Digital Foundry vs. Gears of War: Judgment


5 years ago

@KepatugoXbox Uncharted has nothing to do with Gears. Entirely different styles of gaming.

If you can't appreciate Uncharted 2, something is seriously wrong.

As for God of War, dunno, don't play it. Looks pretty though.
10 2

Face-Off: Crysis 3


5 years ago

@frazzl "You can't get more dudebro than Kratos. He's as one dimensional and unlikable a character as you can get. "

1 1


5 years ago

Lens of Truth are pretty shoddy. They even compare games based on screenshots.

As for this game, it's another FarCry 3; very pretty, very poor frame rate.

On one hand I want to applaud Crytek for trying, but on the other... what's the point of making games that play poorly?

7 1

Spec Analysis: PlayStation 4


5 years ago

@jimmyhill11 "64 bit? so we haven't even moved on from the Nintendo 64? What a let down"

55 people didn't get the joke.
9 4

Face-Off: Dead Space 3


5 years ago

@Kysen "Meanwhile Aliens:CM serves up a pile of screen tearing, low rez dung and people lap it up"

Who is lapping it up?

The consensus is that ACM is a total mess.
8 21

Face-Off: Aliens: Colonial Marines


5 years ago

What a debacle.
2 0

Spec analysis: Durango vs. Orbis


5 years ago

And let's hope Sony swallow their pride and replace the Dual Shock 3 with a real controller.

One with triggers this time, and decent thumbsticks.

For such a well engineered system, the controllers have been such a disappointment. Just awful.
8 8


5 years ago

Excellent article DF. Cheers.

Mind you, if either console blocks second-hand games, then I'm not buying that console.
4 0

Demo showdown: Crysis 3 multiplayer beta


5 years ago

@Lunatic4ever Can't agree enough.

Crytek love to talk about their volumetric particle shadows, but really, it's the core gameplay which needs major work.

Crysis 2 was a real slog. Only 2 real enemy types, and only a handful of interesting weapons that you wanted to use.

They can talk about deferred rendering wokka wokka all day long, but it means little if the game plays at 20fps or less.

I think we need the next gen already.
4 2


5 years ago

Yet another game that can't maintain 30fps.

What good is all the prettiness if the game doesn't play well?

Farcry 3, I'm looking at you...
3 3

Tech Analysis: God of War: Ascension demo


5 years ago

@dicken " the ds3 demo runs at 1080p"

Are you sure? I was pretty certain it ran at 1280x720p, targeting 30fps.

You may be thinking of the output resolution, after upscaling. (Most games of this gen are ~720p, upscaled.)
1 1


5 years ago

@cynical "I think there's merit in analysing the demo code; it sets a benchmark and allows us to compare it to the final code "


After following this stuff for some years, it seems to me that there's very rarely much difference between the "demo" code and the final.

Yes, there will be some assets tightened up, some bugs fixed, but almost always, what we see in the demo or convention builds is 99% of what we see in the final build.

Lawyers just love sticking "pre-release code! May not reflect final quality!" notices on these games because that's what lawyers do.

Like the Dead Space 3 demo. Not indicative of final results? I think we'd all be VERY surprised if the DS3 demo was substantially different to the Gold build. It's obviously very close to shipping.

(And don't get me started on the marketing misuse of "Alphas", "Betas", "Public Betas" and the rest of it...)
1 1


5 years ago

@Suarez07 "For those who are stating crytek are programming geniuses ..."

Can you do any better?

Have you shipped a next-gen level graphics engine along with a game?

No? Then STFU and give credit to the people who DO make these games.
5 8


5 years ago

@Beano I don't know why you're sniggering.

Halo 4 is a major technical achievement. Easily amongst the best of this generation, and certainly the most visually accomplished shooter. (Though, RAGE ::could:: have been the most accomplished shooter.)

You'd have to be pretty cynical not to acknowledge the technical prowess of Halo 4 (and Halo Reach for that matter.) They're astounding games, even if Halo 4 goes for a more linear approach.

(However, I don't rate Halo 4 much in the actual gameplay department. It's really just more of the same. They're milking the franchise now.)

In other words it's entirely possible to think that BOTH Halo 4 and GOW:A are incredibly good looking games.

Saying so does not detract from either game. It's just being honest and giving credit where it's due.
8 11

Demo showdown: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance


5 years ago

Had a look at a playthrough on YouTube.

Just not my cup of tea. Too many cutscenes and long-winded talk sequences, not enough gameplay.

Just like MGS, then.
21 31

Next-gen Xbox specs leak


5 years ago

@metatron197924 "first halo 4 is nothing great in graphics"

Pish posh.

I think Halo 4 as a game is rather dull, and timid.

But as a technological and artistic demonstration, it's unmatched this console generation.

Yes, they made it a much more linear game, but a lot of the visuals are amazing.

The only other recent game that amazed me more was RAGE, and that tries for something very different. (And fails in many areas, in-part due to the technology.)
11 14


5 years ago

@FatalHybrid "What this means is that this time a more powerful GPU will show. Current leaks have the Xbox GPU at 1.2 teraFLOPS and the PlayStation GPU at 1.8 teraFLOPS."

As has already been pointed out MANY TIMES... raw flops doesn't tell us much. Just as it didn't with the current gen.

Some things to consider:

- the availability of more RAM is huge. In the real world, the RAM means developers can build bigger environments, more detailed models, with better textures, etc. All without having to keep accessing the disk and dumping recent data.

- the speed of RAM means nothing if the RAM doesn't exist. Streaming new data from BD is geologically slower than having a cache in real memory.

- that 32MB ESRAM could be huge for real-world performance.

- that Data Move block. We don't know what it is. Peeps have speculated it could be a blitter or similar. If so, that could mean huge performance improvements. Specialised hardware can make a mockery of "flops" measurements.

- dedicated audio hardware. Which means you don't have to use entire cores just doing dozens of sound channels. This stuff isn't glamorous but it means high performance, and much better audio immersion.

- Kinect 2 isn't going to sap the main architecture. It may even be interesting for gamers this time.

- Dedicated video decoding/encoding units. We'll probably get VC1/h.264 video playing from Blu-ray streaming/spooling WHILE THE GAME PLAYS/LOADS. Because the speed is there this time. Which means reduced loading times AND high-quality FMV or rendering HD video to textures in-game. (No more low-res Bink rubbish!)
12 8

Orbis unmasked: what to expect from the next-gen PlayStation


5 years ago

@womble Those people expecting a bog-standard 7970 or whatever, should have a big rethink.

Both next-gen systems will use customised hardware, not off-the-shelf components.

Look at the case of the 360's 10MB EDRAM to see just how much of a difference a small GPU customisation can have...

Or what a DSP or two can do...
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5 years ago


"Having "dedicated console hardware" means nothing for optimization in 2013. It saves time, that's about it."

I disagree. Dedicated hardware is used across many industries, to great effects.

It's the reason why $35 boxes can seamlessly play back h.264 encoded video @1080p.

From the ex-MS engineer quoted in the story:

"Stop comparing these systems to high end PC GPUs that require 300 watts just to function. For one, they have different constraints and requirements. For another, it's not all about the GPU. Raw GPU flops does not tell the whole story. I guarantee you, Microsoft's next system WILL BE ABLE TO DO THINGS YOUR CURRENT COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES TO DO, and I say that knowing some of you folks have monster PC setups.)"

(Emphasis added.)

This guy knows what he is talking about.
6 3

Face-Off: DmC Devil May Cry


5 years ago

@[STARS]TyranT "This isn't my area of expertise at all but aren't people confusing 60Hz and 60fps?"

No, they're not.

Well, most people here aren't. DF aren't.
1 0

Digital Foundry vs. 4K gaming


5 years ago

4K is a complete non-starter.

Not only are the displays super-expensive, and will be for some years, but...

- it costs a lot to create the content consistently at that resolution

- there are BIG storage and data transfer problems, and real-world COSTS

- the quality improvement isn't there. It's a case of diminishing returns.

- there's no standardised equipment to support it.

In short, there's no REASON for 4K/UHD at this stage. It's just manufacturers trying to sell new product.

I'd much rather see developers concentrate on 1080p at a ROCK-SOLID, CONSISTENT 60fps.
6 1

What's inside the Piston Steam Box prototype?


5 years ago

@bobiroka "If this steam box was built on Linux, would I be able to play MP with people on steam that use Windows?"

I'd imagine it would be a case-by-case basis.

i.e. developers would have to write that kind of functionality for each game. (And, it's hard work.)

Valve ARE using a compability/conversion layer to redirect DX calls to OpenGL for Linux -- which is a major trick to do properly -- but I can't imagine any compatibility layer that could accurately and automatically handle cross-platform networking, unless it was built in to the game in the first place. (Which it most assuredly is not, in 99% of cases.)

I wouldn't underestimate Valve, but yeah, a lot of the innovation and work going to have to come from individual developers.
1 1


5 years ago

@Rajalad "Why does it have to be so small? "

Yep, it's retarded. Style over substance.

It's like they're trying to out-small the Ouya.

There's no need. All we need is a device that has a reasonable form factor, preferably that can be placed alongside or above/below existing equipment.

It doesn't have to be a Rubik's Cube of gaming.
6 0


5 years ago

It's early days obviously, but...

The Piston seems grossly overpriced, underpowered.

I want a QUIET, no-hassles Steam experience in my living room but without all the Windows driver, UI, compatibility, performance BS we're all used to.

But I'm not paying $1000 for that experience. That's why consoles were invented.
1 0

New Super Mario Bros. U - a whole new world?


5 years ago

"have utilised Nintendo's new hardware."

"greatest platform games utilised the horsepower of the new Nintendo console"

"of the new hardware is utilised via enhanced effects work"

Please, just use the word "use".

Using the word "utilise" so often, for no good reason, is misplaced, incorrect and pretentious.
1 1

Face-Off: Darksiders 2 on Wii U


6 years ago

BTW, the idea of Sony buying up or otherwise dealing out Nintendo content is just absurd.

Even if it wanted to -- and it doesn't -- Sony simply don't have the cash. And they don't have the ability to generate that kind of money, either through revenue or by financing. (Who is going to lend them the money?)

Sony is in dire trouble. Buying Nintendo is the least of their problems.
2 2


6 years ago


"I reckon Colonial Marines will be the first cross-platform game to win a bout."

It's a very sad state of affairs when we have to wait for a game on a brand new console to "win a bout" with a 6 year old console.

So much for the "next-gen".

And so much for that 1080p, 60fps Wii U gaming we were told about.

People can make excuses all they like -- and there's certainly plenty of them being thrown around -- but the simple fact is that the Wii U is not a next gen console.

The Wii U is a current gen console with a few nice features, 6 years late to the party.
8 3

Wii U hardware back-compat penalises PAL gamers


6 years ago

@ChanTheMan "The 360 in particular is a second rate console and always has been"

Could you be a bit more insecure?
3 2


6 years ago

@ChanTheMan "But not having issues doesn't make me a fanboy."

No, but whining like a little girl does.

It's a TECHNICAL blog, discussing TECHNICAL issues.

Why is that so hard for you to understand?

Answer: you're a fanboy who is personally insulted because someone said something about your toy.
3 3


6 years ago

"Totally agree about the whole RGB crap DF keep going on about. Its not been an issue for me at all."

Well you're a lucky little thing, aren't you.

But a quick google search will show you that other people have been experiencing washed out colours on their display.

Nintendo fanboys. We haven't heard from them too much in the last few years -- they had little to gloat about -- but now they're back, and as obnoxious as ever.

Are they trying to outdo the PS3 SDF and PC Master Race Zealots for shear tediousness and insecurity?

If you don't want TECHNICAL REPORTS don't come to a TECHNICAL BLOG.
1 6

Face-Off: Far Cry 3


6 years ago


"For some reason my eyes can't see screen tearing in games. I guess I should count that as a blessing."

Yes, you should.

"I'm actually glad that I'm not one of these pixel-counting gamers."

Screen tearing is not about "pixel-counting".

It's a pretty obvious, harsh artefact that occurs across the entire screen, every single frame.

If you don't see it, more power to you.

But these things affect people differently. I get headaches and a feeling of motion sickness from "tearing". (They are related to each other, in terms of what they do to the brain.)

No need to be pissing on other people just because they have problems with obvious visual problems in games.

"For me it's all about enjoying games, not graphics."

So that's why you're here at Digital Foundry, a blog dedicated to the technology of games?
10 1


6 years ago

With tearing like this, no sale.

Time for new consoles.
4 3

Face-Off: Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition on Wii U


6 years ago


"The fact that they are lackluster ports is very telling about the "real" potential of the console."

You are 100% correct.

What these sad ports are saying is that the system doesn't have an excess of headroom.

If there was a lot of low hanging fruit, developers would already have picked it.

Most every modern engine and pipeline has a range of configurations, some of which are only suitable on certain hardware, or where cycles are available.

Given better hardware, many of these options are essentially "free", in development terms.

Some no-brainers:

- Render buffers could be scaled up. Particle quality (e.g. sparks, fire, smoke, cloud) would be improved. Images/textures could be composited at high resolutions, with better alpha maps.

- Particle emitters would be more numerous, with more particles per emitter. Physics and collision detection could be applied to more of the particles.

- Draw distance could be pushed out.

- Better lighting models could be used, along with better (and more) shadows. More light sources could be placed in a scene. Better quality shadow maps.

- Better (high resolution, more frequently updating) environment mapping.

- Filtering options could be used to improve texture quality, particularly on terrains.

- LOD settings would be dialled up. More meshes onscreen at once, with more vertices in each mesh.

- Better (i.e. more expensive) AA.

- SSAO, vignetting and other post-processing.

- Better shaders. i.e. switch to that really good water system, instead of the quick-and-nasty one.


The fact that these things haven't happened, for the most part, shows the reality of this machine.
6 4


6 years ago

@adammiles I completely agree.

This approach is a bad one. The judder can be nasty, but it also makes the game feel unresponsive at times. And it tends to feel a bit nasty for players sensitive to motion sickness.

I have no idea why they've done this. There are much better solutions available, already tried by > 90% of game developers. i.e. lock it to 30fps where you can, lock that vsync, lose it when you have to go sub-30fps.

Anyway, it's a bit moot really. I think the real message here is that the Wii U is so far a huge disappointment, technically speaking.

People can blame it on optimisations, but the real issues here are NOT about optimisations. No amount of optimising will get these games up to 720p with AA, locked at 60fps. Let alone 1080p.

At BEST, we're looking at a console that is marginally more powerful than the existing lineup. Which really is a damning result.

And Nintendo's spin isn't helping. Like Reggie talking this console up as "next gen", when it's clearly not. Or flat-out lying about its visual prowess relative to the other current consoles.

BTW, props to Richard for the article subtitle. :)
4 2


6 years ago


"Surely an unlocked frame rate is the very definition of having V-sync disabled?"

As a rendering engineer, you should know the answer to this.

By "unlocked frame rate" they mean they're not locking it to 30fps in this instance.

They're locking to the vertical retrace, to prevent image tearing, but they're not pinning to 30fps. The frame rate is being allowed to wander around (up to 60fps presumably).
9 1

Face-Off: Mass Effect 3 Special Edition on Wii U


6 years ago

@Crazy_Colt "actually the Sony game system division runs a surplus (makes money)"

For the last few quarters, possibly, yes. Depending on which figures you use, and which divisions you target. (e.g. SCE made a $45m _operating_ loss for the year to Q1 2012. Yet projected a profit for the fiscal year.)

However, these amounts don't offset the huge losses already incurred this generation. On the balance sheet, the PS3 project is decidedly unhealthy.

What is clear is that Sony, overall -- and including gaming in general -- is in severe trouble.

Their credit rating has now been reclassified as junk. It's safer to put your money in to South American ratholes than it is to invest in Sony.

Worse, they're going to have to sink a lot of up-front costs in to the PS4. And that's money they don't actually have.

And trying to raise finance when your company is rated as junk, is problematic.

Giant companies can and do fail. Afterwards, it seems obvious; people wonder how the company even managed to stay afloat. But at the time, it just seems impossible that such big companies can die. But when you owe vastly more than you can earn, that's exactly what happens.

Sony used to be a byword for quality in consumer electronics. And they still do produce some very good products. But they produce far too many products, many of them of poor quality, competing against everyone.

With the PS3, they (and their SDF) promised a killer machine. A console with the power of a supercomputer! Obviously so much better than the lousy 360! But it didn't work out that way. Instead, we ended up with a machine that is roughly equivalent to a 360, but cost Sony far more to build, cost more to develop for, and lost Sony a huge amount of market share.

Sony's biggest problem has been hubris.

And Nintendo should take note. They're far from immune.

Reggie can talk about "next gen" all he likes, but if he really believes that shit, he's fooling himself.
0 0


6 years ago


"I have a horrible feeling the Nintendo fanboys are going to replace the SDF as the biggest excuse laden cry babies this upcoming gen."

Not possible, dude.

The SDF are only second to the PC Master Race in terms of their whininess. ;)
3 0


6 years ago

@doctor_fraud "By the time Wii U developers get used to the hardware and make games like Metroid look like Uncharted 3 we will be looking forward to Uncharted 4 on PS4."

That does make a big assumption: that there will be a PS4.

Sony continues to haemorrhage money. They are in truly dire straits. I would not underestimate just how much trouble the company is in. Not only do they not have the cash reserves to help fund new technology, but their borrowings are hideous and their revenue continues to either stagnate or sink across sectors.

At this stage, a PS4 is far from being a given.

And while I have no respect for Nintendo's technology strategy, but you have to hand it to them: unlike Sony and all of its technological prowess, Nintendo have actually made MONEY this generation. A lot of it.

It seems there's something to be said for producing outdated technology and selling it to an undemanding customer base.

See: Wii U.
3 2


6 years ago


"The fact that they could get this kind of parity out of a console in just MONTHS with an established user base of 0 and no experience with the platform is amazing in it's own right!"

You neglect the fact that they're using an existing game, with a very-well known engine and well-known middleware.

They're not inventing things from scratch here. And the problems here are not one of optimisation.

The problem here is that a brand new console can barely keep up with 6 year old consoles.

This thing SHOULD be a 1080p wonder; just as the 720 and PS4 will be.

Anyway you cut it, this is a grossly under-performing result for Nintendo. And they can spin it any way they like, but if you're buying a Wii U to play titles like Mass Effect 3, then you're probably the kind of person who bought a Wii U to play action games on...

Did you seriously expect this quality of game from a new console? And one that is allegedly "next gen"?

I think the vast majority of gamers expect rather better. I certainly do. And I'll be saving my money for something better.
2 1


6 years ago

A quick recap on the technological "generations" for Reggie, from someone who isn't a marketing droid:

Last gen: Xbox, PS2, Wii

This gen: 360, PS3, Wii U

Next gen: 720, PS4, SteamBox*

Well done Reggie. You've managed to be (somewhat) competitive with consoles that are at the end of their lives. You're only 6 years late to the party.

If you start working on your next console right now, you might be able to compete with the iPad 2 and Ouya by 2018.

* I wish
2 2


6 years ago


"Its nice that the Wii U can handle ME3, Ass Creed 3 out the box, with out much development time, a properly structured workflow, and experience with the machine."

OK, so we give the developers a bit of leeway.

BUT... these games are not brand new IP with brand new engines. They are known quantities.

Everyone already knows how these games look, play and perform.

And we're not talking about optimisations for a platform here; about improving frame-rates by a few frames per second, or improving some shaders.

We're talking about the complete lack of "next gen" qualities.

It says volumes that these launch titles -- ports of existing games no less -- are BEING COMPARED TO PS3 AND 360 GAMES.


There should be a night-and-day difference between the games. A "next-gen" difference as befits a 6 year technology gap.

Instead, people are quibbling about whether the "next gen" box is even CAPABLE of producing 360 and PS3 visuals.

And THAT is a massive failure on Nintendo's part.

Remember, it's Nintendo who are claiming that the Wii U represents the "next gen".

Those claims are looking pretty hollow right now.

By this time next year, when the new next-gen consoles are seen in daylight, this machine will look just as pathetic as the original Wii did compared to its "next gen" competition.
4 1


6 years ago

Welcome to the Next Generation.
2 1

Face-Off: Hitman Absolution


6 years ago


"hmm, when PS3 vs X360 game have HUGE data size difference, can't DF analyze it and tell us what happend?"

Why can't you?

"PS3 data structure can be easily seen with any CFW and file manager."

Then hop to it. As a developer, you (probably) have the requisite skills.

IMO, but it's a bit much to ask DF to go around analysing data structures on disk. Is that a good use of their time? (Or anyone's time?)

It's not like we're paying for these articles.
0 1


6 years ago


"Even though the PS3 version is much larger with this game, the FMV quality jump is poor."

Lower quality FMV (and codecs) are often used for performance reasons, rather than file-size.

Often, level assets are being loaded and processed during cutscenes. Streaming and playing high quality video (e.g. H.264, high bit-rate) at the same time, fluidly, can be quite a stretch for the consoles, as well as many lower to mid-range PCs.

Which is why so many companies still use Bink after all these years. (It provides a very low footprint for FMV, with a correspondingly low image quality.)
2 0

Face-Off: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2


6 years ago

@Cjail "Mouse turning speed for me is the most artificial thing of PC gaming and in FPS removes the "guns have a weight" sensation."

Completely agreement here.

Insta-spin is a poor game design decision, particularly for those who are affected by motion sickness.

There's nothing inherently good about a mouse and keyboard. They're just artefacts of a certain technological era. And WASD is severely limiting in some types of games (e.g. twin-stick shooters, or games that need nuanced movement).

I think some PC gamers need to realise there's a bigger gaming world out there, and the keyboard and mouse is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Hopefully more developers will provide both UIs and gameplay that are suitable for controllers in their PC games.
3 2


6 years ago


"832x624 wait i must see my calendar cause i remember this resolution in 2000"

They must have played the mobile phone version by mistake.
0 0

Black Ops 2: Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3?


6 years ago

@jimdove76 "FPS on a joypad is like having to run around drunk while paintballing."

In other words, you're just not very good with a gamepad.

That's YOUR problem, not ours.
1 1

Halo 4 review


6 years ago

Very poor review.

Halo has iron sights? Really? Are you sure about that?
3 1

Face-Off: Assassin's Creed 3


6 years ago


You need to get over yourself. Or maybe you could just go cry in the corner.

"Anyway, my point was not to actually insult you,"

Heh. That's OK.

You're an "abnoxious arraogant twat" too, but please don't take that as an insult.
2 2


6 years ago

@Suarez07 "to be an abnoxious arraogant.."


"is clueless"

There's a lot of that going around.
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