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Leading developers reveal PS3's untapped potential


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#1 PS3Scene

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 06:37 AM

Leading developers reveal PS3's untapped potential
Posted by XanTium | 4-1-2008 0:37 EST

 
From gamesradar.com:


While some developers have been critical of PS3's complex architecture (yes, Gabe Newell from Valve, we're pointing at you) many more are praising the power and potential of the machine.

"The amount of action we're able to put on the screen at 60 frames per second dwarfs what we were able to do a year ago at 30 frames per second," claims Insomniac's (Resistance, Ratchet) Chief Creative Officer Brian Hastings, "What's most exciting is I think we'll see just as big a leap from our second generation engine to our third as we did from first to second."

Fallout 3's Executive Producer Todd Howard - from Oblivion developer Bethesda - understands that PS3 "has more than enough power. No single game is using it all yet - not even close". Back at E3 in July 07, Mercenaries 2 Lead Designer Scott Warner claimed their game was only using 30% of PS3's power - while EA's Chief Visual Officer Glenn Entis claimed their launch games like Fight Night 3 only tapped 20%. The figures sound hokum, but it wasn't until five years into PS2's life cycle that games tapped even 90% of its power - a statistic measured by Sony's Performance Analyser tools, yet to be released on PS3.


Full Story: gamesradar.com (3 pages)






#2 anonim1979

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 05:02 PM

LOL at those %

On the other hand looking at EA "quality" ports there is something in those 20% biggrin.gif

Click for NFS:Pro Street comp picture

from Game Trailers
http://download.game...omp_gt_h264.wmv

Peter Moore works wink.gif

Edited by anonim1979, 04 January 2008 - 05:06 PM.


#3 the_nerdy

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 05:24 PM

QUOTE(anonim1979 @ Jan 4 2008, 10:38 AM) View Post

LOL at those %

On the other hand looking at EA "quality" ports there is something in those 20% biggrin.gif

Click for NFS:Pro Street comp picture

from Game Trailers
http://download.game...omp_gt_h264.wmv

Peter Moore works wink.gif



I really don't think you understand how powerfull the ps3 actually is. It isn't just the BD player that raised the price up, but a bunch of other components in the machine as well. This is basicly half of a next generation console we have on the market. Just that, people would rather make games with a little less potential for a system everyone has instead of a system not even half the market has, and I don't blame them. Price is just too high for my blood, however when the price does drop. Games will be way more worth developing on the PS3.

#4 twistedsymphony

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 07:35 PM

I don't think gamesradar understood what Gabe Newels point was in his criticism of the PS3

he never denied how powerful the PS3 was... his point was that learning the architecture to tap that power was wasted effort because the lessons learned would be useless once the PS3 was dead and gone.

The same was true for the PS2.

An analogy...

Leaning the PS3's architecture is like learning to speak and write Japanese... and KNOWING that you're only going to be visiting Japan for about 3-4 years and will probably never go back or speak to another Japanese person after that... And also knowing that after visiting Japan you're probably going to live in France for the rest of your life..

how much effort should you put into learning Japanese? sure if you work really hard and learn it well it will greatly benefit your time there but after that you'll have to learn French and start all over again.

Meanwhile leaning the 360's architecture is like learning French but instead of visiting France you're visiting Quebec where most people are bi-lingual so while you can benefit from learning French you can also get by really well without it. Not only that, once you're done in Quebec you'll be moving to France for the foreseeable future so spending the time to learn French really well will pay off big time not just now but also in the long run.

THAT was Gabe Newells Point... Leaning to program the PS3 well will only benefit PS3 games... Leaning to program the 360 well will benefit programming on the next Xbox, the next Nintendo Console, the next generation of PC hardware and probably even the next generation of Playstation...

Obviously it makes sense for Insomniac to learn the PS3 well because that's the only development platform for them. Meanwhile where is the benefit for cross platform developers? Do you spend your time learning the one platform that has a small install base and whos programming techniques will be useless in 4 years or do you spend your time learning techniques that are not only beneficial now across 3+ other more popular platforms as well as in the foreseeable future?

The answer should be pretty clear.

Sony's playstation 1 became popular with developers because it was easy to program for and used good standard practices as opposed to the proprietary BS used by Nintendo and Sega at the time. the PS2 went the other direction but developers grinned and bared it because it was either develop for the failing Dreamcast, Develop for the PS2 or develop nothing at all.

This generation the developer have options and it's clear that they're voting with their resources... just like they did in the PS1 days but now it's not in Sony's favor.

#5 Swahili

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 08:39 PM

Learning

Gabe is a douche!

Programming for either language is beneficial for your programming skills in general. Just because you already understand 50% of the language doesn't mean its bad to invest or try another language.
How the hell are we gonna advance if we are supposed to stick with what we know and always just expand on that. Sometimes a rewrite is needed.
And also I myself prefer when I can actually see the difference year for year on a console and not see the potential being tapped year one.

I also feel then need to point out one thing.

What good is it to have good software if the hardware always brake.

#6 twistedsymphony

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 11:26 PM

QUOTE(Swahili @ Jan 4 2008, 03:15 PM) View Post

Learning

Gabe is a douche!

Programming for either language is beneficial for your programming skills in general. Just because you already understand 50% of the language doesn't mean its bad to invest or try another language.
How the hell are we gonna advance if we are supposed to stick with what we know and always just expand on that. Sometimes a rewrite is needed.
And also I myself prefer when I can actually see the difference year for year on a console and not see the potential being tapped year one.

I also feel then need to point out one thing.

What good is it to have good software if the hardware always brake.


it's not a language.. it's techniques for working with the hardware... which is completely different.

for instance while body building and ballet are both good for your physical well being trying to practice both is neither easy nor practical, they have competing goals and becoming good at one diminishes your ability to do well at the other.

#7 man_the_king

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 12:08 AM

QUOTE(twistedsymphony @ Jan 4 2008, 05:02 PM) View Post

it's not a language.. it's techniques for working with the hardware... which is completely different.

for instance while body building and ballet are both good for your physical well being trying to practice both is neither easy nor practical, they have competing goals and becoming good at one diminishes your ability to do well at the other.


While that analogy holds true for body-building-versus-ballet, I don't think it has the same applicability to PS3 game development. Learning for PS3 architecture doesn't diminish your prowess at 360 or PC development. Also, just because the PS3 didn't have as much of an install base at the time that game was being developed, it doesn't mean that the PS3 would NEVER catch up and would lose out.

You never know, that kind of architecture might become more prevalent, and then where would Gabe be? He was neither insightful nor practical in his statement. Developers are humans too (I am one, although not for games) and many do hate learning new software or techniques and would prefer to stay with what they know. I have a Developer friend who is just like that. Who is to say Gabe is not just lazy? Or maybe he resented having to spend extra for resources for PS3 development. I don't think Gabe Newell is the know-it-all many gamers make him out to be.

My 2 cents. I could be wrong, but I think Gabe is too.

#8 FCTE

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 05:45 AM

The PS2 was the same way when it came out and they learned it. They had just learned to use about 90% of it's power right before the PS3 came out. It never held them up from developing a huge library full of great games for it over time.

Like the next consoles are going to be anything like these consoles?? If they spent a little less time whining and allocated that time toward learning the architecture they wouldn't have this problem. The next consoles are going to be even more complicated and complex, they better learn to deal with it. They get paid a crap load of money to make games run on hardware. rolleyes.gif

#9 d-range

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 04:34 PM

QUOTE(twistedsymphony @ Jan 4 2008, 08:11 PM) View Post

I don't think gamesradar understood what Gabe Newels point was in his criticism of the PS3

he never denied how powerful the PS3 was... his point was that learning the architecture to tap that power was wasted effort because the lessons learned would be useless once the PS3 was dead and gone.

The same was true for the PS2.

An analogy...

Leaning the PS3's architecture is like learning to speak and write Japanese... and KNOWING that you're only going to be visiting Japan for about 3-4 years and will probably never go back or speak to another Japanese person after that... And also knowing that after visiting Japan you're probably going to live in France for the rest of your life..

how much effort should you put into learning Japanese? sure if you work really hard and learn it well it will greatly benefit your time there but after that you'll have to learn French and start all over again.

Meanwhile leaning the 360's architecture is like learning French but instead of visiting France you're visiting Quebec where most people are bi-lingual so while you can benefit from learning French you can also get by really well without it. Not only that, once you're done in Quebec you'll be moving to France for the foreseeable future so spending the time to learn French really well will pay off big time not just now but also in the long run.

[snip]

This generation the developer have options and it's clear that they're voting with their resources... just like they did in the PS1 days but now it's not in Sony's favor.


While I like your clear analogy, I think it's not as black & white of a situation as to 'learn Japanese' or 'not learn Japanese at all'. You can also start out just going to Japan after a 2 month crash course in basic Japanese and live there, meanwhile studying college-degree french. Or live in Quebec, speaking french at work, learning Japanese in the evenings, and and join the local Sumo-wrestling club to get to know Japanese people to drink some beers with in the weekends.

Games *will* be made for the PS3, initially sloppy ports, later somewhat better ports, eventually very good ports and exclusives. Developers don't throw away their code after each project, they re-use and improve on it, so after a while their PS3 libraries will get pretty good, good enough to reduce development time by a large enough factor to justify writing new games with the PS3 as the primary hardware target. The question is if the PS3 will disappear before knowledge about and libraries for Cell architectures are mainstream, and I don't think Sony will let that happen.

Besides that, the programming model implemented by the PS3 is more likely to proliferate than whither. We've more or less hit the limts of clock frequency to improve performance (at least for now), so as long as no 5+ Ghz chips appear that can work in the confined space of a game console, parallellism is the way to go. Any experience you get from programming PS3-like architectures will be valuable experience for the future.

Edited by d-range, 05 January 2008 - 04:41 PM.


#10 m_hael

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 05:28 PM

Ps3 is currently the only architecture in modern games that provides 2 separate execution models in separate memory spaces requiring separate executables and significant facilitation to get anything working quickly & fast.

don't get me wrong, I like the architecture and I love working with it, it is however a very different programming paradigm to general multi-core CPU's.

Some elements can be applied across all multi-core systems, much of what the ps3 requires does NOT help the others; it does not hinder either for the most part.

the one issue that people may see with xplat games is that ps3 can and will eventually do more than modern GPU's simply because the SPU's can be used to prepare data for the GPU... 360 cannot do this so easily.

#11 d-range

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 06:12 PM

QUOTE(m_hael @ Jan 5 2008, 06:04 PM) View Post

Ps3 is currently the only architecture in modern games that provides 2 separate execution models in separate memory spaces requiring separate executables and significant facilitation to get anything working quickly & fast.

don't get me wrong, I like the architecture and I love working with it, it is however a very different programming paradigm to general multi-core CPU's.

Some elements can be applied across all multi-core systems, much of what the ps3 requires does NOT help the others; it does not hinder either for the most part.


True, but I can see technology moving towards asymmetric multi-core setups anyway, hence the interest in GPGPU programming. You cannot easily put 16 or more identical general-purpose cores on a die and have massive parallel performance over a wide range of applications. If you have 2 or 4 general purpose cores plus a number of specialized DSP's with an insane combined vector performance *and* a memory interface with enourmous bandwidth between them like Cell has, you can theoretically do much, much better than that. I don't expect Cell-like architectures to stay limited to game consoles only.

Edited by d-range, 05 January 2008 - 06:20 PM.


#12 m_hael

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 09:10 PM

that is true... however it will take a long time before mainstream games programmers use it by default.




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