Xbox One vs PS4 Screenshot Sharing Quality Comparison: Time to Step Up Your Game, Sony

on February 21, 2015 3:54 PM

Today Microsoft rolled out the ability to share screenshots from Xbox One to Twitter, and they did so in a rather interesting way. Instead of compressing the screenshots as much as possible for fast sharing on Twitter’s own servers, they’re still hosted on Xbox.com in PNG format, guaranteeing the best possible quality.

The PS4 has more ways to grab your pictures. You can do so via Twitter, Facebook, USB and with a convoluted trick involving sending the picture in a message to a second account and downloading it via the PlayStation App. This grants a low compression, but it’s cumbersome, and the PS4 always uses JPG, which definitely isn’t the best format, quality-wise.

Below you can see a comparison between screenshots shared on Xbox.com (via Twitter) from Xbox One, and the four methods from the PS4.

We used Dead or Alive 5: Last Round because its graphics aren’t exactly perfect, with quite a bit of aliasing around the edges. That’s actually perfect to showcase loss of detail and compression artifacts. To better appreciate the differences, you should click on each screenshot to see the native resolution, and then flip between them in different tabs of your browser.

Remember that this is a comparison between the quality of screenshot capturing and sharing on the two consoles, not between the two versions of the game, which would be misleading given the difference in compression.

Xbox One

DOA5_001_XboxOne

PS4 App Trick

DOA5_001_PS4_App

PS4 USB

DEAD OR ALIVE 5 Last Round_20150221181809

PS4 Facebook

DOA5_001_PS4_Facebook

PS4 Twitter

DOA5_001_PS4_Twitter

Xbox One

DOA5_002_XboxOne

PS4 App Trick

DOA5_002_PS4_App.jpg

PS4 USB

DEAD OR ALIVE 5 Last Round_20150221182126

PS4 Facebook

DOA5_002_PS4_Facebook

PS4 Twitter

DOA5_002_PS4_Twitter

Xbox One

DOA5_003_XboxOne

PS4 App Trick

DOA5_003_PS4_App.jpg

PS4 USB

DEAD OR ALIVE 5 Last Round_20150221182458

PS4 Facebook

DOA5_003_PS4_Facebook

PS4 Twitter

DOA5_003_PS4_Twitter

Xbox One

DOA5_004_XboxOne

PS4 App Trick

DOA5_004_PS4_App

PS4 USB

DEAD OR ALIVE 5 Last Round_20150221191621

PS4 Facebook

DOA5_004_PS4_Facebook

PS4 Twitter

DOA5_004_PS4_Twitter

Of course it’s difficult to see the differences if you don’t squint, but compression artifact causes loss of detail, and is annoying to see for image quality purists, subtly lowering the visual impact. To help you see it better, we put a few details together. You can see them below in normal resolution, and resized to twice the size, to make the difference even more visible.

Check out around the edges, and details like Hayabusa’s red bandage, the feathers of the swans on Kasumi’s loincloth or the red trim of Ayane’s belt (again, click on each picture to see its full resolution version).

Normal Size

ScreenshotComparison

2X Size

ScreenshotComparisonX2

Ultimately, it’s pretty evident that the screenshots generated by the Xbox One are a lot more crisp, retaining more fine detail and resulting less marred by those pesky artifact. Basically, what you see is almost what you get, which can’t be said for PS4 screenshots.

There really isn’t a logical reason for PS4 users not to be able to select PNG as output format for screenshots (obviously, it might be useful as well for Microsoft to consider implementing JPG too. At times it might be convenient to share smaller files faster). Hopefully Sony will take heed, and will implement the option in a future update.

After all, screenshot sharing isn’t just an useful feature for users. It’s a powerful marketing tool, with images from consoles bouncing around the internet, encouraging purchases. When your screenshots look worse than those coming from the competition’s console, it’s time to roll up your sleeves.

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.
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