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Diablo III’s first major post-2.0 patch released recently and as with most patches releases a whole host of new features to gamers across the globe. Firstly lets take a look at what’s new (video below) and then I’ll delve into the nitty gritty to see if the console version can match up to its PC brethren.
Firstly, the patch will drop on PC as of now, but Xbox One and Playstation 4 players will be waiting to find out when the patch will be available which I think is a little unfair, and even more unfair is that Xbox 360/PS3 users won’t even be getting a look in with the patch and will have to remain playing the original game without this update. Now, I get that Blizzard want to evolve the brand for next gen but I fear they have missed a trick with the older consoles as million of people still play the game over the world. Also, the Reaper of Souls expansion will only be available for the “older gen” consoles if you buy the Ultimate Evil Edition. This means that if you already own Diablo III then you you will have to buy the game again with full edition which is a little unfair. I suppose they’re trying to ween the older gen players off the game and try and get them to buy the next gen but it’s still a market that I think has some legs.
Supporting 1080p full HD resolution the PS4 and Xbox One editions have been pushed into the limelight since release and now I will delve into the games and draw comparisons to see which version is right for you. Firstly lets take a look at performance. We’ve seen performance drops on the Xbox One since its jump from 900p to 1080p, but does Sony’s hardware suffer similar issues? and how does this stack up against a optimized PC version that still remains the top and fastest selling PC game of all time.
Arriving just a few days ahead of the European launch of The Ultimate Evil Edition both platforms were prepped with a patch for release day to resolve a magnitude of issues. On the PS4 side we no longer see drops to the low 40fps and instead the game boosts a perfect 60fps during all testing which is the most optimized frame rate that most PC gamers strive for in all of their games. Sony’s platform runs as mentioned earlier at the full 1920×1080 resolution accompanied with what appears to be post-process/anti-aliasing/light textures akin to the PC version which is a nice touch and takes advantage of the upgraded graphical hardware in the PS4. The colors are vibrant and chive and running through the crevices and dungeons flows like a breeze and almost replicates the PC graphics (bar the mouse and keyboard combo of course).
The Xbox One also receives similar changes to the PS4, sporting a 1080p resolution jump to bring the consoles toe to toe in image quality making these two games are now practically identical with a few small elements that are randomized by the engine, rather than significant per-platform advantages. Compared to PC version on its highest settings, the fully patched PS4 and Xbox One games run on par with high quality, smoothed dynamic shadows, anti aliasing sharpness and no pixellation seen on the lower settings.
The games are flawless and definitely on par with the PC version. But… the Xbox One’s resolution boost seems to have affected frames. The general gamer who has been used to 30fps won’t see any difference but this is an avenue for the avid PC gamer to tear the Xbox One to shreds. PC gamers strive to hit the magical 60 FPS in its games but the Xbox One drops frames to as low as 52fps in areas of high combat whereas Sony’s hardware never drops a frame in any of these areas. A bit disappointing from Microsoft and gives Sony a slight edge over what console to get Diablo III for.
It isn’t quite a faultless display from the PS4 version however. There are reports of some auto save crashes flying around the internet but these seem fixable by a patch whereas a drop in FPS seems to be a hardware restraint. The games now sit side by side with the PC version with absolutely no differences in terms of the game and the only reason to qualm about which piece of hardware to play on is your preference on controller or mouse and keyboard. Being an avid PC gamer I’m going to stick with my mouse and keyboard but games companies are doing a great job of keeping up with the benchmarks set by the PC standard. Although the Xbox One features a small drop in frames the average gamer would not notice this being used to playing at 30 FPS on the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Patch 2.1.0 will be released “soon” on console and Entertainment Fuse will announce it with a low down on all the console features as soon as it is dropped.