grassyknoll Comments

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  • Activision indefinitely postpones Xbox One version of The Amazing Spider-Man 2

  • grassyknoll 17/04/2014

    @Suarez07 I was being kind! Reply +1
  • grassyknoll 17/04/2014

    @CynicalMe Deferred rendering & Forward+ are techniques for rendering graphics in games. All graphics are put into something called a frame buffer (basically where all data for a image is stored). Deferred rendering is used in most game engines & takes up 48MB for 1080p at the very minimum(with acceptable image quality). 32MB is the maximum possible on the Xbox One as it has to fit in ESRAM (which is it's size), so resolution & image quality have to be reduced on the machine.

    It's a big bug bear of mine when people blame developers when it's a hardware limitation that Microsoft's engineers would have known from the Xbox One's creation. I'm not saying Forza isn't pretty, but the rendering decisions behind it are not what 90% of the game industry uses.
    Reply +4
  • grassyknoll 17/04/2014

    @CynicalMe There's some technical reasons why most games can't be 1080p on Xbox One (ESRAM limitations). I'm sick to death hearing about Forza being 1080p / 60: It's uses Forward+, 90% of modern games use deferred rendering. The developers can not be criticised for reducing resolution or image quality of deferred rendered games, it is a hardware issue Microsoft knew 100% would happen. Reply +16
  • Sony wanted Titanfall developer Respawn to work on Vita

  • grassyknoll 17/04/2014

    @Malek86 Very true, they probably thought more of COD than the potential of Respawn's game. Sony was making Killzone & their sci fi game at the same time, probably didn't want to cannibalise sales of their own games. As for Titanfall being a big seller, we only know UK sales, think we'll get a better picture tonight with NPD. Reply +3
  • grassyknoll 17/04/2014

    @Malek86 I reckon they had the Activision / Bungie deal finalised even then. There's no other possible explanation you would turn down a game from the makers of Call of Duty (no big publisher would turn them down) Reply 0
  • PlayStation 4 has sold 7 million units worldwide

  • grassyknoll 17/04/2014

    @Artplay I think it's sold more than 3, but definitely lower than the 5 million they told investors for the end of March (hence the UK / US price drops & packing in Titanfall). If its under 4 expect steeper price cuts & heavy pack ins. Reply +4
  • GAME to shut down Xbox-only London store

  • grassyknoll 16/04/2014

    @smelly I talking life time sales of the PSP, not now. The 3DS is tracking below the PSP's numbers from 2009. It shows how quickly the Japanese market has changed. (PSP was selling about 50,000 - 60,000 a week on average, the DS was about 100k) Reply +3
  • grassyknoll 16/04/2014

    @vert1go The WiiU is doing terribly in Japan too (France & Germany is where it's really doing OK). The Japanese market has changed dramatically over the last 8 years, the 3DS is gonna be lucky to sell as much as PSP there. Japan is really about mobile gaming now (at least in the medium term & why no one really reports about consoles sales from the region anymore). Reply +2
  • grassyknoll 16/04/2014

    @vert1go I'm not sure why you keep on pushing the sales of PS4 not doing well in Japan (it's virtually every comments thread). Nothing is doing well console wise in Japan. It's a primarily mobile space now. Japan doesn't make or break consoles anymore. Reply +13
  • grassyknoll 16/04/2014

    It's not wise to make any console exclusive store, especially when retail is struggling as much as it is. Reply +36
  • Veteran Halo composer fired from Bungie "without cause"

  • grassyknoll 16/04/2014

    @tackle70 I do think it's more likely than people suggesting Activision leveraged to get him removed (Activision's contract is on a per game / expansion basis, they're not going to risk losing their next COD to avoid bonuses this time) Reply 0
  • grassyknoll 16/04/2014

    @tackle70 In the US you can "terminate without cause", you don't have to give a reason as long as you pay severance. (I imagine Bungie didn't want the drama) Reply +1
  • grassyknoll 16/04/2014

    One thing not mentioned here is O'Donnell had made very controversial anti abortion comments on his Twitter account. Perhaps Bungie didn't feel it wanted such a high profile figure in their company associated with them (which I personally see as justified) Reply 0
  • Sony sells all its Square Enix shares for 28m

  • grassyknoll 16/04/2014

    Any home console games released by Square Enix are gonna be end on PS4. The shares didn't really give them any real leverage anyway. Reply +8
  • These are the most popular games on Steam - report

  • grassyknoll 16/04/2014

    Think I've got about 50 games unplayed. I think gamers in general become so obsessed with the next big game they don't realise they may already own it or depressingly, don't have enough time to play them. I'm a little of both. Reply +6
  • Trials Fusion has day one patch to boost Xbox One resolution

  • grassyknoll 15/04/2014

    @carlrandall I've just woken up with this page left on my phone & seeing your comment is just embarrassing & just insulting to virtual every developer. Myself & others (far more comprehensively than me!) have gone into the technical reasons why the Xbox One can't display many
    games in 1080p & it's short comings, how can you blame developers when the evidence why is right in front of your eyes?!
    Reply +3
  • grassyknoll 14/04/2014

    @marcusmiller I gonna put multiple reasons why they used ESRAM, some may be more important than others, but I think they're all true to some degree.

    1. Sony send out a questionnaire to 100's of developers early on in the PS4's development asking them expectations & what they would like for next generation. Unified memory was the single biggest feature asked for (all this is from a interview with Mark Cerny) so they went with GDDR5 (very fast memory used in PC graphics card). Microsoft just evolved on what it had in the 360. They only consulted with publishers on the vision of the machine, not what's inside it.

    2. Microsoft believed the price of ESRAM would come down quickly over time so used it as it was cheap.

    3. Microsoft wanted to originally use DDR4 RAM (which is has very high bandwidth, bandwidth is how fast data is pushed around a system, high bandwidth is essential for graphics), but it was too expensive & supply was too limited, so ESRAM (high bandwidth, but other problems, explained earlier) with DDR3 (DDR3 has very low bandwidth) was used instead.

    4. The 360 was used for gaming less than 50% of the time (data MS released last year), so app switching , video & Kinect were the most important factors influencing the Xbox One's development (GDDR5 has a higher latency, so they didn't want to use that, as it would impact Kinect's performance). I would add that ESRAM is huge, so 33% of the compute units & half the ROP's had to be removed. (they process & create the graphics making 1080p harder to achieve the less of them there are!)
    Reply +12
  • grassyknoll 14/04/2014

    @mega-gazz I don't think we'll see any sub HD games this generation. PC development seems to be scaling up (4K, 8K, multiple monitors,down sampling etc). I think we'll end up with the consoles first few years being high/medium PC settings, mid gen (medium), towards the end. low.

    This generation is definitely going to be shorter (a normal 5/6 year cycle). APU's are very scalable & no one is making huge losses this time round. That's good for console makers, developers, PC & console gamers.
    Reply +2
  • grassyknoll 14/04/2014

    @Dantonir I've altered my comment, got my sums wrong, forgot to multiply by 4! MS own developers may not have used deferred shading, but EA, Epic, Square Enix, Konami etc are. They gutted their APU to put ESRAM on it (removing compute units, ROP's & adding bandwidth constraints). You only do that if gaming is third to media & Kinect. Reply +2
  • grassyknoll 14/04/2014

    @marcusmiller I think the Xbox One will get beautiful / great games, but I do think the gap between graphics (especially physics, animation) will most likely get bigger between the 2 platforms(or stay the same at best). Reply +9
  • grassyknoll 14/04/2014

    @el_pollo_diablo A frame buffer is where all the graphical data that creates an image is stored within memory. A frame buffer gets bigger depending on resolution, image quality, effects, colour etc.

    Deferred rendering is a technique used to create computer graphics (it's used because it's great for lighting & used for most modern games). A frame buffer that uses deferred rendering uses a lot of memory compared to PS3 / 360. (about 3 times as much, Killzone Shadowfalls was about 80MB vs 36MB on Killzone 2).

    The big problem for Xbox One is a frame buffer has to be 32MB or under as that's the size of the ESRAM (games that don't use it would perform terribly). Games that are 1080p using deferred rendering are 48MB minimum. So resolution or image quality has to be reduced for the Xbox One to actually display it. PS4 / PC don't have to worry about these types of limits because they draw their graphical data from a large pool of memory.

    As frame buffers get bigger(especially as games get more complex & designed for Xbox One / PS4 /PC) the Xbox One is gonna to struggle significantly when it comes to image quality & resolution as the generation continues. Some people may disagree with me here, but everything about the design of Xbox One suggests to me 1080p was not a priority at all, there's no way they would use ESRAM of that size if it was (I would add they got rid of 6 compute units for it too out of 18, making 1080p even harder!)

    (Sorry for the wall of text!)
    Reply +28
  • grassyknoll 14/04/2014

    @frunk I do think DX12 will make game development far easier & help with memory management / move engines too (so we could see quite large increases in performance as a result of that), but I do think Xbox One will not really reach the graphical peak of what it could be. Reply +3
  • grassyknoll 14/04/2014

    @frunk I'm being a bit of a negative nancy, but DX12 will not help the Xbox One much at all. Games developement on consoles is about having less abstract layers between code & hardware, not more. DX12 being a big deal on Xbox One is more worrying than a positive (developers should be coding to the metal!). Reply +27
  • grassyknoll 14/04/2014

    @Dantonir Very true (I tried to keep it simple)). I think racing games is probably the only genre where they can strip back enough effects to keep the resolution 1080p on Xbox One (although I imagine racers may use forward+, like Forza). Reply +6
  • grassyknoll 14/04/2014

    @Malek86 If they just used the main memory they would only have access to 68GB of bandwidth per second, games would run far far worse. Reply +9
  • grassyknoll 14/04/2014

    @_fishywishy Most modern games use a modern technique known as deferred rendering to form their games. Games that use this type of rendering need a frame buffer thats at least 48MB for 1080p (but can be far far higher 48MB). The max a frame buffer can be on the Xbox One is 32MB, so resolution & effects have to be toned down to fit. Microsoft knew that most modern multiplatform games would use deferred rendering & went with 32 MB ESRAM anyway. This isn't developers / Sony's / Nintendo's or anyone elses fault. Reply +40
  • grassyknoll 14/04/2014

    @Jonabob87 The developers of that game said they're "targeting" 1080p / 60, but I think it'll end up 720p or 900p max on Xbox One. The very smallest a 1080p buffer that uses deferred rendering can be is 48MB & that's before any AA. Reply +14
  • grassyknoll 14/04/2014

    @AgentDaleCooper Xbox One can't do a deferred rendered frame buffer at 1080p full stop. Microsoft knew from the beginning where the games industry was heading (Cryengine, Frostbite,Unreal Engine & Fox Engine to name a few, all use deferred rendering, along with most modern game engines, like Trails) & used 32 MB of ESRAM anyway (which is far too small to make a 1080p frame buffer). I know I'm gonna get negged, but this proves to me more than anything the Xbox One was designed as a media machine first, games machine second.

    If you disagree, show proof that a 1080p frame buffer that uses deferred rendering is possible on Xbox One!
    Reply +174
  • Amazon, Asda drop Titanfall Xbox One bundle to 349

  • grassyknoll 11/04/2014

    @vert1go Week 7 for PS3 was the week before Xmas! PS4 is not doing well in Japan at all, but to be honest it's a soft launch. There's virtually no Japanese games for the foreseeable future. The release of FF XIV will provide a more interesting analysis next week. Reply +3
  • grassyknoll 11/04/2014

    @frazzl Your posts provide more entertainment than the Xbox One & PS4 combined. The mental gymnastics you pull off are quite something. Reply +11
  • grassyknoll 11/04/2014

    @skunkfish I not gonna tell anyone to buy any console, but if one game is 720p on the X1 & 1080p on PS4, the PS4 one will still look significantly better on a 720p TV: free downsampling. The best AA you can get. Reply +10
  • grassyknoll 11/04/2014

    I genuinely feel that Microsoft believed a year ago that the Xbox One was going to be the next PS2. They actually thought that people would just lap up Kinect, DRM (at the time!), the high price tag, worst specs, TV & that they would just steamroll Nintendo & Sony. How things have changed. (I personally wouldn't recommend either the Bone or PS4, yet!) Reply +16
  • Titanfall Xbox 360 won't come to Games on Demand

  • grassyknoll 11/04/2014

    Considering the high standard of the port, no one can blame Bluepoint for not being able to make a digital version. Reply +21
  • Performance analysis: Titanfall on Xbox 360

  • grassyknoll 11/04/2014

    @bigdsweetz No worries! Reply 0
  • grassyknoll 11/04/2014

    @bigdsweetz It was a dig at Digital Foundry's inconsistency, not Titanfall at all. Read my post again. Reply 0
  • CapyGames' action roguelike Below confirmed for Steam

  • grassyknoll 11/04/2014

    Can't wait to get my hands on this. The music & art direction are incredible. Reply +1
  • "We have the ambition to build the best gaming console for fans"

  • grassyknoll 10/04/2014

    @Machiavellian The Xbox One is tracking far lower in Europe (bar UK) than the 360. The Xbox One will not outsell the 360. It will get sell less Live Subscriptions than the 360 & if this cloud technology is incorporated, they'll lose more money than they did on the 360 (& paying subs to retailers already on top). Where is profit coming from? Reply +5
  • grassyknoll 10/04/2014

    @Machiavellian No one is making an exclusive for Xbox One unless they're paid. This generation has to be profitable for Microsoft to remain in the gaming business. Microsoft is already subsiding heavily in the UK (http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/xbox-one-titanfall-bundle-349-asda-store-gravesend-store-1876193). It's losing market share in the US, its not selling in Europe, Tier 2 countries have the console in stores from Tier 1 countries & it's not selling. Why do you believe MS will spend billions more & risk not making a profit? It makes no sense! Reply +6
  • grassyknoll 10/04/2014

    @TheNinjaWarriorAGAIN You're making loads of assumptions that a fanboy would make. Microsoft is a business, they want to make money believe it or not. Microsoft is going to lose marketshare in every territory & you're expecting them to put billions into cloud tech at the same time (the most successful console made 6 billion in 5 years). How do you expect MS to make money with half the amount of buyers of the PS2 (at best) with all of Live's cash invested in cloud tech? It's just not viable. Reply +7
  • grassyknoll 10/04/2014

    @Machiavellian Those billions for Azure are for business clients & Windows, not video games! This generation is about profitability for all the console (& Valve) companies, no company is wasting billions just for games. Sony made 5 billion from the PS2 (the most successful console of all time), do you believe that MS gamble billions just to chase that? If you honestly do, they've already lost the generation. Reply +1
  • grassyknoll 10/04/2014

    @TheNinjaWarriorAGAIN That's not a real world scenario at all. This is the kind of stuff that is damaging the Xbox One more than anything & makes me not want to buy one. It's 10 times worst than the power of the Cell stuff (at least there was Uncharted / TLOU etc, there's not even a game using this, which I doubt will ever happen) Reply +1
  • grassyknoll 10/04/2014

    @Machiavellian Jesus Christ, that's some MS Kool Aid your drinking. A. What's the point of spending 100 of millions on a new console If they could use the internet? B. The cost of hardware to power this cloud tech would actually cost billions. No profit would be made in this generation or the next. C. Bandwidth costs would cost millions, maybe even billions over a generation.

    There's no real evidence this technology even exists or is even plausible beyond lighting models (probably easier to do it on the console). I have no problem with people loving the Xbox One for its games & functions, but this obsession with Microsoft having sci-fi technology needs to stop, it's just embarrassing.
    Reply +5
  • grassyknoll 10/04/2014

    I think Microsoft can turn it around, but they need to stop focusing on lies (4 Xbox One's in the cloud, DX12 doubling Xbone's performance, your TV outputs all games at 1080p) & focus on their strengths: Media integration, first party stuff. Reply +4
  • Transistor, the next game from the creators of Bastion, is out next month

  • grassyknoll 10/04/2014

    This is the type of game Square Enix should be making. Reply +4
  • The Last of Us: Remastered for PS4 revealed

  • grassyknoll 10/04/2014

    @djronz. You need to get your eyes tested. If you have to be a foot away to tell you the difference between 720 & 1080 you better look of you're in the right house & if you children are yours! *I jest, kind of* Reply +1
  • grassyknoll 10/04/2014

    @frazzl So removing PC games (which you don't count) that's Kinect Sports till the end of September... There's games on both platforms to buy, it's was obvious you were trolling a little bit. Saying there's no exclusives on PS4 in 2014 is ridicious! Reply +2
  • grassyknoll 10/04/2014

    @frazzl The Last of Us Remastered in August, Planetside 2 by the end of June, Helldivers is August, N ++ is in the summer. All before September. Reply +4
  • grassyknoll 10/04/2014

    @frazzl Can you name one exclusive (not on PC) out by September? I'm glad to be proved wrong but I really don't think there is one. 360 owners really are throwing stones in glass houses about bare patches. The 360 had one for about 3 1/2 years! Reply +4
  • grassyknoll 10/04/2014

    @djronz. Most PS2 games were 60fps. I'm fine with 30fps if its to make a game graphical spectacular, but the filmic / artistic choice is false (the biggest lie in games since 720 / 1080p look the same) Films in high frame rates look like soap operas because it highlights details that don't show up at 24fps (make up, setting etc). Computer games fidelity are only enhanced by higher frame rates. Reply +1
  • grassyknoll 10/04/2014

    @frazzl All of those games listed (bar The Order 1886) are gonna be out by / in the summer. I personally think games are games (especially as my PC couldn't play some of them), but you went down the on PC too route, which leaves the Xbox One's line up looking very bare for the next 6 months. Reply +4