Console that fared best vs PC's available at launch

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Butta, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. Butta

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    According to you, which console fared the best VS the available PC's at the time that it was launched? Based on what I can remember from all existing consoles to date, I am willing to submit XBOX 360 as my vote. Most of the reason for this is the GPU was ahead of anything available at the time and processors (if properly leveraged) were easily competitve to what's even available today.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Nesh

    Nesh Double Agent
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    Playstation 1
     
  3. Butta

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    Playstation 1 was released in 1994... that was at the same time that Doom II was on PC. Were Playstation 1 games up to the standard of DoomII?
     
  4. Nesh

    Nesh Double Agent
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    Probably not at the beginning but once the good games started to come out, rarely I would see PC games matching the quality I ve been experiencing on the PS1
     
  5. I.S.T.

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    I don't believe the PC had any game that could compete with Ridge Racer graphically at the time of the PS1's launch in Japan.
     
  6. Butta

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    Here are the average PC specs from 1994:
    Midrange 1994
    40MHz Intel 486DX2
    8MB RAM (whatever type was used back then)
    500MB hard drive
    1MB SVGA-capable graphics card
    3.5" floppy drive (although I'll probably cheat and add a CD-ROM drive)
    Windows 3.11

    Here are the PS1 specs:
    Central processing unit

    An early PlayStation motherboardMIPS R3000A-compatible (R3051) 32bit RISC chip running at 33.8688 MHz

    The chip is manufactured by LSI Logic Corp. with technology licensed from SGI. The chip also contains the Geometry Transformation Engine and the Data Decompression Engine.

    Features:

    Operating Performance of 30 MIPS
    Bus Bandwidth 132 MB/s
    Instruction Cache 4 KB
    Data Cache 1 KB (non associative, just 1024 bytes of mapped fast SRAM)
    Geometry transformation engine
    This engine is inside the main CPU chip. It gives it additional (vector-)math instructions used for the 3D graphics.

    Features:

    Operating performance of 66 MIPS
    360,000 flat-shaded polygons per second
    180,000 texture mapped and light-sourced polygons per second
    Sony originally gave the polygon count as:

    1.5 million flat-shaded polygons per second;
    500,000 texture mapped and light-sourced polygons per second.
    These figures were given as a ballpark figure for performance under optimal circumstances, and so are unrealistic under normal usage.

    Data decompression engine
    This engine is also inside the main CPU. It is responsible for decompressing images and video. Documented device mode is to read three RLE-encoded 16×16 macroblocks, run IDCT and assemble a single 16×16 RGB macroblock. Output data may be transferred directly to GPU via DMA. It is possible to overwrite IDCT matrix and some additional parameters, however MDEC internal instruction set was never documented.

    Features:

    Compatible with MJPEG and H.261 files
    Operating Performance of 80 MIPS
    Directly connected to CPU Bus
    Graphics processing unit
    This chip is separate to the CPU and handles all the 2D graphics processing, which includes the transformed 3D polygons.

    Features:

    Maximum of 16.7 million colors
    Resolutions from 256×224 to 640×480
    Adjustable frame buffer
    Unlimited color lookup tables
    Maximum of 24-bit color depth
    Maximum of 4000 8×8 pixel sprites with individual scaling and rotation
    Emulation of simultaneous backgrounds (for parallax scrolling)
    Flat or Gouraud shading, and texture mapping
    Sound processing unit
    Features:

    Can handle ADPCM sources with up to 24 channels and up to 44.1 kHz sampling rate
    Memory
    Main RAM: 2 MB
    Video RAM: 1 MB
    Sound RAM: 512 KB
    CD-ROM Buffer: 32 KB
    Operating System ROM: 512 KB
    PlayStation Memory Cards have 128 KB of space in an EEPROM
    CD-ROM drive
    Features:

    2x, with a maximum data throughput of 300 kB/s
    XA Mode 2 Compliant
    CD-DA (CD-Digital Audio)
     
  7. Butta

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    I have to say after looking into it a bit deeper you seem to be right PS1 seemed to fare much better than the average PC from 1994.
     
  8. Butta

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    Memory as always was a bit skimpy... only 2 MB of main system ram.
     
  9. function

    function None functional
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    Since 3D accelerators arrived, it's the Dreamcast - it was some way ahead of the fastest gaming PC you could make in 1998 (an incredibly expensive PII 450 with SLI Voodoo 2s). Hardware T&L hadn't yet arrived and it was PVR's high-end heyday.

    Before that, I'd guess it was the Playstation. The software situation was rather different on the PC though - it wasn't until Quake that I remember the PC push jaw-dropping textured 3D stuff.
     
  10. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Vs which PCs? As always with these debates, the PC platform isn't defined. PCs range from outdated tech to super-expensive workstations. If you say any PC, up to super-expensive efforts, then the real question is which console had the most powerful tech for it's release. If you are asking which platform offered the best gaming experience vs. PC, the question becomes more complicated again as best gaming experience is subjective. And even in just comparing tech, you have some serious differences in targets. Are PS1's wiggly polygons more preferable to PC's fewer accurate polygons? It's subjective.
     
  11. -tkf-

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    Playstation 1, when i watched the famous Dino Demo , Toshinden and Riiiiiidge Raaaaacer i knew something special had happend.

    I got my 3DFX later, and in one stroke the PC was in the game again.
     
  12. Jesus2006

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    Playstation 1 all the way. I remember when i first played Wipeout or Destruction Derby at a friend's i thought my eyes would pop out!
     
  13. Cheezdoodles

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    Xbox 360, still competed with PC's a year after its launch.

    But PS1 was awesome
     
  14. Butta

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    I am talking about the average PC requirements to play the defining PC game. In other words my midrange 1994 pc:

    Midrange 1994
    40MHz Intel 486DX2
    8MB RAM (whatever type was used back then)
    500MB hard drive
    1MB SVGA-capable graphics card
    3.5" floppy drive (although I'll probably cheat and add a CD-ROM drive)
    Windows 3.11

    was more or less based on the requirements to play Quake II at the time. Slightly subjective, I know, but come on it's not that hard to define.
     
  15. Neb

    Neb Iron "BEAST" Man
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    PS1 might be the one with longest 'king of the hill' time, (1-1,5 years?). Though later a pentium equipped with a Voodoo 1 graphic card outdid PS1 quite brutally.

    N64 I think had 4-6 months of leader time until Voodo 1 was released or was it Voodoo2... old times old memories.

    Then PS2 since that was the year GPU's where introduced with T&L and more andvanced 'next-gen' stuff. Though G400 from Matrox did shake the fenches with environment bump mapping of respectable quality back then. I think it held itself quite good for quite some time (PS2).

    After that then no. Xbox360 is still outdone by top end systems built around the same time in multi platform games and overall in IQ/speed. I mean a X2 4800 and 2 7800GTX/512 SLi but you won't even need SLi for that....
     
    #15 Neb, Apr 3, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2008
  16. pjbliverpool

    pjbliverpool B3D Scallywag
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    I think the original xbox faired much better than the 360.

    When xbox launched it had a GPU which was arguably superior to the fastest PC GPU of the time (GF3 Ti500). But when the 360 launched it would have had to compete with dual 7800GTX 512MB's.

    Considering a single 7800GTX 512MB has a fairly significant leg up on RSX which itself competes well with Xenos, it seems to me that Xenos was seriously overshadowed by the best that was available for the PC at the time.

    A year later and the X1950XTX went well beyond Xenos performance without resorting to dual GPUs. I'm assuming Xenos's performance in PC terms is around HD2600XT + 25% level.

    I doubt Xenon is even remotely near the performance of a modern quad core. Competitive with the slower dual cores certainly but quad cores? I find that extremely unlikely.
     
  17. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    I had a P75 before the PS1 released in Japan, let alone in NA. And the 90/100 pentiums release earlier.
     
  18. liolio

    liolio Aquoiboniste
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    I and most of my friends were pretty impressed by the dreamcast, I felt like I had an arcade system at home.
    And I'm surprized nobody gave the dreamcast the credit it deserves, poor dreamcast!
     
  19. Mobius1aic

    Mobius1aic Quo vadis?
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    In terms of true competition based on sales not hardware capabilities, I'd say Xbox 360. Though the PS1 and Dreamcast were very badass when first introduced. And yes, poor Dreamcast didn't get the love it deserved from the general gaming crowd.
     
  20. Mintmaster

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    I think you mean Doom II. :wink:

    You could pick any 3D console before 3D hardware on the PC, IMO. The comparison is a bit unfair to the PC if you go that far back, but PS1 is an obvious choice. In the more modern era, I'd probably pick Dreamcast if you consider the Japan launch date and 360 as a close second.

    I think much of 360's success in comparing favourably is the economic situation. It was the first HD console (and was released as early as possible for such a product), and games had become huge business then allowing much more investment in content than what could be done on the PC. There were definately more powerful GPU setups on the PC, but the technology gap wasn't enough to overcome content. In prior years, the gap was too big for content to overcome except for the Dreamcast.

    It's a shame what happened to the Dreamcast, but there's more to the console business than just hardware.
     
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