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What exactly happened to the Playstation 3? - Page 4

post #121 of 323
Carniphage, a question. You come across so anti-Sony. What happened, did they turn down one of your games?
post #122 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat View Post

...but everything I've heard is just that it's gimmicky and doesn't add any real value to the games.

I hear lots of things too, but it doesn't mean I automatically believe them. Kind of like when I heard that Iraq had WMDs...I didn't automatically believe it.

Short story: go play one for yourself before spreading info that you heard from someone else.
post #123 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

"The King's new outfit is the smartest thing you ever did see! Everyone agrees."

PS2 was an utterly crappy hardware, but despite that, fierce brand-loyalty and Sony's steroid-pumping marketing muscle made it a success. The crapness was perhaps more apparent to developers than it was to end users. and it was the developers that paid the price for the weakness in the hardware.

But people have memories, and there is only so many times that the old bait-and-switch trick works. It's clear that less people are being fooled this time around.

Suddenly a voice cries out, "Hey everyone! The King is stark bollock naked!"

More evidence - The Ebay prices are now less than the store prices.
Analysts are touting a price cut. And developers are showing declining confidence in the PS3.

C.

The best selling game console in history was a disaster for developers.

That's the crux of your statement. Get some perspective.
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post #124 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCodger73 View Post

Carniphage, a question. You come across so anti-Sony. What happened, did they turn down one of your games?

Yeah really. It's one thing to talk about why a console might succeed or fail, but he's off the reservation on this one. I'm sorry...I don't care how hard the PS2 was to write for, it clearly didn't matter in the end. It had great games and was hugely successful.

As for the PS3, well it's clear he's pulling out the same line. He may be right about the price, but I think that's a different argument. It's not going to be the architecture that it loses on.
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post #125 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

I wish I was at the top of the food chain! Lol! I am more in a bottom feeding role right now.

Splinemodel - the world has moved on. Apart from product design - everyone uses sub-ds. Subdivision surfaces have all the benefits of splines - without the disadvantages. Checkout Pixar's recent work etc.

This article might interest you. it describes exactly what you were saying about using the CPU to generate geometry on the fly....

http://arstechnica.com/articles/paed.../xbox360-1.ars

C.

Enough folks in the community have commented that while procedural synthesis has it's place it isn't a panacea. As I said...great for forests, not so much for dungeons. And the conclusion of that article says for the 360 "shows great promise but we'll see" tho' there was some interesting things there.

WRT splines and lofts are still used when you want to model something accurately or simply as a guide to build polys and sub-d's. Just another tool in the chest. Not that I do any of that stuff but I depend on folks that do for my models so you need to learn enough to be dangerous. Airplanes and subs I was told.

Vinea
post #126 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Enough folks in the community have commented that while procedural synthesis has it's place it isn't a panacea. As I said...great for forests, not so much for dungeons. And the conclusion of that article says for the 360 "shows great promise but we'll see" tho' there was some interesting things there.

WRT splines and lofts are still used when you want to model something accurately or simply as a guide to build polys and sub-d's. Just another tool in the chest. Not that I do any of that stuff but I depend on folks that do for my models so you need to learn enough to be dangerous. Airplanes and subs I was told.

Vinea

What I was clumsily trying to say was that Splinemodels' suggestion of utilising the Cell to tesselate spline-patches on the fly was equivalent to this technology.

Namely, the procedural synthesis technology in the 360 could be used to dynamically tesselate and animate subdivision surfaces. (not just plonk grass into a field, or bricks into a dungeon). During animation, Sub-ds are less prone to having discontiuities than nurbs.

And yes, while the same thing is possible on the PS3 - I think there are bandwidth issues which make it less attractive as a solution.

C.
post #127 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Yeah really. It's one thing to talk about why a console might succeed or fail, but he's off the reservation on this one. I'm sorry...I don't care how hard the PS2 was to write for, it clearly didn't matter in the end. It had great games and was hugely successful.

As for the PS3, well it's clear he's pulling out the same line. He may be right about the price, but I think that's a different argument. It's not going to be the architecture that it loses on.

Ok instead of being quite so provocative, I will try to offer up a balanced statment.

The PS3 still could become the dominant console platform in this round.
A year ago no-one doubted it. However. now people do. I am hearing doubting voices, many of those voices are in the development community.

The reasons working agains Sony are these.

1) Sony are charging a premium to consumers for their platform. Sales don't look that great. There is consensus that the launch was botched and outside the die-hard fans, the PS3 does not currently offer great value. (yet)

2) Sony were second to market. Meaning weak PS3 launch titles are pitted against second gen 360 titles. Real world 360 prices are falling. MS now breaks even on hardware sales.

3) Their architecture is - arguably - less capable than the main rival product.
(this is an arguable point - Sony wins on Flops and Storage. 360 wins on GPU, Ram and Processors)

4) Software development costs are 20%-50% higher on the Sony platform. This did not hurt Sony for PS2 but it did hurt some developers. Free middleware and the option of PC skus is tempting for many developers. Even some in Asia.

5) Sony's unblemished track-record is tarnished by the failure of the PSP - and generally Sony as an organisation looks more vulnerable than it has for many years.

6) And this is the kicker. The sales needed to break even on a Next Gen game title are around the 500,000 mark. With low console sales and low attach rates developers are getting cold feet.
Or at the very least would prefer to hedge their bets.

Working *for* Sony is.

1) Phenomenal brand loyalty.

2) Everyone hates Microsoft. (me included!! Vista sucks etc.)

C.
post #128 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Ok instead of being quite so provocative, I will try to offer up a balanced statment.

The PS3 still could become the dominant console platform in this round.
A year ago no-one doubted it. However. now people do. I am hearing doubting voices, many of those voices are in the development community.

The reasons working agains Sony are these.

1) Sony are charging a premium to consumers for their platform. Sales don't look that great. There is consensus that the launch was botched and outside the die-hard fans, the PS3 does not currently offer great value. (yet)

2) Sony were second to market. Meaning weak PS3 launch titles are pitted against second gen 360 titles. Real world 360 prices are falling. MS now breaks even on hardware sales.

3) Their architecture is - arguably - less capable than the main rival product.
(this is an arguable point - Sony wins on Flops and Storage. 360 wins on GPU, Ram and Processors)

4) Software development costs are 20%-50% higher on the Sony platform. This did not hurt Sony for PS2 but it did hurt some developers. Free middleware and the option of PC skus is tempting for many developers. Even some in Asia.

5) Sony's unblemished track-record is tarnished by the failure of the PSP - and generally Sony as an organisation looks more vulnerable than it has for many years.

6) And this is the kicker. The sales needed to break even on a Next Gen game title are around the 500,000 mark. With low console sales and low attach rates developers are getting cold feet.
Or at the very least would prefer to hedge their bets.

Working *for* Sony is.

1) Phenomenal brand loyalty.

2) Everyone hates Microsoft. (me included!! Vista sucks etc.)

C.

1. Sales data just can't be compared right now due to the initial availability. But if you must compare, at least consider that Sony had a lot less product to sell, and still sold what...750,000 off that bat?

2. I think that's pretty much irrelevant. People know the bigger titles are coming.

3. Fully disagree. The PS3 hardware has far more pontential, particularly in terms of processor.

4. Support your figures.

5. PSP sales have dropped badly, it's true. However, the data I can find shows that they've sold almost 25 million of them. I don't know that it qualifies as a failure, nor do I think it impacts the PS3 all that much, if at all.

6. Unsupported. Console sales are not "low." We'll talk in a year or so and see what sales are like.
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post #129 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

1. Sales data just can't be compared right now due to the initial availability. But if you must compare, at least consider that Sony had a lot less product to sell, and still sold what...750,000 off that bat?

2. I think that's pretty much irrelevant. People know the bigger titles are coming.

3. Fully disagree. The PS3 hardware has far more pontential, particularly in terms of processor.

4. Support your figures.

5. PSP sales have dropped badly, it's true. However, the data I can find shows that they've sold almost 25 million of them. I don't know that it qualifies as a failure, nor do I think it impacts the PS3 all that much, if at all.

6. Unsupported. Console sales are not "low." We'll talk in a year or so and see what sales are like.

1. Yes it can be compared. Check out this..
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=22621
Which shows that *attach rates* for the PS3 are very low.

2. So is Halo 3. So is the Zephyr. There's always something coming. Which title do you think will make the big difference for PS3?

3. Like I said. This is arguble. And here we are arguing. I have said enough on this already.
But look at.
http://www.1up.com/do/feature?cId=3155393
http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=32171 Yes, I know the Inqurer is crap.
and
http://rofl-at.us/?page_id=85

4. Costs for PS3 development are *significantly* more. But it's hard to provide you with anything that is not anecdotal. But look into the licencing costs of middleware. Find out about development team sizes / production times etc.

5. Again you are looking at console sales (money lost) instead of game sales (money made)
Perhaps this will help the PSP recover...
http://www.joystiq.com/2007/02/05/hm...s3-pre-orders/

6. Yeah they really are low.
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=22595
But the attach rate is the big problem.

I'm happy to leave this for six months or so. And see where things are then.

If you personally had nine or ten million dollars to invest in a videogame project and you need to sell half-a million units to break even. Would you?
a) Go exclusively for the PS3 - given what we now know?
b) Spread your risk, and go multi-format?
c) Do a PC / 360 only. And save some cash?

Which would you do?

C.
post #130 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

What I was clumsily trying to say was that Splinemodels' suggestion of utilising the Cell to tesselate spline-patches on the fly was equivalent to this technology.

You have to realize that a lot of the things I say are hypothetical. I try to phrase them that way. Having done some "animation" work (mostly positioning for stills), I don't think I've ever operated directly with spline patches. I do in the modeling phase, but that's neither here nor there. My mantra here is that I think it's best to optimize new technologies, even if it means changing the paradigm. If spline-patches can deliver a better product on the Cell, then I say use them (I haven't looked into whtether they can or cannot, and quite possibly they cannot). If markov modeling or fuzzy matrices can deliver a better AI product on the Cell than can procedural means, then I say use them. The journey here takes some effort, but it ends up advancing the whole state of computer science, which I think is a good thing.

When optimal methods are used for each, there's no doubt in my mind that the PS3 can deliver a vastly better gaming product than can the xBox 360. You are hung-up on the process of developing optimal methods. That's your prerogative, but I can guarantee to you that for every developer like you, there is one that wants to optimize the PS3/Cell and is working towards that. We have already seen evidence that optimized Cell middleware is indeed becoming a profitable market. So, again, it's your prerogative to target the 360, but sooner than you think, you're going to be yesterday's game developer.
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post #131 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

You have to realize that a lot of the things I say are hypothetical. there's no doubt in my mind that the PS3 can deliver a vastly better gaming product than can the xBox 360.

Yup. You are right. That is a hypothetical statement all right. In fact its more than hypothetical. It's bordering on a religious-type of belief. (What do you call Cell worshippers? Celloastrian? Cellebate? Cellebrant? Sonanist? )

But every religion has it's Richard Dawkins. after all, who would not want to be married to Lalla Ward?

Have a read of this again...
http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=32171
... and have an epiphany on me.

C.
post #132 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Yup. You are right. That is a hypothetical statement all right. In fact its more than hypothetical. It's bordering on a religious-type of belief. (What do you call Cell worshippers? Celloastrian? Cellebate? Cellebrant? Sonanist? )

It's not very religious, because it's based entirely on fact. If I were to use the colloquial vernacular rather than the appropriate term (hypothesis) I would have used the word "theory" instead, to convey the idea that there are scientific grounds behind the argument. We know all about the Cell. Any hypotheses I make are based on observations of the Cell and my knowledge of comp-arch and programmability. I think this falls into hard-science by definition.

I do have a degree in EE, after all, and I've spent a lot of time working with digital signals. I can tell you that I know with certainty that most elements of a game program can be broken down into chunks that work well on the Cell. Again, whether you decide to use the old ways instead of the "new" ways is up to you, but I can guarantee you that there are other game developers at work on the new ways.
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post #133 of 323
Let's, for the sake of science, do a thought experiement.
And, just for an instant, I will set aside my view that the Cell is good for videodisk playing an lousy for game logic, and assume that the Cell is the mightiest processor in Christendom.

So let us think of game programming.
Think of a game program as a string. (each part is connected to the next)

Input->Game Logic & AI -> Simulation & Animation -> Transformation -> Rasterization

Science shows us that metal chains are much stronger than weak string, right? And stronger is better right?

So imagine we replace half of the string with a mighty cellumantium chain, it will be stronger right?

Wrong. Because every kid knows that a chain is only as strong as its weakest point.

The GPU on the PS3 was added too late (their engineers thought they could do everything on the Cell). The resultant design means the GPU is an afterthought. The limited memory bandwidth is really a serious design flaw - and in game terms it becomes the bottleneck. The almighty Cell can simulate every leaf on a tree - but the GPU can't draw 'em. Especially not at 1080p when the all of the available bandwidth is eaten up with just servicing the frame-buffer.

What we have here is a 1000 Horsepower car - with slippery tyres.
This is the 500 Watt Hi Fi Amp - with Radio Shack speakers.
This is Flo-Jo on ice.
This is the Williams sisters with badminton rackets.

C.

mmmmmm Lalla Ward.
post #134 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Have a read of this again...
http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=32171
... and have an epiphany on me.

C.


Rob Fahey 17:06 07/06/2006
"They've got the wrong end of the stick grasped firmly in both hands."

Senior developers working on PlayStation 3 titles have told GamesIndustry.biz that reports of serious problems with the system's Cell and RSX hardware are "misleading and uninformed."

Earlier this week, technology news site The Inquirer reported that the PS3 was "slow and broken", with a correspondent for the site claiming that massive flaws with the console's hardware mean that it is "hobbled" compared to Microsoft's Xbox 360.

The site based its assertions on a claim that the NVIDIA-designed RSX graphics unit has a slower triangle setup rate than the ATI-designed part in the Xbox 360, and on a slide from Sony's Devstation event a few months back showing the memory access speeds within the console.

However, speaking to GamesIndustry.biz this week, several developers who are familiar with the PS3 hardware have rubbished the claims made by The Inquirer - describing both sets of figures as "entirely meaningless."

Although our sources declined to be named due to the continuing secretive and NDA-laden nature of PlayStation 3 development, they were unanimous in claiming that the figures, while they may well be true, have been grossly misinterpreted.

The contentious triangle setup figure, which The Inquirer claims to be 270 million triangles per second, compared to around 500 million per second in the Xbox, came under fire first.

"It's just a pointless measurement," one programmer told us. "Where's the context? How were these numbers measured? There are loads of different ways you can measure tri performance, and just putting up headline figures like that tells you nothing."

"In fact, the PlayStation 2 had better tri performance than the Xbox, on paper," he continued. "Everyone knows that the Xbox was more powerful at running real games, but if you just wanted to fill a screen with 2D, flat colour, unlit triangles, then the PS2 was much better at that, so it looked great in benchmarks. That just shows how meaningless this measurement is - it's really pointless."

However, particular scorn was heaped upon the claim that the Cell is being "hobbled" by slow memory access - based on a Devstation slide which shows Cell having only 16Mb/s read access to "Local Memory", compared to the 10-25Gb/s access figures for other component and memory types in the PS3.

"They've got the wrong end of the stick grasped firmly in both hands," said another source regarding this claim. "I'm not even sure if they're holding the right stick."

Each developer concurred that the slide in question was referring to local memory on the RSX - the graphics memory, in other words, and not the local memory on the Cell processor which The Inquirer claimed was in question.

"I didn't see that slide at Devstation, but all the numbers add up," one coder said, "and it's a total non-issue. You never, ever need to access that memory from the Cell - I can think of some useful debugging things you might do with that access in the testing stage, but that's about it. In fact, on the PS2 you couldn't access that memory from the CPU at all, and it was never really a problem!"

"I can see a couple of reasons why you might want to use it," another developer told us, "but really, they're pretty obscure, and you could probably do them on the RSX anyway, since it's quite flexible. Besides, if you really need to access video memory from the Cell, you can use the RSX to copy it over into main memory really quickly - it's all there on the slide."

"I doubt a single person in the room batted an eyelid when they showed that slide," continued the first source. "It's exactly what we'd expect, and the bits that we actually need to use to make games are perfectly fast."

While dismissing The Inquirer's claims as entirely spurious - and pointing out that even if they were true, they would be flaws so serious that Sony would simply not be able to release the Cell chip in that state - at least one of our sources admitted that PS3 was taking some time to get used to, but perhaps not as much as some parts of the media have suggested.

"I'd say PS3 was a challenge to work on," he said, "but every new platform takes a while to get used to. Put it like this, I worked on early PS2 games, and those were a real nightmare - we're getting code up and running on PS3 much faster than we did last time around."

"Once people start doing really impressive stuff on PS3 and Xbox 360, they're both going to be much the same [in terms of difficulty]," he concluded. "Sony's giving us better tools this time around - they're still not great at communicating and there are some weird holes in their developer support, but they've learned a lot of lessons from PS2."

Vinea
post #135 of 323
So in Summary of that article.

Un named developer says....
""
It's not that much broken. Numbers mean nothing.
Programming PS3 is a bit of a challenge.
PS2 was a disaster but Sony have improved its tools a bit.
Its easier now than PS2 (meaning we can get a triangle on the screen in less than a week)
""

Massively convincing that. Number mean nothing. Ignore the slide. War = Hate. Fast = Slow.

Remember that the most significant Sony development is being done by teams working on Sony 1st Party titles. Such teams may be asked to act as a rebuttal unit - to defent the the "superior hardware". And if I were being paid by Sony, I'd join the line to defend the honor of the company.

Of course what they say in private might be different.


Ok - rebut this...


GPU
Even ignoring the bandwidth limitations the PS3's GPU is not as powerful as the Xbox 360's GPU.

Below are the specs from Sony's press release regarding the PS3's GPU.

RSX GPU
? 550 MHz
? Independent vertex/pixel shaders
? 51 billion dot products per second (total system performance)
? 300M transistors
? 136 shader operations per clock

The interesting ALU performance numbers are 51 billion dot products per second (total system performance), 300M transistors, and more than twice as powerful as the 6800 Ultra.

The 51 billions dot products per cycle were listed on a summary slide of total graphics system performance and are assumed to include the Cell processor. Sony's calculations seem to assume that the Cell can do a dot product per cycle per DSP, despite not having a dot product instruction.

However, using Sony's claim, 7 dot products per cycle * 3.2 GHz = 22.4 billion dot products per second for the CPU. That leaves 51 * 22.4 = 28.6 billion dot products per second that are left over for the GPU. That leaves 28.6 billion dot products per second / 550 MHz = 52 GPU ALU ops per clock.

It is important to note that if the RSX ALUs are similar to the GeForce 6800 ALUs then they work on vector4s, while the Xbox 360 GPU ALUs work on vector5s. The total programmable GPU floating point performance for the PS3 would be 52 ALU ops * 4 floats per op *2 (madd) * 550 MHz = 228.8 GFLOPS which is less than the Xbox 360's 48 ALU ops * 5 floats per op * 2 (madd) * 500 MHz= 240 GFLOPS.

With the number of transistors being slightly larger on the Xbox 360 GPU (330M) it's not surprising that the total programmable GFLOPs number is very close.


The PS3 does have the additional 7 DSPs on the Cell to add more floating point ops for graphics rendering, but the Xbox 360's three general purpose cores with custom D3D and dot product instructions are more customized for true graphics related calculations.

The 6800 Ultra has 16 pixel pipes, 6 vertex pipes, and runs at 400 MHz. Given the RSX's 2x better than a 6800 Ultra number and the higher frequency of the RSX, one can roughly estimate that it will have 24 pixel shading pipes and 4 vertex shading pipes (fewer vertex shading pipes since the Cell DSPs will do some vertex shading). If the PS3 GPU keeps the 6800 pixel shader pipe co-issue architecture which is hinted at in Sony's press release, this again gives it 24 pixel pipes* 2 issued per pipe + 4 vertex pipes = 52 dot products per clock in the GPU.

If the RSX follows the 6800 Ultra route, it will have 24 texture samplers, but when in use they take up an ALU slot, making the PS3 GPU in practice even less impressive. Even if it does manage to decouple texture fetching from ALU co-issue, it won't have enough bandwidth to fetch the textures anyways.

For shader operations per clock, Sony is most likely counting each pixel pipe as four ALU operations (co-issued vector+scalar) and a texture operation per pixel pipe and 4 scalar operations for each vector pipe, for a total of 24 * (4 + 1) + (4*4) = 136 operations per cycle or 136 * 550 = 74.8 GOps per second.


Given the Xbox 360 GPU's multithreading and balanced design, you really can't compare the two systems in terms of shading operations per clock. However, the Xbox 360's GPU can do 48 ALU operations (each can do a vector4 and scalar op per clock), 16 texture fetches, 32 control flow operations, and 16 programmable vertex fetch operations with tessellation per clock for a total of 48*2 + 16 + 32 + 16 = 160 operations per cycle or 160 * 500 = 80 GOps per second.

Overall, the automatic shader load balancing, memory export features, programmable vertex fetching, programmable triangle tesselator, full rate texture fetching in the vertex shader, and other well beyond shader model 3.0 features of the Xbox 360 GPU should also contribute to overall rendering performance.

Bandwidth
The PS3 has 22.4 GB/s of GDDR3 bandwidth and 25.6 GB/s of RDRAM bandwidth for a total system bandwidth of 48 GB/s.

The Xbox 360 has 22.4 GB/s of GDDR3 bandwidth and a 256 GB/s of EDRAM bandwidth for a total of 278.4 GB/s total system bandwidth.


Why does the Xbox 360 have such an extreme amount of bandwidth? Even the simplest calculations show that a large amount of bandwidth is consumed by the frame buffer. For example, with simple color rendering and Z testing at 550 MHz the frame buffer alone requires 52.8 GB/s at 8 pixels per clock. The PS3's memory bandwidth is insufficient to maintain its GPUs peak rendering speed, even without texture and vertex fetches.

The PS3 uses Z and color compression to try to compensate for the lack of memory bandwidth. The problem with Z and color compression is that the compression breaks down quickly when rendering complex next-generation 3D scenes.

HDR, alpha-blending, and anti-aliasing require even more memory bandwidth. This is why Xbox 360 has 256 GB/s bandwidth reserved just for the frame buffer. This allows the Xbox 360 GPU to do Z testing, HDR, and alpha blended color rendering with 4X MSAA at full rate and still have the entire main bus bandwidth of 22.4 GB/s left over for textures and vertices.

CONCLUSION
When you break down the numbers, Xbox 360 has provably more performance than PS3. Keep in mind that Sony has a track record of over promising and under delivering on technical performance. The truth is that both systems pack a lot of power for high definition games and entertainment.

The best sentence is this one...

The PS3's memory bandwidth is insufficient to maintain its GPUs peak rendering speed, even without texture and vertex fetches.


In all these articles. The PS3 is either "comparable" or "broken" but never better.
In side by side comparisons of identical titles. You can see worse. You can see same.

Dude where's my "better"?

I can't believe it's not better?

C.
post #136 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Let's, for the sake of science, do a thought experiement.
And, just for an instant, I will set aside my view that the Cell is good for videodisk playing an lousy for game logic, and assume that the Cell is the mightiest processor in Christendom.

So let us think of game programming.
Think of a game program as a string. (each part is connected to the next)

Input->Game Logic & AI -> Simulation & Animation -> Transformation -> Rasterization

Science shows us that metal chains are much stronger than weak string, right? And stronger is better right?

So imagine we replace half of the string with a mighty cellumantium chain, it will be stronger right?

Wrong. Because every kid knows that a chain is only as strong as its weakest point.

And programmers are supposed to be good at logic. Perhaps analogies is where we fall down and cry.

If you replace half the "string" with better capability you have more string to use on the not so hot areas. If I have a machine that does transformation and rasterization well and offloaded that work then I have more CPU budget to spend on Simulation and Animation.

Quote:
The GPU on the PS3 was added too late (their engineers thought they could do everything on the Cell). The resultant design means the GPU is an afterthought. The limited memory bandwidth is really a serious design flaw - and in game terms it becomes the bottleneck. The almighty Cell can simulate every leaf on a tree - but the GPU can't draw 'em. Especially not at 1080p when the all of the available bandwidth is eaten up with just servicing the frame-buffer.

While the 360 unified architecture and the EDRAM a very nice advantage (essentially giving you HDR and 4XAA for almost free) the RSX isn't a horrid GPU. Also on the PS3 side the Cell isn't useless. Incognito did all their cloud rendering (volumetric raytracer) on the Cell IIRC. The SPEs can help keep the GPU fed.

Vinea
post #137 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

So in Summary of that article.

Un named developer says....
""
It's not that much broken. Numbers mean nothing.

And the "proof" of that adage is that Oblivion looks as good or better on the PS3 (from previews) than the 360.

Quote:
Remember that the most significant Sony development is being done by teams working on Sony 1st Party titles. Such teams may be asked to act as a rebuttal unit - to defent the the "superior hardware". And if I were being paid by Sony, I'd join the line to defend the honor of the company.

Of course what they say in private might be different.

Arguably there's no proof that anyone is paying you for anything.

Quote:
Ok - rebut this...

I read that a while back. The rebuttal is the numbers game on both sides is simply posturing and theory. The proof has been and always will be in the games. If the PS3 falls down on 1080 games then it will become obvious. On the other hand for both consoles 720 is likely the sweet spot.

Quote:
In all these articles. The PS3 is either "comparable" or "broken" but never better.
In side by side comparisons of identical titles. You can see worse. You can see same.

The broken article is clearly wrong. 16Mb to local memory is obviously to the RSX memory as explained or Sony might as well have not bothered. The PS3 just launched and its too early to tell.

Quote:
Dude where's my "better"?

I can't believe it's not better?

C.

Jeez...if you are a game dev you must be a Mac game dev.

Vinea
post #138 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Let's, for the sake of science, do a thought experiement.

The only thing you show is that your workflow as is may not be best suited for the PS3. Making half-cocked analogies doesn't do anything to advance your hypothesis that the PS3 has technical ceilings that won't be surpassed in the near future.
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post #139 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

While the 360 unified architecture and the EDRAM a very nice advantage (essentially giving you HDR and 4XAA for almost free) the RSX isn't a horrid GPU. Vinea

Not horrid. Just not as good. You accept right?

Rasterization is a weak(er) bit of the PS3 chain.
Now lets look at the other end of the chain.

All the games I have worked on had some kind of "interaction engine". It's pretty universal. Each entity in the game world usually has a script or a program fragment which determines how the entity behaves on a moment by moment basis. Just like Keanu said in Matrix 3.

Some of these scripts would be trivially simple. Some would be much more complex, with A-star route-solving and so forth. The vast majority are code that takes the form of state-machines or case statements. Lots of "if"s and branching. Lots of hopping about in memory.
The PS2 hated this stuff.

In older games you'd have a few tens of these entities on the go at once. In newer games you could have hundreds. And that was a problem because "branches per second" is not something modern processors like to boast about. Cache coherency goes out the window.

This game-entity-logic is something that you need to run on a conventional processor. It's too bitty, integer-based and fragmented to offload onto a FPU. You need a conventional CPU to do it, because most of these entities are asking questions of the game database. (What's my nearest enemy? What material tag am I standing on? If I shoot out this ray, what do I hit?) This type of code is what makes games interactive, and this type of code does not map well onto vector processors.

Physics simulation, on the other hand, *is* something you could do on the Cell.
Although again searching the collision database is gonna be a problem.

So to go back to the string. ( The PS3 architecture is a weaker performer at game logic. Strong in simulation and weaker in rasterization) It's inherent strength, in multiplying billions of numbers together, is a strong link in the middle of a weak string. No matter how strong that link is, it can't overcome the weakness at *both* ends of the string.


C.
post #140 of 323
Here we go again. Carniphage, you're descending into the techno-geek plane yet another time. You're trying desperately (why you are should be examined as well) to show the technical inferiority of the PS3, which is a dubious-at-best claim anyway. But even where you succeed in doing so, you miss the rather obvious point:

IT DOESN'T MATTER


Developers will write for the PS3 provided there is enough of an installed user base to do so. Right now, there's not a reason to think sales will be poor enough to cause a major falloff in development, gigaflops and attachment rates and triangle rendering data aside.
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post #141 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Not horrid. Just not as good. You accept right?

Sure. Offset by the Cell.

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All the games I have worked on had some kind of "interaction engine". It's pretty universal.

...

Some of these scripts would be trivially simple. Some would be much more complex, with A-star route-solving and so forth. The vast majority are code that takes the form of state-machines or case statements. Lots of "if"s and branching. Lots of hopping about in memory.

...

And that was a problem because "branches per second" is not something modern processors like to boast about. Cache coherency goes out the window.

This game-entity-logic is something that you need to run on a conventional processor. It's too bitty, integer-based and fragmented to offload onto a FPU.

Well, one you still have a PPU and two the SPUs have been shown that even with software branch prediction (compiler based) it works reasonably well with legacy code even in comparison to the PPU. When optimized to use the SPU local store they work 20% faster than the PPU. Those numbers come from a PS3 dev who hopefully benchmarked real game code on the SPU.

Now certainly branch prediction on the SPU is better for loops than when faced with many conditional branches because you need the branch hint appearing 11 cycles before the branch instruction (and you only get one hint) it's still only a 50-50 chance of an 18-cycle branch mispredict penalty (9 cycle average). In some cases you can just execute both branches and do the branch late and suffer no time penalties at the cost of efficiency.

Whether the current CELL compilers do that...I dunno. But even a missed predition isn't horrible if you're branching inside the SPU's local memory (ie optimizing your algorithm to run on a SPU). If you are branching outside the local store then yes, that is the equivalent to a cache miss (worse really) but most critical code is running in tightly bound loops.

What you can't do well is handle large pointers and stacks because those live in main memory so for large structures the SPU is not great (it can load blocks of data well but not testing individual bytes in the blocks to see if the rest of the block SHOULD be loaded).

The implication here is that search and other similar algorithms (sort, collision, etc) need to be parallalized to search part of the data structure in local either in series or better in parallel across a few SPUs. For collision detection you can try to do that when you're doing the geo processing for animation to reduce loading them again just to do collision.

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You need a conventional CPU to do it, because most of these entities are asking questions of the game database. (What's my nearest enemy? What material tag am I standing on? If I shoot out this ray, what do I hit?) This type of code is what makes games interactive, and this type of code does not map well onto vector processors.

SPUs are more than just a vector processor and can run pretty much any standard C++ code (subject to memory constraints). While it doesn't have hw branch prediction in comparison to the P4 hw branch prediction if you blow that its a 35 cycle hit. You'll miss on the sw branch prediction on the SPU far more often but when you do its an 18 cycle hit. And the compiler optimized for the SPU can try to convert some types of branches to a select or a min, max, and, or combo for you.

The guidelines I've read for programming the Cell (as an academic exercise...I'm a MDX coder so I'm more likely to do XNA than go do any PS3 coding) typically say avoid inline calls, try to use spu_select to get rid of branches, interleave blocks of unrelated code to reduce dependencies and unroll loops to allow the compiler to move code around for you.

That doesn't seem too horrid and the point is the cell has 128 registers and a 6 cycle dual pipleline that you can use effectively to offset some of the disadvantages. Computing both sides of a branch and using spu_select might seem a waste but you can do it where you can't put a predict hint within 11 cycles.

The spu_select method allows you to do branches like

if (a<b) c = d else c = e

without branches at the cost the cycles of doing an extra c = e or c = d. And if you can get rid of branches inside loops you get a speedup even if your CPU has 0 branch penalty (because branching inside loops kills optimization).

Folks report that they can get CPI of less than 1.0 on the SPU on their first compile so it doesn't suck as badly as you say.

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So to go back to the string. ( The PS3 architecture is a weaker performer at game logic. Strong in simulation and weaker in rasterization) It's inherent strength, in multiplying billions of numbers together, is a strong link in the middle of a weak string. No matter how strong that link is, it can't overcome the weakness at *both* ends of the string.

And PS3 devs say different and the little I've read of IBM's docs (a while ago admittedly but its not like it would have gotten worse in terms of compiler support) imply otherwise. Your analogy is broken as folks have certainly found ways to use a 3.2Ghz SPU to do stuff beyond multiplying numbers together. We can argue about the lack of OOO and rename registers in addition to the lack of branch prediction if you like but the SPUs are reasonably capable little guys.

The fact is both Xenon and Cell are nice hardware in comparison to the last gen.

Vinea
post #142 of 323
Why the PS3 is currently doing poorly:

a) it's a Sony, and those that have bought PSP's or other Sony products the last couple of years do have the right IMO, to feel a bit cheated. I just put that custom FW by Dark_Alex on my PSP and am never going back to another Sony FW. Making people buy a PS3 in order to play PS games on the PS...screw that.

b) it's stupidly expensive

c) no unique games (although I say the same about the 360). Console and PC ports...yawn

Sony comes out with really slick products, but they don't care about their customers at all.
post #143 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Sure. Offset by the Cell.

Bad handling is not offset by a more powerful engine. Unless you believe Detroit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

And PS3 devs say different and the little I've read of IBM's docs (a while ago admittedly but its not like it would have gotten worse in terms of compiler support) imply otherwise.

There's what they say publicly and then there's what they say in private.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Your analogy is broken as folks have certainly found ways to use a 3.2Ghz SPU to do stuff beyond multiplying numbers together. We can argue about the lack of OOO and rename registers in addition to the lack of branch prediction if you like but the SPUs are reasonably capable little guys.

The SPUs are certainly more capable that the horrendous VU0 and VU1 they supercede. You could even write some general purpose code on them. But the type of code I was describing is nastily multi-modal. I might be wrong, but the idea of offloading game entity logic onto the SPU is not what they were designed to do. The SPUs would have to trawl through data-structures and pointers to answer queries like "What's are the first surface tag along this ray". Getting a vector processor do do this seems bizarre. It might be possible, but three general-purpose processors, to me, seems like a more elegant solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

The fact is both Xenon and Cell are nice hardware in comparison to the last gen.

Very true.

And with that... I would like to wrap this up.
I think that I have made a reasonable case to support my assertion. Which is....

The PS3 is simply not a better architecture for creating and running video game content. It is OK. It can run OK games. It might even be able to run amazing games. But its unconventional architecture is a mix of advantages and disadvantages- and in my opinion (and the opionion of many game developers) the benefit of humoungous floating point performance does not overcome the double whammy of a bandwidth choked GPU and a single over-worked CPU.

Does this matter? Not in the slightest. Personally I have stopped playing games and taken up reading books. The graphics are awesome!

As we have seen before, an architecturally weaker machine does not necessarily mean that it will collapse at market. Because consoles, just like many business, are held aloft by the power of confidence.

But confidence has a low boiling point, and can evaporate faster than you can say "Enron."

So I suggest we stop, wait and see. And reconvene in six months or so.

By then we should be able to see...
Whether the PS3's inability to shift games has turned into a problem for Sony.
or whether some badly needed new titles will restore some confidence.

C.
post #144 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Bad handling is not offset by a more powerful engine. Unless you believe Detroit.

Given that you criticize the RSX as an afterthought because the Cell was expected to handle graphics then stating that the Cell actually CAN do some graphics to offset the fact that the RSX is a traditional GPU and not the u-a GPU in Xenos is a valid rejoinder.

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There's what they say publicly and then there's what they say in private.

They say the same thing in anonymous industry forums too. You can guess which dev team they are on but that's not the same as knowing who they are. Enough venting seems to occur that if something truly sucked it wouldn't be hidden very long.

Not like Sony is going send ninjas to hunt them down for blabbing...

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The SPUs are certainly more capable that the horrendous VU0 and VU1 they supercede. You could even write some general purpose code on them. But the type of code I was describing is nastily multi-modal. I might be wrong, but the idea of offloading game entity logic onto the SPU is not what they were designed to do.

The point is that a SPU isn't a VU. The difference between a SPU, vector unit and a CPU is like the difference between C, assembly and Java although that's not a perfect analogy either but conveys the rough usability for general tasks. C isn't a high order language but its not a low level language either. It straddles both worlds. A SPU is similar in that sense. The rest of the analogy would fall apart if you try to take it any further.

Game entity modelling may not be optimal or the intent but there's more to games than individual object modelling and you can still do game entity modelling within certain constraints.

Quote:
The SPUs would have to trawl through data-structures and pointers to answer queries like "What's are the first surface tag along this ray". Getting a vector processor do do this seems bizarre. It might be possible, but three general-purpose processors, to me, seems like a more elegant solution.

The SPUs can do a reasonably decent job IF the objects are in the local store. Trawling through data structures is something I mentioned it does poorly because these live in main memory. However you can break some of these problems down into small subsets...again as I mentioned. The PPE would have to do this decomposition but that's not the same as saying the SPEs can't help do the task.

Whether three PPEs are more elegant or not depends on mindset. In many ways the Xenon three PPE architecture is much like the RSX...good but more conventional. The Cell is much more like Xenos with a new approach. It paid off pretty well for Xenos. I believe that it should pay off for the Cell but it will take longer.

Given that Havok has better SPE support in 4.5 I think that will start to happen as the middleware companies get to know Cell better. A physics company makes sense to be the first to optimize for the SPE but I believe I remember hearing noises that Emergent has added some thing to Gamebryo for the PS3. Floodgate is supposed to be able to handle punting stuff off to the idle SPUs without much programmer interaction.

That implies that Emergent thinks there are a good number of gaming tasks that can be punted over to SPUs...

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Very true.

And with that... I would like to wrap this up.
I think that I have made a reasonable case to support my assertion. Which is....

And I think I've done a credible job of addressing your technical arguments supporting your rather bald assertion. You haven't really responded on a technical level except to run back to generalities and asserting "insider" knowledge of what PS3 devs "say in private".

Quote:
The PS3 is simply not a better architecture for creating and running video game content. It is OK. It can run OK games. It might even be able to run amazing games. But its unconventional architecture is a mix of advantages and disadvantages- and in my opinion (and the opionion of many game developers) the benefit of humoungous floating point performance does not overcome the double whammy of a bandwidth choked GPU and a single over-worked CPU.

Whether a game is "OK" vs "amazing" has much more to do with the game designer and coders than underlying hardware.

What can be objectively discussed (to some degree...elegance is not one) is the advantages and disadvantages of the architecture. Your repeated assertion that SPEs are nothing but FP vector units doesn't make that a true statement...likewise your other assertions.

Quote:
As we have seen before, an architecturally weaker machine does not necessarily mean that it will collapse at market. Because consoles, just like many business, are held aloft by the power of confidence.

But confidence has a low boiling point, and can evaporate faster than you can say "Enron."

So I suggest we stop, wait and see. And reconvene in six months or so.

By then we should be able to see...
Whether the PS3's inability to shift games has turned into a problem for Sony.
or whether some badly needed new titles will restore some confidence.

C.

Please, making inflammatory remarks and then saying "we should stop here" is just bogus. You haven't addressed any of the technical arguments thus far so it boils down to "Carniphage thinks the PS3 sucks and I'm a game dev so bow down to my opinion".

And if you hate MS and aren't a PS3 dev one does wonder which market segement you address. Because frankly a good number of my former co-workers who moved from traditional programming jobs into game development were doing really lame assed games like Mahjong or other technically meaningless titles a far cry from AAA titles and cutting edge tech (hey hey...but twice the hours at the same pay...).

Yeah, I'm close to Hunt Valley so we do have game jobs here. There's also a good number of former game devs back in the general programming work force given some of the studio closures.

And game devs are not the only devs looking at 3D tech, game middleware and other similar technologies...granted we don't look all that closely at consoles for work...

Vinea
post #145 of 323
Ok... You don't want to stop. So Let's plod through these points one at a time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Given that you criticize the RSX as an afterthought because the Cell was expected to handle graphics then stating that the Cell actually CAN do some graphics to offset the fact that the RSX is a traditional GPU and not the u-a GPU in Xenos is a valid rejoinder.

No. it. can't. Do some, but it doesn't help. Here's why.

The last phase of the pipe is rasterization. It can't be avoided or bypassed. Rasterization is not the by-product of lazy programming, or an unwillingness to adopt to new thinking (Splinemodel).

At the end of the day your games console is all about drawing triangles into framebuffers. The very act of writing pixels eats into the bandwidth. Zbuffer comparisons do. The rasterizer is sucking in vast texture sets. All eating away at that same bandwidth. And there we have the PS3s achilles heel.

You accept that the bandwidth issue is real? The PS3 has less bandwidth to do this job. So however many zillion polygons you can transform and light, you simply can't draw them.
The rasterization process cannot be assisted in any way whatsoever by the Cell.

Cell can do transformation. Cell could do lighting. Cell could do animation. All lifting some stuff off the GPU. Sure, it makes coding harder and more expensive. It makes game slip. But it is possible.

The cell horse is a runnin' but at the very last hurdle, the horse falls down. Because the Cell can not help with rasterization. It just can't. The 360 can jump over the last fence. The PS3 has to have a special, lower fence.

As the folks in Germany realised some time ago, more horsepower in a car can't improve traction. In fact it can make things worse. The PS3 my friend, is a Corvette.

Next up....game entity logic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

The SPUs can do a reasonably decent job IF the objects are in the local store. Trawling through data structures is something I mentioned it does poorly because these live in main memory. However you can break some of these problems down into small subsets...again as I mentioned. The PPE would have to do this decomposition but that's not the same as saying the SPEs can't help do the task.

I think you are getting it. That's what I was hoping you'd see.

To help with game logic, the SPUs would have to be spoon-fed subsections of the game database. So that they could operate on local store. OMFG!

In order to farm-out game logic in a way that SPUs could contribute, the CPU would have to do the farming, Imagine a simple shooter where any character can fire a gun anywhere. Each and every game entity needs to make raytrace style queries of the entire game database. It's not something you'd want the SPUs to be doing. Just the act of coding a farmed-out interaction mechanism could add months onto a game's development. These co-processors might be able to run C - but they were not designed to perform this class of task. And if asked to do so would perform it with the elegance of bears on motorcycles.

Could it be done? Well possibly. But I could possibly get to New York in a rowing boat. It just not necessary or desirable or optimal. It would suck and I would get blisters.

Physics on the other hand. Like Havok - Where interactions are mostly local and granular. Yes. Absolutely. The Cell could rock. But physics is not game entity logic. The type of code I am talking about is a lot more like an OS running lots of threads each doing different stuff. But each possibly needing access to every other part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Whether a game is "OK" vs "amazing" has much more to do with the game designer and coders than underlying hardware.

Well quite. Which is probably why I paid for a Wii and own neither a 360 or a PS3.

But isn't the reason Sony is charging so much for the PS3 has to do with its claims about the architecture? Sony is telling the world that to have the better gaming orgasms, we must invest in the worlds ultimate gaming hardware?

That's the boldest statment of all, and in the absence of any visible proof, I happen to think it is worth challenging. I dig the whole skeptical bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

And if you hate MS and aren't a PS3 dev one does wonder which market segement you address.

I have moved into a that part of the games market segment which is sexy, has lots of growth and much less risk than the economically insane programming bit.

C.
post #146 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post

Why the PS3 is currently doing poorly:

a) it's a Sony, and those that have bought PSP's or other Sony products the last couple of years do have the right IMO, to feel a bit cheated. I just put that custom FW by Dark_Alex on my PSP and am never going back to another Sony FW. Making people buy a PS3 in order to play PS games on the PS...screw that.

b) it's stupidly expensive

c) no unique games (although I say the same about the 360). Console and PC ports...yawn

Sony comes out with really slick products, but they don't care about their customers at all.

Thanks, genius.

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post #147 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post


No. it. can't. Do some, but it doesn't help. Here's why.

The last phase of the pipe is rasterization. It can't be avoided or bypassed. Rasterization is not the by-product of lazy programming, or an unwillingness to adopt to new thinking (Splinemodel).

At the end of the day your games console is all about drawing triangles into framebuffers. The very act of writing pixels eats into the bandwidth. Zbuffer comparisons do. The rasterizer is sucking in vast texture sets. All eating away at that same bandwidth. And there we have the PS3s achilles heel.

Hmmm...but if you do your backface or occlusion culling on the SPE you're pushing less across to the RSX (which can also do culling) to save bw.

There are enough examples of where the SPE's help the RSX on the various dev boards and the specific b/w gobbled by the rasterizer depends on different factors. MDX is what? 4 levels of abstractions from the GPU? So my personal knowledge of the rasterization stage and optimizing b/w at that level is minimal (from a "we did this" standpoint).

But the general assertion that the SPE's can reduce the b/w load to the RSX appears false even if it doesn't help in the rasterization stage. Especially since Eggerbrecht (Lair) has said that the RSX is fine for 1080 as long as the Cell does geometry and culling.

Quote:
As the folks in Germany realised some time ago, more horsepower in a car can't improve traction. In fact it can make things worse. The PS3 my friend, is a Corvette.

Your analogy but in the motortrend tests the 2006 Z06 beat the 2005 911 on the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca by 2.7 seconds and tied in the slalom. It was of course no contest in the drag race...

Quote:
Next up....game entity logic.

I think you are getting it. That's what I was hoping you'd see.

To help with game logic, the SPUs would have to be spoon-fed subsections of the game database. So that they could operate on local store. OMFG!

In order to farm-out game logic in a way that SPUs could contribute, the CPU would have to do the farming, Imagine a simple shooter where any character can fire a gun anywhere. Each and every game entity needs to make raytrace style queries of the entire game database. It's not something you'd want the SPUs to be doing. Just the act of coding a farmed-out interaction mechanism could add months onto a game's development. These co-processors might be able to run C - but they were not designed to perform this class of task. And if asked to do so would perform it with the elegance of bears on motorcycles.

Could it be done? Well possibly. But I could possibly get to New York in a rowing boat. It just not necessary or desirable or optimal. It would suck and I would get blisters.

There's setup but its something you likely want to do for entity AI for better parallelism whether programming for SPEs or 6 hw threads on the 360. Doing LOS to cull the objects of interest for the AI as part of setup is a job you need to do at some point anyway. Once done you can pass that info in as part of the setup to the SPU.

In any case, Eggebrecht said they were even doing troop AI on the SPUs in Lair. Of course that's probably not much more than "if (being_eaten) scream_a_lot();" but its being done. Its not as stupid as you make it out to be even if sub-optimal for the SPU design. Worst case is that you have the equivalent of a 286 running at 3.2Ghz with 128*4 registers and 256KB local store doing your AI work with a 50% hit rate on branch prediction with an average 9 cycle penalty.

And that's without playing games with branches as I outlined above which you haven't addressed. And while the local store is small if you know what you need to fetch out of main memory the SPUs can do that reasonably quickly with a gather scatter list DMA.

And the insomniac folks have used 2 SPE's for collision detection which might involve ray-casting but probably not. Still branchy code IIRC.

Quote:
I have moved into a that part of the games market segment which is sexy, has lots of growth and much less risk than the economically insane programming bit.

Meaning we have about the same level of current coding expertise at the insane programming bit....aka minimal.

Vinea
post #148 of 323
Going back to the title of this thread, what has happened to the PS3? In five trips to area BBs and CCs over a period of four weeks, I've only managed to find one PS3 on the shelves. It appears, at least in my locality, that Sony is still unable to keep up with demand. Since some self-styled experts in this thread have pontified that the PS3 is a poor game playing machine, the explanation must be that all the home theatre people are buying them up for use as a Blu-Ray player.
post #149 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCodger73 View Post

Going back to the title of this thread, what has happened to the PS3? In five trips to area BBs and CCs over a period of four weeks, I've only managed to find one PS3 on the shelves. It appears, at least in my locality, that Sony is still unable to keep up with demand. Since some self-styled experts in this thread have pontified that the PS3 is a poor game playing machine, the explanation must be that all the home theatre people are buying them up for use as a Blu-Ray player.

Look around or order online. They're around and Sony seems to be able to keep up with demand. They're shipping a lot more than folks expected them to given how constrained the launch numbers were.

Vinea
post #150 of 323
post #151 of 323
So, is it too early to say that the PS3 == the new Betamax?

Slightly superior hardware, with too high a price point and no overpowering reason (ie, no must play games) to prefer it over the competition?

You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
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You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
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post #152 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoster View Post

So, is it too early to say that the PS3 == the new Betamax?

Slightly superior hardware, with too high a price point and no overpowering reason (ie, no must play games) to prefer it over the competition?


Yes. The 360 didn't get its first must-play game until a year after it came out, yet you expect the PS3 to launch with one? Have you paid attention to any system launch, ever? The first wave of titles is never good. Developers are still making more money putting out games for last generation, their projects for this generation just started ramping up maybe a year or two ago.

Another important factor is that the PS3 has been outselling XBOX 360 by a fair margin since its launch, despite the success of Gears of War.
post #153 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoster View Post


So, is it too early to say that the PS3 == the new Betamax?


People get this mixed up. Betamax came out first, and was later overcome by VHS, which appeared on the scene later. Today, the Xbox came out first, and is now being outsold by the PS3. Which one is today's Betamax?

Sony was over confident and short sighted with Betamax, but learned from the experience. Sony isn't about to repeat those mistakes, and hasn't from what I can tell.

Though you say the PS3 priced too high and has no compelling reason to prefer it over the Xbox, it outsells the competition. Folks must think it's worth it.

post #154 of 323
Sony hasn't learned much. It still is trying to impose new formats and impose restrictions on its customers in order to dominate the market.

CD, PS1, Walkman are all clear successes.
Betamax, Minidisk and PSP are all failures.
These failures are linked by a common theme.

When companies place their own agenda ahead of customers, the market can be cruel.

C.
post #155 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post


Sony hasn't learned much. It still is trying to impose new formats and impose restrictions on its customers in order to dominate the market.


Well, Sony learned at least three things. Develop the best technology, even if it means your competitor introduces a product first. Next, let other companies get in on the action, making and selling players and discs. And last but not least, garner the most support possible.

post #156 of 323
Personally, I believe that the PS3 is to the Playstation brand what The Phantom Menace was to Star Wars.

Sony's three lessons are.
1) Introduce at least 3 proprietary formats (owned by Sony) each year. Half of them will be picked up by consumers and then we can lock 'em in and ream them. Hai!

2) Hardware Engineers know more about software than programmers. In fact they know more about products than consumers. In fact, that's a very handsome shirt you are wearing, engineer san. Let me rest my head in your lap.

3) If things look bad - lie, lie and lie again. Journalists are happy to repeat the lies if we pay them enough. Loyal customers will believe us. And if enough people belive us, it does not matter! Hey Journalist-san, come to party with 50-centu. Nice girls.

C.
post #157 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Not that I was planning to buy a PS3 but it is certainly easier to add a new type of controller than improve the graphics in a console. Unless Nintendo has a patent lock on every way to add motion controllers so no one can replicate the remote.

That seems unlikely given some of the the other VR prior art and InterLink's patent. Wii's IR sensor thingy may be one of the cheapest methods but others should be available.

I'm buying a 360...not because of hardware but because of Mass Effect...a 360 exclusive. If I were a fan of some PS3 exclusive I'd likely buy that instead but I like BioWare RPGs...tho' my platform of choice is the PC for RPGs.

Heck...which PS3 exclusives are still left? Either way...Wii isn't even in the running for me. There are no titles I care that much about on the Wii platform except Zelda and only because I played Zelda waaaaay back when...and Wii wont scale with the 360 and PS3 when the other two platforms get better in 2007/2008 as devs more fully exploit the hardware.

Wii is not getting anything close to Gears of War, Resistance:Fall of Man, etc and these are early titles that will be eclipsed in the future. And that's because its a souped up GameCube.

Vinea


I got to go to the PS3 launch party in Toronto, Canada... I played Resistance: Fall of Man. I wasn't all that impressed. I didn't like it that much. It definitely doesn't make me want to buy a PS3. I didn't see any games at the launch that made me want to go out and buy a PS3. I have a feeling that Gears of War is probably a better game (i haven't played it though).

As far as exclusives go, I think that the PS3 is losing a lot of previously Playstation-exclusives. I guess that games like 'Ratchet and Clank' and 'Jak & Daxter' will still be PS-only, but games like the Grand Theft Auto-series are going multi-platform.

The only series that I see as being able to carry Sony would be maybe Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, or Gran Turismo. Even then, I'm not sure if any of those are going XBox360 as well.
post #158 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by pyr3 View Post

The only series that I see as being able to carry Sony would be maybe Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, or Gran Turismo. Even then, I'm not sure if any of those are going XBox360 as well.

In case you were curious, those are all Japanese games.

None of them are ever going XBOX 360.
post #159 of 323
I was watching people playing Motorstorm at the Metreon center.
I am pretty certain that it was running at 15fps and using crossfading to hide the fact.

Gran Turismo is much faster, but feels like the PS2 game with up-rezzed graphics.

C.
post #160 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Gran Turismo is much faster, but feels like the PS2 game with up-rezzed graphics.

C.

As can be expected for many titles this early in the platform lifecycle.

Vinea
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