neoconned Comments

  • Face-Off: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

  • neoconned 11/02/2013

    Beyond3d is a good site with several folks who know their stuff along with insiders. But this "function" character.... more like disfunction. Function adds nothing meaningful to any discussion. This "function" is merely a troll pretending to know what they are talking about. The reality is B3F's function is just another troll;, a disease or a cancer so-to-speak. Does anybody here know any of function's personal details? Not just an IP, but function's personal address. Work history. Social network account such as Facebook. This 'function' needs a dose of 'reality' for those of you who cach my meaning Reply -1
  • neoconned 10/02/2013

    I wonder why the (very slight) drop in resolution on Wii U? Also, why is it vsynced while the other versions aren't? I can't imagine the (again very slight) drop in res compared to the 360 version impacting the framerate much compared to vsync. I personally prefer vsync on PC versus torn frames, but adaptive vsync is a good alternative and seems to be what the other versions use. Odd.

    Well at least the Wii U finally got a nod from DF. Tekken Tag should have too, the differences (including snow effect) were not due to hardware but rather fan complaints (foliage and snow obstructing play field). But whatever, the concensus is that Wii U is weak and it doesn't help that DF (especially RL) want to believe it is weaker than 360 via confirmation bias and April Fools jokes. By April Fools I'm referring to the fake dev claiming it lacked shaders compared to 360 on April Fools Day. The same dev said the game pad was weak and the PS3/Vita combo was better (lol!). This isn't enough for RL or even some folks on beyond3d forum like function. Function is an especially pessimistic twit who (in biased fashion) still want the Wii U to be weaker than it already is and adheres to the AF joke rumor apparently. IMHO the opposite of a delusionl fanboy. I would like to take delusional fanboys of any hardware and people like function and place them in a hermetically sealed chamber and... You know... Lets just say it would be a 'gas' ;) LOL!!!! I'm serious btw, I have lost all faith in the human race.

    Wii U is a modern and efficient design with slightly better hardware than the last gen. MS and Sony's NG offerings will be better but compared to the previous (aka current) gen it will be diminishing returns for most people. PC is still master race and NG won't touch it even years down the line. Nintendo fans have nothing to worry about especially if they bought the Wii U to play Nintendo games. If Wii games in HD on Dolphin look pretty much (in many cases) like a 360 game (with exceptions obviously, but my point is they would not look out of place) then true HD hardware will bring out some amazing first party experiences. Despite the complaints, the 3rd party stuff is still at near parity with the others and it will only improve and exceed. I won't expect miracles but even good ports of NG games will be fine for those that care.
    Reply -1
  • Wii U graphics power finally revealed

  • neoconned 05/02/2013

    The TDP of 4650/4670 shrunk to 40nm would still be higher than what the Wii U draws. RV7xx may have been the starting point, but we're looking at a highly customized SoC with a dense and irregular SIMD engine layout closer the GPU portion of more recent AMD APUs. Also, no RV7xx contained 8 TMUs correlating to 320 shaders, one of the reasons for the initial 160 shader 'false positive'. I'm not saying it's not RV7xx-based and I'm not saying it's DX11 capable. I'm saying this is a more refined and efficient design. Design improvements alone should result in performance improvements over the 4650 and probably closer to the 5550 (which is also 320/16 and has a TDP of 39w).

    From the beginning we were told the Wii U would be 1.5x the power of a 360, I've never expected any performance miracles. But it must be pointed out that DF has not at all been correct in speculating its capabilities. The infamous "lacking shaders" rumor comes to mind, something that seems to have created a less-than-current-gen pessimism and bias which still exists in part in this article.

    Yes the Wii U is weak, but this particular statement:

    "...with these numbers we can now, categorically, finally rule out any next-gen pretensions for the Wii U - the GCN hardware in Durango and Orbis is in a completely different league"

    Completely different league? We are not going to see generational leaps like we saw in the past. With each new console generation came essentially a new feature set of capabilities. The Wii U has essentially the same feature set as Durango and Orbis. It's not as powerful, but it can still do the same things. Some have claimed the Wii U is like the Dreamcast was to the PS2/GCN/Xbox but each of those were completely different feature sets in addition to more horsepower. So while the Dreamcast was definitely a generational leap above the N64, this was during the early years of 3D. Things are more standardized. Even comparing Orbis/Durango to the aging PS3/360, there is much less of a generational leap.

    Unlike some wishful thinking fans, I don't think there is any magic left on the rest of the chip. Probably some Wii stuff in addition to what else is being speculated. And if the Wii stuff and the 'secret' embedded memory are not locked out of Wii U mode, then maybe they could be put to use with the right tools.

    Anyways, I just can't help but think some people (like RL and a couple guys at B3D) wanted to continue thinking the Wii U was inferior to the current gen consoles. The GPU is better, the RAM bandwidth is only one part of the story and devs have hinted that the memory architecture is good. The CPU is lacking in some cases, better in others. Perhaps a bit of tweaking can offset that. I'm not convinced it's a 750, probably a 470/476 with BC stuff built in. If devs were really in the dark til the last minute, it would explain why the ports aren't perfect. They probably ported the 360 stuff over with minor tweaks kinda like Tecmo ported DOA2 directly to the PS2's EE from DC without really understanding the VUs (thus is was mostly inferior to the DC version).

    Lastly, some Wii games emulated in dolphin's HD would look fine on 360/PS3. Those consoles were 20x more powerful than the Wii. Now there is a much smaller gap 3x-5x with basically the same feature set in HD. First party games will be amazing. Third party was never Nintendo's strength anyways, but there will be ports for popular games.
    Reply +2
  • Nintendo announces Zelda: Wind Waker HD re-make for Wii U, out this year

  • neoconned 26/01/2013

    Don't mean to nitpick, but I hope they fix the eyebrows. They originally went over the hair. Maybe that was a rendering mistake, but it's part of the look. Well for me anyways.

    Otherwise I like the look. Some people don't and I can see that. I always liked how the background was hazy in the distance. On dolphin that haziness is too blurry and despite all the options it never looks right (and might even look best turned off). So I like the DOF even if it reminds of Nintendo Land. I'm sure this is early stuff anyways and Nintendo Land looks great IMO.

    I agree that the Triforce fetch should be 'fixed'. Perhaps partially or fully removed in favor of dungeons that were obviously being worked on since with action replay or whatever you can access the untextured incomplete dungeons. I don't care what anybody says about sailing either, that was my favorite part! WW is my favorite Zelda game. I remember the unveiling of the cel-shaded look being polarizing. But the game was beautiful. The koroks were adorable. The dungeons were and still are epic but I think the TP dungeons were too and there were more of them.

    This is what I got the Wii U for. I knew it was underpowered, but it's the only way to play Nintendo games. Nintendo has a lot of fanboys, a lot of rationally-minded fans, and a lot of haters. The haters complain about the things which the fans like. I guess they don't get Nintendo, and that's fine. I understand criticizing the hardware. It's weak compared to what the next PS and Xbox are supposed to be. The next PS and Xbox are weak compared to the PC master race though. On paper 8 cores sounds neat, but they're tablet processors incapable of SMP. Both are going to use laptop GPUs. In all honesty, I don't think the wow factor will be there. They'll wind up competing with their older hardware especially without BC. There will be a difference, but the resolution isn't changing. They're still HD. HD ports of Wii games or emulating Wii on Dolpin shows that those games look great in HD. Not entirely on par with PS3/360 but games like SMG and DKR in HD aren't far off and there are 360/PS3 games that look worse overall in the same resolution.

    I guess what I'm saying is the games drought sucks, but at least we'll get what we bought it for. Didn't buy it for ports, but I'll buy a port if I can't play it some place else (and it isn't terrible).
    Reply 0
  • Capcom addresses why Resident Evil: Revelations isn't coming to Vita

  • neoconned 26/01/2013

    @Muddtallica The Vita architecture is actually closer to the 3DS than the PS3. Sony marketed the Vita as something akin to a portable PS3 but the hardware is nowhere close to that level. Not even the latest tablets and smart phones are at the level of PS3/360 yet. Superficially you can make a game resemble that level and some less demanding games can (and have been) ported like MvC3 and SFxT, the latter of which is based on SF4 which the 3DS even pulled off.

    Vita is still good hardware but good hardware needs good games. I bought a Vita for FFX and had buyer's remorse. I sold it at a loss and doubt FFX will ever be released on it at this point.

    The 3DS version of RE:R was already made. The 360/PS3/Wii U/PC port would involve one shared code path that would not work on the Vita without being re-written. Since that cost money, Capcom probably weighed the cost versus the return in investing that cost and decided to pass. And I think the primary reason they are making the HD version is to make back some of the investment they were expecting a return on with the 3DS version...
    Reply +1
  • Next-gen Xbox specs leak

  • neoconned 22/01/2013

    If they're really going with this CPU (and at this point it looks like it's true), doesn't that concern anybody? I get the feeling that many of you are seeing "8 core" and foaming at the mouth thinking it's a powerhouse similar to the quad core in the Vita. On paper it sounds impressive. It reality these are AMD embedded x86 cores designed for netbooks and tablets which are not capable of SMP. A low-end i3 dual core will out perform it in most cases. Unless they're used for something like 3d rendering in parallel, but you got a GPU for that.

    Back in 2005, the 360 specs sounded amazing. A triple-core 3.2ghz processor, that sounded insane on paper. On paper. In reality it was a lousy and wastefully inefficient CPU. And the quad-core Vita sounds good on paper too except they could have gone with a faster dual-core solution that would beat it in most cases and run cooler. It's 2013 and most games don't efficiently make use of anything beyond three cores. The same counterarguments against the Cell or wishful thinking about GPGPUs applies to the 8 cores. And I think 2 of them are reserved for OS.

    Then there is BC. I don't see how it's possible. This just seems, IMO, an odd decision. Same with Orbis. Both next gen offerings are now more console-like than ever before. I'm sure some hacker will find a way to load Windows on each. I'm worried about this CPU though, I have a feeling it's not much of an improvement over the 3 Xenon cores (which are SMP capable). For BC compatibility alone I'm surprised they didn't go with PPC 476 or 470 cores. They have higher clocks, SMP (four threads per core I think), and are also low wattage. And they would probably be BC. They could go with 8 of those cores. BTW, I think the Wii U is using three 476 cores and not 450. 476 is modern embedded architecture capable of SMP (like Wii U's CPU) and the die size is similar to the tiny Wii U CPU die for three cores. It's under-clocked though, probably because in Wii mode it runs at 50% speed which is exactly the clock. But maybe that kind of CPU is worse, I dunno. And what's with this DDR3 architecture? The bandwidth is being 'calculated' in a strange way. Reminds me of Wii U too. It's clearly more powerful than the Wii U and obviously the 360, but the gap is a lot smaller than Wii and 360 and even Xbox and 360.

    How are the games going to look? Because now more than ever, MS and Sony will have to compete with themselves (their older consoles). It was easy for MS to do this with 360. The Xbox fanbase was dedicated but small compared to PS2. They were sold on Halo 3. PS3 took years to sell. Years of jokes about having no games other than Oblivion. We like to think of the PS3 and 360 as antiquated, and that's true. But it's also true they were monsters and ahead of their time. Sold at a loss and in MS's case with cheap RRoD-causing parts that cost them more in warranty repair than whatever it saved. Their early years were outsold by the antiquated (hardware-wise) Wii and things really took off (especially for Sony) in 2009. The games industry has also changed. I get this strange feeling that this will be the last generation of consoles as we know them.
    Reply +3
  • neoconned 22/01/2013

    @sega This is also a big question for me. BC is more important than ever. Gamers with a lot invested in downloads will expect their downloads to work on the new console. I've seen some people say "at least live arcade will probably work" overlooking the fact that retail games have been available to download for years (and aren't special compared to arcade titles except older arcade titles had smaller file sizes).

    With few exceptions, any time you get a new smartphone there is an expectation that your purchases will still work. The expectation has changed and people will not want to see their investment stuck on the old console. People do want to play older gamers. People buy older games on Steam all the time. Some games are well over 10 years old and people still purchase them and they still run.

    In 2008, Sony took a gamble to save money by getting rid of PS2 BC. Probably the reason that not many people cared is because there was a BC (for the most part) solution for early adopters. In 2009 when sales started to get going really good, nobody really cared. Kind of like the DSi dropping GBA support. There is a time where people care and a time where it is less relevant.

    The difference is investing in downloads has changed expectations. I think MS hinted that there would be some sort of BC. I have no clue how Sony is going to handle it. And also have no clue how MS is going to unless they include the 360 SoC. This is a deal breaker for me. No BC = no purchase. At least until there is something that 'requires' me to purchase it. Otherwise I'll stick to Steam and big picture. My PC's specs are far better than these things anyways. I don't have an 8 core CPU, but I have a far superior quad core capable of SMP which these embedded things are not
    Reply +2
  • Wii U hardware back-compat penalises PAL gamers

  • neoconned 03/01/2013

    @Malek86 I've tested it and compared it to my Wii and you are correct. It is just processing the stereo signal to create a surround upmix which is not the same as true DPLII. On the original Wii I don't have to force DPLII modes either, but DPLII game and movie certainly give it a boost while maintaining the proper de-matrixing to the proper speakers (Dolby even recommends game mode for DPLII games). I noticed in Mario Galaxy that on the actual Wii when flying to a new galaxy the surround effect in the rears is in the fronts on the Wii U.

    So I don't know what the surround option used to do but it clearly altered the audio mix and didn't just said an analog 'flag' like I've read how it works on other forums. The matrixed center and rear channels are not present in the default stereo setting. Some games like RE4 have an in game setting for surround which does in fact sound like it is in proper surround. The lack of the menu option for all other games though limits it to just stereo, no additional channel matrixing. And of course if in Wii U surround then Wii mode sends a 7.1 PCM signal with 5.1 channels of silence.

    Hopefully this is addressed in an update so only a PCM 2.0 signal is sent in Wii mode with the matrixed channels if surround is selected in the Wii U settings. Some gamers have even been wishing for in-hardware de-matrixing sent as a 7.1 signal. Wishful thinking that would introduce lag plus since its HDMI my receiver can do the job just fine.
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  • neoconned 07/12/2012

    @Hyroero Wii U upscales too. Upscaling is another way to say line double, not to be confused with uprez like emulators can do. PS3 upscaling was actually bad at launch and had artifacts. This was quickly fixed with a FW update. PS3 could apply a blur filter to PS2 games to cover jaggies but it destroyed detail. It works better with PS1 games due to lower res but textures can't be smoothed on PS1 games like the PS2 could do with BC. Then they got rid of BC entirely and some of those early units no longer work. Reply -1
  • neoconned 07/12/2012

    @neoconned 360 outputs in DD or stereo, not PCM. Can't edit my post to fix my error Reply 0
  • neoconned 07/12/2012

    @Malek86 Surround is working for me in stereo mode on Wii games. I have to set my receiver to one of the pro logic II processing modes (usually labeled movie, music, game). I read on avsforum that modes like Wii's surround mode just add an analog 'flag' of sorts to the audio stream. All the channels are still matrixed in the stereo signal, the setting does not effect it and the receiver shouldn't require it.. At least I don't think it should

    In Wii U surround, a 7.1 PCM signal is being delivered in Wii mode with 5.1 channels of silence. Same thing happens with my PS3 and 360 with certain stereo material output as PCM. Some receivers can apparently recognize it as stereo and apply de-matrix for PLII. Some claim the PS3 fixed this with a firmware update but I haven't tested it.
    Reply 0
  • neoconned 06/12/2012

    @NeoTechni ZombiU or ports? Because ZombiU is an original. This entire 'washed out' thing is a non-issue because it can be corrected by adjusting brightness and contrast on the display. My PC was 'washed out' on my TV via HDMI even with the appropriate YCbCr selected under the nvidia control panel. Fixed with brightness and contrast adjustments. Chances are your TV will save different settings for different inputs. Chances are that your TV is YCbCr and thus limited RGB is all it can accept.

    People use to say that PS3 games were washed out too. And 'fixed' with the RGB full option that wound up crushing blacks. Nintendo should add the ability to output full RGB via HDMI though since everybody else does it, but that is not why the colors look 'washed out', that's your TV's fault.
    Reply +2
  • neoconned 06/12/2012

    @vizzini Exactly. Strange that DF wouldn't know this considering they count pixels in 360/PS3 games.

    Even though the frame buffer's eDRAM can support a maximum resolution of 640x528, all Gamecube and Wii games render at a 640x480 maximum with the majority rendering less than that (especially Wii games). PAL games do not have extra resolution or detail compared to NTSC games and. Many NTSC Gamecube games are progressive but all PAL Gamecube games were interlaced. Wii added progressive support for Wii games, but not 576p (just 480p). Most Wii games have a lower vertical rendered resolution than 480 in order to maximize performance. These can be output with black bars (usually obscured by overscan) or 'upscaled' like with RE4.

    The Wii U is preserving the 16:9 aspect ratio when upscaling to HD resolutions. At 1080p full pixel (no overscan), there appear to be 108 black lines on each side of the screen. My TV does not allow full pixel 720p, only overscan which covers the black bars in that mode.

    The vast majority of Wii games are progressive with the main exception being Virtual Console games (which are mostly interlaced except for the N64 games I think). MadWorld is actually one of the few Wii games that are interlaced. For the most part, most games shouldn't have deinterlacing artifacts because most games are progressive. If people really thought there was extra detail in 576i mode, it was just their eyes playing tricks on them confusing artifacts from 'upscaling' the 640x480 output with detail.

    The continued mention of Wii's HDMI colors being washed out shouldn't be an issue for the majority of people with HDTVs. Most HDTVs without a 'PC mode' only have the RGB limited color space (YCbCr). Gamers who mess with the settings on their PS3 and 360 without the proper TV set are crushing their blacks. This mainly effects people with PC monitors and until Nintendo implements a full RGB mode, you can calibrate your monitor to look less washed out. Use calibration images from the internet. Most good monitors/HDTVs save different settings for different inputs. This should not continue to be mentioned as if it were a flaw when it can easily be fixed by calibrating properly. In all honesty this should have always been done for the face offs because the PS3/PC/360 screens are always different and people might think that's part of the port.
    Reply +1
  • neoconned 05/12/2012

    @Fallout
    It's based on the Gamecube hardware, but there were improvements to the design. IBM even sold virtually the same CPU as the PowerPC 750CL in 2006. Intel Core architecture is based on the Pentium Pro architecture from 1995, for example.
    Reply 0
  • Face-Off: Darksiders 2 on Wii U

  • neoconned 10/12/2012

    @averraiher GTAIV is a good example of porting a console game without proper optimization. GTAIV used three engines which was spread across the 360's three cores and also the PS3's PPE and SPEs.

    The majority of PC owners had non-SMT Intel Core 2 processors (or less) with only two cores. It ran noticeably better on quad cores. The bullet physics engine was already optimized for the PS3's SPU and at the time of release bullet was at least nvidia CUDA optimized if not OpenCL. They chose not to use it I guess.

    I would be very surprised if no middlewares were developed for the Wii U. That is to say, most middlewares and other engines have long been optimized for the 360 and PS3. These Wii U launch games are almost always the 360 assets due to their having more in common most likely. I highly doubt that optimizations are being made.

    The beyond3d guys are laughing at fanboy speculation about GPGPU / OpenCL as wishful thinking, but all signs point to the nextbox and PS4 being GPU-centric on a single chip. The Wii U's GPU is more powerful than the PS3/360. The CPU is not up to the task of running straight ported code, but in most cases it seems to be fine. Things like physics can be programmed to be offloaded on to the GPU in many cases with the obvious expense of taking away from the GPU, but the GPU is again much more powerful than the 360/PS3. So I wonder if the more GPGPU-like Cell code path would be a better place to start when porting instead of the quick and dirty 360 route.

    Either way, if these games weren't rushed there would be 100% parity. Maybe even some extras from the PC taking advantage of the extra abilities in the GPU. It's not lazy developers, but it's money grubbing publishers who don't want to pay for the added work to optimize something that runs "good enough". Japanese devs have so far seemed to care making games like sonic racing and tekken tag 100% parity (and some gaffers claim better but I'm not sure)
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  • The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim - Dragonborn review

  • neoconned 07/12/2012

    @MasterNameless They added the PC Dawnguard files the same way mods are loaded. I did something similar with Fallout NV since 360 had exclusivity for a bit. Took the 360 files and added them to the PC version. It worked but the 360 texture format was different so no new textures loaded and it looked funny and wasn't easy to play. Had to convert the audio format but nothing could convert textures. PS3 Dawnguard is similar. Makes me wonder though.. Maybe Bethesda is just making excuses to justify 360 timed exclusiveness? Reply -1
  • Wii U has 1.24GHz CPU, 550MHz graphics core - report

  • neoconned 06/12/2012

    @nabilfathi The CPU (Espresso) isn't Power7 based, it's PowerPC 750 based like the Broadway in the Wii and Flipper in the GameCube. The die size for one Power7 core is huge in comparison to the entire Wii U's CPU die. The die size of Espresso is a perfect match for a trio of 45nm Broadway cores.

    This isn't a bad thing and neither is the clock speed. As others have said, it's not about clock speed. Even the SNES to Megadrive comparisons are doing it wrong because the lower clocked SNES CPU was better at many things compared to the MD's higher clocked one. Same with Wii U compared to 360's Xenon. Xenon is a lousy CPU. Espresso is out-of-order execution compared to Xenon's in-order. And the jury is still out on SMT, it might have it.

    Tekken Tag and the Sonic racing game turned out fine. Batman, BO2, and ME3 were probably the 360 code dumped onto the Wii U with not much adjustments. It's cool that you can play them on the pad though.

    There is no doubt that OpenCL-like stuff can pick up the slack, the question is will third parties do it? Will the Wii U be worth it enough for optimized middleware? And any GPGPU stuff will take away from the GPU. I wonder if porting from the PS3 code base would be more 'efficient' since CELL is kinda sorta similar in ways to running GPGPU stuff. Espresso is better overall compared to CELL's PPE. The SPE code could be 'translated' into GPGPU code. The remaining GPU power would still be better than the aging RSX, and modern at that. If care is put into ports, there is no doubt they will be better than PS3/360. Not a generation better though.
    Reply +1