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Bad news for Xbox owners (1 Viewer)

Matty B

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 27, 2001
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227
Here's why XBOX games don't support 1080i
The biggest reason isn't performance, but memory footprint. The XBOX has 64 MB of unified memory. Any leading-edge game will fill all the memory with sounds, textures, frame buffer, etc. There isn't enough memory left for the high-def modes.
For example:
Each pixel displayed requires (at the minimum):
2 bytes for the front buffer (16-bit color buffer)
2 bytes for the back buffer
2 bytes for the z buffer (16-bit zbuffer)
= 6 bytes per pixel
(BTW, for 32-bit color and zbuffer, that 12 bytes per pixel!)
With a 480p, this means the screens use
640x480x6 = ~1.8 megabytes
for 1080i, this means the screens use
1920x1080x6 = ~12.4 megabytes
That's a _huge_ difference. I tested a game that could run at 1080i. It looked unbelievable on the XBOX, but that version of the game wouldn't run on retail xboxes.
BTW, it is theoretically possible to cut the footprint in half by using field mode instead of frame mode. In practice, it is incredibly difficult to program a game to use field mode since that means each field must be completed in less than 1/30th a second to keep from seeing artifacts. Doing this is difficult even at 480i, let alone 1080i.
Richard G
(From AVS FORUM)
That guy worked on Nascar heat for the Xbox.
So talk amongst yourselves. Morgan stay out of my thread.
htf_images_smilies_chatter.gif
 

James D S

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 14, 2000
Messages
1,000
That's not good news at all. I wonder what Gary will have to say about this. I'm sure (hope) there's something else to it, though. *crosses fingers*
 

Iain Lambert

Screenwriter
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Jun 7, 1999
Messages
1,345
While it may not be a complete solution, don't forget that its still possible to write a good game without a z-buffer; 2d RTS and RPG games with the extra resolution used for a bigger map on screen would be fine. Also, once the developers have been on the hardware for a while innovative solutions with compressed textures (which the nVidia chipset supports) might get the game footprint down small enough. Personally, I think the more achievable goal of 720p is more important anyway for HD games, as I really like progressive.
 

James D S

Screenwriter
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Nov 14, 2000
Messages
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Someone, Max L. I believe, has posted that Project Gotham has 1080i selectable from the menu. Has this been verified?

Peace.
 

Gary King

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 13, 1999
Messages
479
Of course, the Xbox only really renders at up to 1024x768 resolution (and then the encoder chip scales from there), which saves you quite a bit of that memory footprint ;).
There's also 4:1 Z-buffer compression available. Of course, multisample buffers would get rid of most of that.
 

James D S

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 14, 2000
Messages
1,000
Max,
Sorry about that. You're absolutely right. I misread what you said. You were talking about your TV's features and I thought you were talking about PGR.
Wishful thinking. :)
 

Morgan Jolley

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2000
Messages
9,521
I take offense to that. Nonetheless...

Gaming at 1080i must be sweet. Any guess as to when we'll get it?
 

Iain Lambert

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 7, 1999
Messages
1,345
Come on guys; Morgan may get carried away at times, but thats a fair question. I'd say we will get it eventually, but you'll at least have to either wait for the second generation of games to come along, or something being deliberately minimalist - there is going to have to be a fair bit of work with textures to do it.

In any case, the use of that full 12.4 meg of the 64 would still leave over 50 left, which is more than the 32 that the Dreamcast has, if memory (no pun intended) serves. A straight port of Crazy Taxi with just a tweak to allow a 1080i mode wouldn't get me complaining!
 

Michael St. Clair

Senior HTF Member
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May 3, 1999
Messages
6,001
I could see a NASCAR game looking fairly good at 1080i, since driving around an oval doesn't involve much panning, which will cause interlace tearing. Well, by the time you are panning, you are spinning out, and you aren't going to notice the tearing as much.

I'd rather have 540p for videogames.
 

Morgan Jolley

Senior HTF Member
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Oct 16, 2000
Messages
9,521
I wasn't asking when we would get 1080i games on the current generation of consoles, but when you all think we will get it as in the next generation or the one after that. Can't you get it on a souped up PC?
 

Kieran Coghlan

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 26, 1998
Messages
262
You don't even need a very souped up PC to do higher than 480p. In the PC world 480p = 640x480 resolution, which for me, is usually the MINIMUM resolution I play games at. I currently play Unreal Tournament at 1024x768 (approx = 720p). To me, the only reason to get a game console is for the games that aren't offered on PC. Even though it "only" has a 733 MHz processor and 64MB of RAM, with its high bandwidth and very local, front side, memory and graphics buses, the XBox probably has the same horsepower as a PC like mine, which has 1GHz cpu, 256Mb ram, and 32MB GeForce2 graphics. Take into account that this PC would cost about 3x as much as an XBox, and the XBox is a great deal if all you want to do is play games.
You know, it's too bad that the XBox cpu is hardwired. It would have been the easiest tweak in the world to just swap out the 733 MHz cpu for a 1.3GHz one or something! :D
 

John Tillman

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 2, 1999
Messages
595
"Here's why XBOX games don't support 1080i"

That has a rather terminal or final sound to it.

I submit, that MR. Gates would have changed the name of the High Def pack to 5.1 audio pack if he agreed with your statement.

MSFT has major stuff on the line here. If a HTPC can ouput 1080i you can bet the X-box does as well. Does anyone know when the 1080i version Test Drive is due?
 

Matty B

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 27, 2001
Messages
227
Why are you guys so down on Morgan, he doesn't seem to be that offensive in the posts I have read?

You haven't been reading that many posts then.

On topic:

That wasn't some guys opinion guy who is two posts ahead of me, he is an Xbox programmer. He couldn't get the Nascar game to run at 1080i. *I* personally see NO reason that it shouldn't be able to unless the video card and the system share that 64 megs of memory.
 

Dave F

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 15, 1999
Messages
2,885
If you have a problem with someone, try any of the following:
A. Talk to the person
B. Talk to a moderator
C. Put the person on your ignore list.
There is no reason to bash people in this forum. :thumbsdown:
-Dave
 

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