Why the PS3 version of Battlefield 3 might be the superior console port
It looks PS3 owners would be getting a better looking port of Battlefield 3 than Xbox 360 owners will be entitled to. This isn’t because DICE wants to discriminate but because of the fact that the PS3 version of Battlefield 3 will support SPU-based deffered shading whereas the Xbox 360 version will only have tiled-based deferred shading.
DICE cites the reason as being the Xbox 360 not having SPUs, however it appears this will provide a better experience for PS3 owners as it’ll enable them to produce better visuals as having the ability to use the SPU+GPU together “raises the bar.” This also enables to offload some of the SPU’s work to the GPU, providing them with more space to create better looking shaders and environments.
Although, DICE says they’ll be able to use some of 360’s CPU power to offload its GPU’s work to an extent, it still wouldn’t provide them with the same level of freedom that having a dedicated SPU-based deffered system will for the PS3. Here are some slides taken out of their presentation:
The first one confirms that the PS3 version will be using SPU-based deffered system:
The second shows that the Xbox 360 won’t have that feature and will be using a tiled-based deffered system instead:
The final one shows why exactly it’s better to have an SPU-based deffered system:
You can view detailed reports of having SPU based deffered shading on the PS3 over at DICE’s official presentation regarding the same over here. The presentation regarding the Xbox 360’s tiled-based deffered shading can be found here (Slides 63-83).
Although, this doesn’t mean for sure that the PS3 version of Battlefield 3 will be the better looking console port of the title, but if DICE’s presentation is to be believed it certainly looks to be that way. Do let us know your thoughts below.