Battlefield 4 on PS4 and Xbox One: a Simulation of How it Should Look at 900p and 720p

There has been a lot of talk on the fact that Battlefield 4 has been demonstrated running at a resolution of 720p on Xbox One and Ps4, and while EA DICE says that the final resolution isn’t yet finalized, and that they’re targeting to have the same resolution on both next generation consoles, many are still wondering what the real pixel count will be.

At the moment the two most probable candidates are the already demonstrated 720p (1280 x 720) and 900p (1600 x 900), upscaled by the consoles to 1080p, and unfortunately we still have a very hazy idea on how those will look, as no direct feed video or screenshots of the two next gen versions have been published by Electronic Arts, Sony or Microsoft.

To see how the game might actually end up looking, let us try a little experiment.

Observing the few videos surfaced so far, the game on next generation consoles seems very similar to the PC beta version at High settings. It’s definitely inferior to Ultra settings, and it seems to be better than Medium. With that in mind I set my PC version of the beta to High settings, with Antialiasing on 2X, as the console versions’ AA doesn’t seem to be superior to that for the moment.

In order to simulate the possible 720p and 900p resolutions of the console version I left the display resolution to 1080p, and modified the “resolution scale” slider to change the resolution internally rendered by the game. That way the scene will be rendered internally at 720p and 900p, and then upscaled to 1080p, exactly like the PS4 and the Xbox One will do (if you want to learn more about the resolution scaling feature you can check my dedicated article on the topic).

There’s a slight degree of approximation here, due to the increments of the slider, but I guarantee that you’re not going to perceive the difference between 1600 x 900 and 1632 x 918.

Once I finished setting my simulation model, I moved on to take several screenshots of exactly the same locations of the game changing the internal resolution from 720p to 900p. As a bonus I also took a screenshot of each location at 1080p native resolution as well, for reference.

Below you can see the result in direct comparison composite screenshots, while at the bottom of the post there’s a gallery with all the screenshot by themselves. Every picture has been saved as uncompressed PNG (that’s why they may take a while to load if you have a slow connection), because the compression applied to the JPG  format would fake the comparison.

Ready to squint? Of course you should click on each picture to enlarge it to its full size, otherwise squinting won’t help you.

You can also check out Part 2 of this comparison, focusing on showing the differences by using another method of display.


The first screenshot shows two tanks in first person. The definition of the rifle is quite clearly superior in 900p, especially if you look at the etched label on the side. Another good indicator of the difference is the US flag on the side of the tank on the left.


The second screenshots has easier differences to spot. The foliage of the tree is slightly more defined in 900p. The same goes for the flag on the side of the rifle.


This one is much harder: the detail on the buildings is slightly better in 900p, but the difference is extremely difficult to spot.


This picture shows an almost invisible difference in the tiling on the ground, while the edges of the pieces of paper are slightly better in 900p, like the foliage and the Chinese writing on the top right.


This picture is probably the one that better demonstrates the difference, with foliage and grass clearly more defined in 900p. The detail of the building on the right is also slightly crisper.


In this screenshot the details of the signs and of the broken structure at the bottom are slightly better in 900p, even if that annoying smoke makes it harder to see.


In this picture the difference is fairly noticeable in the foliage, the railings and the details of the building.


Again, the details of the buildings are where the difference shows most, but the long distance makes it almost impossible to perceive.


This picture, taken from a little closer point of view, makes the difference a little easier to see, but not that much easier.


This screenshot is full of small details that let you notice the difference is you squint hard, especially in the textures of the broken pillar, the decoration above the doorway, the monument and the foliage.


 It’s very hard to spot any difference here. It’s barely visible in the wooden tiles of the floor and in the definition of the table on the left. Also, the red tapestry is slightly more crisp in 900p.


In this screenshot there’s barely any difference in the tapestry, while it’s slightly more visible in the textures of the golden sign.


It’s easier to notice a difference in this picture, even if it’s still very small. You can see it mostly in the definition of the windows of the skyscrapers.


If you squint very very hard in this one you can see a slight difference in the glass fragments, the foliage, the carpetry and the wooden tiles.


As usual, decals make it a little easier to spot the difference, as demonstrated by the Chinese flag on the tank’s cannon. The textures of the big boy and of the asphalt are also slightly crisper in 900p.


In this screenshot the difference in resolution can be seen in the wooden tiles, the flowers and the textures of the couches.



The two screenshots above have plenty small details that demonstrate the difference in resolution, especially in decals and textures. Can you spot them?

Below you can find a gallery with all the screenshots by themselves, including the 1080p ones (that I didn’t include in the comparison above because that kind of resolution won’t probably be attained on consoles anyway).

Did you manage to spot the differences I listed? Did you see any I didn’t mention?

One thing is for sure: Even thanks to the upscaling it’s very, very difficult to see a large disparity between 720p and 900p, and the game still looks very fetching in both resolutions. So don’t worry too much, whatever pixel count EA DICE will manage to achieve on your favorite next gen console, you’ll be fine. Battlefield 4 will still look great.







Join the Discussion

  • Russell Gorall

    If the game wasn’t ready for next gen consoles, but ready for PC, they should have just waited on the PS4 and Xbox One versions.

    I get sick of seeing games released on twenty formats and most of them are underwhelming.

    • guest

      Both next gen versions will be up-scaled to 1080p 60fps, so if the up-scaling technology is good enough, you won’t really notice the difference. I would wait until the final versions are released, there is hell of a lot optimisation games developers do in the final few weeks.

      • bigevilworldwide

        Sony technically doesn’t upscale games….It does actually hurt games graphically in some cases….Microsoft is the KING of upscaling and then pretending it’s native however……Just like how this gen YES the PS3 could do native 1080p, didn’t do it often but it actually could unlike the 360 which is completely incapable of 1080p….You can actually search for a list of games that ran at 1080p native this gen and there are around 20 ps3 games and 0 360 games because it technically cannot, but it can upscale like a mother fucker

        • guest

          Killzone SF multiplayer on PS4 does 1080p 60fps and looks stunning (PC gamers who have been hands on report it is the equivalent of ‘High settings’ on PC), no excuse for DICE not to match this:

          • dave

            This has bown my mind, just read Game Informer – The Order 1886 on PS4 has best graphics they have EVER seen on a game, that is the true power of optimised PS4 games. PS4 – Greatness truly awaits.

          • tim

            yeah, read about this article on Game Informer – The Order 1886 on PS4 has best visuals they have ever seen on a game. Wow, that game must be pretty special.

          • Chuck Norris

            looks like none of you heard of Crisis 1.

          • guest2

            it’s 1080p 30fps, sorry to burst your bubble.

  • Quincy

    I’m having a hard time spotting the difference. Maybe because I have a headache at the moment or maybe I have to see it up close and personal.

    • GorillaPotRoast

      I honestly can’t see a difference, unless it’s flatout pointed out. You can see the difference in the water, but only barely.

    • Johnny Neat
  • TI_21

    Seems like next gen will be more about anti aliasing then resolution.

    • WellWisher

      IMO that’s where the greatest visual benefits will be. Especially in a MP game like Battlefield. Improved textures will be nice too.

      • TI_21

        It makes the image more pleasing, however in MP games details are more important then jaggies.
        And if you open those screens in different versions of the pics you’ll see how much better the image quality is at 1080p. 720/900p upscaled is very blurry in comparison.

        • WellWisher

          I dunno, I sacrifice image quality for framerate, resolution and AA in BF3 on PC. It’s the opposite for me in single player. Each to their own I guess.

  • Matt

    Horrible examples… Just give out 2 full res images and let people flip between tabs.

    • Laughing__Man_

      Whoever did the editing on the pictures needs to lose their job. Its confusing as hell.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      That’s why we provided all the full resolution images in the gallery at the bottom of the post.

      Feel free to flip between them to your heart’s content.

      • Matt

        Those weren’t there last time -_o

        • Giuseppe Nelva

          They’ve been there since when the article has been published yesterday night, promise 😀

      • Lionheart1188

        Thanks for doing it like that cause now I can easily spot the difference.

  • Gamehard

    Does this really matter? This game sucks anyway.

    • mus1CKFps

      If t sucks why’d you bother commenting ? I never understand comments like these

      • Unemployment Master

        Because opinions must be expressed.
        If you don’t understand, why did you comment?

        Get it?

  • Matthias Heinz

    During the game, you mostly run around pretty quickly, the difference will be even less noticeable. For me 720p is ok, main thing is it is fun.

    • guest

      Killzone SF multiplayer on PS4 runs at 1080p 60fps and its graphics still looks fantastic, that should be the standard.

      • Giuseppe Nelva

        does Killzone SF’s multiplayer also have 64 players?

        • Matthias Heinz

          No, only up to 24 players and smaller maps!

          • Jack Slater

            Maps size on games can be pretty irrelevant.
            We all played dozens thousands of times the ‘old’ counterstrike , 8vs8, or 6vs6, on tiny maps like desert, Italia, etc, is battlefield 200 times better and more fun, with 200 times bigger maps?

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            More players need bigger maps, otherwise matches would be unplayable.

          • Jack Slater

            Sure, 64 players on CS, a grenade would give you a medal for 25 kills at once.
            But regarding FUN…
            Like MAG and its 256 players. More players =/ more fun.

            Like gta5 map. It’s quite huge. We would need several hours for driving on all the roads. Can you imagine gta6, one day, with a 2-3 times bigger map? *go visit X*. 20 real minutes for crossing the city/island. Will it be 2-3 more fun?

            Bf4 is different, of course. When you have airplanes and chopters, you just can’t have a small map, whether there are 64 players or 16.
            That’s why there aren’t vehicles on cod. They would need maps 10x would be too much work, it would be impossible to milk the franchise every single year, make several extra billion $, all that with the same 10yo engine.

            Anyway, thanks for your article.

          • Matthias Heinz

            Yep, CS is great, even on smaller maps. What i wanted to say, Killzone is running in 1080p because the maps are smaller and you have less player. BF4 has bigger maps and up to 64 players, 1080p requires more power.

        • Jesus Christ

          Well 24 players + the bots which players control take the same power as 48 players. And I should add that not only is Killzone at a higher frame rate and graphics, it is also not trying desperately to hid gameplay and get people’s hopes up i.e using a high end PC running the game on ultra.

          • Jesus Christ

            *not higher frame rate*

      • SLiSH83

        It’s not a constant 60fps so but I guess Sony fans leave that small bit of info out.

        • Hamdy

          and who actually said it wont be a constant 60fps at least it is 1080p not a stupid downgrading in many XBONE execlusives

  • orionsaint

    The future of gaming is in resolution. 4K 8K 10K. The graphics are gonna have this unreal hyper clarity to them. Similar to watching Deep Down running in 60fps on PS4. The graphics start to look so real that they look like miniature models.

    • foureyes oni

      but deep down’s graphics got a downgrade based off the last few videos, and a 4k console might not even hit ps5. i only see it really being available for majority of gaming pc users in 2 to 3 years.

      • guest

        …”majority of gaming pc users”, bullsh*t, only if they spend $1000’s on upgrading their graphics cards. A recent Steam survey only a small minority of PC gamers actually have top gaming rigs, the majority actually have PCs that are spec’d well below next gen PS4/XB1 console specs. The ‘PC Master Race’ is just a myth, very few of them can afford to enjoy games on Ultra settings.

        • foureyes oni

          i always forget how many wow and lol players there are. Well it doesnt’ really matter my emphasis was more the fact that the hardware gets better each year for pc gaming with 4k becoming more and more reasonably priced. Most likely you could make yourself a 4k gaming computer for less than a $1000 in 2 to 3 years.

        • Squinty

          You got it all wrong. “Master race” was a joke not a myth, and having a high end rig is not what makes PC gaming appealing. The ability to have any kind of rig you want (including a $300 one or a $3000 one) is what’s cool about it. It’s the
          – Openness of the platform – free online, emulators & infinite backward compatibility, mods, cheap digital games & sales (Steam, GoG, etc); and
          – Control over your experience: customizable controls, higher fps,
          high fidelity (you can choose what effects to turn off), multiple input
          devices,  the ability to mod the hardware (Overclocking, upgrading), etc.
          that make PC gaming great.

          • xShadow215

            Yea don’t forget that going on the internet comparing PC to console every time you hear something about a console because your PC is better or most likely shitty compared to next gen is a PC gamer’s main hobby, like if you enjoying playing on PC then good for you.

      • xShadow215

        2 to 3 years? If you seriously think 4K gaming for PC is that close you’re an idiot, more like 8+ years, hell they still have trouble getting 4K to be anywhere consumer price.

        • foureyes oni

          i honestly need to find some more benchmarks for it myself. I’ve found 1 supporting my idea and 2 that don’t. I’m hoping that the 2 that didn’t support it were simply maxing out all settings on top of the 4k resolution.

  • Guest

    There won’t be much difference, looking at this and the Xbox One has a very high quality scaler, so we’ll see how it turns out.

  • King K

    IMO these photos don’t show the real advantage 900 has over 720.
    The real place where 900 resolution have an impact is in shooting or looking at distant human or vehicle targets. The Higher the resolution the better you can see your target and aim more accurately at specific parts or sides. Also having a higher resolution can give you a better view to determine the direction the target is facing, and to know if they see you or not.This was a big problem in BF3.
    Obviously, this does not matter much if target is close enough.
    Another area resolution is important when using Iron sight/scope/red dots. With Higher res, the sights will be sharper and thus much more easier to aim accurately.

    This is what the test above should have included.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      The difference is minimal to irrelevant even in those cases. Taking screenshot comparisons of humans and such is not exactly easy, simply because they move. If you can, feel free to submit it.

  • Trim Dose

    This has to be most flawed comparison between resolutions ever!!, when you click of the images above and think that actually 720p looks like that, you are just a moron on the internet, 720p images should look very blurry and pixelated with a very poor anti aliasing, this images are upscales if but if those images are actually 720p. these images look like 1080p on a very low graphics settings.

    Also another thing I notice of this fake ass article, look at hud up on the screen, when switching between 1080p to 720p the HUD should be bigger in 720, but if you look closely all the huds of all resolutions are the same. Not only the Hud should look bigger everything else it should too.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      Aside from the rudeness of your comment, it’s also very much off-base.

      1: The screenshots are taken with a native resolution of 720p and 900p with high settings (they have nothing to do with very low settings, you seem not to have seen the beta at all), upscaled to 1080p via the resolution scale feature. That’s what the PS4 and the Xbox One will do as well, so it’s the only way to have a relevant simulation of the final look of the game on next generation consoles. Taking screenshots at 720p and 900p without the resolution scale would be completely inaccurate, as next gen consoles won’t display the game at those resolutions on the screen.

      2: the objection on the HUD is irrelevant, because of the resolution scale it’s displayed at the same size, and the size of the HUD is set separately anyway.

      Results of a test are based on conditions as close as possible to the actual case being studied, not on what you think it “should” look like.

  • Chris

    The only time you will see a significant difference is native 1080p vs 720p whereas 900p vs 720p is hardly noticeable especially on a TV.

    • Daniel Lawson


  • Diego Salvadore

    but who is telling you that one will turn on xbox at 720p and 900p at ps4?? article ridiculous, nerdy paid by sony

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      Being able to read is a great skill.

      Nowhere in the article it says that Xbox One will run at 720p and the PS4 at 900p. It says very clearly that DICE is targeting the same resolution on both consoles, and we don’t know which resolution it will be between 720 and 900.

      Defensive much?

  • Matthias Heinz

    Without the lines, it is nearly impossible to see any differences 🙂

  • Jack Slater

    I wish battlefield on ps4 was only 30 fps, but with graphics 2 times better, textures 2 times less compressed and 2 times crispier, etc.
    Sure, the maybe 10% of hardcore games will appreciate the 60fps, but the remaining 90%, like me, they would prefer 2 times better graphics. 60 fps is just too much for next gen, with games like battlefield4, huge maps, 64 players, each one doing something different.

    If killzone shadow fall single player is only 30 fps, I will be happy.I prefer having amazing next gen graphics, than 60 fps, which requires many concessions on the graphics department. Ps3:720p. Ps4 or xbox one: 720p. With 2013 tech. Is it a joke? With graphics 20-40% better.don’t count on me. It’s the kind of game I will wait until it’s free on psn+.

    I wish bf4 single player campaign was 30fps as well, with much much better graphics than multiplayer. do we need ultra smooth fast 360° moves and skills on single player mission? While I understand the need while playing online, for the single player, I choose graphics over fps. The main reason when buying a new console, every 5-7 years, is graphics, right?

    • dave

      30fps for single player campaign is absolutely fine, makes no difference if it 30fps or 60fps, prefer they turn up the graphics and have it at 30fps.

      But for multiplayer, 60fps makes a huge difference, one of the main reasons COD is so succesful on current gen consoles and has made $multi-billions$ is because 60fps is so damn smooth and addictive.

    • Unemployment Master

      Why not buy a PC then, if you only care about graphics?

  • Daniel Lawson

    it’s going to be up to the developer to make the choices that make their games look best… is it pixel count or perhaps some other things they want to get done

  • RandomUser2yr29387

    Higher Resolution = Better

    The end.

  • Jessenia Lopez

    looks like a PS2 game

  • IRWeasel

    Who the hell cares? As long as it’s HD and runs at 60fps everyone will be happy.

  • torrencedavis

    click bait…Oo

  • Obambush

    You guys must be trolling because i can’t see a difference even thou i know there should be.

  • alex

    I dunno HOW the hell you guys got your screens like this but on my Plasma running BF4 at 1080p using the in game resolution scale settings with a 44% resolution scale to represent 720p and a 69% resolution scale to represent 900p, the differences are ABSOLUTELY incredible… 720p looks AWFUL. While the 900p looks worse than 1080p, it manages to look acceptable.

    I urge you guys to try out these settings in the beta to see for yourself, and do the math to check to see if i’m wrong.

    720p is 44% resolution scale = (1280×720) / (1920×1080)
    900p is 69% resolution scale = (1600×900) / (1920×1080)

    Go ahead, try for yourselves, get the resolution scale as close to you can to those percentages and check it out. The real results in game are completely different than what these screenshots here are showing. 720p looks like complete and total ass while the 900p version looks miles better.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      The resolution scale in battlefield 4 works by dividing each side by the percentage, not the whole pixel count.

      With those percentages you’re getting a resolution of 844×475 and 1324×745, so yeah, of course your version of 720p will look bad.

      • Alex

        Well I just tried your scale settings. Obviously look better than mine…

        But the difference when viewing them in motion is still much greater than the article suggests. The temporal aliasing in 720p just makes the image a lot worse than the 900p version. Jaggies are certainly more apparent than the images here suggest. Definitely looks a bit muddier as well.

        Regardless, my point still stands. The difference is much greater than this articles suggests and I encourage people to try for themselves to see that.

  • Tony

    I played the beta on pc with ultra settings. Overall I wasn’t impressed. It felt like I was playing a bf3 expansion. They add some interesting new features like counter knifing, but the game itself doesn’t seem to be much of a leap from bf3. I’m not quite ready to say Dice taken the battlefield series the way of COD, but I’m definitely skipping this one. Hopefully Bad Company 3 will be better.

    • Crusina .

      Ultra setting isn’t ultra. I play on console and even I know that. It was the same in the BF3 beta.

      And honestly, if you can’t see the difference I feel sorry for you. Even playing on the 360 I can notice tons of improvements. For instance if I shoot someone in the leg, they stumble.

      Theirs hundreds of these differences and with the new olbliteration mode I’m having more fun then I have had in over a year.

      If you’re skipping the game based on this, you’re an idiot. Rent the final version or something and then judge.

      TLDR Console person notices more differences then the PC person. Really sad.

  • Vidalzinho

    The PC beta must be console ported crap..You can tell it’s ported because of auto aim..

  • mungo

    Splitting hairs, here. 1080p or go home.

  • bob man

    i think it would be easier to spot if they had a 900p photo of the same 720p photo to compare side by side instead of comparing different parts of the image at different res.

  • Kurti

    You can’t really compare 720p with 900p on pictures. I am running most of my games in 900p. And there is a considerable difference to 720. More than this pictures might suggest. Just turn some games you have (like Far Cry 3) to 900p play it and than turn it into 720p you will be surprised about the difference. Hopefully Battlefield 4 runs 900p

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      You’re completely forgetting the upscaling.

      That’s not a small factor.

      • Kurti

        But aren’t both versions upscaled to 1080p? The whole point here is to explain to the people who believe 720p and 900p have no difference, that there is indeed a considerable difference.

        • Giuseppe Nelva

          Upscaling hides the difference by a rather big margin. The point is that the difference is marginal, and you’ll have to squint a lot to notice it while actually playing.

          The difference between 720p and 900p by themselves may be considerable, but the game will be played on upscaled resolution, which blurs the line a lot.

  • Johnny Neat

    I’m a stickler, but these changes are so minute that they are laughable. They are too close to complain… Or am I missing something, like if it were actually moving and size of the screen I was on??

  • Johnny Neat
    • Tom Murphy

      seems xbox one looks sharper 😮

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