Final Fantasy XIV PS4 vs PS3 Screenshot Comparison: Huge Difference Shows Generational Leap

A few days ago we posted a screenshot comparison between the upcoming PS4 version  of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm  Reborn and the PC version at maximum settings. A few of our readers asked us to do the same between the PS4 version of the PS3 version, to get an idea of the leap in visual fidelity they can expect when they’ll receive their free upgrade to the port on Sony’s new console, which will be released in April and will enter its closed beta phase on February 22nd.

The method we used for the comparison was the same we used for the previous one. The screenshots of the PS4 version come from the gameplay footage livestreamed in 1080p during the latest Letter from the Producer Live. While we saved all the pictures in PNG and selected frames in which the character was completely stationary in order to minimize the effect of livestreaming compression, it’s important to mention that said compression does exist, resulting in a slight flattening in colors and a partially blurred image, so keep it in mind when comparing resolution. Since the PS4 version will be rendered in 1080p native resolution, the crispness of the image should be pretty much the same as the PC version, which has been included for reference at the bottom of each PS4/PS3 pairing of screenshots.

PS3 screenshots have been taken directly from the console, using PNG capture for a lossless representation, and reproducting as best as possible the angles and lighting conditions of the PS4 screenshots, over which obviously we had no control over (due to the fact that they were livestreamed by the developer).

Below you can see seven screenshots for each version. You can click on them to open a new tab with each to see them at full resolution.

FFXIV_Comp_03_PS4 FFXIV_Comp_03_PS3d FFXIV_Comp_03_PC

The screenshot above shows a good mix of elements between architecture and water. The generational leap is evident especially due to resolution, aliasing (it’s very visible in the PS3 version on the character and on the straight lines of the tables and of the stone ledge between the wooden area and the water). Flowers and vegetation also show a huge discrepancy in definition and the reflections of the light on the water are much less complex on PS3.

Of course the character between the PS3 version and the PS4 version is not the same as we didn’t have a lalafell in a darklight cowl like the one used by Naoki Yoshida during the livestream.

FFXIV_Comp_04_PS4 FFXIV_Comp_04_PS3d FFXIV_Comp_04_PC

This is another good example. The textures and normal maps of the PS3 version are quite literally a muddy mess compared to the PS4. It’s very visible looking at the vegetation, the cobblestone and the bottom of the lake. Lighting also appears simplified in the old-gen port, and that’s especially visible in the shadows, some of which don’t appear at all.

FFXIV_Comp_05_PS4 FFXIV_Comp_05_PS3d FFXIV_Comp_05_PC

The differences is resolution, texture resolution and normal maps are also very visible in the screenshots above, even more so looking at the close-up area of the bottom of the lake. The shadow of the pillar on the right also displays that shadow rendering is much less advanced on PS3 and the shadow maps are much less detailed.

FFXIV_Comp_06_PS4 FFXIV_Comp_06_S3d FFXIV_Comp_06_PC

In this close up character shot we actually tried to reproduce the lalafell used by Yoshida-san, even if the clothing isn’t the same (the cowl he had is part of the endgame, while our lalafell was level 1). While the character’s face displays the same details in the PS3 version, it’s very visibly much more pixelated. Aliasing is especially visible around the hair, while the PS4 version is much better.

This screenshot is also good to display the difference in rendering of distant objects, especially if you look towards the extreme right of the screen. The small column poking over the bushes (the one leaning to the right) is obviously shows a much simpler model on PS3 due to the heavier use of LOD to cause less strain on the hardware. There’s also a lot less vegetation in the background behind it.

FFXIV_Comp_02_PS3d FFXIV_Comp_02_PS4 FFXIV_Comp_02_PC

These screenshots and the ones that will follow can’t be used to compare lighting as they’ve been taken inside a city, and at the moment cities in the live game on PS3 and PC are decorated for the Starlight Celebration Holiday event, meaning that weather is constantly set to snow. It also means that there are several Holiday decorations in the PS3 and PC version that don’t appear in the PS4 version (the PS4 footage was taken in a test environment that didn’t have the event). Just ignore those, as they aren’t normally part of the environment.

In this one we can see an enormous difference in the definition of the cobblestone due to the lower resolution of both textures and normal maps. Aliasing is also very visible in the PS3 version, while the PS4 one is a lot smoother. A good element to look at are the wavy decorations under the small domes around the aetherite and the textures on the stone pillars in the background, not to mention the golden area at the base of the aetherite itself.

FFXIV_Comp_01_PS3dFFXIV_Comp_01_PS4 FFXIV_Comp_01_PC

This one is one of the best examples, showing all the differences above and more. The flowers in the middle of the screenshot are almost impossible to distinguish in the PS3 version, and the sign that says “Upper Decks” in Eorzean on the right is a muddy, blurred mess that can’t even be read. You can notice a large discrepancy even in the detail of the decorations of the base of the lamppost on the left and on the railing.

In conclusion, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is probably the cross-gen game that shows its generational leap the most. The PS3 version quite evidently strains Sony’s seven year-old hardware to its limits, often struggling to hold framerate. MMORPGs are notoriously much more demanding, hardware-wise, than basically any other genre of games, and due to that the PS3 port isn’t really too pleasant to look at, especially if you’re used to the PC version, which is basically the most visually impressive MMORPG currently on the market.

The difference with the PS4 version is simply huge, showing a massively superior level of detail compared to its console predecessor in basically every aspect: resolution, texture resolution, normal maps, shadows, draw distance, LOD and more.

To the differences showcased in the screenshots we have to add the fact that the PS4 version will display as many characters as the PC one, while the PS3 version only displays a very limited amount (excess ones are invisible), and that’s an enormous difference in polygon count and textures loaded in memory.

It’s basically like night and day, and current PS3 users that plan on switching to the PS4 are definitely in for a treat in April. On top of that the upgrade is free, so what’s not to love?

Join the Discussion

  • ragingmerifes

    PS4 has a GUI and camera.

    • MegaRay

      And I have a camera, all I need is GUI and ill be a next-generation console

    • Sylthorn

      and the world is a cube.

  • hesoyamdonMonster

    i cant see any difference in these screenshot

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      I could lend you some thick glasses. Or maybe you should just click on the screenshots to see them at full resolution. The PS3 version has pixels as big as your thumb in comparison 😀

      • hesoyamdonMonster

        haha !! now i see !!

      • Shango Thomas

        no significant difference

      • Truthbot

        Because we all play video games with our faces right up to the screen. Sitting back on a couch, the difference would be negligible.

        • Mike Osborn

          If you play on an old TV without 1080p or a small TV with 1080p. Yeah, then the difference would be negligible. If you play on a 1080p 40 inch+ TV then no, its going to very apparent even from a few feet away.

          • AlonditeMX

            But still nowhere near the generational gap between any two other generations.

          • Nihelus Aurenis

            Thank you, Captain Obvious. The old systems were already approaching photo realism with some of the AAA games. No new systems will ever be as big a difference between generations again.

            However, the new systems will be able to create great graphics without pouring millions of dollars into a project and hiring hordes of witches and warlocks to unlock every bit of juice the old systems were capable of. The new systems will allow for bigger levels full of more things to interact with. The new systems give both big and small devs teams a lot more to work with, and I for one have no idea why you and so many like you rag on them so much.

        • Nihelus Aurenis

          The difference is going to be huge. I’ve had to play on my PS3 instead of PC for weeks due to surgery, and I HATE playing the PS3 version. The textures all blur together and it’s hard to make out what things are at a distance. Heck, even close up things look like crap. My minions, for example, are hard to look at on PS3. On PC they stick out in fine detail and look great.

          Not to mention, it’s going to be nice to play on a console and see the hordes of people standing around in places like Limsa and Mor Dhona. It’s lonely on PS3. The game hardly loads any character models and they fade in and out when they run a slight distance away from you.

          Those of you saying there’s no difference in the screenshots, sure, those are screenshots. I often find no differences in screenshots when people say there are huge differences. I’m surprised I’m in the majority here when I say I can barely tell any differences. If you own the PS3 version though, you’re going to want to get the PS4 version if possible. If you’ve never seen the PC version, you’re going to be in for a shock. The PS3 version is just awful.

      • AlonditeMX

        Which is significant how? How does it change how you interact with the game? If it doesn’t, then the differences are meaningless.

        • Nihelus Aurenis

          Being able to see things properly, and not lagging incredibly bad during runs like CT are rather significant ways in which I interact with the game. Also, not all of us are as “cool” as you. Some of us like our games to look nice. Sure, I can play a game that looks like crap, but if I can play that same game and make it look nice, why in the world wouldn’t I? Your views on this matter make absolutely no sense.

  • Rob

    not a big difference on the same type of engine.

  • L’anzce Beatrix

    well technically is a bit hard to compare since you took it off from Youtube, but nevertheless i can see a huge difference between PS4 & PS3, ofcoz Yoshi already explain that the PS4 graphic is on par to a High performance setting of a PC

  • kryteris

    Not a huge difference besides resolution on ps3 and ps4, but on the PC there is a huge difference from PS4, I dont get why this wont run the same as the hardware is very similar.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      The difference between PC and PS4 is only because of livestreaming compression, as clearly specified in the article.

      • Pukar Rana

        Then why did you bother with this article?

        • AlonditeMX

          To attempt to legitimize a PS4 purchase? That’s the only thing that makes any sense.

  • Raptgamers United

    Ok can you please lend me those thick glasses…..LOL Though I see pixels on PS3 when zoomed I still don’t think it’s as much of a difference from ACreed ps3 to PS4

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      Assassin’s Creed 4 for one doesn’t have huge pixels and characters aren’t painful to watch 😀

      Also count that the PS4 version will display as many characters as the PC, while the PS3 version only displays a very limited amount, and that’s an enormous different in polygon count and texture memory used. Unfortunately can’t show that in the screenshots here, but it’s definitely more than any difference AC4 will ever have.

      • Raptgamers United

        I agree your right …Thank you

  • Preston queener

    Never played final fantasy. But im looking forward to getting the ps4 version when it comes out. Every one I talked to said this game was good.

  • da Boss

    Not much of a difference, this games graphics are a joke.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      Of course they are. It’s just the most graphically advanced MMORPG on the market at the moment, lol 😀

      Might want to review your parameters there 😀

      • da Boss

        This is the best looking JRPG? Really? Wow thats sad

        • Giuseppe Nelva

          You do know the difference between a JRPG and a MMORPG right?

          This is the best looking MMORPG. MMORPGs are much heavier on the hardware than single player or normal multiplayer games, as they need to display a much higher number of characters on screen.

      • Jørgen Fallet Mosand

        Nah… Blade and soul looks better.

    • MegaRay

      And I was wondering why I laugh each time I look at the graphics

  • Shango Thomas

    not any difference besids pixels, this is video game journalism at its bets next generation consoles have no difference from the 360 and ps3 except for pixels and physics its so stupid to say next gen is any better

    • Bankai

      There’s a very big difference and if you can’t see it, then you sir, are blind. And there are way more differences between the current and last-gen consoles then just pixels and physics.

  • Shango Thomas

    ps4 and xbox one is all crap all engineering and business stupidity a shame to gaming not a significant difference at all im pretty sure if this game was remade on the ps3 once more it will look like the ps4 its only the resolution, we need a gaming revolution the tech is out there reram tehnology hybrid memory cube but this fuckers wont make a console out of it.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      You, sir, are drunk 😀

      There’s no way the PS3’s hardware can hold this kind of game at that kind of resolution, with that kind of texture, reflections, shadows, effects and so forth. It has 256 Mb of RAM.

      But it’s Christmas’ eve, so I guess being drunk is ok.

      • Shango Thomas

        then ur new to computers if you say so you arent a good coder

        • Giuseppe Nelva

          No, I’m not a good “coder.” You don’t need to be a “coder” to know that the PS3 can’t hold this kind of MMORPG (which is a genre that requires much higher hardware resources compared to all others) at the same fidelity as the PS4/PC.

          You only need to know MMORPGs. Which you don’t, quite obviously 😀

      • Shango Thomas

        pixels dont make people change consoles this generation of ps4 and xbox one wont manage half the sales of ps3 and 360 i promise you that if i had gad a wife id bet on her!

        • Giuseppe Nelva

          In fact it’s not just pixels. The PS4/PC version also displays about three times as many characters on screen as the PS3 version

          Bet all you want, but you seem a bit mad 😀

        • Alex Powell

          your an idiot….you think the games that are out right now for the consoles are even making use of even HALF the potential….jsut fukin die man…your so stupid it fukin hurts..

    • Zarathos No Daimaōh

      “It’s only the resolution” , lol even if it was true (wich it isnt) , the difference in resolution alone makes a world of difference . The change of resolution alone made Cod bearable and almost pretty on pc , compared to the pixelised and aliased crap it usually was on 360 or ps3 .

      • Alex Powell

        go kill yourself pc fanboy

      • AlonditeMX

        Really? So higher resolution changes how you interact with the game?

        • Zarathos No Daimaōh

          Really ? you wanna pretend we aint specifically talking about graphics here ?

          And FYI , the bigger horsepower on the pc version of FF14 actually does allow the game to display more stuff with a better drawing distant . So yeah it kinda improves the gameplay

          • AlonditeMX

            Which is a moot discussion anyway. Why do minute differences in visual fidelity mean anything at all?

            And FYI, displaying more of the game world at once in no way, shape, or form improves the gameplay. You’re obviously not aware of the term “minimum difference.”

          • Zarathos No Daimaōh

            Only moot to you . You felt free to join the fray , clearly aware of what is discussed here , only to give me some BS about gaming interaction … on you own , 7 frickin’ days later . And actually improving field and drawing object distance does matter to your gameplay in a mmo . Lets just agree to disagree and move on already

          • AlonditeMX

            It’s moot because the medium dictates that it’s moot. The graphical leap from Doom 2 to Doom 3 was a significant leap because it dramatically affacted the way that the game plays.

            Rendering more objects on-screen doesn’t affect gameplay unless they are in range for you to interact with them directly. Even the Ps3 version has enough draw distance to render all of the elements with which you can interact at that moment.

            This whole article is pointless. Yes, The Ps4 version looks marginally better than the Ps3 version, but it’s minescule, and functionally, the generational leap between the Ps3/360 and Ps4/XB1 is the smallest in history.

          • macolea

            clearly you do not play this game otherwise you would know the impact that being able to render more objects and characters on screen has on the gameplay.

    • Alex Powell

      you are str8 up retarded my friend if you think theres no difference between a game like metal gear day once release of ps3 and the day one releases of ps4….you are OBVIOUSLY a pc fanboy who wont recognize the improvements made across the platforms, so why even comment? does your life hold so little substance that you need to mindlessly rag on other platforms which you again…obviously know little about. just go fuk off to your huge ass tower pc that you cant take anywhere with you..O and have fun buyin new parts next year to keep up with all the new games^^ douche…

      • Woohoo!!

        And you seem to know little about PC’s. I agree with you about the consoles, but PC’s can be just a portable and you don’t need to upgrade every year just to play the latest games. I usually upgrade every 4 years, but that is just preference, I could go just as long as the lifespan of the consoles if I wanted to, just would have to turn down a few of the advanced effects…which is the same thing that they have to do with the consoles. They just optimize the effects of the game at the factory to suit the hardware. Only difference is on PC’s that same optimization is done by the user

  • Shango Thomas

    factors that make a game next gen: physics thats nvidia physx be it fluids,fire, destruction or flux overall, next geometry,AI,Lighting thats it if you want toaim higher motion simulation for instance a racing game with occulous rift a fan infront of the player to simulate wind speed… simple

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      I’m afraid you’re not the one that decides what makes a game next gen 😀

      • AlonditeMX

        Video games themselves define what is next gen.

        What defines a video game? Gameplay. Therefor, “next gen” hardware is defined as hardware that presents gameplay design potential that is not possible on lesser hardware. Graphics are not, and never will be part of the equation.

        Of course, most of the gameplay systems even on current generation consoles were possible on 16-bit consoles, and there are gameplay systems on the NES that are substantially deeper and more well-designed than an overwhelming majority of games released even within the last 5 years.

  • PrinceHeir

    glad i waited on the PS4 version ^^

    • Alex Powell

      they arent saying its bad to play it on the ps3…i have since day one and YES, there are some things that you wish wouldnt happen especially when it concerns monster spawns. but overall it still runs more than fine^^…..but i am hype as fuk for the ps4 version^^

  • Furious Francis

    The graphics are better on the PS4 Nelva, but I do not see a “Huge Generational Leap” It looks better no doubt, huge generational leap is arguable.

    Either way, keep up the good work on here man, I’m a fan of the site.

  • Jason Brody

    Honestly so far the only games that I’ve seen that shows a real graphical leap in technology is Infamous, Drive Club, and The Order. What do those all have in common? They are not multi-platforms being developed to function on the previous generation to make more sales, they are exclusive only to PS4, and they are all made by Sony. So they aren’t tied to other consoles limitations such as PS3, 360 and even Xbox One.

  • MasterofMidnight

    I can’t literally see any difference in most of the pictures…. MASSIVE leap guys….

  • Pukar Rana

    “Final Fantasy XIV PS4 vs PS3 Screenshot Comparison: Huge Difference Shows Generational Leap” I don’t get the point of this article. They say look at the huge difference in the graphics between PS4 and PS3, but then later say we toke the pics from the livestream. So you might not see the difference……. WTF!!? This article was written to get hits for the site, nothing more.

    How about until SE release proper PS4 screenshots, or you mange to get the game and rip the screens from the PS4 and then compare it to the PS3. The only real difference I noticed from these screens, are the obvious stuff you expect when comparing a previous gen title to a next gen title, higher resolution, textures, draw distance. Besides that its not much of a leap at all.

  • Guest

    …and it still looks like a piece of paupercrap.

  • Asif Bashir

    Theres hardly any difference!

  • Miguel Azevedo

    SORRY but to say that this is the most impressive MMORPG in the Market regarding graphics its BS!Guild wars 2 is two years old and its much more impressive than this;go play it just on high and see.My guess is that you dont play much MMORPG games,most likely all you play is FF .

  • Daniel Dorestant


  • MattS71

    Looks damn near the same game in all screenshots. PC master race people = need to justify their expensive rigs

  • PachterStation

    A million miles from a huge difference. As a matter of fact, both look crap. I can’t see how this is going to look amazing on any format. The FF series is massively overrated.

    • Woohoo!!

      it’s already successful on the PC.

  • Daniel Ortiz Nieto

    I still think v1.0 had better graphics and aesthetics… not to say the better physics effects and animations.

  • AlonditeMX

    The difference is largely insignificant, proving once again that the PS4 and XB1 are pointless.

  • KarasuInoue

    You people are forgetting that not only is the PS4 and PC at 1080p, it’s also 60FPS with much higher res textures. This is being compared to the 720p 20-30FPS PS3 version with muddier textures. Don’t know the difference between 1080p and 720p? just look at the size of the pics. On my 1080p display the PS3 screenshot takes up less than half my screen.So PS3 players playing on a 1080p screen get, that image stretched to nearly double its size and at 20-30 FPS. That’s a big difference from native 1080p 60FPS and better textures. Playability wise too. There’s a reason competitive games like fighting games are required to run at 60fps. It’s twice as many animation frames for your brain to react.

  • JustinConstantino

    not to mention that the “ps4” Shots are a capture of a capture being streamed over youtube… not the best judge

  • Midori Inaba

    The Limsa pics have a complete different weather on PS4. It’s very missleading. Should replace those.