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Moo
10-26-07, 07:54 PM
I read various game forums from time to time, and often see gamers complaining about 'lazy ports' to the ps3. They often mention how the ps3 is the most powerful game console and blame developers working on the console for doing a bad job. Sony has all of these people duped by impressive marketing spin, and I'm often amazed at how potent this type of rhetoric proves to be. For those unaware, I'm going to break it down simply and explain exactly why ports to the ps3 will never be as good as their 360 counter parts, and why most ps3 exclusives will likely continue to suck. First, lets debunk a few common misconceptions:

"The PS3 is more graphically advanced than the 360"

Fill rate is one of the primary ways to measure graphics performance - in essence, it's a number describing how many pixel operations you can perform. The fill rate on the PS3 is significantly slower than on the 360, meaning that games either have to run at lower resolution or use simpler shader effects to achieve the same performance. Additionally, the shader processing on the ps3 is significantly slower than on the 360, which means that a normal map takes more fill rate to draw on the ps3 than it does on the 360. And I'm not talking about small differences here, we're talking roughly half the pixel pushing power.

"Ok, fine, but the cell is like, super powerful"

In theory, sure, but in reality it doesn't work out that way. Game code simply doesn't split well across multiple processors. You can probably find a way to split a few things off fairly easily - put the audio on one processor, animation on another; but generally the breakup is always going to leave several of the SPUs idle or underutilized. On top of that, it's usually not CPU speed that restricts the visuals in games - it's fill rate.

"Uh, Blue Ray!"

Great for watching movies, but not so great for games. Getting data off the blue ray drive takes about twice as long as it does to get the same data off the 360's DVD drive. That translates into longer load times, or god forbid if your streaming from disk, tighter constraints on the amount of data you can stream.

"But it's got a lot more space than DVD"

Ok, you got me there - it does have a lot more space, and there is the potential to use that to do something cool, but thats unlikely to be realized in any useful way. There are tons of compression techniques available for data and I'd personally rather be able to get my data faster than have more of it. Most developers who use the entire Blue Ray drive are doing it to work around other problems with the ps3 such as it's slow loading - for instance, in Resistance: Fall of Man, every art asset is stored on disk once for every level that uses it. So rather than storing one copy of a texture, you're storing it 12 times. If you took that entire game and removed all the duplicate data, it would likely fit on a DVD without any problem. They do this to speed up load times, which, as I pointed out before, are painfully slow on the ps3. So in this case, the extra space is completely wasted.

"Once developers figure out the PS3 they'll maximize the hardware and it will be amazing"

I suspect a small number of PS3 only developers will optimize the hardware to do something cool. However, this will be an exception to the rule, and will likely involved game designs that are specifically designed for the hardware and funded by Sony. If those will prove to be fun or not is another question.

Most of the performance centric research into the PS3 has been around making it easier for developers to get the same level of performance you get out of the 360 naturally. For instance, some developers are using those extra SPU's on the cell to prepare data for the rendering pipeline. Basically, they take the data they would normally send to the graphics chip, send it to an SPU which optimizes it in some manner, then send it to the graphics chip. So, once again we see an 'advantage' in hardware being used to make up for a disadvantage in another area - a common theme with the ps3. And this introduces an extra frame of latency into the equation, making controller response slower.

So, the common theme is this; developers must spend significantly more time and resources getting the PS3 to do what the 360 can already do easily and with a lot less code. Lets look at how this translates into practical realities for a moment:

Why the PS3 version often pails in comparison to the 360 version, and why exclusives often suck:

As outlined above, getting equivalent performance out of the PS3 requires a lot of work unique to the platform, and in many cases, even with all these tricks, you still won't see equivalent performance. Thus, many ps3 games have simplified shaders and run at lower native resolutions than the 360 versions. On top of this, there is shrinking incentive to do this work; the PS3 isn't selling.

The code needed to make the PS3 work is most likely only useful to you on the PS3, as the types of tricks you need to do to make the thing perform are very unique to the platform and unlikely to be useful on any other architecture now or in the future. These issues all stem from unbalanced hardware design, and any future hardware that is this unbalanced will likely be unbalanced in a completely unique way.

Finally, there's the problem of resources. Game Development is, at it's heart, a resource management challenge. Given finite resources, do I have these five engineers work on optimizing the PS3 version to look better, or do I use them to make the game play better and fix bugs? Do I change my design to fit with what the PS3 hardware does well, or simply run the game at a slightly lower resolution on the PS3 to make up for it? Developers striving to push the PS3 hardware have often sacrificed their game in the process.

This post might come across as a lot of Sony bashing, but it's just the reality from the trenches. Sony let their hardware be designed by a comity of business interests rather than a well thought out design that would serve the game development community. They are going to loose hard this round because of it, and I hope that in the next round they take lessons from this round and produce a more balanced and usable machine.

http://jbooth.blogspot.com/2007/10/ps3-misconceptions-and-spin.html

(lee63)

I'm enjoying the comments that follow more than the article itself... everyone screaming bloody murder!

ViN86
10-26-07, 09:24 PM
wow, reading that blu-ray thing made me pretty glad i went with a 360.

and i cant believe that the graphics power on the PS3 is half of the 360, that's ridiculous if it's true.

Lyme
10-26-07, 10:47 PM
Please add references backing up your opinion please.

delas52
10-26-07, 11:18 PM
Please add references backing up your opinion please.
They aren't Moo's opinions, they are (for the most part) facts posted by a developer (not Moo - follow the link).

PeterJensen
10-27-07, 02:37 AM
Where is the fact in this ****ing CRAP thread? Playing, GT5 ad Heavenly Sword i see very nice gfx and good loading times?
Another ****ed up thread with content from a cry baby dev.

And have anny one here played Rachet? I bet that ****ed up n00b dev have not - nut ooooh no he sits in his little corner and cries. Jesus, well he managed to piss me off - for his "uhhh look at me im teh godly dev from teh universe - NO YOU SUCK!

sammy sung
10-27-07, 02:49 AM
fanboyism, got to love it ....:rolleyes:

Peoples-Agent
10-27-07, 02:50 AM
All I ever hear is .."Oh what about Heavenly Sword, Ratchet and GT5"

Errrm, is that it?

m3dude
10-27-07, 02:56 AM
"Additionally, the shader processing on the ps3 is significantly slower than on the 360, which means that a normal map takes more fill rate to draw on the ps3 than it does on the 360. And I'm not talking about small differences here, we're talking roughly half the pixel pushing power."

this is incorrect. a systems pixel pushing power has nothing to do with how much fillrate it takes to process a normal. for example, a 512 normal at 720p requires the same fillrate to render on each system.

what he should have said was "processing a normal takes a higher % of the ps3s fillrate than it does the 360s"

PeterJensen
10-27-07, 03:19 AM
All I ever hear is .."Oh what about Heavenly Sword, Ratchet and GT5"

Errrm, is that it?

Uncharted, Killzone ect. ect - But i'll forget it now :p I cant handle threads like this. That is why the console board over at beyond3d is much much better if you want facts.

npras42
10-27-07, 05:44 AM
If the X360 has twice the pixel pushing power of the PS3 then it is the X360 that has been grossly underutilized so far because its best games look in no way that much better than PS3's best.

From what I have seen on the whole the X360 games look better but there are quite a few very good looking PS3 games as well that hold up very well against the best of the X360 bunch i.e. GoW and Bioshock vs R&C and Heavenly Sword.

H3avyM3tal
10-27-07, 05:57 AM
This particular developer left harmonix about a month ago, and I wonder why...
His words are spoken and written in the fanboy language...

Moo
10-27-07, 07:47 AM
:fanboy:

(popcorn)

H3avyM3tal
10-27-07, 10:24 AM
:fanboy:

(popcorn)

Seriously, atleast write in a serious way. Its like reading a pissed off rant... (not you Moo, Im talking about that lazy dev)

Zelda_fan
10-27-07, 12:42 PM
Gotta love threads like this that bring the PS3 fanbois out like worms from the woodwork.

Zelda_fan
10-27-07, 12:50 PM
Has their ever been a single case where a developer has come out and said: the PS3 is a better machine to program on? No.

Carmack slammed it. Sweeny slammed it. Gabe slammed it. And now this guy slammed it. Yet for some reason fanboi idiots like H3AVY_M3T4L_LOLZ and Peter Jenson think that all developers are full of ****, and the PS3 *has* to be as easy to code for as the 360.

H3avyM3tal
10-27-07, 12:55 PM
Has their ever been a single case where a developer has come out and said: the PS3 is a better machine to program on? No.

Carmack slammed it. Sweeny slammed it. Gabe slammed it. And now this guy slammed it. Yet for some reason fanboi idiots like H3AVY_M3T4L_LOLZ and Peter Jenson think that all developers are full of ****, and the PS3 *has* to be as easy to code for as the 360.

When did Sweeny said that?

And you are still ghey.
See, I can be a bot too :D
Ass.

Peoples-Agent
10-27-07, 12:58 PM
If the X360 has twice the pixel pushing power of the PS3 then it is the X360 that has been grossly underutilized so far because its best games look in no way that much better than PS3's best.

From what I have seen on the whole the X360 games look better but there are quite a few very good looking PS3 games as well that hold up very well against the best of the X360 bunch i.e. GoW and Bioshock vs R&C and Heavenly Sword.

Why should the PS3 be just holding up?

It was suppose to have the hardware punching power and technical domination, adding to the fact it was released a year later which is a long time in the tech industry, as everyone should know on this site.

Over priced, under performing polished turd. It's a disgrace to be honest.

An opportunity was wasted here, a BIG opportunity.

PeterJensen
10-27-07, 01:30 PM
Why should the PS3 be just holding up?

It was suppose to have the hardware punching power and technical domination, adding to the fact it was released a year later which is a long time in the tech industry, as everyone should know on this site.

Over priced, under performing polished turd. It's a disgrace to be honest.

An opportunity was wasted here, a BIG opportunity.

At least it dont break like the crapbox 360....

Lyme
10-27-07, 01:43 PM
They aren't Moo's opinions, they are (for the most part) facts posted by a developer (not Moo - follow the link).

The developer should have used some references as it would better backup his statements. Adding references to the article should not be that difficult, as I know there are quite a few out there that back him up. Of course the bonus to having references, is the difficultly it causes people to rebuke him by saying something to the contrary (which has already happened in this thread).

ralinn
10-27-07, 02:07 PM
Why should the PS3 be just holding up?

It was suppose to have the hardware punching power and technical domination, adding to the fact it was released a year later which is a long time in the tech industry, as everyone should know on this site.

Over priced, under performing polished turd. It's a disgrace to be honest.

An opportunity was wasted here, a BIG opportunity.
I still don't think it's over priced. It does quite a bit for its price you know. Games? Yeah, there's a lack of them at the moment, but that's inevitably going to change... it still has an opportunity, and time to shine. It's definitely not played as much as my 360 and PC at the moment, but I have no doubts what-so-ever that that's going to change. Personally I don't think it's going to be better than the 360... it's just going to be different.

npras42
10-27-07, 02:57 PM
Why should the PS3 be just holding up?

It was suppose to have the hardware punching power and technical domination, adding to the fact it was released a year later which is a long time in the tech industry, as everyone should know on this site.

Over priced, under performing polished turd. It's a disgrace to be honest.

An opportunity was wasted here, a BIG opportunity.

With the recent pricecuts, I don't think its all that overpriced anymore. Its priced at what I expected it should have done a year ago, but its at least affordable for most people now.

It has a few games out for it now that look quite good. I could care less that it came out a year later. I don't think that it has anything to do with it in this case. We can talk about the present situation of games or we could talk about the future games, I could care less about how dry the situation was for past 12 months.

I know you guys seemed to love your X360's since the day they came out but until this Spring just gone there were only 2 games that I really considered AAA - GoW and Oblivion. I thought all those other games like Kameo, PD0, Dead Rising, PGR3 etc were average at best. With Forza, the new Madden, Bioshock, Halo 3, PGR4 and some others, the console has only really just started to appeal to me as I'd hoped when I first bought it.

Imbroglio
10-27-07, 07:18 PM
At least it dont break like the crapbox 360....
guess what, the money i saved by not purchasing the lesser of this generation will be more than enough to keep me happy even if my 360 does break. the flip side is that i play poorly ported bs and keep looking forward to all of 2 titles that i may think about playing, i choose the former.

Xav
10-27-07, 07:19 PM
Little more fuel :) I actually thought it was an interesting read and it kind of backs up what Jason is saying.

http://daveasbell.blogspot.com/2007/08/trouble-with-ps3.html

Good info...

Buenamos
10-27-07, 08:28 PM
Little more fuel :) I actually thought it was an interesting read and it kind of backs up what Jason is saying.

http://daveasbell.blogspot.com/2007/08/trouble-with-ps3.html

Good info...

interesting read.

Moo
10-27-07, 08:57 PM
Little more fuel :) I actually thought it was an interesting read and it kind of backs up what Jason is saying.

http://daveasbell.blogspot.com/2007/08/trouble-with-ps3.html

Good info...

That's another neat article.

Who made the decision at Sony to pimp teh Cell (instead of a more mainstream, reusable approach)? Was it Ken "the PS3 is too cheap" Kutaguri?

Didn't any other senior Sony engineer think about "Oh wait this architecture is going to require much more resources to work with, so we better hand-hold 3rd parties AND make a kickass dev kit"?

:headexplode: