For years now, Konami has been showing off just how good Metal Gear can look on next-generation hardware. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions are some of the best-looking games ever made — and, while some games go through notable graphical downgrades before launch, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain just looks better and better each time fans get to see it.
Of course, the current generation consoles aren't the only platforms that Metal Gear Solid V is coming to: while most other publishers have left the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in the dust, Konami is bringing MGSV to last-gen consoles. It's been a long time since fans have seen anything from the last-gen versions of the game, but don't worry: Konami hasn't forgotten about you.
In a post on the game's official website, Konami went into detail about the graphical differences between the current- and last-gen versions of the game. Obviously, the older hardware can't exactly hold up next to the power of the PS4 and Xbox One, but the last-gen versions are no slouch, either.
First up is a comparison between Sony's two platforms. Right off the bat, it's easy to tell that most of the fancy graphical effects present in the PS4 version haven't made the jump to the PS3 version. Depth-of-field is the most notable, as the PS4 version of Snake is blurred when zoomed in, and the anti-aliasing on the next-gen versions is a step up from the PS3 build. The next-gen version is also more detailed than the last-gen version, with foliage being noticeably cleaner on the PS4 — but there's a reason for that.
When gamers usually complain about resolution, it's a minimal difference: unless you're playing in a movie theater, chances are you won't notice the difference between 1080p and 900p. However, the gap between the current- and last-gen version of Metal Gear Solid V is pretty noticeable: newer hardware is able to run the game at full 1080p, while the older machines are forced to scale the game up to 720p. Basically, the PS4 version will have a more detailed, crisper image, while the PS3 version may look a bit blurry on some televisions.
Comparisons between the Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions of the game are relatively similar: depth-of-field, anti-aliasing and overall picture detail are superior on Microsoft's latest machine. However, it's really not as bad as one might think: while it's obvious that next-gen hardware is the way to go for fans who want the best graphical picture, the 360 version is far from ugly.
It's amazing that the game can even run on last-gen hardware, let alone look as good as it does. Granted, it's impossible to tell how well the game will run — screenshots are great, but they don't show how smooth a game plays. Even so, it doesn't look like last-gen players are getting stuck with a sub-par version of the game... it's just not quite as pretty.
The differences between the console versions may be immediately noticeable, but spotting differences between the current-gen and Steam versions is a bit trickier. While there are slight graphical differences between the PS4 and PC versions of the game, the resolution makes a bigger impact than anything else. While 1080p is great, 4K is even better — and that's what the PC version is running at.
Again, the changes are subtle, but when you start studying the finer details, it's easy to see how the bump in resolution helps. Everything is so crisp and clean at 4K that even the 1080p picture looks a little fuzzy by comparison (it's a bit easier to see the differences with the full-res pictures). However, as with all games running at 4K resolutions, it'll take an absolute beast of a computer to run MGSV at a solid 60fps... but, if your machine has the necessary power, the PC version is definitely the best-looking version out there.
When it comes down to it, every version of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain looks great. True, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions don't have the same kind of visual fidelity that other versions do, but even then, the games still look good. Of course, if you have a PC from the future, playing MGSV in 4K will look amazing — then again, you won't be making much of a sacrifice if you choose to stick with the console versions.
Regardless of platform, the game is almost here: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain hits store shelves on September 1.