Alternative distribution to optical disks : SSD, cards, and download*

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Cheezdoodles, May 26, 2008.

  1. Shortbread

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    Somewhat off-topic, but this type of mechanism or transitioning must end (die) this generation. I'm not only talking ACO, but any [all] games that exude this issue. Games like Spider-Man have awful transitioning (from outdoors to indoors and vise-versa) and loading screens (after dying, are the most annoying aspect of the game) that break game immersion. Honestly I have no clue why Insomniac thought a 8-10 second loading screen would be better than a simple respawn close by, to allow the scenario (e.g., base or hideout takedown) to reset. SMH...

    Anyhow, hopefully the next-generation of systems (more ram/memory) should allow developers more headroom for less intrusive (or none) transitions or cutaways.
     
    #2641 Shortbread, Oct 6, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  2. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    This will only go away once RAM becomes ludicrously cheap. If you want to use RAM for great big outdoor places but also have really detailed indoor spaces, then somethings gotta give. You'd have to dial back on the detail everywhere so there is always enough free RAM to steam an indoor space super quick and restore the outdoor space quick when leaving.

    So now instead of a load screen, everything looks crappier. Hmmm.
     
  3. Jupiter

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    There are already games with extremly detailed seemless interiors (The Division). For a long time nearly every game uses fustum culling which reduces the load on the GPU by not rendering objects outside the view.

    Fustum culling example (GIF)
    [​IMG]

    Since Star Citizen (for example) is much larger they need to go further with "Object Container Streaming" which streams the assets in and out of memory. [​IMG]


    Without Object Container Streaming SC simply needs too much storage space so they couldn't enlarge the world until now. Even 16GB were not enough and the normal RAM filled up to 24GB.
     
    #2643 Jupiter, Oct 7, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
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  4. Shifty Geezer

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    It's not about GPU load but storing and loading those assets as needed. When you turn around in HZD, those assets are immediately present to render - you don't have to wait 5 seconds for them to be streamed off the HDD because they are already in RAM. You thus have to trade variety of content with content quality based on available RAM. If consoles had unlimited RAM, you could, barring costs to make, populate them with unlimited variety of assets and render those visible as needed, no problem. But with limited RAM, you have to store a limited set of data. Transitioning from one region to another with completely different assets requires the old assest to the be flushed and replaced with the new local assets.

    One of the hopes for SSDs/flash in next-gen is that games will have far faster steaming available, allowing for more variety and less loading times without the cost of loadsa RAM and the time required to initially populate that RAM on game load.
     
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  5. Jupiter

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    Exactly. With Frustum Culling they are still in RAM but for exmple Star Citizen solves that with "OCS". There are most likely some other games that do something similar as well. More RAM certainly helps but with methods like OCS it doesn't need that much RAM anymore. Stations, outposts, buildings or ships are treated as Object Containers and they also can be split up into more containers. Then it is possible to stream these in or out of memory based on what is required.

    OCS also helps with loading times. If one starts inside an apartment in in GTA (for example) it would be loaded in seconds. After all, one does not have to load all the things fom the map into the memory.
     
    #2645 Jupiter, Oct 7, 2018
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  6. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    But if you can walk outside from that apartment (jump out the window) the moment you start, you'll need everything encounterable from that window loaded as well. Otherwise you'd jump into a big, empty space and see the world LOD'd into view. Devs are already very smart and experienced when it comes to streaming assets. OCS is Star Citizen being very backwards and only just getting up to speed with what consoles have been doing for decades!
     
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  7. phoenix_chipset

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    Seemless loading I don't think will be a problem anymore. Playing Yakuza kiwami 2 it's the first in the series to have no loading between outside and buildings and with a big visual boost from the other ps4 games.

    Minimum for next gen is 16gb ram +ssd so yeah. I'm still a big shaky on the ssd part but man those prices keep falling some 1tb drives are only $149! Sony and MS just need to bite the bullet for the sake of futureproofing.
     
  8. Jupiter

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    For example in indoor situations one can has a list for each room with which LOD the surrounding rooms have to be calculated. On the other hand masking analyses are very complex. Accordingly culling these things is usually done depending on the distance or with past calculated data.

    Streaming only works if one does not have enough memory to keep everything in RAM (CPU & GPU). In all other cases it consumes CPU performance and bandwidth and therefore it makes no sense to use something like this in many types of games (multiplayer games with a map etc.). Without streaming the object has to be created while rest should already be in memory. With streaming not only the object has to be created but also the container has to be loaded. So it is more likely that one has to increase the time between the action and the actual appearance of the object. This is necessary to give the whole background process enough time to get all the data into the memory.

    I am not saying that OCS is new since its a fancy name for what engines with streaming support have been doing for years.
     
    #2648 Jupiter, Oct 7, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  9. DSoup

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    The Division works on console because your ability to move through the world quickly is zero. You'll never be inside, then suddenly outdoors and two blocks down 4 seconds later and expecting the engine to have streamed in every street, texture and distance LOD for any direction you may chose in the next second.

    There is no point mentioning Star Citizen, a game requiring a minimum 16Gb system RAM and 4Gb GPU RAM, here in the console section. :nope:
     
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  10. Silent_Buddha

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    All well and good up until the point you die and reload at a save point in a different location or use fast travel to go from one part of the world to another.

    At that point no matter how sophisticated the streaming technology is, you're going to have lengthy load screens unless they pop you into a box (relatively little graphical assets) that takes a long time to exit (new graphical assets streaming in).

    Using The Division as an example if you die...long loading on a PC with an SSD. If you fast travel...long loading on a PC with an SSD.

    Then you have hybrid systems like Gears of War 4 and God of War (2018) that load all of the assets at the start of a "level" (which is just a segment of the map) and masks that load with minimally interactive corridors or transitions.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  11. Recop

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    It's worth it in my opinion. It's the open world with the less pop in issues i've seen on console.
     
  12. Shifty Geezer

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    If it's doing something new and useful and applicable to consoles, there's no reason to exclude any PC title. Star Citizen just isn't. ;)
     
  13. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
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    I'd be surprised if next gen consoles only have 16GB of ram or ship with SSDs. Recent console RAM amounts have been close or better than contemporaneous high end PC graphics card amounts. More recently, better. For example, in 2005 when Xbox 360 launched with 512MB ram, the highest end PC graphics cards had 256MB. In 2013 when PS4 and Xbox One launched with 8GB or ram, the highest end PC parts had 4GB or ram. 2080TI's have 11GB, right? I'm doubtful that we won't have 16 or 24GB cards by the time PS5/XB2 launch, and I can't see 16GB being enough. Also, I think storage space is a higher priority than speed when it comes to consoles. If speed was important we wouldn't still have consoles ship with 5400RPM drives. I think hybrid drives are probably the most likely, because they cost just a touch more but offer a good performance boost in most cases.
     
  14. BRiT

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    MultiTiered storage pools. SSD wouldn't be used for all storrage, just as game cache. I hope it happens. It would improve game possibilities dramatically, as Shifty explained earlier.
     
  15. phoenix_chipset

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    Yeah but man but ram prices are still out of control. Turing is still 12gb max, same as Maxwell and pascal. That's 3 gpu gens where ram hasn't increased (titan x maxwell is 12gb) and each gen cards get more and more costly. Some of that is down to Nvidia sucking it, but these things aren't getting cheaper to make either.

    Personally I hope for 24gb plus ssd. 16gb is just the absolute minimum. The mods keep saying ssd won't happen and we'll get hybrid storage, but they don't account for how fast prices are dropping. What we do agree on though is an ssd is a far more important ugrade than just tons more ram. So yes storage speed is important do you see how long games like witcher, kingdom come and just cause take to load on console?! I've had an ssd in my ps4 for a year already.
     
  16. phoenix_chipset

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    Seriously I bought a 1tb crucial drive last year on sale for 240 so the base price was 300. You can now buy a 1tb wd blue ssd for half that price! What's the price going to be next year? Think about that, and then consider the savings sony would get buying in bulk. Yeah fellas, noooo way we'll get full ssds next gen. :roll:
     
  17. BRiT

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    How about a little bit less snark?
     
  18. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    What do you mean, "the mods keep saying"? All of us, as one voice, keep suggesting SSDs will never happen at every opportunity? Go read the alternative storage thread. :-x

    First search result for 'SSD' by me in the alternative storage thread...
    :-x
     
  19. phoenix_chipset

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    An ssd + hdd combo is what I consider hybrid storage. You don't think it's possible we'll get 1tb ssd's without the need for an hdd for mass storage, and yeah all the mods share this opinion.

    Maybe we won't but it's certainly very possible looking at the price cuts, future cuts and manufacturer discounts (esp. if we only get 16gb ram) - all i'm saying. We'll see
     
  20. Shifty Geezer

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    Read the thread! I quoted the first post of mine because I don't want to waste time pointing out your narrow, prejudiced perception, grouping a bunch of loosely affiliated persons into the same viewpoints. I think the vast majority of mods haven't even commented on the presence of SSDs in consoles, yet you reckon we all say the same thing. And why single out the moderators as a group? Because you perceive as such.

    I've sided more in favour of SSDs. Others haven't. But there is no Moderator corporate line and we aren't all saying the same thing.
    Which is exactly what I have said, if you read the discussions. As time has progressed and flash prices have dropped, the chances of replacing HDDs has increased. The cost discussion is still valid and intelligent people who discuss it intelligently instead of just trying to score "I was right on the internet" points have looked at the possible future storage requirements, probable flash costs, concerns about flash durability, options like high-speed removable storage, and done so without grouping discussion contributors into Them and Us.
     
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