The “Ghostbusters Debacle”

There’s been a LOT of crap going back and forth about the PS3 version of Ghostbusters and that it is technically deficient when compared to the 360 version.

In the posts below, you’ll see that is technically true. The fact of the matter is though that I bought the PS3 version, and I have 0 problems with the visuals etc. I haven’t seen the 360 version, and if no one had said anything about these differences, I would never even think about it. More after the break…

With posts on NeoGaf, VG247, Eurogamer, and Joystiq (among others,) it looks like the facts have finally come out.

Quoting from the article over at Joystiq.com- http://www.joystiq.com/2009/06/17/ghostbusters-on-ps3-lags-behind-360-version-developer-explains/

“Richard Leadbetter – Director of HD consultancy Digital Foundry and author of Eurogamer’s multiplatform comparison Face-off features – tweeted that playing Ghostbusters on the PS3 was like “time-warping back to the dawn of PS3 development.” Ouch! That’s especially painful to read considering the high hopes Terminal Reality – developers of the just-released Ghostbusters game – have for their multiplatform Infernal Engine.

Internet reports of a less-than-stellar PS3 version of the title originated at Lens of Truth on Monday, were later corroborated by Gamezine.co.uk and, following tomorrow’s publication of Leadbetter’s most recent Face-off feature, will be further corroborated by Eurogamer. Confusing the issue even further is the following quote from Terminal Reality’s Mark Randel, who told VG247 last year, “We’re one of the few developers who love the PS3 and have a great time with it. We have great technology for the PS3 and we want to show it off.”

Instead of leaving it up to internet Matlocks, we asked Terminal Reality to comment on the controversy. A spokesperson for the developer told us, “For the record, the PS3 version [of Ghostbusters] is softer due to the ‘quincunx’ antialiasing filter and the fact we render at about 75% the resolution of the 360 version. So you cannot directly compare a screen shot of one to the other unless you scale them properly. The PS3 does have less available RAM than the 360 – but we managed to squeeze 3 out of 4 textures as full size on the PS3.”

So: is the PS3 “maxed out”? Or is Terminal Reality’s engine – despite comments to the contrary – just not up to snuff on the PS3? With most recent multiplatform titles performing comparably, if not identically, on both the Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles, we’d be inclined to agree with Mr. Leadbetter: it’s like “time-warping back to the dawn of PS3 development” when PS3 games were routinely outperformed by their Xbox 360 counterparts. Let’s hope the irony of the situation is lost on Ghostbustersexclusive European publisher … Sony. As well as the franchise’s owner … Sony Pictures.”

So there you have it. We talked about this last night before seeing all of these facts, so I’m probably going to take what we said out of the show, and we’ll talk about it during the game review next week.

In my opinion, this isn’t a “crappy port” though (Madden 08 etc) I am VERY happy with the PS3 game so far, and I have no issues with the technical aspects of it.

PS3 Version:

PS3 Screenshot

PS3 Screenshot, courtesy @Digital_Foundry

360 Version:

360 Screenshot, courtesy @Digital_Foundry

360 Screenshot, courtesy @Digital_Foundry

Written by Glenn Percival

Glenn Percival

Just a guy that loves games, movies, Golf, Football, and Baseball.

Podcast Co-Host, Editor-in-Chief, Video Producer, and whipping-boy

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  • madeup6

    Games like killzone 2 and mgs4 prove that the ps3 is far superior. And they're still not done yet….

  • This is a stupid controversy. The PC version trumps the 360 version anyway. The multiplayer I hear is lacking seriously and you can get the PC version at half price. Controversy over. Hail the PC.

  • Valiek

    If its a good game whats it matter? I believe Terminal Realitys engine was just not up to snuff. It just gives fanboys something to fight over again.

  • madeup6

    Look at exclusives, not multiplatform.

  • MTMIND

    Exclusives are down to the talents and resources of the developers, and in this respect, Sony has some of the best. Multiplatform games shows that the 360 and PS3 are on par with each other in power. Last gen, the XBox was more powerful and so 99% of multiplatform games looked and played better on XBox. This gen, the two consoles are almost equal, and so the games look and play equally well.

  • madeup6

    I agree with you 100%. However if you look at power, the ps3 is still for superior. 8 core cell processor of which the 8th is used as a back up and the other seven run at 3.2ghz.

  • MTMIND

    So you're not agreeing with me 100% then, perhaps 80-90% ? 😉

    A console is the some of it's parts, not just ONE part, in this case the CPU. So comparing PS3 to 360 based upon the CPU only is like comparing two boxers based upon the size of their bisceps.

    But if we look at the CPUs only, both run at 3.2GHz and both are designed by IBM, so we can look at other aspects. The 360's CPU (Xenon), has 3 cores, where each core is identical with one main unit and one arithmetic unit (VMX128). So the 360 has THREE cores for running the main game code and THREE cores for calculations (physics, vectors etc). Cell in the PS3 has ONE main unit (PPU/PPE) and SEVEN arithmetic units (SPU/SPE). One of those SPUs are reserved for the operating system, leaving SIX for games. So the PS3 has ONE core for running the main code and SIX cores for calculations during gameplay. BTW, the 8th SPU is never used (this reduces the cost because instead of using a small percentage of perfect Cell processors, those Cell processors with one faulty SPU are put to use in the PS3).

    So to summarize, the 360 has 3 times as many cores as the PS3 for running main code, and the PS3 has twice as may cores as 360 for arithmetic calculations.

    Games are a mixture of both main code and arithmetic, therefore as you can see by the CPUs, the 360 runs main code faster, but the PS3 does calculations quicker, and so in most cases, it all balances out. However, it also means for some games, the 360's CPU will be quicker and for other games, the PS3's Cell will be quicker.

    However, the graphics processors of both consoles are about the same (devs confirm this), therefore this reduces the differences between the consoles even further. As any PC gamers will know, in most cases, you're likely to get better game performance by upgrading your graphics card than your CPU. Hence you're not going to see much difference graphically unless devs work exclusively on the console AND work hard to push it to the max.

    Memory is an area where the 360 has a slight advantage over the PS3 (as explained above by the Ghostbusters devs).

    Finally, there's optical disk storage. PS3's Blu-ray has the advantage of capacity per disk over DVD, although much of this can be compensated for by using multiple disks on the 360. DVD on the 360 is faster than Blu-ray in the PS3, but again, much of this can be compensated for by installing some of the data onto the HDD (as seen in many PS3 games).

    So as you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to both consoles. Each of their components have strengths and weaknesses, and therefore you have to look at all the main components and how they work together to determine the power of the console. The result being, two similarly powered consoles which can really excel in the hands of the right developers. 🙂

  • madeup6

    Wow, you really know your stuff. Thanks you taught me something today.

  • MTMIND

    That's good of you to say so madeup6. Thanks.

  • MTMIND

    That's good of you to say so madeup6. Thanks.

  • MTMIND

    That's good of you to say so madeup6. Thanks.