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Titanfall Dev Claims Xbox One Doesn't Need DX12 To Improve Performance

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the ask-carmack-for-some-tips dept.

XBox (Games) 117

MojoKid writes: "One of the hot topics in the wake of Titanfall's launch has been whether or not DirectX 12 would make a difference to the game's sometimes jerky framerate and lower-than-expected 792p resolution. According to Titanfall developer Jon Shirling, the new Microsoft API isn't needed to improve the game's performance, and updates coming down the pipe should improve Xbox One play in the near future. This confirms what many expected since DX12 was announced — the API may offer performance improvements in certain scenarios, but DX12 isn't a panacea for the Xbox One's lackluster performance compared to the PS4. It's an API that appears to mostly address scenarios where the CPU isn't able to keep the GPU fed due to draw call bottlenecks."

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Titanfall's pros and cons (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738395)

Titanfall is a splendid game which has its debut on Xbox One, however, the jerky framerate and lower-than-expected 792p resolution mentioned above has caused this exclusive Xbox One game to further lower gamers' opinions on the console. While exclusive games usually promote a console's release, this one fails to do so...

Re:Titanfall's pros and cons (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 months ago | (#46738407)

If the framerate is jerky then they didn't plan the game properly.

There's no excuse on a console where you know the exact resources available, right down to individual clock cycles.

Re:Titanfall's pros and cons (2)

jargonburn (1950578) | about 5 months ago | (#46738529)

I have to agree with you. Did they not playtest it in anything resembling a "real" situation?
Good grief.

Re:Titanfall's pros and cons (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 5 months ago | (#46738579)

they had to wait in line like everybody else for Microsoft to actually ship the things.

Re:Titanfall's pros and cons (4, Informative)

JavaBear (9872) | about 5 months ago | (#46738663)

MS pulled a fast one at E3, wehre they used high end PC's to demo the XBox One.
IIRC MS later claimed that these were "representative" and also used for development. However, if these were the machines the devs were using to develop their game, it's no wonder they exceeded the available resources on the console.
http://www.techpowerup.com/185... [techpowerup.com]

Re:Titanfall's pros and cons (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738835)

Those machines were representative of what dev teams - even internal MS dev teams - were told the console would be capable of at launch.

XB1 Platform team MASSIVELY screwed the pooch on those promises and what the teams got was a gaming console that was startlingly bad at drawing verts and triangles. Some titles had to smash practically all non-hero asset shaders down to early DX9 era diff / spec / norm, and cut scene vert budgets to levels on par with Far Cry (the first one, with no plot and bad voice acting) and RtCW.

So, yeah. Don't blame the game dev and art teams on this one. Blame the platform team and upper management that promised hemorrhaging-edge next-gen capability and handed the game teams a TiVo with a graphics card soldered to it.

Re:Titanfall's pros and cons (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#46739261)

"XB1 Platform team MASSIVELY screwed the pooch"
No the XB1 executives that neutered the platform to increase profit margins are at fault. There is NO EXCUSE for the platform to not be 1080p and enough horsepower to easily handle everything at that resolution. The platform team had their hands tied by a bunch of idiots in suits telling them they need to make it cheaper so they can make more profits off of the device.

It wasn't profit (4, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 5 months ago | (#46740421)

They over estimated the cost of GDDR5. You can only lose so much money on your console, and Microsoft has lost massive amounts for 2 generations.

They thought the price of GDDR5 was going to be so high they console would sell for more than people could pay. Remember the $799 3DO? No. There's your answer.

They tried to make up for it by putting 64 megs of high speed on die cache, but again screwed up. The cache was expensive and took up space on the CPU die that Sony used for more Cuda cores.

So yeah, it was a money decision, but it wasn't about profit, it was about making a console people could afford. Both companies guessed, and Microsoft guessed wrong.

Re:Titanfall's pros and cons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46739053)

If the framerate is jerky then they didn't plan the game properly.

There's no excuse on a console where you know the exact resources available, right down to individual clock cycles.

On my four year old PC, Titanfall runs fine with a smooth framerate and no jerks. Not sure why anyone would want to play a FPS game on a console machine anyway.

Re:Titanfall's pros and cons (3, Funny)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | about 5 months ago | (#46740987)

I've played both and I'm actually partial to the XOne version. The game "feels" better designed for a game pad vs mouse/keyboard, and it has the pacing that's better suited to relaxing on the couch. WIth the titans, the fast twitch you get with the mouse isn't as big a deal, and the wall running stuff lend's itself better to a controller situation. I think a lot of FPS stuff fails to translate to console, but some of them can be quite good if the dev's think about it beyond "right stick == mouse look".

Re:Titanfall's pros and cons (2)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 5 months ago | (#46739561)

If the framerate is jerky then they didn't plan the game properly.

I was going to say "or test it properly", but with the number of glaring bugs I see in games these days I'm starting to think that publishers are taking the sell-it-anyway approach.

Re:Titanfall's pros and cons (1)

Lord Maud'Dib (611577) | about 5 months ago | (#46738587)

Titanfail perhaps?

Re:Titanfall's pros and cons (0)

msmonroe (2511262) | about 5 months ago | (#46738647)

Titanfall sucks!
I was able to beat the game easily!
Here's a spoiler losers, the Triforce of Courage is passed to link!

Re:Titanfall's pros and cons (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 5 months ago | (#46738731)

Then it's a good thing this isn't an exclusive release.

The trolls shall say.... (1, Informative)

CTU (1844100) | about 5 months ago | (#46738397)

Xbone just sucks compared to the PS4 so it is no wonder the system can't run the game well.

Well can't say I am upset with not having an xbone, if I really wanted this game, then I think PC would be better anyway with a decent video card at least :)

Re:The trolls shall say.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738439)

I apologize for shitting in your pants.

Re:The trolls shall say.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738611)

It's not really relevant in this case that the PS4 is the more powerful system since we're talking about a console exclusive. I've been able to handle Titanfall's lag without complaint, but then I'm so used to multiplayer lag in Call of Duty. I'm concerned about the recent Xbox 360 release of Titfanfall. The numbers are in. The game looks horrible in comparison because they've really had to wash things out in order to make it work on the 360. But then, if it keeps the kiddies on 360 a year or so longer, I'm satisfied. Eventually, Titanfall on Xbox One is going to get better; of that I don't have doubts. My opinion on this next gen is that the XB1 is the one to get now and the PS4 is the one to get further down the road after a price drop and perhaps a hardware refresh, but I'm only basing this on the game release schedules. PC is probably the best way to go with Titanfall just for the graphics. I don't get as much time to enjoy the graphics because I'm focused on the kill. The graphics are good enough that I can spot targets, unlike on say, Xbox 360 COD Ghosts where everything just sort of blends in for me. People don't talk in-game on Titanfall, so the social networking value that XBL offers is lost unless you play with a tight group that are all on the XB1. Maybe 360 will be better in that respect.

Re:The trolls shall say.... (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 5 months ago | (#46739321)

I'm glad i didn't buy one, I would have gotten *puts on sunglasses* xboned

Business as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738473)

Next release will give the performance promised, we promise!

Problem with releasing an underpowered console (5, Interesting)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 5 months ago | (#46738491)

Ok, fair enough, the XBox One is a vast improvement over the XBox 360 in many ways...

But it isn't SO much of an improvement that it is drop dead obvious.

The PS1 to PS2? Clear as day, just compare FF7 to FFX.

The PS2 to PS3? Likewise, clear as day, compare FFX to FF13.

How about before the PS1? SNES? Really, do I have to compare FF2 to FF7? :)

The XBox (original) to XBox 360, night and day...

The XBox One? Meh... it is nice, but it can't even play 1080p games, 10 years after 1080p really started to come out in any numbers.

The PS4 is better, being 50% faster (thanks to 50% more GPU resources), but it isn't THAT much better. Neither console is really "next-gen", that would have been 4K resolution.

Both are "fine", but fine just isn't going to cut it.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (2)

Saffaya (702234) | about 5 months ago | (#46738527)

The last gen (X360 & PS3) aimed at 720p native.
The current gen (Xbone & PS4) aims at 1080p native.

It seems a bit exaggerated to expect them to aim at UHD 2160p or 4k.
Just have a look at the electrical and transistor power that a PC actually needs to achieve that.
Of course, they can still output 2160p, but only with simpler games. In the same vein, the original Xbox had several 1080i games.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738581)

The last gen (X360 & PS3) aimed at 720p native.

That BS. Microsoft and Sony fanboys mocked the Wii for targeting 720p. According to them they had all the games in glorious 1080p while Wii peasant didn't had real HD.

1080p was the selling point of both 360 and ps3.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (4, Interesting)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 5 months ago | (#46738641)

Yes... In fairness, not all 1080P is equal, the PS4/XB1 can of course have more detail at the same resolution as the older consoles, but to the average person just looking at them, they are all "fine".

I showed my wife the PS4 when it came out, side by side to the PS3 (which we own 2 of), yes, she said "yea, the PS4 looks nicer, but are the games any better?".

Eh, they are of course more of the same, nothing has really changed.

This is of course a problem... :)

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (4, Informative)

Emetophobe (878584) | about 5 months ago | (#46738769)

That BS. Microsoft and Sony fanboys mocked the Wii for targeting 720p. According to them they had all the games in glorious 1080p while Wii peasant didn't had real HD.

Correction: The Wii was 480p [wikipedia.org] , not 720p.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

Narishma (822073) | about 5 months ago | (#46738923)

What? The Wii can't even output at 720p. It's max is 480p.

Hey Yankee, the world beats you again (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | about 5 months ago | (#46739413)

The rest of the planet got 576p, sucks to be you at 480p.

Re:Hey Yankee, the world beats you again (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46739509)

By upscaling the 480p signal. Woooooo

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 5 months ago | (#46739687)

Which was all the more odd when so many games still come out in only 720.
Seems like it takes a re-release to ensure it happens, otherwise it'll be 720 for the release copy.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46739925)

The wii does NOT do 720p. It does 640p.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738643)

Judging by the summary you surely mean:
The last gen (X360 & PS3) aimed at 720p native.
The current gen (Xbone & PS4) aims at 792p native.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 5 months ago | (#46738653)

The PS3 plays a lot of games at 1080p native...

There is nothing wrong with the PS4/XB1, other than for $400/$500, they don't really offer anything new.

PS1 was the first major 3D console, it was a massive improvement over the SNES.

The PS2 offered DVD, vastly upgraded graphics, etc.

The PS3 offered Blu-Ray, 1080p, and the first serious online console (from Sony).

The PS4? Meh, it is a faster PS3, but otherwise, it doesn't offer anything new.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 5 months ago | (#46738753)

Um...The PS3 renders very few games at 1080p native. Maybe a dozen titles out of the entire catalog.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 5 months ago | (#46739169)

More than that. One list [playstation.com] I found lists 33 1080p native games, and the list may not be complete (It lists upscaled games as well, which I edited out, but doesn't include any of the Final Fantasy titles, all of which I know are 1080p, although FF13, at least, is apparently upscaled). Here they are:

Bioshock
The Bourne Conspiracy
Call of Duty: World at War
Civilization Revolution
College Hoops 2K7
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli
FIFA 09
FIFA Street 3
Gran Turismo 5: Prologue
Kung Fu Panda
LEGO Batman: The Videogame
LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Marvel Ultimate Alliance
Medal of Honor: Airborne
Metal Gear Solid 4
Metal Gear Online
Midnight Club: Los Angeles
NBA 2007/2008/2009
NBA 2K7/2K8/2K9
NHL 2K8/2K9
Ninja Gaiden Sigma
NBA Street Homecourt
Quantum of Solace
Ridge Racer 7
Saints Row 2
Super Stardust HD
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection
Warhawk
Wipeout HD
Virtua Fighter 5
Virtua Tennis 3

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (4, Informative)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 5 months ago | (#46739621)

The PS3 plays a lot of games at 1080p native...

There is nothing wrong with the PS4/XB1, other than for $400/$500, they don't really offer anything new.

PS1 was the first major 3D console, it was a massive improvement over the SNES.

The PS2 offered DVD, vastly upgraded graphics, etc.

The PS3 offered Blu-Ray, 1080p, and the first serious online console (from Sony).

The PS4? Meh, it is a faster PS3, but otherwise, it doesn't offer anything new.

Um...The PS3 renders very few games at 1080p native. Maybe a dozen titles out of the entire catalog.

Don't forget the other dimension. 1080 is only 360 more than 720, but 1920 is over 800 more pixels than 1280. IMO, that's the dimension we should be talking about, since its more significant. However, per pixel calculation load scales with area, not 1/2 perimeter. So, if we look at total pixels: 1280x720p = 921,600 pixels, and 1920x1080p = 2,073,600, the difference being 1,152,000, so a lot of people don't understand that going from 720 to 1080 is MORE THAN TWICE the pixels, in pixel shader costs you might as well be rendering a full secondary screen.

Now, that's not to say the total cost in rendering will absolutely increase over two fold. Full screen effects like Bloom or HDR are going to come it at about twice the cost. Interpolating a texture coordinate to look up pixel values is cheap compared to most any shader program, even to do something like cube-map specular highlight/reflections, bump mapping (I prefer parallax mapping), shadow mapping, or etc. However, the complexity of geometry calculations can be the same at both resolutions. In a ported / cross-platform game the geometry assets are rarely changed (too expensive in terms of re-rigging and all the animations, testing, etc.) so given slightly better hardware a game at the same resolution will have the prime difference be in adding more particle effects, increased draw distance, maybe even a few whole extra pixel sharers (perhaps the water looks way more realistic, or flesh looks fleshier, blood is bloodier, reflections are more realistic, etc.)

Jumping up to 1080p makes your pixel shader cost a lot more frame time. Developing for 1080p vs 720p would optimally mean completely reworking the graphics and assets and shaders to adapt to the higher shader cost, maybe cut down on pixel shader effects and add more detailed geometry. I encounter folks who think "1080 isn't 'next gen', 4K would have been next gen" -- No, that's ridiculous. 1080p is "next gen resolution", but the new consoles are barely capable of it while having a significant degree of increase in shader complexity from last gen, and we're seeing diminishing returns on increasing the resolution anyway. So, I wouldn't call the consoles quite 'next-gen' in all areas. IMO, next gen console graphics would handle significantly more shaders while running everything smoothly at 1080p, just like the above average gaming PC I got my younger brother for his birthday which kicks both PS4 and Xbone's ass on those fronts. That would be the sort of leap in graphics scale between PS1 and PS2 or Xbox and the 360. 4K would be a generation beyond 'next-gen' because of the way shaders must scale with resolution.

One of the main advances this new console generation brings is in the way memory is managed. Most people don't even understand this, including many gamedevs. Traditionally we have to had two copies of everything in RAM, one texture loaded from storage to main memory, and another copy stored in the GPU; Same goes for geometry, but sometimes even a third lower detail geometry will be stored in RAM for the physics engine to work on. The other copy in main RAM is kept ready to shove down the GPU pipeline, and the resource manager tracks which assets can be retired and which will be needed to prevent cache misses. That's a HUGE cost in total RAM. Traditionally this bus bandwidth has been a prime limitation in interactivity. Shader programs exist because we couldn't manipulate video RAM directly (they were the first step on the return to software rasterizer days, where the physics, logic and graphics could all interact freely). Shoving updates to the GPU is costly, but reading back any data from the GPU is insanely expensive. With shared memory architecture we don't have to keep that extra copy of the assets, so without an increase in CPU/GPU speed just full shared memory by itself would practically double the amount geometry and detail the GPU could handle. The GPU could directly use what's in memory and the CPU can manipulate some GPU memory directly. It means we can compute stuff on the GPU and then readily use it to influence game logic, or vise versa, without paying a heavy penalty in frame time. The advance in heterogeneous computing should be amazing, if anyone knew what to do with it.

Ultimately I'd like to put the whole damn game in the GPU, it's not too hard on traditional memory model hardware (well, it's insane but not impossible): You can keep all the gamestate and logic in buffers on the GPU and bounce between two state buffer objects using shaders to compute physics and update the buffer as input for the next physics and render pass; Pass in a few vectors to the programs for control / input. I've even done this with render to texture but debugging VMs made of rainbow colored noise is a bitch. The problem is that controller input, drives, and the NIC aren't available to the GPU directly so I can't really make a networked game that streams assets from storage completely in the GPU alone, there has to be an interface and that means CPU feeding data it and reading data out across the bus, and that's slow for any moderate size of state I'd want to sync. At least with everything GPU bound I can make particle physics interact with not just static geometry, but dynamic geometry, AND even game logic: I can have each fire particle be able to spawn more fire emitters if they touch a burnable thing right on the GPU and make that fire damage the players and dynamic entities; I can even have enemy AI reacting to the state updates without a round trip to the CPU if their logic runs completely on the GPU... With CPU side logic that's not possible, the traditional route of read-back is too slow, so we have particles going through walls, and use something like "tracer-rounds", a few particles (if any) on the CPU to interact with the physics and game logic. With the shared memory model architecture more of this becomes possible. The GPU can do calculations on memory that the CPU can read and apply to game logic without the bus bottle neck; CPU can change some memory to provide input into the GPU without shoving it across a bus. The XBone and PS4 stand to yield a whole new type of interaction to games, but it will require a whole new type of engine to leverage the new memory model. It may even require new types of game. "New memory architecture! New type of games are possible!" Compared with GP: "Meh, it is a faster PS3, but otherwise it doesn't offer anything new." . . . wat?

As a cyberneticist, all these folks wanking over graphics make me cry. The AI team is allowed 1%, or maybe 2% of the budget. All those parallel Flops! And they're just going to PISS THEM AWAY instead of putting in actual machine intelligence that can be yield more dynamism or even learn and adapt as the game is played? You return to town and the lady pushing the wheelbarrow is pushing that SAME wheelbarrow the same way. They guy chopping wood just keeps chopping that wood forever: Beat the boss, come back, still chopping that damn wood! WHAT WAS THE POINT OF WINNING? The games are all lying to you! They tell you, "Hero! Come and change the world!", and now you've won proceed to game over. Where's the bloody change!? Everything just stays pretty much the same!? Start it up again, you get the same game world? Game "AI" has long been a joke, it's nothing like actual machine learning. It's an indication of a Noob gamedev when they claim their AI will learn using neural networks, and we'd all just laugh or nod our heads knowingly, but I can actually do that now, for real, on the current and this new generation of existing hardware... If the AI team is allowed the budget.

A game is not graphics. A game is primarily rules of interaction, without them you have a movie. Todays AAA games are closer to being movies than games. Look at board games or card games like Magic the Gathering -- It a basic set of rules and some cards that a add a massive variety of completely new rules to the game mechanics so the game is different every time you play. I'm not saying make card games. I'm saying that mechanics (interaction between players, the simulation and the rules) is what a game is. Physics is a rule set for simulating, fine, you can make physics games and play within simulations, but a simulation itself isn't really a game, at the very least a world's geometry dictates how you can interact with the physics. Weapons and some spells, item effects, etc. things might futz with the physics system, but it is very rare to see a game that layers on rules dynamically during the course of play in a real-time 3D the way that paper and dice RPGs or even simple card games do. League of Legends does a very job of adding new abilities that have game changing ramifications and the dynamic is great because of it, but that's a rare example and is still not as deep as simple card games like MtG. It's such a waste, because we have the ram and processing power to do such things, but we're just not using it.

I love a great stories, but it looks like all the big-time studios are fixated on only making these interactive movies to the exclusion of what even makes a game a game: The interaction with various rule logic. AAA games are stagnant in my opinion, it's like I'm playing the same game with a different skin, maybe a different combination of the same tired mechanics. The asset costs and casting, scripts, etc. prevent studios from really leveraging the amazing new dynamics and logic detail that are available in this generation of hardware, let alone next-gen hardware with shared memory architectures. IMO, most AAA studios don't need truly next-gen hardware because they don't know what the fuck to do with it -- Mostly because they've been using other people's engines for decades. These 'next-gen' consoles ARE next gen in terms of the game advancement they enable, even rivaling PCs in that regard, but no one is showing them off. I hope that changes. Most folks are scratching their head and asking, "How do I push more pixels with all this low latency RAM?" and forgetting that pixels make movie effects, not games. I mean, I can run my embarrassingly parallel n.net hive on this hardware, and give every enemy and NPC its own varied personality where the interactions with and between them become more deep and nuanced than Dwarf Fortress, and the towns and scenarios and physics interactions more realistic, or whimsical, or yield cascades of chaotic complexity... but... Dem not nxtGen, cuz MUH PIXZELS!!1!!1

The enemies and NPCs in your games are fucking idiots because "AI" and rules are what games are made of, and the AI team is starving to death while watching everyone else gorge themselves at the graphics feast. It's ridiculous. It's also pointless. So what if you can play Generic Army Shooter v42 with more realistic grass? Yeah, it's nice to have new shooters to play, but you're not getting the massive leap in gameplay. You could be protecting the guys who are rigging a building to crush the enemies as you retreat and cut off their supply lines. No, the level of dynamism in a FPS today is barely above that of a team of self-interested sharp shooters honing their bullseye ability. It's boring to me, great, I'm awesome at shooting while running now. So fucking what. Protip: that's why adding vehicles was such a big deal in FPSs -- That was a leap in game mechanics and rules. I'm picking on FPS, but I can leverage the same at any genre: There's little in the way of basic cooperative strategy (cooperative doesn't have to mean with other players, instead of re-spawning why not switch between bodies of a team having them intuitively carry out the task you initiate when not in the body anymore). We barely have any moderate complexity available in strategy itself let alone the manipulation of new game rules on the fly for tactical, logistical, or psychological warfare. How many pixels does it take to cut off a supply line, or flank your enemies?

it takes 480p (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46740195)

StarCraft: BroodWar had lots of flanking and expansion of resource gathering and harassment of supply lines and resource sites.

Then SC2 was released in 720p and 1080p to be WarCraft III in space. Single-player campaign is more detailed; multi-player metagame is 3base 200/200 deathball or 2base timing attack.

If SC2 had never been released, esports would be mainstream outside of Korea. In Korea, people still play BW.

SC2 is a shameful mockery of StarCraft, like Star Wars Episode 1.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#46742463)

The reason people don't think 1080p is "next gen" is because PC gaming moved on from it years ago. If you look at most of the hardware review sites they test cards at 4k or 1440p with everything on maximum detail, way beyond the current crop of consoles.

I think people expected 1080p as the absolute minimum, since that's what PC gamers expect. Even low end cards can run most stuff on medium detail in full HD.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46741153)

angry birds and solitaire dont count

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#46739269)

Current Gen does NOT aim at 1080p XB1 is not capable of 1080p.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46739667)

I would bet a lot of money that if they just recoded xbox 360 games to 1080p, they'd run just fine on the xbox one at that resolution. However, gamers have decided more background detail and atmospheric effects and all the other immersion details are more important. If they cut back on a lot of the background 1080p would be correct. 1080p is not the holy grail, its the entire thing. 720p and a lot more graphical effects may actually even look better. Yay perception

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (2)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 5 months ago | (#46740919)

PC's have been capable of 2048x1536 at 100hz since xbox 360 came out. Expecting consoles to be "just" a decade behind PC's seems reasonable.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (3, Insightful)

guises (2423402) | about 5 months ago | (#46738551)

It's not about releasing an underpowered console, it's about focusing on performance as a selling point. The Wii U can't do what either of them can graphically, but it's the only one I actually want. No DRM bullshit, no ads, no camera in my living room, the games are actually fun, off screen play... I'm getting a little sick of people treating this like it's a two horse race.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (3, Interesting)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 5 months ago | (#46738667)

The Wii U is nice in many ways, we own one. My 8 year old son and 5 year old daughter love Super Mario World 3D.

It shows that graphics are nice, but not everything, great games are great games, on any console.

The problem with the Wii U is that it is WAY overpriced for what it is. It just isn't selling and the time to get it selling has probably past, nothing Nintendo can do about it at this point.

I recently bought an Amazon Fire TV, and frankly, it has some really nice games on it that look just as nice as most of what is on our PS3. My son has been playing the tower defense game that comes with it and has been having just as much fun with it as with anything else.

For a $99 device that really is meant to watch TV with, that may be the real threat to PS4/XB1, if a $99 device is "good enough", how much demand is there for $500 game consoles?

Some, to be sure... but the price needs to come down.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 5 months ago | (#46738739)

This one just in:

ARM is starting to become more competitive and some people think their portables are adequate ;D

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (2)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 5 months ago | (#46740377)

Yep... Take a look at "Real Racing 3" on the iPad.

One of my son's favorite iPad games, it looks just as good as anything on the PS3 and it runs on a tablet.

Until we get something "new" in games, there will be a limit to how much "better graphics" can sell new systems. They are approaching "good enough" for most people, at least until something changes such as the world becoming bigger, or something else about the actual game play being new.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738565)

If you're going to complain about console performance, you would be better off gaming on a PC with 4k VR glasses. *rock on* \m/

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

naff89 (716141) | about 5 months ago | (#46738709)

This is my major sticking point, too. I upgraded to a PS2 for DVD and component video, and I upgraded to a PS3 for BR and HDMI. So I could get a PS4 and have... BR and HDMI?

Not to mention that my PS2 played PS1 games and my PS3 played PS1/PS2 games, meaning that each time I could just swap the console out and keep my current library -- I always had great games to play on them.

i like keeping both ps3/ps4 (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | about 5 months ago | (#46739515)

Dont care about running ps3 games on a ps4, i have a ps3 for that, and its updated to 500gig too. So wth PS+ and the free games, theres loads of games for ps3, ps4 days are early, so patience, its not even been 6 months.

Re:i like keeping both ps3/ps4 (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 5 months ago | (#46740463)

Nothing wrong with that, you may be happy to have a PS3 next to a PS4.

Rest assured not everyone is ok with that, many parents who are suffering from gadget overload (raises hand) don't want another box.

As it stands, we have too many, we recently canceled DirecTV to cut down on the boxes and devices, using our Roku 3 boxes (now Amazon Fire TV boxes for the parental controls) to watch TV because they are faster than the PS3.

We keep the PS3s because the kids have a game library they play and because they are our BR players.

We do have a Wii U because the kids love Mario and frankly, Super Mario World 3D is an amazing game, but that system is only there because of that and frankly it will be the last Nintendo system we ever buy.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 5 months ago | (#46740449)

Thank you for bringing up the backwards compatibility issue...

Our two main TVs each have a PS3 on them, they serve dual purple of being a BR player and a game console.

We are NOT going to have a PS4 sitting next to a PS3, we just aren't... there is already too much in front of our TVs.

If the PS4 had the ability to play PS3 games, I'd have bought one already (I had one on preorder with Amazon and canceled a few weeks before launch).

The PS4 simply doesn't offer enough to add a completely new game console. Because it doesn't play PS3 games, it might as well be an XBox One, it would have the same effect of needing all new games and needing the PS3 to remain.

My kids have a large library of PS3 games, they are good enough, so frankly, we'll be keeping those for awhile.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 5 months ago | (#46738711)

Neither console is really "next-gen", that would have been 4K resolution.

I would have been happy with true 1080p resolution. How many people actually have 4K TVs at this point? Not nearly enough to support that in a console designed for the masses, at least. 4K is pretty demanding even for PC videocards. That would have pushed the cost up by several hundred bucks with absolutely no benefit for the majority of customers.

Still, it's not like we could have expected the same massive leaps in visual quality from previous generations. After all, the 360/PS3 generation was already closing in on photo-realistic quality given ideal circumstances, so there's no helping that. From here on out, improvements to visual quality will be less noticeable even for relatively large increases in processing power. 4K takes approximately 16x the processing power to achieve (at least in terms of fill rate), but of course it really doesn't look 16x as good as 1080 resolution.

Despite my grumblings, for me it's still about the games and not really the eye candy, even though comparing transistor counts and internal resolution seems to get the press all hot and bothered. I'll probably buy the first console has an epic, must-play RPG on it, as that's definitely my favorite genre.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 5 months ago | (#46740573)

How many people actually have 4K TVs at this point?

Not many, but that will change. Within 3 years the price difference of a 4K and a 1080P TV will be pretty close.

Last year they were $10K plus, today you can get one for about $1K, give or take, and a big huge 65" one for $3K.

The prices are dropping fast, simply because they don't really cost that much more to make than current TVs.

The switch from tube TVs to LCD TVs did indeed have a MASSIVE cost, whole factories had to be thrown out and completely new factories produced.

But a 84" 4K TV is really just 4 42" panels, which really can be made today just fine and stitched together.

A 64" 4K panel is just 4 32" panels, and so on...

The same existing factories can make 4K panels and the cost will be similar very soon.

Netflix is gearing up to support 4K, Amazon won't be far behind.

Do we need another optical disc format for 4K? No, not really, streaming video will probably be enough and frankly BR has enough room that if they want to do it with H.265, they could.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (3, Interesting)

aliquis (678370) | about 5 months ago | (#46738725)

FWIV - Also 1080p games and with possibly more details and AA would still of course be nicer than 720.

Xbox, 2001-2002. 64 MB 200 MHz DDR shared graphics memory, 733 MHz PIII-ish, 233 MHz NV2A.
Geometry engine: 115 million vertices/second, 125 million particles/second (peak)
932 megapixels/second (233 MHz Ã-- 4 pipelines), 1,864 megatexels/second (932 MP Ã-- 2 texture units) (peak)
(CPU random page 3 GLFOPS, GPU? Nvidia supposedly claim 80, some Xbox book say 22 in total.)

Xbox 360, 2005-2006, 512 MB 700 MHz GDDR3, 3,2 GHz Tri-Core PowerPC, 500 MHz Xenos, 500 MHz 10 MiB eDRAM.
Maximum vertex count: 6 billion vertices per second, 240 GFLOPS
Maximum pixel fillrate: 16 gigasamples per second fillrate using 4X multisample anti aliasing. Maximum texel fillrate: 8 gigatexels per second (16 textures Ã-- 500 MHz)

Xbox One, 2013-2014, 8 GB DDR3, 1.75 GHz Octo-core AMD APU, 853 MHz AMD GCN, 32 MB ESRAM.
1.31 TFLOPS.
"Xbox One supports 4K resolution (3840Ã--2160) (2160p) video" (So for something like "New super mario bros" I guess 4K wouldn't had been impossible.)

I don't know how much you can trust the numbers but from the claimed GFLOPS numbers Xbox One with be 5.5 * Xbox 360 which would be 3 * Xbox.

But it took 4 years to get to Xbox 360 and 8 years to get to Xbox One.

Still obviously better.
Previously my impression was that consoles use close to top of the line hardware when released and as is I don't see the AMD APU as such, but it's still GTX 650-650TI area and more GK106 GTX 660 for the PS4 (looking at gflops alone.)

That isn't the best you can get but it just recently was the "reasonable budget high-end" or something such, isn't the 760 still same GPU but higher clocked? Sure going all the way to 770/780/R290X may be worth it from a price/performance perspective but it's still up there.

People have problem enough running QHD games with one graphics card. Gaming (advanced looking game) isn't something which would happen with current gen graphics so that's totally out of the question.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 5 months ago | (#46738735)

I guess one thing which may have changed is that the supposedly "PC gamers" and what is the average there may have decreased / isn't even counted for any more because so many have moved to more portable stuff so what one view as a "serious PC rig" as among the best there is out there whereas previously maybe the consoles was compared to a PC more people had.

AKA compare the Xbox One to a tablet and you won't be disappointed by the performance ..

EA made their claim how the PCs couldn't run the new FIFA 14 engine, some people are like WHAT?! but the thing is likely that yeah, the most dedicated gamers with the latest and most expensive gear could run it. But most people is either lagging the latest technology simply by when they bought their rig or they have a reasonably priced laptop or something such and that's not the latest and greatest gaming PCs and is inferior to the Xbox One and Playstation 4.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738733)

Xbox One can play 1080p games, but so far the caveat seems to be that the games be racing games, which are easier to make fluid at 1080p. The problem is that game devs have so far released games at lower resolutions on both the XB1 and PS4. I don't think next-get would have been 4K. 4K is still pretty far off. Yes, we have a couple of really good TVs now, but we don't have content yet, and if you live in the US where there are bandwidth caps and cable companies trying to make money at both ends from consumers and content sources like Netflix, I doubt we will see much 4K for a few years.

I've been liking my XB1 more and more. The Kinect is still creepy to me, but I use voice to navigate TV with it, and for the most part, it's been enjoyable switching between TV programming and gaming in an instant as I could on a PC. I admit I really like digital distribution. I've been a supporter of XBL games as well as Steam, but I'm not used to buying large AAA titles and downloading them. I felt certain I would need the disc. But I don't. Gamestop is getting less of my money, and I'm happy with that. Maybe I'm being unfair to them. If we still had a healthy mom and pop software shop business, I'd prefer buying in-store.

The PS4 still appeals to me, but without anything yet that takes advantage of that ~50% performance lead, it's hard for me to justify getting one. I was a launch PS3 buyer. I paid that premium, and I had a system that is still more powerful than the Xbox 360, but it took the entire lifecycle before I started seeing games that really lived up to my expectations for PS3. I have a sneaking suspicion that for at least a few years, PS4 won't be much stronger than XB1.

Problem with your comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738815)

How about you compare end-of-life PS2/Xbox games to launch PS3/360 games, just like we're doing for this generation? Half Life 2 on Xbox vs Gun on 360? Ridge Racer 7 on PS3 vs Burnout 3 on PS2?

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

batkiwi (137781) | about 5 months ago | (#46738861)

Ignore 4k. That's a long ways off.

EVERY game on the ps4/xbone should have been REQUIRED to be 1080p/60fps.

If you can't achieve that, your game doesn't pass QC. If you can't achieve that, then you turn down some details.

Due to THAT I don't consider either a "nextgen" (eg 'current-gen') console.

For the same price I bought a PC (in Australia where we pay more for everything!) that can play titanfall at 1080p at 60fps with everything reasonable turned on. As well as every other game. No I don't run 16xFSAA, but I run 2-4x FXAA, 1080p/60 (without drops), 16xAF, and "most" settings turned on (games with silly options like "reflect your face in drops of dew on blades of grass" I turn off). All for $600 (same price as the xbone in AUS). I bought a few logitech wireless controllers and run steam in bigpicture mode on windows 8.1 And I also run xbmc for the full media thing.

I've owned every sony, nintendo, and MS (not that hard) console until "this" generation. My first console (bought with my own money) was an NES. My last consoles were the ps3/360/wii. I'm a HUGE console guy.

But for the next 2-4 years I think I'm "out". Maybe I'll return to the mother ship again :) I hope so!

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46740167)

"If you can't achieve that, then you turn down some details."

I'm not sure this is a wise compromise in every case. I think higher detail at 720p looks better than lower detail at 1080p in most cases.

720p is pretty damned good. There's an awful lot of people out there that can't tell the difference between 720 and 1080 when it comes what they're seeing on a 40-something inch TV screen, which is what most people seem to have.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 5 months ago | (#46740513)

Your comment about:

There's an awful lot of people out there that can't tell the difference between 720 and 1080 when it comes what they're seeing on a 40-something inch TV screen, which is what most people seem to have.

Brings up a great point that too many times gets left off.

What people consider "great" or "good enough" depends largely on what they have to look at.

My primary TV is a 70" Sony LED, 1080P is ok, but frankly it would be well served being 4K, but that is just too expensive right now and the content isn't there.

At 40", as you say, 4K may well be overkill unless you're right in front of it.

I sit 8' in front of the 70" TV and I can see the grain, further away it would be ok... it works for now, but when 4K comes down in price and the content arrives, I can see going to a 84" for our home theater.

But... I also get that I'm an edge case, "most" people don't have home theaters... For the average 40" TV, yea, I'll admit that 1080P is "good enough" for most uses.

In which case, the PS4 and XBox One are "fine", except that they are a bit expensive for the hardware you get, in years past consoles were sold at a loss, this time around they are making a profit on each one. So to copy the former model, each one should be $100 or so less.

A PS4 at $299 right now would sell like crazy.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#46739071)

The PS4 is better, being 50% faster (thanks to 50% more GPU resources), but it isn't THAT much better. Neither console is really "next-gen", that would have been 4K resolution.

Except only a vanishingly few former-gen titles were actually 1080p and basically none of them ran at a smooth 1080p60. I'd have settled for 1080p60, but they're not even providing that. My guess is that next generation they'll support 4K... badly.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#46742443)

NHK are aiming to start 8k broadcasts in 2020 (in time of the Olympics) so I expect TV manufacturers will have models out by then. Judging by how long we had to wait for the current generation of consoles it seems likely that by the time the next generation comes 4k will be standard and 8k will be where PC gaming is at.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46739117)

Post-economic crisis consoles - spend on new technology/development is much much smaller for both PS4 and X1 compared to PS3 (and X360) .. lower risk, less improvement.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 5 months ago | (#46739683)

Also of note...

PS1 to PS2 had DVD support at a time when TVs had only one input.
Then PS2 to PS3 had Bluray support at a time when a player could cost as much as the console itself.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 5 months ago | (#46740533)

Yes, and when the PS2 came out, it also wasn't that much more than a DVD player, and you got a console for free. :)

The PS3 was an easy choice, we bought ours at launch in 2006 because it indeed was the cheapest BR player out there. For $600 we got the best BR player on the market, a next-gen console that was clearly better than the PS2, AND it played ALL our PS2 and PS1 games.

If the PS4 was $499 instead of $399 and it included full PS3 compatibility, I'd buy one, as it stands, I'm not interested in another box in front of my TV, since the PS3 units have to stay for the kids.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46739739)

The PS4 is better, being 50% faster (thanks to 50% more GPU resources), but it isn't THAT much better.

I love how people think that the increased power of the gpu makes the ps3 or ps4 make them so much better than their MS counterparts. None of them have looked into the matter, or understand much about computers if they truly believe that. Seeing as the 256 GB/s eDRAM of the 360 made it run games smoother than the ps3(look at sonic which was all but unplayable on the ps compared to the xbox).

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46739969)

Forza 5 runs at 1080p and 60fps. To say that the Xbox One can't play games at 1080p is simply false. It's more accurate to say that of the Launch Window titles, most of the studios did not have the time or resources to hit those performance marks. In most cases this is probably because they were releasing a cross-gen title. It's early days still. I expect that most games announced at this year's E3 will be 1080p and 60FPS, or certainly in another year when developers are more familiar with the platforms we won't be talking about resolutions and frame rates anymore.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

Shinobi (19308) | about 5 months ago | (#46741595)

"The PS4 is better, being 50% faster (thanks to 50% more GPU resources),"

Actually, what makes the PS4 better is not the extra GPU resources, it's that they use GDDR5, so the system won't be starved for memory bandwidth. If the PS4 had used the same type of RAM as the XB1, it would have been as starved, with the same drop in performance. It's one of the well-known drawbacks of Unified Memory designs.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 5 months ago | (#46742275)

The GDDR5 indeed does help... much more memory bandwith...

That being said, the PS4 also has 50% more shaders than the XB1, so it is faster all the way around.

In general, the XB1 can run at 720p while the PS4 can run at 900p, given all the same graphics factors. It isn't fast enough to run the same games at 1080p, but it is close.

Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (1)

whiplashx (837931) | about 5 months ago | (#46741775)

What you're complaining about is that the growth isn't linear. But all of the improvements you're pointed out have seemed "smaller" than the last. Imagine if we could get the kind of improvement SNES had over NES again. But that sort of thing just isn't possible in modern games; the required complexity of the art grows way faster than the required complexity of the hardware.

nonsensical summary (1)

Paradigma11 (645246) | about 5 months ago | (#46738515)

"According to Titanfall developer Jon Shirling, the new Microsoft API isn't needed to improve the game's performance, and updates coming down the pipe should improve Xbox One play in the near future. This confirms what many expected since DX12 was announced — the API may offer performance improvements in certain scenarios, but DX12 isn't a panacea for the Xbox One's lackluster performance compared to the PS4." How is the ability of devs to improve their product through convential optimizations a CONFIRMATION that DX12 is no panacea?

Re:nonsensical summary (1)

Zxern (766543) | about 5 months ago | (#46738879)

All this really tells you is that Titanfall isn't really a next gen title at all, which should be obvious as it was originally planned for the 360 to start with and will be released on it shortly. It runs about as well as your typical console to pc port, which is basically what it is, a xbox360 to xboxone port.

I thought current consoles were like current PCs (4, Insightful)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | about 5 months ago | (#46738519)

Only they're also known targets, and should be able to be easily programmed for, as a result. Performance for 1920x1080 shouldn't be an issue for any title on the hardware available. It boggles the mind at how poor these developers must be if they can't even target known hardware, console-style, and get good performance out of the thing. Average PC game devs don't seem to have any problem doing so on the PC, and that's a moving target. Why would any competent devs have a problem with a fixed target? They've got decent CPUs. They've got decent GPUs. They've got a decent amount of RAM. Yet they found a way to get horrible performance out of it. Send in the firing squad.

Re:I thought current consoles were like current PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738601)

They sold that game on screenshot and pre-rendered "wow" videos. They had to deliver the same visual for that crippled PC, that Microsoft call a console. The performance fix will come soon, they will simply tune down the graphics detail with config file update. Everyone is happy; the gamers get departed of their money and the executives get their bonus.

Re:I thought current consoles were like current PC (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738623)

You, and everyone that upvoted you, is an idiot.

The Xbone has 16 ROP's, or raster operation pipelines. These are fixed function hardware. This is one of the final stages of pixel output, and is directly related to how high a resolution a render can go since the ROP's read out and blend everything for final output. There is no programming trick to make them go faster, and Microsoft put enough in to get out about 1280x720 to 1600x900, depending on the program running.

Now go back to denying climate change or whatever it is you do that insults people much better informed than you are.

Yes and no (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 5 months ago | (#46738779)

So they are a bit different, hardware wise. A big difference is unified memory. There is only one pool of memory which both the CPU and GPU access. That's makes sense since the CPU and GPU are also on the same silicon, but it is a difference in the way you program. Also in the case of the Xbone they decided to use DDR3 RAM, instead of GDDR5, which is a little slow for graphics operations, but the APU (what AMD calls the CPU/GPU combo chips) has 32MB of high speed embedded RAM on it to try and buffer for that.

Ok so there are some differences. However that aside, why the problem with the target? Visual quality. Basically, a video card can only do so much in a given time period. It only can push so many pixels/texels, only run so many shaders, etc. So any time you add more visual flair, it takes up available power. There's no hard limit, no amount where it stops working, rather you have to choose what kind of performance you want.

For example if I can render a scene with X polygons in 16ms then I can output that at 60fps. However it also means that I can render a scene of 2X polygons in about 33ms, or 30fps.

So FPS is one tradeoff you can make. You don't have to render at 60fps, you can go lower and indeed console games often do 30fps. That means each frame can have more in it, because the hardware has longer to generate it.

Another tradeoff is resolution. Particularly when you are talking texture related things, lowering the output resolution lowers the demand on the hardware and thus allows you to do more.

So it is a tradeoff in what you think looks best. Ya, you can design a game that runs at 1080p60 solid. However it may not look as good overall as a game that runs at 720p30 because that game, despite being lower FPS and rez, has more detail in the scenes. It is a choice you have to make with limited hardware.

On the PC, we often solve it by throwing more hardware at the problem, but you can't do that on a console.

Re:Yes and no (1)

lexman098 (1983842) | about 5 months ago | (#46740859)

On the PC, we often solve it by throwing more hardware at the problem, but you can't do that on a console.

I think the OP's point was that they should have been starting with this extra hardware to begin with.

Can't do that and hit the price point (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 5 months ago | (#46741137)

Hardware costs money. If you want cheap consoles, you have to trade things off. For example my PC has no problems rendering games like Titanfall at 60fps, even at resolutions beyond 1080 (2560x1600 in my case). So, just put that kind of hardware in a console right? Ya well, my GPU alone costs near double what a current console does, never mind the supporting hardware. It isn't feasible to throw that level of hardware at a console, it just costs too much.

That kind of thing has been tried in the past and it never worked. Remember the Neo-Geo? Had real arcade hardware (back when arcade units had better hardware than home systems) in it, far and above its contemporaries. However with a price equivalent to about $1100 today compared to its competitors which were about $350 in today's dollars it did very poorly.

The console makers had to make tradeoffs, and price was a big concern. Hence the somewhat limited hardware. Basically consoles are for people on a budget. They want something that plays games, but doesn't break the bank. So, the hardware in it has to be scaled accordingly. For those that want performance and are willing to for over more coin, the PC market is happy to oblige.

Re:Can't do that and hit the price point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46741217)

hogwash a sub 200$ video card has no problem playing current gen games at 60fps

IMO the real problem with performance on XBONE its doing all this other shit which takes resources constantly runn

the tradeoff was the fact they made it a media center,and oh BTW it also plays games

Re:I thought current consoles were like current PC (2)

DirePickle (796986) | about 5 months ago | (#46738827)

They have really anemic CPUs. The PS4 and Xbox One are each using something pretty similar to the Athlon 5150 (except with 4 modules/8 cores instead of 2 modules/4 cores).

Re:I thought current consoles were like current PC (1)

Narishma (822073) | about 5 months ago | (#46738939)

The consoles have two modules, with each module consisting of 4 cores an a shared 2 MiB L2 cache. The Athlon 5150 only has one module.

Re:I thought current consoles were like current PC (2)

DirePickle (796986) | about 5 months ago | (#46739027)

AMD defines a module as a set of 1 FPU and 2 integer cores. The Athlon 5150 has two modules/four integer cores. The consoles have two of these two module/four integer core things for four modules/eight cores.

Re:I thought current consoles were like current PC (2)

Narishma (822073) | about 5 months ago | (#46739073)

You are incorrect. The consoles use Jaguar [wikipedia.org] modules, as opposed to the Bulldozer [wikipedia.org] family, which is what you describe. The Athlon 5150 is also Jaguar BTW.

Re:I thought current consoles were like current PC (2)

DirePickle (796986) | about 5 months ago | (#46741851)

You're right, total brainfart on my part. I knew they were Jaguars (hence anemic), but I was thinking jags were put together the same way as the Bulldozers. Still--my point was that it's an Athlon 5150 with more cores (same speed, architecture), which really isn't enough to feed modern games at 1080p.

Re:I thought current consoles were like current PC (1)

Narishma (822073) | about 5 months ago | (#46741957)

It may not be fine with the bloated APIs (OpenGL and D3D) and unoptimized games on PC but on a console with low level access to the hardware, it's more than enough. The lack of 1080p games on Xbox One (I believe the only non-1080p game on PS4 is BF4) is mostly due to its middling GPU.

Re:I thought current consoles were like current PC (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738943)

Thing is, and the biggest problem with any new console, is the devs have to literally remake an OS each time. They don't get the luxury of having an OS manage things for them. They get some hardware calls, specs and told to get on with it.
This is why engine development is such a big cost for most devs these days since without a good, solid engine to start with, it is going to play havoc with them down the line as they try to figure out what the hell they just made. (be it making or licensing an engine)

Sure, most good devs have common practices and understand what they are doing each time, but they can't depend on others (for the most part) to do the hard work for them by providing the underlying OS to run the game on, their game IS the OS. And that is what makes it even more confusing when you tell people there are dual OSes on these things, even more confusing with PS3 especially, Cell was both wonderful and terrible. (mainly terrible because IBM are just awful these days and take a billion years to draw an atom logo for fun so let Cell die instead of actually making people want it like they should have been. Also that lazy security issue that popped up eventually)

They also need to find these new targets and the best way to use them.
That almost certainly takes at least one game or a few years, depending what is reached first, before they have a clue what it is capable of so they can optimize to hell and back. (I can remember all those whiners devving for PS3, "waahh it's too hard!", made one game, suddenly everyone was wanting a ride of PS3s wild ride)
Better devs usually make their own stress tests to really figure out what they can do. Tech demos work wonders for development, especially if you make them procedural for the sake of testing out limits of hardware.
Others just get hammered in to it and end up regretting it a year down the line with stutters, texture pop-ins and the usual glitchiness.

The biggest thing that boggles, no, kills my mind is how devs on Xbox platforms have such trouble when Microsoft, the software king, provide tools out the ass for it and yet they somehow still manage to screw games up hard.
They tend to have devtools out before Sony usually does that are fairly optimized. It is like giving someone a calculator for doing huge calculations and they go use an abacus... for the first time! Some of them truly never learn. Mind you, usually those devs are secondary-tier devs, the ones that normally license an engine from some other company if they get in to console dev. Still, trying to cut corners like that only comes back to bite them in the ass. Microsoft knows that with the entirety of Xbox360s lifespan and RRoD. Don't cheap out on solders or system designers! (which they seem to have done again with regards to design. That huge open air-space does not look healthy given where the fans are!)

Re:I thought current consoles were like current PC (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46739665)

Thing is, and the biggest problem with any new console, is the devs have to literally remake an OS each time. They don't get the luxury of having an OS manage things for them. They get some hardware calls, specs and told to get on with it.

That hasn't been true for the last 2 console generations, in some cases, the last 3 console generations.

Re:I thought current consoles were like current PC (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 5 months ago | (#46739189)

Optimising an engine like that is a non-trivial exercise, especially with newish hardware. So no, they're not crap developers, they're developers with time and financial constraints who can only achieve so much before release.

Re:I thought current consoles were like current PC (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#46739427)

You mean like a finished product?

Re:I thought current consoles were like current PC (2)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 5 months ago | (#46741797)

What is a "finished product" in software development? There are always further optimisations to be made, bugs to be fixed, content to be added.

Re:I thought current consoles were like current PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46739609)

If they designed it correctly in the first place, they should have only needed to optimize it once(for the most part). The problem is they didn't make a "new" engine design to take advantage of new hardware, not that new engines are easy to create, but multi-core systems have been out of quote a long while now and task based data-pipelines are the way to go when it comes to dynamically scaling.

Re:I thought current consoles were like current PC (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 5 months ago | (#46739853)

There's another reason that Sycraft-fu's reply didn't mention: the development of those games started before the consoles were out. This means that the targets, while known, were also moving. Specs changed a few times and I'll bet the APIs changed significantly over the course of the past few years. That makes it quite hard to properly implement the graphics engine for the console. This is why, as developers get more familiar with the API and hardware, we see graphics quality keep improving on the same hardware. Compare an early era game of any console with a late era game, you'll see quickly. They're still limited in what they can do, obviously, but whereas early on the limits are largely down to developers' unfamiliarity with the console, later on they're squarely due to the console's hardware. Games developed before the console's hardware/API were even done had to be even more flexible, which generally means not quite as optimal.

Re:I thought current consoles were like current PC (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 5 months ago | (#46741641)

It boggles the mind at how poor these developers must be if they can't even target known hardware, console-style, and get good performance out of the thing.

It boggles the mind why Microsoft put shitty laptop CPU ram in a gaming device.

The devs are trying to find a balance point between visual quality (memory taken) and performance (memory bandwidth) but the 68GB/s memory bandwidth on the XB3 is way too low. IMO the 175 ish on the PS4 is too low too. For 30 FPS remember that only means you can have 2GB of stuff on screen at a time, for 60... well, 1 GB of stuff. (That's not counting AI and Audio).

Yes, sure, the dev's need to make a game for it, but that's really hard to do when basically it's going to be like running the game on very low on the XB2, low on the XB3 and very high on even a mid range PC with a dedicated GPU that isn't terrible.

Dumb question (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738571)

The point of Mantle and DX12 is that they bring the kind of APIs to the desktop that have always been available on consoles. Therefore the whole premise that DX12 would somehow improve Xbone games is faulty.

Also... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738593)

Uhhh, Direct X isn't "really" the API used by the Xbox one at all... so I don't know wtf this article is on about. With a console you get to code almost directly to the hardware, it might not be assembly but it's a lot closer than most get.

Also... the PS4 has more silicon dedicated to the GPU. 30% more. And they have the same architecture for both GPU and CPU. So... that's that. That's all there is.

It doesnt need DX12 because... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738677)

Source engine barely supports DX10!

Titanfall is simplistic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46739209)

Maybe Titanfall is just a simplistic game, programming wise. Maybe relying mostly on the GPU? Thus have no benefit from Directx 12 or Mantle perhaps.

Former Titanfall devs? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46739655)

Shouldn't that be prefaced with 'Former' as I'm sure Microsoft has seen to it that this person isn't involved in any more Xbox development for knocking their 'OMG turn it up to 12! rehash of D3D?

Re:Former Titanfall devs? (2)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 5 months ago | (#46739877)

Titanfall was developed by Respawn and published by EA. Respawn are an independent developer, not owned by either EA or Microsoft. Microsoft have absolutely no control over those developers apart from having an exclusivity deal with Respawn/EA.

Brad Wardell says DX12 will double XB1's power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46739809)

Earlier this week at Built, a Developers Conference hosted by Microsoft, game developer and Stardock CEO Brad Wardell explained how DirectX 12 would benefit the PC and Xbox One. However, it was his statements regarding the performance boost that the Xbox One in particular that are generating the most buzz.

@XX__MX it's not literally (it's software, not hardware) but yes, dx12 games will likely by more than 2x as fast.

— Brad Wardell (@draginol) April 4, 2014

Of course, because statements as definitive as “it effectively gives every Xbox One owner a new GPU that is twice as fast as the old one,” some people took to twitter in order to get some clarification regarding these claims.

@Zunderholz @XX__MX it didn't. It was/is still basically a single core stack. With DX12 all 8 cores will be able to split the work.

— Brad Wardell (@draginol) April 5, 2014

Again, because Wardell’s statements were so polarizing and matter-of-fact (such are the effects of a 140 character limit), once again his responses were called into questioned.

@Zunderholz @XX__MX it didn't. It was/is still basically a single core stack. With DX12 all 8 cores will be able to split the work.

— Brad Wardell (@draginol) April 5, 2014

These statements have are very similar to the statements begin made by several industry professionals. AMD’s Raja Khodury had this to say regarding the benefits DirectX 12 will have on Xbox One:

“And it’s not a small benefit. It’s like getting four generations of hardware ahead with this API.”

Intel’s VP of Engineering, Eric Mentezer, echoed the above, stating:

“This is absolutely, I think, the most significant jump in technology in a long, long time.”

Nvidia’s VP of Content and Technology, Tony Tamasi, had this to say regarding the improvements DirectX 12 will bring to the table:

“ existing cards will see orders of magnitude improvements from DirectX 12s release, going from hundreds of thousands to millions and maybe tens of millions of system draws in a second.”

Because of the statements from these industry professionals, along with the recent confirmation that both Wolfenstein: The New Order and Murdered: Soul Suspect will be running at identical resolutions/frame-rates on the Xbox One/PS4, it’s clear to see that resolutiongate is finally coming to a close. Now we can all get back to arguing about what truly matters – personal opinions that we shouldn’t be arguing over in the first place.

Hyperbole aside, DX12 should give at least some improvement. it looks like MS designed the XB1 around DX12 when it wasn't available which was dumb. I hope that DX12 is the game changer he thinks it will be, and that MS brings it to the PC fast.

D11 the end? (1)

Xmastrspy (1170381) | about 5 months ago | (#46740663)

I thought I read here on /. that M$ would not make any version of directx after d11?

Makes sense (3)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 5 months ago | (#46741525)

If you look at the Mantle benchmarks for various games it's pretty clear that it doesn't get you much on half decent systems, and on high end systems you're looking a negligible effect. I would think the same is true of DX12, which does the same basic thing.

For all the complaining about the Xb3 it's not terrible hardware, it's some odd choices compared to the PS4 and it's slow compared to a high end PC. But it's not in an absolute sense bad hardware.

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