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Old 03-11-2012, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
352 posts, read 1,005,479 times
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I'm just wondering how games made for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 (the Xbox being released in 2005) work as well as PC games, whose tech specs change constantly over the years.

In other words, how can a game like Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3, games designed in 2011 work great with a console built in 2005, but slow, poor textures with a 2005 high end gaming PC?
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:21 PM
 
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I think it has something to do with the fact that every single Playstation 3 has the exact same hardware so game developers can develop their game engines optimized for that exact hardware configuration. Video games don't actually run directly off of the hardware. What you see is the game running off of a game engine (Unreal engine is a popular one) which in turn is powered by the hardware.

With PC's, you have a wide gamut of different chips and chip combinations that may or may not be in your consumer's machine so they have to be careful not to alienate part of that audience; so they develop for as many people as possible while remaining competitive with their graphics. Because of this, PC games are typically much more unstable than console games. I'm sure if everyone had Intel core i7's and Nvidia quadro plex 7000's and developers knew it, PC games would look and work a lot better.

We're getting to the point now though where hardware (even hardware from 2006) is so powerful that a game's graphics are becoming less hindered by the hardware limitations and more hindered by the development team's skills and how much time they have to make it.

Last edited by Adric; 03-11-2012 at 10:30 PM..
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
16,554 posts, read 19,725,221 times
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Agree with Adric's 1st 2 paragraph's. Disagree with the last.

When BF3 was made it was designed to run on the much older consoles. It was ported to PC and updated to use today's modern video cards. So it was designed to run on hardware from 2005 and then updated to 2011 PC specs.
This is why the games look 1,000% better on PC.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,549 posts, read 6,669,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Agree with Adric's 1st 2 paragraph's. Disagree with the last.

When BF3 was made it was designed to run on the much older consoles. It was ported to PC and updated to use today's modern video cards. So it was designed to run on hardware from 2005 and then updated to 2011 PC specs.
This is why the games look 1,000% better on PC.
Couldn't agree more. My son has several games on the 360 that I also have on the PC. The PC graphics are far better, even on my 4 year old system (although my graphics card is only 2 years old).

Consoles are also highly optimized from the OS / system point of view. They are single purpose machines and there aren't any extra apps running in the background like weather bug, email programs, backup systems, virus scanners, spyware from torrents, etc. I'd also bet that the OS unloads much of the extras when control is handed to a game.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Agree with Adric's 1st 2 paragraph's. Disagree with the last.

When BF3 was made it was designed to run on the much older consoles. It was ported to PC and updated to use today's modern video cards. So it was designed to run on hardware from 2005 and then updated to 2011 PC specs.
This is why the games look 1,000% better on PC.
My last paragraph is usually something my friends and people in general disagree with lol.

I usually point to Okami as an example. The art direction in that game was absolutely gorgeous and it was a PS2 game with stunning, interactive painting-like visuals that give even modern games a run for their money (despite it not being in HD). While their certainly are still hardware limitations, they are becoming less and less.

The computer is just a tool. When it's all said and done, it will come down to the art direction of a game and how well the guys on the development team can accurately model, texture, animate, light, and render a scene.

Take Adobe Illustrator for example. Technically, it can process photo realistic illustrations but how many people out there can honestly draw something with photo realistic accuracy? Only a few and even then, could they do it within a tight development timeframe?
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:33 PM
 
168 posts, read 143,019 times
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Well for one, because older engines aren't always optimized for newer machines. I can't even play the original Starcraft on my PC, because of a graphics issue. I can run BF3 at Ultra and get a steady 90 FPS, but I try to run Jedi Knight Academy on anything but Low and I run a choppy 15-37.

The consoles also don't have to deal with a different OS and all the little changes that come with it, as well as the processes. A console is a set piece, the specs aren't going to be changed, and they are all pretty identical, so you can optimize it for that specific hardware. As well, some consoles do not have the graphics as optimized as they could be on a PC.

Some things are limited by hardware. Dynamic lights in a multiplayer game takes A LOT of resources on certain engines, hence why it was scrapped for Left 4 Dead, released in 2008/2009.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Itinerant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wimzer View Post
Well for one, because older engines aren't always optimized for newer machines. I can't even play the original Starcraft on my PC, because of a graphics issue. I can run BF3 at Ultra and get a steady 90 FPS, but I try to run Jedi Knight Academy on anything but Low and I run a choppy 15-37.
Well I had a similar experience with an MS-DOS game, but reversed, the developer had obviously pegged it to run on an early pentium with a Voodoo graphics card, running on a i5 with Geforce 9800 resulted in about 900fps and completely unplayable speeds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wimzer View Post
The consoles also don't have to deal with a different OS and all the little changes that come with it, as well as the processes. A console is a set piece, the specs aren't going to be changed, and they are all pretty identical, so you can optimize it for that specific hardware. As well, some consoles do not have the graphics as optimized as they could be on a PC.
Well actually I'd disagree on the graphics, while the graphics processors on current gen consoles do not have the brute force strength of new graphics cards, overall the graphics are far better optimized than on PC. Graphical clarity and optimization are not exactly the same thing. While BF3 on a PC might look considerably better than on on console, because of improved textures, higher resolutions, faster frame rates, higher draw distances etc. that doesn't necessarily equate to optimization. The anecdote is that most people look at Xbox360 and PS3 graphics and think they look pretty awesome, is testament to that optimization, as is the improvements in graphics over the lifespan of the consoles.

Given that next gen consoles are going to be limited by HD-TV resolutions (1080p 60fps is maximum resolution), then, it's going to be interesting to see how they're going to improve given they're going to have the same number of pixels to play with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wimzer View Post
Some things are limited by hardware. Dynamic lights in a multiplayer game takes A LOT of resources on certain engines, hence why it was scrapped for Left 4 Dead, released in 2008/2009.
Agreed however there's also the other aspect of what the developer can achieve in the time scale provided. I'm pretty sure that Valve could produce a real time dynamic lighting engine for the graphics processors available at L4D release, but given the platforms, and time available before the release this was left unrealized.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:33 PM
 
229 posts, read 207,070 times
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PC gaming is worth it if you have the money to sink in with it. Otherwise consoles are better, not graphically, but for framerates and hardware configuration, you dont need to worry about the latter. A 200 dollar console will perform better than a 200 dollar pc any day of the week. For people on a budget consoles are the way to go.

I personally never understood the reasoning for sinking in 10 grand into a super pc when it will be obsolete in 3 years. Seems like a poor investment. I wouldnt mind building one though, just so I can say I did lol.
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:34 PM
 
168 posts, read 143,019 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gungnir View Post
Well I had a similar experience with an MS-DOS game, but reversed, the developer had obviously pegged it to run on an early pentium with a Voodoo graphics card, running on a i5 with Geforce 9800 resulted in about 900fps and completely unplayable speeds.



Well actually I'd disagree on the graphics, while the graphics processors on current gen consoles do not have the brute force strength of new graphics cards, overall the graphics are far better optimized than on PC. Graphical clarity and optimization are not exactly the same thing. While BF3 on a PC might look considerably better than on on console, because of improved textures, higher resolutions, faster frame rates, higher draw distances etc. that doesn't necessarily equate to optimization. The anecdote is that most people look at Xbox360 and PS3 graphics and think they look pretty awesome, is testament to that optimization, as is the improvements in graphics over the lifespan of the consoles.

I'm not sure on this one. On one hand, they are better optimized, but on the other, that's because the only thing the graphics hardware is used for on consoles is for gaming, while on a PC, you can utilize the GPU/Card to do a lot more than graphics. And as for people looking at them, it's because of the games nowadays, not the console itself, though you could argue that if it wasn't for the console the game wouldn't look that way.

Given that next gen consoles are going to be limited by HD-TV resolutions (1080p 60fps is maximum resolution), then, it's going to be interesting to see how they're going to improve given they're going to have the same number of pixels to play with.

Agreed.

Agreed however there's also the other aspect of what the developer can achieve in the time scale provided. I'm pretty sure that Valve could produce a real time dynamic lighting engine for the graphics processors available at L4D release, but given the platforms, and time available before the release this was left unrealized.

The source engine is capable of Dynamic Lighting, as evidenced by many player mods, including No more Room in hell. The only problem was optimizing it for the consoles. You may have just said that, as some of your point was lost on me.
Bolded
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:15 AM
 
1,346 posts, read 659,572 times
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Console gaming if you can afford having a console where you live. Consoles, I believe, are more compatible with running games better. PC games require a really good configuration. Laptops will become outdated over time and is just expensive. This is why, since I can't have a console where I live, I am saving up to buy me a laptop that I can use to play games for the next 3-5 years. I'm not a picky gamer and I don't play many games so as long as the laptop I buy can play games from 2012 and earlier and won't die on me for 3-5 years. I'm good.
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