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Some questions about physics, videogaming and our generation consoles.

Last response: in Video Games
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January 27, 2011 2:09:43 AM

From the little I've read about XBOX 360 and PS3, the Microsoft console has a small advantage on the graphics department (more usage of AA for example) while Sony has got a much more "robust" Cell processor. Now, if this information is correct, then my question would be: as the PS3 has more "CPU power" due to it's 7 SPE's, can I affirm that multi-platform games (games that are released for both 360 and PS3) have or might have or COULD have a more sophisticated Physics programming for the PS3? I mean if developers were really interested in doing it atleast. Would it be possible?

I am each time more interested in Physics - simulation games with more and more realistic gameplay should be the focus for the next generation of games - not that I am tired of graphics, but people should give some more emphasis on this matter.

Well I have some other questions too, if I may:

- Can the other unused core's (SPE's) from the Cell processor be used to perform graphics duties? I only ask this because comparing the graphics between these two consoles, PS3 is a lot worse on most games than the XBOX 360, and it shows!

- I've heard that the graphics processor of the PS3 is almost like a 7900GT on a PC-based machine. Well, if this is correct, may I state that because PS3 is not a PC-based architecture the graphics is a little better than a 7900GT running on slow Windows 7 OS?

- Do you think current games (as of 2011) for these consoles have already reached 100% of their hardware power? I mean, in general, because we all know game developers are a bit lazy when it comes to optimizations for the Cell processor on PS3. So, do you guys think that on terms of graphics, games can still look better in the future on these two consoles (eg: PES 2012 may look better than the current PES 2011 - although I don't think it can because the current version is already using a lot of blurring effects, which I never really liked cause it only helps the FPS not going down - I really do find the blur effect a really cheesy trick, but there are people who like it).

- Can somebody please explain to me what exactly is "scientific computing" or "scientific applications" ? I've read somewhere that the Cell and Xenos processors actually outperform any PC-based processor in this department (it is suggested that the Cell processor is capable of up 204 GFLOPS and Xenos 115.2 GFLOPS). Do games use a lot of scientific computing? And how about branch prediction? Do games use it a lot too?

I am just trying to find a way out of PC gaming, because I think it sucks to be able to upgrade within a month or so. Console gaming should be king.
January 27, 2011 5:55:50 AM

Hmmm interesting points u bring up! I happen to disagree however that the ps3 has poorer graphics than 360. IMO ps3 has the best capabilities all around. But it's the developer ultimately that harnesses or doesn't.

Any ways your questions r so good they should be an article. I have no idea of the answers. But I can say with certainty that developers have not yet used 100% of the hardware power. Every console generation since the beginning has surpassed our expectations, each year of it's lifespan, simply because our genius is limitless even if our hardware is limited.
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January 27, 2011 4:53:24 PM

prankstare said:

I am just trying to find a way out of PC gaming, because I think it sucks to be able to upgrade within a month or so. Console gaming should be king.


Console is king, popularity-wise. Just look at all the dumbdown game ports for PC. How many PC exclusive title can you think of? Its all console centric.
Thats the problem. Game dev will not push the boundaries because the boundary IS the consoles outdated hardware. The only time consoles will be equal to PC hardware is the month it comes out. After that its outdated. Thats a fact.

IMO consoles have hit their hardware limited as far as graphics and physics. I am a PC gamer and will never play consoles. But I do understand why people dislike having to upgrade PC's, lots of $$$. But with consoles you don't need to upgrade because the dev's dumbdown the software to make up for the lack in hardware. Thats the trade off.
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January 28, 2011 5:15:15 PM

Quote:
The only time consoles will be equal to PC hardware is the month it comes out. After that its outdated. Thats a fact.


I still believe there will be someday when this won't be necessarily true.

There has to be a time in the future when hardware will actually surpass the needs of developers graphics-wise... so then consoles will have their way to go, and pc's will no longer do the job of gaming (which I think is kind of an "absurd" both in terms of productivity and power consumption).


PS: thanks rhsnipes for your feedback :) 
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January 28, 2011 6:30:59 PM

prankstare said:
I am just trying to find a way out of PC gaming, because I think it sucks to be able to upgrade within a month or so. Console gaming should be king.


Uhhh... you don't have to wait a month to upgrade as long as you didn't buy the top parts. If you did buy the absolute top parts it generally would be a year till better stuff comes out. That said, you shouldn't have to upgrade for 3-4 years at least if you just spend your money wisely.
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