A few days ago we reported that 2K Community Manager, Elizabeth Tobey, had responded to complaints voiced by gamers on their forum regarding the visual quality of the company’s PS3 Bioshock demo. Specifically, there were concerns that the textures in the PS3 version were not on par with that of the 360 version.

Last night, Elizabeth issued an update to her initial post, following up with readers and giving them some additional insight into what was being done to resolve the issues.

Her full statement, complete with in-game screens presented to help better illustrate the final state of the game, is available after the jump.

A message from the team about the visuals in BioShock PS3

Hi there,

Last Friday some of you expressed some concerns and asked me some questions about the BioShock demo, and how BioShock would look on the PS3. I promised that the team was looking into all the issues brought up on Friday, and now I am reporting back with the latest news. Everything below is directly from the team – they took the comparison screenshots for me and we talked at length about all of these issues, and those conversations are exactly what I am reporting to you now.

Many of you wondered about BioShock’s graphical performance on the PS3, and whether it was comparable to the 360 version. The team wanted BioShock to be the same experience on the PS3 as on the 360. Of course, the PS3 is a very different machine to code a game on, and so the team used a combination of optimization and filtering to maximize the overall visual experience of the game. These optimizations improved frame rate and added the slight “blur filter” that some of you have pointed out in comparison screenshots. This solution offered the best performance benefit with minimum visual cost or change from the 360 version.

When making the decision on how to balance game performance and visual quality, the team did a lot of research, which included looking at implementation strategies and gamer reactions for other games that had brought a title to the PS3. One of the major goals for the team in creating the PS3 version of BioShock was to match the visual experience of the 360.

Below are a few comparison screenshots of BioShock on both the 360 and PS3, taken by the team. I have included the Big Daddy texture that concerned so many of you on Friday. However, the Big Daddy texture is not a good measure for the entire PS3 experience, and so I have a handful of other comparison shots of the 360 and PS3 version of BioShock.

Another issue people asked about was the appearance of “white bars” when using certain settings on certain TV configurations. This is a legitimate bug, and we are currently working to fix this issue and plan on distributing that fix along with the Additional Content game update. For the short-term, some have recommended changing the TV’s overscan setting as a workaround.

Also, some of you asked about the resolution of BioShock PS3. The team decided to include 1080 support for the game specifically for the benefit of some older-model HDTVs that don’t correctly respond to 720 and force the user to play on 480 instead. Our 1080 implementation is a scaled version of what you see in 720p, so therefore, the discerning gamer may notice the visuals are a bit less sharp when compared to the 720 mode. We did investigate rendering to true 1080 mode, but were not able to support it given the game’s memory demands.

We believe the BioShock PS3 demo fairly represents the performance and user experience of the full BioShock PS3 game, and is an accurate representation of the final product. We will continue reading and looking into any new comments that come up on this forum. I hope this post and the following screenshots help clarify some of the questions asked last week. Again, thank you for your diligence and devotion to the game.

The images shown above also came with the following note:

Note: These images were taken from the final game. There is a slight discrepancy in some shots because for the 360 version the images were taken before the patch was applied, which means they are using the original widescreen format, but the PS3 version ships with the 360 patch’s widescreen change.

Another user on the forum then asked for clarification regarding the “blur” overlay that many have noticed on the PS3 version, to which Tobey responded:

i’m sorry if i didn’t explain this well enough in the original post, but it’s not just a blur “filter” applied to the graphics. based on how this game works with the PS3 hardware, and our desire to make the best graphics without sacrificing gameplay or framerate, these graphics are what resulted. when compared to the 360, you will notice it looks slightly “blurred” but this is not a simple blur “filter” that we overlayed on the graphics. it is just a result of how we developed the game on this new and unique piece of hardware, trying to keep framerate, gameplay, and graphics optimal and true to the game’s vision.

Personally, I think the game looks great, and as a PS3 owner myself, I would have no problem picking up the title when it hits stores. That said, it’s refreshing to see 2K taking the time to respond to the concerns of their community with such a high level of detail.

Afterthought: What say you? Was this a non issue in your opinion, or where you grateful for the response?


  1. I don’ t like the fact they did not say that they are going to solve the graphic problems.
    I will buy Bioshock on Ps3 anyway, but I would like to see more effort from 2K.
    It is just some not-so-good texture, I konw it is not going to ruin my game experience.
    But i want to see them trying to give us a more polished version. After all I am going to pay it full price ( 70 Euro! ) after a whole year.

  2. awesome info

    But i might be too busy playing LBP , Resistance 2 and Motorstorm 2

    PS3 undoubtedly has the best gaming lineup for fall

    but good job 2k nevertheless.

    we all know that UE3 doesnt run well on PS3. The game however looks very underwhelming against Resistance 2/Motorstorm 2/Uncharted

    we ps3 owners are graphic whores u know

  3. Seventh,

    I shot an email to Elizabeth late last night asking specifically about whether or not the texture would be fixed.

    I also asked that if it could not be fixed by the games release date would it be something the company would consider resolving via a patch.

    I will keep you all posted the moment I hear back from her.


  4. Wow, I’m simply amazed at the support from the team to come forth and explain the issues that people have brought up. Thank you. This will be an amazing experience on ps3 just like it was on the 360 last year.

  5. I really can’t see a difference. The first two of the Big Daddy I can see the difference, but the rest look exactly the same for me.

    People complain over the smallest of things. I played the demo on the PS3 and enjoyed it because of the gameplay. People care way too much about graphics these days…..

  6. I was very interested in this game. But after playing the demo I have to admit I was disappointed. I waited a whole year just to get an inferior product and this product is being sold at full price. I might pick this up once it hits the bargain bin……maybe..

  7. So what about using being able to use R1 as the fire button instead of R2. This is a deal breaker for me, if I can’t use R1 as the fire button, I’m not buying it.

  8. U people r such ass suckers here u have a game that was made 4 a 360 I say 360 not 4 ps3 and u think it will run as good hell no it won’t these lazy ass developers should have took the time and built it from the ground up 4 ps3 no more wack @ss ports u r robbin hard payin tax payers

  9. It’s great of 2k to respond like this but I’m still very disappointed by the quality of the screens and the demo (which also controlled much worse than the 360 version). Even on the little thumbnail pics you can see how poor the big daddy looks, not very good at all. This was my favourite 360 game by far and I was really looking forward to getting it for my PS3 (traded 360 after THIRD rrod). It’s still great that non-360, non-pc owning ps3 players will get a shot at it but it’s a pity they won’t be getting the full deal. Sony actually has a really quality lineup for this year’s holiday(as opposed to the fairly dismal lineup of last year, uncharted and ratchet not withstanding) and I think 2K needed to better than this to stand a chance against the competition. Still, kudos to them for being so forthcoming about the problems, that’s very admirable and sadly a rare thing from developers.

  10. alright seriously fellas…. this game is the truth! if you were to buy this game (ps3 version) and go home and play it. there will not be one moment where you sit there and go wow i totally recall this big daddy’s texture looking better on 360 you know why? have you played the game? you will be to into it; killing a big daddy is a challenge and you will be too busy shooting and screaming to worry about these petty graphical inconsistencies This game rocks no matter what console it’s on. it’s rocks in SD!!! you all are complaining in my opinion and it’s kinda disapointing to see you get all worked up because the graphics wont be top notch. step your game up.

  11. Lol, wow people are hilarious. They look effing identical, the complaining of one texture location in the demo is just sad.

    I didn’t care much of it, because obviously they look so close the naked eye wouldn’t be able to say which is which, in the end.

  12. PS3 really sucks, 360 graphics are just plain superior, lets stop making excuses and all agree on that, the Cell was a bunch of marketing B.S.

    And the few games that look great on PS3 were stupidly expensive to make, and took way too long to complete.

    Hate to say it but 360 is a superior gaming console.

  13. The game is not going to be patch. There is no way to be patch. The team leader just told you so. It was made like this because (she said) is for the good of the ”graphics” and ”frame rate” …because of the game ”video memmory requirement”. LOL can’t believe she even said that. She is telling us that our PS3 can’t process more video requirements than the x box 360. And for you Mr. Chad Lakkis, I don’t even think she gives a f… on answering your ”e-mail” why don’t you give us ”her e-mail”. We all are going to full her inbox asking for we really are paying for. I paid for my PS3 to get the best graphics, to get free online gaming, and the best products out there. Not to get second hand condescendent blockbuster games more than 12 months later than other console. If she can reply my comment she would have my respect as a person christiantorresherrero@hotmail.com

  14. ummmm you guys realize, she zoomed away from the big daddy so you couldnt see how blocky the textures were. and she tried to make the 360 look equivilent by being closer to the objects when she took the pictures

  15. I personally don’t care. I will buy it on PS3 because I can depend on my PS3 to work thru out the game and not get the RRoD.

    I would like it to be the best it possibly can be and I have noticed that a lot of PS3 games that are Multiplatform have had some kind of Blur to them. This isn’t the 1st game to have this kind of problem and won’t be the last unfortunatly.

    I am starting to believe that we may never see the PS3’s full potential. Because most Developers prefer Developing on the 360 1st because of it’s ease of use and since they start on the 360 we won’t see the things Blu-ray can do and won’t get anything extra.

    We can use Burnout Paradise as an example. On the PSN as a download it only takes 3.5GB that isn’t even a full DVD. Some may take this as the PS3 is a failure because developers don’t even need a 25GB Blu-ray disc to make games but the way I see it the 360’s is holding the PS3 back. If the 360 had a Blu-ray drive or even a HD-DVD drive at least it would all be on the developers. For now the only game to use a 50GB Blu-ray disc is MGS4 and I am sure that the space is used up mostly for the Cutscenes. Developers need to step up and use the Space on Blu-rays and use the PS3’s full capabilitys.

    I am happy to hear the Developers respond to the issues and not just hide from the public. I hope they do decide to patch it and make it look the best it could be.

  16. Some people really need to get a life.

    “Hey the nose hair on the splicer in the 360 version is sharper”

    “The big daddy is one pixel smaller on the PS3. Look I took a screenshot with my ruler and the hot chocolate my mommy made me”

    Give me a break!

  17. It’s sad to see, that a developer is not possible to make it quiet good, as it on the 360 was.
    The releases are about a year apart.
    Other developers are also able to code “good” on PS3!
    If you compare 360 and PS3, you have to say that the PS3 is the more powerfull system. So they had to deliver the same quality or even better.
    The game is still good, but for me there is no reason to buy it anymore.

    Big dissapointment.

  18. I think the blur side-effect makes the game look not just different than x360 version

    It is less appealing… I would prefer sharper clearer images

    Whatever… its a good game and I would rather be able to play on my PS3 in some diminished form than not at all.

  19. I got the Xbox 360 version, but I really don’t see a huge difference between both of them on the screenshots.

    What I do really think is that it’s great that 2K really cares about what gamers think about a version of the game and that they can clarify it.

    For me that’s more important than some blurry images.

  20. Dear Elizabeth: I must say that when the rumors started, I was the first to defend. “People who made such a stellar game will not ‘phone-it-in’ on the port, the way some of my other favorite games were ruined” I knew for sure your team would do what was (left un)done with Lost Planet and Orange box. I have been confident you would step up to the GTAIV standard, where it actually utilized the more robust hardware to deliver a superior version. The big daddy pix comparisons going around DO NOT look worse on PS3, I found it hard to believe people were grasping at straws like that…Until I saw your own pics that you just posted. You have single handedly convinced me I was wrong, and that this version is visably inferior. I was SO excited for Bioshock ps3, and now I see what has been done. It is blurry and less detailed. It is darker and less beautiful. I fail to see how you could let this happen. Ive been advertising and promoting and begging people to give this game a chance, because it is such a wonderful game. And then you go and make a CLEARLY graphically inferior version for my console. Now we can all sit back and watch everyone laugh at us, yet again, for our console purchasing decisions. Maybe if developpers started making games for the harder platform first, instead of continually complaining how ‘difficult it is’ to program for, they wouldnt have this problem. But alas, the jury is out, and your pics have convinced me that I wont be getting this game. Not because its a poor game, your team is brilliant. Which is why we are that much more disapointed in you. You really could have done better. How something can look worse at a higher resolution and framerate is beyond me. Apparently, its beyond your programmers as well. Again, this is not an attack, but a sincere letter. The game itself would still be pure genius, even if it looked like an MPEG4 video; the art direction is stunning. But you folks missed the mark, big time. And you’ve lost a customer. Probably not important to you, but it is to me. I appreciate your honesty though, and Im rooting for you guys. I just wont be buying the game because it should have been, at the very least, graphically comparable to the original. Every developer that makes a poor port for their game on PS3 looks bad, because the numbers are there. The specs are higher. You have a bluRay disc for content delivery. People are not happy when you do less with more, its unbecoming, and there is just no excuse for it. Hard to program for? You promised equal visuals, you didnt deliver, end of story. Good luck with that and the rest of your endevours.

  21. i played the ps3 demo and it was fine. it ran very smoothly for me.

    seriously guys, 99% of people who purchase this game wont care or even have heard about these issues. and they will never know. they will enjoy the game and tell their friends.

    if you cant tell the difference without persuing side by side screenshots then maybe its not that important. seriously.

  22. Bioshock is doing terrible numbers on the PS3… it’s a 360 game, there was no reason to bring it there, and now there is even less of a reason to waste money bringing number 2 to the PS3.
    If PS3 users want to play it they can get the PC version… There, …case closed. I just saved 2K millions.
    By the way I rented out of curiosity for the PS3, it’s not just a filter, no how, no way.

  23. Bioshock 2 could and Should be superior, at the very least graphically equal to 360 bioshock 2. lets hope they don't drop the ball, and actually really use the potential of the PS3! It's basically New technology that requires a little different approach. The system has an edge up on the 360 with hardware(even if only slight) and so many developers are still not using it right… crappy… Ps3 is the Flagship system and the pinnacle of home consoles. Put some time into it and polish it right! KillZone2 just came out and it's about time to see a developer push the ps3. Killzone makes Halo3 look last gen.