Digital Foundry Article Technical Discussion [2018]

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Shifty Geezer, Jan 1, 2018.

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  1. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Rules of Engagement : Read before posting or run the risk of losing posting rights in the Tech Forum!

    This is principally a technical discussion thread. It is allied to the other tech analysis threads and shares the same rules as those which you should familiarise yourself with. The purpose is to discuss the findings of the Digital Foundry articles on a technical level, including the techniques employed by game developers in their games, and the comparative design decisions off cross-platform titles. Digital Foundry is more closely allied with Beyond3D than other gaming sites which is why they get special mention here! :D

    What this thread is not, is a place to complain about a port's quality and make accusations of developers, to offer feedback on the quality of the Digital Foundry writing or the writers' biases, trumpet your preferred console over the other, talk business and sales, or otherwise sidetrack the discussion from talking about the gaming technology covered in the Digital Foundry articles. If you do not post to the required standard, your posts will be removed, and persistent unwanted contributions will see you locked out of the Technology Forum.

    If you want to leave editorial feedback for Digital Foundry, the best place is to leave a comment for the relevant article(s).
     
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  2. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    FIRST!! :mrgreen:

    DF: Redout on Xbox One X falls short of the PS4 Pro experience
    Sony's console runs smoother and looks better.



    Something wrong there. :yep2:
     
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  3. Recop

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    Lazy patches explain everything... fortunately, developers are more ambitious with the new games. It's the old ones that tend to be average.

    Edit : according to Vgtech, the X version has a dynamic resolution going from 1080p to something close to 4k. So, here is the explanation.
     
    #3 Recop, Jan 6, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  4. BRiT

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    Ouch, indeed. DF indicate that they only increased the resolution and kept all the cut-backs required for the base Xbox One. They're disappointed with the upgrade patch.

    ~~~
    As things stand, there seems to be a running theme of Redout over-promising and under-delivering on consoles. An interview with developer 34BigThings claims that the PS4 Pro version runs at checkerboard 4K with most of PC's epic settings enabled, while simultaneously claiming that Xbox One X would hand in native ultra HD with all visual presets ramped up to the max. That's an enticing prospect bearing in mind how beautiful the PC experience is, but all of our pixel counts resolve 1080p resolution only on both X and Pro consoles. [UPDATE: Tip of the hat to VGTech here, for confirming dynamic resolution scaling with a different shot selection to ours. How the scaler works is something we'll take another look at, as even the simplest shots in our sample came in at native 1080p.]

    That's not necessarily a bad thing though. In a WipEout/F-Zero-style game like this, frame-rate is king, and stacking up the unlocked and wobbly base PS4 version of Redout with the slick Pro version offers up a clearly improved experience, with Sony's super-charged console handing in a nigh-on locked 60fps. Last September, 34BigThings told us that a 4K checkerboarding update would be deployed when we contacted them about the Pro's 1080p pixel counts, but looking at the game today, nothing has changed.

    First of all, rather than running at the equivalent of PC's epic preset, Redout on Xbox One X looks uncannily similar to the base Xbox release, with the same LOD cutbacks compared to the PlayStation versions. Native rendering resolution increases and frame-rate is unlocked, but in terms of upgrades, that's your lot. Despite the claims of 4K resolution, the only aspect of the title we found that actually delivers ultra HD is the HUD (which is a 1080p asset on Pro, curiously). Redout is still a handsome game, with the visual cutbacks unlikely to be noticed in the thick of the action, but the real issue here is that unlike the PS4 Pro release, the X game fails to consistently hit 60 frames per second.

    The bottom line is that Redout on PS4 Pro has the edge visually and makes a much better fist of hitting its 60fps target frame-rate, with Xbox One X falling short of the target in both regards. We've seen games on the new Microsoft system effortlessly outperform the Pro, or deliver a range of resolution improvements with no impact to frame-rate. We've even seen titles that match performance, while massively increasing pixel counts and adding visual features. On the flipside, we've seen X titles that push resolution so hard, that performance can take a hit compared to the Pro version. However, Redout is the first X-enhanced title we've seen that pares back the visual feature-set compared to Pro - and actually delivers worse performance. We have our fingers crossed that the developer will come back with a revised, improved take on what is a really impressive racer, but as things stand, Redout on Xbox One X is a disappointment.
     
  5. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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  6. Globalisateur

    Globalisateur Globby
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    Very sad that DF had to be so harsh to those developers in order to damage control their dear XBX image with a nasty implied lazy devs narrative.

    The XBX hardware and software aren't perfect and some games may not run better compared to Pro in some circumstances / scenes. Which is normal.

    In the past we have seen similar things in a few PS4 / XB1 faceoffs. Though DF never were so offensive to the developers in those cases, they usually wrongly explained this with esram advantage / CPU XB1 overclock / PS4 AF bottleneck problem. Well wrongly because usually those problems were resolved by a patch, so it was most probably a software optimization problem or API problem in the case of AF...
     
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  7. djskribbles

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    Hmm they say that XBX renders at 90-50% of native 4K, but 1080p - 1944p is 25-81% of native 4K. Obviously they're going by vertical resolution, which is not the right way to do it.

    If DF thought it was native 1080p, it must be rendering at 1080p more often than not. So while technically they were wrong, it's hard to fault them for it. Devs are kind overreacting IMO.

    While I still see DF as a reliable source of analyses, VG Tech is becoming more and more trustworthy to me. He/she seems to do a more thorough job and often times finds higher or lower spikes/dips. I also like how he/she includes detailed framerate stats and the images he/she uses to pixel count. I just wish that he/she would give us kind of an average pixel count instead of just the min/max. 1080p sounds a lot worse than dynamic 1080p-1944p, but not so much if 1944p is an anomaly.
     
    #7 djskribbles, Jan 6, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  8. BRiT

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    What I don't find useful is the raw statistics of min frame resolution or max frame resolution and even average frame resolution depending on how that's calculated. The trouble I see everyone having when analyzing games is what exactly is the typical gaming experience? This is why I like seeing written articles and commentary in the videos. Is a peak to 4K for what amounts to be 5 minutes of gameplay on a 10+ hour game significant? Likewise with dips down to 1080p.

    While VG Tech does find more stressful points to find minimums I never see any context around those numbers such as only occurring to what amounts to 2% of the entire game while 98% of the entire game is at the maximums. Such is expected when they don't provide written articles or lengthy commentary on their findings.

    That leaves the question of what should people's expectations be? Is everyone really expecting the enthusiast analyst sites such as VG Tech or Digital Foundry to play the entire game through to completion and record the frame resolution and frame rate of the entire game experience?
     
  9. Jay

    Jay
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    oh god they went the fake news response route.
    VGTech only give specific details, not analysis of graphics settings, comparisons explanations, etc.
    they are very much complementary.

    giving out a response like that, i hope its not only the resolution that they can show is wrong.
    I'm not sure many people will be overly impressed if it's higher res but lower settings of the base ps4, lot more inconsistent frame rate to 4pro.

    yes they say they know there's a problem/bug with framerate, but the way they say it is as if DF is reporting something that has no right to be mentioned. And try to say its click bait, thats as bad as lazy devs comments.
    lazy devs comments are by people using the DF analysis not DF themselves, DF was just confused about what the patch produced.
     
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  10. djskribbles

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    Well VGTech does offer a bit of context in the details or comments section of his videos. But yeah, honestly neither DF or VGTech provide enough info, but I don't blame them. It's becoming more and more difficult to analyze games these days, and the only way to get the full picture is to analyze a large sample size and give in-depth stats. But even I as a reader/viewer of their content know that would be way too much work.

    A good sample size is good enough, but with that I fully expect some mistakes to be made. The more people analyzing games, the better, as they can compliment each other and help us get a better overall picture.
     
  11. Rangers

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    So DF says the XBX version is rendering at a lower res than it actually is and that means they favor Xbox? Got it...

    I mean I shudder to think your reaction if they shortchanged a PS game on resolution in a face off.
     
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  12. function

    function None functional
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    But according to the developers it does run better and at a higher resolution on X1X. What's your damage control angle here?
     
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  13. function

    function None functional
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    Well they do kind of admit that the framerate is now shit. *shrugs*

    There's no hardware based reason that the frame rate should be lower than PS4Pro - it's faster at everything - and it's running a dynamic resolution to (presumably) prevent the massively higher resolution being a problem.

    They also admit that the game *can* run at 1920 x 1080, which is what DF found in every test. So it's quite possible that their dynamic resolution system is bugged.

    Frankly, if the developer of this game really is going to try and use the legal route to stop analysis of their game rather than openly engage with whatever that analysis finds, then fuck 'em.
     
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  14. Billy Idol

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    So are you saying that DF stated the wrong resolution setup on purpose? Otherwise your argument doesn’t make sense (and you are just trying to ridicule Globalisateur in a very weak fashion).


    If I see it right fast browsing through DF article, DF never called the devs lazy themselves?? So I don’t understand the rage and fake news bomb of the devs. Regarding social media shitstorm: welcome to the gaming, a world full of “passionate” fanboys...
     
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  15. Billy Idol

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    Btw, isn’t the pr statement of the devs as an official response claiming game is 4k@60Hz as wrong (or right) as DF saying 1080p.

    The game uses scaling resolution and dips to the mid 40s...so in many cases not 4k or either 60Hz.

    Edit: VGtech just stated that resolution scaling highly depends on the track location in this game (which is a bit weird to me)...so maybe that is the explanation why DF only found 1080p?!

    Edit2: sorry, I can’t find the VGtech reference anymore claiming it is location dependent...so take it with caution and maybe I just made a fakenews myself and slowly go crazy as I still believe I read it somewhere?!?
     
    #15 Billy Idol, Jan 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  16. Billy Idol

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    Apology from DF



    Very professional and calm reaction from DF. Nice!
     
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  17. Metal_Spirit

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    These kind of reactions are out of proportion.
    The game scales from 1080p to 1944p, so 1080p is in fact there. Claiming this game to be 4K@60fps is more false than saying they only saw 1080p.
    1080p, although not fixed does indeed exist. 4K does not!
     
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  18. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    They ought to be calm, they clearly didn't have a very shitty Saturday caused by another company publishing inaccurate information about something they worked on. I looked up 34BigThings and they're a small indie operating from Turin. Things like this damage small companies.

    It's ironic that DF pointed our flaws in another companies work (calling them lazy in the process), then that company (and VGTech) had to point out flaws in DF's work. You couldn't make it up. :nope:
     
    #18 DSoup, Jan 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  19. Billy Idol

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    I am a bit split on this case. I do have sympathy for the small dev that made a very good game actually and the pro version is rly fine.

    But, the devs accuse DF of fake news (which is a stupid usa republican strategy that does tremendous damage...who wants to relate with such people??), while in the same second they say their game is 4k@60Hz...which it is not as they themselves said in the very same second it uses 50-90(!) % scaling res. ????

    Please remember, there are some people out there that bought the game for X just because the devs (wrongly) advertised it as 4k@60Hz...so it is imo ok for them to explode...don’t freaking lie to your customer and shit storms don’t form.

    Of course, DF could have just avoided the mistake...but it unfortunately happened.

    In similar cases devs reached out to DF, gave corrections, and got decent coverage out of this in return by DF...
     
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  20. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    The devs seem most aggrieved about the tone of the article implying they were lazy, which is how I read it. From their public statement:

    We are currently looking into various ways to defend our public image. Not only because we dislike being called lazy or incompetent gratuitously, but also to send a message to the players and the industry. Gamedevs (indies especially) are amongst the most hard working people, to the point that burnout and crunch culture in game development are widespread. Really, just stop calling them lazy to the first hiccup. And don’t fabricate excuses for calling them lazy. Ok? Thank you.
    I wonder how many people ever check back to see if an article has been updated. Not many I reckon. Once damage like this is done, it's not always easy for it to be undone. This article has already had two updates with corrections and will get at least one more, along with a corrected video.

    Mistakes do happen but they to be infrequent but now feel pretty common. If I was as sloppy with my professional analysis as DF, I'd have some serious explaining to do to my boss and her boss. How do you not verify findings before publishing? :roll: DF ought to be both mortified and embarrassed that this keeps happening. I wonder how much analysis never gets called out because the dev or the publisher don't read DF or just can't be bothered to correct them.
     
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