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Next-Gen Console CPUs Not Up to Hype 783

rAiNsT0rm writes "Anandtech follows up their initial in-depth coverage of the Xbox 360 and PS3 CPU with the real truth about the next-gen consoles' Poor CPU Performance. From the article: "Speaking under conditions of anonymity with real world game developers who have had first hand experience writing code for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 hardware (and dev kits where applicable), we asked them for nothing more than their brutal honesty. What did they think of these new consoles? Are they really outfitted with the PC-eclipsing performance we've been lead to believe they have? The answer is actually quite frequently found in history; as with anything, you get what you pay for."" Update: 06/30 21:11 GMT by Z : The original article disappeared from Anandtech, so I've changed the link to point to the story as hosted by Google Groups.
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Next-Gen Console CPUs Not Up to Hype

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  • Random Thoughts: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <{akaimbatman} {at} {}> on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:08PM (#12945111) Homepage Journal
    1. With the next generation of consoles becoming nothing more than computers, what becomes the purpose of having two separate machines? Or perhaps the real point is, why use your computer for gaming?

    2. What will the next generation of consoles actually do to improve the quality of games? Polygon technology has reached an apex whereby increases in graphical quality are hardly noticable in most cases. What about the *fun* factor? Early generation consoles used increases in technology to give us better gameplay than before. This is easily visible in going from Atari 2600 -> NES -> SNES -> N64. The Atari was actually capable of very little (but was fun), while the NES had full graphics capabilities, but low color support. Jumping to the SNES provided tons of color, scaling, rotation, and other features that made games more fun. The N64 proved that 3D environments didn't have to be boring, linear, or only for shooting zombies (or demons as your preference may be). For example:

    Zelda -> Zelda III: A Link to the Past -> Zelda 64
    Contra -> Contra III
    Super Mario Bros. (I-III) -> Super Mario World -> Mario 64
    StarFox -> StarFox 64

    Today's games, OTOH, are mostly just regurgitations of the FPS. Doom was a lot of fun when it came out, Quake was a hackers dream, and Quake III made blasting your buddies the best thing since sliced bread. (Unreal Tournament wasn't bad either.) But it really gets old after awhile. How many times can you run around shooting the same bad guys with the same tired weapons? Where's the new game play frontiers? While consoles were screwing around, I had fun playing RTSes on my computer. Or flying a starship in Bridge Commander. Or driving mechs around. i.e. Varied and interesting game play. Sadly, even that has disappeared on the PC.

    Where's the gaming goodness? Where's the pointy sticks? Where is the Coconut Monkey!?!

    While I realize that the gaming industry thinks that games are Hollywood productions, I honestly think fun games require nothing of the sort. Sure, I'd love to see another Wing Commander game with Mark Hammil and Tom Wilson, but that's not what the gaming industry is producing. What we need is for games to again break out of the mold and try new things. Keep riding the bleeding edge of gaming. It doesn't have to be an expensive game, just a *fun* one.

    Tell me something: Why do games today *have* to be something I can't let my 5 year old son play? He still plays the old Nintendo games I used to play as a kid. He thinks they're a lot of fun. Yet do you think there's a chance in hell that I'm going to sit him in front of Doom III or an X-Box? No way! Why have we eschewed Gaming Goodness(TM) for violence and call it fun?

    Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm getting old.
  • This just in... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:11PM (#12945139)
    This just in: PC Hardware site blasts consoles while citing anonymous "sources" and blatant factually incorrect claims (for instance, PPE core = Xenon core).

    Developers atuned to developing for PCs with their out of order execution and high general-purpose performance port their code quickly to these in-order CPUs that rely on multiple threads for performance, and find that the performance isn't blistering!

    It turns out they'll need to make more efficient code, as Xenon/Cell forgo lots of transistors that make horrible code perform better.

    Gag me...
  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by natron 2.0 ( 615149 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {97sretepdn}> on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:11PM (#12945140) Homepage Journal
    And this is news? The console makers have been doing this for years. Remember when the PS2 was announced and we were told of its "Toy Story Quality Graphics Rendering"? Same thing with the infamous "Mode 7" in the Super NES system. Who can forget the So called 16 bit TurboGrafix 16? As I stated above, the console makers have hyped up every system that has ever been released and all have failed to meet the hype that preceeded them...
  • by catch23 ( 97972 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:13PM (#12945156)
    yup. you're getting old. there are still fun games in the modern age, you just envy the prehistoric arcades.
  • More hype (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tktk ( 540564 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:15PM (#12945182)
    From the submission: get what you pay for.

    We don't know what any system will cost.

  • by tkavanaugh ( 863507 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:16PM (#12945202)
    can someone please bring back monkey island? i've always enjoyed shoovng the q-tip into the statue's ear....
  • Re:So... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:17PM (#12945207)
    Except the amiga. Bizarrely antihyped, that was.

  • Quite obvious (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Robotron23 ( 832528 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:18PM (#12945212)
    Of course this isn't surprising to any of us slashdotters, we all recall the massive amounts of hype surrounding the PS2 for example. There was everything from "X times as fast as PS1" to "will improve viewing quality on PS1 Cds" etc.

    One of the major reasons not to believe the hype is that legally Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft may test their new processors on ANY machine they wish, including an extremely expensive, painstakingly built device in a lab somewhere. Then, after acheiving an astoundingly high speed from it, may publish the info legally, all thats required is that the processor actually produced the speed results in something.

    But once the processor makes it into your PS3 or 360 the speed is considerably impaired. What was 3.8 teraflops will decrease to around half a teraflop, perhaps less, simply due to the build quality of the device...its simply nowhere near cost effective to produce something on a mass scale capable of 5 or 10 teraflops yet. Also theres marketing statistic-inflation to take into account too of course.
  • by dancpsu ( 822623 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:18PM (#12945213) Journal
    I think the real problem is each time you push for more improvements, the more complex the architecture gets. The article said that most developers would be using only one of the PS3's processors for most operations. Well, when you're used to designing for one processor, you tend to continue designing for one processor.

    Each new feature added to the console requires learning that developers for past consoles, who have been used to the last console, will do slowly, and maybe reluctantly.

    What developers really want is the *exact same* architecture, but much faster, more memory, etc. No more processors, no more complex ways of addressing different caches. Just make the thing the same, only faster, and developers would love it. Initially...

    However, a year from now, the developers will learn the basics of the new consoles, and want something more. Then they will get into all those features that the new architecture gives them, and be excited to be the first to make a game that has realistic crumbling concrete when the tank slams into a wall, or whatever else they decide to do.

    But asking a developer now about how their next gen console devkit performs is premature.
  • by rpozz ( 249652 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:18PM (#12945220)
    Who's suprised? It's quite obvious that the main advantage for having 3 x 3GHz in the XBox 360 was so that people would think 'OMG it runs at 9GHz!!'. Multi-threading isn't that much of an advantage in games as we've seen from the Athlon X2 and Pentium D benchmarks, and will be even less so when running on a console which is doing fuck-all else. While some games could be written specifically for the Xenon CPU, many would be ported from other platforms, and not be designed to be optimized for multi-core.

    Come on, it was MS and Sony in a bullshit competition. It was obvious they were going to be misleading.
  • by Capt. Caneyebus ( 883802 ) * on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:19PM (#12945228)
    "Tell me something: Why do games today *have* to be something I can't let my 5 year old son play? He still plays the old Nintendo games I used to play as a kid. He thinks they're a lot of fun." If yall have noticed, Nintendo still puts more focus on making their games fun to play, rather than focusing on the games that are graphically intense. I think this is why I love my Game Cube so much.
  • News? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) * on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:19PM (#12945234)
    Microsoft, Sony Promise Sun, Moon, Failt to Deliver! Film at 11!

    We saw this with the Xbox and the PS2, we saw it to an extent with the PSX. This shouldn't surprise anybody at this point.

    Really, I've gotten over looking at tech specs and I'm simply waiting to hear about the titles each will have. So far, FFXI for Xbox 360 is vaguely interesting, but I already have the PS2 version (and could probably install it on the PS3 if I really, really wanted to). Beyond that, I'm not sure S-E is even going to be playing the "exclusive title" game any more (after all, XI is canon Final Fantasy and will be appearing on two different consoles now. XII seems locked in for PS2, but beyond that... and let alone any future DQ games...)

    PS3 might get my interest if they up-scan the resolution on PSX polygons (like Bleem!), but I doubt they will and I already have hardware to play PSX games at their original resolution.

    So far, the only system that has games for it I know I will like is the Revolution, if only for the "download old ROMs" aspect. Especially if Sega gets in on the act as they've been hinting.
  • Moderation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kaenneth ( 82978 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:21PM (#12945252) Homepage Journal
    We need a 'Duh.' rating.
  • by tlmatters ( 860481 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:21PM (#12945257)
    Yep, you're getting old... that's where the wisdom you are exercising comes from.

    I'm totally with you on kids and games. We did get my daughter both a N64 several years ago and recently a Gamecube, but a game doesn't go in until we've played it and given it a green light.

    We chose the Nintendo over Sony or MS because Nintendo seems to have better (read appropriate) games for kids. Sure, there are mature titles like every other console, but it seems like a lower number.

    So many people are robbing children of their childhood these days in exposing them to things that are inappropriate. It sounds like you are doing an awesome job with your son in that regard and that parental control will pay huge dividends in the future, just like it is now.

  • Film at 11 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 3rdParty ( 719962 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:22PM (#12945266)
    Wow, every genertoin of consoles, people forget there is no magic inside. The very point of a console is the dedicated nature of the guts, not "hardware from the future." You don't need the fastest processor to provide superior performance. When developers can focus their development efforts on a single, stationary target, they can optimize the engine in ways that are either prohibitively costly or simply not possible when targeting the ludicrously disparate and constantly changing environment of multipurpose PCs.

    At the planning stages, the hardware in a console is ahead of the status quo, but by release time, the hardware is merely state of the art at best. Fanbois brag about their chosen console's "superior tech," but more informed folks appreciate the benefits of a stable platform allowing developers to push the limits of the hardware and find untapped potential in otherwise standard hardware. Compare the first games on any console to the last releases to see the great improvements possible through experience.
  • by rpozz ( 249652 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:24PM (#12945286)
    Well, yes. There were benchmarks being put around suggesting that the Cell would be faster than 4 Opterons or something crazy like that. People were suggesting that there would be 4 x 4GHz Cell CPUs in the PS3. Absolutely crazy stuff.

    I think when Apple ditched PPC architecture, that gave it away that the Cell wouldn't be as good as everyone thought it would be. I'd imagine Jobs would have taken at least a passing glance at it before making the switch,
  • by Suddenly_Dead ( 656421 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:24PM (#12945288)
    According to the article, both console's CPUs will be, for real-world applications (and not silly benchmarks) about that speed. Twice as fast as the Xbox.

    Interestingly though, the article also says that the two GPUs (which are again nearly the same in performance) will be much better than their predeccesors. The other components will be fairly improved as well, so overall the consoles will be over 2x as fast as Xbox 1. Not as powerful as the manufacturers claim, of course, but still a good improvement over the last generation of consoles.

    On the other hand... Now Nintendo's claims that its Revolution will be "only" two or three times more powerful than the Gamecube don't seem so bad. I always root for the underdog, and I like their lack of crazy hype so far.
  • Re:So... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:25PM (#12945293)
    I should point out that not all hype is equal. Case in point: Sega announced its Dreamcast would push 3.5 million polygons per second. It did so, and its maximum was soon found to actually be ~5 million. Sony announced its upcoming PS2 would push an incredible (to me anyway) 160 million polygons per second. Its real maximum was ~8. Sit the two side-by-side and you can scarcely tell the difference -- except the DC's greater texture RAM makes for sharper, less compressed textures.

    I remember all this so clearly because of a coworker of mine, a Sony fanboy, and how he spent months slagging off the Dreamcast and sighing over the PS2 hype. I eventually picked up a Dreamcast cheap, since if he was so persistently down on it, it had to be pretty good. (...and it was)
  • Sources? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Macadoshis ( 893254 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:30PM (#12945333)
    In the article they state "every developer we talked to thought this was the wrong decision." Throughout the article they invoke "developers" to validate their case. Yet they never name them.
  • by techstar25 ( 556988 ) <techstar25 @ g m a i> on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:32PM (#12945360) Journal
    To summarize the article, it looks like the Xbox 360 and PS3 will actually be as powerful as the Nintendo Revolution is promised to be (and not 30 times more "powerful" like Sony and MS claimed at E3).
  • by Rhys ( 96510 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:35PM (#12945381)
    Are you sure you didn't read it backwards? Because they said the next gen console's CPUs are less powerful than the current P4/Athlon offerings. (much less the offerings that'll be there 6 months to a year from now at launch-date)

    The GPUs are ahead but they're not going to be much ahead of the top of the line Nvidia/ATI cards at the time of launch, and within a year at most those cards will be inexpensive enough to be "enthusiast mainstream" cards.

    So it seems if you would "spend the money" you'd have a faster CPU and an equivilant GPU. Hard to say they're useless to game on.
  • by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) * on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:36PM (#12945395)
    "With the next generation of consoles becoming nothing more than computers, what becomes the purpose of having two separate machines?"

    Like the old Mac ads: It Just Works. Drop in the disk, plug the box into the TV and you're good to go. No having to fish around in the OS to adjust display settings because you're opting to use TV output, for example.

    They also tend not to have bug-ridden web browsers "intergrated" into them.

    "Or perhaps the real point is, why use your computer for gaming?"

    For that set of people who buy the bleeding edge hardware. I could go on, but this'd turn into flamebait.

    "How many times can you run around shooting the same bad guys with the same tired weapons?"

    How many times can you run around a maze eating dots? The 1980's game crash happened for a reason, and there are those that believe, as gaming and, more specifically, game content have gone mainstream, we may be staring down another one on the horizon, possibly with this upcoming generation of hardware.

    At this point, I'd say that, if not this upcoming generation, then the generation after that will rely on whatever Nintendo still has up their sleeves for the Revolution. They claim that they'll be targeting non-gamers like nobody else (while Microsoft and Sony both seem to still be aiming at the "appliance" angle), but whether or not they can actually deliver remains to be seen.

    "While I realize that the gaming industry thinks that games are Hollywood productions, "

    I'd say more that Hollywood believes that games are Hollywood productions. Look at who owns what game companies nowadays. They're applying Hollywood thinking to game publishing, and that's even failing them in the movie-making business nowadays.

    "Keep riding the bleeding edge of gaming."

    Bleeding edge isn't as safely profitable as rehashing out old games.

    "Why do games today *have* to be something I can't let my 5 year old son play?"

    So long as 18-24 year-old guys keep on spending lots of money on little more than tits and blood, then that's what they're going to keep publishing. It's going to continue to be this way until that demographic decides to move on to something else (which I don't think has ever happened in the history of humanity), or some other demographic rises up and throws around equally large sums of money on something else. This goes back to the Hollywood factor.

    Again, things will depend on the Revolution's ability to reach its stated goal of attracting large numbers of non-gamers.

  • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ALeavitt ( 636946 ) * <aleavitt&gmail,com> on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:36PM (#12945396)
    The infamous "Mode 7" of which you speak actually added a lot to some SNES games. Remember the overhead levels in Contra 3? Tons of rotating objects in Super Castlevania IV? How about all of F-Zero? All of those games used mode 7 graphics, and it was completely revolutionary to console gamers. I remember my friends and I being blown away by the use of mode 7 in those first generation games, but later on when it was put to better use in Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy III, and especially Super Mario Kart, they proved that it was more than just an overhyped hardware bell/whistle, and integral to the gameplay of some true classics of the 16-bit era.
  • by nobodyman ( 90587 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:39PM (#12945419) Homepage
    On one hand, I'm not surprised by this. Console makers always hype their consoles to near-obnoxious levels (with the exception of perhaps Nintendo, but even they hyped the N64 as an "SGI workstation in your living room" at one e3). Sony and Microsoft have not changed their tenor since their last iteration (Sony: "Oh no, PS2 is *so powerful* the US might consider it a weapon!" Microsoft: "Check out all of these dynamically lit/shaded ping-pong balls... and this is only at at 1/5th power!!").

    However, take the Anandtech article with a smaller grain of salt, too. I'm not sure which quotes from the article were attributed to final hardware and which were talking about the development kits (we already know that the Powermac xbox devstation is slower... or at least that's what one of the EA guys told me at E3). There was this quote:
    Developers have just recently received more final Xbox 360 hardware, and gauging performance of the actual Xenos GPU compared to the R420 based solutions in the G5 development kits will take some time.
    My guess is same can be said for CPU as well as GPU but that's a hunch.

    Besides that, realize that the developers get much, much better at maximizing the hardware over time. When the SNES came out, developers complained that the extra colors and memory were pointles because the cpu was too damn slow (3.5 mhz, right?). 1st wave games had smallish sprites, tons of slowdown when things got busy, and many arcade ports only had a single-player option because 2-player bogged the hardware). Towards the end you had near-perfect ports of streetfighter 2, and full-color, parallax scrolling games with several large sprites like Donkey Kong Country. My hunch is that the 2nd wave games for 360 and ps3 will have similar gains.

    It's still a really good article and worth checking out, but I'm not surprised in either direction.
  • by PepeGSay ( 847429 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:39PM (#12945421)
    I think that making the leap from "Jobs didn't go cell and instead switched to Intel" to "Cell must not be that good." is an incredible, and incorrect, leap of logic. There is a vast array of other factors involved in that choice.

    It has been clear all along to anyone really paying attention that cell architectures would have a niche market in the near future.
  • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) * on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:43PM (#12945450)
    ""Toy Story Quality Graphics Rendering"?"

    Well... Toy Story wasn't rendered real-time, after all. Perhaps they were sayin that given enough time it could deliver Toy Story. :)

    "Same thing with the infamous "Mode 7" in the Super NES system."

    Huh? Nintendo Power said the SNES would deliver scaling and rotation. When the SNES came out, we got... scaling and rotation. The only thing that wasn't delivered were game companies that had figured out what to do with it beyond the a/v shows that all launch titles end up being. That took time.

    But even then , F-Zero was a launch title, as was PilotWings. That's a heck of a lot more Mode 7 than the ActRaiser cut-scenes that Nintendo Power focused on at the time.
  • by devphaeton ( 695736 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:44PM (#12945455)
    Seems to me like all the games that were first out of the gate for the PS2 and XBOX were designed to wow with graphics. Great visuals, but weak and one-dimensional gaming.

    Problem is, it seems to have shifted the whole mentality of game developers. Games seem to look good first, but play good second. On a whim i put away some of my PS2 titles and dug out the old PS1 stalwarts. The original Driver was still a kick in the ass. Breath of Fire III was amazing. FF7 was good, Grandia was good. For kicks i fired up my old K6-II and played older versions of Sim City (2K and 3K), Stronghold, Age of Empires, C&C were all so much more fun. It wasn't nostalgia either.

    Paper Mario seemed like a great game too. The graphics were nice and clean, but not overly extravagant. But it was still a great game build up from many simple concepts. Just like the old days.

    I hope that the hardware *does* stagnate, and maybe devs will stop writing 500 lines of code to control breast jiggle in the next Dead On Arrival and instead brainstorm some ingenuity into the games instead.

    It doesn't have to wow me with graphics. Wow me with fun!

  • by badasscat ( 563442 ) <> on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:48PM (#12945492)
    On the other hand... Now Nintendo's claims that its Revolution will be "only" two or three times more powerful than the Gamecube don't seem so bad.

    Except for the fact that Nintendo has admitted that the Revolution will be incapable of running at HD resolutions. It will be stuck at 640x480 or at best 720x480.

    If you compare the PS3's 1080p capability - that's presumably 1920x1080@60fps - vs. the Revolution's inability to do anything beyond 720x480@30fps (60 fields, 30 full frames), well, you know there has to be a reason for that. It's likely pretty severely lacking in fill rate. Even if most games are only running at 720p on Xbox 360 and PS3 (1280x720@60fps), that will still be significantly more pixels being thrown around than the Revolution will ever be capable of.

    I don't know why some people seem to want to always cut Nintendo so much more slack than anybody else. If Sony and MS are overhyping their systems then so is Nintendo. I would be surprised if the Revolution is even two to three times more powerful than the GameCube - from their statements it's sounding to me like it will be only slightly more powerful than the GameCube, but cheaper to produce and with standard networking and wireless built in. Which fits with their current strategy, but would not put it in even the same league as the PS3 or Xbox 360.

    You may as well say the 20" RCA analog TV you just bought is just as good as that 1080p plasma display you saw at Best Buy. No, no it isn't. Stop kidding yourself.
  • by NYTrojan ( 682560 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:51PM (#12945514)
    Nintendo has been pretty honest in the past as to their actual performance specs... and if what they say about being roughly 2 to 3 times more powerful than the cube is true, that puts them neck and neck with the XBOX360 and PS3.

    That along with the ability to download old games makes me, if anything, more excited for Nintendo's new offering than the phony specs for XBOX and PS3 ever did.

    now we just have to hope that they don't pull.. well a Nintendo and do something totally freaky with their controller. To be honest, I have high hopes.
  • by Dogtanian ( 588974 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:51PM (#12945515) Homepage
    While I realize that the gaming industry thinks that games are Hollywood productions, I honestly think fun games require nothing of the sort.

    Urgh. Never understood why people thought Hollywood was glamorous or in any way desirable.

    But that's beside the point, which is that those in The Industry want it to be like Hollywood, because somehow that's Grown Up. This Shows that The Industry Has Matured. They want their prestigious awards. They want to be Just Like Movie Directors. It all smacks of insecurity.

    It also smacks of driving themselves into a bloated hole where they now can't *afford* to take risks because the costs of game development are so high.

    There will always be a market for unimaginative, glossy games, and there will always be the bottom line. But to treat this as an ideal is frankly twisted.

    Games are *not* (or should not be) like films. Films are not interactive. Games are. Imagine what the film industry would have been like if Directors had been in thrall to still photography.

    "High production value" cut-scenes are bullshit. They aren't interactive, and they jar with the style of the rest of the game; but they let bloated-ego software developers Compare Themselves To Hollywood.

    If you want to apply production values like that, apply them to the game itself, not to cut-scenes, no matter how well-made.

    Instead of playing wannabe Scorsese, those in the industry should be concentrating on the potential of *their* medium; to allow the player more freedom to do what they want to do (the path it would have been interesting to see them go down), to choose new and different styles of gameplay, rather than the same restricted gameplay in progressively better-rendered worlds. Cut scenes, by their very nature, are going to force gameplay through predefined points. It's all so..... old-fashioned.

    Anyway, enough... yeah, I'm probably getting old, but this isn't so much about romanticisation of the past. It's criticism of the way that, rather than focusing on the way technology could open up exciting new avenues in gameplay, the Industry has concentrated on turning out (basically) the same old stuff, but with ego-bolstering production values.
  • NDA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Urusai ( 865560 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:52PM (#12945520)
    I guarantee you that anybody who's seen the latest gear is forbidden to speak thereof. This ain't GNU/Linux kissed by RMS we're talking about.
  • by beren12 ( 721331 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:53PM (#12945532)
    "So many people are robbing children of their childhood these days in exposing them to things that are inappropriate."

    So many people today are robbing children of life and experience by sheltering them from what the world is and what is in it. Death used to be a family affair, with the casket in the living room, and kids would watch their grandparents get old, sick and die. Not today. Old people are shoved into 'retirement' homes as soon as they become less useful and more of a pain.

    We force children to wear helmets to do anthting from sports to riding a bike, and we refuse to let them learn *anything* from experience. Example: would you ever sit and watch your kid put a penny in a light socket? Why not? It's a good lesson to learn, listen to your elders, they usually know what they are talking about. I graduated from school in 2000, and most of you have no idea how sheltered and spoiled most of the people I had as classmates were. It is embarrassing to be even in the same age group as these kids.

    The moral is *do* things with your children, don't leave them alone in front of *any* game system/tv/whatever. Teach them actively, and the would may stop going to hell.
  • Speculation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slyckshoes ( 174544 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:56PM (#12945548)
    AnandTech is talking like they've had access to both consoles and have tested extensively when it's all hearsay. You don't say things like "Although both manufacturers royally screwed up their CPUs..." on hearsay. It is extremely unlikely that MS and Sony would both be stupid enough to "royally screw up" on something so important to them. They also imply that IBM is stupid (or evil?) for selling MS and Sony on their inferior product. I find it extremely unlikely that one person over at Anandtech is smarter than Sony, MS, and IBM.

    Also, as the article stated, the platforms were designed for extensively multi-threaded games, but no one is writing games that way. So... why are they surprised that it's (supposedly) slow? If I put the bread on top of the toaster it takes a lot longer than if I put it in the slots. That doesn't make my toaster slow, though, it makes me an idiot.
  • Re:This just in... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spun ( 1352 ) * <> on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @05:59PM (#12945569) Journal
    Thank you, Mr. AC. That was exactly what I was thinking. These "anonymous sources" are grumbling because they don't know how to program for these things. They want to stick with things they know, they are scared of the complexities of multithreading and they are used to having the processor do all the work for them. Sure, the numbers are all hype, but I don't think the situation is as bleak as AnandTech is making it out to be.
  • by nick_davison ( 217681 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @06:07PM (#12945639)
    One of the biggest limitations ended up being the meager 64MB of memory that the system shipped with.

    One of the most important changes with the new consoles is that system memory has been bumped from 64MB on the original Xbox to a whopping 512MB on both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. For the Xbox, that's a factor of 8 increase, and over 12x the total memory present on the PlayStation 2.

    One of the biggest limitations was the 64mb of memory - clearly too little. Now, five years later, they've increased that by a factor of 8.

    *quickly does sums on fingers*

    4.5 years = 18 months x 3

    Didn't some guy come up with a rule about this? (My local library was all out of copies of that issue of the magazine)

    2^3 = 8

    So, five years on, they've managed to about keep pace with historic advancement, being relatively no better than the 64mb that was widely regarded to hamstring the last generation of consoles?

    Sure, right now, 512mb sounds great... But then 64mb sounded good five years ago too.

    HalfLife2's High Dynamic Range lighting model is expecting to need one to two gigabytes of system RAM to work properly. Sure, PCs run with a clunky OS but it's not that bad. Battlefield 2 needs 512mb minimum and prefers 1gb.

    Five years ago, console fanboys dismissed PC gamers when they pointed out 64mb might be nice now but would barely cut it in two years and seriously hamstring the console in 4-5 - the lifecycle of a typical console. They were wrong then.

    Now, five years later, all they've done is up that hamstrung amount in accordance with Moore's law and, once again, it seems fine for a console's release and is going to be a major issue well within the system's lifespan.
  • by Anne Thwacks ( 531696 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @06:17PM (#12945714)
    Cell architecture is similar to specialist data-flow architectures which have been known to deliver incredibly high performance for years. Unfortunately, not with competitive pricing. Sony will change all that, because of their volume of sales.

    Of course, it will take around two years for developers to understand how to use it effeectively, and probably even longer before their is a reasonably efficient tool chain. At that point, P4s will suddenly look like the 6502 does now.

    The poster who spoke of realistic simulations of blowing up dams was right. Realistic simulations of dam-buster bouncing bombs will be possible! With simultaneous simulation of ack-ack fire tracking radar capability too. Imagine open-source war games with real-time capture of sattelite intelligence. Imagine driving games able to use satellite capture of real traffic reports, and place you behind real cars in real streets in real time.

    Of course we all know the killer app will be walk-in 3d porno simulations (sense-surround, eat your heart out!)

    Unfortunately, for all these games, a user interface consisting a joy-pad, even if radio connected, is fundamentally crap. Forget further CPU development, guys, and work on transdermic interfaces. We dont want virtual reality - we want real reality. (AI may be alright for artificial problems, but real problems need real intelligence!)

  • by xlr8ed ( 726203 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @06:23PM (#12945752)
    Who cares if the processor is slow or fast. The only bench mark I care about is "Will it play the game that I bought for it?". I don't care if MS or Sony use Quad Optertons, with 1 TB of RAM or a P2 slot 1 333 and CF card.

    As long at it plays the game I bought, it will be "fast enough"
  • by HowIsMyDriving? ( 142335 ) <> on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @06:36PM (#12945864)
    This is a large reason why Apple went to Intel. The lastest Powerpc chips have been sucking up the devs at IBM and they were not working on the G4 and G5. The cell chips are more made for imbedded and set top markets and plain old suck on the desktop. The G4 1.33 is about as fast for normal FPU tasks as the cell. The great graphic capabilities of these processors are not going to be used for 99% of all apps, even things like Photoshop, so the PPC is somewhat of a dead end for the desktop market.
  • by blincoln ( 592401 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:08PM (#12946094) Homepage Journal
    We force children to wear helmets to do anthting from sports to riding a bike

    Yeah, because nothing builds character like a good skull fracture, and everyone knows helmets are only for people who want to look stupid.

    Don't give in to the tyranny of helmets! No more lies from the helmet industry conspiracy!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:11PM (#12946123)
    All this story amounts to is that poorly coded, single-threaded code will run slowly on these architectures. What a surprise! There is no more substance than that to the whole article, and it pointedly ignores the fact that this presently underutilized hardware will be useful if one decides to take advantage of it.

    The most telling point is that a P4 is still twice the size of the 3 PPE cores! This is not because the PPE cores are that much less powerful, this is purely an indication of how much hardware is required to squeeze an acceptable level of performance out of poorly written code on an antiquated architecture. Instead, they chose to spend the transistor budget on something potentially useful. That is why the hardware will last, unlike your P4 gaming rig. In the latter case, there is no more performance to be had, now or ever. Software can evolve, though they are stuck with this hardware for a long time. This is a necessary compromise.

    The bottom line is that the game coders desperately need to realize that single threaded code is not a scalable solution. Multithreading/processing is here to stay. Hardware parallelism will only be increasing in the future, and if you need performance, this is where you must look. Complaining about it will not make your code any faster on modern architectures.

  • by C0deM0nkey ( 203681 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:23PM (#12946227)
    So many people today are robbing children of life and experience by sheltering them from what the world is and what is in it.

    As soon as I saw the parent's post regarding controlling what content their children were allowed to see, I *knew* there would be a surge of outrage (not by you specifically) and talk of "sheltering" by the Slashdot crowd.

    I'm not trying to invalidate your opinion, but do you have kids of your own? Are they older than two or three i.e. at an age where these issues become more relevant?

    Children do not need to be taught life's hard lessons as soon as they can walk; they will learn those things in due time. Personally, I question whether anyone should be taught or conditioned to equate bloody violence with "fun" (ability to separate truth from fiction being irrelevant - its still a pretty sick form of entertainment when you think about it. Don't worry: I'm as guilty as you - I play the FPS on occassion and love pen-and-paper RPGs). Children should be allowed to enjoy their childhoods free of the fear and loathing that adulthood will, inevitably, teach them. Very, *very* few children are truly "sheltered" - they are exposed gradually, over time, when the parent determines the timing is appropriate. Before it gets mentioned, there is not a single parent out there that is not aware of the fact that society is beating on their door and that their children will be exposed to outside influences from very early on - this is why it becomes particularly important to stem the tide as best as you can.

    Which way do you (once again, collectively - not specifically) want it:

    • blame parents for not "parenting" ("It's not the game's fault, its the parent's fault for not being involved in the active parenting of their children!") when their children go psycho, a la Columbine, and the video game industry takes a (perhaps) unjustified hit? What do you say when part of active parenting involves limiting exposure to sex and violence?
    • criticize parents for "sheltering" their kids by not allowing them unfettered access to violent content?

    You can't have it both ways...but I'll tell you this for sure: the parent will get blamed/criticized no matter what choices they make.

    Parents who restrict what their children are exposed to, whether you agree with it or not, are doing part of what is expected of good parents. They will be held responsible for the actions of their children (financially and/or socially) and, therefore, have a responsibility to themselves and society to do so. Note: the parent poster did not say that his children would never be exposed to violent video games - only that they were not being exposed now. This is a very reasonable approach; so is limiting exposure as the child grows into a teen, restricting game play to set times/places/lengths, etc.

    When you are held accountable for your child's behavior, you might see it the same way as well.

    My son is 4.5 years old and would gladly play video games every night if I allowed him to. I do not and when I do, I am present and likely playing with him. Obviously, the reason we limit him is because he is 4.5 years old and needs to learn to play Memory Match, Chutes and Ladders, Rescue Heroes, Action-Figure-Of-The-Week, share his toys with his siblings and friends, etc. As he gets older, he will need to learn to read, write, and do arithmetic, to socialize in larger and larger play groups, etc. The point being: at every stage of development, children have different milestones they need to hit on the path to adulthood - every parent, in my opinion, will restrict/encourage behaviors along the way.

    I graduated from school in 2000, and most of you have no idea how sheltered and spoiled most of the people I had as classmates were. It is embarrassing to be even in the same age group as these kids.

    Do you realize how arrogant that sounds? What is with the rush to pile burdens onto your, or anyone else's, shoulders?

    Sheltered? Are you s

  • by GFLPraxis ( 745118 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:25PM (#12946247) Homepage Journal
    It's too bad you're making this stuff up. There are various rumors going around (quad core 2.5 GHz X360-type processor, dual processor 1.8 GHz G5's, etc, etc) but there is absolutely NO reliable info on the Revolution's processor. None.

    Please provide a link if you're absolutely sure there is. I've been mongering every scrap of information released on the next gen console and I can guarantee Ninty isn't "expected" to have any kind of processor on the Revolution- Nintendo has kept it completely quiet.
  • by grimharvest ( 724023 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:30PM (#12946290) Journal
    So basically while seeing a lot of "this is bullshit" comments, we're not seeing any comments from anybody who really knows or has worked with either of these two platforms. Instead, we're seeing people more willing to believe MS and Sony who have everything to gain from lying about their products vs. a more realistic view of two over-hyped machines by a website who will attract viewers to their article whether they say good things about these two consoles or not. It really will make no differenc to Anandtech. People will come to read their articles because they've earned a readership so they've no real motivation to make stuff up or distort things.

    Admit it people, some of you just don't want to hear what they're saying. Had they said that the PS3 does put out 2 teraflops and the XBox 360 only one, then you could have simply continued on with the normal console flame war which has been going on since E3 ie 3 cores vs 7 SPEs, etc. Then of course, there'd be doubters from the other side accusing Anandtech of being on the payroll of MS and Sony.

    Look at the motivation people. Think about who's really got cause to BS the console gamers.

  • by tcc ( 140386 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:34PM (#12946314) Homepage Journal
    I'm sorry but I've found the opening paragraph in the article quite condescending and below what I would expect from anandtech.

    If his "source" doesn't make use of the 3 cpus (cores) of the Xbox, well, he's just showing he can't code multithreaded or simply that he lacks either the will, the budget or imagination on how to use this extra juice to offload some calculations. I'm sure some other gaming companies won't.

    I can see why some are bashing on specific core enhancements such as vector units which aren't boosting overall performance by much (it's still arguable; people at sony wouldn't put these features in if they weren't going to help for something) but bashing against a powerfull CPU that has itself multiplied by 3 fitting in a single die, cmon. Anyone who's doing 3d today and got himself a dual AthlonX2 machine will tell you how much he gained compared to if he would have been using a dual cpu setup (as opposed to dual cpu with dual core). 180% increase clock per clock depending on the type of scene and renderer would be a conservative estimate.

    Granted this isn't the same, cinematic 3D and realtime 3D is 2 completely different beasts, but bashing on something because you use only 1/3rd of what's given to you, it's just too easy... it's like someone bashing on an athlonX2 while benchmarking it under windows 98 (singleCPU support).

    I agree that marketting overload people with hopes (and lots of border-line BS), but still, grand tourismo 4 TODAY would be awesome on these machines, you'd have extra juice for simualtion, and could actually have higher resolution and antialiasing instead of looking like an "almost cool" game which lacked the juice to live it's full technical miracle.

    If the coders of this game (GTA4) are their anonymous source, I'll gladly eat my socks, but I bet you 10$ they've coded something like tetris (I can be condescending too ;) ).

    People with the brains will know how to make good use of this technology, developpers who just code and compile without doing research on new technology don't even diserve this much (anonymous) exposure

    my C$0.02

  • by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:36PM (#12946322) Journal
    I hope they do do something freaky with their controller. I want a reason to buy a new console besides the fact that developers will stop making games for the older ones.

    The graphics of any particular game are only important to me for about the first five minutes. After that, it's all gameplay that matters. I still play Advanced Wars 2 on my GBA, almost every day, and the graphics suck. Putting it on a more powerful system wouldn't make it any more fun. Paying hundreds of dollars for more Mhz isn't appealing to me anymore. I don't want shinier or faster games, I want new types of games. I want something that couldn't be backported to the previous generation of consoles just by toning down the number of polygons in each model and turning off a couple of the advanced lighting features.

    If a new, wacky controller can help bring us new gameplay, then I'm all for it. I hope that whatever Nintendo does, it's new, it's different, it's well thought-out, and it drives some ideas. I hope it leads to a bunch of smaller, more independent studios making games for the Revolution that won't work on the other consoles. I want a company to offer me an experience that no one else is.

    Sony and MS are busy trumping up their own system, while at the same time bad mouthing the other's. But really, they're both the same. Some of the hardware has different names printed on it, and slightly different specs, but they both basically offer the developer and gamer the exact same thing. Which is the exact same thing that the last round of consoles offered us, just more powerful. Big whoop, we've been getting that from consoles and computers for the past two decades. I want something new.

  • Excellent. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NoImNotNineVolt ( 832851 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:41PM (#12946359) Homepage
    The Cell processor doesn't get off the hook just because it only uses a single one of these horribly slow cores; the SPE array ends up being fairly useless in the majority of situations, making it little more than a waste of die space.

    This review is retarded. That's as clever as I can word it.

    A little background. Let's look at Sony's PlayStation 2. Compare the first generation titles to, say, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas or God of War. Talk to some developers. You'll notice that games got significantly better over the years, and that the hardware was consistently better made use of. This isn't accidental. The Sony Emotion Engine is notoriously hard to program for, and consequently it took some time before developers even had any idea as to what their hardware was really capable of.

    Fast forward a few years. The PlayStation 3 is in the works, and it's sporting a Cell processor with a radicically new architecture and 7 SPEs. For some reason this doesn't sound any easier to program for than the PlayStation 2 hardware. And word on the street is that it's not; it's suicidally harder.

    So who's still surprised that developers are claiming that the next generation consoles are barely any better than the last? Who still thinks that they actually have enough of a clue to even be able to gauge what the hardware really is or isn't capable of?
  • by AzraelKans ( 697974 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:46PM (#12946408) Homepage
    Gamespot recently released an article explaining exactly the opposite. 31.html []

    The anandtech article aparently is talking about the developers kit which (According gamespot) is not as fast as the "final" ps3 (or xbox 360 for that matter).

    Who to believe? well at this point, you can believe anything you want. The coin is still in the air. Although considering the actual prototypes shown (not CGI or demos) Im going to take a wild guess and think they are just going to be as twice as poweful as modern consoles not 10 times as hyped.
  • by stoanhart ( 876182 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:50PM (#12946428)
    Ha! It would be worth the effort of making the game just to see what kind of a rise we could get out of angry mothers, politicians, and religious figures the world over!
  • by MrBigInThePants ( 624986 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @08:11PM (#12946561)
    Great post.

    I have a little one on the way and I had already made my decisions on this sort of thing before reading. I agree with you totally.

    A child' mind is like a dry sponge, they absorb the information around them at an enourmous rate. (much more than an adult) Their world perception is developing at this point also.

    I do not agree with lying to children and sheltering them from "real life". This just means they learn not to trust what you say. Also, unless you are some sort of a marketing/acting god, you will find it hard to perpetrate the lie in a plausable way.


    How the **** is GTA or any other video game or movie even slightly representative of "real life"??
    What kind of "real life" message is it teaching exactly?

    If I want my child to learn about death, I will buy them a goldfish. Not a video game.
    If I want them to learn about sex, I will tell them myself. Not rent them a porno.
    If I want them to learn about poverty in the 3rd (and 1st) world I will show them a documentary/book/explain it myself. I will not buy them Nike shoes.

    All this will occur at an age where I think they are mature enough to understand these things.

    PS: I am very liberally minded, not conservative - in case you were wondering.
  • by Flaming Death ( 447117 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @08:29PM (#12946661)
    After reading the article, this is a typical Anadtech 'nothing' article, even the one they did previously on the Cell was horrible, and so full of incorrect 'guesses' that they make themselves look insanely stupid.

    If they had talked to _anyone_ working on the Cell they would have pointed them to this nice article, which I wish people would read before crapping on about the Cell: 05/index.html []
    This isnt some marketing junk, it actually has some pretty decent info about how the Cell _works_. Unlike what everyone has been saying, the SPE's ARE general purpose processors: 05/17.html []

    I wish people would stop with the "everyone chooses the Xenon because its more general purpose", what a load of. The Xenon has issues.. one being they dont have many pressed yet!!! The Cell _has_ been tested in various forms, as a Linux Server: 525/105050/ []
    As a Linux Workstation: ails.html?&L=1&talkid=156 []
    As a TV mpeg-2 stream decoder: 425/104149/?ST=english []

    The last one alone shows just how much data can be operated on .. and only 6 SPE's were being used for it.

    Personally I think Anadtech should stop taking drugs.. and read around a bit.. maybe they might be able to be a bit more thorough with their articles then - youd think google was broken looking at the crap they are putting up.
  • The Doom 3 box says it requires 384MB of memory, which you have a third of, so of *course* it wasn't playable. For the console version they downscaled all the textures (which take tons of memory) so that it would fit, plus the stripped-down OS. That's in addition to turning the detail settings way down. If you had a reasonable amount of memory, Doom 3 would look much better on your computer than on the Xbox.

    And Doom 3 is not and never was CPU bound on the PC; its reputation for high system requirements is solely due to its demands on the graphics card, and the Xbox wasn't particularly lacking in that department.
  • by DeadScreenSky ( 666442 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @08:47PM (#12946816)
    1) The Xbox 360 will still be using DVDs. Guess what, we have already managed to fill up a full DVD with some games. Because we're going with HD games now, that'll take up more space (or processor time if we compress it to save space) which we don't have.

    Very, very few Xbox games use a full dual layer DVD today (MGS2 is the only one I can think of, though there are probably more). Better content compression will help, but there are other tricks at a developer's disposal. Procedurely generated content is one that is being pushed by MS. This has potential benefits in creating content faster too, so it's a win-win situation. Any games that really do need more than a DVD are probably lengthy single player adventures, and it's easy enough for them to just go with two discs.

    2) The Xbox 360 is using 2.4GHhz wireless controllers last I heard. Not a bad concept, but what happens when the battery dies mid-game? What about the cost of batters that add up over time? What happens if I have some other 2.4GHz device such as a phone or wireless router in the near location? I'm not the most knowledgable about wireless communications, but could this cause some interference?

    Then just plug in the special cable for the controller that charges it. It will charge the battery at the same time you are playing, too. It isn't clear yet if this cable (plus special battery) comes with the console or not, but battery problems are being taken care of by MS.

    The controllers use some very fancy frequency hopping technology. Interference really shouldn't be a problem.

    3) Backwards compatability might not be included. Every day I hear a different story. Please, someone tell me it's going to be there for sure. Shouldn't Microsoft be more worried about pissing off the installed customer base that they had to fight to get than trying to get a few more flops out of a processor?

    Backwards compatibility is included. This was confirmed way back at the start of E3. The only question is how complete this compatibility will be at launch. The emulation team is trying to get 100% and they very well could accomplish that, but it isn't clear at launch what standard the emulation will meet. It will play games like Halo 2, for example, but we might have to wait for an update to play something like Panzer Dragoon Orta.

    Just my opinion, but let's focus more on the games than the hardware.

    Sure, but if you focused on the hardware just a little more maybe you wouldn't have so many silly questions. :D
  • by Fulg0re- ( 119573 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @10:03PM (#12947285)
    It's no wonder that Steve Jobs et. al. decided not to pursue the Cell microprocessor for Apple's future! Most likely, Apple compared it to the G5 and Intel CPUs and found its real-world performance to be significantly lacking.

    Indirectly at least, this article basically demonstrates why Apple decided to go Intel.
  • by Kafka_Canada ( 106443 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @10:54PM (#12947542)
    Could they also give materials the various properties that entail the sounds they make when they collide with things, get hit, explode, etc., and tie it to a sound-physics PU so that game objects don't just interact in physical space, but also acoustically?
  • by ColaMan ( 37550 ) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @02:26AM (#12948350) Journal
    It's very nearly impossible to place your body in such a way that going through you is a shorter path to ground. You clearly don't know enough about light sockets.

    Well, I'll put my vote in for you at the next darwin awards. See you there!

    Electricity is not black magic. But it does have the potential to kill. If someone said to me "Hey! put a penny in the socket! There's only a 5% chance of death!", I'd tell them to fuck off.

    So, fuck off.

    If you happen to touch the active pole with the penny/metal object/finger *first*, you make your body the only path to earth. This just might seem a bit of a belt at 110V (and it's still plenty lethal), but spare a thought for the rest of the world that has all their outlets at 240V - at that voltage there's a large burn hazard from just the flash, let alone the increased voltage.

    And then there's sticky circuit breakers or nails as fuses - oops! my house just caught fire!

    And then there's the floating neutral, due to bad netural-to-earth connections, that make the neutral part of the circuit rise up to lethal voltages when large currents flow, say like when you jam a penny in a light socket.

    And then there's always the dumbass who wired the light socket the other way around with the active on the outide - zapped before you even touch the pin.

    Hell, don't forget the other dumbass who wired it so that the neutral instead of the active was switched - zapped while the damn thing's turned off.

    *And then* there's the poor bastard with a slightly weak heart that would have still lived to 90 had he not stuck a penny in the socket on the goading of his dumbass friends, who are now staring at him dying on the floor, while they try to remember how to do external cardiac massage.

    So, just play it safe and don't stick objects in power outlets. You'll probably get enough unintentional electric shocks in your life, you don't need intentional ones.
  • Microseconds?! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kielczas ( 597323 ) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @05:36AM (#12948847)
    Absolute BS!! I dont believe you can feel a lag in the order of microseconds while gaming on a HDTV console/TV because at 1080p you are displaying 60 frames per second which gives you one frame per 16 miliseconds. 1 milisecond is 1000 microseconds so the only noticeable lag would be such that delays the rendering by over 16 000 microseconds. Thus if a scaler delays the rendering of a frame by a couple of hundred microseconds you will not notice the difference!
  • by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @06:03AM (#12948884)
    "Game Designers who consistently design good games deserve the same name recognition and the same selling power as the equivalent Hollywood celebrities, Robert Deniro, Kevin Spacey, etc. with their name Right There on the Box in the same way that Hollywood movies are marketed"

    There are some that get their name on the box, like Tim Schafer (Grim Fandango, Full Throttle, Monkey Island), however I do get your point.

    This is why the actors protest [] was so badly received by the games developers, because in a Game, the developers get f*ck all credit compared to the movie industry, and starting to push for a bigger emphasis on the actors rather than the developers, would be the wrong end to start at.

    While I do recognize that good voice acting is important in some titles, good acting carries a film much more than it carries a game. A crappy game can never be made tolerable by great actors. A crappy film can be made tolerable by great actors.
  • by inkless1 ( 1269 ) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @09:41AM (#12949657) Homepage
    Emulation isn't the same thing as an 360, neither is a prototype. In the immortal words of Dan Rydell ... that's why they have those seperate words. To distinguish them. This is why all of these debates about how powerful and how fast and my box is bigger than yours are just dumb right now, people.

    These consoles aren't finished

    So let's all take a deep breath and wait for them to actually release something before actually giving a damn.
  • liberally minded (Score:3, Insightful)

    by N3wsByt3 ( 758224 ) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @10:00AM (#12949778) Journal
    Well, I'm with you on a lot of points, but I must say I read/interpreted the parent poster a bit differently. And, there are still some issues in your own post I don't totally agree with.

    "How the **** is GTA or any other video game or movie even slightly representative of "real life"??"

    It is not about how representative these are of real life. In fact, one may argue it's just because they AREN'T very represenative of real life, that they are exellent tools to start educating/exposing them, in regard what IS out there, in 'real life'.

    It is like the age old activity of reading stories to kids, even when they involve witches and monsters, and are a bit scary. What do fantasy-stories have to do with real life? On itself, very little. But it is a medium that HELPS kids in exploring fears, anxiety, morals, etc. Exactly the same is true for movies and games; it's not about what they actually teach you about real life, it's about dealing with the issues that are raised in them, such as pain, fear, violence, love, sarcifice, heroism, etc.

    The best thing to do, as a parent (or whatever) is to guide your kids, not to forbid them from exploring it. And in your example, I think it's preferable they first try to deal with keeping an eletronic pet alive, then a real goldfish, for instance. (Especially from the viewpoint of the goldfish :-)

    "All this will occur at an age where I think they are mature enough to understand these things."

    This is another problem I have with your post. This is the reason why currently, there are laws in the USA which forbids drinking before age 21. Because OTHER people DEEM it's not 'due time' yet. (see also a former post of mine in this regard). I refute the idea that it is only a matter for the parent to decide when someone is 'old enough' to understand something. First of all, kids understand more things then most people are even willing to imagine or concede. And secondly, it's fully arbitrary and one-sided: a parent can consider any age as his kids being not mature enough, with all the consequences that we have seen in the past (and even now, with tight-assed parents and other bible-belt nutcases). And they may even be convinced they are right in witholding of forbiding it - even though history shows tis rarely helps anything.

    I'm of the opinion it's not just a matter of the parents, or grandparents, (or whomever) deciding it; it is foremost the kid itself that indicates when its 'due time'. For instance, if he himself asks questions about poverty, sex, violence, etc THEN it is already time. I think it sucks when parents use the 'I'll tell you in due time'-line: everyone, including a kid, has the right to an honest answer to his question, not a shove-off with a 'you're too young for it' platitude.

    A personal example: A nephew of about six years old asked me someday what 'homo(sexual)' meant. I guess he probably heard it in school, or something. so I explained it. I could have said that he was 'not mature' enough to understand it, but I think that's crap: it's for you to explain it in terms that he CAN understand it, then, me thinks. My mother (who's obviously from an older generation, with less tolerance about some issues) thought it wasn't appropriate. I was rather suprised by that attitude, but then again, I don't think there is something inherently immoral about homosexuality neither. I doubt she would have expressed the same reservations if I had explained what an 'atom' was, or even 'heterosexual'.

    I, on the other hand, was (and am) of the opinion that, since the kid asked what it was, he was also old enough to get an answer to his question. 'Due time' and 'maturity to understand' are implicitly present the moment the kid starts exploring and/or asking questions about it, and thus shouldn't be used as a way for adults to leave someone in the dark, or the forbid it outright. Even if a subject is to complex (the atom would be), it's your duty to give a truthful answer in a way he can understand, instead of

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.