The NGP Beats the Constraints of Handheld Gaming.

When the PSP was released in 2005 it was a revolution. Graphically speaking, the games available looked almost as good as those released on the PS2. Cruising down the streets of Liberty City in a Banshee and shooting at prostitutes was as satisfying on the bus as it was in your living room.

However, the next year the PS3 was released and you couldn’t help but compare its games with those on the PSP. Since a lot of the more acclaimed games were spin-offs of console games (more than half of Metacritic’s top 30 PSP games are console spin-offs) comparing the more simplistic handheld games to their console counterparts was unavoidable.

From what we’ve already seen of the NGP’s graphics, the gap between handheld and console has decreased once again. From the footage we’ve glimpsed of NGP versions of console franchises, namely an as yet untitled Uncharted game and a port of Metal Gear Solid 4, the NGP comes pretty damn close to replicating the PS3’s graphics.

Uncharted on the NGP


While the PSP had roughly a year to showcase it’s impressive (at the time) graphics before the PS3 came out and blew it out the water, Sony has confirmed that there are no plans for a PS4 in the immediate future, which means that the graphics gap between the NGP and the current-gen consoles is going to remain relatively small for some time.

Some of you might be thinking that it’s unfair to compare console graphics to those of a handheld and while that’s certainly true, playing a franchise game on a handheld isn’t going to be as appealing when you could be playing a far more graphically advanced game from the same IP at home, in fact it’d be quite jarring. It’s fortunate then that Sony appear to have done a stellar job at putting some seriously powerful hardware in a pretty affordable (if the rumours are to be believed) gaming system and since there are already several console spinoffs confirmed for the NGP (Killzone, Call of Duty and Resistance to name but a few) it’s just as well that the comparisons will be favourable.

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Crysis 2 – What does the lack of PS3 footage mean?

Crysis 2 is less than 2 months away from release and so far, only footage and screenshots from the Xbox 360 version has been released.

So what could this mean? If you cast your minds back to Red Dead Redemption you’ll remember that up until its release, the Xbox 360 version was the one chosen for display and when the comparisons inevitably happened once it hit the shelves, the PS3 version was shown to be slightly inferior, graphically speaking.

I think it’s a given that the PC version will blow the console versions away. I know it’s incredibly tiresome to praise the original Crysis’ graphics but it’s true, however it’s also unfair to compare the PC to a console. It’d be like comparing an iPad to a Kindle….

However it doesn’t seem likely that the PS3 version is inferior. In April last year Crytek admitted that it was “getting slightly more performance from PS3 compared to 360”. Similarly, in an interview with Gamastutra in June 2009, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli claimed that they had almost maxed out the PS3.

While no PS3 screenshots or footage have been released, footage of the Cryengine 3 has been displayed running on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC conveniently at the same time.

Here’s a screenshot from the demonstration, PC is the screen on the top, PS3 on the left and Xbox 360 on the right.

 

 

The PS3 version clearly shows superior lighting and slightly more detailed textures, particularly on the bricks, seemingly in line with the argument of the PS3 version being slightly superior.

If this is the case, and it’s entirely possible that by the time they’re released both versions look identical, then why would Crytek choose to demo the slightly (I can’t stress ‘slightly’ enough) inferior looking version? It’s the opposite of what game developers normally do. It could be out of loyalty to Microsoft, after all, the original Crysis did sell extremely well on PC.

I guess we’ll have to wait until late March to know for certain.

Crysis 2 in released March 22 in North America and March 25 in the EU