Posted on December 12, 2007,

Video Comparison of The Orange Box on PS3 and 360

There was a bit of a backlash when David Ellis recently previewed The Orange Box on PlayStation 3 and referred to it as “unplayable.” We couldn’t really argue the point one way or another, but the game is now out in the wild and GameVideos has a video comparison of both console versions of the super-excellent value of a game.

While certain areas are indecipherable from one another, the framerate of the PS3 version suffers from severe dips in certain areas. Conspiracy theories that GV somehow inflated the load time on the PS3 version or picked out the worst instances of the PS3’s framerate aside, it can’t be denied that the areas shown in the video above are downright awful.

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26 Comments on Video Comparison of The Orange Box on PS3 and 360


On December 12, 2007 at 9:28 pm

I must be missing something. At what point does it become unplayable? For most of that clip there is no difference at all and where there is it wouldn’t affect gameplay. Most reviews of the game have said the PS3 version does slow down in places but it it still a fantastic set on the PS3.

Not being as good a port as one on another system does not equal unplayable. Just look at this video comparison of Oblivion on the PS3 and 360.

The 360 version is clearly inferior. Detail on faces, pauses for loading areas and making everything dark so you cant see graphical flaws. That doesn’t mean it isn’t still an excellent game on the 360 the same as this doesn’t mean the Orange Box isn’t excellent on the PS3.


On December 12, 2007 at 9:53 pm

While I agree that the video shown in this article hardly strikes me as “unplayable”, the frame rate drop is noticeable when viewed side-by-side. Whether a player would find it as noticeable when playing it standalone (i.e. without something right next to it to compare it to) is another question that would be difficult to answer.

As for the Oblivion comparison, it’s really not the same thing. After viewing the video, I agree that the PS3 version looked better. However, it is somewhat dependent on how those images were captured and how the devices were configured. For example, screen brightness can be cranked way down in Bioshock, making it look horribly muddy and detail-less. I’d have to try the game on both of my consoles on my calibrated plasma to see if the real-world difference was as substantial as the video. For all we know the maker of the video had a point to prove.


On December 12, 2007 at 10:01 pm

do a comparison eith your own eyes :shock: ,i dont really buy anything that people put on the internet :mrgreen:


On December 12, 2007 at 10:04 pm

ohh and ps3 is laagy in that comparison,because they did not update firmware 2.0 to 2.1 wich fixes that problem. :cool:


On December 12, 2007 at 10:29 pm

The PS3 version is noticeably choppy even without the side by side. Most particularly after the load during route kanal. It’s not unplayable even some PC gamers with poor systems will play through a game ~30 fps.

I gotta say though that Xbox version is silky smooth.


On December 12, 2007 at 11:12 pm

the choppiness on PS3 is due to the auto saving. It runs fine outside of the autosaving instances.

Its a glitch rather than slowdown. It ought to be fixed. But will it?

Uncle Tito

On December 12, 2007 at 11:32 pm

Why does everyone blame the PS3, the PS3 is faster than the Xbox. blame the makers that didn’t fix the glitch

Trigger Happy

On December 12, 2007 at 11:57 pm

I have to agree that the frame rate is horrible on the PS3 version. EA should be humiliated for their recent work on this console. Every other company has been able to pull it off except for these guys. This is only making themselves look bad, not Sony. Maybe EA could have pulled this stunt back before any big titles had been released on the PS3. But now that we’ve seen games such as Ratchet and Clank, Uncharted, and Call of Duty 4, this won’t fly. Nice try EA (with Peter Moore on your side), this is only going to come back to bite you in the ass.


On December 13, 2007 at 12:50 am

“Why does everyone blame the PS3, the PS3 is faster than the Xbox. blame the makers that didn’t fix the glitch.”


It’s common knowledge among tech geeks that the PS3 is not faster than the 360 at general purpose math (something every 3d programmer knows is crucial when striving for performance). Of course this depends highly on the application, but in pracice it’s becoming more evident now that the PS3 is too specialized in certain areas (when it needs to be better at everything). Proof?

Basically, from what I’ve seen unless you design your game from the ground up with the PS3 architecture in mind you are pretty much screwed. A large advantage of the 360 is that designing a game on it is alot like a PC. Those similarities mean all the tricks and trades of PC programming experience have weight. Not so much for the PS3, which pretty much requires a totally different (almost alien) approach.

The HL2 ports at the individual frame level look identical (which isn’t saying much at such a tiny resolution with massive compression), but it’s clearly obvious the PS3 is suffering from performance problems. Seems like the more complex the scene, the worse things get. Just look at the canal sequence in the video, the framerate on the PS3 is obviously running around 10-15fps. That’s almost a slideshow by today’s standards. What’s sad is my geforce 6800 can put out more framerate than that @ 1080p.

Bad port? How about “Match made in hell”? HL2 and PS3 was never meant to be. Now I see why Gabe made such a big objection about in the first place.


On December 13, 2007 at 12:51 am

@ SpiralGray

The biggest difference between Oblivion on the 360 compared to the PS3 is the area loading. If you watch the clip to the 1:25 mark you will see the 360 stops for a second or so to load the new area while the PS3 has no pause at all. This happens quite often. The reason its doesn’t on the PS3 is because the developers made use of the hard drive which they couldn’t do on the 360 version. Its the kind of thing that wouldn’t harm your enjoyment of the 360 version at all as long as you had never played the PS3 or PC versions. Basically the same as The Orange Box. It isn’t as good as the PC and 360 versions but its still excellent. I think 1up lost a hell of a lot of credibility with their sensationalist and idiotic statement that its ‘unplayable’.

These messy PS3 ports will become a thing of the past soon because the PS3 will become lead SKU for multiplatform 360 and PS3 games. Apart from the ones developed by Gabe Newell of course who believes the PS3 is “a waste of everybody’s time” lol.


On December 13, 2007 at 12:52 am

Heh. Know what’s funny? If you look at the PS3 one, when the frames dip for that extended period of time, look in the top left corner, it saying “Quicksaving…” and right before it disappears, FPS return to normal.

I call bull on the vids, PS3 suffered because it was quicksaving, and most games you play, when you’re saving, it pauses for a wee bit until it finishes saving.


On December 13, 2007 at 1:03 am

@ Steve

The PS3 is a hell of a lot more powerful than the 360. Why do you think Microsoft wont allow the 360 to do Folding? Its because it would provide the world with benchmark stats to compare to the PS3 and it would lose badly.

How exactly do you explain the incredible graphics of Ratchet & Clank and Uncharted eh? They are both first year PS3 titles and they look as good if not better than anything released on the 360 in 2 years. How do you explain how Oblivion runs better on the PS3 than the 360 eh? How do you explain why EA said last year they were only using 15% of the PS3′s power yet Capcom said last year that Lost Planet was using 60% of the 360′s? That’s right Steve. Capcom were already using 60% of the 360′s potential just 8 months after launch yet both Naughty Dog and Insomniac are only using between 25% and 30% of the PS3 with Ratchet & Clank and Uncharted. If like you say the 360 is more powerful than the PS3 why was its best looking game (gears of war) released over a year ago?

The Orange Box isnt as good on the PS3 as it is on the PC and 360 for the simple reason that the port was handled by EA while the other 2 versions were made in house by Valve.


On December 13, 2007 at 2:35 am


Wow, quite the flamming PS3 fanboy are we?

Everything you’ve stated about what is “better” is open for debate since you’re clearly basing this on opinion. Those claims of “We only use X% of the Y-console’s power” crack me up regardless of who’s saying them. Those are meaningless jibberish without so much as a shred of evidence ever backing it up. Considering half of the PS3′s so called “power” is pretty much useless to a 3d programmer, I find those claims having even less merit. Then again, we are talking about PR reps here.

Oblivion’s performance issues stem from being designed to run off a hard drive. It’s well known that the game was designed with “streaming” world data as opposed to large “zones” and level loads. It’s really that simple. If they had given a 360 HD installation option, problem solved. A really poor example there on your part.

I’ve seen both Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and Heavenly Sword in action, and I’ll tell you where they lack: draw distance. To make up for that, they upped the detail per object (which wasn’t a bad tradeoff per se). To say they are the best looking games around is also a matter of opinion. I still find Bioshock visually “better” than either. Uncharted has the lush vegetation thing down. But that’s it. Heavenly Sword has great animation and well done cut scenes (and neat looking waterfalls), but that’s visually where it ends. Bioshock beats them all in both artwork, detail, and overall design. Am I going to go around spouting that it’s the best looking game, period? No. It’s my opinion. I’m not a fanboy, I just call it how I see it.

Let us not forget that both Uncharted and Heavenly Sword were made for the PS3 from the ground up. Recall my “design the game from the ground up with the PS3 hardware in mind”? You can very well bet that’s why those titles succeed at what they do. The same will be for MSG4 and GT5. PS3 is still seeking a “killer” title. Uncharted and Heavenly Sword still aren’t enough to sway most gamers, much less me.

And who said Gears was the best looking game? Another lofty opinion I see. You’ll find stark argument here on what’s “best looking” on any console.

What? No love for CoD4? Funny how you bring up the extreme examples (ones that have no basis for comparison since they are platform exclusive) and not the ones that actually deserve merit. How about Assassin’s Creed?

I swear you are the PS3 equivalent of a 360 fanboy that masturbates in front of the screen with one hand while typing with the other how Halo 3 is superior to everything “just because it is”. That’s the exact zealotness impressionability I get from you every time.

You’ve presented basically nothing but loftless opinion. Come back with some hard evidence that actually has merit and not opinions or PR rubbish. Folding makes PS3 a better gaming machine? Laff.


On December 13, 2007 at 8:31 am

Ouch. Firmware updates to fix games? Sucks to have a PS3!


On December 13, 2007 at 9:30 am

Steve, I understand there may well be unbiased proof somewhere out there (would take hours to find) but a website such as translated as humour site seems a bit dubious.

Having played both systems I’m sure the orange box isn’t suitable anywhere but the PC. In my opinion the 360 is good for people who just don’t have the money (quite understandable), ps3 owners will be more likely to have a pc collecting all the xbox killer apps (imo only GOW, sorry halo fanboys).

Furthermore, I really don’t think many have invested into the current console wars with such a lack of great games about and remain confident there’s a huge market share out there waiting just for mgs4 to drop.

Of course, I bought a dreamcast and thought that too about soul calibur and res evil:code veronica :oops:


On December 13, 2007 at 1:59 pm

Steve, you need to know more about the programming side of things before you speak about baseless assumptions. The PS3 has 6 (1 reserved/1 disabled out of 8) “cores” running at Pentium 4 Extreme Edition speeds (3.2 GHz) and they do SIMD operations. That stands for Single Instruction Multiple Data. So as a programmer I can take tons of values for anything from bullets to AI to ANYTHING and apply a single math operation to the entire set. In one clock cycle. That means an almost unlimited amount of calculations. Figure an average of twenty values being calculated per cycle per core and you come out with 64,000,000,000 operations per second. That’s just my estimation (it’s actually about 2,000,000,000), and there is a lot of overhead to be considered, but that’s the idea. Fun, huh? And as a matter of fact, you’re straight up wrong about what’s useful to a developer, as SIMD was CREATED FOR GAMES. Not kidding. Every processor in the XBox and every Intel contains an entire dedicated SIMD (ever heard of SSE?) portion to this day, and they keep improving it just because it is so useful for things like games. With the advent of faster general purpose processors developers could be a little lazy with how they worked, and it’s showing with the PS3 and porting problems.

From Wikipedia:

Later, personal computers became common, and became powerful enough to support real-time gaming. This created a mass demand for a particular type of computing power, and microprocessor vendors turned to SIMD to meet the demand. The first widely-deployed SIMD for gaming was Intel’s MMX extensions to the x86 architecture. IBM and Motorola then added AltiVec to the POWER architecture, and there have been several extensions to the SIMD instruction sets for both architectures. All of these developments have been oriented toward support for real-time graphics, and are therefore oriented toward vectors of two, three, or four dimensions. When new SIMD architectures need to be distinguished from older ones, the newer architectures are then considered “short-vector” architectures. A modern supercomputer is almost always a cluster of MIMD machines, each of which implements (short-vector) SIMD instructions. A modern desktop computer is often a multiprocessor MIMD machine where each processor can execute short-vector SIMD instructions.

Jim Boranal

On December 13, 2007 at 11:55 pm

nothing can touch a PC.


On December 15, 2007 at 5:12 pm

EA needs to suck on my fat dong!

Mike D

On December 15, 2007 at 5:21 pm

:?: Why is it that when ever there is an issue with a PS3 title, EA is involved??? :?:


On December 16, 2007 at 11:15 pm

I have seen the finished game and IT IS AWESOME definetly worth a buy! no frame rate drops WHAT SO EVER!


On January 4, 2008 at 3:41 pm

Swissarmy…Umm maybe you should go back and look. PS3 uses a IBM CPU not Intel


On January 7, 2008 at 6:01 pm

i really DON’T think the ps3 one is so much worse and “unplayable”. as for the loading time comparison, ps3 is more powerful than the xbox 360, so the ps3 version of the orange box might just maybe have some more stuff to load (more details or objects). that’s just my guess. the ps3 problems probly wont even happen likely anyway. NOT that i hate 360 or ps3, i just prefer ps3.


On January 7, 2008 at 8:35 pm

I dont understand why some of you are writing entire essays on the architecture of either system. Do you really find it necessary to prove your intelligence to a group of random strangers.


On January 8, 2008 at 6:59 am

Its amazing how only 2 or 3 people noticed that the ps3 was QUICKSAVING during the fps drop scene. Whats even MORE unbelievable is that a quicksave is initiated by the player, unlike an autosave which is done by the machine. I believe that the creators of this video should be sued or in some way OWNED by all of us, as it is OUTRAGEOUSLY obvious that the quicksave was intentional in making the ps3 version of The Orange Box look bad. On a side note, its amazing the lengths someone will go to make another console look bad, especially when its sickeningly obvious that its a poor, bias effort.


On May 6, 2008 at 3:00 am

PS3 sux, Xbox is slightly better, but! PC’s are for the most hardcore gamers. Yes, we spend more money, but we are a superior breed, we have a HUGE catalog of games to draw from (even older console games, which increases it even more, with the use of emulators), - Blah, blah, bunch of stuff that was removed, blah, blah

This is insane I know but it’s 4 a.m. and I haven’t slept in a long time gaga jg;akgja a


On September 6, 2008 at 6:24 am

What a cheap prank… Quicksaving on PS3 while trying to compare consoles!