Everybody knows about them. A lot of people choose not to buy them. What's to be gained by taking away options from consumers?

      Personally I enjoy my XBox very much, and have about zero interest in getting a gaming PC. If I was into MMORPGs or was a hard-core FPS player that would probably be different.

      • Personally I enjoy my XBox very much, and have about zero interest in getting a gaming PC. If I was into MMORPGs or was a hard-core FPS player that would probably be different.

        Did you ever consider trying user-created works, such as mods or indie games? If you did, in what way did they fail to keep your interest?

        • Lifelong console gamer here. Aren't mods a royal pain in the ass to install on many games?
          • by Molt ( 116343 )

            Some are a pain, most aren't.

            A lot of titles have nice (often 3rd party) mod managers now which'll download mods, keep them updated, and allow you to selectively disable them- all from a simple GUI. When I recently replayed Skyrim I spent about an hour or so browsing through all of the mods on Nexus, and installing those that look interesting, and in my mind it made the game a lot more fun.

            I admit there were a couple that were slightly broken in odds ways, such as a custom weapon which was heavily overpowe

    • by dAzED1 ( 33635 ) on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @03:25PM (#48420037) Homepage Journal
      when I bought my ps4, it was a very cheap high-quality 3d blu ray player. It also happened to play games, which I enjoy. Instead of spending $2k on a PC to plug in to my $8k home theatre setup, I plug in a PS4 and it works great. I /suppose/ I could plug a PC into one of the AUX ports in front, and then awkwardly try to find a place to put my keyboard and muss around with a mouse...or - and this is just an alternative - I could use a little handheld controller thingy that pairs up with my PS4. Decisions, decisions. My overall experience with a 65" TV and hifi 7.1 sound while sitting comfortably on my couch is WAY higher, in my experience, than it would be sitting in my office upstairs - even if the graphics had slightly more detail on the PC. That way I can then have a laptop that I can use for work, and get a mid-range "gaming" laptop so it is relatively decent for a while, but not actually use it for games much...instead, I use it for home, school, work, etc. And it only needs cost me $1200 or so. I could spend $3k on a gaming laptop, but then I'd have a 17" screen with stereo sound, instead of a 65" screen with 7.1 surround. Maybe some of us don't want multiple PCs? Maybe some of us want a better overall experience, instead of just having slightly better graphics detail? Maybe those of us like that are a big enough market that consoles do actually sell, despite gaming PCs being an option?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        What is stopping you from plugging your laptop into your big screen and surround sound? Both devices will have HDMI, no doubt your 7.1 reciever will have HDMI in/out, whats the problem?

        Infact the consoles only support 5.1, and while PC games also only support 5.1 you have the option of using third party software to upmix or EQ the sound to your hearts desire. This is also especially useful for blurays (I use Jriver or other EQ software to boost the LFE on some films), so the PC/laptop has now also replace

        • by dAzED1 ( 33635 )

          Uh, there is no way that a PC could replace my DSP...first, my DSP is a full fledged AVR putting out serious power to large speakers throughout my livingroom. Second, it can be controlled by my phone or my remote, with 3 zones and the ability to rapidly play various internet radio (and control thereof) channels, such as pandora or what-have-you. If I want to start my americana station in zone 3, watch a movie in zone 2, play a comedy station in zone 1 - all done in seconds from my phone or easy remote. V

        • Infact the consoles only support 5.1,

          That's not quite true, the PS3 and PS4 support 7.1 and yes there are games with true 7.1 audio on the PS3. It's why Skyrim is 3.6GB on the 360 and 10GB on the PS3, it supports Dolby Digital, DTS, 5.1 LPCM and 7.1 LPCM

          ALL the content is provided by a gaming PC that cost £600 4 years ago

          UK gamers are notoriously anti-console thanks to the UK governments protectionism to favor Sinclair and keep the Americans and Japanese out.

  • Look the same (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Blaskowicz ( 634489 ) on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @02:22PM (#48419397)

    Almost all screenshots look virtually the same save for one example where the lighting was different as if they tweaked a spot light somewhere (art difference not technical)

    It's not even like the SNES vs Genesis days or Amiga vs ST, where the graphics were usually similar but a bit different. It's more like comparing a Quake 2 engine game on different computers.. Every computer runs it at full detail (even back in the day, almost) so you're always looking at the same assets.
    Also, if a big fat GPU only gives you more pixels that look the same.. maybe the pixels aren't worth that much if the consoles are doing it at 900p.
    Next thing will be to get the smallest and cheapest 4K display you can find, at least an arm length away ; play at a low non native res (even down to 1280x720 which is one third in both axises). Should be looking good enough (add 2x AA or the latest "smart AA") with no scaling artifacts to be seen. A rather cheap GPU (minimum 2GB gddr5) should do. But the biggest annoyance with PC gaming is having to replace CPU, motherboard and RAM just for the games. My 5 year old hardware feels like it's got at minimum another 5 years of life before it, but would probably run crappy new games at 20 fps even with a fat GPU and Windoze.

  • by Quirkz ( 1206400 ) <ross&quirkz,com> on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @02:22PM (#48419399) Homepage

    I didn't realize this had come out yet. Frankly, I don't care about graphics (or at least, as long as they're not worse than DA1, which I'm sure they're not). I'm also already wedded to my game-playing system of choice, and one game's output isn't going to change that one whit.

    What I'm interested in is the game itself, and I haven't seen any headlines for that. Did I just miss the article for the release of a sequel to an AAA game, or did we skip that and go right to the graphics analysis? How is the game? Is it more like the first one, which I loved, or is it more like the second one, which I avoided because of all the crazy changes they made to it. Basically, am I gonna want to buy it?

    Proposal for a slashdot poll: does anyone really actually care about the graphics on a game? Especially at the level we're talking about here? If the answer is more than 10% I'd be shocked, and if it's closer to 3%, I wouldn't be surprised at all.

    • I was just grousing the other day about commercials for games. Who cares about the cutscenes? Why would anyone make a purchase decision based on how cool the cutscene looked?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I didn't realize this had come out yet.

      What I'm interested in is the game itself, and I haven't seen any headlines for that.How is the game? Is it more like the first one, which I loved, or is it more like the second one, which I avoided because of all the crazy changes they made to it. Basically, am I gonna want to buy it?

      10/10 [youtube.com], yes, no, yes.

  • by flitty ( 981864 ) on Wednesday November 19, 2014 @02:30PM (#48419473)
    How many console generations and Comparison videos do we have to write this type of article about before it stops being a thing? Breaking news everyone, a $400 piece of hardware cannot compete with hardware that has no upper price limit. The interesting thing is that I spent $500 on a PC a year ago and I ended up with hardware very close to the PS4. Guess what? The PS4 actually runs my games ever so slightly better on the PS4 than my "cheap" PC. This could be due to Console optimization, or my PC's optimization, or any other number of factors. They're different things for different purposes.
  • If you can't play multi-player with your friend on another platform then who cares which one of you has better graphics? Are you people more concerned with e-peen rants than about being able to play the game together? How many of you are buying a platform based on this title? I'd much rather buy titles that let me play with my friends no matter who has what hardware.

    • I'd much rather buy titles that let me play with my friends no matter who has what hardware.

      Good for you. Personally, I'll probably just get a PS4 and a copy of DA:I when I can afford to do so, because I don't give a shit about graphics or online multiplayer.

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