Battlefield 4 on PS4 and Xbox One: How it Should Look at 900p and 720p – Part 2 – The Differences

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.

A few days ago we used the PC version of Battlefield 4 to simulate how the PS4 and Xbox One version of the game should look, wether they’ll be limited to 720p or they will achieve 900p. The way the pictures were arranged, though, wasn’t the best to spot the differences between the different resolutions, as they’re fairly subtle. Taking the feedback from some of our readers that provided some interesting ideas om how to compare the screenshots, here’s Part 2 of our simulation, with a whole bunch of new screenies, that hopefully will help you notice the discrepancies in the level of detail.

It’s important to mention that this article, like the previous one, won’t mention which console will reach 900p and which one won’t, as no one knows, and if we Believe DICE’s promises, they will be equivalent. It doesn’t aim to pitch the PS4 against the Xbox one, but just to simulate and showcase the difference between 720p and 900p for both platforms. It also doesn’t aim to demonstrate that 720p looks terrible, as it doesn’t. That said, the differences –however subtle– are there, and that’s exactly what we’re setting out to show.

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 pixels and 1632 x 918.

This time around, in order to make the differences more visible, I took pictures with a native resolution of 720p and 900p uscaled to 1080p, and 1080p itself for reference, then I created a series of animated GIFs switching between them in sequence (with an interval of three seconds between each). While the GIF format reduces the color count to 256 and adds a dithering effect, it’s otherwise lossless, and doesn’t hide the differences in detail like a lossy format like JPG would.

In addition to that, I also put together a detail picture of each screenshot, showing one of its elements that better showcases the difference in all three resolutions side by side. Those are in uncompressed PNG format so there’s no loss of color or dithering (note: no resizing or zooming has been done on the detail screenshots. They’ve just been cropped, but they keep the same size they have on the game’s screen).

Finally, at the bottom of the post you’ll find a gallery with all the screenshots in all three resolution in uncompressed PNG. If you want to see the differences even better, open each group of three in three different tabs of your browser, make sure that they’re fully zoomed, and then flip between them.

But without further ado, here come the screenshots (click on each GIF to enlarge it to full size and show the animation. Please allow a few seconds for loading, as they’re fairly big files, especially if you have a slow connection).

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One of the best areas to spot the differences in his first picture are the decals on the tank, as you can easily notice above. Displayed from left to right are 720p, 900p and 1080p.

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Foliage is another good example, as the loss in definition is very visible as you proceed towards 720p

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The serial numbers, decals and general detail of guns show the difference in definition very well, as you can see above.

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Even here the lion statues and the trees behind them show a quite marked difference in definition. Distant objects are the ones that suffer the most as resolution decreases.

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The difference in definition in the grass is very evident, even more so between 900p and 1080p.

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The scrolling Chinese lettering is another good example. It’s quite blurry in 720p, while we can see the dots in 1080p fairly well. In this case the difference between 720p and 900p isn’t that big.

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More foliage, seen thorugh a sniper rifle scope. In this case the difference is even more self explanatory.

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The sign in this picture shows the progressive definition gain from 720p and 1080p very well.

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In this screenshots taken from the top of the main skyscraper we can see fairly well the discrepancies in definition of most details of the buildings at a distance.

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This screenshot is another perfect example. The chinese lettering is very different at the three resolution, but even more evident is the difference in the pieces of paper scattered on the street. Not only they’re a lot more blurry in 720p, but some aren’t even visible, while they appear at higher resolutions.

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The details of the plants get more defined as we approach to 1080p, the same can be said about the ribbing of the vase.

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Basically every detail here is evidently more blurry in 720p: the umbrellas, the couches, the steps and the tiles.

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Same as above, the while picture is more blurry in 720p. The most evident difference is in the foliage and the railings on the background.

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The discrepancy in resolution is fairly evident both in the red sign and in the metallic grating just under it.

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The statue and the foliage look quite different as we increase resolution, even if the discrepancy in the statue is much more subtle between 720p and 900p.

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The Chinese letters on the flags are quite blurry in 720p, while they become more defined as resolution increase. The same can be said about the panels behind them.

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The ribbing of the escalator is on a whole different level of detail between the three different resolutions.

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In this screenshot you can easily spot the discrepancies in the Chinese flag and in the details of the headlight.

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A sight from my favorite vehicle in the game. The difference on the pavement here is self explanatory, and the same can be said about the sheets of paper. The signs in the distance also show a whole different level of detail.

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The details in the broken pillars, the shutters on its left, and the decoration above the gate on the right are very different as you move upwards to 1080p

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Basically everything in the picture above, and especially in the showcased detail, is more blurry in 720p and 900p.

So, did you manage to spot the differences this time around? While they’re most definitely subtle, especially when you’re having fun and you aren’t just squinting to see if the leaves aren’t blurred, they do exist. That said, as you can see from the pictures above, and as concluded by Part 1 as well, Battlefield 4 is going to look quite great, regardless of resolution.

If the differences you saw showcased above are important for you, then you can only hope that EA DICE will manage to push 900p on your platform of choice. If you want to see the pictures even better, you can check out each and every one in uncompressed PNG in the gallery below.

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