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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Poll results

So my first poll is over, I didn't think it was going to be surprising, but in some ways it is indeed. Out of 74 votes 28 went to the PC, that so seems to be your favourite development platform, 25 to the Xbox 360, 15 to Playstation 3 and last, with 3 votes each are Nintendo DS and Wii.

I did not include the Playstation Portable in the poll as I really don't think that could ever be the favourite one, DS was included as it's kinda oldschool (there are a lot of ex-amiga programmers and sceners coding on that one), while Wii even if on the graphic side is not fun (and does not come with a GPU debugger), seems to be really simple to work with.

I'm not too surprised by the results PC had, my bet was that the 360 would be the winning one, but I did not unbias the votes considering that people could not have the opportunity to code on it at all (most amateur programmers, despite XNA, are still coding PC-only).
Or at least I think that the PC results are due to the biasing, I can't really see a reason for the PC to win otherwise, the only nice thing you get are somewhat shorter iteration times, but you have to pay the incredibly high price of having to code multiple paths at least for the most common configurations, test a lot, you can't really dig as deeply into optimizations, GPU debugging support is inferior, and DX10 are cool but not really popular, the 360 does not have all the bells and whistles of the newest Microsoft API, but it's still way more powerful than DX9.

I am surprised by the Ps3, I was thinking that everyone was going to be really pissed of by its SDK (that only now can be considered non-offending), it seems that despite the poor work done by Sony, there are still many people recognizing its potential and enjoying finding a way to actually use all that processing power.

Will in the end Ps3 games technically outsmart 360 ones? I doubt it, Cell is powerful, but the overall architecture is not as balanced, refined and well-tought as the 360 one (in my opinion). And the GPU is, mhm, mostly a joke compared to the ATI one. Still, there's plenty of raw power, we'll see...

6 comments:

ugasoft said...

> Will in the end Ps3 games technically outsmart 360 ones? I doubt it

I'm sure Ps3 will soon outperform X360. Today their performance is comparable but 90% of PS3 titles are not using SPU's at all, due to zero-support in SDK. But the latest DevStation (one week ago) focused on future SPU support in SDK. SPU can (and probably will) speed up performance by a big factor.
I'm a PC & X360 lover, but PS3 is going to win the console performance battle.

DEADC0DE said...

I've seen titles using SPUs pretty well, maybe still not 100% optimal, but pretty well. And still 360 didn't have too much problems to keep up. And we're spending 90% of our optimizations on the ps3, who knows what we could achieve from the 360 with a similar effort. I'm not sure at all the ps3 will win.

DEADC0DE said...

ah and of course "but 90% of PS3 titles are not using SPU's at all" is just something that you've made up, because it's not true, at all :)

ugasoft said...

> ah and of course "but 90% of PS3 titles are not using SPU's at all" is just something that you've made up, because it's not true, at all :)

you are so full of prejudice that it's unuseful to report you what sony dev staff told at devstation one week ago.

DEADC0DE said...

Let's say that I've seen different numbers, but anyway that's not really the point isn't it?

Studios are spending way more effort on the ps3 than 360, and still games are not better on ps3 at all. Surely we haven't reached the limits of the ps3, but we're still far from the limits of the 360 as well!

And there are plenty of games, that are heavily using the SPUs, as you seem to have access to Sony's devnet stuff, you should know that well! And still they don't seem to deliver quality levels that are not confrontable with 360's ones.

The point is that many people seem to have high hopes on how much the ps3 can improve, but they underestimate how 360 could too. Just because a platform is easier, does it mean that you can squeeze less performance out of it?

Who decided that the ps3 Cell chip is much faster than the 360 Xenon one anyway?

GFlop numbers are quite unuseful, and I haven't digged to deeply in those matters, but each SPU should provide 25gflops, xenon is rated at 110gflops, so let's say that a very optimistic estimate for the PS3 is around 200gflops, using all the SPUs and considering the PPU completelly free (while in reality the more you use the SPUs the less PPU time you have).

Now consider that the NVidia vertex pipeline is quite a joke on the PS3, and that for most part the SPUs have to work instead of it... I don't really see all that "hidded power" to uncover in the PS3 at all.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with your comments. We've had to offload triangle culling, etc to SPU to get anywhere near the performance we're getting on Xenon.