PS3 vs. Xbox 360 ports: The cold, hard truth

CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE

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Control: Whereas the Sixaxis is better suited to Assassin's Creed, the Xbox 360 controller fits perfectly with the first-person shooting of Call of Duty 4. Beyond the feel of the controller, camera movement appears smoother and faster on the Xbox 360. Even with the look sensitivity set to identical levels, the camera on PlayStation 3 moved at a rate that's a fraction slower than on Microsoft's system.

Graphics: You don't need night-vision or infrared goggles to see how gorgeous Call of Duty 4 runs on both systems. Infinity Ward clearly wanted both PS3 and Xbox 360 owners to have identical visual experiences. As such, neither version experiences framerate hiccups, and there's no substantive differences in visual quality. Your terrorist killing experience looks just as good on PlayStation 3 as it does on Xbox 360. Enjoy.

Load times: Extensive optimisation by the Infinity Ward team leaves the loading times virtually identical between the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions. During the campaign, most loading occurs in the background of cutscenes so you don't notice it. Since the cinematics are exactly the same between the two games, we can infer that the loading times are the same or that the difference is negligible. In multiplayer, there's no discernible difference in loading times for matches.

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Online integration: Impressively, there aren't that many differences between the two versions of the game when it comes to online play. Call of Duty 4 essentially plays the same on both, but it's important to note the technical differences. First, Xbox Live displays the number of players logged into the game, ala Halo 3, whereas that information isn't available on the PlayStation 3 version. Second, getting into a match takes practically no time at all on PlayStation 3 and they're remarkably stable. Peer-to-peer networking over Xbox Live can yield unstable matches, although the experience was pretty good overall. It is worth noting that patches are required before heading online with the PlayStation 3 version that aren't needed when playing on an Xbox 360.

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EDGE: PlayStation 3 version

Surprised? We were. You couldn't be blamed for believing that the Xbox 360 had the upper hand with this multiplayer-dominated game thanks to Xbox Live; however, superior execution on PlayStation 3 makes it the better version. Control preferences (or friends lists) may lead you to play on Xbox 360, but you simply cannot deny that Call of Duty 4's online functionality works better on PlayStation 3. Stable, dedicated servers are preferable to peer-to-peer networking any day of the week. Since it carries all of the same features as Xbox 360, that key element gives PlayStation 3 a big boost.

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Tracy Erickson

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