Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare has recently launched for the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One, and the online-only shooter has already been put into the pixel counter grinder with a video comparison between the two generation's graphics.
The video comparison comes courtesy of German site PC Games, where they have a simple minute and a half long showcase of what Plants Vs Zombies looks like between the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
I hate to say it, but if you bought your Xbox One for games like Plants Vs Zombies, the next-gen upgrade is pretty minor. That's not to say that there aren't differences, because there are some pretty obvious changes between both consoles.
Despite some people in the media rallying to the cry of resolution-gate to say that you can't see the difference between varying resolutions, anyone who puts on the HD filter in the video above and makes it full-screen will clearly see the difference between the Xbox One running native 900p compared to the Xbox 360 running native 720p.
In fact, one of the biggest differences between the two is the resolution scale and anti-aliasing. On the Xbox 360's side – again, if you're watching it in full-screen mode – is that the jaggies are definitely more visible.
Just to break this down even more: when a game has a lower resolution it creates a blurry image to the viewer. The “jaggies” relate to jagged edges along the smooth surfaces. The lower the resolution, the fewer the pixels that are being processed and the more jagged the lines along any surface.
This is especially important in shooter games because lower resolutions affect the visibility of the player. If you're playing a game at 4K resolution you'll easily be able to spot a soldier's helmet from a bush-weed. At 720p or sub-HD resolutions, a bush or rock or any debris at a distance can sometimes be mistaken for an enemy, or vice versa.
In Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, the resolution disparity isn't too bad, however the 900p (upscaled to 1080p) versus the native 720p (upscaled to 1080p) still makes a pretty big difference. In fact, fast forward to the 0:54 mark where you can clearly see the Speedy Snail truck in the Xbox One version, and then see how the Xbox 360's version matches up.
I should also note that in addition to having a lower screen resolution, the Xbox 360 also suffers from lowered texture resolution, something that shines through in spades with the comparison between the Speedy Snail truck in both renditions. The 360 also buffers a lot slower than the Xbox One, too (and by slower, I'm talking seconds).
Another thing that becomes rather apparent between the two – even for something as simple as switching between the character classes – is the load time. The 360 suffers quite the wait between the two, but only by seconds.
The one thing that does happen to stay mostly the same between both versions is the lighting. Geomerics' Enlighten engine keeps both versions of the game looking fairly similar as far casting, reflections and shadows go. I guess being acquired by ARM didn't affect their ability to produce lighting any differently than before, eh? Then again, Geomerics has also had a great track record with lighting games running under the Frostbite engine, no matter what system the game is on.
As far as purchasing possibilities go for consumers: If you don't have an Xbox One, Plants Vs Zombies is not the game that is likely to change your mind if you're looking for a true next-gen experience. For now, the differences between the 360 and XB1 versions of the game are far too small to justify the $500 upgrade.
If the graphical difference and price disparity was more worthwhile, like going from a GTX 560Ti to a GTX 760Ti, then maybe it might be worth it.