The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a television commercial for the Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII
because it featured footage from the PlayStation 3 edition.
The ASA ruled that the ad cannot be aired again in its current form because it breached advertising standards codes against misleading advertising, reports consumer news website Gamespot
The advertisement in question was brought to the ASA's attention by a viewer who claimed that the footage shown was from the PlayStation 3 version of the game, when the advertisement itself was for the Xbox 360 version. Square claimed that the footage wasn't rendered by either console, but rather that it was full-motion video cutscenes simply played back on the PS3
According to the ASA, the viewer in question felt as if the game's PS3 images were sharper than those shown on the Xbox 360. The ASA tested the two games side by side, and said: "We noted there was a discernible difference in the picture quality of the two; the PS3 image in video sequences appeared sharper and colors were more vivid than those of the Xbox 360."
Square Enix disputed that there was a substantive difference, conceding that only at high definition could subtle differences be observed due to the viewing hardware. The company claimed only a viewer who was "reviewing the materially forensically" would notice any difference.
Ultimately, the ASA decided "the use of PS3 footage in the ad exaggerated the quality of the footage available on the Xbox 360, albeit marginally." The subsequent decision to ban the ads comes five months after the release of the title in America and Europe.
Square had previous faced criticism about the differences between the two versions of the popular RPG when altered PS3 screenshots were presented as Xbox 360 screenshots. The company later apologized for this action, calling it a "mistake", and released screenshots that corresponded to the proper version of the title.