Why are Playstation resolution modes so weird?

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by stranno, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. stranno

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    I mean, whats the point of Ridge Racer being rendered as 320x480 (not 480x320).

    [​IMG]

    There are some games that use ultra-wide resolutions (to be vertically stretched) or this kind of ultra-narrow resolutions (to be horizontally stretched).

    And other question. Is :)-P) Squaresoft's iS (Internal Section) the only game of Playstation being rendered in 640x480 along the game? I've seen some games with 640x480 stuff, like the car preview of Gran Turismo, but the only one i've seen VGA ingame is iS.
     
  2. archie4oz

    archie4oz ea_spouse is H4WT!
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    No, Tobal No. 1 and Tobal 2 also run at 640x480. However VERY few Playstation games ran at that resolution.
     
  3. Nesh

    Nesh Double Agent
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    I believe Rapid Racer, Rascal, Ergheiz and Tekken 3 also run at higher resolution. There could be a few more. But the amazing thing is that these games also run at 60fps
     
  4. SlimJim

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    I guess the PS1 was the PS4 of it's time :p
     
  5. stranno

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    Tobal and Tobal 2 have 512x480 in menus/ingame, with 320x240 fmvs. With smooth 60FPS gameplay.

    But not 640x480.
     
  6. ERP

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    Basically the hardware provided a 2 dimensional block of video memory which had to be used for both frame-buffers and all textures used for rendering.
    Bigger the framebuffers, the less space available for textures, which is why you see odd sized buffers as a compromises.
     
  7. stranno

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    Yes, i guess. But i still dont understand the point of ultra-narrow frames or ultra-wide frames instead of real aspect frames.

    Does it really improves the quality?

    Another weird resolution from Colin McRae Rally 2.0.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Those old consoles had no built-in video scaler. An old video frame has a certain number of vertical lines (no particular set horizontal rez, since being analog, although you run into a practical limit pretty quickly with simple RF/composite/S-video), so unless you want big ugly black bars around your image you have to fill up those lines. Also, the video output circuitry in those old boxes was typically not very advanced, usually it had a couple set resolutions and that was it. Generally, standard/low rez was 256 or 320 pixels across, ~240 lines tall (it depends), with high rez mode doubling those numbers horizontally and/or vertically.
     
  9. ZiGgY

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    Ridge Racer running at 640x480 @60fps:

    [​IMG]

    It was an internal Namco experiment that was released as a bonus disc with Ridge Racer 4
     
  10. stranno

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    Turbo Mode is 320x480x16bit, exactly the same as the original game, just 60FPS.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    It could be considered that some games will benefit more from resolution in one dimension. eg. A racer plays in a locked vertical position. Thus you're not going to need sensitive detail in the vertical direction, so could allocate more resolution to the horizontal so cues for bends and obstacles are that little more informative. Another school of thought would place the emphasis on vertical resolution as the details are occupying a shallow angle. Stripes and rumble strips and cables will benefit from vertical resolution. I've just tried grabbing a Forza 5 shot and reducing it to half res in either direction, and the 960x1080 looks much better than the 1920x540 image as the majority of detail is nearer horizontal.

    Whatever the choices, there are legitimate reasons to favour irregular framebuffer resolutions (and this goes for things like buffers in deferred renderers too).
     
  12. ZiGgY

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    ..nope
     
  13. stranno

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    I see. I was confused because there are games in the same genre with narrow and other wide resolutions. Like Ridge Racer - Colin McRae Rally. But it seems a good reason.

    Yes.

    Thats what pSX emulator debug info says. And its accurate. I mean the Bonus Turbo Mode Disc (NTSCU) not the Hi-Spec Demo (PAL), but i belive its exactly the same.

    You can prove otherwise, any more info about it?
     
  14. almighty

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    Wow.... Didn't know PSOne could manage 60fps let alone in quite a few games!!
     
  15. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    ...This is where you add, "because...", and then an explanation.

    Merely trolling threads generally is not appreciated however.
     
  16. Melqart

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    Might be an NTSC thing too. Analog NTSC TVs have 480 scan lines (525 actually, only 483/480 are visible though). CRTs don't really have a "resolution" since they're analog. 720x480 was the resolution Sony chose in the 80s for D-1 digitally sampled video to overcome the Nyquist rate and it became a standard. When displayed on a 4:3 TV, the pixels are horizontally squeezed since 720x480 isn't 4:3. CRTs are more sensitive to the vertical resolution than horizontal. That my guess anyways

    PS2 games also have strange resolutions. On a CRT they look okay (but jagged). On an HDTV most of them look terrible. My DC with a VGA cable looks much cleaner and nicer in comparison. I noticed that PS2 emulators have to deinterlace PS2 games making them look rather odd in motion. My guess is that most PS2 games have frames with a 240 vertical resolution displayed interlaced in motion. Must be the 4MB framebuffer
     
  17. Grall

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    PS2 games that run in field-rendered interlace (only rendering every other line to save framebuffer RAM at 60fps) will probably look extremely crap on a HDTV since interlaced video is generally two fields of the same frame, not just a stream of discrete unique fields like the PS2 puts out in this video mode. A CRT doesn't care, it just displays the video, but a HDTV or other discrete pixel display will try to combine two fields to create a frame (as is the norm with analog SDTV), and when the two fields don't match up the result will look very odd...

    When field-rendered games missed a vblank you could see "stuttering" in the video when the game re-displayed the same field twice, causing the precieved resolution to halve... However, these games were all mostly just in the first year or maybe two of the PS2's life span. Dead or Alive 2, the original Devil May Cry and a bunch of others ran this way. Other, more recent PS2 games rendered full frames at full framerate when devs learned to better manage the framebuffer and used the hardware de-flicker filter to produce smoother output. Some PS2 games even managed supersampled horizontal resolution (1280*640), such as Heroes of Norrath (or whatever it was called) as well... PS2 was a rather cool machine with surprising capabilities, although quirky of course. And its video output wasn't its strongest side, perhaps... :)
     
  18. Melqart

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    Yeah it wasn't all PS2 games. The ones that supported progressive scan (like some of Namco's fighters) looked great. GT4 even has 1080i output (though 480p looks better). DMC looks looks fine on a CRT and so long as you're standing still it looks okay on an HDTV. Once you start moving things get all sorts of pixelated. I have a (now-broken) Sony Wega CRT that accepted component and was progressive scan. Progressive mode was garbage for some reason and had the same issues as PS2 running on an HDTV. Interlaced component looked very good. Kept this around mainly for PS2. One of these days I'll try to fix it if I can.
     
  19. HTupolev

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    SD CRTs do more or less have a resolution, actually.

    -Each line of video is an analogue signal, but you still have a discrete number of pixels along the vertical axis ("480", though I guess there are different ways of measuring it).

    -As for the other axis. Even though the signal is analogue, the phosphor mask has discrete areas for discrete colours. Even for an aperture grille display, where you can get away with scanning variable numbers of lines, there will be a discrete number of pixels along a line.
    (I suppose it would be theoretically possible to have a sideways aperture grille, where each colour element is scanned continuously by its own electron gun during a line scan. But you'd still have a resolution along the vertical axis, and I'm sure there would be various practical issues with doing that, such as physical instabilities in the mask. Not like it matters anymore, though.)

    CRTs are themselves not immune to the oddities of interlacing, even if they handle it better than fixed-pixel displays (presumably due to their field timing?). It feels like a greater proportion of big-budget games targeted 60fps in the sixth gen, and if that's true, I wouldn't be surprised; having only 17ms between each field results in much less visible combing than having 33ms between every other field. That's an issue that disappears when you're working with progressive scan video output.
     
  20. Melqart

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    That's what I thought too (CRTs and the discreet r/g/b colors being pixels or pixel-like). Everything I've read about it says something different (from each other), again not that it matters anymore. All I wanted to know was what was the best capture resolution for VHS and nobody could agree on that either so I went overkill 1440x960 and downsampled it to 640x480 (which is also overkill to be safe).

    Once you know how interlacing on CRT displays work, it can kind of drive you nuts because you can see it. I still prefer how clean SD sources look on a good CRT.
     
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