Forza Motorsport 5 was exhibited at Tokyo Game Show, exposed to the Japanese press, and we know that the Japanese are big petrolheads. They love their car games. So I was quite interested in reading their previews of the game expecting high praise considering what I saw myself at Gamescom.
The first preview is now out, ran by the popular and quite respected website Game Watch and it’s very different from what I expected.
The writer, Seiji Nakamura, laments a severe visual downgrade from what he experienced at E3. The gist of the problem is that in the Forza 5 corner of the Microsoft booth things looked so bad that the monitors seemed badly adjusted. Aliasing and jaggies were standing out.
In the Forza 5 press room the situation was even worse, with the picture quality defined as “rough” like what you’d see if the output was 720p, with a definite visual degradation from the E3 version.
Nakamura-san continues by saying that the quality simply wasn’t the same as the original Forza 5, and the version he tried at Tokyo Game Show did not reach the level of the screenshots of the game at all. He actually asked a the Japanese product manager for the game about the problem, and all he was told is that the folks at Microsoft are aware of the problem.
Before you think that Nakamura-san may be biased because he’s Japanese and Forza 5 is a Xbox One exclusive, moving past the graphical mishaps he actually gave quite high praise to the gameplay and the simulation quality.
The previous preview of the E3 build of the game on Game Watch, written by Nakamura-san himself, was also definitely glowing with praise. I’ll just tell you that its title was “The world’s ultimate racing game: Forza Motorsport 5″. That’s obviously not what someone biased against the game or the platform would write.
At the bottom of this post you can see an off-screen recording filmed by the folks at IGN at Microsoft’s booth. Unfortunately it’s quite hard to judge for ourselves from a video on YouTube. Hopefully the problems described by Nakamura-san are exclusively due to badly adjusted monitors, as what I saw of the game at Gamescom was definitely impressive, and it would be a pity to see it downgraded.
Update: According to Microsoft’s Albert Penello there was no issue with the build at Tokyo Game Show as he stated on Twitter responding to a fan.
— Albert Penello (@albertpenello) September 23, 2013
When asked on Neogaf on why Nakamura-san may have experienced what he did, he provided further information even if he doesn’t know what may have gone wrong.
I really don’t know. When I had time on the floor I was checking out the.. ahem… competition. Stuff I don’t get to see normally.
I had the same build as was on the floor in the Conference rooms, so I know it was the same, but I didn’t see the issue described in the article.
This seems to chalk the issue to badly calibrated monitors (it’s very unlikely that Nakamura-san would just intentionally misrepresent the game, especially considering his usual very positive stance on the game and on the franchise in general).
Update 2: Ian Webster from Turn 10 also chimed in, on Neogaf.
To my knowledge we didn’t have any people from Turn 10 at the TGS which may explain why the TV setup might have been ‘less than optimal’
It remains to wonder why the monitors were left in that state, or calibrated that way to begin with only for Forza 5, but now you can hear both sides of the issue and draw your own conclusions.