Head2Head

“Did BioWare deliver the same ‘effect’ to multi-console owners? ”

System Breakdown Xbox 360 Stats PlayStation 3 Stats
Resolutions: Up to 1080p Up to 720p
# of Discs: 2 Discs single
HD Install: Optional No Install
Metacritic:


Welcome back for another exciting Head2Head! A few days ago we showed you the graphical differences between both retail versions of BioWare’s Mass Effect 3 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Today we’ve finished up our performance analysis and are ready to give you the details. Did BioWare deliver the same ‘effect’ to multiconsole owners? Read on to find out.

image4


Graphics: When we look at the visual aspect of the game, it seems to be a pretty clear cut victory for one of the two HD consoles of this generation.  The first thing you will want to note is the gamma differences between the two versions.  Like many other past instances, the PS3 is much brighter and may need turned down while the 360 portrays a totally different field where gamma will need to be turned up.  This warrants no real advantage to either console, but is worth mentioning none the less.  When it comes to matters such as texture details, the 360 has the edge.  In enclosed areas and on most of the characters, things are pretty well matched.  However when things open up and there is more on screen to look at, the difference is much more apparent.

There is also a minor, yet distinct advantage in the Anti Aliasing department that also favors the 360 version.  Take a look at the last roll over on the second page to see a perfect example of this.  Once again, this difference will mostly only be noticed when in more open areas as opposed to a more enclosed spot.  In addition, there is also a very obvious advantage to the 360 when it comes to draw distance.  If fact the third screenshot below shows just how serious this affects the overall quality when compared to one another.  Look at the large C containers in particular, notice how the 360 version has full normal maps on all of them?  However the PS3 version seems to only have them on the one container closest to the road, while the rest look horrible by comparison.  Also note the difference between the ships on the landing pad even further out.

At first we thought things would be pretty close and the differences would be too minimal to matter, especially since the PS3 version of Mass Effect 2 supposedly used the Mass Effect 3 engine.  Sadly this isn’t the case here and the 360 version comes out on top.  Neither version looks bad for the MOST part, but when it comes down to a more polished visual there can be only one winner this time.

image9


Performance: With Mass Effect 2 we saw a drastic change in performance from the PS3 demo code to the final build — so we had high hopes that BioWare would be implementing the same changes for this latest entry. Unfortunately with Mass Effect 3, the same thing can’t be said. Our Mass Effect 3 demo analysis showed the PS3 version struggling to maintain its targeted thirty frames per second frame rate, often dropping into the low twenties for periods of time. Sadly, we can confirm that the PS3 retail version suffers from the same problems.  The 360 version on the other hand offers a much smoother experience in terms of frame rate alone.  When it comes to screen tearing, both versions had less than one percent to be found and is therefore handled very well on both sides.  The numbers can be found in the chart below.

Xbox 360 Frame Analysis PlayStation 3 Frame Analysis
Clip 1 info:
Length of clip: 3139 frames
Average FPS of clip: 29.7
Percent of torn frames: 1.20
Clip 1 info:
Length of clip: 3139 frames
Average FPS of clip: 23.24
Percent of torn frames: 0.00
Clip 2 info:
Length of clip: 3771 frames
Average FPS of clip: 29.86
Percent of torn frames: 0.10
Clip 2 info:
Length of clip: 3771 frames
Average FPS of clip: 26.48
Percent of torn frames: 0.00
Clip 3 info:
Length of clip: 4143 frames
Average FPS of clip: 29.80
Percent of torn frames: 0.11
Clip 3 info:
Length of clip: 4143 frames
Average FPS of clip: 27.39
Percent of torn frames: 0.02
Clip 4 info:
Length of clip: 8824 frames
Average FPS of clip: 29.74
Percent of torn frames: 0.17
Clip 4 info:
Length of clip: 8824 frames
Average FPS of clip: 25.32
Percent of torn frames: 0.00
Global percent of torn frames:0.46
Global average FPS: 29.65
Global percent of torn frames: 0.02
Global average FPS: 25.64


image2


Loading: On to our final category, load times. One glance at the table below shows why the Xbox 360 will be taking this category. During our capture session, the Xbox 360 version loaded nearly 10 seconds faster then its PlayStation 3 counterpart. Please note that the PlayStation 3 version had no mandatory install to speak of, and that the Xbox 360 version was not installed to the system’s HDD during our capture. Load times below.

PlayStation 3 Load Times Xbox 360 Load Times
Sample 1: 22.5 Seconds Sample 1: 18.3 Seconds
Sample 2: 23.9 Seconds Sample 2: 16.6 Seconds
Sample 3: 22.6 Seconds Sample 3: 14.8 Seconds
Sample 4: 25.6 Seconds Sample 4: 16.6 Seconds
Sample 5: 26.6 Seconds Sample 5: 16.3 Seconds
Sample Average: 24.4 Seconds Sample Average: 16.46 Seconds


Rollover to see the Difference.

before
after

Move the Slider to see the Difference.

Rollover to see the Difference.

Rollover to see the Difference.

Click to Enlarge Image.

Rollover to see the Difference.

Rollover to see the Difference.

before
after

Move the Slider to see the Difference.

Rollover to see the Difference.

before
after

Move the Slider to see the Difference.

Rollover to see the Difference.

before
after

Move the Slider to see the Difference.

Click to Enlarge Image.

Rollover to see the Difference.

More Roll Overs, Sliders, Conclusion, Video and Staff Choice on Page 2>>>

177 comments from members, join the discussion in the forum >>>

Pages: 1 2


*To ensure color accuracy from the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U output, the PlayStation 3 has RGB Full Range set to "Full" and Super White "On", and the Xbox 360 has Reference Level set to "Expanded" and HDMI Color Space set to "RGB". Our capture card we have captured segments from the AVS HD 709 . Blu-ray, HD DVD, & MP4 Calibration suite.

As you will see, each system matches each other at the SOURCE LEVEL. No contrast or gamma settings are manipulated before or after capturing our images/videos. We strongly believe that these types of corrections are done on a individuals preference and should not be adjusted by us. Finally, washed out looking images that are due to contrast or gamma differences will not have any influence on our final verdicts. Please Read through our F.A.Q page if you have any questions or concerns.*