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HD capability, but what about 16:9?


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#21 of 36 Ron Gilbert

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Posted July 30 2001 - 11:58 AM

Well, here's my layman's understanding of the Xbox GPU (NV2A), culled from the faint memory of various articles, presentations, press releases, etc.:

The NV2A shares the same core feature set as the Geforce3

The NV2A has a few additional features than the Geforce3

The NV2A has two vertex shaders, the current version of the Geforce3 has only one

The twin vertex shaders, combined with the lack of an AGP bus, allow the NV2A to animate 125milpps

This apparently translates into: 85milpps/70milpps/20milpps
in real world performance with various degrees of lighting and texturing

My theory as to why the games may not look as good as we think they should is the usual combo of acclimation to new hardware, lack of time, and far too many devs choosing to play it safe and code their software to a safe minimum. EA in particular, from the screenshots I've seen of their Xbox games (which look indistinguishable from PS2 shots), seems to be taking this route. Some devs, of course, are already doing outstanding work, IMO. There were a few games on display from small Japanese developers at spring TGS that looked impressive enough. Overall, though, we have'nt seen anything with that Raven/Robot tech demo polish to it. In the end, I agree that there may be little visual distinction between Gamecube and Xbox, however, for all the talk of Gamcube's texturing ability, so far Xbox has shown off some nice looking hi-res textures that I've yet to see on any GC games.



#22 of 36 Adam Nixon

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Posted July 30 2001 - 12:05 PM

Yep, I read an interview with Kojima where he pretty much felt it was time to move on. A shame, for sure, but a developer that talented is sure to create something else just as spectacular.

I've heard rumors (NOTHING in fact, yet) that MS is having a rough time assembling the Xbox. With the complexity of it, I'm sure that's to be understood but it's a rotten time to lag. I also heard that the Xbox hardware had a fatal system crash at E3 -- not a promising sign.

[Edited last by Adam Nixon on July 30, 2001 at 07:08 PM]

#23 of 36 Morgan Jolley

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Posted July 30 2001 - 01:24 PM

The GC can outperform the X-Box in terms of polys and frames per second with animation and textures and lighting and all that jazz, but that is probably because nobody has seen a finished game for either console. The GC can display more textures and such, but Nintendo hasn't really shown that much compared to the X-Box. Look in any magazine that has info on the GC and X-Box and you will see a few pics from about 4 games for GC and a bunch of pics from about 15 games for XB. Nintendo is going to use information to create hype near the launch, which I think is smarter than just showing everything as soon as possible like Microsoft has been doing. The reason the XB games look better is because those pics are probably from scenes that were polished for demoing, or were taken off a dev kit, or were taken from a high-res source. I read in Nintendo Power that the game Pikmin can have huge levels without repeating a texture or imagemap at all. That seems impressive, considering how tiny the console and its game discs are, plus the game is not even finished.

#24 of 36 Sean Oneil

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Posted July 30 2001 - 06:08 PM

I read about the exclusivity clause in an article a long while back on 3dNews.net.

I attempted to search for it today, but it must have been purged. But rest assured, I am not making it up. The reason MS gets exclusivity on the most powerful iteration of the GeForce3 for 6 months is because MS basically paid for the development of the GeForce3 chipset. MS forked over $200,000,000 (two HUNDRED million) to Nvidia to develop the chipsets for the XBox machine, and the two companies are actually working VERY close with one another now, closer than many may think. MS wants the X-Box to be the absolute baddest graphics machine on the market, as that is they're major selling point for the system. The 6 month clause gives the X-Box enough time to get a foothold on the market, and also ties in well with Nvidia's current marketing strategy of releasing new and improved generation of GPU chipsets every six months. It just so happens that the next six month champion of Nvidia GPU's will be available EXCLUSIVELY in the X-box.

As was stated before, the X-Box version does not differ much from the currrent PC version of the GeForce 3, but it most certainly will offer performance advantages.

BTW, the fact that MS forked over $200 million to Nividia has been well documented, and you can find many press releases about it. Check http://www.msxbox.com and do a search for 'Nvidia'



[Edited last by Sean Oneil on July 31, 2001 at 01:17 AM]

#25 of 36 Evan A

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Posted July 31 2001 - 06:42 PM

Here is the question of the day. Have we been seeing HD Xbox images or are they normal? What will be the difference of HD vs standard? How will it affect gameplay wich is allways supposed, on a console, be consistent?

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#26 of 36 Sean Oneil

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Posted July 31 2001 - 07:56 PM

I would guess that none of the actual screen shots have been in Hi-Def yet.

In theory, X-Box developers could produce a game which will allow for HD resolution graphic settings. This is commonly done with PC games today ...many have various graphic options available which are user selectable via the setup menus. There is a loss in game speed which correlates to the higher you turn up the resolution, (not an absolute law, but most often) so the challenge to the developer of the game then becomes to get the game running at an acceptable frame rate (typically 50-60FPS) in the extremely high resolution. If they can get up to the 60FPS range in Hi-Def, then they could also limit the frame rate to 60FPS when playing the game in 640*480 so the only apparent difference would be in resolution.

Personally, I can get many games with quite a bit of detail running at a good framerate at resolutions up to 1200*1600 with my PIII 600 and GeForce2Pro, and the X-Box performance should far surpass what my machine can do. In addition to having a faster CPU and much faster graphic processing unit, the X-Box has the advantage of being fine-tuned for game performance in various ways which a PC is not.

I believe that we will see High-Def capable games in the future on the X-box, but I do not think that any early titles will have this capability. The power is certainly there to produce graphically detailed games which will run smoothly in HD resolution. We will just have to wait and see, but it looks like it will be more of a bonus feature in some games only ...still a nice bonus, and more than I can get out of my PS2.

I think that one of the neat little by-products of the X-Box's HD prowess, will be in it's potential ability to scale DVD signals to 1080i HD output -much in the same way that Home Theater PC's do.
Any way you look at it, it seems that the X-Box is built as an almost perfect HTPC, even if that is not what it was intended to be by design.

[Edited last by Sean Oneil on August 01, 2001 at 03:02 AM]

#27 of 36 Morgan Jolley

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Posted July 31 2001 - 08:11 PM

Microsoft pulled a lot of PC functions out of the X-Box to make it less of a PC. I don't think it would really be worth buying, compared to the GameCube or the PlayStation 2. If you were to get all of the add-ons for the PS2 that would make it equal to the X-Box, it would cost more, but you would get more. The HDD is 32 GB larger, it can play PlayStation games and CDs, and even has basic DVD functions (buying the remote adds the prog scan). Also, comparing how a game runs on a PC to a videogame console isn't a good thing to do, since memory on a PC is not made for just the game, but rather for a lot of different things all at once. That is why PCs are so expensive compared to consoles. The sad thing is that consoles are becoming more powerful than PCs, or at least rivalling them and at a way cheaper price.

#28 of 36 Evan A

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Posted July 31 2001 - 08:15 PM

when playstation 1 came out people were saying that. 3 years later PC gamers were enjoying quake 3

nuf said

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#29 of 36 Morgan Jolley

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Posted August 01 2001 - 07:33 AM

Even so, how much is a computer that can handle Quake 3 compared to the price of a PlayStation 2?

#30 of 36 Adam Nixon

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Posted August 01 2001 - 04:44 PM

There will ALWAYS be an extreme enthusiast segment of gamers that the PC caters to. Many types of games (such as RTS, simulation, some FPS) just don't work well on consoles, and there will always be people looking for ultimate cutting edge performance -- regardless of the cost.

In addition, the modding/editing communities will NEVER exist with consoles, simply because their simplicity and ease of use prohibits user created mods and levels.

[Edited last by Adam Nixon on August 01, 2001 at 11:45 PM]

#31 of 36 Evan A

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Posted August 01 2001 - 04:52 PM

up-too-date PC today is what $1000 if you have a monitor allready average PC game is what?

gamecube x-box $300. add in controllers, memory cards etc. then consider how console games have that wonderfull extra cost cuz they gotta give a kick back to the manufacturer.


They all have their benefits. If the console had a keyboard it would be all over!

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#32 of 36 Adam Nixon

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Posted August 01 2001 - 05:56 PM

Every 5 years when the new consoles appear it shakes up the PC world, and they always manage to come back. Just take a look at the Doom 3 engine -- I know I'll be upgrading in time for that.

#33 of 36 Morgan Jolley

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Posted August 02 2001 - 02:14 AM

Actually, a GameCube with one game and a memory card is less than $300. Add in all the peripherals that can be bough (the cable for the GBA, 3 extra controllers, and another memory card) and you are not even at $600. I think the X-Box is not overpriced, but too powerful. They can't remove the HDD or ethernet, but if they did, it would be a lot cheaper. There is not that much of a kick back to the publisher/developer/anything. And so what if modding and editing can't exist on consoles? If there is a problem with the game, they won't release it until it is fixed, that way there are no bugs. And who cares if you can't make home-made levels for a game or change it around? The idea of a game is that someone makes it and you play it, not remake or change it. Some people like to do that, and thats ok, but I would rather that they just release good software and that people play that and not do anything to it.

A PC with a GeForce 3, 17" LCD flatscreen monitor, 10 GB HDD, ethernet modem, 800 mHz processor, DVD-ROM, and Windows ME will set you over $1000. I know the monitor is not needed, but the X-Box is more powerful than a GF3, has an 8 GB HDD, ethernet modem, a processor (it doesn't need to be as powerful as a PC one), a DVD-ROM, a specially designed interface for the console, plus the fact that some parts were specially made for it. That would make it worth more for your money than a PC, but that is just looking at the gaming power aspect. PCs have a large library of games, and you do more than just play games.

#34 of 36 Tim Markley

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Posted August 02 2001 - 04:22 AM

Quote:
They all have their benefits. If the console had a keyboard it would be all over!
I have a keyboard for my DC and the PS2 has USB ports which allow you to connect a keyboard.

Doesn't a GeForce3 card still cost >$300? If you want to be able to play comparable games to what's on the new consoles, you're gonna need to spend more than $1000 for your PC.


#35 of 36 Adam Nixon

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Posted August 02 2001 - 06:23 AM

You guys have to keep in mind that the newest (most expensive) hardware available for PC's isn't always taken advantage of immediately by developers. No games really harness the power of the GF3 yet, but they ARE coming. I've had a DDR-Geforce 1 in my PC for a year and a half, and just now more games are starting to utilize its T&L functions. My system's bottleneck is its CPU, not the graphics card. There are plenty of low-cost options available for good gaming, plus computers are usually used for other tasks. PCs and consoles are two different realms, and a great game is a great game, regardless of where it's available.



[Edited last by Adam Nixon on August 02, 2001 at 01:27 PM]

#36 of 36 Morgan Jolley

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Posted August 02 2001 - 10:27 AM

Nonetheless, a GF3 is not being used in a PC for anything besides gaming, yet it is over $300 and not as powerful as some of the console hardware that will be available at the end of the year. A PC does do more than just games, but then you can't compare PC power to console power because you can't get a gaming only PC without spending around triple the price of a console.