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Orange Box PS3/360 Comparison Video |

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve heard that the popular Half Life Orange Box title is supposedly substantially worse on the PS3.

Judge for yourself:

The videos really don’t look that different except during the hovercraft portion. During the hovercraft section, the PS3 version shows the text “Quicksaving…” while the 360 version does not. The PS3 version is noticeably choppy until the Quicksaving prompt disappears and then the game runs smoothly. That is really odd to put that Quicksaving section in only one platform during a head to head comparison.

To some extent, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy: whether the game actually has problems or not doesn’t really matter. With high-profile journalists at 1UP, EGM, and IGN giving this such negative commentary, most online-aware gamers are fully convinced before ever seeing the product themselves.

Case in point: F.E.A.R. After reading IGN and other previews, I was fully convinced the PS3 version was terrible. I was so convinced, I posted this to help get the word out so that PS3 owners didn’t waste their money. However, when I rented it and got the chance ot actually play for myself, I found that it was actually completely fine compared to the PC version. It wasn’t “dead in the water” or terrible or any of the other hyperbole the gaming press used to describe how terrible the PS3 version was. The tech was completely fine. Even after studying hi-res comparison videos in slow-motion, I couldn’t spot the slightest lighting flaw, or frame rate drop or texture deficiency. The game was rather repetitive and formulaic, but compared to other platforms, the PS3 version ran completely fine. Either I got a special version of the game that didn’t lacked these major graphical glitches or this is simply anti-PS3 platform bias masquerading as an objective comparison.

BTW, regardless of which version of Orange Box looks better, neither version in those videos look as good as other recent shooters such as Call of Duty 4 and UT3, or even Resistance or Gears of War from 2006.

  • derrickgott007

    Darrin, can you include a link to the SD version of the comparison? I don’t have the bandwidth to stream a HD video….It just plays 2 seconds and then buffers for 40.

  • Kamesen

    My question is: Does the 360 version not Quicksave at all? I remember playing Half Life for the PC, and quicksaving was almost instantaneous. Its understandable that the PS3 version would have framerate issues if it was saving and rendering at the same time, whereas the 360 version wouldn’t have framerate issues if it didn’t quicksave at all, but does it? I dont know where to find an answer to that. Boo 1up, boo Gamespot.

  • Yeah, I too read, that the quicksave function is PS3 only^^ Dunno if they made that on purpose^^

  • Solid_Nat

    I had intended to stay clear of this game altogether but to be honest after seeing this comparison i think the PS3 version looks better, especially the water effects, if the only thing affecting this is slow down, something i hardly notice anyway, then i think i will pick this up after i have finished Uncharted.

    Oblivion has some slow down when its autosaving but thats still an amazing game, i feel it would be ashame to miss out on the brilliant story and gameplay in Half Life because compared to another system it chops up a bit more, thanks for restoring my faith in buying this title Darrin.

    ….. i wonder if the quicksave option can be disabled…….

  • p3ngu

    Ehm, isn’t the quicksave when you press “start” on the controller? If that bothers you, don’t press it? …

  • Jason

    Isn’t that a level from the original Halflife 2. The one from 3 years ago. Didn’t they do a comparison of Halflife 2:Episode 2?

  • to be fair, 1up has recently reiterated that the ps3 version is fine now, and still a great buy if you don’t have access to the other versions.

  • Michael

    Okay….ugh…this sh!t is really getting old, and i’m starting to feel like developers are not only taking advantage of us but apparent think we are idiots. The best way to get things accomplished and changed is power in numbers. The Half-Life series and the Orange Box package is great for it’s price even with all of it’s technical problems, which from the review on ign, seems to be very severe, and yet, with such a great game or any game at this point in the ps3 life cycle having technical issues is totally and completely unexceptable; and for this, to make an example and secure that we demand quality games on our system, we should all not buy it, in fact, I think we should protest Half-Life for the ps3 and have the member and reads here sight it to get more attention. The game sounds great, but I’m really tired of excepting not just bad but horrible ports-ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, DAMN IT!!! If you buy this game, ports will continue to be completely unexceptable and things won’t change, and I’m making a stand for change. Please support your hobby and you spend your hard earned time and money on and ensure that we except no less than anyone else is getting. Please submit your thoughts.

    To Henning: Please don’t take this the wrong way, but i’m starting to think that you have some vendetta against ign for some reason, and I think that you give the ps3 software ports a lot more credit than they deserve. For example, you mention fear for the ps3 being a pleasing port to you, but, and I have no idea how you missed this, but, while there isn’t a lot of slow down, though, inferior to the 360, the graphics “DO” look pretty lack luster compared to the 360 which is immediately apparent to me, and the load times are even worse, and that’s not just my opinion. The long standing point that people such as myself are making is that, while, current me if i’m wrong, think that it’s okay to have an inferior ps3 port as long as it’s not that bad, but to me, it diffentially isn’t. My making comments like that you are encourage game developers to continue to make sucky ps3 ports, which isn’t good. As far as the Half-Life side-by-side video is concerned, I think you need to look at the video again at full screen. The boat seen shown, while not in it’s entirety, does have noticeable slowdown that did interfer with my being ingrossed in the experience. While I enjoy your site, I also really enjoy reading IGN as well, and I don’t know why you keep attacking them. You could just simply post your opinion of a game and leave it at that. Sorry if I came off in a rude way, I don’t mean to, I just expect higher standards than you do with software and tend to disagree with you a lot.

  • Darrin

    Michael, thanks for the well thought out comment.

    First, I wrote this post (I = Darrin) and the last post that was critical of IGN, not Henning. It says on each post who the author is.

    Secondly, while I agree that PS3 owners shouldn’t support inferior ports, I really believe some of these ports simply aren’t as bad as sites like IGN say they are. However, I think some of these head-to-head comparisons are heavily skewed. Why did the PS3 version of the Half-Life video use the quick save feature to slow down the game? That’s blatantly skewed. And F.E.A.R is a good example of when the IGN and other media elite provided “objective” analysis that wildly conflicts with the end product that I saw. And if you disagree with me, I’m glad you are speaking up.

    Also, I my posts on IGN have been critical, but I definitely have admiration for them as well and I will post some of that in the future. Their review scores in particular are probably the most meaningful and well thought out scores out there. There are other media outlets that I don’t even bother criticizing such as Maxim. Maxim is an otherwise hilarious magazine, but their game coverage is clearly advertisement controlled junk

  • derrickgott007


    I couldn’t agree more. Why do people have a hard time realizing that side by side videos are ALWAYS skewed? I have yet to see one that is fair. They either have rgb full range turned off resulting in a washed out picture or they intentionally do quicksaves to lag the visuals.

    I noticed that after it stops quick saving it is just as fast as the 360 version. Also, if you notice the water effects when gordon is walkin/swimming, the water looks more convincing.

    But in closing I totally agree with you. Sorry if I mispelled or left out punctuation as I am typing this on my palm treo over my pizza lunch.

  • Michael

    Sorry Henning, i’ll be more careful next time and look at the author. Darrin, I’m glad that we can have a debate like this- it’s fun and makes me view things from a different perspective. In the end…I probably will buy the orange box for my ps3, but I still believe that there isno reason for ports to have slow down, especially since ur3 runs so well even compared to the pc version. I just hate to hear when great games like Half-Life could run better.

  • Darrin

    Michael, now those are very easy statements to agree with.

  • Michael

    oh, okay darrin, I guess your just gonna let that sob say that shit.