Comparison of PlayStation Consoles: Part 2 [2018 UPDATE]



In the first part of this article I made a comparison of the specs and flagship racing games of the PlayStation consoles. In this part we'll take a closer look at flagship games of many other genres on the consoles, compare and contrast, as we see how the evolution of tech has helped in the evolution of graphics of PlayStation games.

First-Person Shooters

The FPS genre has been popular on PC since Wolfenstein 3D in 1992, but it wasn't properly represented on consoles till Halo: Combat Evolved changed the console FPS scene in 2001 on Xbox and subsequently, the trend was followed by other consoles. This is the reason why PS1 lacks any substantial FPS game. So here I'll compare the graphical powerhouses of this genre on PS2, PS3 and PS4.

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat (PS2) vs Killzone 3 (PS3) vs Doom (PS4)

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat

Battlefield 2 PS2 - Comparison of PS consoles














Killzone 3

Killzone 3 - Comparison of PS consoles















Doom

















The screenshots of Battlefield 2 and Killzone 3 show a massive difference but its not only due to more power of a PS3. Its also because Battlefield 2 was a multiplatform game so it wasn't as well-optimised on PS2 hence could not use its full power. Killzone 3 is one of the best-looking games in all genres on PS3, so it has increased advantage.

Doom looks and runs massively better than Killzone 3. The environments are more detailed with fantastic textures and lighting and the geometry is more advanced with some more vertical levels with intricate architecture that wouldn't be possible on PS3 to such a degree, but Doom does all of this running at 1080p60fps on PS4 which is twice the resolution and framerate of Killzone 3. It doesn't have quite as advanced AI as Killzone 3, though, but that has more to do with the kind of enemies you deal with in Doom than hardware limitations of the PS4.

A more direct comparison can also be made between Killzone 3 and its successor Killzone: Shadow Fall which was a launch PS4 game and hence had limited development time, but still blows away most PS4 FPS games and provides a huge upgrade over its predecessor on PS3.



Third-Person Shooters

This is a genre which has been popular for a long time. Thus its a very good way to compare the difference in graphics like racing games. Its represented well on all PS consoles.

Syphon Filter 2 (PS1) vs Socom 3: US Navy SEALs (PS2) vs The Last of Us (PS3) vs Uncharted 4 & Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PS4 & PS4 Pro)

Syphon Filter 2

Syphon Filter 2 - Comparison of PS consoles















Socom 3: US Navy SEALs

Socom 3 - Comparison of PS consoles














The Last of Us - PlayStation 3


TLOU - Comparison of PS consoles















Uncharted 4 & Uncharted: The Lost Legacy






























The number of polygons in Socom 3 is much higher than in Syphon Filter 2. It can be seen in the detailed geometry of characters and environments in Socom 3. The lighting is better and their is much more action on the screen. The difference between Socom 3 and TLOU is huge. TLOU has better lighting, textures, realistic looking characters with detailed facial animations using motion capture and a world filled with a lot of stuff, be that foliage, trash, enemies, cars and billboards it simply feels more lived in.

Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy take it to the next level with their detailed motion capture depicting accurate facial expressions and small details on Nathan and Sam's faces such as facial lines and wrinkles. Motion capture is also used to make their movements look realistic. The game world also has more open sections and volumetric lighting and particle effects as well as highly detailed textures on PS4. This is further improved on the PS4 Pro when Uncharted 4 was updated to support it. It runs at 1440p on PS4 Pro which is twice of what it runs at on a PS4, with its base resolution being 1080p. The textures are higher resolution on the Pro, too.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a standalone expansion for Uncharted 4 and will look similar in all likeness atleast on PS4, though as Naughty Dog has had more time and experience with PS4 Pro now and Uncharted 4 didn't really take full advantage of its hardware, expect to see Chloe with more detailed graphics on PS4 Pro.

To show even more clearly the difference between facial animations between PS3 and PS4, here is a comparison of Nathan Drake in Uncharted 3 on PS3, which is also one of the best looking third person shooters on PS3, to Drake in Uncharted 4.



Hack N Slash

This genre became popular on PS2 with Devil May Cry. But the PS1 did have a few good games in this genre. Its well-represented on all consoles, but the PS4 doesn't have a current-gen exclusive in the genre, and its best looking one is a remastered last-gen game.

Lucifer Ring (PS1) vs God of War 2 (PS2) vs God of War: Ascension (PS3) vs Nier: Automata (PS4 & PS4 Pro)

Lucifer Ring

Lucifer Ring PS1 - Comparison of PS consoles















God Of War 2

GOW 2 - Comparison of PS consoles
















God of War: Ascension


GOW A - Comparison of PS consoles















Nier: Automata




The jump from Lucifer Ring to God Of War 2 is huge, the biggest difference that has arised between a PS1 and PS2 game so far. This is due to Lucifer Ring not being anywhere close to using the PS1's power and God Of War 2 being the best-looking PS2 game, besides the difference in power. God Of War: Ascension also looks much better than God Of War 2, and its one of the best-looking PS3 games as well. Nier: Automata doesn't quite push the PS4's visual abilities like God of War 2 and Ascension did for PS2 and PS3, yet the graphical upgrade is sizeable.

Fully rotatable camera and open world require much more hardware power than running linear games and with a much higher number of textures, use of God Rays, volumetric effects and running at 900p 60fps on PS4 compared to the 720p 35 to 45fps God of War: Ascension, the difference is much greater than meets the eye initially. The PS4 Pro version of Nier: Automata, as pictured here, is even more impressive running at 1080p 60fps with higher resolution textures and more particle effects.

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