PS3 vs Xbox 360

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Wayde_R, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    No, this isn't another thread with an opinion.

    Actually I've been hunting down specs on both and have questions. It seems that Xbox's ATI processor has printed Polygonal performance, 500 million triangles per second. I haven't seen a similar rating for the PS3.

    Sony has only really said stuff like... runs at 550MHz, 1.8 TFlops and 51 billion dots perseond. But I haven't seen triangles per sec spec. I understand this is the benchmark for modern consoles. Is it because it's just not known yet? Or have I missed this spec somewhere?

    The other thing when comparing the two next gen consoles is the sumary after the last E3 in May that the PS3 was twice as powerful as the Xbox360. Now, I know I've read all the stuff about how the Xbox has it where it counts and it'll still kick PS3's butt in graphics, I'm not out to debate which is better. I am interested in how they arrive at this figure that the PS3 is more powerful.

    Sony has published that the PS3 will have a "cell" based processor at 3.2GHz. Xbox 360 says they'll have three processors at 3.2GHz. Now, I realize that processor speed may only give half the story. I understand some amazing technology is going into PS3's core as it's going to have some 300 million transistors. They say 360 shall have over a terraflop of floating point processing power but the PS3 will have over 2. I guess this isn't deduced by processing speed, ovbviously.

    Any help is much appreciated, thanks
     
  2. Richard_T

    Richard_T Second Unit

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    Well I don't know about all that tech talk but you know what? I'll wait for the games to come out. No matter how powerful a system is, if it doesn't have the games I like to play, I'll but the system that does. I own a Playstation 2 and an X-Box but I use my PS2 about 90% of the time. I know the X-Box has nicer graphics and in game DD 5.1 and yadda yadda but the PS2 just has so many damn fine games that I just would rather use it instead.

    I'm not bashing X-Box here, just laying out the cold hard facts as I see them. Give me a system, whatever it is, with the games I like to play and you've got me as a steady customer. I really could care less which system is more powerful but that's just me talking
     
  3. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    The idea behind making games is different for Sony and Microsoft. MS wants companies to make games the same way they have been for years. Sony wants developers to start producing visuals the same way that CGI films are produced and make special effects based on algorithms instead of pre-rendered animations (for example, Sony showed a video of a truck crashing into a gas station, followed by an explosion that was created in real-time using real physics equations and wasn't pre-animated). The two consoles are optimized for their respective ideologies, I believe.

    The PS3 has more raw power for multiple kinds of applications, be it movies, music, games, internet, or whatever else. This means it will be more expensive.
     
  4. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks. That tech stuff is exactly what I am interested in though. I've read a compelling website that takes you on a step by step of why the 360 is actually better for graphics rendering. Because basically floating point calculations (PS3's strong point) isn't the whole picture.

    I think you're on to something when you say Sony wants devel to use algorithmic graphics physics, this would be very cool use of floating point, probably be where it comes in. Imagine making a car crash in game and it never happens the same way twice. Wow.

    Which is better? I personally am going to own 360 the day it comes out. But gaming is only part of what I will do with it. I probably won't own a PS3, not that I hate it. I like that PS3 has some advanced features 360 will miss out on. HDMI, Blu-Ray, Bluetooth, that's very cool.

    Games... I'll play the new hockey game every year. I'll play a fight game or two. I'll play a few corny games based on superhero movies and wonder why I bother. I'll pick up about two to three "premier" games for the system, whatever 360's Halo turns out to be. But over the life of a games system that's all I'll play. I wish I could play more.

    I need the game that gives me time to play more games. If I could pop a disc into my console and time freezes. No wife, no kids, no house, no job, no lawn, no neighbours, friends, extended family, obligations... just until I pull that disc from the drive and then everything's back to normal again. I'd be a happy gamer. Hell, I might even be competitive online.
     
  5. James T

    James T Screenwriter

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    Sounds like it's made for Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid games. That's not a bad thing
     
  6. Doug Miller

    Doug Miller Supporting Actor

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    Ah, my wife kills me. She actually asked me why I wanted both systems when I don't use either of the ones I have now. Silly woman. [​IMG]

    Doug
     
  7. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    How many pairs of shoes or handbags does she have?
     
  8. Doug Miller

    Doug Miller Supporting Actor

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    I won't use that arguement, I'll lose. I think she has less than 20 pairs of shoes and only 10 or so bags, which isn't a whole lot. [​IMG]

    Doug
     
  9. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    Sure, if you have 40 feet and 10 arms.
     
  10. Steve Deacon

    Steve Deacon Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not sure I'd read too much into some PS3 tech demos. Sony has a habit of over-hyping the hardware and then failing to deliver that performance in final silicon.

    With the budgets for AAA titles rising as they are, most devs are going to want to be able to put out a title on both formats with the minimum of fuss, which means a shared codebase and data. Not really sure how that squares with the Sony idea.

    Cell appears to have a lot of raw performance, but it's not clear just how much of that is going to be usable in actual games. There are not really any advantages to going multi-core, just a lot of headaches (and this applies to the xbox360 as well of course).
     
  11. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    I would bet I'll end up owning both at some point in time, but I leery of Sony's hype machine. They made the PS2 to be the end all be all of consoles, and in terms of graphics quality, detail,and polish, it lags behind the Xbox and even the Cube. All the horsepower in the world doesn't do much good when the graphics are low resolution textures with tons of aliasing. Which isn't to say all PS2 games have sub-par graphics, but even the top shelf ones don't have the polish of the best Xbox games.
     
  12. Kami

    Kami Screenwriter

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    Sony's "vision" doesn't mean a whole lot when it comes to the business of making video games. Publishers want developers to be able to grind out quality games quickly. The fact of the matter is the Xbox360 is a LOT more easy to develop for. Microsoft just decided to cram in a ton of power and let them do what they want with the 3 processors, rather than all these specific "SPEs" of the Cell processor from the PS3. Given enough time and money, I'm sure amazing things could be done with the PS3.

    But since MS has a 6 month head start coupled with the ease for developers, the console wars in North America and Europe could be a lot different this time around. I'm sure things won't drastically change in Asia but MS will get more market share for sure with the early launch.

    MS went for the "superficial raw power" approach meaning...it's exactly what the specs say it is. A pixel-grinding powerhouse with no surprises. Granted the first-gen of games won't fully take advantage of that (most are said to be only using one of the processors fully), but that will change in a year or so.

    The PS3 is going a different route. A (probably) more expensive system that truly shines only when the time and money is invested to use its special processor. Simple games can be programmed for the PS3 just utilizing its single 3.2Ghz processor but for it to go above and beyond Xbox360 games that start using more than one processor, developers are going to need to delve into those SPEs. I think standard multi-console games such as Madden, NHL, etc. will only use the PS3's basic powers because it won't be worth it to do the special programming.

    The cliff notes of the above would be... BOTH consoles have growing room in terms of graphics and performance, but the Xbox360 is easier to grow.

    Oh, and Nintendo? Yeah I think they are pretty much out if you ask me. They even specifically said they don't plan on any kind of HD support yet, still standard 480i. I know technology isn't everything but its about time we enjoy games in high definition on a console. PC's have had the ability for years.

    There's some good reading at www.anandtech.com about the specific hardware in the PS3 and Xbox360.


    P.S. does anyone know if Sony has announced if there is a standard that has to be met in terms of resolution? Microsoft's minimum for release is 720p with 4x anti-aliasing. Can developers still do standard definition games for the PS3?
     
  13. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    Very few people, relative to the amount that will want a PS3, will have HDTVs when the console is released. I'm guessing that the PS3 will be capable of the whole gamut of resolutions (up to at least 1080p) but it will be up to the developers as to what they will use. MS has a standard minimum (which actually has been driving their development costs for games up) but Sony doesn't. At least not yet,
     
  14. Steve Deacon

    Steve Deacon Stunt Coordinator

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    How does setting a minimum resolution drive up development costs? It may be a misguided approach to stipulate that all games will be "hi-def", but it makes no real difference to the developer in terms of cost. Where it does cost is the performance penalty of high resolutions over lower ones.

    I think MS are overplaying the importance of HD. I'd much rather see flexibility in how resources are used, so that a game which uses more effects could trade off some resolution to maintain a good frame rate if that was necessary.
     
  15. EricW

    EricW Cinematographer

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    how many component inputs do your TVs have? my 3 year old Toshiba HFX has 2. right now, the xbox has 1 and the DVD player has the other. so if you guys have multiple systems, with limited inputs, are you just switching cables all the time?
     
  16. Ken Chui

    Ken Chui Supporting Actor

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    I bought a JVC JXS111 HD Compatible Component Video Switcher to address my component cables' situation (until an affordable digital receiver with sufficient component and HDMI inputs appear on the market). The JXS111 has three component inputs; I plan to connect my DVD player, PS2 and Xbox to it. If I need a second DVD player (e.g. OPPO OPDV971H) for region-free playback, I can use a DVI-HDMI cable. If I ordered component cables for my Gamecube, I will need to decommission my primary DVD player and use the OPPO in its place. Too much plugging and unplugging of cables aren't good for the connectors.
     
  17. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    Setting a minimum requirement for resolution might take a smaller developer more time to reach a stable framerate with their code. That's time spent paying people.
     
  18. Steve Deacon

    Steve Deacon Stunt Coordinator

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    That's something you have to do no matter what. You'll always budget for a period of time spent optimising your code. The trick is knowing when to stop. There will be a tradeoff in time spent polishing, and missing out on money you could be making by shipping it earlier.

    In the case of specifying a minimum resolution, it may well be that a developer will just have to accept a lower frame rate, because they know that no matter what they do to optimise it isn't going to be possible to make it run faster in a stable manner (ie when vsynced).

    For a console game it's going to be better to lock at a stable 30 fps rather than allow it to alternate between 30 and 60.

    I assume they will also be specifying that all games are vsynced, even though I notice it isn't always enforced on current Xbox games.
     

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