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Has The PS3 Reached Its Graphical Plateau?

The PlayStation 3 has been around for five years now (the five-year anniversary for the US comes in November), so perhaps it's time to ask the question: has the machine reached its graphical peak? And if not, how much longer before it does? Then again, will it ever?

Maybe the best thing to do is approach this question from a historical perspective, despite the significant changes in the industry. Let's look at the PS2- when it launched in 2000, we had titles like Tekken Tag Tournament, Summoner, Smugglers Run, TimeSplitters, SSX, and Fantavision. SSX wowed all the critics and at the time, represented a new graphics bar (or so many gamers claimed). Things just kept getting better from a visual presentation standpoint because, much like all PlayStation consoles, developers are often clueless at the start of the lifespan. They just become more comfortable as time goes on.

So by the time 2005 and 2006 rolled around, we had games like God of War II, Final Fantasy XII, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. If we compare later-gen titles to the launch lineup, there's such a drastic leap that the uninitiated might think we're examining two completely different consoles. The first question is, has the PS3 exhibited the same kind of leap? From Resistance: Fall of Man, Ridge Racer 7, Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom, and Genji: Days of the Blade to inFamous 2, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Gran Turismo 5, God of War III, LittleBigPlanet 2 and Killzone 3. Well, yeah, that seems about right.

Moving right along, we expect Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception to once again outstrip anything else in the console game world; it should be yet another graphical bar. That launches on November 1, 2011, just a few weeks shy of the aforementioned 5-year PS3 anniversary in North America. Will that be it? Will that be the FFXII or the GoWII of the PS2? The big exclusives seem to have already hit and I'm not sure what to expect in 2012. Plus, with third-party exclusives basically a thing of the past, we can really only focus on first-party titles from various Sony studios. Maybe the biggest and most important question is whether or not new installments in the biggest franchises will make it this generation...

If you believe Sony's insistent 10-year-lifespan claims, you should believe we'll see another God of War, Uncharted, and Killzone (but maybe not a new Gran Turismo). So maybe in that case, we'll see yet another graphics increase. And maybe it's unfair to compare the PS3 to its predecessor, as so much has indeed changed. But what do you believe?

Tags: ps3, playstation 3, ps4, games industry

7/9/2011 11:56:46 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (99 posts)

Mornelithe
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 12:31:08 PM
Reply

I'm going to say, Unknown, and here's my primary reason. Since the PS3 was announced way way back, and for awhile after, they discussed it's ability to run parallel with other active PS3's on the network. Meaning, large arrays of idle PS3's could be used together to create a larger gaming universe.

I'm still waiting for a practical application for this. With a bunches of PS3's running the actual program, who knows what kind of graphics we could see with the machine. It seems as if, it could be more than what has been presented thus far...on paper, of course.

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Beamboom
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 12:47:47 PM

I would guess they were then referring to clustering of Linux boxes. If so, that's no longer possible (unfortunately).


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/9/2011 12:50:01 PM

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Mornelithe
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 12:54:32 PM

@ Beamboom: Nah, it's already done with the Folding@Home projects. Idle processing power is used to for one specific end.

The thing is, the Linux option would refer to a private organization/array. Sony wouldn't be delivering a game via Linux OS, when their primary concern is promoting the PSN and the games through that network.

Heh, just because the Other OS option is removed, doesn't mean Sony and developers can't make use of what the Cell Broadband Engine is capable of, you know? This is only a guess, but I'd imagine they have much, much more access to the hardware than we do.

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Beamboom
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 1:00:44 PM

I'm not saying it can't be done, by all means. I'd just assume they were talking about Linux-clustering since that's available technology today, and the ps3 is indeed a very powerful machine to be used for such things.

But if we talk theory, then sure. However, also the software (the game) must support this (to split the tasks and send the less instant tasks to the networked machines), and I don't really see that happening. Just imagine the reactions if a game requirement on the box stated "two or more ps3 required for optimal performance". :D


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/9/2011 1:04:53 PM

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Mornelithe
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 1:11:14 PM

@ Beamboom: Well, it wouldn't be hard for Sony to have an array of PS3 servers, like they do with Warhawk. That could be for launch, after launch, as the game gains popularity, you could scale back those servers as you'd expect more connectivity with the network.

Additionally, they could also make it an app, just like Folding@Home, you don't even have to own the game, to allow idle processing power from your machine to be used to maintain the gaming environment.

You'd have to take a look at the original R/D documents that came out with the PS3, they weren't discussing Linux clusters, although, that's possible with any group of PC's running Linux. They were definitely referring to the Cell's capabilities, which 'should' (yeah, in theory heh), be capable of doing the same thing in the PSN environment, provided...they make it heh.

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Beamboom
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 1:24:30 PM

Do you know how much actual work the Warhawk (and other similar) servers do? It ain't much, mister. That's how those services can run free of charge for so long. :)

The problem here is the bandwidth to the end user. Even if you *could* create a centralized cluster (btw it would not have been ps3's in that cluster - unless it was to prove a point) the current bandwidth would make the lag unbearable if they should push more than basic info (like coordinations for a locally stored map).


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/9/2011 1:34:49 PM

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Mornelithe
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 1:29:32 PM

@ Beamboom: Not sure what they're doing now for usage, but they were definitely busy back when the game launched. I played avidly, for quite awhile.

The bandwidth issue, well, that could be an explanation for why we haven't seen it in use. But, I think the tech is definitely worth looking into, if the Cell performs as was explained in the articles I read way back when.

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Beamboom
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 1:39:04 PM

Oh busy indeed, but all the central servers do is to gather players as they enter the game and and connect them to eachother - typically based on how far from each other they are networkwise (low "ping reply"). The actual game itself is run on one of the players machines acting as the server for everyone.

That workload is comparable to a semi-busy webserver - ergo it could easily be running on your average laptop. it really is not much to talk of.

Another matter is games like MAG, where every player are clients connected to the same central server. That enables them to accept more players per game session.

But the actual data between the player and the server is as little as possible. All visuals are rendered using local hardware, all audio likevise, etc. It's just info about the other players activities (location, movement direction, actions) that's distributed to/from the server.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/9/2011 1:46:11 PM

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Mornelithe
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 5:29:11 PM

@ Beamboom: Oh certainly, I know they're not setup in the fashion I describe, wasn't stating that. Simply, Sony has utilized the PS3 as servers before. They could just as easily do so for this project.

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Highlander
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 8:59:35 PM

The CellBE itself is designed to run in parallel with other Cell processors in a single system. The potential for PS3s running in parallel is well known, as you can see from the various PS3 supercomputer projects.

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Beamboom
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 11:13:51 PM

I havent read about ps3 projects, but the software would still have to support it, and they would still have to communicate via the ethernet interface?


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/9/2011 11:14:33 PM

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Beamboom
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 4:33:34 AM

I've googled "PS3 supercomputer project" and so far I've only found projects using the otherOS feature to run Linux clusters...

Last edited by Beamboom on 7/10/2011 4:34:40 AM

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Highlander
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 11:01:03 AM

Yes, the point I was making was that the potential for combining PS3s to form a much faster system was amply demonstrated by Beowolf clusters. If you want another example, I believe that Polyphony digital did an early 1080p in 3D demo of Gran Turismo using 4 PS3s running together over Ethernet.

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Mornelithe
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 11:30:29 AM

@ Highlander/Beamboom:

http://www.ps4talk.com/gran-turismo-in-super-high-def-12052907/

They were actually running it in 3840x2160, each PS3 was rendering a quarter of the display and all 4 were melding it together on one screen.

Beamboom, I'll keep looking around for the original documents I was looking through, that was discussing the Cell's capabilities, haven't found it yet, but the GT5 project is definitely indicative of what I'm talking about.

Super HD isn't much use to us normal folk heh, but imagine having multiple PS3's crunching AI engines, physics engines, lighting etc... From the things I've read in the past, such things should be possible if the Cell is utilized properly.

Though, I hadn't necessarily thought about bandwidth either in this (and, of course, since I can't find that original report, I can't really go back and see what I was reading either), so you could absolutely be right that there are simply some bottlenecks that prevent this from happening. Just hoping that isn't the case, myself. =)

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Beamboom
Monday, July 11, 2011 @ 2:48:56 PM

@both of you: I've never heard about this before! Very cool, thanks for info and links.
But how the heck did they do it? Was is a custom modified game then? Cause it's not a feature in the retail version?

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Mornelithe
Monday, July 11, 2011 @ 4:33:44 PM

@ Beamboom: That particular project was simply a demo setup between Sony and Polyphony Digital (developers of GT5), likely to promote the disgustingly high-end TV that Sony had to make, in order to view such resolutions LOL. I honestly don't think the GT5 retail version would be capable of reproducing it without some kind of support from PD, at the very least, Sony at the most.

But yeah, knowing how they utilized multiple PS3's for this scenario, it'd be pretty cool to see what arrays of PS3's could produce, provided, as you said, the bandwidth is available, of course.

Last edited by Mornelithe on 7/11/2011 4:36:03 PM

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Kevin5
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 12:33:13 PM
Reply

I reckon it's going to be near impossible to top console graphics after Uncharted 3. But i would be interested to see how a new God of War or Crysis game would look in say another 2 years just to see how much they evolve in visual power.

I remember on PS2 when i first played MGS2 & Devil May Cry thinking "pinnacle" & it was what? only 2001? Yet, years later we got MGS3, Resident Evil 4 & Tekken 5 which all upped the bar again. Sadly after 05 i can't remember a single PS2 game that toppled anything visually in 05.

So i'm guessing, although i do believe that PS3 still has a spec of untapped secret tech juice somewhere within it's electric guts, Uncharted 3 will be the closest to suck it dry.

I do however wan't the PS3 to hang around abit longer even if i am anticipating the new consoles with warm saliva coated lips.

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Temjin001
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 12:34:55 PM
Reply

I suspect we're pretty much there. I think aside from the most prominent and prolific exclusives we've witnessed the majority of what the system can offer us technically.

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Riku994
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 12:43:37 PM
Reply

You're forgeting FFv13, from what Nomura claims, the game is outrageously pretty, having gone through 3 graphical overhauls IIRC.

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p.p
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 12:53:00 PM
Reply

Gears of War 3 already tops Uncharted 3 graphics by just looking at the Multi-player Beta lol. PS3 is maxed out :(

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Temjin001
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 12:56:51 PM

Oh just get out

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BikerSaint
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 1:12:13 PM

And you're assuming all this just by a couple of "BETA's"??????

Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,
ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,
ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha, ha,ha!

That's got to be the best comic relief I've heard in quite a while!

Last edited by BikerSaint on 7/9/2011 1:13:03 PM

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AshT
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 1:35:26 PM

u should go back to playing gears 3 then

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Underdog15
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 2:09:58 PM

First post = flame bait.

hmm... Aside from the post just being factually incorrect, I wonder what other facts we could deduce about this pee-pee.

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Beamboom
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 2:14:27 PM

Well, since I love to play the devils advocate I have to say that he do have a point, the beta of Uncharted do not look that impressive, at least not by Uncharted standards. That's even something others have stated too, earlier. It looks like a "layer" is missing, and indeed I believe that to be the case. They are simply holding back on the visuals to not give away too much too early.

That being said...
/me takes off advocate coat

He's a flamer. Set phazers on stun!



Last edited by Beamboom on 7/9/2011 2:22:21 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 2:43:39 PM

I just have to ask-

Has anyone ever seen a die-hard fan of the Xbox 360 that wasn't a flat-out braindead idiot? Wouldn't the relatively intelligent 360 fans be continually embarrassed by this "representation?"

Anyway...bye.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 7/9/2011 2:44:05 PM

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Riku994
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 2:50:06 PM

Yes Ben, actually I do know one. He's a cocky little guy but by no means is he an idiot. He does do a pretty good job at representing an XBox fanboy though..

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 2:52:53 PM

Well, I'm referring more to fans who show up in forums and communities online. Maybe it's just the online disease that affects them. ;)

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PasteNuggs
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 2:59:42 PM

Ben,

I just wonder if they love playing Gears and Halo so much why are they not playing them and instead go look to argue on forums.

To answer your question, yes most 360 only owners I know usually admit they made a mistake in choosing their console. On the internet though, no, everyone is so tough from the behind there monitor.

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Riku994
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 3:05:38 PM

Could be Ben... Could be...

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Beamboom
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 3:13:15 PM

I am a fool for believing he might have had the best of intentions.

Well terminated, Ben.

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Ignitus
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 3:25:25 PM

I know several die hard 360 fans and they are not idiots at all.

I don't understand why people here get offended when SONY products get trased but it is ok when they trash other manufacturers product.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 3:46:12 PM

Nobody trashes anything. You don't see posts like that from anyone here, so don't say it happens. That insults the community.

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Excelsior1
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 3:53:42 PM

@beamboom

there's nothing wrong with playing devil's advocate, and i couldn't agree more with your assessment of the graphics in uc3's beta multiplayer. it does look like a layer a texture detail is missing. something's off.

they should have polished up some more. i know it's the beta version, but a lot of people will sample that and form an opinion...uc3's graphics are not as good. beta's are almost considered promitional material in this day and age. developer's should make sure they look as good as possissble to get good word of mouth and buzz going.

@ignitus

i agree to an extent. ofcourse there are die hard xbox fans that are not idiots.


Last edited by Excelsior1 on 7/9/2011 4:03:41 PM

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Clamedeus
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 5:42:43 PM

@Ignitus

Of course there is an exception to things, everyone should know that. lol

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Jawknee
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 5:48:41 PM

I've never met a diehard Xbox fan who isn't a blathering idiot. Not saying there aren't any intelligent, easy going diehard Xbox fans. I just haven't met any.

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Excelsior1
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 12:54:19 PM
Reply

although i'm sure certain developers will be able to squeeze a little more out of the ps3, i think it's fair to say we are approaching the limits of what it can do. it has all that room on the blu ray disc but only 512 mb of memory(only 256 of video ram). that's not very much at all by today's standards.

one thing i would finally say to the console makers is if you want to future proof your consoles and are truely expecting 10 yr life cycles, don't skimp on the ram.


Last edited by Excelsior1 on 7/9/2011 1:04:45 PM

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AshT
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 1:36:21 PM

I guess we'll see PS4 sooner than we expect :)

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FM23
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 9:14:30 PM

minus the stardard stuff...right?...lol

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city96
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 1:24:36 PM
Reply

Well, I guess its just down to the developers. If they aim for high quality visuals then they need to utilise the Cell and all the SPU's as Naughty Dog and Guerilla have done.

I hope that Third Party Devs like DICE and Ubisoft one day can create a third party game to rival all the First party SONY devs. :P

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Shoc_Trooper
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 1:43:18 PM
Reply

lol PS3 graphics plateau, tell me - are cell shaded graphics an improvement? Graphic improvement ... lol... depends on how we want to define our experiences. Of the few PS3 exclusives available, none really spring to mind as being all that memorable for what they were offering on a graphics level. I know ppl love Uncharted, but that game has useless priorities. - How nice could it look, if you got rid of everything it didn't need? I find there is so much "wasted" memory with games like Uncharted and Infamous, that it's unfair to hold them up as the standard.
Has the PS3 it hit a plateau? no
Have the developers gotten lazy? yes

Not on a level of output, but on the level of prioritizing.

Stop making games with 20 different single function items (use once never use again) or programming NPC A.I. Bots (Battlefield 3 is guilty again) (really, bots? again? for noobs? no thnxs!) and put those resources towards graphics then maybe we'll see the plateau. Oh, and stop making games for PC, PS3 and 360 and expecting the same level of quality out of them.

Can't tell you how many "design" decisions were "made" so that these games would run on a 360 at all. pooh pooh. If anything it's time to get rid of the 360, once and for all so the PC and PS3 can finally party down!

Last edited by Shoc_Trooper on 7/9/2011 1:45:04 PM

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aaronisbla
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 1:55:14 PM

hey expert, please name some useless things on uncharted 2 that proves the devs are lazy...

which major ps3 exclusive is using cell shaded graphics....

Last edited by aaronisbla on 7/9/2011 1:56:30 PM

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Underdog15
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 2:22:57 PM

Some parts I agree, and on some I disagree. Either way, excellent first post, and welcome to PSXE!


I do agree that there are some misguided priorities on some exclusives. Unfortunately for you and I, it's entirely subjective. For example, I would rather Killzone 3 be run in 1080p with the best FPS possible instead of having 3D or PSmove functionality.

However, I do believe in the realm of consoles, many PS3 exclusives have set the bar. Wii and 360 have nothing that can top the best of PS3. I don't think it's fair to compare PC, only because each system is unique and devs have the ability to simply demand higher specs from users. Consoles have a set formula to work with.

Personally, I think Uncharted doesn't have many if any useless features. At least I can't think of any. (Certainly not from a gameplay perspective. Not sure on a graphical level) But when I observe the environments and scenery and how fluid UC2's animations are, I really have to say it is a bit of a bar setter! Standing at the top of a mountain, looking out across the water and islands with birds flying across the sky, I think, "just... wow! SO pretty!"

In terms of AI bots vs. graphical prowess, I only disagree for 2 reasons: First and most basic, those programming codes don't really take much space and second, if AI bots must leave games, it should remain as options. Personally, in FPS's I turn off auto-aim options when possible, and I always play on toughest difficulties, but I firmly believe "noobs" need to be given a fair shot at gaming as well. And those little additions really aren't labour intensive design decisions. The more people I can get to love Uncharted the better, I say!!

Finally, in regards to your last paragraph, while I do believe consumers should have more options, and hence, should have multiple systems to choose from, I have to agree that I am getting sick of accommodations being made for the 360, thus hurting the PS3.

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Clamedeus
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 5:45:52 PM

Cell Shaded Graphics? On what big exclusive? I've never seen any, Journey for example uses that...

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Lawless SXE
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 5:52:12 PM

Valkyria Chronicles used them. Not a big exclusive, really. Sly 4 will be using them, and one of the Naruto games did too.

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Deathb4Dishonor
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 6:03:32 PM

@Lawless

I don't think those titles are big exclusives for Sony... Anyways i don't understand why he's Shoc is saying that when MS use cell shade in crackdown which to them is major exclusive even though i think it's a horrible game... That's just me though... I couldn't get into it

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Lawless SXE
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 6:25:14 PM

Deathb4Dishonour,
Sadly, I know. The only one that might be regarded as being a big exclusive is Sly. That being said, Sony brought it back because Sanzaru wanted to do it, not because Sony outsourced it to them. And of course Valkyria Chronicles is from Sega.

Oh, and Shoc,
It seems to me that you're implying that games with a different art style to reality are the only ones that can have great graphics. What a crock of crap. They certainly can be more appealing, like the cartoon style of R&C or the art-deco overlay of Bioshock, but that doesn't mean that they're better.

Honestly, I'd rather see a dev focus on the gameplay, making it diverse and fun over graphics. Who cares if a plateau is never hit, as long as you get good games?

Last edited by Lawless SXE on 7/9/2011 6:28:06 PM

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Shoc_Trooper
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 1:43:19 PM
Reply



Last edited by Shoc_Trooper on 7/9/2011 1:43:41 PM

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Underdog15
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 2:10:56 PM

In the future, just click the little garbage can instead of the edit button.

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Beamboom
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 2:18:31 PM

LOL

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Kiryu
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 1:59:30 PM
Reply

Many Third Party Japanese Dev's have not made use of it's potential.

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PasteNuggs
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 2:48:24 PM
Reply

@P.P.

Why are you at this site? How do you find joy out of coming to the site to flame about another console?

And yes please keep telling us about Gears and Halo, we'll go back to playing Uncharted,Killzone, Resistance, GT5, Infamous, Heavy Rain, God of War, MGS4, Socom, MAG, Mod Nation Racers, Demons Souls, Ratchet And Clank, Yakuza, LBP, Motorstorm, Twisted Metal and all the exclusive content third party developers give to the ps3 because we like to play games, you know, the point of owning a VIDEO GAME console.

Now begone, troll

Last edited by PasteNuggs on 7/9/2011 2:48:52 PM

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Jawknee
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 5:37:35 PM

"Why are you at this site? How do you find joy out of coming to the site to flame about another console?"

LOL! What else are they going to do while the wait for MS to return their refurbished console after they sent it in because of RROD? ;)

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Underdog15
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 10:41:47 PM

He just flames sites when he runs out of good games to play. This is likely his 15th time being bored of the same-ol same-ol.

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Deathb4Dishonor
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 2:52:16 PM
Reply

@P.P

Your the joke and your retarded comments and claims that have no bases or facts... 360 is a real man's system? Honestly?... Like 80% of the install base that play online are 12 year olds and i kno bc i have Live... So instead of trolling and claiming useless comments, next time just shut your mouth and keep your dumb comments to yourself

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Deathb4Dishonor
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 2:54:58 PM

Sorry guys, i guess he had the sense to erase the last comment he wrote b4 i finished sayin the post above to him

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 2:53:35 PM
Reply

Ignore p.p. He's gone and obviously had only one intention.

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tes37
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 2:53:39 PM
Reply

I don't think we've seen the best graphics the PS3 can produce yet, but I do think a few first party developers are fast approaching the time when they will max it out.

I see nothing wrong with two or three years worth of games made with the PS3 at it's limits. As long as they're good games, the graphics would be fine by me.


Last edited by tes37 on 7/9/2011 2:54:53 PM

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Beamboom
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 3:09:43 PM

Exactly. The games we enjoy today are simply good enough as they are, oh man just look at what we've enjoyed so far and what's in the pipeline for the year ahead. They don't have to be much better than this for me to cling on to the current generation for at least a few more years.

That's not to say I don't look forward to see what next gen has in store, I'm just in no rush.

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Ignitus
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 3:40:52 PM
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I don't think there is much room for improvement.

We have gone thru the era of games using solely the RSX, to the current era of using up to 5 SPU units to help the RSX, that just leaves the PPU and 1 SPU, to handle the rest of the nongraphical code (game logic, sound, physics, A.I., input devices, etc).

I'm sure improvements will be made but I don't see there will be new ground breaking graphics anymore. IMHO.

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xnonsuchx
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 6:42:44 PM

SPU code can still get more and more optimised, as well as other programming tricks. Developers had been guessing they were reaching the max of what the PS3 could do for 2 years now...and then something new comes out that blows away the previous 6 month's games. I think it will be another year or so before we know if the PS3's been 'maxed out.'

360 devs are already starting to rely on tricks to do more than what it was originally designed to do because they are more limited to what the GPU can do (while faster than the PS3's PPU, the CPU can't assist the GPU as much as the PS3's SPUs were intended to do). However, the tricks they are trying to do can have serious trade-offs (e.g. we can have this new feature, but if we use it, other features won't work so well). There's some of this on the PS3 due to the more limited PPU, sometimes having to use some SPU time to do what a general purpose CPU could do more efficiently, but isn't that much of a problem overall.

Last edited by xnonsuchx on 7/9/2011 6:43:51 PM

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Highlander
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 9:15:35 PM

You're not quite on the mark with your comment about the PPU in the PS3 vs the CPU in the 360. The problem with your comment is that you are talking as if the PPU in the CellBE was meant o match the entire CPU in the 360. Since the CPU in the 360 is more or less 3 cores that are very similar to the PPU in the CellBE, the PPU on it's own could never have been said to match the 360s CPU. The cellBE taken as a whole wipes the floor with the 360s CPU. The performance different between the GPUs isn't actually as large as anyone would suggest. The difference between the GPUs is more down to the design philosophy than performance. 1st party games on each platform illustrate the fact that there is actually performance difference between the systems that leans in the PS3s favor.

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xnonsuchx
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 4:57:18 PM

I think maybe I wasn't clear enough or you read more into what I said. My point was that comparing the Xenon and CellBE, the CellBE was like a lower performance CPU (the PPU), but with a kick-ass co-processor (the SPUs) that more than makes up the difference. The 'drawback' I mentioned was more hypothetical as I don't know if it's been an issue.

As far as GPUs, I know the RSX was dissed as underpowered when the PS3 came out, but that it's supposedly at least twice as powerful as the standard GeForce 7800(?) it's based on. The 360 still supposedly (from everything I've read) has a few advantages, though, like anti-aliasing being 'free' (doesn't affect performance whether on or off) and a few other effects that the PS3 has to use SPU time for.

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Fabi
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 5:25:20 PM
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Do you guys think the difference graphically between Killzone 2 and 3, Infamous and Infamous 2, Resistance and R2 are that big?

Just from memory, you could easily tell thedifferences, but they weren't anything too crazy.

Last edited by Fabi on 7/9/2011 5:26:21 PM

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Jawknee
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 5:34:42 PM

Killzone 2 to Killzone 3, there is a difference. Not a HUGE difference but it's there. inFAMOUS 1 to inFAMOUS 2? Yes. There is a HUGE difference. The difference is as big as Uncharted Drakes Fortune to Among Thieves.

Can't speak for Resistance. I only played bits and pieces of each one.

Last edited by Jawknee on 7/9/2011 5:35:44 PM

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Lawless SXE
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 5:49:26 PM

As Jawknee said, inFamous to the second is a ridiculous leap. Almost cross-generational IMO. As for R:FOM and R2, there was quite an improvement from memory, but not as stark as a lot of other titles. I'll get back to you on that when I get around to playing them again in preparation for R3 though.

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Excelsior1
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 11:36:48 PM

the graphical leap in infamous 2 is almost cross generational. that's partly becuase the 1st game looked so dated. i've read other people say that it almost looks like an up rezed ps2 game...i don't necessarily disagree with that.

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Jawknee
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 11:47:46 AM

That's rubbish. The first inFAMOUS looks a lot better than a "high res PS2" game. It looks better than most Xbox and PS3 games from 2007 to 2009.

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Excelsior1
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 12:12:17 PM

wow. i really disagree, i thought infamous looked really dated. 2 thumbs up i got show there's a couple who feel the same way.

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Clamedeus
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 1:39:40 PM

I don't agree with Infamous being a high-res PS2 game, it looks a lot better than a PS2 game.



Last edited by Clamedeus on 7/10/2011 1:41:29 PM

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Excelsior1
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 3:52:58 PM

maybe upscaled ps2 game is harsh, but like i said i think it looks dated. just do a google search on the phrase infamous looks like ps2 game, and you will see a lot of people making that claim. maybe its harsh, but that opinion is definitely out there and has been the subject of wildly varying opinions. i think there is a quality to the look of the game that does feel of last gen. like the look of the vehicles, or pop up you see just walking down the street. charchter models look poor. jaggies everywhere, waves of cookie cutter generic enemies that all look identical. it's one rough looking game in my opinion.

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Clamedeus
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 7:18:43 PM

Well of course it's out dated, they didn't have any experience with the PS3 look at Infamous 2, it looks a LOT better than Infamous 1, I don't really care what others say about Infamous 1 it's still a good game.

The enemies being the same doesn't bother me, I haven't seen any jaggies yet I'm not paying attention to surroundings I'm Playing the game.

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Jawknee
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 5:28:37 PM
Reply

I'll let you know when God of War IV comes out. ;)

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Lawless SXE
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 5:41:56 PM
Reply

Uncharted 3 will be hitting close to the uppermost limit. ND claim that they were running the SPUs just short of 100% on UC2, so if they can hit it this time, and optimise their code alongside that, it should represent the best graphics available, and it will simply be up to the other developers to play catch up with them.

That being said, I'm not sure that graphics can get much better. Take a look at GT5: when watching replays of premium cars, you can hardly tell the difference between them and a recording of real vehicles on a race track. There's always room for improvement, but the biggest jump is usually the first. After the initial trial, one starts to acclimatise to the tricks that one needs and things get better faster.

I'm going to go with yes, but that's not a bad thing, because most devs still aren't capable of getting their games even close to exclusives. Oh, and 2012 will have Starhawk, Sly and TLG. The last should be a good attempt at pushing the hardware, though perhaps its beauty will come more from the style. The cel-shading of Sly will be utterly glorious and I can't wait to see it. There should also be FFVersusXIII, which will undoubtedly be stunning. Refinements upon the graphics engine used for FFXIII, which was stunning enough. And AGENT, which will probably be the best-looking open world game to date. If its not, then it will be due to concessions for the size and diversity of the map (looks at iF2).
Peace.

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Deathb4Dishonor
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 6:12:24 PM

I think they haven't but are pretty close to maxing out the PS3... Most will just optimize their engine and make them work faster and smoother and still manage to get the graphics better even if it's just a little...

But i think if anyone can make another PS3 game look better then GT5 and Killzone 3, it's hideo kojima... I mean look what he did with Metal Gear 4 and it was his first game on the pS3... I also want to point out that if you look at metal gear 4 graphics and compare them to the graphics of Metal Gear Rising, MG4 looks still looks better or atleast in the videos i've seen... And that just shows how the game needed to be gimped a little to have it run on the 360

My opinion although some ppl woudn't agree with me but that's how i see it

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Lawless SXE
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 6:31:43 PM

Kojima could indeed make something magnificent. Imagine what could be done if he went back to the MGS4 engine and tweaked it to take better advantage of the SPUs and all the other little tricks of modern development. *drools*

The reason that the graphical fidelity of Rising is comparably less impressive is because it is running on a different engine, built specifically for the game and multiplatform development. Whether it is simply massively retooled for use on the 360 or a completely separate engine, perhaps a precursor to the Fox Engine, I'm not sure, but I think that it is the latter.

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onyotix
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 7:56:21 PM
Reply

@p.p thats complete rubbish..have you seen the patches nd made on the beta?i bet no... uncharted franchise had been the game of the year in 2009 and your gears didnt..though i love gears but uncharted story is way more awesome than gears...

@all:you guys should try the uncharted 3 beta now..its been constantly patch by naughty dog...the graphics now are great but i know it will mostly improve when it comes out :)

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Clamedeus
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 8:44:07 PM

Agreed. I know they will improve the graphics before the release day comes, the graphics in the Beta looks pretty good, but like Beamboom said it's missing something, I have full confidence that they will improve the graphics.

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Highlander
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 9:05:57 PM
Reply

Well, there are a lot of comments above that suggest people do think we're at the point where it's maxed out. I don't When the PS2 was at it's peak (graphically) there was a lul in improvement, there were exceptions such as God of War and GT4, but when the PS2 plateaued it was completely evident, there was no questioning if it had or would happen.

I don't think we are there yet, each new round of 1st party games is driving the hardware to do more. We know that there are games coming down the line that will stretch the hardware further. And we're 6 months or so from those games landing. Let's see what 2012 has to offer, and talk about whether the PS3 has any more headroom then. For now, I think that it does, because I've yet to see any indication that it doesn't.

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Qubex
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 11:32:38 PM

Highlander, if we are not, I really don't think we that much to go. Maybe 10 to 15% more from Uncharted 3, but lets be honest here... The ND team are so talented, especially the coders, they are probably employing every trick in the book as it is; in order to top Uncharted 2 anyways.

If there are new quicker methods of banging out AA or better streaming routines, graphic fidelity may be improved, but I think we are getting close to the limits.

Another point to consider is this... 2011/2012 (similarly to the 2004/2005 years of the PS2's life), may be the last years we see the envelope being pushed... by 2013 we should have a PS4 on the shelf...

Actually Last Guardian may be that final operatic shout out to the PS3's life - like the final Shuttle launch. Last Guardian should be the pinnacle from what i have seen thus far... GoW IV as well... but we will see.

KZ3 and Battlefield 3 should do well showing off what the PS3 has done for FPS's... So we will see anyways, but no doubt the PS3 hardware is being used the way it should be used right about now...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Highlander
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 11:48:47 PM

I think we agree. Although I think 2013 is the right year for the next Xbox and PS consoles, I could see some suggesting that because of superstition no one would launch in 2013. On the otherhand, I think that is the most likely year for both.

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Qubex
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 12:00:19 AM

I hear you brother...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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sirbob6
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 9:48:13 PM
Reply

I think the PS3 could still eek out some more juice. Well games like K3 and Uncharted are absolutely amazing looking there is still a bit the devs can do that the PS3 is still probably able to push out.

For example GG could improve facial animations. ND can improve some of the ingame effects (specifically particle effects in the background). PD could smooth out their shadows. The same applies to Sucker Punch.

Of course I am not certain that they can pump out the extra, but there is still some things that can be improved upon. I am pretty sure that devs will figure something out.

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Qubex
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 11:55:39 PM

I feel similarly... there is still more to eek out, but not that much more...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Warrior Poet
Saturday, July 09, 2011 @ 11:28:33 PM
Reply

I play SNES/PS1 games more than PS3 games, but I definitely appreciate what the PS3 can do. I didn't think Uncharted 2 was that great from a gameplay perspective, but it sure was pretty!

Funny thing is I thought FFXIII looked better. Obviously Uncharted is more advanced and definitely uses more of that Cell processor, and had no jaggies at all where FFXIII had plenty. Gameplay aside, the art style in FFXIII was excellent. I'm a PlayStation guy, but I've got to appreciate that the 360 can pull off FFXIII. That softglow filter really enhanced the atmosphere! I really liked Mirror's Edge for the same reason. Plus that awesome ambient soundtrack...

I think some developers - certainly not all - are putting impressive tech over artful design. In ten years, Uncharted will no longer have the best graphics ever. It'll be laughable. But games like Okami will be remembered for the wonderful art and games like Mega Man X will be remembered for the ridiculous gameplay. I guess that's what I look for more - but don't get me wrong, I love me my Uncharted!

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Bloodysilence19
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 12:48:32 AM
Reply

Give it till next year maybe till the ps3 has hit its peak. It really comes down to what dev takes more advantage of the ps3 hardware. ND and SM are the ones judging from Uc1-3 and Gow3 that got the ps3 locked down and know how to really pushed the ps3 hardware. GG, Insomniac, and Sp are great dev for the ps3 but it still feels their only taking 70%-75% of the hardware compared to what ND and SM does. Other devs i don't see maxing the ps3 out except for Dice and Rs. So many devs now that think the ps3 already hit its maxed when really if they took the time to look at what ND and SM does they see its still got more juice left in it.

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___________
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 3:00:06 AM
Reply

no

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Qubex
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 10:12:10 AM

LOL!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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thj_1980
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 9:33:13 AM
Reply

Yeah I think we are doesn't get any better then this. After all the Ps3's graphics card us very weak. It is behind the 360's which is behind the pc. But that is considering without the cell, and the rsx alone.

alone the rsx is weaker then the 360'd but combined with the cell it is much stronger.

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Robochic
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 9:42:58 AM
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The thing I like about Sony is when they make a machine either tv's, ps3's ect.. they are always connected some how and they always improve on features that go hand in hand they never think small they always think BIG.

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DVE2k
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 1:42:23 PM
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Well in terms of what the GPU of the PS3 can do then ill say its outdated, but in terms of the CPU it still has alot in the tank. I mean its out of Uncharted 2 and Killzone 2/3 and others that have shown what it can do. If PS3 was the primary or lead platform for mainly cross platform games then you would see a leap especially between PS3 and 360 etc... but to answer your question, there is more graphical powa yet to come :)

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xnonsuchx
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 7:02:21 PM

I think that's one problem with multi-platform (360/PS3) titles...even when there's not a bad port from the lead platform, devs usually strive to make both the same rather than the best it can be on each platform. Of course, that could be because they don't want to be accused of favoritism if one is considerably better than the other. However, that makes comparisons between the two versions of the same title rather sketchy if they're both intentionally 'throttled back,' so to speak.

BTW, speaking of lead platforms and porting, I've heard several devs who do use PS3 as the lead platform say they did so because porting from PS3 to 360 or PC is easier than the other way around (due to better tools in the PS3 devkits).

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BrillantED
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 4:50:03 PM
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Does it really matter at all in the first place?

For me, it does not certainly.

Gameplay, Narrative and more important to me at the end.

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SS4
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 5:18:47 PM
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Well the way consoles are means they keep the same hardware for many years, so compare to PC it allows programmer to really exploit the architecture and it gets better as they master it over the year.
This also explain why multiplat creates such a fuss because different architectures need to be used in very different ways to maximize them and hide their age. Which bring me to my other point.
Keeping the same hardware for so long means that they really lack potential compared to what is coming out every few month in the hardware world. Look at PC which double in power every 18 months... And the fact that today's GPU are so many generation ahead of what was put in consoles...

So in essence, for multiplat to be good they need to be optimized for every console and it isn't because it cost more money and most do multiplat to cash in more money instead... And keeping same hardware for such a long period allows programmer to master the architecture and get more out of it but after a few years the system becomes obsolete.

Now they might have figured out a few more tricks to make new big games looks better but it should be very close to its hardware limit and 10 year is ridiculous if you ask me. 5 years is like an eternity in the hardware world.

Sry for all that wall of text :P

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DeathOfChaos
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 11:25:30 PM
Reply

If I say they have, then they'll bump it up even more, so I say that they have!! :D lol. But seriously, I doubt they have, lol.

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DeathOfChaos
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 11:27:29 PM
Reply

I hope the PS4 starts off using Voxels instead of Pixels, then they'll be ahead of the rest again, just like always. Unappreciated until the technology used early on is understood better. Playstation has been known to do so ;)

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daus26
Monday, July 11, 2011 @ 3:54:56 AM
Reply

Ben,how come you're confident that there won't be another Gran Turismo? GT5 released 5 years into the ps3's life span, so there's a good chance there would be another one if the ps3 will really stand for at least 10 years, imo. They spent so much time building this gen's engine for the GT5 so I doubt they're just gonna stop now.

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smileys_007
Monday, July 11, 2011 @ 10:12:54 AM
Reply

@Ben: you can expect Metal Gear Solid: Rising or FFXIII-2 to be a graphical bar on 2012. anyway, ps3 exclusives outstrips all the other console games this gen! I'm currently playing Infamous 2, and that game rocks!! awesome game!!

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Crabba
Monday, July 11, 2011 @ 8:06:58 PM
Reply

I doubt we'll see much improvement in graphics beyond Uncharted 3. I'm not even sure they'll be able to drastically improve the graphics over U2, seeing as how awesome that game looks! But I do think and hope they'll make some adjustments and optimizations to the engine to make it that extra bit nicer looking, if anyone can pull it off, it's Naughty Dog!

I don't see a lot of other games this gen beating, or for that matter even come close to U2/U3's graphics, but I think that's what we can still hope for in the years to come - more exclusives getting close to the Uncharted level!

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