Project CARS PS4 vs PC Maximum Settings Screenshot Comparison: Gorgeous on Both Platforms

Recently Slightly Mad Studios and Sony Computer Entertainment released a batch of screenshots of the upcoming Project CARS, that will be released on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Wii U starting this fall.

Many wondered how the PS4 version compares with the PC version, and today we tried to respond to that question, by taking screenshots of the PC version at maximum settings reproducing as closely as possible some of the PS4 screenshots.

While it’s not possible to reproduce exactly the same situation without using developer-only tools (there are literally thousands of variable even just for location and camera angle, without mentioning the lighting and weather conditions), we managed to get pretty close, in order to give you a good idea on how the two platforms stand in comparison with one another graphically.

You can check the screenshots out below, with the PC version on top and the PS4 version just below in each pair. of course you should click on each screenshot to see it in its full resolution.

ProjectCARS_PC (5) wm ProjectCARS_PS4 (5) wm

ProjectCARS_PC (1) wm ProjectCARS_PS4 (1) wm

ProjectCARS_PC (2) wm ProjectCARS_PS4 (2) wm

ProjectCARS_PC (3) wm ProjectCARS_PS4 (3) wm

ProjectCARS_PC (4) wm ProjectCARS_PS4 (4) wm

If you think the screenshots above are “bullshots,” they aren’t. At least for what the PC version is concerned, they’ve been taken simply by selecting the external view, unlocking the camera and painstakingly trying to find a matching angle. Project CARS Creative Director Andy Tudor mentioned that the PS4 screenshots have been captured with the same method.

There are a few differences of course: From this early analysis reflections don’t seem to be as detailed on PS4 as with the maximum settings on PC, and the PS4 version seems to use a slightly inferior anti-aliasing solution than the best ones available on PC. The polygon count of the console version is also slightly lower. You can notice it easily by checking out the headlights on the BAC Mono in the second pair of screenshots.

On the other hand texture detail and anistropic filtering seem to be exactly the same, and it’s worth mentioning that to run the PC version at maximum detail with a stable framerate you need at the very least a Geforce GTX 780.

Ultimately the verdict is quite simple, and we have to keep in mind that both versions are still far from completion: while the developers had to inevitably make some small compromises with the console version, both look absolutely stunning.

 Update: incidentally, as soon as we posted this article, Slightly Mad Studios released nine new screenshots of the PS4 version. You can check them out in the gallery below, together with a statement on how they were taken:

We’ve also had a number of questions on how we take our screenshots too – do we use some special photo mode or trick that only the development team have access to? Or were they taken on PC really or captured at a huge resolution and scaled down?

The answer is no to all the above – all screenshots are taken just like you’ll be able to in the final game… by simply pausing and snapping away.

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  • frontiermarine88

    looks meh on the potato version, pc version looks fantastic as always

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  • WildKarrde

    I’m running a promotion to give you a chance to get Project CARS PC for free through my YouTube channel in March. Check it out here!

  • HammerFall

    So.. In PC Porsche’s body changes from carbon fiber to naked carbon fiber body??
    And you get first in every race if played in PS4??

  • Aaron Annuscheit

    PC on top, right where it should be

  • IronTed

    PS4 is better! It shows real smoke! On Pc there’s no smoke!

  • GitGud74

    Umm yeah…PC version straight up destroys the PS4 version. Waste of time to even compare the two versions. Also the frame rates on the PS4 version are erratic and unstable and take big drops. Nothing unusual about frame rates dropping out on the PS4 though.

  • GitGud74

    Why are they even wasting time make a Wii U version of Project Cars? If they are going to do that, why did they skip making a PS3/360 version as well? No way does this game look good on the Wii U with the hardware it has. The visuals will be so dumbed down that it won’t be even funny. I just don’t understand some developers nowadays.

  • Fleexie

    It’s clear that the PC version looks better. And it should!

    However, I think the PS4 version looks quite nice too. Of course there are obvious places were the PS4 looks a bit bad. However will you look at that while playing? I won’t.

    I don’t know which version I will get yet, maybe the PS4. Maybe both. Shouldn’t matter that much in the end.

  • TheB1GLebowski

    Im a PC player all the way but I got to say the PS4 looks good. Not too shabby for a console.

  • Keven Brochu

    The problem is that all the screenshots are taking in different weather conditions, which will affect how the lighting and reflections react, and sometimes I’m wondering if it wasn’t made on purpose to makes the PS4 version look worse than it actually is… As a former 3D artist(no jobs where I live…), I know that the lightning can drastically change overall appearance of the objects, and I can tell you that very often, artists will cheat in the lighting by adding additional light sources in areas that didn’t look good enough with the way lights spreads around. This happen a lot with games that has a fixed lighting. This game however is highly affected by the weather conditions, and the look of the objects will change a lot depending if it’s sunny, rainy, cloudy, etc.

    On the first screenshot, it’s clearly a darker weather on the PS4. Less light = less reflections, so things like the grass seems to stand out less, but that’s actually how it would look in real life. If you look at the screenshots as a picture, you will see there is nothing wrong. The textures are very detailed on both screenshots.

    On the second screenshot, again, a darker weather, which again, makes the reflections not as bright as the screenshot on PC, no screenshot is worse than the other here. You can clearly see the sky in the car reflections, on the PC it’s a bright blue sky, while on the PS4 it’s a darker, cloudy sky. The car also seems to be moving much faster on the PS4, where the motion blur (Which is an effect made on purpose by the developer) makes the road look very blurry, but it’s not because of a bad texture (as you can see on the first screenshot). However, it’s seems like there is a sort of color bleed in the bottom part of the car, like a gradient that has been saved on a low color depth image… I’d be curious to see if it happens in the real games, but that seems unlikely.

    The third screenshots aren’t even comparable. They aren’t taken in the same place, and the smoke FX from the tires makes the PS4 version looks washed out. The weather conditions are different, again.

    The fourth has again different weather conditions. The PC is much more sunny, as you can see a very bright sun reflection in the windshield, which is not the case on the PS4 version. I think the PS4 version looks better due to the wet roads that reflects, shiny reflections always looks good ahah! But again, different weather conditions(the road is dry in the PC screenshot). The reflections on the cars seems a bit of higher resolution on the PC. There is again, a color bleed in the gradients on the PS4 screenshot, that we typically get from an overly compressed image.

    The last screenshot, this time the PS4 version has a brighter weather conditions, in fact, the sun is right in front of the camera, thought the clouds, which makes very contrasted reflections. It’s hard to compare… I can see, again, missing color information in the carbon fiber pattern on the PS4 screenshot, as you can usually see in overly compressed images.

    One thing that stood out in pretty much every PS4 screenshots is the lack of color informations in the shadows, as if the image was overly compressed. I highly doubt that is actually present in the game.

    Overall, I thing the game is gorgeous on both platforms, there is really nothing wrong standing out. I think people should stop nitpicking, there is nothing that one would notice while the game is running and moving… The screenshots looks very different, because no screenshot has the same weather conditions and the same lightning angle. On both platforms, the lightning seems very realistic to me and I don’t see anything wrong with the reflections and shadows on either platforms. I’d be happy to play both version, and I’m amazed at what we ca achieve today in therm of graphic fidelity. But I thing if one is going to make a comparison, at least, make it comparable…