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Valve's Orange Box For PS3 Delayed, Not Console Related

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the there-are-elements-here-that-are-confusing dept.

PlayStation (Games) 58

Eurogamer is reporting that the package of Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episodes One and Two, Portal, and Team Fortress 2 known as the Orange Box will have a delayed release on the PlayStation 3. The 360 and PC versions are still slated for retail release on October 9th, with the PS3 version coming two-to-three weeks later. But, Valve was quick to point out, it's not because of the console: "The reason for the PS3 build's late arrival, marketing director Doug Lombardi told Eurogamer, is simply that the EA UK team handling [the PS3 Orange Box's] development are on the other side of the ocean and are necessarily a bit behind the core Valve team's development. 'We weren't going to hold up PC and 360 for PS3,' Lombardi told us."

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58 comments

First Post delayed (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519165)

This post is delayed as well, though its not because of the PS3 console either.
Its because I outsourced my typing and there is some lag.

Well, at least they're honest this time. (0, Troll)

deftcoder (1090261) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519171)

They could have leaked their own code and claimed that large portions of it needed to be rewritten for security reasons again...

PS 3 USB Mouse Support (-1, Troll)

elh_inny (557966) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519197)

For the first time there's a chance for a decent input device for a Console system, I for one wouldn't really care about any FPS games for any console unless it has a mouse support.
Seriously, I've seen people play Halo on their gamepad and that's just lame, when you can be like 100x more accurate nad faster with the mouse...
and that is from a console made by the same company that invented the mouse (or spread it's usage, whatever)...

The Mouse... (0, Offtopic)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519253)

The modern ball mouse was invented at Xerox PARC, a division of the Xerox corporation based out of California. Its usage was spread by Apple Computer, possibly with the Apple II. Could have been earlier though.

Re:The Mouse... (1)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 6 years ago | (#20527533)

Lesson of the day: if you enable reparenting of comments, don't mod comments "off-topic".

Re:PS 3 USB Mouse Support (1)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519263)

dont' forget about the wii.. it does some pretty slick FPS without a mouse.. heck.. it's more like an actual shooter

Re:PS 3 USB Mouse Support (1)

sveard (1076275) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519381)

It's more like actually shooting someone. I mean, something.

Re:PS 3 USB Mouse Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20519917)

This might interest you:

http://www.xcm.cc/xcm_xfps_360.htm [www.xcm.cc]

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2645026175 103469208&q=XFPS&total=35&start=0&num=10&so=0&type =search&plindex=1 [google.com]

Personally I haven't bothered getting one as after playing shooters for a few weeks I got used to console controls for FPS ok and I'd played PC FPS with mouse and keyboard for well over a decade prior. I don't think console controllers are that bad for it, you just have to give them chance. To put it another way, the best selling FPSs of all time are Goldeneye 64 and Halo 2 both console FPSs and both selling around twice as many units as their classic PC mouse/keyboard competitors such as the Half-Lifes, the Quakes and so forth.

Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (2, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519343)

His constant bitching about the PS3 must be severely dampening interest in the Orange Box on that platform. I expect most of his complaints stem from the PS3's outright impudence of not being a Microsoft platform and not using Microsoft APIs. Even so, when the head of Valve slags off a platform, what confidence does it instill in games they're making for it? Apparently they're so allergic to this strange and terrifying console that they've shoved the port onto some EA team. Perhaps the game will end up being great on the PS3 but at the moment I have no confidence at all that it will be. Mr Newell needs to shut up or say something positive. Worse is that I just know that if the port does turn out to be poor or sales are a flop that he'll blame the console rather than acknowledge his own hand in the outcome.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (0, Troll)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519451)

More importantly, Halflife 2 is *how* many years old now?

Why would I want to play it on ANY platform anymore than I want to play FEAR on the 360? These are games that are about three years old now.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (3, Informative)

Clazzy (958719) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519503)

To be honest, the game engine is being updated all the time. We had HDR, better facial animation and now we're getting better physics, optimisations for multiple processors, motion blur and more. I could understand your point if the engine remained static but Valve are putting a lot of effort into the engine so it's not just an addon that's three years late. This is more-or-less the way episodic content will be anyway, this might be the norm if enough people see it as a good way of making money.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20522415)

Not to mention The Orange Box includes the original Half-Life 2 aswell as Episode 1, Episode 2, Portal AND Team Fortress 2. I think I'll get atleast 100-200 hours of play out of the orange box, well worth the purchase. I've been waiting for this for ages, and it's almost finally out... I've got it marked on my calender: October 10, 2007 (assuming there's no delays).

I only ever bought Half-Life 2 and for the longest time I wanted to get Episode 1 (I even went to a local store a couple times but they never had any copies in stock). Now I'm glad that I didn't end up buying Episode 1 since I can now get it as part of the orange box.

On a side note, I think FPS gamers are going to be busy for a while, here's whats currently marked on my calender:

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (October 2nd, 2007)
Half-Life 2 Episode 2 (October 10, 2007)
Crysis (November 16, 2007)
Unreal Tournament 3 (Sometime in November 2007)

Talk about a huge holiday lineup.... (And of course Halo 3 for those console gamers...not for me, but worth mentioning). I'll be picking up Episode 2, Crysis and Unreal for sure, Enemy Territory most likely not at release, maybe some point next year after I've played out those other 3...

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

ChildeRoland (949144) | more than 6 years ago | (#20546325)

Do you have a source for your claim that the Orange Box includes HL2 and Ep1? Everything I've seen simply states HL2: Ep2, Portal, and TF2.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585333)

Quote from GameSpot [gamespot.com] (emphasis mine):

When Half-Life 2: The Orange Box ships later this year, it promises to deliver an impressively wide range of gameplay. First, there's Half-Life 2: Episode Two, the second part of the trilogy follow-up to 2004's blockbuster Half-Life 2. (The Orange Box will also include Half-Life 2 as well as Episode One to get newcomers up to speed.) Next is Team Fortress 2, the stylized, team-based multiplayer action game that's been in development off and on over the past decade. Finally, The Orange Box will also include Portal, the innovative first-person action puzzle game.

Quote from IGN [ign.com] :

The Orange Box is a menagerie of Valve Software's most recent and forthcoming titles, including Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2 and Portal.

Also, the official site [half-life2.com] ... It's going to be the best selling game bundle ever, in my opinion. If all goes according to plan, it'll be released on October 10th (less than a month to go).

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519641)

Well you do get Team Fortress 2, Portal as well as episodes 1 & 2 of Half Life. The engine has been improved over the years (e.g. HDR) but I suspect it's still heavily dependent on DirectX and Win32 APIs. I expect the thought of porting the code so it ran under OpenGL and other APIs used by the PS3 was just too hideous to contemplate.

So they punted the work over to EA. I wouldn't be surprised if EA did the work pro bono or for a discount on the promise of any profits from the Orange Box on PS3 or other subsequent titles (Left for Dead etc.).

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (2, Insightful)

revengebomber (1080189) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519881)

Mod parent up. This is a prime example of the advantages of cross-platform (and likely, open source as well) libraries and APIs. Had they developed on an SDL-OGL-OAL system in the first place, porting the game would boil down to nothing more than re-doing the online features. As it is, however, they likely have to scrap and rebuild the entirety of the graphics, sound, and input code, before they can even think about the PS3 (which they're not even doing [maxconsole.net] ).

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (0, Flamebait)

caramelcarrot (778148) | more than 6 years ago | (#20520451)

Except OGL is pretty inferior to D3D these days?

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20521007)

No, it's pretty much identical. Yes, the API is different in a few important respects, but OpenGL 2.1 supports every feature that D3D 9 supports except for one (instancing, which is absolutely required in D3D games, but isn't that big of a deal in GL games). One can simply ignore all the legacy baggage in OpenGL, and code for it exactly the same way you would for D3D. The only real difference is GLSL vs HLSL, and frankly that's just a matter of personal preference.

It gets trickier if you count D3D 10. There are cards available that have support for all the D3D features, but hardly anyone has both Vista and a D3D 10 capable card. There are no games that make use of D3D 10 for anything other than simple special effects, and there won't be for several years, simply because it's not worth limiting your audience. Besides, games being released even a year from now would still have been in development long before D3D 10 was announced.

What D3D 10 is useful for right now is prototyping. If you're in the early stages of a game that'll ship in 2 or 3 years, D3D 10 is going to be important. For this kind of prototyping, OpenGL 2.1 with either the vendor-specific (nVidia) or standard (EXT / ARB) extensions are just as usable, and OpenGL 3 will be usable long before the game ships. Chances are the renderer is going to be mostly rewritten several times before the game ships anyway, to keep pace with new hardware that defies the assumptions made about existing hardware, so simply developing on GL 2 now and porting to GL 3 later isn't that big of a deal. Neither is developing on GL 2 and porting to both D3D 10 and GL 3.

Frankly, OpenGL is just as good for writing games with now as D3D is. Always has been, really. It just didn't have Microsoft's marketing department behind it.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (2, Insightful)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 6 years ago | (#20521633)

Huh?

Where did that come from?

The PSP, PS2, PS3, N64, GC, Wii, and DS all use OpenGL. Graphics on the PS3 are at least equivalent to the 360 (and I say this as a 360 owner who doesn't own a PS3). The architecture might be more difficult to program for (crazy CPU, etc . . . )) but how does that demonstrate that OpenGL is inferior?

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20521071)

The age of a game is not important.
We still play chess and that is 500 years old, football originated over 2000 years ago and other games and sports have been around for as long.
As for computer games, I still find games like pacman and asteroids and things like lemmings or worms fun to play.

At the moment I am working my way through original half life (with the original GOTY edition from 1999) after I installed it for my son had an afternoon to kill. Whilst showing him how to play and getting him through the tough bits I remembered how much fun it was to play.

The difference with games like half life are they are like movies, after you have played through once you don't feel like playing again for a while. I am glad I am playing again because it is such a good game.

On the contrary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20519515)

It just reaffirms many people's belief that the PS3 really does suck seeing major developers and companies talking it down. It's not like it's just Gabe Newell complaining about it, John Carmack isn't to keen either and judging by the amount of companies who have switched platforms and made the 360 their primary platform it suggests that perhaps there is actually something wrong with the PS3 from a development standpoint?

Sony has always had crappy development setups and support for their console but they've been able to because they've been dominating the console market, now Microsoft has got a foothold on the scene, and Nintendo has become prominent again developers are in a position to complain about how bad the PS3 and it's development tools actually are. Nintendo and Microsoft both have relatively awesome development enviroments and developer support, quite why developers should not be allowed to point out how bad it is developing for a specific console I don't know. Surely it's better that Sony is aware that one of the things turning developers off their console is their sucky development enviroment and tools?

Re:On the contrary (4, Informative)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519615)

Gabe Newell is a pro-Microsoft business hat. His opinion of the PS3 is non-technical, biased and quite ill informed. And spectacularly bizarre considering (I assume) that he wants the Orange Box to sell well on that console.

Carmack gives a reasoned technical criticism but it wasn't particularly pro or anti the PS3. His opinion was that you had to work harder to get at the power, specifically - "They are both powerful systems that are going to make excellent game platforms, but I have a bit of a preference for the 360's symmetric CPU architecture and excellent development tools," he said. "The PS3 will have a bit more peak power, but it will be easier to exploit the available power on the 360. Our next major title is being focused towards simultaneous release on 360, PS3, and PC."

That doesn't sound like badmouthing to me but an informed observation.

Re:On the contrary (1)

Marbleless (640965) | more than 6 years ago | (#20520447)

So basically Carmack & Newell agree but one is non-technical, biased and quite ill informed and the other isn't.

Hmmm ;)

Re:On the contrary (1)

Grave (8234) | more than 6 years ago | (#20521993)

Actually, Carmack pretty much said that although the 360 is easy to develop for, the power is about even and he was going to get all he could from both systems anyway. Newell, however, gripes about how terrible the PS3 is and then outsources development. If he were actually programming for both himself, I'd be more interested in his opinion. But otherwise, his opinion comes off as biased and ill informed, since he doesn't actually have firsthand experience with it. UE3 and IDTech5 are both running just fine on all three platforms (PC, 360, PS3) with just a single primary developer, while Source required separate development teams to make it work on all three platforms.

The 360 is easier to code for, as has been established by dozens of developers comments. But that doesn't mean they're going to sit around complaining or abandon the platform (well, a few have abandoned, but not many). For a developer that has the experience and credibility with FPS games and engine design to gripe as much as Newell has makes him look awfully pathetic.

Re:On the contrary (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 6 years ago | (#20522183)

They do not even appear to agree. Carmack doesn't pan the PS3 at all, he simply points out that its harder to get at the available power, while also saying its more powerful.

Re:On the contrary (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 6 years ago | (#20521531)

He's not just pro-Microsoft. He's an ex Microsoft employee.

Re:On the contrary (1)

GL250 (1153817) | more than 6 years ago | (#20525615)

Well said, DrXym. Carmack, although, I disagree with him. Really prefers the PC architecture. He's always been on the PC side. Even during the PS2 launch (he said the same criticism back then). Gabe Newell on the other hand is just a Microsoft Shill.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

Elkboy (770849) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519525)

Maybe you can send Gabe a pamphlet of how to really develop for the PS3 and see how the problems are really features. It worked for Sony and Lair, right?

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519597)

There are plenty of decent games for the PS3. If the Orange Box sucks, the blame will lie squarely with the developers. And yes the blame lies with the LAIR developers too. The problems of that game had absolutely nothing to do with the PS3 at all (reviewers unanimously said it looked and sounded gorgeous) but the control scheme and targeting sucked.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (0, Flamebait)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20520279)

Maybe you can send Gabe a pamphlet of how to really develop for the PS3
There are plenty of decent games for the PS3. If the Orange Box sucks, the blame will lie squarely with the developers. And yes the blame lies with the LAIR developers too.
And the Sony developers if the LAIR developers can't figure out how to use the PS3 API right. That's the kind of thing that the pamphlet might cover.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20520449)

LAIR sucked for the controls, not any technical issue with the PS3. Quit trying to insinuate that a bad port mean there are problems with the console.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

Grave (8234) | more than 6 years ago | (#20522051)

What port? Lair is a unique and exclusive title for PS3. My understanding of the control problem was that it was primarily an issue of the motion-sensing not working out very well. Whether that is a hardware limitation or bad programming is unknown, but it's always been known that the SIXAXIS doesn't have anything like the motion capability of the Wiimote.

For a title that was supposed to be a system mover to have such a fundamental problem is a huge disappointment and honestly, not a very good indicator of things to come.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 6 years ago | (#20542767)

Motion senseing can work just fine in a flight game. Go look at warhawk, for example. Once you got the hang of it, it's pretty easy to whip your warhawk around in a dogfight. Lair doesn't control like that. It's more like trying to stear a 4 ton flying horse, not at all easy or smooth in comparison. Add on the lack of manual targeting, and it was a recipie for disaster. Even on a wii controller, it would have been the same deal.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20520881)

I recall reviewers complaining about a shitty framerate, too.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 6 years ago | (#20520935)

Horrible controls is just ONE of the problems in Lair, according to reviews.
The framerate sucks too. (BTW, IGN just reviewed Skate, and gave the 360 version the nod over the PS3 version due to framerate problems on the PS3, and bad aliasing, and blurry visuals (in attempt to hide the aliasing). We've seen this over and over again, all this after Sony talked of dual-1080p output at 120 frames per second. After all that boasting, PS3 can't even do single 720p output at 60 (and even sometimes 30) fps without sputtering).)

PS3's architecture is too complicated to program for. That's why 360 kicks PS3's rear up and down the street, despite having theoretically weaker hardware.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

GL250 (1153817) | more than 6 years ago | (#20524685)

"Horrible controls is just ONE of the problems in Lair, according to reviews. The framerate sucks too. (BTW, IGN just reviewed Skate, and gave the 360 version the nod over the PS3 version due to framerate problems on the PS3, and bad aliasing, and blurry visuals (in attempt to hide the aliasing). We've seen this over and over again, all this after Sony talked of dual-1080p output at 120 frames per second. After all that boasting, PS3 can't even do single 720p output at 60 (and even sometimes 30) fps without sputtering).) PS3's architecture is too complicated to program for. That's why 360 kicks PS3's rear up and down the street, despite having theoretically weaker hardware." Wow! I'm Don. I don't even know where to start. How is Oblivion, Dirt, and Warhawk possible then? All you are doing is picking out the bad examples and completely forgetting -- intentionally I might add -- the development teams that actually took the time to learn the PS3's hardware. Let me explain "too hard to program for." It means, "Not developed with Microsoft tools, thus devs that are familiar with those DirectX/PC architecture are not able to get the most of our the PS3." Come on now. You can do better than that. I remember back in the late 70's mechanics were complaining that fuel enjected engines from thoes Japanese companies were too complext to work on compared to carberated engnines. And we all know where that went. What is "hard" today will be run of the mill tomorrow. Bank on it.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

GL250 (1153817) | more than 6 years ago | (#20524721)

Wow! I'm Don. I don't even know where to start. How is Oblivion, Dirt, and Warhawk possible then? All you are doing is picking out the bad examples and completely forgetting -- intentionally I might add -- the development teams that actually took the time to learn the PS3's hardware. Let me explain "too hard to program for." It means, "Not developed with Microsoft tools, thus devs that are familiar with those DirectX/PC architecture are not able to get the most of our the PS3." Come on now. You can do better than that. I remember back in the late 70's mechanics were complaining that fuel enjected engines from thoes Japanese companies were too complext to work on compared to carberated engnines. And we all know where that went. What is "hard" today will be run of the mill tomorrow. Bank on it.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20525669)

I'd be inclined to believe that was the case, (that the PS3 suffers with difficult APIs, etc) if I didn't play several games that were great. Resistance, Motorstorm, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, VF5... all have 0 issues like some of the "ports" are having. (I can't speak for Lair, because I've not played it... but the consensus from PS3 _owners_ has not been nearly as pitiful sounding as the reviewers... who I take as little stock in their opinions as possible...)

What I think is going on is lazy-assed developers who would rather go for the quick $ on the 360, rather than trying to make a good game for all platforms they "support." And since Microsoft has banked on their API as being the cross-platform solution for Windows _and_ the 360, we're seeing familiarity rather than a great platform as the deciding factor in making 360 games "better" than their Ps3 counterparts.

Bah... I'm beginning to believe that Microsoft's "mediocred" their way into the lead again simply by releasing first. (Let's not forget their heat troubles.... that to me smell like rushed console...) I'm not saying the 360 is a bad machine, because I own one too... I just think the industry's desire for "one true architecture" is making Microsoft cream their boxers... Whether or not Microsoft has had a hand in orchestrating this is left up to the tinfoil hat crowd, but for my money... one true architecture will lead to another landfill-induction of unsold crap.

Competition's good. people need to stop gloating about the PS3's demise and realize who that leaves in the lead....

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20536477)

Hmm, so EA treats their PS3 developers too nicely, letting them put in lazy 60 hour weeks when they should be putting in 80 hour weeks like the Resistance team? Meanwhile, 360 and Wii developers have lives...

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20537665)

Spoken like someone who doesn't work in software. :)

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 6 years ago | (#20550123)

What did they say about the controls? I was looking forward to Skate because Tony Hawk was getting ridiculously unrealistic (and the achievements for things like million point combos are insane), but I played the demo and really disliked the controls for skate.

I also, for the life of me, couldn't pull off the manuals at all.. and when I did it by accident, I'd get chastised for not flipping into it.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (0, Flamebait)

Pc_Madness (984705) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519903)

"Apparently they're so allergic to this strange and terrifying console that they've shoved the port onto some EA team." Wow, or perhaps its because development on the 360 is similar to the PC? And wow, Gabe said he doesn't like the console because its completely different to how they develop games for the PC. Sounds like he has a right to express an opinion that he doesn't like it. Go cry in the corner PS3 fanboy.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519989)

"Apparently they're so allergic to this strange and terrifying console that they've shoved the port onto some EA team." Wow, or perhaps its because development on the 360 is similar to the PC? And wow, Gabe said he doesn't like the console because its completely different to how they develop games for the PC.

Also, it's not as if Gabe has never made comments rather scathing of Microsoft products [heise.de] in the past...

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20520485)

Sorry to burst your bubble but I'm quite happy to criticize any console including the PS3 or any game if it warrants it. As it happens Mr Newell has made numerous destructive comments about the PS3 including calling it a "total disaster" and criticizing the Cell for the high crime of not being the like the 360 CPU. I'm entirely justified in saying he's poisoning his own well with such odd remarks.

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20522259)

Knowing how EA likes to screw up PS3 ports (see the Madden 360/PS3 fiasco), I wouldn't touch an EA PS3 port with a 50 foot pole. I tend to avoid EA at all costs anyway (they really butchered Command & Conquer 3 in my opinion). I'm guessing with 99% certainty that the PS3 version isn't going to be as good as the PC/360 version, since it isn't being done by Valve themselves.

Besides, I don't see why people would want to play Half-life 2 on anything other than a PC anyway. Of course I'm biased towards PC first person shooters, all the best shooters are on PC: starting with the original Wolfenstein, through Doom 1-3, Quake 1-3, Halflife 1-2, Unreal Tournament, etc..

I own a PS3 and a Wii, and the only time I've ever actually enjoyed a shooter on a console was with the Wii (thanks to the wiimote). Well, GoldenEye for N64 was pretty good too actually...

Re:Gabe Newell is poisoning his own well (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20526617)

Knowing how EA likes to screw up PS3 ports (see the Madden 360/PS3 fiasco), I wouldn't touch an EA PS3 port with a 50 foot pole. I tend to avoid EA at all costs anyway (they really butchered Command & Conquer 3 in my opinion). I'm guessing with 99% certainty that the PS3 version isn't going to be as good as the PC/360 version, since it isn't being done by Valve themselves.

I think EA are getting their act together. The recent NBA 2008 demo appeared to run at 60fps. I think the issue is that EA (& Ubisoft, Activision etc.) try to keep games abstract of the hardware so that it runs everywhere. The hardware specifics are implemented by in-house middleware that the games tap into for their functionality. The game's performance is going to be heavily dependent on the middleware's performance. I assume that the guys doing the middleware functionality have their own versions and release schedule. If NBA is any indication then EA have finally got their middleware sorted and future PS3 games will benefit from that.

I don't really like EA games myself (or sports games in general) but it is disappointing to see such a disparity between two technically comparable systems. It will be interesting to see what happens for FIFA 08 which is arguably more important than Madden.

So they couldn't (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519455)

Share data across the ocean, what did they think, they wqould get over charged by their ISP for long distance surfing?!

Seriously, if you are incapable of syncing development between America and the UK you should not have a development team in both countries. I can see how the time difference could be a small problem, but how much does it take to only communicate through e-mail, or I know this is scary, but have one of the offices working different hours in order to keep them in touch.

Re:So they couldn't (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519495)

Exactly. How are they "necessarily a bit behind" and how the hell is it necessary? If they were on their game, they could be AHEAD instead of behind for the same reason. Nope, this is just EA spinning another 'the PS3 isn't hard to program for' story.

Sony's SDK has -always- been harder to use than anyone else's. While they -are- working on a better, easier-to-use one, it's not out yet and companies are having to learn things the hard way and implement them by hand.

Dynasty Warriors Gundam recently shipped with 720p resolution on the PS3 and 1080p for the 360. Why? There can only be 1 answer: Performance. They simply couldn't make it smooth at full resolution. Given enough time and resources, I'm sure they could have, but it would have meant delaying the PS3 version. I'm not really complaining about it, it's an awesome game and looks great... But it's just 1 more example of a game that either isn't as good or was delayed on the PS3.

I still don't believe this 'they won't hit the limits of the PS3 for years' crap, though. The thing simply doesn't have enough RAM. It's sick to have that massive processing power and a tiny little bit of RAM. I can't imagine what they were thinking.

Re:So they couldn't (1)

revengebomber (1080189) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519541)

It's sick to have that massive processing power and a tiny little bit of RAM. I can't imagine what they were thinking.
I can.
"Look, you can use the SPUs for on-the-fly decompression!"

Re:So they couldn't (2, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519675)

I still don't believe this 'they won't hit the limits of the PS3 for years' crap, though. The thing simply doesn't have enough RAM. It's sick to have that massive processing power and a tiny little bit of RAM. I can't imagine what they were thinking.

The PS3 has exactly the same amount of RAM as the 360. It has been partitioned so that CPU & GPU have optimized access to their own halves. But there is nothing to stop a game from storing data in graphics memory if it wants to. Conversely the 360 has unified memory for CPU and GPU. Both strategies have advantages and disadvantages.

The significant difference in memory is that the PS3 reserves more memory for the system in anticipation of features it might add to the firmware (e.g. Home). Initially it reserved 96Mb but it's already dropped [innerbits.com] by 24Mb. It's bound to drop further as they figure out exactly what they do and do not need.

I doubt memory has anything to do at all with problems in Dynasty Warriors. You'll have to ask the team why it runs at 1080p on a 360 and not on the PS3. Lots of reasons could be behind it.

Re:So they couldn't (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 6 years ago | (#20520561)

I'm not sure, but the poster you were replying to might have been referring to the tiny memory in each SPU which is not main RAM.

Re:So they couldn't (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20520627)

I'm not sure, but the poster you were replying to might have been referring to the tiny memory in each SPU which is not main RAM.

Here's a very good overview [ps3forums.com] of the Cell processor including describing the SPUs. The gist of the article is that SPUs have 256k of local cache-like memory but its contents can change on the fly as data is pushed in and out.

Re:So they couldn't (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 6 years ago | (#20522197)

Anyone who's interested in how the cell is programmed is better off reading Dr Dobb's programming journal and its review of optimizing for the Cell (which they were very impressed with), or IBM's developer guides with code examples on how to use SPUs and their local cache memory. PS, SPUs have local cache and DMA transfer ability -- so you can work on up to 256k of data on your heap at once in the SPU but stream data via DMA to and from main memory constantly if you like. The really interesting bit is splitting up a tough AI or physics problem to use multiple SPUs that inter-communicate with DMA transfers.

Re:So they couldn't (1)

Darkfred (245270) | more than 6 years ago | (#20530279)

The problem is that while it may technically be feasible to feed 1 SPU as fast as it can process data. The round robin nature of the bus means that it is completely saturated doing a matrix operation on only 4 spus. In other words, without either more memory or more bandwidth to the SPUs the additional computation is useless (unless you are doing something exponentially more difficult than 4d matrix math. Which neither traditional game physics or graphics programming does.

Compare this with the 2 additional general purpose 3ghz processors 360 has, and you can see why people complain about development.
Since they take the same amount of silicon and use the same processes developed by the same engineers even. The theoretical top speeds of both systems are comparable. There are no super elegant systems that would give the 2 fold increase in power on the same die that Sony was bragging about.

Re:So they couldn't (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531275)

I can't speak directly from experience optimizing for each, but I'd say you've got your facts a bit screwy on bus bandwidth there from what I've both read and observed. Have a read of the Dr. Dobb's article It may be tricky, but the performance gains are worth the effort [ddj.com] .

They comment on both the difficulty of fully optimizing for the cell as well as the immense capabilities of it:

In this article, we present strategies we've used to make a Breadth-First Search on graphs as fast as possible on the Cell, reaching a performance that's 22 times higher than Intel's Woodcrest, comparable to a 256-processor BlueGene/L supercomputer--and all this with just with a single Cell processor! Some techniques (loop unrolling, function inlining, SIMDization) are familiar; others (bulk synchronous parallelization, DMA traffic scheduling, overlapping of computation and transfers) are less so.


They accomplish some impressive optimizations and comment on how many more should be available if the effort were put in.

Re:So they couldn't (1)

Darkfred (245270) | more than 6 years ago | (#20587489)

Even with their impressive optimization they state that in the best case 32% of their total time is still spend waiting on memory. And this is ONLY sending the graph nodes.

Now imagine that rather than a simple search the algorithm is required to do something useful, like math transforms at each graph node. Such as for physics inverse kinemetics. Increasing the data size for each node would quickly saturate the bus. (even more than it already is).

I am not saying it is slow by any means, just saying that as with the PS2 the real world performance is orders of magnitude less than the theoretical/bragged about performance.

Re:So they couldn't (1)

Elkboy (770849) | more than 6 years ago | (#20519513)

The PS3 version is being developed by EA UK, not Valve UK.

Re:So they couldn't (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20527375)

Share data across the ocean, what did they think, they wqould get over charged by their ISP for long distance surfing?!

Seriously, if you are incapable of syncing development between America and the UK you should not have a development team in both countries. I can see how the time difference could be a small problem, but how much does it take to only communicate through e-mail, or I know this is scary, but have one of the offices working different hours in order to keep them in touch.


Have you ever worked at a design house that spanned more then one office? You'll find that syncing isn't as easy as just sharing code base. You need to share a direction as well or else one side is working against another doubling or trippling the entire project time.
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