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PlayStation 3 Upscaling Comparison


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#1 PS3Scene

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:01 AM

PlayStation 3 Upscaling Comparison
Posted by XanTium | 3-6-2007 22:01 EST

 
From ps3.ign.com:


With the PlayStation 3's latest firmware update to version 1.8, Sony added in the long-awaited ability to upscale DVDs, PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games to HD resolutions. Each of 720p, 1080i and 1080p are supported on all accounts, though for DVDs you need an HDMI connection for those resolutions for copyright purposes. So with the new ability to play classic titles in HD resolutions, has Sony given these games a new lease on life, or at least their visuals?

We've put a number of PSone and PS2 games to the test. We went about capturing screens from each in a number of different settings so that you can compare them right here from the comfort of your computer. Hopefully it's cushioned... We captured everything at 1080p through equipment more expensive than many BMWs to simulate what these titles would look like on some of the best TVs available. And yes, that includes the games that aren't upscaled because HD sets would wind up scaling them internally anyway and it makes more sense to capture them like that rather than in Photoshop.

There's going to be a lot of arguments about what setting is best, even on a game-by-game basis. Some folks will like the cinematic look of games when upscaled and smoothed, while others will prefer 480p when available or perhaps even upscaled but not smoothed. Most of us here happen to prefer sticking with 480p when possible, but we're still keeping our fingers crossed that Sony will one day release an update that actually renders the games in HD rather than just scaling the image.


Full Story: ps3.ign.com (with comparison images)




#2 lando786

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:01 AM

wow first ppl bitch and moan that it doesnt upscale now it does and they still find a way to bash it... u cant make shit look like flowers

#3 mlmadmax

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:12 AM

If I am not happy with the performance dam right i will bash it, i own one to so I paid for the right. Also a good HARDWARE scaler can make dog shit look great it is software scaling that sucks. If you read the article it says they keep everything at 480p meaning the scaler sucks.

The PS3 should have had a scaler built in from the get go.

#4 epsilon72

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 05:24 AM

QUOTE(mlmadmax @ Jun 3 2007, 07:48 PM) View Post
If I am not happy with the performance dam right i will bash it, i own one to so I paid for the right. Also a good HARDWARE scaler can make dog shit look great it is software scaling that sucks. If you read the article it says they keep everything at 480p meaning the scaler sucks.

The PS3 should have had a scaler built in from the get go.


I think the PS3's software scaler was only designed to improve 480i sources. It can't upscale 480p PS2 games at all, which is why the article tells everyone to keep the games that support 480p in 480p.

With the PS2 more than any other 6th gen console, I noticed a big difference between 480i and 480p games, so downgrading a game from the better looking 480p to 480i just to upscale it wouldn't be the best way to go. This may be due to the fact that 480i games are rendered in a resolution that is a little less than 480 lines....if you've ever compared 480i ps2 games to 480i/p gamecube/xbox games you know what I mean...

Now, with 480i games like Okami and FFX/XII, I do notice a big difference (or at least I did notice a difference, my PS3 is quite dead at the moment)

Edited by epsilon72, 04 June 2007 - 05:26 AM.


#5 twistedsymphony

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:45 PM

QUOTE(lando786 @ Jun 3 2007, 10:37 PM) View Post

wow first ppl bitch and moan that it doesnt upscale now it does and they still find a way to bash it... u cant make shit look like flowers


I think you're mentally confusing two different complaints.

Complaint 1: BC games will not render at HD resolutions (meaning the graphics are not generated by the GPU at 720p or 1080i/p)... the Xbox 360 does this so it set the bar higher for Sony. Many Homebrew emulators do this, and most notably the Bleem! emulation system for playing PS1 games on the PC.

Originally this was excused because the PS3 included PS2 hardware and since the PS2 hardware wasn't capable of this they essentially traded breadth of library support for improved graphics rendering.

Now that games are being emulated in software it still doesn't support rendering games at HD resolutions with improved FSAA.

Complain 2: All games (BC and PS3 games), DVD movies, and BR movies do not scale to resolutions other then their supported natively rendered resolutions. This means that each piece of content has the potential to be in a completely different resolution. DVDs might be 480p, PS2 games are 480i, PS3 games are mostly 720p and BR movies are 1080p... The problem is not all HDTVs support the full gambit of resolutions, also scaling graphics from the compressed video signal (outside the console) reduces quality and potentially adds lag while scaling the signal at the source (inside the console) can be done without much or any loss to quality and without lag (if it's done right).

Essentially Sony relied on your TV to do the scaling which is not only unreliably but unpredictable. The Xbox 360 performs all of the scaling internally so as long as you set your output to a resolution your TV supports, you will always have consistent results no matter what you use the console for. These results will always be the same no matter who you are or what TV you use (for better or for worse) because it's controlled by the console. it takes out any question of compatibility and consistency of quality.

What we got:
Sony only semi-implemented a fix for Complaint #2, and completely ignored #1. The Solution to #2 being a software solution, only works for certain types of media. So while it's a big step in the right direction, it doesn't offer the COMPLETE consistency and reliability that you would expect from a universally usable hardware based solution.

Also a scaler, be it hardware or software, is in no way shape or form a suitable replacement for rendering a game natively in a higher resolution. And while it's nice to have, it doesn't resolve Complaint #1.

Edited by twistedsymphony, 04 June 2007 - 03:52 PM.


#6 epsilon72

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:54 PM

QUOTE(twistedsymphony @ Jun 4 2007, 08:21 AM) View Post



Complaint 1: BC games will not render at HD resolutions (meaning the graphics are not generated by the GPU at 720p or 1080i/p)... the Xbox 360 does this so it set the bar higher for Sony. Many Homebrew emulators do this, and most notably the Bleem! emulation system for playing PS1 games on the PC.

Originally this was excused because the PS3 included PS2 hardware and since the PS2 hardware wasn't capable of this they essentially traded breadth of library support for improved graphics rendering.

Now that games are being emulated in software it still doesn't support rendering games at HD resolutions with improved FSAA.



Wait, hold on - none of my xbox1 games were rendered in 720p on my 360 when I had one - I could tell that they were rendered in the original 480p and upscaled to 720p/1080p. The upscaling job did look much better than what the PS3 can do, mind you, but I never saw an xbox1 game rendered natively in an HD resolution (aside from games like Soul Calibur II, XMEN Legends, etc)


#7 twistedsymphony

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 07:18 PM

QUOTE(epsilon72 @ Jun 4 2007, 11:30 AM) View Post

Wait, hold on - none of my xbox1 games were rendered in 720p on my 360 when I had one - I could tell that they were rendered in the original 480p and upscaled to 720p/1080p. The upscaling job did look much better than what the PS3 can do, mind you, but I never saw an xbox1 game rendered natively in an HD resolution (aside from games like Soul Calibur II, XMEN Legends, etc)


Are you sure? I seem to recall the old frame buffer dumps from Halo 2 in BC mode from before the 360 was released were all in a 1280x720 frame... The frame buffer dumps are where you get the raw image before it hits the scalers or any of the output hardware... this same technique was the one that revealed PGR3 to be running at 1024x600 instead of 720p

I've always been under the impression that all games on the Xbox 360 in BC mode are rendered natively to a 1280x720 frame with 4xMSAA.

The way the graphics look on my HD projector have never lead me to believe anything to the contrary, it's usually fairly simple to pick out a scaled ED source from a real HD one.

#8 deadparrot

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 08:05 PM

QUOTE(twistedsymphony @ Jun 4 2007, 07:54 PM) View Post

Are you sure? I seem to recall the old frame buffer dumps from Halo 2 in BC mode from before the 360 was released were all in a 1280x720 frame... The frame buffer dumps are where you get the raw image before it hits the scalers or any of the output hardware... this same technique was the one that revealed PGR3 to be running at 1024x600 instead of 720p

I've always been under the impression that all games on the Xbox 360 in BC mode are rendered natively to a 1280x720 frame with 4xMSAA.

This is only true of Halo 2. Since it's still a flagship title, MS released an update which actually renders the game in 720p and fixes some of the 16:9 mapping issues.

My amp is actually upscaling all the content from my 360 to 720p (DVDs and XB1 games!) so now my TV reports any signal coming in from the 360 as 720p. For some reason when I plugged the 360 into the new amp (via component) and the amp into the TV (via HDMI) unless I set a 720p minimum output res on the HDMI output, it would squash 16:9 DVDs to 4:3.

#9 twistedsymphony

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 09:17 PM

QUOTE(deadparrot @ Jun 4 2007, 03:41 PM) View Post

This is only true of Halo 2. Since it's still a flagship title, MS released an update which actually renders the game in 720p and fixes some of the 16:9 mapping issues.


That would explain my confusion... I really only played it around the consoles launch and I've used it less and less over time. at this point I don't even play games BC anymore.

'tis a shame because it CAN be done... Bleem spoiled me back in the day.

rendering to HD would be a good reason to buy a PS3 IMO... BC in general doesn't really interest me because I own and keep all the original hardware but being able to go back and replay your favorites with much much better graphics would be somewhat of a selling point for me.

Edited by twistedsymphony, 04 June 2007 - 09:19 PM.


#10 grim_d

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 10:00 PM

QUOTE(twistedsymphony @ Jun 4 2007, 09:53 PM) View Post

rendering to HD would be a good reason to buy a PS3 IMO... BC in general doesn't really interest me because I own and keep all the original hardware but being able to go back and replay your favorites with much much better graphics would be somewhat of a selling point for me.


ditto, if they do this i WILL buy a ps3, as soon as i could.


#11 epsilon72

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 12:35 AM

The thing is, we'd have to go to software emulation for that to happen...and Sony has said that their focus "is on new and exciting games" or something like that when asked about how/if they'll improve software BC.

#12 Thraxen

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 03:38 AM

QUOTE(epsilon72 @ Jun 4 2007, 07:11 PM) View Post

The thing is, we'd have to go to software emulation for that to happen...and Sony has said that their focus "is on new and exciting games" or something like that when asked about how/if they'll improve software BC.



They did say that... then the turned around and added scaling. So there might be hope they will keep working on it.

As for the scaling... it's hard to say how good it is. It real does seem to be on a game by game basis as the article states. The upscaling just seems to make things look a bit blurry in most cases, but I can see places where it did make an improvement. For example, look at the picture of RE2. While the plain scaling doesn't seem to make muck of a difference, look at the "No Trucks" sign on the scaled and smooth picture. It is actually more legible.

Either way, scaling will shave off a few milliseconds of HDTV lag. Most people won't notice that, but it's there.

#13 twistedsymphony

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 01:30 PM

QUOTE(Thraxen @ Jun 4 2007, 11:14 PM) View Post

They did say that... then the turned around and added scaling. So there might be hope they will keep working on it.

As for the scaling... it's hard to say how good it is. It real does seem to be on a game by game basis as the article states. The upscaling just seems to make things look a bit blurry in most cases, but I can see places where it did make an improvement. For example, look at the picture of RE2. While the plain scaling doesn't seem to make muck of a difference, look at the "No Trucks" sign on the scaled and smooth picture. It is actually more legible.

Either way, scaling will shave off a few milliseconds of HDTV lag. Most people won't notice that, but it's there.


If not rendering in HD then they could at least ad 4xMSAA or better to all the games.... if they're just doing scaling then I'd rather out put it's native resolution and use my Faroudja scaler for the task, Being the best SD/ED to HD scaler on the market I'm sure it does a better job then any software based scaler.

#14 Thraxen

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 12:11 AM

Fortunately you have that option since the scaling can be enabled/disabled as desired.

#15 twistedsymphony

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 02:21 PM

QUOTE(Thraxen @ Jun 5 2007, 07:47 PM) View Post

Fortunately you have that option since the scaling can be enabled/disabled as desired.

I should hope so smile.gif




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