Erina, one of our few contributing authors, got a chance to play Battlefield 4 on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at an event in October, 2013. When she returned, she reported that some effects were missing from the PlayStation 4 version, and, despite running at 900p natively, the Xbox One version looked somewhat better. She speculated that EA may have deliberately downgraded the PlayStation 4 graphics so that gap wouldn't be so noticeable between the consoles. Of course, that is a pretty controversial topic.
It doesn't end there. It was previously confirmed that Call of Duty: Ghosts on the PlayStation 4 was running at 1080p native, whereas the Xbox One was stuck at 720p. This caused a lot of tension between Microsoft and Activision; Activision were not allowed to discuss any details of the Xbox One version regardless of the game embargo being lifted for all other consoles.
Call of Duty: Ghosts has now seen an official release in North America and Canada and what people are reporting is absolutely shocking. The PlayStation 4 version of Call of Duty: Ghosts had been temporary downgraded and locked at 720p, just like the Xbox One version. Why on earth would Activision do this? Sabotage? Not exactly.
Titles for Xbox 360 must ship at least simultaneously with other video game platform, and must have at least feature and content parity on-disc with the other video game platform versions in all regions where the title is available.
In 2011, a handful of developers spoke out against Microsoft's ridiculous multi-platform policies claiming that, "they [Microsoft] are killing any creative exposure of titles to make up for their own platform's shortcomings".
It seems as though Microsoft are continuing with the same multi-platform policy heading into the next generation with the launch of the Xbox One. We are already seeing multi-platform games take a hit on the PlayStation 4 by being limited and downgraded to be on par with the Xbox One version.
The policy ensures that, on release, both games will remain identical. This is also the reason why you will notice exclusive PlayStation content to only be available as DLC. Activision, and other developers, will the same method to patch the PlayStation 4 version post-launch to unlock higher resolution textures and allow the game run in its native resolution; 1080p.
What are your thoughts on this? Smart move by Microsoft to ensure the competition stays level, or just an out-right villainous move?
Update 17/11/13, 22:55: Due to controversial topic we've reached out to several developers asking for their comments on this situation. If the information does not pan out, we will retract it.