The beta version of Titanfall has been released on both PC and Xbox One, and there isn’t any non disclosure agreement or similar gag order in place, meaning that Respawn Entertainment is quite confident in the product’s quality, and that we’re free to compare the two versions down to the pixel.
The superiority of the PC version is to be expected, considering that it’s supposed to run on machines with more raw power compared to consoles (even if the beta is definitely scalable, meaning that it can probably run pretty well even on old rigs with lowered detail), but just how much better does it look?
The screenshot comparison below aims to show exactly that. Each Xbox One screenshot was captured directly from the console, and each PC screenshot was captured via Fraps. All screenshots were saved in lossless PNG format to achieve maximum fidelity. Of course to fully appreciate the differences you should click on each screenshot to enlarge it, then you can easily flip between tabs to compare them.
The PC version was running at maximum settings, 1920 x 1080 resolution and 4x MSAA.
Since this screenshot’s angle is almost perfectly matched, we also made an animated GIF (you can click on the picture below to see it) automatically switching between versions.
The screenshots above show a visible (and predictable) difference between the two versions of the game. What wasn’t expected is that said difference isn’t as big as many thought. The Xbox One version is obviously much weaker in resolution, and shows a very visible aliasing on the edges: you could seriously cut a loaf of bread with those jaggies.
Texture resolution seems to be similar in most areas, but the Xbox One version appears to have lower resolution normal maps that cause faux 3D details to look a little rougher. It’s also visibly oversharpened and blacks seem a bit more crushed.
Another visible difference is in the distance LODs. The discrepancy between the two versions increases quite noticeably on objects far away from the camera.
Other than that, the two versions are surprisingly similar in most aspects. The difference is visible, but not excessively relevant.
As a side note, the PC version was tested on a rig with an AMD Phenom 2 X4 965 Black Edition overclocked to 3.8 Ghz, an overclocked Nvidia Geforce GTX 660 2 GB, and 8B GB RAM. It held 60 FPS in a very stable fashion at the settings described above. As a matter of fact it was way too stable, as the game seems to be limited to 60 fps even with V-Sync deactivated. If you’re looking for a game that will juice every drop of power from your $3000 gaming PC, Titanfall is not that game, at least in its beta incarnation.
Graphics aside, Titanfall is a blast, fast and fun, unless you’re strolling around taking screenshots of course. I guess I provided quite a few easy targets today.