"Still on Top?"
Since the publication of our first article on this subject a number of new developments have arisen. It has been a very exciting time for GTA fans as the release date approaches and new details are revealed.
The Disinformation Machine Strikes!
The "Superior" Trend
It seems like all of the big media outlets and even Rockstar themselves are afraid to answer this question. In fact none of them want to answer this question. The media is afraid of angering Rockstar (I personally don't give a damn). And Rockstar doesn't want people to think either version is better because they want to maximize their profits on both console versions. Well as you have seen, we have no loyalties. We're going to give you the straight answers right here and right now.
New Controller Insights: PS3 Controller Woes: Trigger Trouble
Six Axis = The Touch of Death
New Control Scheme Began With Xbox 360 Controller
PS3 controller vs Xbox 360 Controller: The BIG Difference
Not only does the Xbox 360 have better and more comfortable trigger buttons, but it also has a superior analog stick that is in the proper "forward position." This is in direct contrast to the antiquated "off center" analog sticks used by the Six Axis and Dual Shock Controllers.
Sadly, PS3 owners will be without this important feature unless they are willing to buy a new controller for a whopping $49.99. (Roughly $55 with tax. Currently the Xbox 360 controller can be found for $43.30 tax included.) Basically, Sony fans are forced to buy a new controller to get rumble while Xbox 360 owners get it for free.
Battery Life Chart: Six Axis vs Wii-mote vs 360 Controller
So not only is the PS3 controller disposable but it also has the worst battery life. Adding a new rumble feature is only going to SHORTEN the battery life of the SixAxis/Dual Shock 3.
"The PS3's 380 Watts will cost you around $40 a year to run if you play it for 2 hours a day."
PS3 Version Still Running Behind mere Weeks Before Launch
"For the most part, the game looked identical to what we've previously seen on the 360, although there were a few visual glitches that were due to it being an unfinished product. It didn't take advantage of the Dual Shock 3's rumble, either, although Rockstar reassured us that the PS3 version is about a week behind the 360 edition, and that rumble will be added soon."
The Game is Revealed: Few Media Outlets Shown PS3 Version
During the last week of February there was a GTAIV media blitz. Several major web sites and magazines were given exclusive previews of both versions. Much of their early reports seem to confirm what we have stated in the first part of this article. However one person's comments would stand out from the rest.
IGN's Hillary Goldstein would say this about both versions.
IGN XBox 360 Reporter Trashes System: Openly States Desire for PS3 Victory
"In a recent “3 Red Lights” podcast, Hilary Goldstein, editor in chief of IGN X360, completely attacks the Xbox 360 and argues that the PS3 will ultimately win out."
Brighter and More Vibrant Colors = Better Graphics
Xbox 360 Achievements vs PS3 Accomplishments
In doing our research we came across this explosive expose from former Harmonix Developer Jason Booth. In his blog he reveals the truth about the alleged power of the PS3. What he says may directly effect the performance of GTAIV on the PS3. Here is what he had to say:
"The fill rate on the PS3 is significantly slower than on the 360, meaning that games either have to run at lower resolution or use simpler shader effects to achieve the same performance. Additionally, the shader processing on the ps3 is significantly slower than on the 360, which means that a normal map takes more fill rate to draw on the ps3 than it does on the 360."
"Getting data off the blue ray drive takes about twice as long as it does to get the same data off the 360's DVD drive....Sony let their hardware be designed by a committee of business interests rather than a well thought out design that would serve the game development community."
Slow Read Speeds of Blu-Ray lead to Low Frame Rates and Forced Installation?
So what's the punch line here? Well it appears the reason so many upcoming PS3 games require installation is because of the slow read speeds of the Blu-Ray disc drive. And since it takes twice as long to get information off the Blu-Ray disc, developers are forced to use installation as a means of getting closer to normal performance out their PS3 projects. Otherwise their games are plagued with choppy frame rats and hideously long load times. Its ridiculous. And now you know the secret behind the Madden 08 controversy. Speaking of which...
Madden 09 + FIFA 09: Keeping up the Pace on the Xbox 360
"This year's (09) versions of Madden and FIFA will be "looking and playing better on our platform," which is a pretty bold statement eight months out"
Strangely enough, for the past several weeks Xbox 360 hardware has been in short supply. The UK is already confirmed to receive a major price drop. And now rumors circulate that the rest of the World may see a price drop as well.
RUMOR: FREE DLC with Pre-order? Wishful Thinking?
"Microsoft has yet to publicly announce why the company is so sure the 360 will sell more copies of GTA IV than the PS3, (NOTE: Our readers already know why)
"XF has learned about FREE content that will be offered to those who pre-ordered GTA IV and pick up the game on launch day"
Rumor: DLC the size of San Andreas?
Recently rumors emerged claiming the exclusive DLC packs would be as big as an entire GTA game. After doing some research into the subject it appears this may not be the case. We were unable to find a credible source to back this claim.
Rumor: DLC on the PS3? Not likely...
"What part of $50 Million Dollar exclusivity deal do these people not understand?"
Do they not remember how things worked during the PS2 era? Do they not understand the basic concept of the exclusivity deal? Sony once had a stranglehold on the GTA franchise. It took a long time before GTAIII, VC and SA were ported to other systems. And by the time they arrived they did little to help the original Xbox.
So again, which version of GTAIV is superior? Well as of now the evidence points to the Xbox 360 version. And like we said before, it is certainly a mountain of strong, undeniable evidence.
See you at the Midnight Launch.