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darkGDI

PlayStation 3: Untapped Potential?

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With the PS3's first year beginning to round out, do you think that the full power of the PlayStation 3 has been unlocked? I just recently purchased a PS3, and I must say that I am very impressed with what is in the $600 package. A package like this seems more fit for $800 or $900 dollar price tag. Anyway, no PS3 hatin' please. If you don't have an answer to the question, and are just going to post to hate on the PS3, then just don't post. In my opinion, the PS3's full potential has not been fully unlocked, but it is still great right now.

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In my opinion, the PS3's full potential has not been fully unlocked, but it is still great right now.
Sounds rather vague. What portions of the PS3's full potential do you feel remain locked, and what evidence do you have that it's there to be unlocked?

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The question seems kinda pointless to me. Of course there's a lot of untapped potential. Like in most other console generations it will take developers up to 4 or more years to use the hardware to its full potential. I'd even say that we often don't see the full potential of consoles, cause the standard console cicle might be too short. The Neo Geo still delivered more and more impressive games, nearly a decade after its release (Garou: MotW surpassed even Street Fighter 3 in some regards).

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Original post by Chris B
The question seems kinda pointless to me. Of course there's a lot of untapped potential. Like in most other console generations it will take developers up to 4 or more years to use the hardware to its full potential. I'd even say that we often don't see the full potential of consoles, cause the standard console cicle might be too short. The Neo Geo still delivered more and more impressive games, nearly a decade after its release (Garou: MotW surpassed even Street Fighter 3 in some regards).


I'll second this. I recently bought an xbox 360, which while obviously not directly relevant to this thread, it is of the same generation. I was immediately struck that while yes, the games are very impressive, I get the strong feeling that they use nowhere near the consoles potential. I suspect it's the same with the ps3. Who knows what we'll see on them in a year or two.

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This is pretty much the norm - every new console that comes out has significant differences compared to other consoles. We as developers are constantly having to relearn the "best" ways to do things on each platform.

The PS3 is particularly odd since it's part of the first generation with significant focus on multiple processor cores but decided to go with one general purpose core and a handful of 'compartmentalized' cores which offer plenty of speed but not much memory. The 360 on the other hand only has three cores, but they are all general purpose in that they can all access main memory freely.

Writing multiprocessor code isn't something we've been doing for very long in the games industry. This, combined with the desire to get a game published on as many platforms as possible and the differences in multi-core styles that the PS3 and 360 have makes it hard to exploit each system's full potential.

We'll get there eventually, though.

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Original post by Nypyren
Writing multiprocessor code isn't something we've been doing for very long in the games industry.


Wasn't the Sega Saturn based on multi-processor architecture?
Developers back then complained about how it's difficult to use the full potential of the hardware and the games usually fell short in terms of graphics in comparison to the Playstation.

That could be a whole other principle than what the PS3 utilises of course, I'm not very firm with this technical stuff.

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Original post by Nypyren
Writing multiprocessor code isn't something we've been doing for very long in the games industry.
Wasn't the Sega Saturn based on multi-processor architecture?
Yes, but maybe it was an all around bad design too? Could also be that the developers didn't think much of learning to use the Saturn better because of Sega's trend of ditching consoles early and often.

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To be honest I don't see a lot of potential in the PS3. As I see it, it's a PS2 on steroids. Now, granted, the PS2 had great games, and I'm sure the PS3 will as well, but...honestly, it's going to be the PS2 with better graphics IMO, or the Xbox360 with slightly better graphics, which isn't worth the cost of the system. On top of that, none of the games I've seen on it so far have very much impressed me. There's always the future, though.

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It's true with any console that you don't see it's full potential until towards the end of it's lifetime. Even with a console like the PS2 the most impressive games graphics wise were after the PS3 was already released.
The PS3 and the 360 do have a lot more to offer but it's going to be a while before we see it.
Each new generation of console requires large teams and longer production periods. I'd guess it's going to be at least 2 years before we see a game that truely pushes the PS3 hardware.

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Original post by Unknown Target
To be honest I don't see a lot of potential in the PS3. As I see it, it's a PS2 on steroids. Now, granted, the PS2 had great games, and I'm sure the PS3 will as well, but...honestly, it's going to be the PS2 with better graphics IMO, or the Xbox360 with slightly better graphics, which isn't worth the cost of the system. On top of that, none of the games I've seen on it so far have very much impressed me. There's always the future, though.


You can't honestly say that though because thats like saying Xbox 360 is an Xbox on steroids. Or the SNES is a NES on steroids. Or the PS2 is a Playstation on steroids. Or the Nintendo DS is an original Game Boy on steroids. The PS3 in fact has vastly better graphical capabilities than the PS2 as well as acts (like the 360 vs original Xbox) more as a personal gaming center where you can import music, vids, and images wirelessly from your computer whereas the PS2's menu system basically consisted of system settings and a memory card explorer.

darkGDI, don't worry I won't call your question stupid, because I do believe it has untapped potential. But those that mention it will take awhile have a good point, look at Gears of War for the 360 and the time it took to get that out.

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With the PS3's first year beginning to round out, do you think that the full power of the PlayStation 3 has been unlocked?


Not even a little bit. Sometime next year we're going to start seeing games that really show off the PS3's capabilities, and you'll get a visual taste of that during this year's E3.

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Like a lot of people have pointed out earlier in the thread, there's always much unused potential in the first generations of games for a given platform. Just look at how good shadow of the colossus, god of war and okami looks compared to earlier ps2 games - or what about the 360? According to the inquirer, all the first generation 360 games used only a single core which shows that there's a lot of unused potential there as well. My guess is that there's even more unused potential in the ps3 since it's considered by many developers to be a complex piece of hardware to program.

The same goes for controllers. It takes time to get used to and develop common, good ways to handle user input. In a lot of early games, both for the wiimote and the sixaxis, the motion controls seems tacked on at the last moment, but I'm guessing that this will get much better with time.

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Original post by Vampyre_Dark
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Original post by Chris B
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Original post by Nypyren
Writing multiprocessor code isn't something we've been doing for very long in the games industry.
Wasn't the Sega Saturn based on multi-processor architecture?
Yes, but maybe it was an all around bad design too? Could also be that the developers didn't think much of learning to use the Saturn better because of Sega's trend of ditching consoles early and often.


Actually that started with the Saturn. Sega never ditched the Genesis.

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Original post by Alpha_ProgDes
Actually that started with the Saturn. Sega never ditched the Genesis.


Yup... If anything, Sega had the opposite problem with the Genesis: trying to keep it alive way too long, even in the face of later generation systems (including their own; the 32X shipped about 6 months before the Saturn came out, in both North America and Europe).

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Original post by e-u-l-o-g-y
Just look at how good shadow of the colossus, god of war and okami looks compared to earlier ps2 games - or what about the 360?


Or, for that matter, compare Super Mario Bros. 3, TMNT 2: The Arcade Game, or Shatterhand to the original Super Mario Bros., Metroid, and Kung Fu.

I wager we won't see what the XBox360, PS3, and Wii are REALLY capable of until 2010 or later.

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Original post by e-u-l-o-g-y
...or what about the 360? According to the inquirer, all the first generation 360 games used only a single core ...

I call bullcrap. I really, really, really wouldn't trust that news article. Heck, with all the crap I have seen on the Inquirer, I wouldn't take anything they say without a grain (or pound) of salt.

I do agree with the OP to a certain extent - it will take time to fully take advantage of the platform. I think that is pretty true for any new platform. That isn't to say that it is going to suddenly get absolutely mind blowing graphics, but it doesn't mean things will keep looking the same as they are now. The more time spent developing for the platform, the more nuances are discovered and worked around.

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I'm waiting until xmas to get a PS3 so I can get it for $499 with an 80GB HD. Too bad you didn't wait a few weeks and get the same machine for $100 less :)

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Original post by Moe
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Original post by e-u-l-o-g-y
...or what about the 360? According to the inquirer, all the first generation 360 games used only a single core ...

I call bullcrap. I really, really, really wouldn't trust that news article. Heck, with all the crap I have seen on the Inquirer, I wouldn't take anything they say without a grain (or pound) of salt.


I take it with a grain of salt (that's why I wrote "according to"). I didn't know they had a credibility problem, but I'll take it into account - I've seen them quoted all over the net, but that's perhaps saying more about the net than their credibility ;)

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Original post by Alpha_ProgDes
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Original post by Vampyre_Dark
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Original post by Chris B
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Original post by Nypyren
Writing multiprocessor code isn't something we've been doing for very long in the games industry.
Wasn't the Sega Saturn based on multi-processor architecture?
Yes, but maybe it was an all around bad design too? Could also be that the developers didn't think much of learning to use the Saturn better because of Sega's trend of ditching consoles early and often.
Actually that started with the Saturn. Sega never ditched the Genesis.
Actually, no. The Saturn would end up being the third piece of dumped hardware. SEGACD and 32x were the firsts. Now, if you are asking yourself "What SegaCd and 32x?", you proved my point! [lol]

They also dumped their own controllers halfway through the console's lifetime, adopting a new standard that everyone put to use, and made playing with the older 'abc' ones a chore.

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Original post by e-u-l-o-g-y
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Original post by Moe
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Original post by e-u-l-o-g-y
...or what about the 360? According to the inquirer, all the first generation 360 games used only a single core ...

I call bullcrap. I really, really, really wouldn't trust that news article. Heck, with all the crap I have seen on the Inquirer, I wouldn't take anything they say without a grain (or pound) of salt.


I take it with a grain of salt (that's why I wrote "according to"). I didn't know they had a credibility problem, but I'll take it into account - I've seen them quoted all over the net, but that's perhaps saying more about the net than their credibility ;)


They are quite valuable resource, as they often have articles that are unavailable from other sources. They sometimes have it right, sometimes wrong. For example according to Inquirer a power consumption of 8500 GT, and 8600 GT was 40, 43. According to a manufacturer a power consumption of 8600 GT is 50 watts. They had right the power consumption of 8500 GT.

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Re OP. It has a common disadvantage of only 256 * 2^20 Bytes of RAM. Of course this will prevents majority of dynamic world algorithms, and persistence. From my experience things started to feel right when I used 2^30 Bytes of RAM. I would easily use 2^40, however there is that pesky bandwidth limit. So while it has some potential with comparison to PS2 (which isn't too much), they will concentrate (wrongly) on graphic and eye candy. And considering of expensive developer cycles, there would be little amount of real breaktrhoughts. You seen it on PC.

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I really don't know what to think of the PS3. It seems like it is one heck of a system...but there are only a couple of games on it that I would play. As on the 360...they have all kinds of games that I would play. The PS3 is basically just not living up to the hype sony was promising us. One thing that FINALLY did live up to the hype is Killzone 2. I mean...EVERYONE thought we were lied to when they said..."it's actual game play" back at E3 05. For 2 years we herd nearly nothing of Killzone 2...now at E3 07 we see the trailer from 05 at the beginning and everyone is like "ummm...we have already seen this pre rendered stuff" Then all of a sudden that gun comes into view and everyone sits there like..."wait...you mean...it was actually real...oh crap." If Killzone 2 brings us what I think it can...then I think it could be a huge boost for the system. We can only hope though.

And no...do not think I am some Sony fan boy when I say this. What I think is this: people who say the PS3 sucks are just plain Microsoft fanboys. Sure...the PS3 does have it's problems right now and is selling very well...but I do think that the PS3 can battle it's way back up. it will be a tough battle though as they did dig a pretty big hole. I am not a sony fanboy...trust me...I am actually buying a 360 in a couple of weeks even before I get a PS3...because the 360 is more interesting to me right now.

That is really all I have to say. lol.

Chad

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For my money, the PS3/360 feud will come down to two main arenas: Exclusive titles and online content. If they take the Path of EA and turn the online world into a cash cow of screwing their customer base, they will suffer. If they make it a utopian community of interaction and ease-of-use, they'll prosper. Likewise, they need to start bribing the crap out of anyone who has a bank account to get exclusive content up the ying-yang of such quality and appeal that the library is superior to the other guy's. A few million triangles or another layer of textures or a few dynamic lightsources or even a gimmicky new controller are no match for good game design and fun, as the Wii has already shown us.

So yes, it's underutilized, and it can become a lot better with some effort and investment, but I think its shabby fiscal performance will discourage a lot of the support that could push it over the hump and into the realm of uberness. I predict that the 360 will win in the USA.

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You should first define 'potential.' I believe both the 360 and PS3 are capable of much better graphics than they currently have showing. Is this potential? Not to my definition.

I am and have been predicting a soon-coming downfall (probably with the next generation) of video games primarily because of the focus on graphics. Sure the jump from last gen to this gen was big, but what about next time? Or the next generation? The problem with all consoles is that, to most people, graphics == potential.

I see potential as innovation, fun games, and amazing stories told in unique ways. Some games like that popping to mind are Legend of Zelda, Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, and Ico. I'd even toss Crackdown in there just on the sheer amusement it's multiplayer brings. I see the Wii as probably bringing quite a bit with the other two having a few gems, but mostly a lot of eye candy for the masses.

So, in conclusion, graphics != potential. Potential does not require powerful hardware, just smart people.

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