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Resident Evil 4 PS2 Porting Problems

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the just-buy-a-cube dept.

PlayStation (Games) 93

An anonymous reader writes "Gamesarefun is reporting that Capcom is having serious difficulty in porting Resident Evil 4, to Sony's PlayStation 2. The numbers behind the graphical differences are interesting, since Capcom sites a few specifics. Apparently the original model for Leon Kennedy in the GameCube version has had to be scaled down from 10,000 polygons to 5000 for the PS2 version, which is equal to both the poly count for Naked Snake in Metal Gear Solid 3 as well as the poly count of the typical villager in the GameCube version of RE4."

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PS2 that underpowered (2, Interesting)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 9 years ago | (#11606450)

Is the PS2 that underpowered or is this just a familiarity problem? Or is just optimizing for the GameCube that much different than the PS2? I'd think Capcom would have plenty of experience with the PS2 by now.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11606551)

So I ask the moderators... how can the first response to an article be reduntant?.

Re: Of course! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11606560)

Of course the PS2 is less powerful than the Cube. The cube came out a full year or two after the PS2. The PS2 has older technology.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (2, Insightful)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 9 years ago | (#11606562)


They key is memory. The PS2 (which came out earlier) doesn't have as much RAM as the GC for this type of thing. So the textures have to be less detailed, 8/4 bit instead of 24 bit, and they can't have as many polygons...

On the other hand, in some games it goes the OTHER way, the GC discs do not have as much space as the PS2's DVD discs, so sometimes the Gamecube version of a game has less detail.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11606593)

The Dreamcast came out before PS2, yet still had double the video ram PS2 has.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (1)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 9 years ago | (#11608566)


Compare the video resolution of the Dreamcast to that of the PS2 and you'll understand why it needs more. 8MB vs 4MB. The PS2 has 32MB system RAM compared to the DC's 16MB system RAM. Both consoles have 2MB audio RAM.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (1)

CoolGuySteve (264277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11610086)

The Dreamcast also had texture compression whereas the PS2 does not, so that 8MB and 16MB were a lot more effective as far as textures were concerned.

Even then, 640x480x16bits is about 1MB. So even with frame buffering and the Z buffer, there's still more video RAM hanging around. I also remember a few Dreamcast games using 320x240 resolution.

On the other hand, while the Dreamcast did have more video RAM, I don't think it was embedded into the GPU like the PS2's (which I assume meant much lower bandwidth for the DC). So I doubt the same level of geometric detail or transparency effects could have been achieved on the Dreamcast since accessing the Z buffer was probably much slower.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (1)

TechniMyoko (670009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11615965)

Actually PS2 does have texture compression. ITs also designed to need less RAM for textures since you can transfer them from the main RAM at an ungodly rate

Re:PS2 that underpowered (1)

Araxen (561411) | more than 9 years ago | (#11615703)

I for one hope Sony has learned their lessons from the last two playstations and don't skimp out on memory for the PS3.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 9 years ago | (#11606577)

I really don't think this is redundant. It's a good question, really. But I think that the problems with the PS2 poly counts is not so much a "performance" issue as it is a development kit issue. I remember that the PS2 has a relatively tough learning curve and is really picky about how certain processess are done, particularly with polygon counts during certain grpahical processes and anti-aliasing. I haven't RTFA, but I'll bet that it's mostly a developement process woe, rather than a hardware or performance limitation that is causing the frustrations.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (3, Informative)

redivider (786620) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607610)

I haven't RTFA, but I'll bet that it's mostly a developement process woe, rather than a hardware or performance limitation that is causing the frustrations.

I'll take that bet.

From TFA: "According to various Japanese publications, the new Resident Evil 4 team is encountering a few problems porting Resident Evil 4 to the PS2. Why do you ask? Hardware, Hardware, Hardware."

"One of the big issues the team over at Capcom is facing is the fact that the PS2's texture memory capacity is far smaller than the Gamecube's. In the Gamecube version of Resident Evil 4, players were treated to 24 bit textures. However, in the PS2 version, expect 8 and 4 bit textures, which is quite a downgrade."

"But no sir, it doesn't end there."

"Leon's polygon count, in order to run on the inferior PS2 hardware, will have to drop from the original 10,000 polygons to a mere 5,000, slightly more than Snake from Metal Gear Solid 3."

Sounds like hardware issues to me.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (2, Insightful)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11606663)

The PS2 isn't necesarily "underpowered," but it is older hardware than the Gamecube. It's weaker for sure, but that's just a sign of its age and not an implication of poor quality. This also has to do with the fact that the game was specifically designed with the Gamecube hardware in mind. Getting it to work on the PS2 is going to be a minor miracle.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607236)

I own a PS2, and I can admit the hardware was just weak engineering. There was so much emphasis on the new "emotional engine" during launch that this feature is virtually unused today.

Then there is the lousy DVD drive. I went thru 2 playstations already cause of malfunctional drives. No, I don't mod or do anything. I just game all day. RE4 doesn't port, no surprise at all.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (2, Informative)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607861)

Here here on the DVD drive. That thing is a piece of crap, and I've repaired one so far for a friend (though I have a later model PS2 so I don't have that problem).

Also, about your comment about the "emotional engine" feature not being used today ... "Emotion Engine" is the name of the PS2's CPU (and for completeness, "Graphics Synthesizer" is the name of the GPU). It's not a feature at all. The reason they kept saying that it would add emotion to games is that the 300 MHz (350 MHz?) clock speed was such a jump at the time that the console would be able to handle much more complicated AI than the PS1. They encouraged development houses to try to write AI routines for their characters that simulated emotion. The main example of this is from Driving Emotion S (yes I know it sucks). Opponent AI's would drive more aggressively if your actions "angered" them (I imagine the pseudo code is something like if (nudged) angry++; if (angry > threshhold) driving_style = aggressive;). As the race wore on, they would get "tired" and make mistakes... etc. So basically, "Emotion Engine" was a bit of marketing speak that boasted the fact that the PS2's higher CPU speed and increased memory allowed for more complicated AI routines.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (1)

13Echo (209846) | more than 9 years ago | (#11617521)

One could say that it is underpowered, considering that it was largely eclipsed (in most respects) by the fantastic Dreamcast system. Though it was two years older, it was still probably the more powerful of the two. It wasn't uncommon for multiplatform games to look and play better on the Dreamcast when it was around.

I'm of the opinion that the PS2 was a dated and design from the day it was released. It does, however, have a lot of fantastuc games that never made it to the Dreamcast (or Gamecube for that matter), so it's probably a moot point.

One's definitition of "underpowered" will differ from another person's. I've never seen an inferior port of a DC game to the Gamecube or XBox. PS2 ports are largely pretty bad. It just doesn't have the muscle to handle many games that were designed for a system that was even two years its senior.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (5, Insightful)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607390)

I've been saying for months now that the PS2 wouldn't be able to handle the game. Reason being that Resident Evil 4 is a poster child for the true power of the GameCube. PS2 lacks several things required to make the game really work.

Load times. The GameCube version of the game streams in a lot of data from the disc when navigating through levels. Moving from inside to outside is seamless, and the GameCube has been designed to minimize the effect that this has on gameplay. The PS2 on the other hand... is lucky to even load a codec conversation in MGS.

Level size. The PS2 has but a fraction of the RAM available to the GameCube. The levels in RE4 can quite often be huge, and often have some complex geometry. The closest I've seen on PS2 is MGS3, and having played both.... I assure you that the GameCube is the CLEAR winner in this case. Also of note in this case is Metroid Prime or Eternal Darkness... which both managed to stream the levels off the disc, eliminating load times completely. (In the case of Eternal Darkness, load times were artificially inserted, as the player couldn't react to the new room quick enough). At any rate, this should be a non-issue, given that I've seen many GameCube games without load times, but have yet to see a PS2 game do the same. And levels are almost always bigger on a GameCube than a PS2.

Polygons. They are the nice little things that make a 3D model. GameCube often has upward of 6 or 7 enemies attacking you simultaneously, with a high poly player model, all while rendering incredibly detailed backdrops. Again, the closest thing that I am aware of on the PS2 is MGS3, which never has more than 4 or 5 enemies attacking you... and each with significantly less polys. Also worthy of note, GameCube is still the current leader for most polygons pushed in a console game with Rebel Strike. Rebel Strike pushes upwards of 20 million polys per second, which far outdoes the closest competitor on PS2 or Xbox.

Textures. The PS2 attempts to make up for lack of memory by giving some absolutely insane memory bandwidth. This allows you to swap textures out in memory, but you will not be able to hold nearly as many as the GameCube can. GameCube also has the advantage of 6:1 texture compression. This all results in the color depth of the PS2 textures being greatly reduced. Once again, this is probably going to be related to level size.

Anyways, this is just a few reasons why RE4 on PS2 just won't work.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11608003)

RE: Load times and Level Size
Try riding around San Sandreas. Easily the biggest map in any offline game I've played, and you can go from end to end on foot, in a car, or even in an airplane with nary a load time.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (2, Insightful)

StocDred (691816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11608579)

Try riding around San Andreas.

Well yeah, but look at the crappy popup and overall low quality graphics. Particularly when you're in a plane. I love the game, but it sacrifices graphical fortitude for sheer size. Not that that is a bad thing, just that it makes your argument misleading.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (4, Insightful)

unclethursday (664807) | more than 9 years ago | (#11609528)

Also note that if you are on something fast, like a PCJ motorcycle, you can actually get into areas before the area streams from the disk. For example, in Los Santos, get on a super fast bike, and drive down the eastern straight highway comming from the mountains at full speed. You can go so fast, that you will actually end up driving on the sky, with nothing around you, because the PS2 simply can't load the areas as fast as you are going through them.

I love San Andreas, but you have to be a fool, or a fanboi, or both, to not notice stuff like this happening.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11623197)

I have to agree. i have done that many times myself. Normally i end up hitting something that isn't there till a few seconds after i hit it.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (2, Informative)

BRock97 (17460) | more than 9 years ago | (#11609616)

Also of note in this case is Metroid Prime or Eternal Darkness... which both managed to stream the levels off the disc, eliminating load times completely....

I appreciate your optimism here, but even Metroid Prime had load times. Even though they were few and far between, there were instances where I shot a door and had to wait 2-5 seconds for it to open before I could continue into the next section. During that period, I could hear the laser head on my 'Cube moving back and forth pretty fast loading data.

That said, a 2-5 second load time is nothing compared to what a lot of other games consider fast.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (1)

WhyCause (179039) | more than 9 years ago | (#11624449)

I appreciate your optimism here, but even Metroid Prime had load times. Even though they were few and far between, there were instances where I shot a door and had to wait 2-5 seconds for it to open before I could continue into the next section. During that period, I could hear the laser head on my 'Cube moving back and forth pretty fast loading data.
I've seen this pause in Metroid Prime as well, and it generally happens when I run through a large room quickly (generally towards the end of the game) or if I take a path that seems a little wierd. I think it has more to do with the code/programmers 'predicting' where I'm running to, and guessing wrong, than it does the streaming of the data off the disk.

Additionally, I've noticed that the GameCube seems rather heat-sensitive. If I've been sitting for a long session, the laser sounds from the drive seem to increase. This happened a lot when I had a card-backing from some Animal Crossing e-Cards propped next to my GC. Once I removed the card (and freed up the airflow to the machine), I noticed that load-times dropped, and the drive was much less noisy.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11633267)

The GameCube is a PowerPC-based computer in a small form factor case. Sure it's going to be particularly heat-sensitive. Sadly, things have been this way since Dreamcast; no console to come after Dreamcast can boast low running temperatures. (Even the PS and N64 ran hot, though they didn't use system fans.)

Re:PS2 that underpowered (1)

Judecca (34485) | more than 9 years ago | (#11614205)

Last I checked the PS2 has 32M of RAM + 4M of framebuffer RAM.

The Gamecube has 24M system SRAM + 16M of dram.

I'll agree that the 36 is a fraction of 40... but maybe 9/10ths isn't what you were going for.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11616070)

Actually, you forget that GCN has 6:1 texture compression. If you use 6MB of memory for code, geometry, scripts, AI, etc... it leaves 18MB of memory for textures. You can fit 108MB of 24-bit textures in that remaining space.

On the PS2, you can use that same 6MB of space for the code and shit. But you still need to use some space for sound and textures. (GameCube uses 16MB of SDRAM for sound data). If you use 8MB for sound data (I'm being generous), then you have a total of 32-6-8 = 18MB for textures. PS2 does not have texture compression built in.

18/108 = 1/6 (not surprising eh?). Also worthy of note, the PS2 has 4MB of texture cache. GCN has 1MB, but with texture compression, it's again a fair deal more (50%).

Re:PS2 that underpowered (1)

TechniMyoko (670009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11615985)

Metroid Prime didnt eliminate load times at all, there were long elevator sequences, and you waited long periods of time for doors to the next level to open

As for massive enemy counts, Timesplitters 2 for PS2 supports 4 players, and 12 AIs

Re:PS2 that underpowered (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11616030)

poly counts? I think you have to remember that Perfect Dark on N64 did that too... but the game didn't look anywhere near as nice as RE4 on GameCube. ;)

Re:PS2 that underpowered (1)

TechniMyoko (670009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11617653)

Where did I say poly counts? I said enemy counts.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11617986)

Well, considering that I was talking about enemy counts when talking about poly counts... ;-) I figured it was sort of implied.

Re:PS2 that underpowered (1)

-kertrats- (718219) | more than 9 years ago | (#11617215)

The original Jak and Daxter for PS2 had virtually no load times.

So I can't figure out... (2, Interesting)

kenthorvath (225950) | more than 9 years ago | (#11606540)

Is this good or bad for Nintendo? On the one hand, it is good that they seem to have superior hardware, but if cross platform portability is at stake, will this drive away more producers than it attracts?

Re:So I can't figure out... (2, Insightful)

MalaclypseTheYounger (726934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11606571)

Of course it's good for Nintendo, this is why they are still in business. They have a great little console, which (in my opinion) is more powerful than the PS2.

I'm not a Sony basher, I love my PS2, my GTA series, and Gran Turismo, but most games that have been developed for both systems look a little bit nicer on the GameCube.

Re:So I can't figure out... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11606611)

They have a great little console, which (in my opinion) is more powerful than the PS2. And everyone else's too, because it is more powerful than the PS2 flat out. More memory, faster processor (that people actually know how to program for) combined with a better graphics adapter (that people also actually know how to program for) ultimately makes the GameCube a more powerful console than the PS2. It also came out after the PS2, so it's newer technology, too.

Re:So I can't figure out... (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607431)

Actually, the PS2 has the faster processor. But GameCube has dedicated graphics hardware, and the architecture is just ahell of a lot more efficient... this gives a hugely more powerful machine.

Re:So I can't figure out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11607863)

Actually, the PS2 has the faster processor.

What? Since when? Last I heard, it was a little over half as fast. But that's just pure MHz, which is of course not something you can directly compare across different architectures.

You have any real data to back that claim up?

Re:So I can't figure out... (2, Informative)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 9 years ago | (#11608574)

Click for specs.

GameCube [gamespot.com]

PlayStation 2 [gamespot.com]

GC = 485 MHz processor
PS2 = 300 MHz processor

When comparing other consoles to the Gamecube, you should be aware that Nintendo has not released official theoretical specs. For instance the PS2 official polygon fill rate which is a theoretical spec (75 Mtriangles/s) will be directly compared to the GameCube's official numbers which are a real world estimate that have been surpassed in game (6-12 Mtriangles/s). The upper limit for the PS2 is really around 7 million polygons, and Rebel Strike for the GC pushes 18-20 million polygons. So you have to take that into account. Nintendo doesn't publish pissing contest numbers. I wish they would for their own sake.

Re:So I can't figure out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11608734)

I think you misread my post. I was replying to Grey Ninja, who made the "PS2 is faster" claim. I was questioning that statement because I already knew the GC was faster.

Or did you intend to reply to Grey Ninja's post, and just picked mine accidentally?

Re:So I can't figure out... (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 9 years ago | (#11608922)

nah, I misread it.

My specs do include 8 Dumbass pipelines.

Re:So I can't figure out... (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612774)

My 2.2GHz Athlon 64 will outperform a Pentium 4 at 3.5GHz. Let's keep clock speed out of this, or else we will just be perpetuating the claim that Xbox is the most powerful console at present. ;)

The thing I was getting at is that the PS2 has the CPU itself, plus two vector units, which all together provides a lot more number crunching than the GCN or Xbox are capable of. But the GameCube and Xbox make up for it in other ways.

The thing you have to remember is that Flipper handles the bulk of the graphics work on the GameCube... and the CPU on the PS2 handles ALL the work on the PS2. I think it's pretty clear that the PS2 rules in terms of CPU speed.

Re:So I can't figure out... (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 9 years ago | (#11613234)

If performance is what matters, we need benchmarks. I'm not saying that clock speed is everything. It is just the known statistic I have to give.

When the console pissing contest begins, I like to lay down known specs, and add that Nintendo doesn't release the theoretical specs that Sony and Microsoft do to hype their machine.

Re:So I can't figure out... (2, Insightful)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11615990)

Well, benchmarks are forbidden by all the console manufacturers. And comparing clock speeds of the different CPUs is not really the best idea IMO. The drastically different architectures just don't give any real meaning clock speeds. The power of the end result often depends on how well put together the machine is. And the winner there is quite clearly the GameCube. If you really take a close look at the hardware of all 3 machines sometime, I think you will find that the GameCube is quite simply amazingly good design.

Oftentimes, you will have to look to the actual games to determine which console is the most powerful. GameCube has Resident Evil 4 and Rebel Strike... (full effects, 18 - 20 million polys per sec) Xbox has Halo 2 (full effects, 7 - 10 million polys per sec)... and PS2 has Metal Gear Solid 3 (not sure on the specs).

I just don't see much meaning in comparing CPU clock rates, or theoretical specs. What really matters is how it performs in the real world.

Re:So I can't figure out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11616005)

Jason Nubin said he got 10 million polygons/sec near launch.

Re:So I can't figure out... (1)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607204)

From what I understand of the article, cross-platform compatibilty on console just like anywhere else is only a problem if you use features avaible on one console not availble on another. If capcom had started on the PS2 the port to the GC might have looked the same in this case.

Re:So I can't figure out... (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 9 years ago | (#11608866)

It didn't cause any trouble for the xbox. Remember back in the day when gamers used to say "if it's a multi-platform release, go with xbox because it's so much prettier?"

I'm not saying that it will pan out the same way, as nintendo and microsoft are perceived very differently by 3rd party developers. If nintendo can spin it right (shouldn't be too hard as it's a very positive feature), this should encourage more developers to view the cube as an equal contender.

Re:So I can't figure out... (1)

BigDork1001 (683341) | more than 9 years ago | (#11610470)

Remember back in the day when gamers used to say "if it's a multi-platform release, go with xbox because it's so much prettier?"

Forget back in the day, I say that now.

Re:So I can't figure out... (1)

Lynxara (775657) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612708)

It's bad for them when their sales are trailing so poorly. If the console was a stronger performer, I'm sure we'd be seeing lots of GC/X-Box exclusives that skipped the PS2.

Unfortunately, best hardware has never equated best sales in the console scene.

Incredible insight! (3, Insightful)

cluke (30394) | more than 9 years ago | (#11606642)

While I have no doubt that for many applications the PS2 is less powerful than the gamecube, this article is just guff.

"The PS2, does however, have a large Direct Memory Access bandwidth, which will allow the developers to provide a high amount of textures into the game."

Well, that sounds good! If it made sense! But didn't he just say we couldn't have a load of textures?
But wait! Some of the textures have had to be reduced from 24-bit to 8 or even "4-bit". Yes, folks, the PS2 is so back they are using 16 colour greyscale! Either that or he's talking out his ass.

His source? "Various Japanese publications." Interesting!

And, despite this uber-DMA, they are still shit out of luck apparently. He continues:
"But, if they choose to do this, the game's framerate will drop substantially, this is due to the PS2's, as stated before, limited texture memory capacity."

Sounds pretty technical, not sure if I can follow that!

Bottom line is, Capcom may or may not be having lots of troubles scaling down their engine for the PS2, but this article is not going to give you any insight whatsoever into the technical reasons for this.

Re:Incredible insight! (5, Informative)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11606767)

"The PS2, does however, have a large Direct Memory Access bandwidth, which will allow the developers to provide a high amount of textures into the game." Well, that sounds good! If it made sense! But didn't he just say we couldn't have a load of textures? But wait! Some of the textures have had to be reduced from 24-bit to 8 or even "4-bit". Yes, folks, the PS2 is so back they are using 16 colour greyscale! Either that or he's talking out his ass. His source? "Various Japanese publications." Interesting! And, despite this uber-DMA, they are still shit out of luck apparently. He continues: "But, if they choose to do this, the game's framerate will drop substantially, this is due to the PS2's, as stated before, limited texture memory capacity."
You're right, it pretty much is a shitty article, but here's what's really going on: First of all, the main source is an interview with Capcom graphic designers in the latest issue of CG magazine (that's the source cited in another incarnation of this article I saw elsewhere).

Second: they totally botched the details. The PS2 has a very limited ammount of space for textures being rendered, so they've had to go down to 8 and 4 bit textures in some places (probably lightmaps and/or alpha maps which can sometimes be saved with low color depth). Another alternative, since the PS2 has DMA between the system RAM and the graphics processor is to store textures in system RAM and swap them in and out of texture memory as you go. One will result in a decrease in visual quality, the other will result in a decrease in speed.

They've had to decrease the number of polygons on each model for the PS2 version. The reason why is that the PS2 rendering pipeline will require multiple passes to do most of the effects that the GCN does in one pass. The PS2 will probably end up rendering about the same number of polygons as the GCN version in the end, but it suffers from having to render the same polygons several times over.

So, even though this article is inciting all sorts of flamewars around the internet as we speak, it's really just saying that it's hard to port a game to one platform when it's been specifically designed for another.

Re:Incredible insight! (1)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 9 years ago | (#11611107)

The way I'm reading you however, you're saying essentially that the game was designed for a system that had more texture ram, and could render more effects in one pass. In other words, it was designed for a more technically capable system, and shoehorning it into a less capable system isn't working. That's still pretty flame-worthy, even if it's true. Am I reading this right?

Re:Incredible insight! (1)

Quobobo (709437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11616676)

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. Anyone care to explain why the grandparent poster is either right or wrong?

Re:Incredible insight! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11608731)

Well, that sounds good! If it made sense! But didn't he just say we couldn't have a load of textures?
But wait! Some of the textures have had to be reduced from 24-bit to 8 or even "4-bit". Yes, folks, the PS2 is so back they are using 16 colour greyscale! Either that or he's talking out his ass.


Actually many textures in the PS2 are 8bit or 4bit. But they're not necessarily gray scale, as you can pick the palette for each of the 4/8bit texture. And you'd be surprised how far you go with 16 color textures when they're correctly quantized and dithered. For many textures you don't notice the difference.

And the reason they're doing is that the PS2 is much more limited in memory, it has only 4mb of active texture memory from which to render (the 4mb contains the screen buffers as well) and the PS2 has to manage the etxture uploading with geometry uploading via external methods.

It's just that when you design your content to work great on one machine, it may not work so well on the other because the hardware has so different charasteristics and support for different things. Most PS2 games look crap in other platforms, for instance..

At least we now know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11606654)

That capcom didn't scale down RE4 when they annouced the PS2 port.

Now, if only they ported games from the ps2 to the GC...NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!

This just in! (2, Insightful)

Phleg (523632) | more than 9 years ago | (#11606693)

Older hardware not as good as newer hardware! Crowds shocked!

On a serious note, I don't really understand why console manufacturers are so tight when it comes to memory. From my experience building personal computers, memory is usually the cheapest way to increase performance (up to a point). A fast processor will go nearly to waste if you don't have the memory to back it up.

The article, though short and not really all that noteworthy, does touch upon something confusing. Having an extremely memory bus means squat if there isn't all that much memory anyways.

Re:This just in! (2, Insightful)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607007)

When the PS2 came out, it was a huge leap over the ammount of memory in the PS1 (I believe 32 MB for the PS2 and 2 MB for the PS1... but I may be off). Same with the Gamecube, which has 64 MB total memory (system + graphics) and the N64 (4 MB shared). They figured that it was such an increase over what developers were currently using, that it would take them a while to get any real use out of it. Also, getting 128 MB for only $30 more sounds great for a PC (back then), but when you're talking about a console that's only $200 at launch, that's a 15% increase in price. And, yes, when these systems were designed (not launched), the ammount of memory in them was huge for a console.

Re:This just in! (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607845)

When the PS2 came out, it was a huge leap over the ammount of memory in the PS1 (I believe 32 MB for the PS2 and 2 MB for the PS1... but I may be off).

Dreamcast came out before the PS2 and had 26megs of ram, the PS2 has 32 megs of ram. Not exactly a huge leap.

The PS2 has only 4 megs of video ram, the dreamcast had 8. (which is what this article is all about)

Re:This just in! (-1, Troll)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607991)

What garbage.

The PS2 has much more bandwith then the dreamcast ever had between its VRAM. Which is why the PS2 can do things the dreamcast never could, and which is why PS2 games have better textures then any dreamcast game.

Re:This just in! (2, Interesting)

Aggrazel (13616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11608100)

But what I don't understand is, why don't they make the memory upgradable?

Nintendo did this with some success with the N64 and Majora's Mask. Made the game look a lot better with a memory upgrade in.

How many people would pay $50 to upgrade their PS2 to 128 megs of memory if it meant that newer games loaded faster and looked better?

Re:This just in! (2, Informative)

Toddarooski (12363) | more than 9 years ago | (#11609476)

But what I don't understand is, why don't they make the memory upgradable?

Noooo! The thing that makes consoles so nice is that every console has the same configuration. I, as a consumer, don't have to worry about whether my console can run game X with memory level Y and video chip Z. On the flip side, game developers can optimize their game towards one and only one system setup.

Nintendo was able to do this with with Majora's Mask because the memory was integrated into the cartridge (as opposed to being an optional machine add-on). They knew that every person who purchased the cartridge would have the memory upgrade and could tailor their game appropriately. Gamers wouldn't even have to be aware that their memory was being upgraded when they purchased their cartridge. I suppose it's one of the drawbacks of moving to a disc-based world.

Re:This just in! (2, Informative)

Toddarooski (12363) | more than 9 years ago | (#11609511)

Whoops! I stand corrected. Apparently, the exapansion pack was an optional add-on, instead of an "intgrated into the cartridge" thing. Makes my whole argument look kinda stupid.


(Hangs head in shame. Goes off to play Superman on the N64 as penance.)

Re:This just in! (1)

CoolGuySteve (264277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11610229)

That's a really good idea considering consoles are supposed to last for 5 years. If the memory doubles in transistors every 18 months, after 3 years you'd be able to sell an expansion with 4 times the RAM for the cost of the original memory.

Re:This just in! (1)

DeadScreenSky (666442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11613656)

It's not a bad idea, but most consoles nowadays have very low latency video RAM with tons of bandwidth going to it (the PS2 especially is like this, and it needs far more of a RAM upgrade than the other systems, which are still putting out games with amazing graphics). You probably couldn't do a video RAM upgrade very well (or cheaply) without having it integrated like they do now.

Re:This just in! (1)

TechniMyoko (670009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11616026)

If you saw Gran Turismo 4 you'd say PS2 is still putting out amazing graphics

Re:This just in! (1)

bleaknik (780571) | more than 9 years ago | (#11626656)

Ummm. Its Gran Turismo. Has the game really shown any real improvements since the original? (and I like the Gran Turismo games... but... ummm... can you say stale franchise?)

Re:This just in! (1)

SoVeryWrong (576783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607088)

That was the tradeoff that Sony made (which I thought was a mistake when they originally announced it). Instead of having a large amount of slower video memory (like all the other systems chose), they have a small amount of very fast video memory.

That's why textures usually look like shit on the PS2 compared to the Xbox or Gamecube. Then you have the PS2 games that are ported to Xbox and Gamecube that look almost identical because they didn't want to spend the money to redo the art assets, so you get scaled back PS2 textures.

Re:This just in! (2, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607135)

"Older hardware not as good as newer hardware! Crowds shocked!"

Shocked? I got my ass chewed here once because I said the GC was more powerful than a PS2.

Re:This just in! (2, Insightful)

zulux (112259) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607352)

On a serious note, I don't really understand why console manufacturers are so tight when it comes to memory.

The manufactures don't want to get caught with their pants down when it suddenly costs three times as much to buy RAM as is did when the console launched. They can mitigate the risk with options and contracts but it's still a risk that they want to mitigate - considering that companies like Mircosoft have to prop up their flagging console by selling them below cost, it's no wonder that the specs are skimpy.

Re:This just in! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607923)

Most consoles, with some significant exceptions such as Xbox, have the fastest (and most expensive) memory available at the time of release; We've seen consoles with RDRAM, 1T-SRAM, and so on. It's expensive memory, so they include as little as possible. It would be nice, though, if they would include a larger area of slower memory, like the Amiga did. It worked very well on that platform, which in many ways was a game machine :D (ObDisclaimer: I used to be an Amigan, I know I'm just talking shit here, laugh or something)

Having good memory bandwidth is helpful no matter how much memory you have, especially if the design cuts down on latency, too.

Re:This just in! (2, Interesting)

tc (93768) | more than 9 years ago | (#11609262)

Cost.

Consoles demand fast memory, and that stuff ain't cheap. If you add $20 to the cost of each console, and you plan to sell 50 million of them, you just took a billion dollars off your bottom line!

You either have to eat that loss (ouch), or increase your prices, which costs you market share.

At some point there is a sweet spot between packing the console with more memory, and ensuring you get the market share you want. I'm guessing that Sony, Nintendo, and the rest run those numbers and it turns out that the sweet-spot is quite a bit less memory than the average PC owner is used to.

Re:This just in! (1)

Otis2222222 (581406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11609818)

Why not add the additional RAM in and sell the consoles at a slight loss until manufacturing costs go down, due to cheaper RAM and such? As I understand it, the PS2 was originally sold at a loss due to low chip yields until its design could be optimized in later hardware revisions while at the same time the cost of manufacturing went down since component parts were cheaper. After that happened, they started to break even and/or profit from the sale of consoles.

Re:This just in! (1)

tc (93768) | more than 9 years ago | (#11612945)

Sure, but you can only do so much before the numbers don't work. At what point are you taking so much of a loss that it's just not worth it?

Clearly there is some amount of RAM at which you are making the console powerful enough to attract customers, at a competitve pricepoint, and which still enables you to make a long-term profit on the whole project. That amount is not zero, and it's not infinite. It's some number in-between, and that's the value the console vendors arrive at.

It's a balancing act. Subsidize each console too much and it doesn't matter how many you sell, because you'll never make your money back. Subsidize them not enough, and you'll either be charging too much, or they won't be powerful enough to attract sufficient market share.

We can all have our own individual opinions about where the sweet-spot really is, but frankly, this is just one of those big spreadsheet crunching exercises that MBAs are supposed to be good at.

Bullshit. (1, Interesting)

Spleener12 (587422) | more than 9 years ago | (#11606696)

Mikami just wants to make sure GC owners have the superior version so they won't make him make good on his promise that he'd cut his own head off if it came out for any other system.

(In all seriousness though, in light of the fact that the PS2 version was obviously not planned at first, the engine's probably optimized out the ass for the Gamecube's hardware, making porting a royal bitch.)

Re:Bullshit. (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 9 years ago | (#11606895)

I remember when Tenchu 3 was ported from the PS2 to the Xbox, they wound up using the models used to make the CGIs for the Xbox gameplay.

But you can still tell it came from a PS2 port. Try the levels specially made for the Xbox version, and compare them to the original ported levels.

Hell, I still see top-tier PS2 games that do things like render a cape as four squares hooked at the edges, with things like clothes and accessories (belts, necklaces, etc) simply as part of the textures, rather than separately modeled thingies, and so on.

Re:Bullshit. (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607209)

Actually, Mikami already said he wasn't having anything to do with the port. So this means that it's someone other than Mikami having problems making the PS2 behave.

But honestly, I don't know why you are so shocked. I've been predicting that this exact thing would happen since the game was announced for PS2. Until now, I've just been told I was a fanboy who didn't know anything. But to me it's just common sense.

Grammar Nazi (0, Offtopic)

hab136 (30884) | more than 9 years ago | (#11606844)

"since Capcom sites a few specifics"

cite: make reference to; "His name was cited in connection with the invention"

site: assign a location to; "The company sited some of their agents in Los Angeles"

"Me fail English? That's unpossible!"

Re:Grammar Nazi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11606991)

Wow! Do you have your own websight?

Re:Grammar Nazi (1)

hab136 (30884) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607078)

Wow! Do you have your own websight?

Yes, I see far into the web, dark places where no man should go.

Article hazy... (1)

softspokenrevolution (644206) | more than 9 years ago | (#11606851)

Try again.

Have to side with the folks on this one, really just seems like mumbo-jumbo to me.

Re:Article hazy... (2, Insightful)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607058)

The original source was a Japanese CG modeling magazine. They were talking to Capcom graphic designers who do modeling and texture art, not people who program. This is an example of computer specs as percieved by artists.

I believe it (3, Interesting)

metamatic (202216) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607243)

Speaking as someone with both GameCube and PS2 systems...

It's a real shame the GameCube didn't become the world's #1 console. It's a better system than the original PS2 in almost every way... design, aesthetics, graphical capabilities, fan noise, build quality... The only thing it lacks is breadth of software.

When I have the choice, I mostly prefer to play the GameCube versions of games. Generally they're superior, though there have been some exceptions. For Splinter Cell, I decided to go with the PS2, because it had an entire extra level, and that was worth a tradeoff in graphic quality. But ultimately, there are just so many great PS2 games that aren't available for GameCube, and so few GameCube-only "must have" games, that if I had to pick only one system, it would be the PS2. (I'd miss the Metroid games terribly, though.)

Anyone know of a good games review site that specializes in comparing the same game on different consoles? It seems to me that there are a lot of people with more than one console, who would find it very useful to know which platform to pick for multi-platform games.

I suspect the DS vs PSP battle will go the same way, only more so because of Nintendo's blinkered focus on kiddy games on the GBA. Already, the PSP has more titles I want to play than my GameBoy Advance has titles I want to play. I haven't yet seen anything that makes me want a DS, since Metroid's just a demo.

Re:I believe it (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11608030)

IGN does some head-to-head reviews of certain games, but they are available to the IGN Insiders only. If the game is exactly the same on multiple platforms, the rankings are usually

1) Xbox
2) GC
3) PS2

overall, citing better graphics, sound, load times on Xbox/GC, but better controls on PS2. However, there are times when a feature for a system will skew the head-to-head review greatly toward a system, like an extra level, or online play.

Hope this helps.

Re:I believe it (1)

Aggrazel (13616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11608072)

I too love my gamecube, there is however one game I prefer on PS2:

Balder's Gate: Dark Alliance

Not only does it seem to save/load faster on the PS2, but the PS2's controller is better for it. Though my suspicion is because it was a lazy port, if you know what I mean.

Re:I believe it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11608626)

Lazy port? That's a nice way of putting it...

"Ok, we're designing a game that will be ported to systems that support 4 controllers out of the box, and we're offering 4 character choices. However, the PS2 only has 2 ports...therefore let's cripple the other versions!"

Re:I believe it (1)

timetokill (830909) | more than 9 years ago | (#11609602)

Metroid's a demo, yes, but a demo of a game coming out in May.

Re:I believe it (1)

Otis2222222 (581406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11609939)

I know I am beating a dead horse here, but:

  1. The PS2 Controller Rocks. I simply cannot get comfortable using a GC Controller.
  2. The Grand Theft Auto series was half my reason for buying.
  3. Gran Turismo 3 (and now 4) was the other half.

I am not anti-nintendo or anything, I just don't care much for the Gamecube.

Re:I believe it (1)

sehryan (412731) | more than 9 years ago | (#11610912)

Actually, I would say you don't care much for the games (or lack thereof) on the GC. If GTA and Gran Turismo were offered on the GC, would the PS2 controller be enough for you to choose it over the Cube?

Re:I believe it (1, Troll)

AlexMax2742 (602517) | more than 9 years ago | (#11611086)

Nintendo really has nobody to blame but themselves for the lack of software on their system. Although the software they release is spot on, they neglected a few important things.

1. CD space.

I don't care if they are small or have fast access times or anything, if you don't have the space you can't get the content on there. They could only hold a fraction of the amount of data a DVD on the PS2 or Xbox. Multi-discs aren't a solution either, especially for porting games that origionally came on one.

2. Their controller.

In all seriousness, it is just awful. Even worse than the Playstation 2's afterthaught of a controller (Hey, lets take our normal PS2 controller and place thumbsticks in the most unnatural and uncomfortable position ever and say we offer analog control. Come on, even the Dreamcast got this one right). The shoulder buttons have way too much give and aren't springy enough. They might be good for racing games, but since the Gamecube has all of one racing game worth playing on the system (Double Dash).

The overall lack of analog buttons in other places is a pain in the ass too. No depressable thumbsticks either. And whoever decided where the Z button should be placed should be fired. It's a pain, you either have to design the game around the controler or half ass a control system equivilent with random button remappings.

In all honestly, Microsoft may have had an abortion of a first controller, but the Controller S is a fine example of how all controllers should be designed, with the exception of the relocation of the white and black buttons (If they had left them where they were, six button fighing games would have been a lot easier to play) I hope Nintendo takes a cue from them next time around.

3. Their inability to sell anything other than their franchise titles.

The times that Nintendo came up with a new property, like Pikman, they have been totally unable to figure out how to market them to playyers. It's a shame, because games like Pikman 2 deserve a lot more attention then they get.

4. The internet.

I swear Nintendo, if the next Smash Bros doesn't even have LAN support (So people can at least pipe it over Warp Pipe), I'm just giving up. The internet on consoles is not a fad, and the only reason Nintendo has been lagging behind is because it's next to impossible to find the network adapter anywhere. Right now, Xbox is pretty much the only serious game in town when it comes to online console gaming, and I guarentee you that internet enabled Starfox, Smash Bros, and perhaps even a Pokemon MMORPG would make the next system a slam dunk.

I think this is about all I can think of off the top of my head. And for reference, I own all three systems, and while my Xbox gets semi-regular play (now playing second fiddle to my PC), my Gamecube is at my parents house collecting dust along with my PS2.

Re:I believe it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11612352)

I agree with a lot of what you say, but you also mention many points where our experiences differ.

1. CD space.

Totally valid, although the the speed advantages are remarkable, and the amount of time they bought with the security features was priceless. Even today, you will find users that don't know how GameCube security works, or who aren't aware that the GameCube is DVD-based. But it's true that the Cube's disc space has made some developers look elsewhere, often times even in cases where a bit of audio compression and smart level design would have bridged the gap.

2. Their controller.

In all seriousness, it is just awful. Even worse than the Playstation 2's afterthaught of a controller (Hey, lets take our normal PS2 controller and place thumbsticks in the most unnatural and uncomfortable position ever and say we offer analog control. Come on, even the Dreamcast got this one right).


The PS2's controller layout has been standard since a few years into the life of the original PS, which itself used the layout of the SNES controller as a direct template. And yes, the analog stick placement sucks. (I always thought they would have worked better in that weird-looking Logitech configuration, close to the upper outer edges of both sides of the controller.)

The GameCube's analog stick is in the comfortable dominant position, same position as on Dreamcast and Xbox.

The shoulder buttons have way too much give and aren't springy enough. They might be good for racing games, but since the Gamecube has all of one racing game worth playing on the system (Double Dash).

The analog shoulder buttons are, in my opinion, much better than those of say, the Xbox, Dreamcast, and Saturn (which are all the same). They are straight buttons, not triggers that rotate on an axis, which, to me, feels more comfortable to press. They also feature a digital click that offers resistance before registering, something other systems don't offer. You talk later about clickable analog sticks, but I say that THIS is where clickable action belongs. It's better than fumbling to click on the top of a stick that is itself designed to have lateral movement like on the PS2/Xbox analog sticks. PS2 doesn't even have worthy analog shoulder buttons, just fake ones like the rest of its analog buttons.

There is a big and real distinction between cart games, racing games, and other types of driving games. Mario Kart Double Dash is an example of one of the best games in the best cart series, Mario Kart. F-Zero GX is an example of probably THE best futuristic racer of all time, clearly surpassing the best of the Wipeout series (and all of the Dreamcast and modern clones) in my opinion. The Need For Speed and Burnout series both have Cube versions, although the Cube never got Burnout 3 after the EA buyout of Criterion. So the Cube may not have a solid Gran Turismo rival, but (going by what I've read and seen about Forza) neither does Xbox.

The overall lack of analog buttons in other places is a pain in the ass too.

Where do you want these analog buttons? The PS2 controller "features" analog sensitivity on all main face buttons and the d-pad of all things, which is about as stupid as it gets. Those buttons were designed with digital usage (on/off only) in mind; you can't take such buttons with such small traveling space (2mm?) and expect them to work well as analog sensors. I have played games like MGS2 and Mad Maestro on my PS2, and it just seems so ridiculous. The same analog buttons that aren't on the GameCube controller are the same analog buttons that aren't on the Xbox controller, BTW.

No depressable thumbsticks either.

Thank God. Other PS2 guys might agree with the Xbox guys about this one, but I don't care. Depressable thumbsticks are a good way to guarantee that you will have to program a dead zone into your games, to keep inaccurate presses from registering stick movement. Hell, the PS2 controller and all analog PS controllers that came before it feature dead zones built into the controller hardware. That's not good.

And whoever decided where the Z button should be placed should be fired. It's a pain, you either have to design the game around the controler or half ass a control system equivilent with random button remappings.

You can't blame the designers, but I agree with your dislike for the Z button. Just go back and read the controller hype articles from the days before the launch of the GameCube (IGN ran a whole bunch of them, hype-mongers that they are). The GameCube was designed without a Z button, but EA and other publishers requested that an additional button be added to the controller. So, Nintendo added Z, but thankfully they didn't include a left-hand equivalent. Just hold a GameCube controller and imagine how some people would have put their index fingers on these buttons while putting their middle fingers on the analog shoulder buttons. That would not have been good at all, since lazy developers would have just assigned standard PS2 mappings to these buttons, giving them priority over the analog shoulder buttons.

In all honestly, Microsoft may have had an abortion of a first controller, but the Controller S is a fine example of how all controllers should be designed, with the exception of the relocation of the white and black buttons (If they had left them where they were, six button fighing games would have been a lot easier to play) I hope Nintendo takes a cue from them next time around.

The Controller S has a stiff, low-profile, circular d-pad. I like the old Sega-style round d-pads that Microsoft was emulating here (I prefer the large Nintendo cross pads on the NES, GB, SNES, and N64, though), but they at least had a little bit higher profile to prevent accidental diagonal presses. On Xbox, it is also no more comfortable in its placement than the d-pad on the Cube and Dreamcast, or the analog sticks on the PS2. The N64 bested them all in terms of fair treatment for both analog stick and d-pad.

The black and white buttons are far too recessed to be useful for fast games, and are poorly placed (worse than on The Duke, which had its own funky button placement problems).

The center space of the face of all Xbox controllers is wasted on excessively large branding when it could have been used for supplementary function buttons (like select and start).

It also has clickable analog sticks and Sega-style triggers, both of which I consider negatives.

3. Their inability to sell anything other than their franchise titles.

The times that Nintendo came up with a new property, like Pikman, they have been totally unable to figure out how to market them to playyers. It's a shame, because games like Pikman 2 deserve a lot more attention then they get.


Where are you coming from with this one? Pikmin and Pikmin 2 have sold well, and Pikmin 2 is still selling well at full price. Pikmin became a Player's Choice title thanks to sales.

As for new franchises, it's hard to blame Nintendo when people only want to buy games linked to their older properties. Now I loves me some Zelda and Mario, but I'm not one of those gamers. Still, they are hard to ignore.

4. The internet.

I swear Nintendo, if the next Smash Bros doesn't even have LAN support (So people can at least pipe it over Warp Pipe), I'm just giving up. The internet on consoles is not a fad, and the only reason Nintendo has been lagging behind is because it's next to impossible to find the network adapter anywhere. Right now, Xbox is pretty much the only serious game in town when it comes to online console gaming, and I guarentee you that internet enabled Starfox, Smash Bros, and perhaps even a Pokemon MMORPG would make the next system a slam dunk.


I agree, but I think Nintendo's big thing has always been (1) can they make money on this and (2) can they guarantee a good player experience without having 100% control over the process. The first is obvious: Even today, it's hard for console manufacturers to make money with online gaming compared to the required investments. The second is harder. Any time you do online gaming, you introduce potential weak links to the experience (other player's abilities to affect your experience negatively, technical limitations, potential for exploitation, etc). Even MS and Sony know this, so they spend money to attack the problems where they can. I can see where Nintendo, for this generation at least, would want to avoid these risks where they could. LAN play on their recent titles was testing the water, I think. If they go through with what was laid out in that whole "Nintendo 21" thing, I think they could really be set to do something new and worthwhile. And the DS already has huge potential for this. All it needs is TCP/IP software to enable internet gaming.

I think this is about all I can think of off the top of my head. And for reference, I own all three systems, and while my Xbox gets semi-regular play (now playing second fiddle to my PC), my Gamecube is at my parents house collecting dust along with my PS2.

I own all the Japanese-developed systems going back to the mid-1980s (including import-only consoles and handheld systems), and I haven't added an Xbox to that collection. However, I do have regular access to a friend's modded Xbox and games and I have a PC that was gaming-level several years ago :) (I don't play PC games). To me, GameCube is easily this generation's star system for the quality of its exclusives and its technical abilities relative to cost, while PS2 is the typical low-end system that everyone has, so it tends to get a version of most games. I know Xbox is as impressive to others as GameCube is to me, but it just doesn't offer me much, as someone who already has both a Cube and a PS2. For the type of games that I enjoy playing, the combo of Xbox and PS2 would leave me hurting for a GameCube real bad. The combo of GameCube and Xbox would leave me in a similar situation, only because I enjoy Japanese RPGs. So of all three current home systems, the Cube and PS2 are all I really need, Cube most of all.

Re:I believe it (1)

AlexMax2742 (602517) | more than 9 years ago | (#11614485)

There is a big and real distinction between cart games, racing games, and other types of driving games. Mario Kart Double Dash is an example of one of the best games in the best cart series, Mario Kart.

I dunno, I liked Mario Kart 64 a lot better. But still, just a matter of preference. F-Zero GX is an example of probably THE best futuristic racer of all time, clearly surpassing the best of the Wipeout series (and all of the Dreamcast and modern clones) in my opinion.

Oh damn, forgot about F-Zero GX. I had played it a few times, and liked it. The Need For Speed and Burnout series both have Cube versions, although the Cube never got Burnout 3 after the EA buyout of Criterion. So the Cube may not have a solid Gran Turismo rival, but (going by what I've read and seen about Forza) neither does Xbox.

Meh, I didn't like GT that much. What I had in mind more was Burnout 3 and Project Gotham Racing 2 (the later of which I adore, as I feel like it's a prefect blend of arcade and sim) Where do you want these analog buttons? The PS2 controller "features" analog sensitivity on all main face buttons and the d-pad of all things, which is about as stupid as it gets. Those buttons were designed with digital usage (on/off only) in mind; you can't take such buttons with such small traveling space (2mm?) and expect them to work well as analog sensors. I have played games like MGS2 and Mad Maestro on my PS2, and it just seems so ridiculous. The same analog buttons that aren't on the GameCube controller are the same analog buttons that aren't on the Xbox controller, BTW.

Incorrect. All of the buttons (except start and back, and with the possible exception of black and white, but nothing overly important is ever assigned to them anyway) on the Xbox controller. They're actually a lot more comforatble than their PS2 counterpart as well. And there are some places where I really miss analog buttons, such as in MGS2, when you slowly release the shoot button, you can put away your gun without shooting. Thank God. Other PS2 guys might agree with the Xbox guys about this one, but I don't care. Depressable thumbsticks are a good way to guarantee that you will have to program a dead zone into your games, to keep inaccurate presses from registering stick movement. Hell, the PS2 controller and all analog PS controllers that came before it feature dead zones built into the controller hardware. That's not good.

We'll have to Agree to disagree. It seemed intuitive for functions like duck in a FPS. The black and white buttons are far too recessed to be useful for fast games, and are poorly placed (worse than on The Duke, which had its own funky button placement problems).

I expressed this discontent in my origional post. The center space of the face of all Xbox controllers is wasted on excessively large branding when it could have been used for supplementary function buttons (like select and start).

In all honesty, I really like where the Xbox put it's start and back buttons. Once you get used to it, it's really convenient, and suddenly pressing...say...back to check your scores in a FPS doesn't seem like that big of a deal. On the Controller S of course, the Fatbody's buttons are entirely out of place. And the DS already has huge potential for this. All it needs is TCP/IP software to enable internet gaming.

Oh man, when I heard about the wireless capabilities of the DS I was shaking my fist in the air. Now if only people will take advantage of it.

And I'm rather sad to see that some cube fanboy with a few extra mod points decided to mod my post -1 Troll. Christ kids, I don't hate the cube, it's just that I think that Nintendo fumbled the ball on parts of it. Heaven forbid I have anything good to say about M$ LOL.

Re:I believe it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11658600)

By "fan noise" you mean fanboy trolls.

Much ado about nothing (0, Flamebait)

Dormann (793586) | more than 9 years ago | (#11609467)

The PS2 and GC are very similar systems, as far as overall capabilities are concerned.

GC has a faster processor. PS2 has more processors. GC is slightly higer-res. PS2 has more universal memory. When you weigh all the pros and cons, the systems are close to a dead heat.

"[A team that wrote a game for system A] is encountering a few problems porting [their game to system B]." Of course they are. That is the norm. I'm sure there were difficulties porting Jet Grind Radio from Dreamcast to Xbox.

"In conclusion, [said game] is the perfect hardware comparison between [system A] and [system B]." Bull.

It's not about sheer hardware power. (3, Interesting)

realityfighter (811522) | more than 9 years ago | (#11616108)

As someone who owns both systems, I can tell you that, even though their respective bits of hardware may be comparable, the Cube has some very distinct performance advantages. Most notably:

Load Times. The Cube is so fast reading and writing all it's media, that sometimes you'll blink and miss a load screen. Some games (like Donkey Konga) save every two minutes or so, but you never even see a save screen. The practical upshot is Metroid Prime's ability to stream the next area as you approach the door, resulting in no load times at all - which RE4 apparently imitates. Compare this to, for example, Simpsons Road Rage for the PS2, where you often have to wait 45 seconds to retry a 20 second time trial. Obviously, this is also a problem with the game software - you should never have to reload the entire game environment to replay a single level. But it still takes 45 seconds to load! That's about 5 seconds more than it takes my computer to boot up.

Full-Screen Antialiasing. The Cube has it, the PS2 doesn't. This means when I pop in a simple-looking "kiddy game" like Wind Waker, what I see on the screen are smooth edges. Even if the characters had only a few polys, the whole thing would look smooth because of the antialiasing. Compare this to Shadow Hearts for the PS2. Everything looks like it was bluescreened together - jagged edges everywhere. I'm sure game developers could write a bit of code to simulate antialiasing on the PS2, but on the Cube they don't have to - it makes the graphics smooth for you. This, by the way, is one of the reasons it's so damn hard to pick the zombies out of the background in a Resident Evil game.

Also, Resident Evil 0 (and also the original I think) used a 1-second full screen video loop as the background for every room in the game. This allowed all of the poly-pushing power to be put into the character models and other movable objects. This is possible on the Cube because it has a powerful 2-D engine native to the system. (I would guess that this particular technique isn't too hard to do on the Cube, because Baten Kaitos uses it also.) Guess what? The PS2 doesn't have this. It's not that it can't be done on the PS2, it's that, as a developer, you'd most likely end up having to write the graphics modules for it yourself.

I don't know much about memory buffers and poly- or texture-pushing capacities, and I'm not really sure if these differences have anything to do with the hardware itself. They could very well be optimisations in the Cube's compiler, or flaws in the PS2's OS. I do have both systems though, and just from playing both of them (a lot!) I know that there are some areas where the Cube just takes the cake. It's not too far fetched to say that RE4 exemplifies them.

Xbox port? (0, Flamebait)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 9 years ago | (#11610878)

Why not port it to the Xbox? I mean, it's a bit more powerfull than the Cube, and we sure could use a survival horror game!

Re:Xbox port? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11611208)

You're way better off than you think! You Xbox guys have the Fatal Frame games. I love that series on PS2. You also got the even-numbered Silent Hill games. And even though I was never a fan of Dino Crisis, you guys have Dino Crisis 3, although I heard it sucks.

The PS2 can play most of the RE games except the cool remake version and Resident Evil Zero (both for Cube only), since it looks like the downgraded version of RE4 we're talking about is coming out next year. PS2 also has both Fatal Frames, the full Silent Hill series (first game is for PS), and Siren (which deserved a better translation job, damn it), along with a few others, including a non-RE/non-DC game from Capcom that's coming out soon.

The Cube has Eternal Darkness (underrated, despite how much we Cube players talk about it all the time) and the complete Resident Evil series except for the online offshoot and the gun offshoot titles.

I wouldn't compare Fatal Frame + some of the Silent Hills against the full Resident Evil repertoire + Eternal Darkness, but Xbox definitely has a pretty good share of these games. Four good titles isn't bad, even though all four are ports from PS2.
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