Gran Turismo 6 Graphics Downgraded From Gran Turismo 5

A new video comparison was showcased between Gran Turismo 5 and Gran Turismo 6 on the PS3. The video, running at 1080p, shows a few striking differences between the game on the PS3. While the resolution looks more progressive in Gran Turismo 6, it comes at a price on Sony's seven-year-old console that deserves to be retired more than the grizzled old cop with only three days left on the force.

The video below comes courtesy of DigiProst on YouTube. The comparison does a full lap on the Monza track using the Lexus IS F. The results are not shocking or startling if you understand why the graphics have been altered in the way that they have.

Now before fanboys start yelling “but, but, but... Youtube!” take into consideration that even in YouTube you can spot the difference in resolution clarity between Gran Turismo 6 and Gran Turismo 5. The newer game has brushed up AA and a new blur filter that you can make out around the corners of the screen, as evidenced in the image below.

The low-pass blur filter is undeniable, and helps give the game a sound sense of speed. However, you can also see that the shadows in Gran Turismo 6 have been greatly compromised. As you can see in the image below, the shadows in GT6 are comprised of dark rectangular blobs as opposed to the chiseled shadows of the cars in GT5.

In order to maintain 1080p and a consistent frame rate – something that was previously sacrificed during the Gran Turismo 6 demo, as noted by Digital Foundry – you'll notice that the game's lighting has changed, almost drastically for the cars.

As evidenced in the image below – and again, this is not something that can even be blamed on YouTube, as the evidence is quite plain and clear to see – there is a huge change in the vehicle's light refraction and the amount of reflective surfacing and passes emitted onto the car (or technically, from the car's surface).

So yes, you are getting a cleaner resolution with slightly more chiseled graphical filters to help hone in on that sense of speed, but it's still coming at a price.

A lot of times this happens with consoles due to fixed hardware. For anyone saying “But, but, but, Uncharted 3 looked better than Uncharted 2! And The Last of Us!!!” keep in mind that there are always give-and-takes. The Last of Us had great graphics at the expense of a lot of inactive or barely active AI on the screen at any one time. Uncharted 3 looked marginally better than Uncharted 2 but had extremely linear environments with limited amounts of AI and physics.

As mentioned in the previous article about the Xbox One's version of Call of Duty: Ghosts popping up more jaggies than a rocky Grand Canyon cliff face, the hardware has its limits and it's up to software developers to exploit those limitations by using optimization techniques to trick gamers into thinking a game is better looking than it really is.

It's no different than Forza 5 using cardboard cutout crowd members and pre-rendered shadow casting to cut down on processing power, which could then be reserved for pumping out 1080p at 60fps. Every single realtime graphical detail will come at a hardware processing expense, hence the term “memory budget” or “technical ceiling”.

We're clearly seeing with Gran Turismo 6 that the game definitely should have been delayed for a release on the PS4, so that perhaps instead Polyphony could have retained all the visual highlights from Gran Turismo 5, while adding all the new tricks and filter improvements from Gran Turismo 6.

Still, I suppose it's just impressive that they've managed to get a good looking game to run at decent frames, at an acceptable resolution, while sacrificing bits and pieces of visual fidelity here and there.

Gran Turismo 6 is available in Asia right now and will be available for the world tomorrow.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.