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Old 01-27-11, 09:06 AM   #7
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 15,486
Default Re: Game Physics across consoles - is PS3 better than XBOX 360?

Originally Posted by prankstare View Post

First of all, I am not a hardware expert or an in-depth programmer either, so I am not quite sure what I am talking about here - please help me out.

From the little I've read about XBOX 360 and PS3, the Microsoft console has a small advantage on the graphics department (more usage of AA for example) while Sony has got a much more "robust" Cell processor. Now, if this information is correct, then my question would be: as the PS3 has more "CPU power" due to it's 7 SPE's, can I affirm that multi-platform games (games that are released for both 360 and PS3) have or might have or COULD have a more sophisticated Physics programming for the PS3? I mean if developers were really interested in doing it atleast. Would it be possible?
Not really. Console games typically use scripted physics, and the scripts are the same across consoles, so the physics should be exactly the same. I guess if you were to see hardware physics, PS3 would be where you see them since they could be offloaded onto the Cell.

I am each time more interested in Physics - simulation games with more and more realistic gameplay should be the focus for the next generation of games - not that I am tired of graphics, but people should give some more emphasis on this matter.

Well I have some other questions too, if I may:

- Can the other unused core's (SPE's) from the Cell processor be used to perform graphics duties? I only ask this because comparing the graphics between these two consoles, PS3 is a lot worse on most games than the XBOX 360, and it shows!
Yes it can. The main reason why so many 360 games look better is because the development tools are easier to use (at least that was the case). PS3 graphics have come a long way. It depends on the studio too. Rockstar typically ****s out whatever and the PS3 version often suffers (e.g. GTA4, Red Dead Redemption). Naughty Dog and FROM software often make great PS3 games. Check out Demon's Souls and Uncharted 2. Nothing on 360 compares to them imo.

- I've heard that the graphics processor of the PS3 is almost like a 7900GT on a PC-based machine. Well, if this is correct, may I state that because PS3 is not a PC-based architecture the graphics is a little better than a 7900GT running on slow Windows 7 OS?
Well I think the chip is the same, and you can expect the same performance (roughly, there may be some differences due to the different architecture), but the RSX has the Cell's SPE's to rely on as well. So it can perform much better than an RSX by itself.

- Do you think current games (as of 2011) for these consoles have already reached 100% of their hardware power? I mean, in general, because we all know game developers are a bit lazy when it comes to optimizations for the Cell processor on PS3. So, do you guys think that on terms of graphics, games can still look better in the future on these two consoles (eg: PES 2012 may look better than the current PES 2011 - although I don't think it can because the current version is already using a lot of blurring effects, which I never really liked cause it only helps the FPS not going down - I really do find the blur effect a really cheesy trick, but there are people who like it ).
Well, stressing the hardware to 100% doesn't mean you're utilizing it, imo. There's still optimization that can be done on both platforms. Getting the most out of hardware involves getting the most out of your cycles. With the PS3, optimization is key. I don't think we have seen the full power of the PS3 yet (although I think Uncharted 2 is close, maybe we will see it in Uncharted 3). Poor release dev tools really left the platform at a disadvantage. I think 360 has pretty much seen as much as it can do, unless we get some very talented devs working on it.

- Can somebody please explain to me what exactly is "scientific computing" or "scientific applications" ? I've read somewhere that the Cell and Xenos processors actually outperform any PC-based processor in this department (it is suggested that the Cell processor is capable of up 204 GFLOPS and Xenos 115.2 GFLOPS). Do games use a lot of scientific computing? And how about branch prediction? Do games use it a lot too?
Scientific apps are just programs run for research. They typically require lots of floating point operations since they are often solving equations using a numerical scheme. If you don't understand what I am saying, read this (it requires knowledge of a little Calculus). While games don't really use any "scientific computing", graphics processing is very similar to what scientific computing does. Graphics processing is all floating point operations as well.

I am just trying to find a way out of PC gaming, because I think it sucks to be able to upgrade within a month or so. Console gaming should be king.
That will catch you a lot of flack around here.

I like both. PC gaming has superior performance, plus I enjoy putting machines together and testing their limits. While consoles have ease and affordability. I do like that I can just go home, lay on the couch and play, without having to worry about performance.
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