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DICE: Frame Rate Issue On Consoles Is A "Discussion Of Fidelity"

Many gamers are disappointed at the lower frame rate many shooters have on consoles. But Battlefield developer DICE it's all about "form over function."

Studio boss Patrick Bach tackled the issue at GDC, saying that 30 or 40 frames per second on consoles remains a "discussion of fidelity."

Said Bach:

"Frostbite 3 engine is not only about high-end. It’s also about workflows. So it’s easier for us to optimize and create better experiences on consoles, due to the fact we’re pushing the bar and simplifying and creating easier ways for the developers to build the games in general.

30 or 60 frames per second on consoles is a discussion on fidelity, still. What is most important right now? Are you willing to cut down on features to get it to run? If you remove destruction and vehicles of course we could increase the frame-rate. But that’s a core part of the game experience. We still have 24 players on the Xbox 360 and the PS3, which still is a high number compared to other games. There aren’t that many shooters with a higher number, and those games don’t have destruction and vehicles."

As he says, "it's a balance." They don't intend to sacrifice the core Battlefield experience for the sake of a higher frame rate. At the same time, Bach admits that a better frame-rate is a 100% positive so of course, they'd strive to be as technically proficient as possible. The only question is whether or not gamers see it the same way; do you agree with Bach's analysis? Battlefield 4 is slated to release this fall; so far, only current-generation consoles have been confirmed.

Related Game(s): Battlefield 4

Tags: battlefield 4, bf4, battlefield sequel, dice, battlefield 4 frame rate

3/29/2013 11:55:42 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (17 posts)

Temjin001
Friday, March 29, 2013 @ 12:20:19 PM
Reply

Yah, it seems there's still many who think that 60fps is some sort of hardware implemented feature. Where for example people hope that the PS4 can do something like 1080p at 60fps all of the time as if it needed to be specially designed to accomplish this.
It's not.
Just as the PS3 has been most devs choose not to run their games at 60fps at 1080p because that added processing to run at that level takes away from other elements of the game's graphics. The trade off is often visual fidelity vs. frame rate and resolution. Finding a balance that suits the needs of a project's vision usually determines how things play out. Most devs, especially for console FPS games, prefer sacrificing resolution and frame rate speed for higher volume details, like textures, mesh complexity, lighting passes and so on.
Similarly, I have little doubt most devs will choose 30fps over 60fps on the coming gen.

Personally, so as long as my fighting games stay 60fps, Gran Turismo, arcade racers, and games like Ninja Gaiden stay 60fps, I'll be content.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 3/29/2013 12:21:02 PM

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Temjin001
Friday, March 29, 2013 @ 12:33:20 PM

oh, and something else. When it comes to console fps and tps I tend to prefer now 30fps. Just because the range of motion and sensitivty of a thumb analog just isn't exact enough for it to make me feel the difference all that much.

When it comes to playing FPS with Mouse and KB I ABSOLUTELY prefer a mouse and there is a significant difference in play and feel between 60fps and 30fps in this environment. The dpi and motion range of aiming with a mouse is unmatched. Period. It couples perfectly with a fast refresh rate. THere's a reason that RTS, FPS, and computer navigation are best with this type of interface.

I hope people think that anyway... anyone out there use analog sticks to navigate their PC or Mac?
..suck to be you if you do ;)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, March 29, 2013 @ 4:54:57 PM

Mouse and Keyboard? TRAITOR!

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xenris
Saturday, March 30, 2013 @ 12:05:25 AM

I agree with both posts Temjin.

World all he is saying is that 60fps feels better on PC with mouse and keyboard and 30 better with a controller. I think thats what he is saying right buddy :o

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Temjin001
Saturday, March 30, 2013 @ 10:59:12 PM

Pretty much. I think 60fps is always better no matter the interface but it matters to me more if I'm using a mouse on shooter types, or any game that has a pointing mechanism as it's central game play component. This became wholly evident when playing UT3 on PS3 with mouse and KB as I could really feel the lag and lack of visual refresh on a game locked at 30fps on PS3, whereas I could go 60fps on PC.

Seeing that a mouse and keyboard works like crap in a living room, having a controller in hand is a better fit. And since pointing and shooting in the living room is done with thumb sticks, something less precise as the dpi and range of motion of a mouse, having better graphics at 30fps instead of lesser visual details at 60fps, I'd just as well take the 30fps and enjoy the better visuals.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 3/30/2013 11:02:22 PM

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Lord carlos
Friday, March 29, 2013 @ 12:28:47 PM
Reply

Your average console gamer won't give a crap about frame rates as long as the game plays well enough to...well play!
Only pc aficionado's will put down the console version's of said multiplatform game & who gives a crap what they say because 90% of them most likely ripped the game from the pirate bay!
With BF4 GTA5 & MGS5 all releasing only on current gen consoles so far...this gives me hope that those elusive exclusives like The last guardian will come to the PS3 next year!!
The PS3 & xbox360 are gonna break the hundred million mark in the next 2 years so it common sense for most devs to straddle both or ignore next gen completely untill the PS4/nxtbox starts to out perform current consoles on a weekly basis sales wise.

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Beamboom
Friday, March 29, 2013 @ 2:32:56 PM
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Now that's someone talking who knows programming. Of course he is right.

It's always a question of managing resources. Whatever you give priority goes at the expense of something else. It's like carefully spending skill points in a RPG - you can't max'em all. :)

- "Should I lower the resolution and get twice the drawing distance in my game?"
- "Is it worth lowering the frame rate to add these extra details on our models?"
- "Should we put 'this' restriction to the map designs in order to achieve 'that'?"

These are the kind of considerations that needs to be made in in any software project.
The best developers have "more skill points to distribute" to their projects due to experience, tools and skill, thus making a better end result. But the same principal discussions are found across the board.
It may sound frustrating - and it can be - but it's also what makes programming and software design so exciting and interesting.

Last edited by Beamboom on 3/29/2013 3:17:40 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, March 29, 2013 @ 4:56:03 PM

Why aren't they good enough to not reduce anything?

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Beamboom
Saturday, March 30, 2013 @ 2:45:44 AM

Because it's not that simple. Every machine in the world, being them mechanic or organic, electronic or digital, have their limitations. And putting everything on max leaves you with nothing more than those tech demos of animated heads and so forth, that we see now and then to demonstrate new technology. Fun to watch but not of much use.

Had making software for a computer been as easy as "this machine can do 60 frames at 1080p with 20 objects on screen at the same time. Period. Now go make your game within those boundaries" then everyone could make games. But it's not.

For example the *size* of those objects would be an important factor in if they could all be smoothly displayed at the same time. Or their animations, even their shape.

So let's say you as a programmer on our machine above manage to squeeze 25 - five more than others before you - quite large objects on the screen, floating smoothly around. An achievement. But you achieved so by cutting down the amount of animations on each individual object. That's your trick. They are no longer animated like they used to be. A decision.

Now could you think of a way to make those objects *appear* like they are animated even though they in fact are static? Some clever trickery that could further free up valuable computing power to spend on other stuff instead. Like bigger explosions. Or increase the frame rate? Maybe even resolution?
*That's* what clever software design is all about. To strike that perfect balance to make things as good as possible.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/30/2013 4:38:11 AM

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Rogueagent01
Friday, March 29, 2013 @ 3:59:45 PM
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Everything he talked about was right with the exception of the last sentence, MAG. It had more players then Dice could comprehend on a console and wait that's right it had vehicles, it just lacked enviromental destruction.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, March 29, 2013 @ 4:54:07 PM
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They should do what the Bioshock devs do and let you unlock the frame rate.

I still won't consider the next generation much of a step up if they aren't doing 60fps 1080p most of the time.

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Crabba
Friday, March 29, 2013 @ 8:27:38 PM
Reply

And in other news, a Hummer H1 wouldn't accelerate as fast as a Corvette using the same engine. Fascinating!

If this is about the PS4 not being able to run games like Battlefield 4 in 1080p @ 60fps, the problem is that well the system really should be powerful enough to run next-gen graphics "fidelity" at least in 1080p, and at least between 30-60fps. Otherwise it's just not something I'd call a next-gen experience.

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Killa Tequilla
Friday, March 29, 2013 @ 10:35:04 PM
Reply

MotionFlow fixes this issue for me on my Sony BRAVIA.

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StevieRV
Saturday, March 30, 2013 @ 12:50:40 AM
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id settle for 1080p 30fps, i cant really notice the difference between frame rates on a console, but i can tell the difference between 1080p games on my pc and their comparisons on ps3 (with graphics settings usually medium to high, my graphics card isnt anything special)

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___________
Saturday, March 30, 2013 @ 8:44:58 AM
Reply

really no point having 60FPS on a console shooter, the controls are no where near precise enough to warrant it!
most people wont be able to tell the difference.
on PC with a mouse is a whole other kettle of fish.
even on PC id much rather higher AA, more detail, extra destruction, ect, ect, over a higher frame rate.
not to mention nvidia and AMD are REALLY slack with their SLI profile updates, so most games run off 1 card at really low efficiency so you get get a really low frame rate anyway!
i was so shocked to boot up infinite and see a SLI profile implemented day 1, that hasent happened for months!

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Simcoe
Saturday, March 30, 2013 @ 1:18:34 PM

Wouldn't SLI and crossfire be more suited for multi-monitor setups (5760x1080)?

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___________
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 10:06:01 AM

no SLI is so you can use 2 or more GPUs, does not necessarily have to be for multiple monitors.
im using SLI simply because the GTX 690, the step up from my cards the 680s, is about 200 more than buying 2 680s.
not to mention the 690 has slightly lower performance than 2 680s.
i dont use multiple monitors simply because im running at ultra HD, the 1 monitor cost me a cool grand thats already too expensive!

downside of running SLI though as i said is it normally takes nvidia months to release a bloody SLI profile!
max payne 3 for instance i was not able to play on my PC when i bought it like 9 weeks after release!
i was maxing out at like 60% of 1 GPU, the other was not being used at all and because of this i could not get above 10FPS!
exactly why allot of people prefer to go with the higher end card, even though its more money and less performance you dont have to worry about SLI profiles.


Last edited by ___________ on 3/31/2013 10:09:02 AM

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