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Games Already Filling Blu-Ray Discs

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the really-pretty-games dept.

334

Eurogamer reports that according to Sony's Phil Harrison, PS3 launch titles are already getting close to the 25 GB limit on Blu-Ray discs. He views this as a positive thing, and suggests that the company will up the limit on the media format to 50 GB sometime next year. From the article: "Harrison also responded to questioning about the claim that the capacity of Blu-Ray will be used simply to provide more high definition movie sequences, effectively filling the discs - and games - with non-interactive content. 'It's not just about graphics,' he said. 'It's about 7.1 audio, it's about speech, it's about having up to 1080p movies built into the game; it's high-res textures, it's animation, it's everything that goes into making a very rich and varied next-gen experience. Partly it's visual, partly it's sound, and partially it'll be down to gameplay benefits as well - more levels, more detail, richer experiences.'"

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Wow...25 Gigs of content! (3, Funny)

sgant (178166) | about 8 years ago | (#16467337)

Though look at it this way, 25 gigs of crap is still crap.

Re:Wow...25 Gigs of content! (0, Offtopic)

elrous0 (869638) | about 8 years ago | (#16467449)

Nintendo may be a little shortsighted in is lack of support for HDTV, but at least they haven't forgotten about gameplay COMPLETELY (as Sony seems hell-bent on doing). I think Sony has gotten so much into this "we're building a media center that will dominate your living room" mentality that they've forgot to design a game console too.

-Eric

Re:Wow...25 Gigs of content! (-1, Troll)

tbannist (230135) | about 8 years ago | (#16467707)

I fail to see how Sony has forgotten about gameplay at all.

Oh, I'm sorry, did I interrupt your pointless Sony bashing?

Re:Wow...25 Gigs of content! (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | about 8 years ago | (#16468071)

Nintendo completely redesigned their controller to make games more fun, while Sony added capacity so people can watch high-resolution cutscenes. Just because a large group of people all disagree with you doesn't mean you're the one doing the thinking.

Re:Wow...25 Gigs of content! (1)

JohnSearle (923936) | about 8 years ago | (#16468475)

Nintendo completely redesigned their controller to make games more fun, while Sony added capacity so people can watch high-resolution cutscenes. Just because a large group of people all disagree with you doesn't mean you're the one doing the thinking.
Perhaps you're overgeneralizing the concept of 'fun'...? I'm probably more pro-Nintendo than the next guy, but I find myself hard pressed to say that Nintendo is attempting to add entertainment, whereas Sony is not.

It may be that my idea of entertainment consists more of visual immersion, rather than physical immersion. Perhaps I would like fuller cinematic experience, rather than a differing style of interface. Perhaps my notion of 'fun' differs from yours.

Attacking Sony as not attempting to increase the fun factor is a little shortsighted, and seems to me to be more of a stereotyping of wants of 'gamers' than any sort of conclusive fact.

- John

Re:Wow...25 Gigs of content! (0)

ResidntGeek (772730) | about 8 years ago | (#16468731)

Gamers want to game. They want to enter a virtual world and interact with it. That's what games are for.

You want to sit back and watch movies. That's fine, but don't think of yourself as a gamer. Think of yourself as an interactive movie watcher. Gamers care about the _games_, not their interfaces.

Re:Wow...25 Gigs of content! (1)

name*censored* (884880) | about 8 years ago | (#16467523)

Yeah.... they should think about switching the gameplay up a little, instead of churning out the same thing with different graphics and changing all the names.

Re:Wow...25 Gigs of content! (1)

Canthros (5769) | about 8 years ago | (#16467945)

Yes, but now it's 25 gigs of crap that takes all afternoon to load!

Re:Something's law (2, Insightful)

Bastian (66383) | about 8 years ago | (#16467983)

Is there a name yet for "The enjoyability of the game is inversely proportional to its graphic design and art budget"?

Re:Something's law (2, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | about 8 years ago | (#16468445)

That depends upon if nudity is involved in this budget..
Oh gameplay enjoyment... that kind of enjoyment.. I get you..

Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16468159)

Though look at it this way, 25 gigs of crap is still crap.

IMHO, 25 gigs of crap is a lot worse than 4.7 gigs of crap!

Re:Wow...25 Gigs of content! (2, Insightful)

Necreia (954727) | about 8 years ago | (#16468851)

Okay, what's the deal with this.
1- Game developers no longer have to struggle to stuff textures / data / whatnot into small packages and use customer extractors in order to not run out of space.
2- Pre-instantiated level data (ect) can be stored in the free space, cutting down in loading speed in some commonly repeated code blocks.

That's not all, but I am EXTREMELY excited about these in particular as a developer. This gives a lot more workroom to fight less with hardware restrictions in order to make a great game... meaning they can work more on a great game!

What's with /. lately? I know that bashing Sony is the 'cool' thing to do, especially when people karma whore-- but is that really worth rejecting expansions in technology?

Don't people remember "Nobody will ever need more than 640k RAM!" -- Bill Gates 1981?

Hi Rez Content (0, Troll)

Neo_piper (798916) | about 8 years ago | (#16467367)

It's worth it because, you know, EVERYONE has a 1040i tv now

Re:Hi Rez Content (1)

ebingo (533762) | about 8 years ago | (#16468435)

not me. I have a 1080i tv set.

Re:Hi Rez Content (1)

malzraa (1012921) | about 8 years ago | (#16468439)

Yeah, along with there 136V electricity and 11/120 Ethernet. Not to mention those three-wheeled cars.

Interesting.. (4, Insightful)

tont0r (868535) | about 8 years ago | (#16467371)

It reminds of me when there is a road that is far too busy, then they spend 5+ years expanding the road, only to have it not be wide enough for the new amount of traffic.

Re:Interesting.. (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | about 8 years ago | (#16467527)

True, and it happens quite often. When you build new roads, you don't reduce congestion (except in the short term), you just encouarge more people to live along those roads, until you're back where you started. I've always thought it would make more sense to toll the roads at peak hours until congestion isn't much higher than off peak hours. That -- the hit to the pocketbook -- would do what petty little "tax credits to buses" or what not, haven't done, which is to get people to use more efficient forms of transportation. If you don't like the idea of "paying for a road twice", then redistribute all proceeds net of operating costs to the residents of the area equally. Don't drive, you get free money.

But back to the topic of BluRay: this seems to me like they're just not even trying to use better compression algorithms.

Re:Interesting.. (1)

supabeast! (84658) | about 8 years ago | (#16468039)

But back to the topic of BluRay: this seems to me like they're just not even trying to use better compression algorithms.


That's the whole point! Instead of icky, downsampled, compressed images and sound we'll finally have high-quality stuff.

Re:Interesting.. (2, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | about 8 years ago | (#16468181)

I've always thought that "building bigger roads just causes more people to move there" argument was flawed myself. Those people didn't appear out of nowhere, they were going to have to live somewhere, the fact that they filled in the area just as the road expanded probably doesn't mean that much either, since road expansions are often correlated with new housing developments anyway.

It drives me nuts when the anti-suburban-sprawl types try to argue that everybody should live in the city along the mass transit lines when nobody can actually afford to do that, and they can't afford to do that because the new housing growth has been choked up so much that demand far outstrips supply and the prices skyrocket. Couple that with the fact that renting is a losing proposition monetarily and your choices for living in the city are basically nonexistant.

Re:Interesting.. (2, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | about 8 years ago | (#16468557)

I don't know if you're calling me an "anti-suburban-sprawl type" who argues "that everybody should live in the city along the mass transit lines", but that would be an error. All I want is to be able to live in a large city, affordably, without an extremely long, stressful commute across overcrowed roads. I'm fortunate in that I found work in a smaller (though still internationally famous) city that doesn't have traffic problems, but it would be nice if I didn't have to live so far out to avoid it.

I wonder if people really consider their alternatives appropriately. For "free" roads into town, you get a long, stressful, ~2 hour/day commute. How much of your life are you missing because your commute is ~3 times longer that it has to be? Would it be that bad if tolls made it so you could take a private bus to work in 1/3 of the time (or drive alone if you could afford the tolls)? (NOTE TO PEOPLE WHO ALWAYS MISREAD MY POSTS: I'm not saying people "should" ride buses, or that they should be forced into it specifically, or that there should be some petty system of incentives to push them in that direction. I just expect that to be the emergent result of appropriate peak hour pricing.)

As for "more roads bring congestion", I don't see why it's hard to grasp. At the moment the roads are widened, the farther-out sites are more attractive: "Hey, cheaper land, farther from the rabble, same commute time." But then EVERYONE thinks this way, and the aggregate effect is that those wider roads are no longer so sparse. You can ask anyone involved in transportation engineering for 20 years, and they'll tell you the same thing.

And as for better city-living alternatives, the sprawl-hating power-trippers are part of the problem in wanting to micromanage every such development, even though developers would love to build nicer, denser, safer housing there.

Re:Interesting.. (1)

K'Lyre (600056) | about 8 years ago | (#16468797)

I drive on a 'free' road into work all the time. It takes me 15min tops to get to work. If I speed I can get there in 8. I live in BFE and work in a different BFE. City life isn't necessary by any stretch of the imagination. I know plenty of programmers, television people, etc, that chose against big city life and have made quite a living for themselves in small towns. Granted, most of us go to the 'big city' (not that big) for major shopping and movies. But that's luxury and can afford to be taxed more. My point is... I have no point. Carry on.

Re:Interesting.. (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | about 8 years ago | (#16468637)

How many nerds remember getting their first 1-gigabyte hard disk, and being amazed at ever having to use so much space? Or finally being able to burn your own 700 meg CD-roms? How many older nerds remember enthusiastically upgrading to a 40 meg hard drive after a lifetime of using floppies? As the tech grows, the platform supports more infrastructure (data) to drive it, which eventually outgrows the platform and forces the tech to grow further, and so on.

No real surprise (2, Interesting)

cjmnews (672731) | about 8 years ago | (#16467397)

HD-DVD movies are filling their disks, without the extras, already too.

It's kind of like a law, give them space, and it will be filled.

Let's just hope the game play is good enough to justify all that additional sound and 1080p graphics.

Re:No real surprise (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 8 years ago | (#16467513)

Been the law since I got my first Hard Disk. 260 MB seemed like so much. I bet even older people felt the same way about their 40, 20 or even 10 Meg drives.

Re:No real surprise (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | about 8 years ago | (#16467663)

Exactly how old are you? I'm 23, and my first hard disk was 20MB. I wouldn't consider myself to be old.

Re:No real surprise (1)

Amouth (879122) | about 8 years ago | (#16467853)

i am 23 too.. and i remember not having a hard disk for along time...

Re:No real surprise (1)

1010110010 (1002553) | about 8 years ago | (#16468297)

I'm 25 and my first hdd was 30mb. Ah... the good old days.

Disk size (was Re:No real surprise) (1)

sowth (748135) | about 8 years ago | (#16468869)

I'm 33 and my first computer didn't have a hard drive, just a floppy. I think each floppy could hold 128k on each side. Yes, you had to flip it over.

For hard drives, I think my first was 1 Gig. Maybe less, because I can't remember how big it was on my first IBM compatible. Old age can make the memory fade. ;-)

Unless you count my dad's TI computer--wasn't really mine. It didn't even have a floppy or any storage at first. I think it had 16k of RAM. Eventually he bought a cassette tape drive...

Re:No real surprise (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | about 8 years ago | (#16468631)

I'm 26, almost 27 - and my first hard disk was a thundering 230MB.

Okay, I was a bit late in buying it - but it was a SCSI device attached to an Atari ST. What do I win?

Re:No real surprise (1)

theanorak (533531) | about 8 years ago | (#16468049)

Also, don't forget that most devs are planning to produce a single disk for all territories (or all territories within a region) - so they'll have all the different-language versions of the game on a single disk.

Re:No real surprise (3, Insightful)

Ford Prefect (8777) | about 8 years ago | (#16468547)

It's kind of like a law, give them space, and it will be filled.

Yup. Take the original Halo for the Xbox as an example. Makes full use of the DVD storage - so much so that it almost fills a disc. Numerous gigabytes of content, with a fair amount duplicated between different maps.

Now compare with the PC version of Halo. Comes on a single CD - and contains more content too. Much less than a gigabyte, thanks to heavy compression, reuse of textures, sounds and models between maps, etc. Much more efficiently laid out, but requires a decent amount of processing grunt to decompress to a computer's hard disk. This could have been done with the Xbox version, but there simply wasn't the need. There was space available on the DVD, and there wasn't so much content to justify more aggressive compression...

It'll be more interesting to see how a blockbuster PS3 title of, say, 2010 might fill that 25 or 50 gigabytes of space. Assuming, of course, that Sony hasn't collapsed into bankruptcy and the ColecoVision 3000 isn't ruling the roost with its authentic rat-neuron-powered parasympathetic whatsit-matic gameplay.

"content" (1)

techpawn (969834) | about 8 years ago | (#16467399)

Are they talking large pretty images or actual game "content".
FFI had a lot of "content" without filling 25gig worth of space even if the graphics where 8bit.

What does the size matter if it isn't fun? (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | about 8 years ago | (#16467403)

hmmm, kinda like that whole "its not the size, its how you use it" sexual innuendo line. Seriously though, why does a game need 30 GB unless there's a freakin ton of voiceover work, cutscenes (which are not gameplay, yo), and large useless textures?

You know... (4, Interesting)

Kirin Fenrir (1001780) | about 8 years ago | (#16467415)

People piss and moan about Blu-Ray, "You don't need it!" or "Most people don't have HDTV's!" Well, some of us do. And if you don't, I'd hope that you'd prefer a format that will upgrade with you should you ever choose to get a 7.1 audio system or HDTV. When you're posting your Sony flames, just think of the irony in Slashdot posters arguing that we don't need a new technology.

Re:You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16467645)

I agree, the blue ray discs will make solid coasters.

Re:You know... (1)

coop247 (974899) | about 8 years ago | (#16467681)

Exactly, just like "No one will ever need more than 640k of memory", these anti BR flames are completely shortsighted. So you don't have a HDTV or the developer doesn't fill up the disk today, what about two years from now. Xbox people can say over and over again that they won't ever release games on HDDVD or on multiple disks, but I refuse to believe it.

Re:You know... (2, Insightful)

MeanderingMind (884641) | about 8 years ago | (#16467757)

There's a reason people piss and moan, and it isn't because Blu-Ray sucks. Blu-Ray isn't bad, but that doesn't make it desirable. DVDs have only very recently become truly ubiquitous, and many people have just finished assembling DVD collections. The idea of buying all of that again without any immediate benefit save "Someday when I get an HDTV this will benefit me" isn't very compelling. Even less so because of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray confusion.

I have an HDTV, and I'm sticking with regular DVDs until there's a clear winner for the next format and maybe even afterwards. The look great, maybe not fantastic, but good enough that rebuying my movie collection isn't appealing.

There isn't any irony in saying we don't need a new technology when we don't.

Re:You know... (5, Interesting)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 8 years ago | (#16467877)

People piss and moan about Blu-Ray, "You don't need it!"
Why do I need DRM?
When you're posting your Sony flames, just think of the irony in Slashdot posters arguing that we don't need a new technology.
I bought a Mini-disc player from Sony, the format and devices flopped in the end.
I bought a (what was considered at the time) next-generation MP3 player from Sony that couldn't play MP3s -- Flopped too in the end.

Give me reason to trust any more Sony technologies?

Re:You know... (2, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | about 8 years ago | (#16468679)

That's a tangent to the conversation. Blu-ray may end up flopping for movies (I doubt it, but it may).

We are talking about a GAME CONSOLE FORMAT. Your comments don't make much sense in that context. What you are saying is basically...

I bought a Dreamcast from Sega but the GD-ROM format flopped and no movies were released for it.

What does it matter if they are releasing things on Blu-ray, DVD, Hard Drive, HD-DVD, or punch cards? The point of the article is that next-gen games are already taking up 25 gigs so Sony's move to not use DVDs (like MS did) seems like it was a very smart one (on that issue, price could be argued otherwise).

Re:You know... (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | about 8 years ago | (#16468093)

I have a very nice 1080i plasma and a 7.1 audio sytem. Care to venture a guess as to what console I have on pre-order? Wii will be happy to give you an answer. To be honest, I love my discoveryHD and my upconverting DVD player. I watch movies/tv and a huge part of that is the visuals, but I rarely even notice a games graphics. I suppose the other half of my reasoning is that I'm tired of re-purchasing media. Why is it so difficult for them to understand that I want to be able to download media and keep it is a compact digital format?

You'll have to forgive my rambling and terrible spelling as I was called in at 2am this morning.

Re:You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16468169)

If they did away with BluRay, I might actually be able to buy one.

Gameplay (1)

techstar25 (556988) | about 8 years ago | (#16467423)

partially it'll be down to gameplay benefits as well - more levels, more detail, richer experiences
For a $500 system with $60 games, the extra space should be COMPLETELY for the gameplay benefits. Nobody cares about a cut-scene in 1080p and 7.1, really nobody.

Re:Gameplay (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | about 8 years ago | (#16467637)

I know a lot of people who would disagree with you. They think cut scenes and graphics are very important.

Personally I think they could probably save a fuck load of space (money and time) if they just did the cut scenes in real time RE4 (Gamecube) style.

Re:Gameplay (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | about 8 years ago | (#16467641)

really nobody

You mean, besides Sony's execs

Re:Gameplay (1)

Amouth (879122) | about 8 years ago | (#16467911)

I don't think they count as the "body" in nobody i belive is ment to mean "human" which am quite sure they are not. but i could be wrong

Re:Gameplay (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | about 8 years ago | (#16468589)

They might just be an army of QRIOs [sony.net]

Re:Gameplay (4, Insightful)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | about 8 years ago | (#16467977)

Nice job on the bias/assumption. I, and a ton of people I know, play the game SOLELY for the cutscenes, storyline, voiceovers, etc. The gameplay is more of a bonus for us. It all comes down to preference. I play through FF games just to experience the story. We play games as a form of interactive movie, if you will. And if this will enhance our experience, good! Just because new technology doesn't enhance YOUR experience, it doesn't mean it doesn't enhance ANYONE'S experience.

That's just the PR (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | about 8 years ago | (#16467433)

But of course, after buying that much high def textures and videos, there is no money left for the scenario (and don't tell me a DVD wasn't enough to put decent interactions, some of my favorite games only required a couple of 3"1/2)

In other words...just like every other generation? (3, Insightful)

RichardMarks (1011125) | about 8 years ago | (#16467461)

New generation of console hardware arrives with more storage. Developers use the space.

Shocking.

cutscenes (2, Insightful)

name*censored* (884880) | about 8 years ago | (#16467481)

I don't see why they don't just downgrade the cutscene quality; barely anyone watches the cutscenes more than once anyway. I can't imagine sitting there thinking "WOW LQQK AT THE 1080i CUTSCENE!!!! WHAT QUALITY!!!!!!". I CAN, however, imagine sitting there thinking "come on, come on, get back to the game already!"

Re:cutscenes (1)

Franio (964631) | about 8 years ago | (#16467837)

I CAN, however, imagine sitting there thinking "come on, come on, get back to the game already!"

Metal Gead Solid 2? I think the game actually had more cutscenes than gameplay.

Re:cutscenes (3, Interesting)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | about 8 years ago | (#16468283)

Prerended cutscenes are so 90s. I though the PS3 was powerful enough to give us high quality in game rendered cut scenes.
Besides that it's always nicer to stay within the game's world representation instead of getting a completely different view during the game.

Re:cutscenes (2, Insightful)

crswanny (949449) | about 8 years ago | (#16468377)

This is why I hate EA games. The inability to skip through the opening EA Logo splash screen, or when playing through a game numerous times and having to watch the same cutscenes over and over is such a pain in the butt. Sure, some I may want to watch additional times but for the love of everything holy, when I die on a level and need to attempt it again, don't make me watch the same opening video every f'ing time!

Re:cutscenes (1)

zoney_ie (740061) | about 8 years ago | (#16468683)

On the crummy HD-ready TVs people have bought - I sure won't be thinking "what quality".

The HD-ready logo used here is not very helpful - all it tells you is that if you stick in a HD signal, you get a picture. So many of the models being sold here for 1000 and more are crummy low-res sets, that don't even handle normal TV (not good on the interlaced PAL) and rescale *both* 720p and 1080i. For some, the only way you would get native res is to feed it with a low-res signal from your PC.

Samsung have a nice CRT HDTV that seems pretty genuine (it properly changes the picture geometry for widescreen for example - no rescaling, and handles interlaced signals - i.e. normal TV); unfortunately the large size models aren't readily available here in Ireland.

There are some decent LCD ones too, but they are all several grand, and sit alongside models of the same price that are rubbish. Try figuring out from the salesperson's answers which set is good, and which bad. (Oh, and they are fed with analogue Antenna input - so much for judging based on the picture; although it'll let you know how the set handles basic TV I guess).

It's hard to keep a straight face at the proud owners of HD ready TVs showing them off as one looks at a horribly rescaled picture with action smearing across the low-response LCD screen.

Wait a couple years before buying HD TV, blu ray players, HD DVD players or PS3s. I still think the Xbox 360 is bad value too (you probably have to own a PC anyways - so adding the cost of a basic PC to the cost of Xbox 360 = PC that will do you for years of gameplaying unless you are a quality-crazed tech follower).

W000t (4, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | about 8 years ago | (#16467491)

W00t for the 3122131 maps of 8000x6000 sqr ft Doom 6!!! I for one cant wait to shoot-shoot-jump-shoot-jump-shoot-run-strafe-shoot -crouch-shoot-shoot-shoot-jump-shoot-jump-shoot-ru n-strafe-shoot-crouch-shoot-shoot-shoot-jump-shoot -jump-shoot-run-strafe-shoot-crouch-shoot-
shoot-shoot-jump-shoot-jump-shoot-run-strafe-shoot -crouch-shoot-shoot-shoot-jump-shoot-jump-shoot-ru n-strafe-shoot-crouch-shoot-
at 1620x1280 !!

Seriously, is anyone still turned on by this??

(sorry this is a not-so-old-man rant).

I am waiting for my humble Wii =o)

Re:W000t (1)

TwoScoopsOfPig (900069) | about 8 years ago | (#16467715)

You missed the reloading. That'll be worth 1080p graphics alone! Ugh.

My dissapointment (4, Insightful)

Taulin (569009) | about 8 years ago | (#16467509)

The one thing I was dissapointed with at the TGS was that the next gen titles still used old techniques. For example, instead of using true type fonts that use vectors, and would look nice at any resolution and scale, they still used plain old bitmaps. Even worse, proper physics are still not used in games like Virtua Fighter 5 and you still get a foot through the stomach. I would expect them to use some of that extra power to calculate and fix some of these artifacts of the elder systems. If not from these first gen titles, then from the next batch at least.

Re:My dissapointment (1)

Salamande (461392) | about 8 years ago | (#16467971)

If you're waiting for a fighting game with proper physics, the Virtua Fighter series will definitely not be it. The game's far too balanced at this point to worry about the randomness that can come with true physics. Many players plan their strategies through knowing exactly how far a certain move will stagger/stun/juggle a player, every time. I agree that those high-flying juggles are rather ridiculous, but by now it's part of the game, like it or not.

Of course, I'm not saying a fighter with real physics wouldn't be great fun, just that you'd have to build it from the ground up. You couldn't just tack something like that on and expect people to run with it.

Re:My dissapointment (2, Interesting)

Ford Prefect (8777) | about 8 years ago | (#16468343)

For example, instead of using true type fonts that use vectors, and would look nice at any resolution and scale, they still used plain old bitmaps.

Truetype fonts for text and other graphical elements? That's so last-generation [valvesoftware.com] ...

Also, don't stab me in the eyes for this - but Flash could be an interesting addition for a game's controllable panels, interfaces and so on. Doom 3 was nearly there, but if you manage to get the game to run at a high resolution, you'll soon discover that it's all based around relatively low-resolution bitmaps.

If one of these über-games-consoles dedicated a core to rendering Flash elements where necessary, then there'd be loads of new possibilities. And, being an excessively common design target already, everyone knows how to design Flash animations anyway...

It's about graphics... and sound. (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | about 8 years ago | (#16467551)

'It's not just about graphics,' he said. 'It's about 7.1 audio, it's about speech, it's about having up to 1080p movies built into the game; it's high-res textures, it's animation, it's everything that goes into making a very rich and varied next-gen experience...

And yet, with all that, still no content. You can fit--how many Libraries of Congress?--onto that disc, and they're just pouring in huge textures and cinematics, higher resolution audio. Not that I'm saying that video games need to have a lot of text; maybe it's more true that video games don't really need to fill so much space.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: wake me up when we need a daughterboard for the AI or, better still, the PLOT.

Cut Scenes (3, Insightful)

BenjyD (316700) | about 8 years ago | (#16467561)

it's about having up to 1080p movies built into the game;

I was hoping that the power of the next-gen consoles would mean developers finally stop using cut-scene movies and do everything in the game engine. Why waste disk space on movie files when doing it with the game engine is smaller and better for immersion?

Re:Cut Scenes (2, Informative)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | about 8 years ago | (#16467793)

Why waste disk space on movie files when doing it with the game engine is smaller and better for immersion?

Companies do this because it's easier/cheaper to farm out cutscenes to an animation studio than to program a good scripting system and pay people to program in the cutscenes.

Re:Cut Scenes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16467905)

Because they don't listen to consumers, I'm guessing. I too *loathe* FMV. I play Dead or Alive 2U all the time (it has in-engine cut-scenes) but rarely play Dead or Alive 3 (which has FMV) because it just ruins the experience. There is a jarring change in visual style (largely because FMV is ray-traced and uses different models) and in games where your character can have a different appearance (whether this is different costumes as in Dead or Alive or a particular weapon out or whatever) the FMV doesn't reflect this.

In fact, I can't think of a single good thing about FMV - it's ugly, it takes up more space and it ruins the immersion. I'm at a loss as to why they use it. Maybe it's a case of "We've always done it this way and we've got a ton of FMV artists on the payroll" or something.

I'm not saying lose the cut-scenes: In-engine cut-scenes good, pre-rendered ones bad!

Re:Cut Scenes (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | about 8 years ago | (#16468757)

Although, Max Payne's "cutscenes" did a lot for the feel and immersion of the story, I felt. But then they took even less space, so I guess that doesn't really refute the argument...

Alternate Explanation (2, Interesting)

mikeisme77 (938209) | about 8 years ago | (#16467603)

Maybe, due to the compression problems of the Blu-Ray disc (or PS3, I forget which and too early in the morning for me to look it up) the discs are being filled because they simply aren't compressing the data as much as something that they would put on a DVD. Alternatively, maybe they are filling the discs by not compressing them simply for propaganda such as this... I don't doubt that Blu-Ray/HD-DVD discs will, indeed, eventually be necessary and very beneficial to games (short of everything being downloaded to the HDD)--especially for full 1080P. I just doubt that any game currently being made REALLY fills the entire thing using the same level of compression as a DVD (especially since I was under the [mis]understanding) that few, if any, of the launch titles would actually be full 1080p.

Thank You Microsoft (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16467651)

Thank you Microsoft for putting out your crappy Xbox 360 system with less storage space than your previous gen system so that now we have to sit through five years of pointless articles like this one.

Thank you. Your presence in the console world is appreciated.

Dumbfucks.

Re:Thank You Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16467735)

Wiiiii!

HD on PC (1)

eldimo (140734) | about 8 years ago | (#16467659)

Games on the PC has had "HD" content for years. I remember playing Quake 2 at 1025*768! And we had 5.1 sound for some time too (my first true 5.1 game was Doom 3 in 2004). How come they could fit the game on a batch of CD then?

Re:HD on PC (3, Interesting)

KillerBob (217953) | about 8 years ago | (#16467987)

Games on the PC has had "HD" content for years. I remember playing Quake 2 at 1025*768! And we had 5.1 sound for some time too (my first true 5.1 game was Doom 3 in 2004). How come they could fit the game on a batch of CD then?


Two main reasons... firstly, the ingame cinematics that actually played at that resolution were almost always rendered in real time using your graphics card's rendering power. If you take a look at the cines in a game like GuildWars, for example, you'll notice that until recently there's no lip movement at all, and even now, the lip sync leaves a lot to be desired. I mention that the cines that actually played at resolution were rendered on the fly... that's because a *lot* of games packages low-res movies to play. The movies in Civilization 2, for example, were 320x200 resolution. In KOTOR, they were 640x480 stereo. And they were all short. The Mechwarrior series? They were all short, low-res movies. If you played the game at high resolution (back when I played those games a lot, I had a 21" CRT, and usually played at 1920x1440), it became glaringly obvious when they dropped the res to play a movie full screen, then increased it again.

The other reason that they could fit those games on a CD is that there's a *huge* difference between a series of sound effects that get played back in 5.1 and an actual 5.1 soundtrack. The latter requires 6 channels of cd-quality audio for the full duration of the recording, while the former requires short audio clips and information about which speaker(s) to play them through and which volume level to use. Think of it as the difference between a MIDI file and an MP3.

Re:HD on PC (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 8 years ago | (#16468831)

If you take a look at the cines in a game like GuildWars, for example, you'll notice that until recently there's no lip movement at all, and even now, the lip sync leaves a lot to be desired.
Freelancer had lip movements and did not use pre-rendered movies for those. Also, didn't some xbox games have lip sync on characters of players integrated when someone spoke on a mic?

Re:HD on PC (1)

BenjyD (316700) | about 8 years ago | (#16468469)

Several reasons:

1) Just upping the resolution doesn't mean much. If all the textures are still designed for 640x480, the image quality doesn't get better and of course the disk space used doesn't go up. Quake 2 didn't have anywhere near the level of detail of today's games - it was designed when having 2 texture units was considered high end, wasn't it?
2) Compression. PC games are decompressed from a CD/DVD to a hard drive. Console games are generally streamed from the disk during play, limiting the amount of compression that can be used.

Re:HD on PC (1)

el_womble (779715) | about 8 years ago | (#16468865)

Because Quake 2 looks like shit. Yes, you could turn the resolution up to 11, but the textures and models looked awful in comparison today so all you ended up with was a hi-res, blocky polygon (with no rag doll physics and canned animation). The also HEAVILY re-used models and textures - to the point where many levels looked the same.

Thats why Half Life came on a CD with space to spare, and Half Life Source doesn't. Has the game play improved? No. Has the experience improved? (I'd actually say it got worse, my MacBook struggles to play HL Source). But you have to admit that the graphics actually look good at HD reolutions (I'll be eating my words in another 5 years when Half Life is released with the next engine). Where did the storage space go? Bigger textures and huge models.

Then you can look at Half-life 2. Nearly 4 GB and not a single, pre-rendered cut scene. Everyones biggest critism of HL2 was that it was too short. Is it that hard to imagine that a 40 hour + version of HL2 could have approached the limits of BluRay? Is it impossible to think that given the power of new consoles that each enemy could have its own model, texture and behaviour as opposed to facing an army of drones?

Thats when the question of gameplay starts to get interesting. Is a game better if each of your opponents actually is different. MMORPG would certainly point to yes, I don't see why that shouldn't be the same for AI based games. FPS have been hinting at this for years, but the seeing the same model running or hiding definately takes the edge off the effect.

Better Usage of 25 GB (1)

Artie_Effim (700781) | about 8 years ago | (#16467787)

Pr0n, nothing but Pr0n !!!

typical (2, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 8 years ago | (#16467859)

That seems like a typical response from Sony these days. When asked whether they're simply going to use the space for high-def cutscenes, they respond with, "No, we're going to synergistically leverage the high capacity and bandwidth of the new BluRay media format to deliver super high-resolution full motion video and multichannel surround audio."

Duplication... Seek Times (5, Informative)

adam31 (817930) | about 8 years ago | (#16467891)

One key piece here is the duplication of game data. See, while the disc capacity and the amount of RAM to be filled have increased 15x, the disc bandwidth and seek times have improved only ~2x. So there is this huge bottleneck getting data into the game.


Now, you commonly have models that reference the same textures or normal maps, and these models might be very far away from each other in the game world. You could seek around scooping up all the shared resources, but that would be really slow and loading times would be attrocious. What you really want to do is load up a giant chunk of data pre-packaged, and the only way to do that is to duplicate the shared resource. With giant disc capacity, there really is no downside except that some data gets squished further toward the "slow-read" inner ring.

Higher capacity helps gameplay by improving load times, allowing denser data to be loaded and flushed more frequently, and making the game world richer. As far as 25 gigs of pre-rendered movies goes, I don't think you'll see that. It's just not cost effective. Those cinematics cost an ass-full of money, and maybe a few games will go nuts with it. But it certainly won't be the state of the industry in 2 years or anything.

Re:Duplication... Seek Times (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16468073)

to my understanding since psx 1 the discs have a table of sectors for each "resource", unless they stick all in a huge file there is no problems with seek time, this is not a PC...

Re:Duplication... Seek Times (1)

Darkfred (245270) | about 8 years ago | (#16468535)

The drive still has to physically position the head. Do you think that only PC dvd drives have moving parts? In your world are console dvd drives operated via some magic not available to normal consumers? Perhaps it's alien technology, woooooooo spooky.

On a side note: this problem is the reason that many console game dvds are filled with blank data. So that the most of the important data gets written near the edge of the disc. The edge of the disc is faster because the head has to move less distance to seek through the same amount of data.

sloppy programmers (1)

dlc3007 (570880) | about 8 years ago | (#16467913)

Virtually unlimited storage has only made programmers more lazy. It has done nothing to make better games. One of my all-time favorite RTS games (Serf City/The Settlers [wikipedia.org] ) came on a single floppy disk.
More stuff != better game

Re:sloppy programmers (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 8 years ago | (#16468057)

Virtually unlimited storage has only made programmers more lazy. It has done nothing to make better games.
I have to agree here. I still find my self playing old adventure games that came on disks and small games like Frontier: Elite II [wikipedia.org] . Very few new games have interested me in a while.

I am however quite interested in getting a Wii though (the price is right and some of the games I hear are promising), particularly if I can get network gaming (requires decent games to come out before I will get one) with my online friends. This is coming from someone who hasn't owned a console other than the NES [wikipedia.org] his parents bought him many years ago.

Remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16467927)

Ah... Remember back in the day when games didn't worry about having THE flashiest graphics, but rather focused on being, oh i don't know, good games? I mean how much of that 25 gig do you think is actually playable content? How much of that game is actually good stuff?

We all know it's movies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16468025)

More hype. He's just trying to make it look like Sony is offering more than the competition. If they are indeed filling up the BR discs then it is pretty much just movies. It has little to nothing to do with in-game graphics. The 360 and PC seem to be getting along just fine with DVDs.

FMV movies can be great at times. Square Enix, for example, makes some awesome FMV cut scenes. But overall I honestly prefer that the in-game 3D engine be used to create cut scenes. It helps the continuity of the game if the character(s) in the cut scenes look like the character(s) you are actually using in the game.

.kkrieger, anyone? (3, Interesting)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 8 years ago | (#16468051)

Check it here. [212.202.219.162] A fully modern-looking first person shooter, in 96kB. Procedural synthesis for teh win!

This could be bad (1)

the-stringbean (884738) | about 8 years ago | (#16468175)

This strikes me as a really bad sign. Sony has given developers 25Gb of storage and they are filling it already - This implies to me that either developers are being lax about how much space their games require or Sony is forcing them to use inefficient data formats.

Developers have 3 times the amount of storage on a disc than the previous generation (over 20 times if you count the gamecube). Some of the biggest games on the original Xbox were nowhere near the 9Gb limit, IIRC Morrowind was a mere 5Gb.

I don't know what the data rate is on the BluRay drives in the PS3 but no matter how high they are there's going to be serious amounts of loading from disc. If all this space is just for high def cut scenes then it isn't too bad.. but isn't the PS3 meant to be the death of this practice due to it's enormous power?

Re:This could be bad (1)

Manmademan (952354) | about 8 years ago | (#16468371)

I don't know what the data rate is on the BluRay drives in the PS3 but no matter how high they are there's going to be serious amounts of loading from disc.
Did everyone forget all versions of the Ps3 come standard with hard drives? Load time will not be an issue this gen.

Re:This could be bad (1)

coop247 (974899) | about 8 years ago | (#16468713)

Did everyone forget all versions of the Ps3 come standard with hard drives?
Yes, all MS fanboys seem to leave this out. I thought that the hard drive was the best part of the original Xbox. Data could be cached for fast read times. For some reason MS removed the HD, so now X360 developers can't rely on the HD being there, which makes no sense. The processor speed was the only improvement, they removed the HD and kept DVDs 8Gb storage limit.

Re:This could be bad (1)

edmicman (830206) | about 8 years ago | (#16468857)

Did everyone forget all versions of the Ps3 come standard with hard drives? Load time will not be an issue this gen.
Are they loading every game disc onto the hard drive, then? So, what, you can fit one game on the drive, and then when you want to play another, you have to delete and copy the new one? Sounds fun!

The Problem for sony.... (1)

Killcrone (1014221) | about 8 years ago | (#16468187)

Thr REAL problem for sony is the competion mainly, the 360 has halo 3 (I think) coming up and that could produce a threat in itself, then combine that with the new and improved Xbox Live (includng possible updates) and there you have one-half of the equation, add Nintendo in with it's totally loyal fanbase and the "basis on fun" theme, AND the high price of the ps3 compared to the other consoles, and that all equals an uphill battle for despite the general opinoin of the public.

shovelware (1)

Speare (84249) | about 8 years ago | (#16468205)

I read the title and the first thing I thought was shovelware [google.com] . Even if it's just one big title like a huge Final Fantasy Epic, it still smacks of "we have to add 1.2 GB more stuff, I don't care if it's pencil-sketched drug-induced paranoia-invoking laser light shows, just fill the frickin' disc."

Sony obviously forgot about this (1)

automattic (623690) | about 8 years ago | (#16468263)

I have 2 words for 25GB of data Load times.......

Next-gen FPS's (3, Funny)

rlp (11898) | about 8 years ago | (#16468277)

Yes, your character may be moving through a dimly lit room where you can't see anything. But, your character is moving through a dimly lit room where you can't see anything at 1080p!!

will the games be 1080p? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16468309)

So if the actual game elements run at say, 720p, and the video cut scenes run at 1080p will sony claim that the "game" runs at 1080p? Seems like an easy way to make their games appear to be running the highest resolution without raelly doing so...

Load Times? (1)

WndrBr3d (219963) | about 8 years ago | (#16468321)

I mean, I'm no game development expert, but 25GB of assets? I'm sure a good portion of that is video content just encoded at super high bitrate, but if by chance half of that is game assets, wouldn't that lead to horrid load times?

Even without RTFA (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 8 years ago | (#16468425)

"Harrison also responded to questioning about the claim that the capacity of Blu-Ray will be used simply to provide more high definition movie sequences, effectively filling the discs - and games - with non-interactive content. 'It's not just about graphics,' he said. 'It's about 7.1 audio, it's about speech, it's about having up to 1080p movies built into the game;"

Translation: "Are we filling the disks up with cutscenes? Damn right we are!"

Why else would reviewers be describing the SIXAXIS as "cheap" or "flimsy" if it's Sony's intent that the "player" never actually pick the thing up?

overall experience (2, Insightful)

the dark hero (971268) | about 8 years ago | (#16468433)

You can say all you want about a lack of compelling content, but saying no one cares about 7.1 sound and 1080i cutscenes is a bit ironic because no one cares about your bitch rants.

The truth is, sound does enhance the overall experience as well as the visuals. Voice overs (if done well) can add dimension to characters. Yea sure, none of that really stands out if the game is crap, but that's not the point. I'm not such a technphile, but one reason i play games is for the immersion or the escapism. If added capacity on a disc will enhance my gaming experience, then i welcome the change.

Elder Scrolls Oblivion fits on 1 dvd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16468627)

Oblivion, a game with thousands of lines of spoken text, 100+ hours of gameplay, some of the best graphics of any game running at higher quality HD graphics than the PS3 is capable of, FITS ON A SINGLE DVD.

What is wrong with PS3 developers? Do these 25GB games have 500 hours of gameplay and thousands of lines of spoken text stored as uncompressesed WAV files? WTF?

Weak correlation between fun and game size (1)

interiot (50685) | about 8 years ago | (#16468651)

DS ROM's are a couple megabytes. Xbox 360 discs can hold .8GB. PSP ROM's can be up to 1.8GB. PS3 games can be up to 25GB. Are PS3 games 10,000 times more enjoyable than DS games? Are some DS games not more enjoyable than an average PS3 game?

Larger ROM size allows the game creator more flexiblity, but there's not necessarily a correlation between ROM size and more enjoyable games.

RTWC! (0, Redundant)

Masque Noir (924309) | about 8 years ago | (#16468657)

Come on! Real Time Weapon Changing ought to take a whole lot of ressources... that's a couple of Gigs right there...

How fast is it gonna read those movies... (2, Interesting)

aapold (753705) | about 8 years ago | (#16468779)

Already in something like Dead Rising, it is annoying to have to wait for the cutscenes to load. If these scenes are gonna be that much bigger in 1080p (and I have a 720p tv), are they going to take that much longer to queue up? I'm assuming the drive has to read movies fast enough to play them at your standard 29.97 fps (no, wait, progressive scan so I guess its 59.94 fps) when showing the movie, so I'd guess it is fast enough for that. Right?

Say something nice about sony? okay... um... Sony-Ericcson makes good phones.

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