Why is there a HUGE lack of HDTV & Custom Sndtrk. Support for XBOX?

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Youssef, May 30, 2003.

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  1. Youssef

    Youssef Stunt Coordinator

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    I just do not understand this at all. How come there is a huge lack of 1080i games and a huge lack of custom soundtrack for xbox games??? I SOLEY decide on purchases if they have AT LEAST Widescreen support. I almost did not buy NBA Street 2 b/c on the box, HDTV was not checked off. Then someone tells me that EA screwed up and did not check it off. They almost lost a sale b/c of something as stupid as that. I am pissed that they did not have a custom soundtrack available for it. That feature would have been PERFECT for the game. So I am wondering how come developers are not taking advantage of these awesome features??? Is it b/c it cost them more money??? How about if we all start a petition to try and demand developers to start using these features. What does everyone else think?
     
  2. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    Running games in 1080i is the equivalent of trying to run a game on your pc at 1920x1080 when it is designed to run things in 640x480 (or something like that) most of the time. Enter the Matrix can do it because there's just not a lot of taxing work placed on the system, the textures suck, there aren't too many advanced features in use, etc. Fortunately, almost all games support 480p and dolby 5.1. I agree about the soundtrack thing, but I imagine that's something that they do if it's an xbox exclusive, generally, otherwise they want to keep all the ports pretty similar.
     
  3. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    Petitions are useless. If you are that motivated, write a snail mail letter to the companies.

    BTW: Don't ever pay attention to the "HDTV" checkbox on Xbox games. It's so inaccurate that no one really knows what it means.

    -Dave
     
  4. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Well, I imagine HDTV is sort of a niche thing - the number of people for whom it would be an important factor in purchasing the game is too small to invest the resources necessary to do it.

    As to custom soundtracks, I don't now. I'm talking completely out of my butt here, but it seems like it would be an extremely reusable bit of code once you've programmed it for one game. It might be a contract thing - I seem to recall when the Xbox first came out, there was some concern from artists and labels who already weren't getting paid much for the use of their music in a game that enabling this feature would negate any potential benefit they got from having their songs in a game.
     
  5. Michael St. Clair

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    Because the frame rate would suck in many 1080i games.
     
  6. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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    Personally, I think it's foolish to base your game purchases on anything other that whether or not the game is any damn good.

    But maybe that's just me.

    Yes, widescreen, 1080i, and custom soundtracks are nice, but if you ignore perfectly good titles because they lack these things you're shortchanging yourself.
     
  7. James_tango

    James_tango Stunt Coordinator

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    XBOX just doesn't have enough horsepower to render complex visuals at 720p nor 1080i.
     
  8. Peter Manojlovich

    Peter Manojlovich Second Unit

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  9. Youssef

    Youssef Stunt Coordinator

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    So if 1080i is nearly impossible to do then why even have it? Microsoft was bragging about ultra high resolutions for the Xbox but now it seems like thats far from it. Oh well.

    As far as the soundtrack issue goes, how hard is it for developers to implement this into the game? Some games already have this feature (sega gt, Tony Hawk) but not NEARLY enough games are taking advantage of this. As I said before I would of loved this feature for NBA Street 2 but they didn't include it. Oh well, I guess there's always Part 3 to look for.

    And on the issue of widescreen, i think it is very important to have it b/c most 1st and 2nd gen hi def tv's lock in widescreen mode when a 480P signal is being sent. (I have a Mitsubishi). And I hate the way everything looks stretched when i play a game that isn't widescreen. As I said before I will pass on a purchase if it isn't Widescreen. It's the same for a DVD title for me. No widescreen, no sale. Also can games be in anamorphic mode? is it possible to squeeze some extra resolution out of them?
     
  10. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    Youssef, heal thyself!

     
  11. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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  12. Leroy

    Leroy Second Unit

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    Well, I've got a widescreen HDTV and even have some music on my Xbox's HD.

    Does it matter to me if a game supports widescreen/custom soundtrack? Nope.

    The only game I have right now that supports the custom soundtrack is Quantum Redshift. But, I'm usually to too busy racing to pay atention to what is playing.

    I can understand not buying OAR DVD's, but to not buy a game because it doesn't support widescreen is silly. If a game is formatted for 4:3 sets, then that's what the developer wanted. Would you not buy a classic movie because it was filmed in a 4:3 ratio, as the director intended? You can't really apply the same logic for DVD's to videogames. It's not like the design the game for widescreen, then crop it when they release it.
     
  13. Youssef

    Youssef Stunt Coordinator

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    Well it really comes down to the way it looks on my tv. If a game is not widescreen, everything looks stretched and funny on it. And the detail of the picture as well as the colors seem to be faded. Since I am real anal about picture quality this poses a great obstacle for me. Your definitely right about me losing out in the end b/c there are a ton of great games out there that don't support Widescreen. The only issue that I am making is for the developers to give the consumers a choice and cater to both markets b/c that is more money for them in the end.

    As far as the custom soundtrack goes, I am still sticking with what I said. If a game is a mulitplayer/action game and they already have music by artists in the game then they should allow us to create our own soundtrack. I'd much rather have music that I love listening to instead of what THEY think I should be listening to. What's wrong with having control over that?
     
  14. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    Youssef: Pretty much all of this pertains to money and time, neither of which you have control over. To wit:

    1) Widescreen-4:3 sets vastly outnumber 16:9 sets in this country. There are still plenty of people out there who think the image should fill their entire set. And if your distributor has been hyping your product, the ship date is approaching, and you have the choice between one more level or widescreen, your marketing people will tell you to add one more level.

    2) HDTV-Same thing. HDTV is almost a household term, but the technology is not. How many non-HT people do you know that can say what 480p or 1080i is? Besides, if high-powered computers have problems with resolutions like 1920x1080 or 1280x720, relatively low-powered gaming platforms will have an even harder time. Even the X-Box has significant slowdown with 480p games (like Splinter Cell) at certain points. This might be an acceptable to someone who can fiddle with their video settings, but that's beyond our knowledge or power on almost every console. So, let's

    3) Custom Soundtracks-Does the guy who programmed the game care what music you like? Maybe. The guy who wants you to buy the game for $40+? Nope. He sees Blink 182 is big, he wants Blink 182 in the game. Besides, he has this great deal with Label X, and the programmers say it'll take more time (which always equals money) to add in this feature.

    These guys aren't out to piss you off, they're not excluding these features or implementing them incorrectly because they don't want technology to succeed. They have to pay for food and clothing and a roof over their head, and their marketers want to pay for really expensive food, etc., so they make sacrifices. This isn't about the control one gamer has over the game, but the willingness a group of gamers has to play it. The only time the technical aspects of a game matters to me is if the cons outweigh the pros of gameplay. I'd take a 480i Metal Gear Solid over 720p DOA: Xtreme VolleyBoobs anyday. But hey, whatever floats your boat.
     
  15. Youssef

    Youssef Stunt Coordinator

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    So Jesse you're telling me that a game that runs in 480P can have slowdowns during certain parts the game whereas compared to 480i there is no slowdowns? If this is true then it comes as news to me b/c I was not aware that the 480P resolution can affect performance. If you could clear this up that would be great.
     
  16. James_tango

    James_tango Stunt Coordinator

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  17. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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  18. James_tango

    James_tango Stunt Coordinator

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  19. James_tango

    James_tango Stunt Coordinator

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    Why XBOX hardware is not really capable of showing nice visuals in HD resolutions ??

    Check out this thread on AVS Forum.

    Kris, one of a developer for recently released Midnight Club2 commented about it. Basically they tried very hard to run XBOX version of Midnight Club2 (which is originally PlayStation2 based game) in 720p resolution, but couldn't make it.
     
  20. Mike Brogan

    Mike Brogan Second Unit

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    For custom soundtracks, I totally agree; there are not enough that implement this cool feature. When I play a game like "Crazy Taxi 3" and am subjected to listening to The Offspring for the millionth time it gets real old, and the last thing I would do is consider buying a CD from a group I'm sick of hearing. Even more inexcusable is the way they've used the same songs across the 3 Crazy Taxi games. To not have custom soundtracks just seems lazy. Even worse, a game like "Burnout" where the in game generic techno music is so grating that I have to turn it off completely, I'm glad they fixed this for "Burnout 2".

    Basically, any "Tony Hawk" style games greatly benefit from this feature, and as far as I know most on the XBOX support this it. The best use of a Custom Soundtrack is "Amped", where the song doesn't end when a run does and you can skip to the next song with the white button while you're playing. Of course a Custom Soundtrack shouldn't be used on every game, but it seems pretty obvious as to which games it should apply; racing, sports, fighting and pretty much anything else that's not "story driven". Why not at least give the choice?
     

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