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Madden Controversy |

As many of you have heard, the latest in the mega-hit Madden series, Madden ’08, runs at a full 60 FPS on the Xbox 360 while running only at 30 FPS on the PS3.

I downloaded the IGN head-to-head video and I can’t see this difference. However, the video itself is encoded at 30FPS which makes it pretty useless in this regard.

Technical Question: Why is the frame rate such a simple even number? Usually, frame rates fluctuate constantly depending on the complexity of the scene and the amount of game activity that may consume system resources. Do these titles really generate a perfectly constant frame rate? It won’t drop to 25 FPS when there is a lot of action going on and the player is looking at a busy scene and the frame rate won’t jump to 35 FPS when when the game is relatively idle?

Why would Sony allow this to happen with such a big name title? I can’t imagine that Sony wouldn’t just send over a few of their brightest guys to pull a few all-nighters and fix this. This could be a simple technical issue just as they say. However, it’s hard not to be suspicious that this issue could be entirely political in nature.

EA issued a statement trying to downplay this flaw and cite limited experience with the PS3 hardware compared to the 360. For launch titles, that may have been passable, but now that sounds like a really lame excuse.

EA recently blamed its recent poor financial performance on investing so heavily in platforms such as the PS3. This is their biggest series for the PS3 and it’s being drowned with completely negative headlines. If they were serious about selling well on the PS3, you think they would have avoided this.

I don’t play Madden (or any sports games) and I don’t know how much of an impact this defect is. But even if the defect itself is small, the way that these issues tend to dominate all media coverage of the title can really dampen anyone’s enthusiasm.

  • derrickgott007

    The simple answer is that EA is LAZY and will not take the time to port things CORRECTLY to the PS3. They gave the excuse “Oh everyone has problems in the first year”…..Ummm, did you forget that this is the SECOND Madden Game on the PS3 EA???

    The only way they will ever learn is for us to STOP BUYING EA GAMES.

    NASCAR 08 has frame rate issues too….

  • Darrin

    Lazy? Selectively lazy with only the PS3 version? Too lazy to allow Sony support staff to fix the frame rate for them? Sorry derrick, I don’t buy that.

    This kind of thing may be due to developer bias or political influence or it may be a completely legitimate technical issue that is totally politics free: we can only speculate. But lazy? That doesn’t make much sense.

  • Sporty

    It’s not that EA is lazy (That’s Day1 studios for the piss poor Ubisoft ports). It’s completely politics on this one. EA entered into a exclusive marketing agreement with EA this year. You can bet the 30fps on PS3 is that way for a reason. So MS has the abilty to say twice as fast in marketing hype. MS is paying for most of Madden’s Marketing this season, other then the 60/30fps they also get the slap their 360 logo on the end of commercials for it.

    But this does help the ignorant fanboys thinking 360 has the better version. In reality they are basically the same. But most of them always overlook that First party Sony sports games run at higher resolution and 60fps with better textures. Personally I haven’t bought a Madden game since 2001. Not much of a sports fan so no biggie for me.

  • pickles

    A polished turd running at 60 frames per second is still….a polished turd. Madden is a moneygrab, year in and year out. The less effort, the more revenue, assuming the public still buys, which they obviously do. Plus, shouldn’t the fact that the PS3 version of COD4 is confirmed to be running at 60FPS with full AA be enough to satisfy any zealots claiming “teh PS3 sux”?

    Look no further than the GoW series to see what a capable, patient developer is able to do with supposedly underpowered hardware. Now, we all know the PS3 isn’t underpowered. Worry not.

  • Rjcc

    Having a locked framerate is much better for gameplay, especially in a game like madden where timing is so important.

    The reason why its 30 or 60 should really explain itself.

    EA probably looked at the ps3’s sales figures in NA so far and figured it was a better investment to concentrate on the 360 version this year. If things change next year, so will their focus. The transfer of executives probably didn’t have anything to do with it, considering how late in development that would have happened, but I’m sure they had a chance ot see the monthly sales early in the year and make a decision.

    it also might benefit EA to focus on the 360 version because of its ability to distribute ads in that one, but not on the Wii and PS3. 60fps makes for a much smoother game compared to last years

  • MeToo

    LAZY? Having to polished games into making it 60fps will be a simple waste of human power = money.

    Everymonth a game is delay, you do realize that you still have to pay all those programer$.

  • MetalProxy

    I seen a video on youtube about the 360 version. Its absolutley not perfect neither, there are big bad bugs. I dont remember the name of it right now will be back with name later. Madden Games Suck! and EA

  • MetalProxy

    Check out this Youtube video and try and tell me the 360 version is still the superior version…” XBOX 360 JOHN MADDEN FOOTBALL 2008 BUGS !!!! “

  • I really don’t care about the frame rate on this game. The animationis still PS2 level. I’ll wait for that Indiana Jones kinematic animation that Lucasarts was demoing. That will be a football game worth getting and waiting for. 08 looks like a polished PS2 game. And yes my last version of football was the one that launched with the PS2.

  • Darrin

    Wow, great points.

    The 360-oriented Madden ads do show bias. It may be nothing more than the ads but that could imply some tighter business connections between the Madden devs and Microsoft.

  • Rjcc

    LOL, EA, every blog on the internets except this one and n’gai, and that guy from 1up, the ps3 sure has it rough with all that bias.

  • Darrin

    Very sarcastic Rjcc 🙂

    Glad to see you’re still posting.