Technical Director for Ubi on PS3 and Blu-Ray

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by hey69, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. Laa-Yosh

    Laa-Yosh I can has custom title?
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    To be honest, neither DVD nor BluRay are good choices IMHO. But neither Sony nor Microsoft had any other choice, so they had to stick with their media of choice.

    DVD is undeniably small for nextgen, an unneccessary burden for devs that can be dealt with at the cost of time and money, and maybe with some compromises.

    BluRay is slow and makes the PS3 expensive, but Sony will add a HDD and make their customers pay for the extra cost.

    The ideal choice would of course be something with capacity comparable to BR and costs/speed comparable to DVD, with probably a little more speed. Too bad that there's no such alternative that I know of. Next-nextgen we'll probably see games with online distribution or flash ROM type media... but the timing of the PS3 and X360 hasn't allowed for a better solution.
     
  2. Laa-Yosh

    Laa-Yosh I can has custom title?
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    Oh, and I think you're overemphasizing cinematics. Apart from japanese RPGs I haven't really seen any games that rely on them, so it's not a good argument for more storage space. Also, the 720p HD version of our latest work takes up about 100-120MB for about 3.5 minutes, using WMV compression - and looks good enough.

    So even if some company has the money to produce 30 minutes of HD cinematics, it should still fit on about 1-1.5 GB of disk space at reasonable quality. And we're talking about 1/3 of an animated CG feature film here, which costs several millions of dollars to produce. 30 minutes of this would require a budget comparable to an entire nextgen game in itself.
    But of course you can render low quality CG at HD resolutions, just for the sake of filling the disc...
     
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  3. DemoCoder

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    120mb @ 3.5 minutes is less than 5Mbps, which is suboptimal for encoding HD using VC-1. You should be using atleast 12mbps. Looks "good enough" is highly subjective. A person with a keen eye and used to clean video is probably going to thing otherwise. VC-1 is good, but not *THAT* good. DVD looks shitty at 5mbps. I've seen plenty of professionally encoded 720p 5mbps trailers that show plenty of artifacting.


    Thus agreeing with the BRD advocates who think you'll be forced to use either 2 discs, or drop quality.
     
  4. Inane_Dork

    Inane_Dork Rebmem Roines
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    What's the possibility of some JRPG needed more than 1 Blu-Ray disc? That would be humorous.
     
  5. Titanio

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    There's an interesting comment on the ozymandias blog re. the relative speed of Blu-ray vs the DVD drive in 360.

    I knew about the varying speed across the disc (though I'm not sure on his minimum and average figures), but the penalty with dual layers is new to me. Again though, I'm not sure if his proposed speed of 8x with DL discs is accurate, but looking around it seems it's not uncommon for drives to suffer a significant read-speed penalty with DVD9s, but it does depend on the drive.

    In the end though, both drives are 'slow' certainly relative to what we had last generation compared to the hardware they were feeding. I guess the presence of a HDD is one tool developers can use to offset that, but it'll be down to developers to make good and smart use of it.
     
  6. aaaaa00

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    In Laa-Yosh's specific case, CG is probably easier to compress -- no film noise to gobble up bitrate. Besides, unless the cutscenes are the centerpiece of your video game, you're probably not going to need cinemaphile quality video, I suspect most gamers will want to *play* rather than *watch* and won't care too much if a little artifacting is visible.
     
    #46 aaaaa00, Sep 3, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2006
  7. pipo

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    Nice try. That must be why the 360 games are 30 FPS then. I wonder if Forza 2 will ship on two discs. ;)
     
  8. -tkf-

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    I have said it before (afair), i think the real reason why almost all Console games fits nicely on a Single Sided DVD is because there isn´t more space :)

    DL seems to be rare and out of the question for any games that depends on loading assest on the fly or even worse streaming data. It would seem to me that the techical challenges with DL is just to much of a hassle. As time goes by i´m certain that the biggest bottleneck that the 360 faces is it´s last generation media technology and Sony´s BluRay will be seen as a master stroke.

    If someone wants to take a quick dirty look at how big current games is, the easy way is to find a site that lists warez (no links will be provided).
     
  9. London-boy

    London-boy Shifty's daddy
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    LOL double the framerate double the space on disc, that made me laugh out loud!

    Next we'll hear that the bluer the textures are in a game, the better they'll stream from Bluray because the laser works better with blue :p

    Having said that, i think space will become an issue for 360 games as much as space became an "issue" on GC games: the FMVs were always really badly compressed in multiplatform games, and that was the biggest difference.

    Also i think that HUGE games like the Final Fantasies with loads of different textures might have an easier time on Bluray.
     
  10. rounin

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    So, where exactly is the data/source to back this up?
     
  11. Titanio

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    On his specific numbers there is none but himself. Like I said, I don't know if his min/averages are correct. But it is true that read speed varies across the disc, and it is true that some drives suffer read-speed penalties with DL discs (you can read up on both these things using google). Whether 360's is such a drive or not as far as the latter is concerned, I'm not sure..not that it's likely someone will come out and tell us ;)
     
  12. Gholbine

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    I have heard of people ripping things onto their home PC at what would appear like 16x using the Xbox 360 DVD-ROM. Perhaps these people were using SL-DVDs, and 12x is the penalized read-speed for DL-DVDs?

    I would be very interested to see what an Xbox 360 developer has to say about this.
     
  13. Arwin

    Arwin Now Officially a Top 10 Poster
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    A high profile title like that would at this stage, so close to the PS3's release, not be very likely to ship on more than one disc, even if there would have been good reasons to.

    Looking at GT4, it was the huge number of cars and related data that was making the game grow, then the tracks. Of course they did seem to find some space for a nice intro movie, and a very hot 50% completion movie, and the game turned out at 'only' about 6gb.
     
  14. pipo

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    Dude, notice the wink? I wasn't serious. The FPS statement of Ubi's technical director was bogus.

    Relax. :)
     
  15. Rolf N

    Rolf N Recurring Membmare
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    Oh goodness, he's playing the compression card! How original!
     
  16. Cheezdoodles

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    GT4 was 4,658 mb big NTSC version and 600mb bigger on the PAL version.
     
    #56 Cheezdoodles, Sep 4, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2006
  17. Danalys

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    i'd like to see how losssless compression scales against media size. i think media size increases anyway. they just fit even more compressed stuff on it. certainly that way with movies. the res goes up and the optical format goes up even with better compression. games abandoned cg vids because they would have taken up too much space other wise. so by cutting that data usage they managed to scale back a bit. but scripting keeps going up and up and more details need to be scripted. a good physics engine can remove some of that, but that would cost performance that could be used to make the graphics look better in cutscenes.

    i was thinking that seek times for large pieces of data would be small on a next gen disc. because moving the read head actually gets you past far more data because of the increased data per ring. where as to skip that data on a dvd would take far more lateral movement of the read head. this would effect the way streaming games could be produced on a disc. i'd follow a system like the start point is on the center ring and radiate out from there. cut scenes could then be skipped to and then you return to the point on the disc. or a new place if the cutscene has moved you along. but with a CLV drive this might not be a good idea. since only part of the data in any ring would be what you want.

    are optical discs aranged in rings or spirals? either way a system of rings can be transposed to the spiral configuration.

    i also know that with geometry effecting textures the other textures can basically become colour maps which can be stored in less space. so that has saved some room. also allows the colour map to be loaded real quickly first when things are distant and you couldn't see bumps on them anyway.
     
    #57 Danalys, Sep 4, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2006
  18. rounin

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    Just curious where you found that info. I just put in GT4 NTSC version in my DVD drive, turned on DVD decrypter and got this

    Disc Information:
    Status: Complete
    Erasable: No
    Sessions: 1
    Sectors: 2,594,960
    Size: 5,314,478,080 bytes
    Time: 576:41:35 (MM:SS:FF)

    Which is ~5068.3 Mb
     
  19. Sis

    Sis mental_v-sync=off;
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    Regardless, this information is only useful if we know how much redundant data is on the disc.
     
  20. rounin

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    I think that is also debatable. For instance, assuming there is redundant data, we would have to consider why that redundant data is there, how it affects the gaming experience, and possibly others. What about the supposed effects DL has on load times...seek times...streaming? Perhaps redundant data is necessary to make the game load in reasonable time (not like Halo2 initial loads...). In these cases, how much redundant data / dummy data there is doesn't really matter in my opinion, since its necessary.

    In any case, I'm just trying to keep the information as correct as possible ;)
     
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