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.