Dark Souls 2 PS3 vs Xbox 360 Direct-Feed Screenshot And Technical Comparison – Performance Matters

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Dark Souls 2 is the hotly anticipated sequel in the ‘Souls’ series. While this game is releasing on a variety of platforms including the PC, it is unfortunately skipping the PS4 and Xbox One. The PC release is also going to take a while, and the only way to play Dark Souls 2 earlier is to get it either on the PS3 or Xbox 360. Those who are on the fence, we have decided to compare both these versions with direct-feed screenshots, to determine the better version among these both.

Before this Dark Souls 2 PS3 vs Xbox 360 screenshot comparison starts, lets talk about the graphics and performance. The Xbox 360 version appears to be operating at a native 720p frame buffer with FXAA, while the PS3 version similarly utilizes 720p frame buffer, although on closer inspection, the image quality is a bit muddy on the PS3, so it is entirely possible that the FXAA implementation is different, resulting in a slightly muddy look compared to the Xbox 360 version.

The 720p native resolution of Dark Souls 2 is an increase from the 1024×720 resolution for Dark Souls 1 on both systems. Although AA implementation is different this time around; FXAA is used instead of 2xAA for Dark Souls 2.

In terms of the performance difference between both versions, the 360 version seems to have a much more stable frame rate compared to the PS3 version. But this comes at a cost of screen tearing, which might annoy some users. This screen tearing is also visible during some of the cutscenes, and while it might result in a smoother frame rate, it can affect the image quality considerably. The PS3 version appears to use vsync compared to the 360 version, which completely reduces any sort of screen tearing, but also results in a lower average frame rate compared to the Xbox 360 version.

These differences aside, both versions appear to be a match in terms of lighting, textures and special effects. Check out the screenshot comparison below: Click on each image and then click on “view full size” to view them in full resolution.

DarkSouls2-Comaprison-16-2 DarkSouls2-Comaprison-16-1DarkSouls2-Comaprison-14-2 DarkSouls2-Comaprison-14-1 DarkSouls2-Comaprison-13-2 DarkSouls2-Comaprison-13-1DarkSouls2-Comaprison-11-2DarkSouls2-Comaprison-11-2 DarkSouls2-Comaprison-11-2 DarkSouls2-Comaprison-11-1 DarkSouls2-Comaprison-2-2 DarkSouls2-Comaprison-2-1

If you don’t mind the screen tearing, it is recommend to get the Xbox 360 version of the game, which offers a better average frame rate compared to the PS3 version.

What do you think about the difference between the PS3 and Xbox 360 version of the game? Let us know in the comments below.

Khurram Imtiaz

A Geek and Gamer, who loves JRPGs and VITA. Follow him on Twitter and Google+

  • Insomnia

    Nobody is gonna mention how the pictures aint linked correctly? and how the 3rd picture doesn’t even work? THIS IS HTML GOD DAMMIT.

  • Haquer

    Screen tearing on X360 is really annoying. Why there is no option to turn it on/off (some games have it) ??

  • Ryan

    FPS drop on ps3 is pretty nasty. Will be getting the PC version when it comes out and trading in the ps3 version.

  • Bloodios

    Quite a missed opportunity that From Software didn’t go with MLAA, instead of FXAA, for the PS3 version.

    • Tanner Fredrickson

      If I remember correctly, FXAA is a propriety technology for Nvidia, the company behind the PS3′s graphics chip. No doubt it was easier to implement FXAA on Nvidia hardware (probably the same reason PC gamers with Nvidia cards can force FXAA in our drivers).

      • Bloodios

        But MLAA is developed by Sony to get the best out of the Cell’s SPUs and it simply provides a much better result than the presets of FXAA used on consoles. While implementing FXAA is indeed easier, it also does not utilize the SPU, only the GPU, leaving all that wasted resources there. So when all is said and done, From Software’s unwillingness to spend time implementing MLAA in the PS3 version is a missed opportunity, seeing that it could’ve turned out better.

        • Tanner Fredrickson

          I’m not arguing that it was or wasn’t a missed opportunity, I was just explaining one reason why it might have happened.

          • Bloodios

            Ah, I misunderstood. In any case, even without being related to NVidia, it was rather expected that implementing FXAA would be easier than MLAA seeing that developers don’t have to fudge with the SPUs while doing it.

  • DasSoulS

    The only reason I was skeptical with trading my PS3 in for a PS4 was Dark Souls II… I did it anyways. I refuse to purchase DSII for my 360, the controls are too clunky for my liking. I hope From Software will acknowledge in the near future that many of their longtime fans have moved on to a new-gen console, and re-release it, if we’re lucky — or maybe it will be playable through PlayStation Now when released? I’m really hoping )=

  • Bosko

    How bad is the screen tearing in the Xbox version? Does it only appear occasionally or regulary?

    • Tanner Fredrickson

      That will depend entirely on your TV. A 120hz or 240hz TV will have almost no screen tearing, but a 60hz tv will have quite a lot of screen tearing.

  • LordBelakor

    Is it just me or does the Xbox 360 version have a bit of AA? Noticeable in the 6th set of 2 pictures, where the group of old ladies is in the room with the open fire. I am just curious if its just me or someoen else noticed…

    • Tanner Fredrickson

      They both have FXAA. FXAA isn’t perfect, so depending on the quality and the exact angle it can leave some aliasing.

  • DarthDiggler

    If the issue between the 2 versions is frame rates and screen tears what exactly is the purpose of screenshots? :-P

    • Tanner Fredrickson

      Just to prove that the issues are really just framerates and screen tearing. :)

  • Jecht_Sin

    I generally take fps drops over screen tearing. I could deal with Blighttown, I can’t stand Bioshock Infinite. Screen tearing really irritates me. Why not to add the v-sync option in both versions anyway.

  • Salem

    the game looks shitty as hell

  • PS3SoulsBeta

    The sad thing about the supposed visual downgrade is that we all know the PS3 could run it at better graphics, as seen from the actual public PS3 online BETAs that ran smoothly.

    So what went wrong this time. The beta played flawlessly on PS3, its graphics were that of the old screenshots with superior lighting.

    Perhaps this is the last and final time I will pull out the CELL card, which implies that in order to make porting to Xbox smoother, compromises were made on PS3 without a second thought.
    Ever since Namco Bandai held the souls license, care for the original fanbase has disappeared apparently.

    This whole nonsense of parity among the old HD twins to promote equal sales is bull anyway since the PC version will be superior. (Speculation from here on) This parity stuff eventually leads me on as to why PS4 didn’t go “full CELL overpowered” design with its CPU. No third party would utilize it anyway and make PS4 versions of games look better than XB1. Want that lighting Sony? Better write those checks.

    I suppose I should just go to online forums and tell people not to buy it until the PC version is out. But I collect PS3 games so I’ll just get both.

    • Tanner Fredrickson

      Actually, the reason the PS4 didn’t go full blown cell is because Nvidia refused to make more hardware for the consoles. They took a loss last time developing cell tech and this time left it to AMD, which as a company is most certainly *not* known for their experimentation.

    • …..

      FPS would have struggled on the ps3 version to a point where it would be unplayable if they didn’t make changes; I would actually expect the the 360 version to have been able to handle the strain under the right circumstances but they have to be released on parity, this is the case with almost every cross platform title that ever came out for these consoles the ps3 struggled far too often to reach parity. Also the beta for ps3 was the already “downgraded” or altered version of the game..so you are basically wrong in your statement as nothing was changed between than and now.

  • dieger

    and this is why we need next gen versions come on from soft!

  • ghfghfg

    One thing I can;t stand is screen tearing. It screws with my enjoyment big time.

  • Steph

    No matter which version u pick it will undoubted be awesome. I only own a PS3 so I’m getting that version, I do hope the frame rate isn’t too big an issue.

    • Sol Malus

      Except the epic lighting in the tunnel of the original gameplay, where they first show the turtle knight and the torch mechanic IS GONE, it’s no longer pitch black.

      And the mirror knight boss fight is no longer raining.

      • Tanner Fredrickson

        Surprise, the first trailer was from the PC version. I knew that as soon as I loaded the trailer in 1080p…

        • Jason Joshua Tauro

          The first trailer was playable in the demo on the ps3. Good catch.

    • Neil Riley

      Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls both had frame rate issues and yet was utterly brilliant so I shouldn’t worry too much.

  • Jason Mounce

    I think the technical nitpicks in this article are sorta over-analyzing things when we can just look at both screenshots and say:

    “Both look identical enough not to have to make this a debate”.

    PC Elitists on the other hand……..

    • ghostx1984

      Exactly. They should have never given them a pc version in hindsight.

      I never really cared one way or the other about it. But all they do now is complain and cause trouble.

      They’re nearly identical. PS3 having a larger install base having sold 1.73 million vs the xbox .6 million and the pcs .04 million is the biggest issue.

      Ps3 is where it’s at and will always be for Dark Souls 2. Even if it looks better on the pc, the proportion of non cheaters and people playing the game legit will always be best on PS3.

      • Jason Mounce

        I agree. I have Demon’s Souls Deluxe edition, bought all 3 of these ‘Games’ at launch and at Collectors edition on PS3. It’s where the least amount of hacking-players or those with ‘Trainers’ can be found unlike 360 and PC as well. PS3 version to be is the absolute version until a PS4 port comes along or that Dark Souls 3 goes Next-gen.

        Only qualms of PS3′s version for me of course though admittedly is that the XMB is HORRRRRRRRRRRRRIBLE during in-game due to the obvious nature of PS3′s lack of RAM and resources to multitask whilst being in a seamlessly, always-online game. Get messaged on PS3? Good luck reading it without it taking 3-5 minutes, haha. STILL – Even with that said, PS3′s version will be the most enjoyable in my eyes. I’d be frustrated if I played on PC only to find that most PVP experiences are people that are ‘awkwardly invincible’ or invisible or the like, would ruin the immersion that I’ve always found on the PS3 with the series.

        • ghostx1984

          Agreed. It’s a small price to pay for an environment where people can log on and just enjoy a game without unfair harassment.

          People who ruin games for others are the worst.

          I think you are right about it being the best version. Even if the pc version has better lighting, i cant see myself going to play with worse people for some better graphics. The game is really about the pve and pvp interactions moreso than the graphics once youve seen everything. Just a better group of people on the PS3.

          If you think about it, we wouldnt’ be seeing any of these articles at all if it was still a console exclusive.

          I hope SONY has FROM working on an exclusive Demon’s Souls 2 with Miyazaki for the PS4 instead of a port of the same game with Dark SOuls2.

          • Jason Mounce

            Mmmmhmmm….imagine Demon’s Souls 2 exclusive on PS4? Hnngngng.

            Also is why am looking forward to Deep Down.

          • Sol Malus

            There will not be a Demon’s Souls II.

          • Jason Mounce

            I’d love to know where you got your Magical Crystal Ball, Sol Malus.

            Under what logic do you proclaim such a thing when you have zero evidence or reasonable explaination behind your flawed claim?

          • Tanner Fredrickson

            My comment doesn’t seem to be showing up, so I’ll type a short version again. Atlus owns the publishing rights to Demon’s Souls despite Sony owning development rights, and Atlus said in an IGN interview that there will never be a Demon’s Souls 2.

          • Jason Mounce

            Disqus has been acting stupid for the past while.

            Strange that Atlus would say that, but at the same time it’d not make any sense, it’d not like it’d be a risky maneuver and I’d not think Atlus and Sony are enemies of any sort business-wise. Them saying ‘Never’ on a series that is gaining more and more momentum would be idiotic. Could just be PR-talk if Sony doesn’t just buy publishing rights from Atlus.

          • Sol Malus

            Sony and From don’t want anything to do with each other. Demon’s Souls II is not happening.

          • DonEmu

            Sony own the complete rights to Demon Souls, and their relationship to from isn’t bad. Sony can easily choose to use another studio to make the game or put money on the table for from to make it another exclusive for them. The issue is that they just choose not to. There isn’t any actual bad blood between the companies.

    • Deter Pinklage

      Don’t be a lazy console gamer and accept whatever game companies give you. We shouldn’t be paying 60+ dollars for half-assed ports.

      • Jason Mounce

        I cannot distinguish the difference between gaming Consumers on consoles and gaming Consumers on PC’s…..I can’t think like you do where you say one type if somehow lazy and the other is not. In the end, we’re buying a game that is on a platform that a developer made that may vary in price depending on the publisher or developer.

        • Deter Pinklage

          You must be blind then. PC was the lead platform. I look forward to playing the best version next month. Funny how I able to pre-order the PC version for 40 bucks while the 360 version cost me 65.

          • Tanner Fredrickson

            Pinklage, I don’t think you understood what Mounce said. He said he can’t see a difference between *consumers* as in PC gamers versus PS3 gamers. Not in graphics or something like that. He said that you can’t summarize a whole group of people by looking at just a few of them. And that’s completely accurate. For example, not all PC gamers are as much of an elitist fvck as you are.

          • Jason Mounce

            That is also what I had meant. He really is on his high horse.

          • Jason Mounce

            Proclaiming a game as a PC Lead platform when it likely isn’t and you’re not the devs doesn’t make you look intelligent, just wishful and desperate for attention.

            Your explaination doesn’t validate your random usage of ‘laziness’. Price, sales, and platform preference somehow having something to do with ‘Laziness’? What, is your vocabulary so low that you couldn’t conceive a proper word to use? Dunce. Play and enjoy the PC version by all means, but that doesn’t justify the rest of your stupefied post. It’s not the ‘Lead Platform’ and the platform that has more hardware available for use doesn’t make it ‘Lead Platform’, it’s the one they focus on the most which would likely be PS3/360 and still a Port to PC whereas you think comically that its the other way around? Logic isn’t on your side.

            I’ll continue enjoying playing the Game NOW. Enjoy yours in April 25th. Lol. (Cause if it was Lead Platform, it clearly would have the same launch window, dunce)

          • Tanner Fredrickson

            Not that I agree with Pinklage about anything else, but FromSoft did comment early in development that the PC is the lead platform for Dark Souls 2. I’ve no idea if that’s still the case. The late launch doesn’t actually indicate one way or another, knowing simply how much has to be considered on the PC in regards to compatibility. PCs have dozens of video card drivers to be considered, thousands of possible hardware configurations… Plenty of developers delay their PC versions to wait for new hardware to release even if it was the lead version. That said, I suspect the PS3 was the lead version simply because the game uses DX9 even on the PC.

      • Tanner Fredrickson

        We *should* be hunting lizards with rocks like our ancestors. Anything beyond that is icing. Get off your high horse Pinklage. You’re making the rest of us PC gamers look bad.

  • ObsessedGeorge

    Just release it on next gen systems and get on with it.

  • Sǯdi Sǻymeh

    current is the opposite of next gen . 360 is easier to develop and had better fram rates and better resolution mean while PS4 is the one easier now with better frames and resolutions (so far)

    • Tanner Fredrickson

      The PS3 actually had a higher native resolution, the 360 just had a better scaler, so when they both dropped to 720p the 360 lost a bit less quality.

      • Sǯdi Sǻymeh

        but the 360 looked smoother and most of multiplatform games looks more detailed in it …

        • Tanner Fredrickson

          Like I said, a better scaler. But both the PS3 and 360 ran most of their games at 1280×720, and the PS3 supported 1080p in a small handful of games, whereas native 1080p wasn’t even supported by the 360. The 360′s apparent higher quality was due to the fact that it had a dedicated scaler which upscaled 1280×720 with less quality degradation. The PS3 relied on its GPU for scaling, which wasn’t efficient by comparison.
          Also, 360 multiplatform games sometimes looked better because they were usually ports of the PC version, and the 360 was easier to optimize for in those cases since it’s basically a low-impact PC with a special operating system. The PS3′s hardware was actually stronger, but it was easier in many ways to develop for the 360 (which is arguably better than having more brute force to shove at games).

          The PS4 and Xbox One use similar hardware, they use just modified PC components to cut costs, while still increasing power since the parts they’re using are much newer. It should be easy to develop for both of them, the only thing that’s really strange is esram, and that’s not new. The PS4 is just much faster than the Xbox One, and cheaper. Xbox One owners are really paying for the TV service and social media integration.

          • Sǯdi Sǻymeh

            i agree PS3 hardware is better than 360 but because it was to port games to it and develop games it looked better and the scaler thing i never new so its a new thing to me , thx for the info :)
            well yeah its part of the xbox live if you have internet with your console then you well play multiplayer and for that you need Xbox live even if the TV features was free its crazy to have internet without playing multiplayer games and just 5$ for a month is really cheap :) , yeah the esram thing is crazy idk why MS put that into the console devs are getting crazy from it i hope MS can do something about it , so far i didn’t get any next gen consoles and im waiting well the end of 14 to get one of them and the best exclusive will decide for me :)

          • …..

            360 packed a better punch because it was more efficient, it ultimately had the upper hand because it was capable of maximizing its assets with smart design. The ps3 didn’t play its cards well in that department and wasn’t designed as well with games in mind. Coincidentally sony’s big ad draw this go around is being “all about the games” which I find just to be a dubious compensation, or ploy more than anything and less the truth. Which is obviously debatable but I consider the new consoles to be more equal than most would think.
            The 360 snowballed its dominance with ease of development over the course of its entire lifespan..it was not overnight.

          • …..

            I spend time on both consoles but at the end of the day my faith lies with microsoft; they have more resources, room to flex, and financial reach than sony could ever dream of having…<this is my bias side showing I know it.

            I'm open minded, not completely ignorant on the topic either.. Microsoft is great with developers..xbox one just needs more time with the new sdk.
            Their focus was on premier of new multimedia features, which ultimately has a bigger wave in cross media relation; the fact its a gaming console goes without saying..they just need to catch up with development, which they do quite adequately.

  • Dennis Crosby

    At the end of the day no matter what platform you play it on Dark souls fans will enjoy it

  • Hates bad writers.

    Pretty much identical. No sense buying one over the other over graphics, just go where your friends are.

  • You’reFlatOutDork

    Cozomel needs more tissues after reading this comparison.

    Mad ensues

  • Godmars

    Why not make thing easier and use the same character?

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