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John Carmack shows 'Rage' 60 fps game engine on iPhone 4

post #1 of 41
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Speaking at QuakeCon, id Software cofounder and video game luminary John Carmack demonstrated the company's id tech 5 gaming engine running a Rage-themed demonstration on iPhone 4 at an impressive 60 frames per second.

The demonstration keynote, live blogged by Kotaku, profiled an upcoming release of the new Rage engine in an iOS title which Carmack said would run on not just iPhone 4 but also "runs great on an original 2G iPhone" and is "incredibly cool on an iPad."

The Rage demo lights scenes with radiosity to accurately simulate diffuse indirect illumination and shadows, and also features id's MegaTexture technique of using a single large texture rather than repeating a single small texture tile over a surface. That results in a mobile game in the hundreds of megabytes, Carmack said.

Calculating 60 frames per second is a major battery draw on mobile devices, so Carmack said the game would ship with an option to run at 30 frames per second as well.

iPhone as games platform

The new App Store title will serve as a low-priced promotion for the later, larger Rage launches aimed at console gaming platforms next year. The iPhone app sprang from an initial experiment to do something on the Nintendo Wii. Carmack also noted that an effort to deliver DOOM 3 on the Wii turned into a project that instead created Doom Resurrection for the iPhone App Store.

Carmack said in 2008 that the iPhone was "more powerful than a Nintendo DS and PSP combined," and now says he could use it to "kill anything done on the Xbox or PlayStation 2."

In addition to impressive graphics capabilities, the iPhone also has a business model that supports development. Carmack said id could bring some of its iPhone games to Android, but is still "spot-surveying the market," and that "it won't happen this cycle."

The developer has already launched a variety of iOS titles that brought a series of existing and classic games to the iTunes App Store, including Doom, Doom II, Doom Resurrection and Wolfenstein 3D, all of which are on sale through Sunday as part of a promotion during the QuakeCon event.



Apple on video games

Carmack also said he has been talking with Apple on future directions, noting that former id game designer Graeme Devine is now working at Apple in its iPhone Game Technologies group.

"At their heart and core they're not really a game-friendly company," Carmack said of Apple, echoing comments he made a year ago that top executives in the company were surprised that gaming has become popular on the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad and somewhat reluctantly had to get behind gaming while really wishing that the mobile platform were used for more serious tasks.

Carmack began his career working on the Apple IIGS and built the original DOOM gaming engine on NeXTSTEP. In 1997, Carmack called the classic Mac OS "the only OS other than win32 that matters, and it doesn't matter all that much," adding that, "I have zero respect for the MacOS on a technical basis. They just stood still and let Microsoft run right over them from waaay behind. I wouldn't develop on it."

In contrast, he noted that NeXTSTEP was his "favorite environment" and that "it just makes sense on so many more levels than Windows." He expressed hope that Apple's acquisition of NeXT would "do the right thing," specifically noting "if I can convince Apple to do a good hardware accelerated OpenGL in rhapsody, I would be very likely to give my Win NT machine the cold shoulder and do future development on Rhapsody. (I really don't need QuickDraw 3D evangelists preaching to me right now, thank you)."

Apple subsequently dropped its own QuickDraw 3D to embrace OpenGL in Mac OS X. Carmack has commented that working with Apple in gaming continues to be a roller coaster experience, an opinion shared by other top game developers including Valve Software's Gabe Newell, who recently brought Steam to the Mac platform.

Future of gaming

Carmack said he knew surprisingly little about future of Sony and Microsoft's next consoles, but said is he's ready to be making motion-based games and is not a fan of 3D TV.

Currently, the video game console market is busy pushing motion based gaming largely in reaction to the successful Wii, while TV and BluRay vendors are trying hard to sell 3D as feature in sets.

While Apple hasn't jumped into the stereoscopic 3D area yet, it was first to bring gyroscope six axis motion control to mobile devices with iPhone 4. Apple is also working to build Game Center as a new centralized service for developers and gamers on iOS devices.
post #2 of 41
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Speaking at QuakeCon, id Software cofounder and video game luminary John Carmack demonstrated the company's id tech 5 gaming engine running a Rage-themed demonstration on iPhone 4 at an impressive 60 frames per second.

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post #3 of 41
What an offensive choice to include a video with an advertisement within the body of the article.
post #4 of 41
Those are stunning graphics, period. Even more impressive that they not only run on a phone, but even on the iPhone 1st generation. Just wow.
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post #5 of 41
If anyone can push any platform graphically, it's John Carmack. He's literally a rocket scientist. However let's also keep in mind that this a tech demo, so things like AI aren't still fully implemented. Regardless, this looks impressive.
post #6 of 41
This is an interesting counterpoint to the earlier Android/PlayStation announcement today. Competition is good.

One advantage that iPhone has over a system like the PSP and Android (and I would speculate that this would continue to be a problem on a combined PSP/Android phone) is piracy. From what I understand, developers have avoided the PSP because of rampant piracy problems. Apart from a huge backlog of PlayStation One games, I wonder if Sony can attract developers to the Android PSP the way Apple can to iOS - as evidenced by this article.
post #7 of 41
Insane. If it works this smooth on 3GS and Touch 3G it would mean a whole new level of gaming for iDevices. Don't get me wrong Nova is really good, but this demo was an exponent of awesomeness. Think of how many other shooters can borrow the engine and make crazy mods and games. If this tech is exclusive to iOS it would be a pretty big boon for sales of Touches at least. Amazing.
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post #8 of 41
As a former gamer in his youth, this is a big deal. The iPhone can now perform as well as a PS2 & XBOX and as well as any mobile console that exists. The general population are casual gamers (which isost of gaming) which was always to Nintendo's benefit. Apple will eventually dominate gaming by market share.

Just wait until iTV is released and the controller can be iPhones and touch's. There are some companies who are testing controllers for the touch to satisfy the gamer.
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadash View Post

This is an interesting counterpoint to the earlier Android/PlayStation announcement today. Competition is good.

One advantage that iPhone has over a system like the PSP and Android (and I would speculate that this would continue to be a problem on a combined PSP/Android phone) is piracy. From what I understand, developers have avoided the PSP because of rampant piracy problems. Apart from a huge backlog of PlayStation One games, I wonder if Sony can attract developers to the Android PSP the way Apple can to iOS - as evidenced by this article.

Yep! That is exactly what I commented in that other post about Sony PSP Phone - And before even seeing this article. This is totally awesome! Apple has made some very good strategic decisions. They knew which way they were heading when they changed themselves from a Computer hardware company to a Consumer company when they dropped "Computer" from their name couple of years back.
post #10 of 41
I can think of a new ad campaign for Motorola: "DROID DOESN'T", starting with this

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #11 of 41
Very, very impressive graphics by Carmack. He's a step above all right.

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post #12 of 41
Apple was not first with mobile motion gaming. Nintendo had accelerometer cartridges with the gameboy advance. Wario ware twisted came out in2004 with a gyro sensor in it.
post #13 of 41
Good looking demo (for a phone) - but all I saw were a few rooms with decent lightning and a few dummies going through same movement loop.

There is no much load on iPhone but for the visuals. What happens when you add physics, AI, big open-plan levels..? How is it going to cope then?

That beside... processing power was never a sign of platform's success in gaming. PS2 was way behind original XBOX in raw power, but was much more successful. Gameboy blew out PSP even if significantly inferior. And WII is best selling console in current generation.

I do have both 3Gs and PSP, and while I did not play PSP much (with PC and PS2 and Ps3 in the house) I did go through couple of games (God of War being the last). I did try number of trials/lites on 3Gs and none has inspired me to purchase full version, save for a few quick ones (Angry Birds and likes). Much as I am concerned, heavy duty gaming still requires hardware controls, if nothing else. While GTA: Chinatown Wars look comparable on 3Gs and PSP, controls make the whole difference.
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Very, very impressive graphics by Carmack. He's a step above all right.

Aesthetically I think the Unreal Engine 3 (after a few tweaks to improve texturing and so on) (UE3, Bioshock, Mass Effect 2, etc...) and Valve's Source are one of the most impressive. For racing games, forget about Need For Speed, Grid and Dirt2 are very naiice.... I don't really like the Quake 3 or 4 engine, aesthetically. Wolfenstein (the latest 3D one released within the past few years) was quite impressive but I think the studio that worked on it somehow screwed up the engine because they took the Quake 4 engine which was originally OpenGL and fiddled with that to make it DX9/ DX10 instead. Or something like that, if someone could clarify that would be great.

That said, Carmack is able to code some insane stuff.

I just really hope a decent Rage for iPad game comes out and I'll definitely be buying that. I still like a bit of shooter action but I've put away my PC gaming rig in the cupboard for a few months now. USD $60 for Starcraft 2? And just the Terran campaign? And constant (?) online authorisation? F*** that shite.

Give me iPad. I pay $10, download, none of this pesky authorisation, I know it works on my platform, no need to worry about graphics drivers, Windows updates, antivirus etc. etc.

When iOS gaming comes somewhere close to Xbox360 gaming, that'll be a real sweet spot for "mobile console" gaming circa 2011-2013.

I think AppleTV may only launch in 2011, but if AMD's Fusion is real and can deliver, then we're talking Xbox360-quality graphics on iOS games. Integration with iPods and iPhones and iPads, boy, some ripe stuff there, now we know why Apple is keeping the AppleTV around even though it's just a "hobby" at this stage.

In a way there are many things Apple could push forward, but it is very interesting that Apple has now let the market dictate what iOS should be, in some ways. They've been listening to developers and users. Sure, they still want real tight control of hardware and iOS core integration, but application-wise, it's like telling the developers, here's the tools, here's the platform, go nuts...!

On that point, why hasn't a 3rd party developer made a Flash playback application of some sort ... maybe I'm not aware of one, but such a thing should be possible. They've had 3rd-party Flash decompilers for at least 8 years now, so there's not much mystery in the compiled Flash file format, and there are simple 3rd party tools to even *make* Flash files.
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

If anyone can push any platform graphically, it's John Carmack. He's literally a rocket scientist. However let's also keep in mind that this a tech demo, so things like AI aren't still fully implemented. Regardless, this looks impressive.

Get over yourself on John's background. He's not a physicist, nor a mechanical engineer, nor a chemist.

He's a rich software game pioneer who has money to burn and is investing his ideas into commercial space travel. He's got a very solid team of engineers and scientists working for him.
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

Good looking demo (for a phone) - but all I saw were a few rooms with decent lightning and a few dummies going through same movement loop.

There is no much load on iPhone but for the visuals. What happens when you add physics, AI, big open-plan levels..? How is it going to cope then?

That beside... processing power was never a sign of platform's success in gaming. PS2 was way behind original XBOX in raw power, but was much more successful. Gameboy blew out PSP even if significantly inferior. And WII is best selling console in current generation.

I do have both 3Gs and PSP, and while I did not play PSP much (with PC and PS2 and Ps3 in the house) I did go through couple of games (God of War being the last). I did try number of trials/lites on 3Gs and none has inspired me to purchase full version, save for a few quick ones (Angry Birds and likes). Much as I am concerned, heavy duty gaming still requires hardware controls, if nothing else. While GTA: Chinatown Wars look comparable on 3Gs and PSP, controls make the whole difference.

Making a hardware controller with bluetooth or a cable to the dock connector sholdn't be rocket science I think...
post #17 of 41
Making a game and a graphics demo are two completely different things. This demo also has baked lighting etc. so it's nothing spectacular. Add enemy AI, collision checks, physics, particle effects, scripting etc. and you'll see the framerate take a serious hit.
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotApple View Post

Making a game and a graphics demo are two completely different things. This demo also has baked lighting etc. so it's nothing spectacular. Add enemy AI, collision checks, physics, particle effects, scripting etc. and you'll see the framerate take a serious hit.

Wow, too bad you can't be Mr. Carmack's advisor. What was he thinking demonstrating this today before talking about all these concerns with you? Hopefully he knows about some of the things you mentioned because it would be really embarrassing for him to demo this without being aware of how these things will affect the end results. I'm sure he wouldn't have step foot on stage if he had known that. And as we all know, he's new to this whole game programming thing so he probably doesn't even know what he's talking about.

I'm just thankful we have so many experts in these forums who can keep the man on the right path.
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotApple View Post

Making a game and a graphics demo are two completely different things. This demo also has baked lighting etc. so it's nothing spectacular. Add enemy AI, collision checks, physics, particle effects, scripting etc. and you'll see the framerate take a serious hit.

Have you any idea who John Carmack is? No, the demo does not have baked lighting, because Carmack would not do that.
post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

and Valve's Source are one of the most impressive.

There's nothing impressive about Source, it's a relic in every way. It lacks per basic pixel lighting for a start, which has been standard in other engines for close to 10 years now, let alone more complex, newer tech. (I'm talking environments here)

Compare it to the likes of Unreal 3, Anvil, CryEngine 2, and especially id Tech 5... there's just no comparison
post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Very, very impressive graphics by Carmack. He's a step above all right.

Its amazing to read the 180 on Carmack from people on these boards... When Carmack was going on about how much Apple/Mac sucks, everyone was against him stating that he and his games were no longer relevant. Now that he showed a controlled demo that looks good, he is a hero...

I still can't believe the amount of hype video game demonstrations receive.
post #22 of 41
Looking at this on an iPad. Would hAve been nice to see the video.
post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

There's nothing impressive about Source, it's a relic in every way. It lacks per basic pixel lighting for a start, which has been standard in other engines for close to 10 years now, let alone more complex, newer tech. (I'm talking environments here)

Compare it to the likes of Unreal 3, Anvil, CryEngine 2, and especially id Tech 5... there's just no comparison

i suspect that if it hadn't been for carmack being a believer in open source and releasing lots of code over the years that all of those other engines/programmers wouldn't be so far along. maybe he is 'outdated' (i don't know) but all the jealous twits should give him his due as the greatest pioneer in game graphics engines.
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

If anyone can push any platform graphically, it's John Carmack. He's literally a rocket scientist. However let's also keep in mind that this a tech demo, so things like AI aren't still fully implemented. Regardless, this looks impressive.

Physics tend to eat up a lot of the processing power too, people standing around waving don't really test the physics.

All that aside though, Apple is clearly getting their game face on. Just like Windows blew out competition because of focused development for their platform, it seems the iPhone is steeling the show and the development muscle of the big dogs. Apple has long understood that simple hardware specs don't equal superior performance, something very few people seem to fully understand. For Apple hardware is about harmony, about removing the bottlenecks and letting everything just work together. Most companies just try to throw a few beefy parts in there and crank up the power until your battery is nonexistent.
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

There's nothing impressive about Source, it's a relic in every way. It lacks per basic pixel lighting for a start, which has been standard in other engines for close to 10 years now, let alone more complex, newer tech. (I'm talking environments here)

Compare it to the likes of Unreal 3, Anvil, CryEngine 2, and especially id Tech 5... there's just no comparison

Graphic engine specifications aren't the be all and end all. If so, PS3 would be hardly used because it has the worst graphics compared to Xbox360 and PC.

Half Life 2, Portal, TF2 and Left4Dead are aesthetically pleasing, despite having a less specification-impressive engine.

Modern Warfare 2, and even StarCraft 2 have pretty average 3D tech. It will outsell Rage by far even with all the fantasticalness of the iD engine.

I get your point, but I consider aesthetics and gameplay to be more important than what magic the graphics engine can do.

But fair enough, aesthetics is a very personal thing. COD MW2 was fun to play but visually was a bit inconsistent.

Also what's reasonable on a decent PC rig is also something I consider, I'm running a 4830 512mb ATI and the graphics engine should purr along at 1920x1080 with 4xAA and near-highest settings... Otherwise all the bells and whistles are not too relevant because you need a hot, beastly, powerhungry and expensive GPU to run it (see: Crysis).
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Carmack has earlier said the iPhone was "more powerful than a Nintendo DS and PSP combined," and now says he could use it to "kill anything done on the Xbox or PlayStation 2."

I don't quite get this part. The Hummingbird GPU - aka A4 - can do 90m triangles a second - I think - and the Xbox 360 GPU can do 500m a second.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

Its amazing to read the 180 on Carmack from people on these boards... When Carmack was going on about how much Apple/Mac sucks, everyone was against him stating that he and his games were no longer relevant. Now that he showed a controlled demo that looks good, he is a hero...

I still can't believe the amount of hype video game demonstrations receive.

Speaking for myself, I've been impressed with his accomplishments since I first read about him. He's a game graphics pioneer of the first order.

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post #28 of 41
And if iTV runs apps like this and your phone/pod were a controller? Schwing!
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

I don't quite get this part. The Hummingbird GPU - aka A4 - can do 90m triangles a second - I think - and the Xbox 360 GPU can do 500m a second.

Basically Carmack is saying the iPhone can now do something between the PS2 and PS3, or between Xbox and Xbox360... Which generally makes sense.
post #30 of 41
I think Apple needs to change their attitude towards gaming and really push for it's advancement on their products. Gaming is a key area that has pushed hardware and software over that past decade.
post #31 of 41
I keep thinking back to a PC Gamer magazine from 2001-2 or so. Inside they had put together a mock cover for an anniversary edition that sated something like "PC Gamer 2010 edition!"

On the bottom corner they had a pic of a balding Vederman with the cation: "The Vede reviews Doom 3 for mobile phones!"

And now here we are with Doom Resurrection already out and Tech5 demo running on an iPhone and looking like it's going to blow away even the current consloles.

Amazing.
post #32 of 41
I would so love to get my hands on this engine. If I could build my final game project on this the other people in my class would crap their pants. I don't think unity 3 will be able to touch this if carmack finishes this.
post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Graphic engine specifications aren't the be all and end all. If so, PS3 would be hardly used because it has the worst graphics compared to Xbox360 and PC.

That's a highly subjective statement. I can show you screenshots of Final Fantasy XIII looking much better on the PS3 than the 360, particularly in terms of texture work, which would defy expectations given that the 360 has double the RAM of a PS3. The game also runs at a lower resolution on the 360 than the PS3, which would defy the idea that the 360's Xenos GPU is demonstrably better than the PS3's RSX GPU.

You're right that graphics aren't the be all end all, but wrong to cite the PS3 as proof. If anything, you should cite the Wii.
post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Graphic engine specifications aren't the be all and end all. If so, PS3 would be hardly used because it has the worst graphics compared to Xbox360 and PC.

WAAA? PS3 worst graphics than 360? WHATA HELL ARE YOU DRINKING?

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post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Actually PS3 graphics were bad for a while because of firmware issues. Even having firmware updates that would brick the device. PS3 library still sucks compared to Microsoft.

Nothing in this quote makes any sense, let alone bears any resemblance to reality. Can we keep the console fanboyism out of this, please?
post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkswamp View Post

Wow, too bad you can't be Mr. Carmack's advisor. What was he thinking demonstrating this today before talking about all these concerns with you? Hopefully he knows about some of the things you mentioned because it would be really embarrassing for him to demo this without being aware of how these things will affect the end results. I'm sure he wouldn't have step foot on stage if he had known that. And as we all know, he's new to this whole game programming thing so he probably doesn't even know what he's talking about.

I'm just thankful we have so many experts in these forums who can keep the man on the right path.

Mr. Carmack's a pretty damn good graphics programmer. That's about it.
post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Has nothing to so with fanboyism. If you are going to make stupid comments maybe you should try to educate yourself.

http://www.gamespot.com/ps3/puzzle/p...ml?sid=6239189

The above is one one of many firmware issues Sony released. Others can be found with little to no effort with a little search engine callled Gooogle.

Ugh, don't even get me started on this. My original PS3 60GB was bricked last year by Sony's oh-so-wonderful firmware update. Then they released one that promised to remove my YellowDog Linux partition, and that was the last straw: I'm not even going to talk about the fail that is PSN. Fourteen hours to download one HD movie rental from PSN over a cable modem?

"PS3 only does everything"? Everything includes bricking your PS3 and removing features after you bought the thing.

Anyway, I'm glad DOOM is available on iOS and OS X. Apple is truly DOOMED!

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Has nothing to so with fanboyism. If you are going to make stupid comments maybe you should try to educate yourself.

http://www.gamespot.com/ps3/puzzle/p...ml?sid=6239189

The above is one one of many firmware issues Sony released. Others can be found with little to no effort with a little search engine callled Gooogle.

Sorry, but yes, your post has everything to do with fanboyism, particularly your statement that the PS3 had at one point graphics inferior to the 360 that had to somehow be resolved with a firmware update, as well as passing off your opinion of the PS3's games library as fact.

No one is contesting that some firmware updates on the PS3 have bricked consoles and the like, just as no on is contesting the existence of the RROD on the 360. What I'm calling you on are your statements that the PS3's graphics somehow needed to be fixed or improved with a firmware update, which is technologically impossible and historically inaccurate, and that the PS3's games library was and is somehow inferior to the 360's. Recent sales figures and aggregate review scores would say otherwise.

So can we set the "I bought Console X, therefore it is better than Console Y" crap aside and get back to talking about the technological implications of Rage/id Tech 5 on the iPhone?
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hezetation View Post

Physics tend to eat up a lot of the processing power too, people standing around waving don't really test the physics.

All that aside though, Apple is clearly getting their game face on. Just like Windows blew out competition because of focused development for their platform, it seems the iPhone is steeling the show and the development muscle of the big dogs. Apple has long understood that simple hardware specs don't equal superior performance, something very few people seem to fully understand. For Apple hardware is about harmony, about removing the bottlenecks and letting everything just work together. Most companies just try to throw a few beefy parts in there and crank up the power until your battery is nonexistent.

Unfortunately this theory does not hold water when it comes to gaming.

Recent tests of Valve games (was it HalfLife 2?) showed that on the same Mac hardware, featured game runs significantly faster (and better looking) on Windows, compared to OSX counterpart.

Hardware in perfect harmony would require fully optimized hardware drivers, APIs, everything-underlying code... which Apple hardware is still lacking a bit.
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Basically Carmack is saying the iPhone can now do something between the PS2 and PS3, or between Xbox and Xbox360... Which generally makes sense.

Number of polygons, to my understanding, is only a part in complete equation. For example, original XBOX had nVidia graphics, I believe based on GF3 design, that could pull T&L, anisotropic filtering, anti-aliasing, etc. Plus, CPU was fast enough to support graphics as they were.

What I am trying to say is - with all that on-the-paper supremacy of A4 graphics, I am yet to see, say, driving game that compares well with Forza Motorsport (original XBOX) or Gran Turismo 4 (PS2, PSP)... both visually and regarding gameplay.
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