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DiRT 2 HD Video Analysis

Technical breakdown of first footage.

Last week's Eurogamer TV Show is well worth a look, featuring as it does the debut video of Codemasters' hugely anticipated DiRT 2. We've got hold of the b-roll that show host Johnny Minkley was provided with, and you can see it here, completely unedited, and in high definition to boot.

Kudos to Codies for its completely uncompressed 60Hz video feed, allowing us to confirm that the video is native 720p and running at an absolutely rock solid 30 frames per second. What is unclear however is exactly what hardware the footage hails from. Resolution and refresh rate suggest console, but the total absence of literally any form of aliasing whatsoever suggests that the video is PC in origin - either downscaled from a much higher resolution, or with a very advanced form of anti-aliasing in effect - perhaps even both.

Regardless of the source format, there's still plenty to learn about the technology powering the new DiRT, and while some visual effects may be different on console, we still reckon that this video is a good representation of what we can expect from the Sony and Microsoft consoles.

DiRT 2's video debut, with annotations from Alex Goh.

In short, we're confident that this is going to be a technically excellent game. Codemasters produced often stunning visuals in its last racing game, GRID, and this new title uses an even more advanced iteration of the same EGO engine, featuring improved multi-threading for superior performance and an enhanced streaming system allowing for higher quality textures. We are clearly seeing a generational leap over the first DiRT, and in terms of raw detail levels, the firm has already confirmed that just the cars are seeing a 50 per cent polygon count increase from the debut DiRT offering.

In terms of differences we might expect from the video showcased here, we know that GRID on Xbox 360 ran at 720p with 4x multi-sampling anti-aliasing (literally the best the machine is capable of), so we're going to go out on a limb here and suggest the same level of visual fidelity in the 360 code. Codemasters is also promising a considerable improvement in SPU usage on PS3, so fingers crossed that the disappointing v-sync tearing and reduced AA on GRID will be sorted for this new game.