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Bungie Explains Halo 3's Resolution

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the looks-pretty-good-to-me dept.

XBox (Games) 181

For some folks artisitic merit or financial success of Halo 3 isn't what's really important: it's about how many pixels are on the screen. After there were some complaints about the 'truth' of the game's HD nature Bungie posted a missive on their site clarifying the output process for Halo 3's visuals. "Halo 3 uses not one, but two frame buffers - both of which render at 1152x640 pixels. The reason we chose this slightly unorthodox resolution and this very complex use of two buffers is simple enough to see - lighting. We wanted to preserve as much dynamic range as possible - so we use one for the high dynamic range and one for the low dynamic range values. Both are combined to create the finished on screen image. This ability to display a full range of HDR ... gives our scenes ... a steady and smooth frame rate, which in the end was far more important to us than the ability to display a few extra pixels."

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BFD (4, Insightful)

Eponymous Crowbar (974055) | more than 6 years ago | (#20812401)

Is it a fun game, or not? Debate that question if you must, but skip the minor technical details. It reminds me of the original Xbox's CPU -- some people swore it was a Celeron, some said a P3. I say what ends up being played on the screen is all that really matters.

Re:BFD (1)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 6 years ago | (#20812465)

Well it took me 7hrs to complete. It should have lasted at least 14, not as fun as I would expect it to be. The network play ok, but I don't care for the maps. I really liked the maps on Halo 2 better.

Re:BFD (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813287)

Halo 2 was better? Please. Halo 2 was boring, repetitive, and frankly, contained lackluster gameplay. Halo 3 has new things in it, and was a far better play. As for the length of play, it depends on your skill level (I did it in 5 hours, myself, and I know people who have taken a number of days to complete it). Halo 2 was by far the worst in the series, rushed, incomplete, and lacking in most areas. Halo 3 is the best of the bunch, and it finally removes the 'walking through grey corridors endlessly' aspect of the game (which was OK in Halo 1, but got extremely boring in Halo 2) - not to mention how much of an improvement the Flood have received in Halo 3, they finally live up to their name again.

Re:BFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20813415)

5 hours... 7 hours... and people pay for that shit?

I wouldn't even waste the bandwidth it took to download it.

If you cant get 1 hour of play per $ you spent on a game its not worth it.

Re:BFD (2, Informative)

bn557 (183935) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813777)

Halo 3 : 5 Hours @ $12 an hour = $60
GO-Carts: $5 per ride, 10 Minutes Per Ride, $30 an hour, 2 hours = $60

Did said person enjoy 5 hours of halo 3 more than they'd have enjoyed 2 hours on a go-cart?

I've been using go-carts as my baseline for whether something is worth it or not for a few years now.

Karts, eh? (3, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814295)

I've been using go-carts as my baseline for whether something is worth it or not for a few years now.
How fast did you blow through Mario Kart DS?

Re:BFD (1)

provigilman (1044114) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813931)

Well, considering that I logged over 400 games on Halo 2, and expect to do something similar on Halo 3, I think that beats your "1 hour per $" complaint.

Slayer has a 10 minute time limit, some of the BTB objective games were a little longer though. Assuming an average of something on the order of 7 minutes a game that gives you a grand total of 2,800 minutes, or about 47 hours. Now, that's being conservative of course...you figure in pre and post game chat, long objective matches, etc, and it gets longer. Add in the campaign and the fact that I played through it a couple of times and you have well over 65 or 70 hours logged on Halo 2.

If Halo 3 is at all similar in terms of fun then I'll be logging the same amount of time in matchmaking, if not more. Once you add in saved films, the forge and the meta-game then it looks like I'll probably be hitting 80-90 hours easily.

Price of Xbox Live Gold service? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814343)

you figure in pre and post game chat, long objective matches, etc, and it gets longer.
Did you figure in the price of Xbox Live (now called Xbox Live Gold) service? That means you'd need 100 hours in the first year and 50 hours each additional year. You might also need to buy a second Xbox for Live if you're using XBMC or Linux.

Re:Price of Xbox Live Gold service? (1)

provigilman (1044114) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815187)

Yeah cuz, you know, I only use XBox Live for Halo...

Re:BFD (1)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814227)

There wasn't all that much that in my eyes was new. You had 2 new vehicles and the weapons were modified a little. Halo 3 you could drive by 90% of the fights. At least in Halo you were forced to do a lot of walking, and that in turned forced you to do a lot of fighting. Halo 2 forced you to do fighting which is what the game is about. Not driving past everything. I also enjoy the find my way through mazes better than being directed by the little white pin point telling me where I need to go. There was no challenge in this game. Halo 2 took me 3 nights to finish about 15-18hrs, Halo was about 3-4 nights. Halo 3 is obviously too short for the $50 spent. I've put in more hours playing "Settlers of Catan" in the Xbox live arcade for $12.50.

Re:BFD (1)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814739)

There wasn't all that much that in my eyes was new. You had 2 new vehicles and the weapons were modified a little.

There are modified weapons, new weapons, new grenades, the addition of equipment, quite a few alternations to existing vehicles, the addition of new vehicles, the addition of the Theatre mode and Forge, new maps, new enemies, new game modes, co-op for up to 4 people, online co-op and quite a few minor things.

Halo 3 you could drive by 90% of the fights. At least in Halo you were forced to do a lot of walking, and that in turned forced you to do a lot of fighting. Halo 2 forced you to do fighting which is what the game is about.

Then don't drive past the fights... participate in them!

Halo 2 took me 3 nights to finish about 15-18hrs, Halo was about 3-4 nights. Halo 3 is obviously too short for the $50 spent.

Did you consider that in the process of playing games, you might have got better at them? And have you completed it on Legendary? Have you collected all the skulls and played the campaign scoring metagame using them?

I've put in more hours playing "Settlers of Catan" in the Xbox live arcade for $12.50.

Solo, or with others? You know that Halo has pretty extensive multiplayer support, right?

Re:BFD (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814891)

On legendary? What's your gamertag?

Re:BFD (4, Funny)

onecheapgeek (964280) | more than 6 years ago | (#20812501)

Less making sense, more complaining please.

Re:BFD (1)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 6 years ago | (#20812821)

It really depends on who you are. If you're someone who expected Halo 3 to cure cancer and solve world hunger then you're going to be disappointed, as many fans are right now. If you're someone whose never heard of Halo before (all 3 of you) then you're probably going to be amazed by how great Halo 3 is. If you're someone, like me, who enjoyed Halo 1 and 2 and is just looking for a good gaming experience, not the greatest game of all time but at least a fun game you can get together with your friends and play then Halo 3 won't disappoint, it's a decent FPS with great balance, lots of players (on Live), a decent story (that gets better the more you put into it), good vehicle combat and it looks nice to boot.

It's a good game. It might not be the best game ever made but it is a good game worth checking out at the least.

I really have never understood the mentality that graphics are more important than gameplay. Guess that's why I own a Wii :P.

Re:BFD (i have spoilers here...) (1)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813309)

I totally disagree. I really thought the story was under developed. The Flood converted Covenant ship was really the only major addition to the Halo story line in Halo 3 and I felt the introduction was weak at best. As for game play. It wasn't balanced at all. I flew through each mission, when it came to getting inside the Ark, I was able to just drive by 90% of the obstacles in front of me, there was nothing really stopping me. The hardest part of the game was the Scarabs and once you had the tanks taking out their generators was relatively easily done from a distance. The game does not live up to the hype. Sure it's pretty, but you know what, it really wasn't all that FUN.

Re:BFD (i have spoilers here...) (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814533)

Well, the Oracle did verbally admit that he assumed the ark was a Shield World. That's from Ghosts of Onyx.

Re:BFD (1)

Dred_furst (945617) | more than 6 years ago | (#20812863)

two frame buffers, hang on this sounds familiar, is it not our good old friend doublebuffering? and *sigh* and people tell me that the xbox 360 is this all powerful machine, it cant run a modern (in PC terms) game at native resolutions to monitors, isn't it time that people realize that "next gen" consoles really aren't?

Re:BFD (5, Informative)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20812971)

Er... less ignorance, more knowledge plz. These frame buffers are on TOP of the double (or maybe even triple) buffering that is already done from frame-swapping. The whole idea is that 32-bit screen buffers do not have enough range to properly account for HDR lighting (i.e. that nice effect where your eyes take time to adjust after coming out of a dark tunnel, and also the real way to do light blooms). So in essence what they're doing is two 32-bit buffers to simulate a very large 64-bit buffer, where each pixel has 64 bits of range. In total they would need to have at least 4 of these to account for the double buffering.

In an ideal world I should just be able to tell the machine to give me 64-bit color, but our hardware isn't quite there yet (almost).

Re:BFD (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813381)

It reminds me of the original Xbox's CPU -- some people swore it was a Celeron, some said a P3.
FYI, they're both right to an extent.

It's technically a mobile Celeron, but based off a later generation Pentium III core compared to mass market Celerons (remember, a Celeron is nothing but a P2/3/4 with half the L2 disabled).

Re:BFD (1)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815059)

I find it funny that the same arguement that was used for the Wii is now being applied to the 360. Of course everyone now knows that the Wii is king.

Re:BFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20815777)

Isn't that what the losers say when they know their penis is smaller than the next guy? "Its how you use it, not the size that matters!" and "It's about how fun it is, not how fast it is" sounds an awful lot alike.

well i know how to make a better game now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20812421)

3 buffers! That'll show em.

Re:well i know how to make a better game now! (1)

Gregg.Baker (1142539) | more than 6 years ago | (#20812605)

Tripple buffering? That might just be crazy enough to work... If only they didn't already steal the idea for other devious frame rate increasing purposes... Clearly this violates a MS patent.

Re:well i know how to make a better game now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20813693)

Its not double/triple buffering at all. They are rendering the exact same scene twice, just at different exposure levels. Then they take the two frames and composite them like you would for any other HDR photographs. The effect is absolutely stunning, though it can be hard to notice when you're killing fanatical aliens or infectious parasites. Try going back into the Theater though and watch/pause/slow down played footage, it looks very nice.

Re:well i know how to make a better game now! (5, Funny)

dryueh (531302) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813857)

I'll see your three buffers and raise you an aloe strip!

So... (1)

GigaHurtsMyRobot (1143329) | more than 6 years ago | (#20812473)

What's the actual resolution being output? 640p?... What is happening in the 360 when it's supposedly outputting 1080p?

Re:So... (1)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 6 years ago | (#20812567)

360's upconvert to whatever your TV can handle, and I believe that what's actually being put out is 720p (not 100% sure) which the 360 upconverts to 1080p.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20812879)

Isn't 'upconverting' just a fancy way of saying it scales the image to make it larger, without actually increasing picture quality? Now, don't get me wrong, as with others, I think it's more important that the game be fun, and run smoothly, than run at the maximum theoretical resolution the console supports. However, I think it bodes badly for Microsoft if Bungie has to take the game down to less than 720p to get acceptable framerates out of their game. That sounds like another way of saying "The 360 advertises 1080p, but doesn't actually live up to the promise of rendering 3d games at that resolution because the hardware just isn't good enough, so we'll render the game at a lower resolution, then 'upconvert' it".

Re:So... (1)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813097)

My mistake, the 360 only advertises that it plays it's games at 720p, and can upconvert to 1080i. They don't advertise 1080p, that's Sony's turf. So Bungie's running 2 buffers at slightly lower than the 360's default resolution, making it a little higher than the default 360's resolution.

Re:So... (0, Flamebait)

SpeedyRich (754676) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813353)

Indeed; to actually render at 1080p, one needs a more powerful console - like a PS3, for example.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20813715)

You're right -- to render at 1080p, you'd need one of Sony's consoles. A PS3, for example.

Re:So... (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813877)

Indeed; to actually render at 1080p, one needs a more powerful console - like a PS3, for example.

Let me preface this comment: I own and enjoy my Ps3. I do not own a 360. I am not a game programmer.

Both the 360 and the ps3 have around the same graphics muscle. the 360 has a better architecture which is easier to keep "busy" then the Ps3. The Ps3 should probably top out higher under optimal conditions but it's easier to achieve optimal conditions on the 360. With intelligent programming both could do 1080p at reasonable frame rates. But unfortunately many studios are lazy so we get the shaft on the PS3 versions of certain games until someone can knock out a really good tool kit for the ps3. The reason they might be skimping on resolution for Halo 3 is because it allows 4 player split screen. When rendering that many objects is it's easy to clog thing sup and get slow down. So they cut a few corners here and there to prioritize FPS over resolution.

Re:So... (1)

provigilman (1044114) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814007)

One also needs a really expensive TV, otherwise you're never really seeing it. Considering how few people actually own a 1080p TV, I'm betting that it's wasted on most of the PS3 owners.

Re:So... (1)

sanosuke76 (887630) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815765)

Although strangely enough, when you DO own a PS3 and a 1080p TV, it has a bit of a viral effect. My Sony 52" Bravia XBR-5 has convinced two of my friends that it's time to acquire a PS3. In the one friend's case, it's also kicking him into upgrading to HDTV as well.

Re:So... (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815615)

...or an Xbox 360. It's RIGHT THERE in the Display Options.

Re:So... (1)

TypoNAM (695420) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813697)

But on the back of Halo 3 it says "HDTV 720p/1080i/1080p" so surely they didn't lie to us ;)
Also does anybody know what the "file sharing" online feature is suppose to be?

Re:So... (1)

Wornstrom (920197) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814605)

file sharing is sharing 'game types' like one we used to play called "President" (rocket launchers only lol) or game clips when you pwn people uberly, killtaculars for instance

Re:So... (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813331)

So by this theory, the version of Paperboy that you can download from Xbox Live is *also* High-Def, since it's technically output at a 720p resolution?

Re:So... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20812687)

Internally it has two whatever by 640 framebuffers. The images in these framebuffers are in some manner composited and then scaled to the output resolution. As a result of this, some scaling artifacts are visible when playing in 720p or 1080p.

This is a big deal if you live and die by resolution as many internet fanboys do. However, I'm of the opinion that a game's resolution has little impact on what really matters for a game's visuals: the quality of the character and environment designs. The impact of resolution on games is ridiculously overblown.

Re:So... (4, Interesting)

Bhodi (8956) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813487)

What really matters is the quality of character and environment designs? Really? I guess you don't own a next generation system then; there's really no point to, ever, when there are so many good (and better) games out there for older systems. But I guess everyone who owns a PS3 or a X360 is just a graphics fanboy.

This issue is not overblown; we're talking about a flagship game on a next-generation HD platform, which isn't even HD. The game essentially runs at 640 and is upscaled because they couldn't figure out a way to get enough FPS to run it smooth at 720.

They have the gall to suggest that it's "practically impossible to discern a difference" (higher resolution makes zero difference?) and then insult people who notice. The "tinfoil hat wearers" are 100% correct in this case -- this is not an HD game. It may be loads of fun, and while it may run in HD, it's upscaled just like the fucking PS2 game on a PS3 without any of the smoothing extras.

Re:So... (1)

provigilman (1044114) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814093)

And had they upscaled it and then dropped the frame rate to 30 FPS like, oh say, Madden on the PS3, you'd be reaming them out for that too!

What really matters is the quality of character and environment designs? Really? I guess you don't own a next generation system then; there's really no point to, ever, when there are so many good (and better) games out there for older systems. But I guess everyone who owns a PS3 or a X360 is just a graphics fanboy.

And you know, you're right about that. Because of your comments I'm going to head over to GameStop after work and trade in my 360 and use the money to get the original XBox versions of Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, Blue Dragon, Bioshock, Halo 3...oh, wait. Those games don't exist, do they? Guess I'll be keeping my 360 then.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20815593)

I stand by my statement. It's far more important that a game has a cohesive and compelling art style than a higher resolution. To that end, things like fancy lighting effects that are made possible by new hardware are a good thing, because they make new art styles possible. Increasing resolution doesn't make anything new possible. It just makes the image crisper and when you're really involved in a game you don't even notice it.

I haven't played Halo 3 and I don't intend to any time soon (I'm a Wii/PC owner). However, it seems incredibly unlikely to me that the scaling artifacts in Halo 3 are visible in anything other than screenshots. I doubt that most people would be capable of discerning between a 1080p game and a 720p game upscaled to 1080p under normal gameplay conditions in a double blind study.

Ending? (5, Funny)

dws90 (1063948) | more than 6 years ago | (#20812481)

I was expecting an article about how the game ends, and was prepared to make an epic post about a bunch of dots...

The article stole my joke!

Fun should come before visuals, but... (4, Insightful)

TriezGamer (861238) | more than 6 years ago | (#20812509)

I haven't had a chance to play Halo 3 yet, so I can't say anything about the game as a whole, but I'm glad to see they're more concerned with a steady frame-rate than killer visuals. I'd rather play a game at 320x240 with acceptable FPS (which I did back in the days of the original Unreal when I didn't have an accelerator) than play at 1024x768 at 20. Anything under 30 FPS irritates me to no end.

Re:Fun should come before visuals, but... (1)

Teckla (630646) | more than 6 years ago | (#20812893)

I haven't had a chance to play Halo 3 yet, so I can't say anything about the game as a whole, but I'm glad to see they're more concerned with a steady frame-rate than killer visuals. I'd rather play a game at 320x240 with acceptable FPS (which I did back in the days of the original Unreal when I didn't have an accelerator) than play at 1024x768 at 20. Anything under 30 FPS irritates me to no end.

Amen to that.

I know some people that prefer eye candy above all else, including the frame rate. They'll max out their video resolution, but end up with choppy (in my opinion) frame rates. It doesn't seem to bother them. They seem to prefer the high resolution at the expense of frame rates.

I'm like you. I'll happily drop the resolution to get smooth (at least 30+ FPS) frame rates.

As a PC gamer, I've often wondered how console game players manage resolution vs. frame rates. Can console game players even tweak the performance of their games like that?

Re:Fun should come before visuals, but... (1)

k8to (9046) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813157)

Traditionally there were no configurable display options on any console games. With the advent of higher resolution television this has been changing. I do not own one of these higher resolution televisions and cannot comment on how the various games behave. However, because the hardware is a closed system, "tuning" the game to run at a reasonable, non-bothersome, steady framerate on the hardware is an achievable goal, and in my (non-HD) experience is nearly always (over 99% of the time) achieved.

Re:Fun should come before visuals, but... (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813187)

No, the mandate is 30 average FPS from MS, but hiccups can still occur. Some games offer some choice, Bioshock for a recent example, that toggles between a best quality and a best speed setting.

Most games manage a good bit above the 30fps minimum, but not all.

That's the advantage/disadvantage of consoles. The standardization produces both consistency and mediocrity. Simplicity at the cost of complexity and vice versa. Not necessarily bad choices, just dependent on consumer preferences.

Re:Fun should come before visuals, but... (4, Informative)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813119)

I can attest that Halo 3 runs smooth as butter, with consistently high framerates that haven't dipped even once in frenetic battle. It certainly feels smoother than graphical powerhouses like Gears of War, and in a multiplayer game framerate is king above all else.

I also have to add that Halo 3 is amongst the most beautiful games I've ever played. They use this incredible lighting model (I suspect it's some offshoot of ambient occlusion) that simulates global illumination remarkably well. This is a nice change from the shiny "oh look we have bumpmaps! look!" feel that most other "next-gen" games have. Everything looks natural - shiny things shiny, dull things dull, and everything in between. Really have to give kudos to their coders and artists for making it all come together so well.

Re:Fun should come before visuals, but... (1)

kevin.fowler (915964) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813185)

It's like the Alien series, 300 years later. With much better framerate. I'm just happy the flood look less like Smartfood.

Re:Fun should come before visuals, but... (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813711)

I also have to add that Halo 3 is amongst the most beautiful games I've ever played.

I was a great big meh on my 42" Sharp aquas at 1080p. It was like an improved Halo 1. Nothing caught my eye in any particular way. It was good but "ordinary" for the genre. I am spoiled form PC gaming so the bar is higher. I borrowed it and a 360 for the weekend and did think it had anything more then utilitarian graphics. A good extension to Halo 2.

Re:Fun should come before visuals, but... (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814165)

IMHO Halo 3 sets some bars that PC games haven't even yet gotten to. I think gamers are "spoiled" by the complete overuse of bumpmaps in recent years, and now that a game dares to come out where things aren't shiny and bumpy ALL OVER THE PLACE, it looks "worse" in comparison, despite being more realistic.

I was never quite comfortable with the Doom 3 engine - we didn't have enough horsepower at the time to do real-time lighting *correctly*. So all we got was really black, sharp shadows with overly shiny bumpmaps that are misused all over the place. But the gaming world clamored for more, for some odd reason, and it became the defining bar for "OMG it looks so awesome!"

GOW was guilty of this also. Look around you, look out your window. The type of uber-bumpmapping that happened in GOW simply doesn't exist in real life. Real life is much more subdued, and I really enjoyed that look from Halo 3. Bumpmapping in the right places, none where it isn't meant to be.

Re:Fun should come before visuals, but... (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814413)

Real life is much more subdued, and I really enjoyed that look from Halo 3. Bumpmapping in the right places, none where it isn't meant to be.
The colors in real life cannot be accurately reproduced by current display technology anyway, so why would I want to look at a poor imitation "subdued"? Drab games really bum me out.

Not that I've played Halo 3... just sayin', realistic colors are unattainable (read up on color theory).

Re:Fun should come before visuals, but... (1)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813545)

I haven't had a chance to play Halo 3 yet, so I can't say anything about the game as a whole, but I'm glad to see they're more concerned with a steady frame-rate than killer visuals. I'd rather play a game at 320x240 with acceptable FPS (which I did back in the days of the original Unreal when I didn't have an accelerator) than play at 1024x768 at 20. Anything under 30 FPS irritates me to no end.
Absolutely true, and it's hardly the first time this has been done. Several high profile games don't render at 720p, Project Gotham and Tomb Raider both render 600 lines and Perfect Dark 640.

I'm not saying it is copacetic, but lots of people miss the point. Does it look good enough, does it look like you were told it would look, does it cause any real problems when playing? Personally I don't have a problem with it, but I have a nice enough 1080p display and use HDMI for connecting the two. It looks fuzzy, even ugly compared to some of the best content, but good enough once you quit worrying about it. I have seen people using component connectors to a 720p display which by the time you account for the reduced rendering resolution, overscan*, and the fewer pixels to smooth with with on the TV end, these games look noticeably poorer. Without a reference though, most people wouldn't notice, and it is obviously much better than standard TV output.

*which is far uglier, and on many HDTV's throws away almost as much data again. Somehow this never seems to get any attention in the HDMI/component flamewars that crop up here and there.

To see what you're sniping (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814473)

I'd rather play a game at 320x240 with acceptable FPS (which I did back in the days of the original Unreal when I didn't have an accelerator) than play at 1024x768 at 20.
If you're a sniper, you have to see what you're sniping, and high resolution helps you spot targets from farther away. It's like having normal vision vs. uncorrected myopia [wikipedia.org] .

Wait for the PC version... (5, Insightful)

rtechie (244489) | more than 6 years ago | (#20812703)

Those who care about this can wait for the PC version which I'm sure will allow you to pump the resolution to 1600x1200 (or possibly more by editing the .ini files) and zip along in glorious DirectX 10 goodness with their $500 video cards. Of course, by the time it comes out for the PC it will look dated (like Halo 2) and the people with the high-end rigs will be playing something else.

But if you really want it, it's coming.

Re:Wait for the PC version... (1)

MooseMuffin (799896) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813569)

You're crazy if you think Microsoft is letting Bungie put out a PC (read: vista only) version before 2010.

Re:Wait for the PC version... (1)

rodri264 (1161499) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813655)

Hopefully the PC counterpart will not be missing from the shelves for long. I would think that Microsoft would rush the date for more sales and players online. More player = more revenue from LIVE.

Re:Wait for the PC version... (1)

Niko. (89205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814419)

I think you have it exactly backwards. A PC version would have nothing to do with Xbox Live.

As soon as it comes out on PC, people will play over teh internets for no more than the cost of the game itself. That is of course as it should be, but not how Microsoft likes it, so they will delay the PC version of Halo 3 as long as possible.

And of course it is likely to be Vista-only, in an effort to make even the consolation prize drive revenue to Microsoft.

Re:Wait for the PC version... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20815653)

Live for Windows, you short-bus rider.

Re:Wait for the PC version... (2, Informative)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815703)

Actually, you're wrong. Xbox Live is a multiplatform service - it's available on Vista, and Xbox 360. Yeah, the name's a misnomer.

The PC version (as with Halo 2) is generally able to do local multiplayer, and Xbox Live (renamed just Live). Internet play is out of the question (I guess you could VPN up some games, or actually collect lists of IP addresses, though).

Re:Wait for the PC version... (0, Flamebait)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813935)

Of course, by the time it comes out for the PC it will look dated (like Halo 2) and the people with the high-end rigs will be playing something else.
It already looks pretty dated to us PC gamers, who will be playing less generic, mediocre titles...

Pixel Peeping Video Game Style (5, Insightful)

ScotchForBreakfast (1060672) | more than 6 years ago | (#20812727)

All the complaints about Halo 3's resolution reminds me of all the "pixel peeping" that goes on when it comes to digital cameras. Everyone gets hung up on tech specs to the point that they stop looking at the image in question.

Halo 3 looks nice, and plays great. That's all that matters to me. I'm certainly willing to forgo some extra pixels in favor of a smoother experience.

Re:Pixel Peeping Video Game Style (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814171)

Right, because if they'd only shot the Halo 3 footage in RAW format, there would be way more dynamic range.

All the complaints about Halo 3's resolution reminds me of all the "pixel peeping" that goes on when it comes to digital cameras. Everyone gets hung up on tech specs to the point that they stop looking at the image in question.

Hmmmm (1)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 6 years ago | (#20812809)

Well, the output is true HD. The combining of the frame buffers as an interlacing technique to get that really pretty imaging is innovative and gives us a high framerate. So, it's playable, pretty, and the interleaving of the two framerates looks good (great, actually, at 1080p on my 42" Samsung)

I've no complaints.
From the article:
"In fact, if you do a comparison shot between the native 1152x640 image and the scaled 1280x720, it's practically impossible to discern the difference. We would ignore it entirely were it not for the internet's propensity for drama where none exists. In fact the reason we haven't mentioned this before in weekly updates, is the simple fact that it would have distracted conversation away from more important aspects of the game, and given tinfoil hats some new gristle to chew on as they catalogued their toenail clippings."

I have to save that last line - to be used at some point in the future, that's too funny to let die...

Re:Hmmmm (1)

Ramble (940291) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813103)

The two frames are not interlaced. You're just assuming the output of the framebuffer is added together to give some kind of large resolution. It's not, the game plays at the res stated in the article, all the time.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

Foggen (1036068) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813915)

"In fact, if you do a comparison shot between the native 1152x640 image and the scaled 1280x720, it's practically impossible to discern the difference." Unfortunately, this is an example of Luke Smith, Games Journalist not actually knowing what he's talking about. Of course there's no difference between an image and a scaled up version of the same image. Perhaps he meant to say that there's no discernible difference between a 640p image scaled to 720p and a native 720p image. It's really too bad he made that mistake, one way or another, because the rest of his explanation was good. Personally, since all of my 360 games get upscaled to 1080p anyways, I didn't notice a difference. And the lighting is great

Re:Hmmmm (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814585)

We would ignore it entirely were it not for the internet's propensity for drama where none exists. In fact the reason we haven't mentioned this before in weekly updates, is the simple fact that it would have distracted conversation away from more important aspects of the game, and given tinfoil hats some new gristle to chew on as they catalogued their toenail clippings.
I have to save that last line - to be used at some point in the future, that's too funny to let die...

Nice to see the true spirit of Bungie lives on. They did everything but call the whiners spazeroids.

Resolution (2, Insightful)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 6 years ago | (#20812915)

I think it happened right around the time that HDTV became available, but at some point resolution--previously a technical term--somehow became a buzzword related to quality. It's gotten to the point where I can't stand hearing people talk about 640p or 1080i or whatever, because it just comes off as marketing spew and e-penis-waving.

Re:Resolution (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815759)

Especially if accompanied by the word "upscaling".

What's the point of upscaling DVDs to a HD resolution, they'll look just the same as they did on a normal TV of the same size anyway.

And even worse, why buy a £1000 DVD player that can do it, when you could just buy a £50 one and let the TV do it? It's not like there's a TV in existence that can't take the older non-HD signals. I bet you could still replay original black & white transmissions into them if you wanted to.

Most of the people with a HD tv only use it as an e-penis-waving excuse. Playing console games on them, fine, you're finally enjoying the sharp picture that PC gamers have known for years. Only watching SD TV and DVDs? Idiot.

PGR3, anyone? (1)

cplusplus (782679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813069)

I think the same exact trick was used to keep the framerate up in Project Gotham Racing 3.

Crap Website (1)

astrotek (132325) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813121)

I love how with noscript on I they forward me to a page that claims their site requires javascript with no content. Then when I refresh I get the entire page of content with no warning and no hint of what javascipt was required.

Fire the web developer.

"extra pixels."? (3, Informative)

PoderOmega (677170) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813139)

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with what they did, but I wouldn't be saying "extra". They are sacrificing pixels for FPS, not excluding "extra" pixels. I didn't know that 640p was standard and 720p was "extra".

Re:"extra pixels."? (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814067)

My TV's on-screen 720p is actually 1152x648 (Sony 50" LCD/proj) and I know that there are many TV models that are the same. Its possible that the developers didn't spec out native on-screen panel resolutions of 1280x720+. I'm sure that the 640 / 648 difference was just a typo though.

PS: Look into "720p optimized" in Google if you want more background on the issue.

All these Microsoft apologists... (2, Insightful)

Ang31us (1132361) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813321)

Gears of War and BioShock are both displayed at a native 1920 x 1080 in progressive scan on my cousin's 360 Elite. The lighting in both games is amazing, as are the visuals, and the gameplay.

The real problem is Halo's graphics engine, which has been too demanding of the graphics card/processor since Halo 1. They're not going to admit that their graphics engine is slow or that the 360's graphics card can't crunch through double-bufferred 1080p using an engine that is maintained at Microsoft.

It goes to show that third-party developers have a better handle on getting the most out of the 360's PC hardware than Microsoft.

Re:All these Microsoft apologists... (1)

Foggen (1036068) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813819)

Gears and Bioshock run as a single 720p image that is passed serially through multiple framebuffers, then sent to a scaler chip to give you 1080p. Halo 3 is rendered at what one could call 640p in two simultaneous framebuffers that are later combined and are then scaled in the *exact same way*. What you don't understand is that (a) the resolution difference is only 80 vertical scanlines, and (b) the dual framebuffers for Halo employ separate lighting models whereas Gears only uses multiple framebuffers to eliminate screen tearing. Halo 3 sacrificed some resolution to produce a high-detail, realistic lighting model that is beyond what we've seen on Unreal Engine 3, at a framerate that is much more consistent.

Re:All these Microsoft apologists... (1)

Ang31us (1132361) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815237)

So the Xbox web site is misleading the public when their Gears of War page [xbox.com] says that it renders in 1080?

The back of Bioshock's box states 1080p in the features section (I can't find a pic of the back of the box online).

I don't know what's worse, misleading the consumer into thinking that the game they are buying renders at a higher resolution than it actually produces or claiming that a game console is part of the high-definition generation, when it is truly lacks the hardware to render games in 1920x1080 and is actually of the intermediate "enhanced definition" variety.

What does the back of the Halo 3 box say, 1080p?

Re:All these Microsoft apologists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20815629)

What that means is if you have a TV with a 1080p mode, the xbox will render the image to that mode correctly (unlike TNT HD for instance. they believe stretching a full screen interlaced standard image and scaling it to widescreen 720p is HD).

Gears also has other problems with its graphics, shadows are drawn incorrectly. Let's say someone is a floor above you and they're trying to sneak up on you and kill you. Well, the game helpfully draws their shadow through the floor and onto your ceiling. Actually the Unreal 3 engine as implimented in Gears has a LOT of problems. I'm not surprised the PC version is significantly incompatible with the 360 version. But that said, Gears is ridiculously fun to play.

Re:All these Microsoft apologists... (1)

Foggen (1036068) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815839)

I explained this to a friend today in this manner:

Microsoft's marketing says a lot of stuff that requires asterisks, then comes clean on those asterisks only in tech interviews. For example: MS says all 360 games support all HD output resolutions. The small print associated with that claim is that this is made possible by way of a dedicated scaler chip that decouples render resolution and output resolution. They've said this publicly, but most people not interested in the details of graphics rendering will not hear about it or care. What they're going to hear is that all 360 games support all resolutions.

At the end of the day, this is a net positive. People like your friend and I get to have a clean 1080p signal go to our TVs, and Developers get to optimize the resolution to whatever works best for them. In Epic's case, that's 720 horizontal scanlines. In Bungie's case, that's two framebuffers with 640 of them. When you get to consoles as opposed to PCs, the real benefit for developers is that they can optimize to the limits of the hardware in an absolute sense. Real tradeoffs make a huge amount of difference.

The unfortunate thing is that when MS sells things like this, whenever someone like you hears what they're doing behind the scenes it leaves a bad taste in your mouth because you feel misled. Really, what you've gotten is the layman summary of a fairly complicated technical message.

As a note: you point out that the Gears box and website advertise 1080. Notice that it says 1080i, not 1080p. This is precisely because when Gears was released the Xbox 360 scaler driver had not been updated to support 1080p. Now that it has, all games support 1080p and that's reflected on the boxes.

Re:All these Microsoft apologists... (5, Informative)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813835)

Gears of War and BioShock are both displayed at a native 1920 x 1080 in progressive scan on my cousin's 360 Elite. The lighting in both games is amazing, as are the visuals, and the gameplay.

The Xbox 360 will display every game at whatever output you choose. On your cousin's elite, he's apparently set it to 1080p. That doesn't mean that games change how they render. It just means that when the framebuffer passes through the on-board scaler chip prior to heading out the the TV, the image is upscaled to 1080p rather than 720p or whatever else you may choose. The two games you mentioned, Gears and Bioshock, actually render internally at 720p (or more precisely, 1280x720, since designations like "720p" don't make sense until the output is heading to a TV). Bungie made the decision to render at 1152x640 using a two-pass method (actually a two-buffer method) to render low-dynamic range and high-dynamic range lighting. The two buffers are then merged for the final picture. There's actually a Powerpoint on Bungie's HDR lighting method floating around the internets somewhere, if you feel like investigating why they did this. Anyway, the end result is mostly the same -- the 360's hardware scaler chip is quite good, and only the OCD pixel counters will ever notice that the game is natively rendered at 640p rather than 720p or 1080p.

The real problem is Halo's graphics engine, which has been too demanding of the graphics card/processor since Halo 1. They're not going to admit that their graphics engine is slow or that the 360's graphics card can't crunch through double-bufferred 1080p using an engine that is maintained at Microsoft.

History lesson: The graphics engine from Halo 1 was not re-used for Halo 2. It was re-used for Stubbs the Zombie (a game built by an ex-Bungie guy who which licensed the Halo 1 engine). The Halo 2 engine was all new. I haven't heard specifically whether or not the Halo 3 engine was again a new engine or if it was based on the Halo 2 engine, so for now I'll assume the latter.

As for not being able to handle double-buffered 1920x1080 resolutions, there are currently exactly two games on the Xbox 360 that render in 1080p -- Virtua Tennis 3 and some basketball game (NBA Street Homecourt, I think). It's also good to keep in mind that Microsoft has all but said that 720p is the sweet spot for Xbox 360 (HD movies and trailers on the marketplace are all encoded at 720p rather than 1080p, for example). The hardware scaler is capable enough to convert the image to your TV's native resolution without compromising image quality. Obviously an upscaled 1080p image will not be quite as good as a natively-rendered 1080p image, but if you're playing the game rather than counting pixels you're never going to notice.

It goes to show that third-party developers have a better handle on getting the most out of the 360's PC hardware than Microsoft.

How many enemies and physics-affected items are on-screen at one time in Gears or Bioshock? How large are the areas? Now compare that to Halo 3, where you can have 30+ enemies on-screen at one time, with hundreds of items strewn about being affected by physics, on maps with draw distances measured in kilometers. Making a game is all about trade-offs. If you're going for small-scale battles in confined areas (think Doom 3), you can optimize for graphics because you'll have more free GPU and CPU time. If you're going for large-scale battles in wide-open areas, you're probably going to sacrifice some visual quality in order to get the gameplay right. You can't do it all, and if you can then it means you weren't ambitious enough.

Re:All these Microsoft apologists... (1)

Ang31us (1132361) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815633)

Thanks for the history lesson, Osty. It looks like you know what you're talking about, so I'm going to assume that you were correct on every point, and refer you to my first reply on this subject [slashdot.org] .

You said, "Obviously an upscaled 1080p image will not be quite as good as a natively-rendered 1080p image, but if you're playing the game rather than counting pixels you're never going to notice." This is similar to the Nintendo argument for not supporting high-definition games on the Wii.

Re:All these Microsoft apologists... (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815763)

You said, "Obviously an upscaled 1080p image will not be quite as good as a natively-rendered 1080p image, but if you're playing the game rather than counting pixels you're never going to notice." This is similar to the Nintendo argument for not supporting high-definition games on the Wii.

Almost, but not quite. By using upscaling, the 360 can output whatever format your TV uses as its native format. For example, my TV is a 720p DLP and doesn't like it when fed images in other formats (it upscales poorly). Using my Xbox 360, I can set it to 720p and skip the in-set scaling. With my Wii, or even with a PS3, I'm stuck using whatever format the console gives me. With the Wii, I'm stuck with my TV's shitty 480p -> 720p conversion. With a PS3 (which I haven't purchased yet), if a game only supports 480p and 1080i/p I'll be stuck either using my TV's 1080i downconversion to 720p or its 480p upconversion to 720p.

When given the choice, I want output in my TV's native resolution regardless of the source. That's why I bought an upconverting DVD player even though DVDs are only 480p.

Re:All these Microsoft apologists... (2, Insightful)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813961)

It's not just "lighting" that Bungie is talking about. But high dynamic range rendering [wikipedia.org] . Notice how in Halo 3 when you are coming out of a dark tunnel the sunlit areas are blindingly bright? That's just a bit of the HDRR magic at work. Bioshock and Gears of War, both great, beautiful games, don't have this. It's a tradeoff to be sure, but as a amateur photographer I have to give Bungie the edge here. I don't notice the loss of pixels (I didn't even know about it until this article) but I sure as hell notice the lighting's range.

but NextGen was supposed to be the HD era! (3, Insightful)

captain_cthulhu (996356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813455)

We all know it's nit-picky to count pixels, but I am glad that someone called them on this. this 'NextGen' of consoles was supposed to be the HD-era of console gaming and here we are getting our corners cut secretly!

I remember Peter Moore saying that this generation will also eliminate the jaggies. the anti-aliasing is better in these new consoles but not enough to eliminate aliasing. The marketers can spout lies upon lies before release because no one ever calls them on it later, so I say GOOD JOB and KEEP IT UP!

so they cut corners to get a good frame rate. good grief! if this Gen of consoles were really the HD-era, then every game should be able to do 60fps at 1080p, period. I don't blame Bungie for this though, it's squarely MS's bucket of lies. Also, I am no Sony fanboy - for the PS3's price, it should have no jaggies and every game running 60fps at 1080p as well as my laundry. Guess we'll have to wait until next generation for the NextGen... until then, we're all suckers - albeit having fun with exceptional gameplay :)

Re:but NextGen was supposed to be the HD era! (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813665)

We all know it's nit-picky to count pixels, but I am glad that someone called them on this.

Hear, hear! It's vital that gamers nitpick about issues that they can't see with the naked eye, especially if the game is a lot of fun! And, it's damned courageous to take shots across the bow of Microsoft. They've been pretty much immune from criticism for too damned long. KUDOS!

Oh, and your implication that HD console gaming sucks because it's not full-on 1080p? DEAD ON! I mean, it's not like people have been complaining since the release of the 360 that most gamers don't even have 720p/1080i HDTVs yet...

Re:but NextGen was supposed to be the HD era! (1)

captain_cthulhu (996356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814795)

maybe if you didn't completely miss the point, you'd agree with me. don't worry, there were 2 others that couldn't wrap their head around it either.

Re:but NextGen was supposed to be the HD era! (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815011)

No, I'm pretty sure I got your point even if I didn't address it directly with my sarcasm. It's still a stupid point of view.

Re:but NextGen was supposed to be the HD era! (1)

captain_cthulhu (996356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815577)

(sigh) ok I'll hold your hand on this one :)

>> It's vital that gamers nitpick about issues that they can't see with the naked eye
Although the image was blown up to make it easier, the pixels were counted the old fashioned way - with the naked eye!
and for the record, you can see the difference between 640p and 720p - just like you can see the difference between 5 feet and 5 square feet.

>> especially if the game is a lot of fun!
not the point. at all. period. and yes, I am having fun with it too.

>> it's damned courageous to take shots across the bow of Microsoft
I made it pretty clear that I wasn't singling MS out. Sony is even more guilty, IMHO. Nintendo (this round) didn't do it, but they are guilty of other lies. It's a Marketing problem, not an 'MS is evil' problem.

>> implication that HD console gaming sucks
your inference, not my implication. I drank the koolaid and I'm loving it.

>> it's not like people have been complaining since the release of the 360 that most gamers don't even have 720p/1080i HDTVs yet...
again you missed the point. people are expecting at least 720p because IT WAS PROMISED!

Re:but NextGen was supposed to be the HD era! (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815779)

and for the record, you can see the difference between 640p and 720p - just like you can see the difference between 5 feet and 5 square feet.

Sure you can. If you blow up the image and get right next to the screen. But, if you're telling me that from any reasonable distance, and without extra manipulation of the image, you can tell the difference between 1152x640 and 1280x720 in motion then you're full of shit, ESPECIALLY when the image is already being converted first to 720p/1080i/1080p before leaving the box and then potentially going through another conversion to the native resolution of the display.

Re:but NextGen was supposed to be the HD era! (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814347)

if this Gen of consoles were really the HD-era, then every game should be able to do 60fps at 1080p, period.

Where did you get your assumption that "high definition" should be defined as "1920x1080 native resolution, progressive scan, 60 frames per second"?

Linguistically, anything of a better format than "standard definition" (to us North Americans, that would be a roughly 640x480, interlaced, 19.97fps NTSC signal) can be considered HD. So Halo 3's internal framebuffer resolution should surely qualify.

Re:but NextGen was supposed to be the HD era! (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814729)

Where did you get your assumption that "high definition" should be defined as "1920x1080 native resolution, progressive scan, 60 frames per second"?
That bugs me. I know people that think that unless it's 1080p it's not true HD.

I once told a pal my 2 year old TV was a 720p digital projection. He responded saying "that's not HD." He then went on and on about 1080p and such and how this show is so great. I told him the show was being broadcast at 720p like most of that network's shows. Then he said "Well others show 1080p" and I said "No, they show 1080i which takes up about the same bandwidth as 720p."

I don't care "how many lines" my TV renders: it's a 42" TV that didn't break my account (even back then) and looks sharp. My next TV will either be another 42" Digital projector or something else around that price point.

Re:but NextGen was supposed to be the HD era! (1)

captain_cthulhu (996356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815695)

>> So Halo 3's internal framebuffer resolution should surely qualify.

it doesn't. 720p is the start of "HD". Halo3 has been confirmed at 640p. NOT HD

Re:but NextGen was supposed to be the HD era! (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814385)

I'm guessing that you started gaming with the XBox and PS2? Otherwise you'd have experienced first-hand that the statement "it's next gen, so it should x at 60 FPS!" is as old as gaming in general. It used to be that things should be 60 FPS at 256 simultaneous colors or GTFO (no getoffmylawn jokes, please). I guess it's now 60 FPS at 1080p. This complaint is based on the complete lack of understanding how graphics technology and how game development works.

1. Just because hardware can output things at resolution x, color-depth y and z objects on screen doesn't mean that it'll draw things at a particular frequency. Maxing out a particular aspect of an architecture generally means that there's a cost that has to be paid elsewhere. There is no free 60FPS.

2. Developers will always focus on shiny pictures. Most PR material is still sent out as still-pictures, and most people judge beauty by still frames. As a result, developers tend to optimize for prettyness rather than smoothness.

Yeah, I know. The original poster is little more than an HD troll, and should be ignored. This complaint is still my major pet peeve anytime a new generation rolls around - invariably, tons of people will complain 6 months after launch that it doesn't do x, y, or z at 60 FPS. Then they blame it on developers, manufacturers or PR people, when the problem is simply that they don't understand the topic they're talking about.

Yeah, there is a problem with marketing promising the moon and delivering a shiny pebble. But if you don't know this by the time you see your second commercial.... that's your problem, and not the problem of the developers.

Rant off.

Re:but NextGen was supposed to be the HD era! (1)

captain_cthulhu (996356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815121)

nope sorry, I've been gaming since Atari2600... and besides your last sentence, your reply addresses a rant I did not make.

my point was to bring attention to the lies we're fed by the Marketing behind these consoles. you should be angry that a moon is promised and you get a pebble. what about all the people that invest in expensive equipment based on the lies they are fed. and forget the 'those people are rich anyway' argument, that's also beside the point.

maybe I over-reached by claiming to expect 60fps, but you read my comment for free while people paid $60 to find out it's not in HD as promised AND expected - yes, 640p is NOT HD (720p).

if you want to be taken advantage of, know you are being taken advantage of and become complacent about it because you're simply used to it, then you should be herded along with the rest of the sheeple.

Re:but NextGen was supposed to be the HD era! (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815539)

Snicker.... You've played since the 2600, and still haven't figured this out? You actually expected all games to be at 1080p and 60FPS? Sorry, then I can't help you. Apparently, 20 years of gaming still hasn't taught you anything. At this rate, I doubt you'll ever learn.

If you're obsessing about pixel count and frame rate, you shouldn't play games. You should actually develop them. In the meantime, I'm perfectly happy with my yardstick: fun games I can play with friends. I'll be over there having fun. Good luck with that 60 FPS apoplexy.

Are people just looking to bitch and moan? (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 6 years ago | (#20813593)

Halo 3 is a really, really fun game. The visuals are not breathtakingly beautiful, but so what? Which would you rather have, a game that is an embodiment of HDR aesthetics, but often struggles to be smooth, or a game that has good graphics, and can easily handle anything the game throws at it? I'll take the latter. The last thing I want is a slow game.

People complain too much about stuff like this. What do you want, a fun game, or one where 90% of the resources were put into the graphics? In my experience, the games that try to be real time works of art suck.

Re:Are people just looking to bitch and moan? (1)

narcispy (1164829) | more than 6 years ago | (#20815789)

I totally agree with this. What difference does it matter if it's not running pure 720p or higher? The fact is the gameplay is fun which is where they were shooting for. Smoothness in games is what I care about more.

Looks outstanding on my 56" DLP HDTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20814185)

And it's incredibly fun to play. Also, since it's extremely accessible to a wide audience, it's the type of FPS that I can play with my brother; we rarely play matchmaking/etc. without each other.

My only complaint is what would seem like a 4:3 aspect ratio whenever you play split-screen with someone else. It'll use the whole screen with four people. I'm hoping for an autoupdate that allows full use of the screen, but I'm not holding my breath.

LAME (1, Flamebait)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814439)

My PC does HD gaming!

Real HD.

Like 1080p HD and 720p HD. not just one wacky pseudo-resolution.

I can play in any resolution I like.

That doesn't mean I don't like the idea of the xbox 360 and halo3.

I just think it's a total fucking cop-out for Microsoft to release their flagship game product on their flagship HD console product in anything less than full HD resolution. This hints at severe hardware limitations in the console hardwre.

So, is the console capable of pushing enough frames out at full HD resolutions? What would happen if Halo3 ran one framebuffer at full HD? Would it stutter? Would it falter? Would it overheat the console and crash?

Re:LAME (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20814775)

I invite you to build, for $400, a PC that is capable of playing Halo 3 (or heck, even Halo 2!) at 1080p. ZOMG! We have technical limitations? THE WORLD IS GOING TO END!!!!111one

It also reveals the total BSed-ness that is the "HD era". If Bungie had not even revealed this, would ANY OF YOU HAVE ACTUALLY NOTICED THE DIFFERENCE? Clearly the only major leap we've made in the last few years is from interlaced to progressive (which DOES actually look much better), but other than that...

Would it stutter? Would it falter? Would it overheat the console and crash?

Er... it would stutter. That much should be immediately obvious...

Re:LAME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20814885)

"So, is the console capable of pushing enough frames out at full HD resolutions? What would happen if Halo3 ran one framebuffer at full HD? Would it stutter? Would it falter? Would it overheat the console and crash?"

The issue, and subsequently the reason, for the slightly lower resolution is lighting. Whether or not the 360 can push 1080p is a closed case. It can. But the developers wanted a better lighting model, and because of that they had to make comprimises with the resolution. Good lighting is *extremely* computationaly intensive.
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