Why do some game ports come out so awful? :(

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Javier_Huerta, Mar 2, 2003.

  1. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    Here's what I've been thinking.

    Supposedly, if a game is great on the PS2, it should at least be that great on the GC (with better graphics, and probably a bit more compressed sound), and simply blow everything out of the water on the Xbox. It's no personal preference or anything, just the facts regarding their processing power.

    So, how come some ports actually come out worse than the originals? I am thinking about the rally game from Ubisoft (I can't remember the name right now), but many people consider the PS2 version the best. Spyhunter for GameCube is a terrible game, while the PS2 version is OK as the Xbox version is. Spider-man for GC and PS2 are similar, while the Xbox version is clearly superior. The Clone Wars in GC has the choppiest frame rate I've ever seen on the system, while the Xbox game seems to run fine.

    Why? Is this a function of market share? Since the Gamecube isn't doing so great, while the Xbox is slowly catching up, are developers simply ignoring Nintendo's little machine to focus more on what is being sold? This, quite frankly, sucks. Since my GC has found its niche in multiplayer gaming (SMB, SMB II, SSM, Beach Spikers, NHL Hockey, Mario Party) I really think in the near future, I'll have to buy an Xbox if I want to get the best (or at least, decent) version of the game. Good thing is, Nintendo exclusives usually are great games.
     
  2. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    When a game is ported from a less powerful console, like the PS2, to a more powerful one, like the X-Box, then it's not being made to run at the best it can on the more powerful one. It's more or less being emulated (not really, but this is the closest word I can think of).

    If it goes from X-Box to PS2, they have the main setup of how everything works on the X-Box, but they still have to redo it on the PS2. It's easier and takes a lot less time to move it, but it requires the game to be reprogrammed, so it's not the same as a regular port.

    I think.
     
  3. Damien

    Damien Supporting Actor

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    the only time this problem really arises is EA titles. Otherwse certain hiccups occur due to technical complications, such as the frame rate drop in the gc's baulder's gate, or the drop in the xbox version of metal gear solid 2.
     
  4. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Well, I'd imagine that ports are probably given a lot less in the way of time and resources than the original version, and while you can probably port most of the game logic straight, the machine-specific stuff (the graphics engine, for instance) isn't going to get the same amount of care that the original version did.
     
  5. Chad Ellinger

    Chad Ellinger Second Unit

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    From a developer standpoint, the major problem with ports (or multi-console releases for that matter) is that the architectures for each system vary widely. The PS2, for instance, can push large amounts of small polygons very well (using parallel processing), but doesn't have the memory capacity for elaborate textures. The XBox, on the other hand, has a single graphics processor and can use its large memory stores to apply detailed textures to objects.

    If a developer is coding for multiple systems, they can either 1) optimize the code for one system, with less-than-impressive results for the others, 2) code with very little optimization for any system, resulting in less-than-impressive results all around, or 3) optimize for each system, resulting in extremely high costs. Ideally we'd like to see (3), but more often we see (1), with the first title getting the most optimizations and ports getting less attention.
     
  6. JoshF

    JoshF Supporting Actor

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    It's all about the Benjamins, Like Chad says. Chances are that a developer will choose to develop for PS2 with its huge market share, see how it does, and then port over to Xbox and GC if there's a market for the game there. This port will be done with as few resources needed as possible, resulting in a game that could have looked better on that platform.

    Keep in mind this is also true for ports TO the PS2 due to the divergent architecture.
     
  7. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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  8. Allen_Appel

    Allen_Appel Second Unit

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    Is it ever advantageous to wait for a port of a game that was rushed to market or had problems in production? That is, will a later port have whatever problems from the first version ironed out, or will those faults just be compounded in the port? Say, in the case of a movie license that premieres exclusively with the release date of the film on one console, but is ported to others later? (I can think of no examples of this, however). In the instance of MGS2, since Xbox had issues with framerate, would it be better to wait for the PS2 port of the Xbox port?
     
  9. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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  10. DeanWalsh

    DeanWalsh Second Unit

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  11. EdR

    EdR Second Unit

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    I found a perfect example of why ports, even from the less powerful PS2 to the Xbox can suck so much. This is a quote from a developer posted in this thread in the HTF game software forum.

     
  12. Rodrick

    Rodrick Second Unit

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    What about those Midway games. I looked at all 3 versions of those Midway games. XBOX does look the best but heard the controlling of the games are awful. The GC also is bad controlled as I have rented the later one with the Mortal Kombats. PS2's I hear is the best over all control.
     

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