Bad news for Xbox owners

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matty B, Nov 20, 2001.

  1. Matty B

    Matty B Stunt Coordinator

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    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.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. James D S

    James D S Screenwriter

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    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*
     
  3. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    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.
     
  4. James D S

    James D S Screenwriter

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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.
     
  5. Gary King

    Gary King Second Unit

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    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 [​IMG].
    There's also 4:1 Z-buffer compression available. Of course, multisample buffers would get rid of most of that.
     
  6. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    James, it wasn't me that said that. PGR supports 1080i? No way! I don't believe it. [​IMG]
     
  7. Kelley_B

    Kelley_B Cinematographer

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  8. James D S

    James D S Screenwriter

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    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. [​IMG]
     
  9. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    I take offense to that. Nonetheless...

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

    James D S Screenwriter

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    No such luck.
     
  11. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    Guess he can't take a hint
     
  12. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    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!
     
  13. Michael St. Clair

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    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.
     
  14. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    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?
     
  15. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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  16. Kieran Coghlan

    Kieran Coghlan Second Unit

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    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! [​IMG]
     
  17. John Tillman

    John Tillman Supporting Actor

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    "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?
     
  18. Joe michaels

    Joe michaels Second Unit

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    Why are you guys so down on Morgan, he doesn't seem to be that offensive in the posts I have read?
     
  19. Matty B

    Matty B Stunt Coordinator

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  20. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    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. [​IMG]
    -Dave
     

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