I’m one of the few people out there in gaming land who doesn’t care about the difference in how one game looks over the other when released on more than one platform. For one, having more blades of grass or two more drops of blood on the screen isn’t a big deal. Secondly, I don’t own both consoles to even compare. But because there are people who would rather stare at their screen for long periods of time comparing footage instead of doing productive things like working, exercising, or just playing videogames, I have a new “scandal” to bore you with!
One very loyal PS3 fanboy was fighting the useless fight one lonely Saturday night when he wrote to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK about a discrepancy he noticed on his TV. Turns out that the Xbox 360 commercials for the game Final Fantasy XIII were actually using footage from the PS3 version (specifically the full motion videos/cutscenes), and not the platform it was being advertised on.
After trying out the games on their respective systems, it seems the little nerd was right (they sent him a cookie). So said the ASA:
“We noted that there was a discernible difference in the picture quality of the two – the PS3 image in video sequences appeared sharper and colors were more vivid than those of the Xbox 360.”
The ASA concluded that the advertisements were not allowed to be shown again, even after realizing they wasted time on 5-month-old commercials…
Final Fantasy XIII sold over 1 million copies on its first day in Japan, then 1.3 million copies in the US in its first month of release – over 60% of all of them were on the PlayStation 3. The Xbox commercials really were effective! While Square-Enix higher-ups were relaxing in their money-filled hot tubs, the ASA were quoted as saying:
“… because 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.”
Most gamers knew that Final Fantasy XIII on the Xbox 360 would be at a much lower bitrate to fit on 3 DVDs, but this incongruity in marketing was still important…. marginally.
Square-Enix admitted to the ASA that the images used were played back on the PS3 to “allow advertisers to capture the FMV footage for the advert.” But they went on to say that they “did not believe any average viewer, or indeed avid gamer, would perceive any difference in the output unless reviewing the materially forensically.” Square-Enix, never question the power of a lonely fanboy with nothing better to do! That type of thinking will come back to haunt you!
Although, again, the game has been out for more than 5 months now…
Even though it was careless for Square-Enix to do this, let us not take the blame away from the real villain: Microsoft! How could Microsoft trust the makers of the game to give accurate footage for their advertisements?! They knew, they had to know! They’re all to blame! Fire to their headquarters!
Fanboys, in case you haven’t caught on yet, that was all sarcasm. Don’t use this as fodder for your futile campaign.
Honestly, this ongoing PS3 vs. Xbox 360 comparison feud I often see is silly… you’re still playing the same game! Of course, it matters to Sony and Microsoft which you buy — it’s all about profit — but gamers should not be so picky. Enjoy your consoles and games without making a fuss.
Granted, Square-Enix is still at fault for misrepresenting the game, but does it merit console arguments? There should always be other important factors that help people on their decisions of which version to buy (achievements vs. trophies, PSN vs. XBL, friends, etc).
We as gamers should be happy when looking at the spectrum of what we get; the quality of games today is visually stunning on all systems (I’m ignoring the Wii is a console for the sake of my argument). Just compare the original 1996 Resident Evil polygons to Sheva’s pixel boobs of 2009; you got great headway!
Truly, I rant because I care, and because I’m tired of seeing comparison wars with every new multiplatform game. Please, let’s not nitpick and just appreciate…and someone buy me a damn Xbox so I can join in on the complaining too!