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AirRaid
06-17-09, 09:11 AM
http://www.cnbc.com/id/31331241


The Next Generation of Gaming Consoles

By: Chris Morris, Special to CNBC.com | 12 Jun 2009 | 05:12 PM ET


We're still a long way away from seeing the next generation of Xboxes, PlayStations and whatever Nintendo has up its sleeve, but Ubisoft is already preparing for the future.

"The next generation is going to be so powerful that playing a game is going to be the equivalent of playing a CGI movie today," predicts Yves Guillemot, chairman and CEO of the publisher.


With the increased graphical power will come greatly increased costs. Today, making a game for Microsoft's Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 typically costs between $20 million and $30 million. (Games for the Wii typically cost much less to create, due to the system’s less than cutting-edge components.)

Next generation, estimates Guillemot, top tier games will likely average $60 million to make.

The ramifications for that are unknown. It could mean higher retail prices or lower return on investment. Ubisoft hopes to supplement the cost by reusing assets in the film community (as it is currently doing with its game adaptation of James Cameron's "Avatar".)

High development costs for game makers will just as certainly mean high production costs for console makers. That's part of the reason Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are working hard to extend the life cycle of the current generation of game machines.

Microsoft is the most ambitious of the console makers, saying it plans to market the launch of its recently announced "Project Natal" motion-sensing controller as prominently as it marketed the launch of the Xbox 360. In essence, Natal’s launch will be a next generation launch of sorts.


Guillemot says he is excited about Natal, but he suspects consumers may be a bit more impatient than console makers believe.

"[Natal] is one step, but quickly they will take the other step — pushed by the environment," he says. "For us, the current machines are very powerful and we can do high quality work. I'd like to stay with this generation as long as possible, but my customers will want the best machine possible."

One thing that could move up the timetable for console makers is the move to make a gaming system that streams games directly to your TV or computer. OnLive is a company that’s attempting that and showed a working prototype earlier this year. Ubisoft and Electronic Arts ] have already pledged to support the service.

The idea behind OnLive is the company’s servers will run the game, and send a videostream through your home’s Internet connection. Your controller and button mashes are sent via the Internet to OnLive's servers. The experience, though, is seemless — as if you were playing a copy on a machine at home.

It's early technology, but one with promise — and, according to Guillemot, it could shake up the timetables of console makers

"If somebody comes out with online — if OnLive manages to make this work — we will have a next generation of systems sooner than currently planned," he says.


While it is laying the groundwork internally for the next generation, including hiring 1,300 new employees last year, Ubisoft says it plans to be in the thick of motion controlled games for all systems.



Of course, he cannot possibly mean CGI used in feature films, but probably more like what you see in CGI cutscenes for games (aka lower-end CGI).

I 100% believe what he is saying. Next-gen consoles (Xbox3,PS4) will push realtime graphics that look very "CGI like". Already on the *current* gen HD consoles, Xbox 360 & PS3, real-time graphics are fairly impressive (look at the real-time cutscenes in Resident Evil 5!) especially given how WEAK the GPUs of those consoles are compared to current high-end Nvidia & AMD GPUs. Single GPUs such as GT200 & RV7xx are 5 times more powerful than Xenos & RSX. Then, multi-GPU PC configurations are upto 20 times more powerful than the console GPUs:
(i.e Xenos is 240 GFLOPs vs 4800 GFLOPS using four RV770s in two AMD X2 cards = 20x).

If Xbox3 & PS4 GPUs are "only" 20 times more powerful than Xenos & RSX, equaling four RV770s or overclocked GT200s, developers will be able to squeeze realtime graphics that resemble mid-level prerendered CGI from a few years ago, i.e. typically the CGI used in PS2/Xbox1 games.
It won't just be about 1080p resolution with more AA, or even 60fps. It'll be about much greater detail/complexity, more complex pixel shaders, far better textures, far better lighting, as well as better framerates. We won't even need one single ray of RayTracing. It can be 100% rasterisation, which is a realistic thing to expect. Besides 99.9% of CGI uses no RT at all, anyway. No need for RT yet, in the next-gen. Maybe with the Xbox4 & PS5 generation it'll be time for RT, around 2020+ but not in the next 2-5 years when Xbox3 & PS4 consoles are due.

Even the lowly Xbox 360 & PS3 (using 4+ year old graphics tech) are doing realtime visuals that surpass a lot of the prerendered CGI used in old PS1 games of the 1990s. Look at Tekken1,2, FFVII, and dozens of other PS1 (as well as Saturn & 3DO) games with CGI intros & cutscenes. 360/PS3 in-game graphics far surpass that stuff. Sure, that's not 'Toy Story in realtime', I'm not suggesting it is, but, graphics are progressing at a reasonably good rate. I do *not* believe in concepts like 'diminishing returns' for graphics, or that Wii has changed things so much that graphics will never again be important.

nekrosoft13
06-17-09, 10:44 AM
games cost 60 mil to make, and games will cost 150 to buy

|MaguS|
06-17-09, 11:31 AM
I don't think price of the games will increase with the next gen, current AAA titles cost 60mil or more to make already.

As for the graphics level, I can see it being comparable to some pixar quality. I mean you look at Rachet and Clank which looks amazing and could be easily confused for a Pixar movie in some of its scenes...

NarcissistZero
06-17-09, 02:05 PM
Yeah, Ratchet and Clank on PS3 already looks damn near CGI quality... in-engine cutscenes from a lot of games do as well, when they add the extra polish and detail.

I would bet the next generation of games still largely support 720p resolution, rather than 1080p, so they should be able to add a lot more detail and AA and such.

AirRaid
06-17-09, 05:40 PM
I'd say that 90% of games on 360/PS3 are 720p, maybe 8-9% are various SUB-HD resolutions and 1-2% are true 1080p. I might have the percentages slightly wrong, but I'm pretty certain the vast majority are native 720p.

Next-gen on Xbox3,PS4 I'm guessing there will be a more even split between 720p and 1080p, and no sub-HD games.

|MaguS|
06-17-09, 05:42 PM
Exactly, I don't expect a giant performance leap with the next two consoles... I just expect it to be more refined and provide a more consistent experiance.

MaxFX
06-17-09, 05:44 PM
So true R&C is extremely good and not to mentioned the upcoming Uncharted2/ GOW3 and this is all on just current gen tech. and I bet the PS3 has some more untapped power under the hood.

What I have seen so far is totaly fantastic and to think what they can do on the next gen is actually a little scary, we are surely in for a ride next gen eaiter be it console or Pc the future looking good but I want it now damit :D

MaxFX
06-17-09, 05:46 PM
Exactly, I don't expect a giant performance leap with the next two consoles... I just expect it to be more refined and provide a more consistent experiance.

Yeah or it could just go that way I guess. ala Wii hehe.
Just some souped up tech from this gen as it may just cost them to much. thats what im afraid of. I want real CGI quality ingame damit :D

|MaguS|
06-17-09, 05:50 PM
Yeah or it could just go that way I guess. ala Wii hehe.
Just some souped up tech from this gen as it may just cost them to much. thats what im afraid of. I want real CGI quality ingame damit :D

Nah I don't think it would just go away since in 3 years even PS3 components will be so cheap they could rerelease it as a Wii Type console and atleast provide current graphics with its control scheme.

If anything I expect the PS4 to be an upgrade of the PS3 but not as drastic, I expect it to be just a better CELL and the next nvidia GPU. That would give them some performance improvements without increasing the cost as drastically as moving from PS2 to PS3.

NarcissistZero
06-18-09, 04:06 AM
I'd say that 90% of games on 360/PS3 are 720p, maybe 8-9% are various SUB-HD resolutions and 1-2% are true 1080p. I might have the percentages slightly wrong, but I'm pretty certain the vast majority are native 720p.

Next-gen on Xbox3,PS4 I'm guessing there will be a more even split between 720p and 1080p, and no sub-HD games.

I would guess a quarter or more are sub-720p, actually. Seems like every game I check is some sort of sub-HD.

Anyway, my point was more that the next console generation will probably maintain the 720p standard, rather than focus on 1080p.

Starscream
06-18-09, 01:58 PM
Yay it's the same proclamation we get with every new gen of consoles.

These consoles WILL PWN YOUR SOUL.

NarcissistZero
06-18-09, 02:10 PM
Hey, when I first loaded up my 360 with Kameo I was pretty jazzed. Looked amazing, at the time.

MaxFX
06-18-09, 02:16 PM
Hey, when I first loaded up my 360 with Kameo I was pretty jazzed. Looked amazing, at the time.

Exactly I couldent belive my eye's it was so very very impressive. the textures where out of this world!

MaxFX
06-18-09, 02:21 PM
Nah I don't think it would just go away since in 3 years even PS3 components will be so cheap they could rerelease it as a Wii Type console and atleast provide current graphics with its control scheme.

If anything I expect the PS4 to be an upgrade of the PS3 but not as drastic, I expect it to be just a better CELL and the next nvidia GPU. That would give them some performance improvements without increasing the cost as drastically as moving from PS2 to PS3.

Yeah MaguS I belive so to as Sony has spend so extremely much money on the Cell and as the Cell actually is an extremely good tech they will most likely go that way. heck any other way would seem stupid.

So a soup up Cell with more SPU's and a newer graffics card to go along will most likely be a killer :D

Buio
06-22-09, 06:54 PM
Exactly, I don't expect a giant performance leap with the next two consoles... I just expect it to be more refined and provide a more consistent experiance.

I expect the change to be big as the previous to current generation. But the visuals are already pretty good, so it will be harder to notice. They could use the increase in power for higher resolution, higher resolution textures, anti-aliasing, more objects on screen, better physics and animations. And it would not bring higher development costs except maybe physics as it requires time to design fully destructible environments.

XDanger
06-22-09, 07:18 PM
The graphics will be as good as a mid range/high end PC graphics card of the time they are produced but as usual it wont improve

UNLESS they do like I told them and have the graphics unit UPGRADEABLE!!!

60 fps wont be the limit ,Everyone will have at least a 120hz tv by then.


If you allow graphics upgrade you can have 1080p+ 240hz+ 3D by the consoles 3rd year.
___________________________________
They could also use my streamed gaming distributed computing method, Works like the set-tops but share computing like folding and always connected (bad for the environment but **** it) instead of a central server (which there would still be) a lot of the work would be done by other units, Needs a full fiber network though ,About 10 years from now.

Any nay sayers just remember I was right about music downloads (which I predicted in 1987)
And also about streamed gaming which I predicted last year.

Mr. Hunt
06-22-09, 07:32 PM
The graphics will be as good as a mid range/high end PC graphics card of the time they are produced but as usual it wont improve

UNLESS they do like I told them and have the graphics unit UPGRADEABLE!!!

60 fps wont be the limit ,Everyone will have at least a 120hz tv by then.


If you allow graphics upgrade you can have 1080p+ 240hz+ 3D by the consoles 3rd year.

So you want to turn consoles into PCs. No thanks. I love that consoles require you to buy them once and then that be it. I don't want to upgrade my PS3s video card, or ram, or whatever. I just want to play a game on it.

If I want to spend stupid amounts of money to play games, I will do like I do now. Do it for PC.

fizzelopeguss
06-22-09, 07:34 PM
The art assets are fine, infact the devs are wasting their time and money tbh. The IQ of these console games are disgusting. Screen tearing all over my face, sub hd blurry as ****, no edge enhancement pieces of ****. And the framerate, ohh god...

Halo3 actually has some nice lighting and texture work going on but the effect is ruined by jaggies that you can slit your wrists on.

XDanger
06-22-09, 07:44 PM
So you want to turn consoles into PCs. No thanks. I love that consoles require you to buy them once and then that be it. I don't want to upgrade my PS3s video card, or ram, or whatever. I just want to play a game on it.

If I want to spend stupid amounts of money to play games, I will do like I do now. Do it for PC.

Goodluck to you

I think a lot of people would pay the $200 to make their console kick ass again

Unlike PC's there would be ZERO issues ,Just plug the sucker in and your're good to go!!!

The average console gamer dear sir is not you or I

Microsoft is looking to Natal as a next gen release, In future it COULD be the improved graphics unit

It would also save them a ****load of money because they wouldnt need to burn billions on the next next gen console
_________________


Unless you never bought a PS1 or PS2 I think you'll find you did have to upgrade to play PS3 games...:headexplode:

fizzelopeguss
06-22-09, 08:00 PM
http://www.nintendo.co.uk/NOE/images/teaser_moods_small/n64_expansion_pak_en.jpg

XDanger
06-22-09, 08:05 PM
Historically add-ons for consoles have done pretty badly (for SEGA mainly) but I think this would be different.
____________________________________
what does the N64 pak add to games? (I have 2 N64's)

KasuCode
06-22-09, 08:21 PM
Historically add-ons for consoles have done pretty badly (for SEGA mainly) but I think this would be different.
____________________________________
what does the N64 pak add to games? (I have 2 N64's)

Adds 4MB of video memory for better textures. (total of 8MB) required for some games like donky kong

Mr. Hunt
06-22-09, 08:52 PM
Why would it be different? I don't want to be forced to spend 200 bucks every few months just to run a game devs decided to make that required higher settings than my console had. Just keep the PCs to the PCs.

hapooh
06-22-09, 10:06 PM
It's BS, we have next gen console capability today on our PC's and we don't see CGI in real time. So why should we believe that the next gen consoles will deliver that. Unless Nvidia, ATI, or Intel is holding out some top secret graphics technology strictly for the consoles.

ViN86
06-22-09, 10:33 PM
The graphics will be as good as a mid range/high end PC graphics card of the time they are produced but as usual it wont improve

UNLESS they do like I told them and have the graphics unit UPGRADEABLE!!!

60 fps wont be the limit ,Everyone will have at least a 120hz tv by then.


If you allow graphics upgrade you can have 1080p+ 240hz+ 3D by the consoles 3rd year.
___________________________________
They could also use my streamed gaming distributed computing method, Works like the set-tops but share computing like folding and always connected (bad for the environment but **** it) instead of a central server (which there would still be) a lot of the work would be done by other units, Needs a full fiber network though ,About 10 years from now.

Any nay sayers just remember I was right about music downloads (which I predicted in 1987)
And also about streamed gaming which I predicted last year.

The main point of consoles is the fact that they are standardized. So when you're playing online, everyone has the same framerate/resolution capabilities you have. Making them upgradable is foolish. It defeats the purpose of the console.