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PS3 - Information, specs, games, and more Part II


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A feather in Sony's cap that I hadn't considered with regard to Blue-Ray. The DreamStation Blogcast quoted Team Ninja as showing concern that the 360 will only support DVD.

 

This is because cut-scenes for the 360 will be in 1280x720, taking up a TON of space. And apparently, Japanese developers love to make pre-rendered cut scenes. So, the result will be that developers will either have to cut back on cut scenes, compress the hell out of them, switch to in-engine, or cut back on game content to fit what they want on 360 discs. The PS3 in contrast will give developers a lot more headroom.

 

This is a significant limitation that I hadn't thought of. Team Ninja says that the DOA4 trailer, in 1280x720, would have been 2 gigs (nearly 1/4 of an entire 360 disc). That's not good for Microsoft. And as I said, a feather in the cap of Sony for choosing Blue-Ray.

 

 

ADMIN EDIT: The previous thread was almost at the 400 post marker so it's about time we get a new one started. I've split off the next thread of discussion here. Please feel free to pick up right where you left off.

 

Anyone wanting to read through the previous thread can do so by going here:

 

PS3 Discussion Part I

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So, the result will be that developers will either have to cut back on cut scenes

 

WOOHOO!!!

 

compress the hell out of them

 

meh. I can't say it bothers me

 

switch to in-engine

 

Goody - in-engine scenes blend far better with the gameplay

 

or cut back on game content to fit what they want on 360 discs.

 

i.e. will just use the same amount of content with a disc swap halfway. PS1 games did this all the time, without major ill effects.

 

As someone who hates cut-scenes, I'm very happy about it.

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As someone who hates cut-scenes, I'm very happy about it.
Well I don't like excessively long or poorly done cut scenes. But since Japanese developers would be frustrated by it, and Microsoft's biggest Japanese developer has showed public concern on the matter, I think it isn't as simple as liking or disliking cut-scenes. I think it is an important point that if Sony/Microsoft mandate HD cutscenes, it will significantly affect the development process, and in the case of the 360, possibly deter Japanese developers that they're trying to get on board. And for Sony, it is yet another reason for Japanese developers to like the PS3.

 

For the record, I very much enjoyed the Ninja Gaiden cut scenes.

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This is a significant limitation that I hadn't thought of. Team Ninja says that the DOA4 trailer, in 1280x720, would have been 2 gigs (nearly 1/4 of an entire 360 disc). That's not good for Microsoft. And as I said, a feather in the cap of Sony for choosing Blue-Ray.
I wonder what sort of compression is being used and what sort of flexibility the 360 offers in terms of codecs. With MPEG-4 or VC-1 (you'd think Microsoft would at the very least support the latter), something as short as that trailer shouldn't be all that much of a space hog.
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I've always been a fan of using in-engine cut-scenes, as I feel that CGI takes you totally out of the game world. Having said that, more space to let the developers do whatever they want is always better, of course. We may just see some multi-disc games for 360 & Rev, which is a bit of an inconvenience, but I hope that we don't see any cut-scenes compressed to hell...that always sucks.

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For the record, I very much enjoyed the Ninja Gaiden cut scenes.

 

And for the record, I've just spent two whole minutes thinking 'what cut scenes?' because I ignored/skipped them. Ninja Gaiden is about kicking arse, not watching movies.

 

I suppose what I'm really saying is that

 

1) Cut scenes have their place, and that place is plot-heavy RPGs, and

 

2) I hate plot-heavy RPGs.

 

While I'm not anti them enough to try and wish the lives of their developers to be difficult, the extra disc space to make them practical is as useless a feature in a console to me as the ability to watch films on them is to so many other people.

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Wow. So much hate on here at Sony.

 

Anyway, I think the extra space will also be used for game demos, movie trailers, making-of videos, and all sorts of extras.

 

Having extra space is apparently a bad thing around here. Weird. A few years ago it was a good thing.

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Anyway' date=' I think the extra space will also be used for game demos, movie trailers, making-of videos, and all sorts of extras.

[/quote']

 

This raises a very interesting point. How many people around here use the extras included on a DVD as one indicator of it being worth purchasing or not? I know I do. What if some of those things you love so much about DVDs - making ofs, commentaries, behind the scenes stuff, playable levels that didn't make the release cut - are now included? I know I'd be happy. If more space would give more opportunity for that, then I'm all for the larger disc sizes.

 

I am a huge fan of well done cut-scenes and well done in-game renders. It's part of the whole game experience and goes towards helping to tell the story, which is what I care more and more about as it seems everybody can put out a minimally entertaining button-masher these days.

 

For me, saying cut-scenes do not belong in any games would be similar to saying that a theatrical movie should never use special effects despite the years of work and technology that went into being able to do so. Like special effects, if done appropriately, cut scenes should be adding to the experience. Hell, I bought World of Warcraft just for the intro movie to the game. :drool

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Having extra space is apparently a bad thing around here. Weird. A few years ago it was a good thing.

 

Yeah, sorry. I'll make myself more explicit.

 

1) I hate cutscenes. I just hate anything in games that doesn't actually involve playing, really.

 

2) I don't really think the extra space is a bad thing per se, just that (a) in the case of BluRay that extra space is coming at what is heavily hinted to cost me when I want to buy the machine, and (B) the things you gain from having the extra space aren't really what I want from games for the most part.

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the things you gain from having the extra space aren't really what I want from games for the most part.

 

I'm going to shut up about this now. I've just remembered that San Andreas is probably a dual-layer disc already. Hands up everyone who would like DMA to have room for bigger textures when they move to PS3 without having to cut down the number of radio stations or have to swap discs every time you drive into a different area? Hello BluRay, glad to see you after all.

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I've just remembered that San Andreas is probably a dual-layer disc already. Hands up everyone who would like DMA to have room for bigger textures when they move to PS3

I don't think GTA:SA is a dual layer disc but your point is still valid. Especially since GTA:SA is one of the worst looking games on a big screen imo. For a PS3 installment in at least 720p they will need much higher res textures and then 9 gigs would probably not be enough.

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Half-Life 2 is way less than 9 gigs' date=' and that game looks spectacluar.

 

-Dean-[/quote']

Compare the specs of your computer to the specs of your PS2 or XBox.

 

Also, what resolution do you run Half Life 2 at on your computer? I'm guessing the vertical resolution is better than 720.

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The argument with HL2 isn't valid imho. GTA:SA takes up 4 gigs or so with the ultra low res textures. If they would put the textures on the disc in a decent resolution it would would need a lot more space. It doesn't matter what HL2 does in this context. Also the "world" of HL2 is quite a bit smaller than GTA:SA's.

Rockstar could use a lot more different textures than they did on the PS2 or XBox since the PS3 and 360 have a lot more RAM and better gfx chips etc. The amount of data these consoles could stream and display is probably quite a bit higher than the current gen.

Just my 2c.

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PC Games rarely actually run their games from the CDROM/DVDROM drives, all data is copied to the hard disk drive, especially the cutscenes that started this discussion, which offers faster data transfer rates and faster access times.

 

Consoles, on the other hand, typically run in real time from the drive, only loading what they need at the time.

 

Comparing your current PC's graphics (no matter how much of a gaming rig it is) to what was capable with San Andreas (a game written for 4-5 year old console platforms) is not achieving much.

 

And if the PS3 and 360 really are more powerful than PCs for some time to come, then I would want them to have larger capacity media so that developers could put enough data on there to show off the extra bit of power.

 

Whether I want to "eat" the cost of the larger storage media in the form of a Blu-Ray drive... well, that's a different story, and I would bet we're on the same page on that one.

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Remember that there is more to a drive than just capacity. Seek times and throughput are just as important. One of the most anoying aspects of the PS2 for me is that damn ..........Loading.......................................................................................ummm, still loading...............................nope, not yet still loading.................................almost there!.....................................ok now you can play,,,after just a little bit more loading........

 

Another thing is, how many PS2 discs do you see now with extra content on them? Majority of the games out there utilize only a fraction of the discs capacity now. I don't see developers spending extra dollars to put extras on to the disc unless they are demos that create revenue for the publisher.

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I wonder what sort of compression is being used and what sort of flexibility the 360 offers in terms of codecs. With MPEG-4 or VC-1 (you'd think Microsoft would at the very least support the latter), something as short as that trailer shouldn't be all that much of a space hog.

 

I think Adam already wrapped this issue up. If MS doesn't push an MPEG-4 scheme for the 360, I'd be mystified (and horrified.) And MPEG-4 is a big saver over MPEG-2, typically the tradeoff there is that processing the video file originally is much more intense (time consuming.) But what do we care if it takes them 3-4x longer to compress the video in studio? They only do it once and when we play it you'd never know the difference.

 

The Blu-ray format is an MPEG-2 format by Sony's definition. Maybe PS3 will back an MPEG-4 compression scheme, but why should it? The Blu-ray player movies won't need it and there is 25 GB to store MPEG-2 anyway.

 

But the HD-DVD (and MS' new WM9 formats) are all MPEG-4 designs. A 15 GB movie file in MPEG-2 should be able to compress down to fit on a 'regular' 9 GB dual-layer DVD using MPEG-4 with minimal quality loss.

 

Sony is still going to have a huge space advantage, zero doubt there. But I don't think lack of video space is going to hobble the 360 (and if it does, I'd guess it would be towards the end of the generation.)

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http://www.eetasia.com/ARTICLES/2005JUN/C/2005JUN_INT_WK2.HTM

 

Cell is not like that. Application programs can no longer directly access the hardware; instead they will have to be written in high-level, object-oriented language. That was done for security reasons: If processors of high performance and wide bandwidth like the Cell were linked together without sufficient security, a worldwide system crash could occur with one attack.

 

:eh

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I would hardly call the large capacity a feather in Sony's cap. It's an advantage for sure, but how big of an advantage it is remains to be seen. More and more games are going to be using in game cutscenes as the systems can produce better and better results which fit in better with the gameplay. If the Killzone E3 demo was indeed rendered in real time... is there any real reason to use FMV?

 

Plus in game cutscenes might be substancially cheaper to produce, as many of the movies are outsourced and may require even more artwork and design time which wouldn't be needed if the cutscenes used exisiting work.

 

And I'm sure MS will have a sufficient compression technology in place for video for companies that do want to use FMV. I can't imagine them not using MPEG4 either.

 

Textures and music I can't see being that big of an issue. I'm sure that suitable compression technologies will also be supplied to compensate. The one advantage that the PS3 may have there is that the media can be left compressed if needed which may use less resources, however I can't see it being all that huge of a difference.

 

PGR3's enviroments are almost as large and detailed as the GTA games, and the shots they've shown of that look almost photorealistic.

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