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XBox (Games) Graphics Software

Bungie Explains Halo 3's Resolution 181

Posted by Zonk
from the looks-pretty-good-to-me dept.
For some folks artisitic merit or financial success of Halo 3 isn't what's really important: it's about how many pixels are on the screen. After there were some complaints about the 'truth' of the game's HD nature Bungie posted a missive on their site clarifying the output process for Halo 3's visuals. "Halo 3 uses not one, but two frame buffers - both of which render at 1152x640 pixels. The reason we chose this slightly unorthodox resolution and this very complex use of two buffers is simple enough to see - lighting. We wanted to preserve as much dynamic range as possible - so we use one for the high dynamic range and one for the low dynamic range values. Both are combined to create the finished on screen image. This ability to display a full range of HDR ... gives our scenes ... a steady and smooth frame rate, which in the end was far more important to us than the ability to display a few extra pixels."
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Bungie Explains Halo 3's Resolution

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  • BFD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Eponymous Crowbar (974055) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:15PM (#20812401)
    Is it a fun game, or not? Debate that question if you must, but skip the minor technical details. It reminds me of the original Xbox's CPU -- some people swore it was a Celeron, some said a P3. I say what ends up being played on the screen is all that really matters.
    • by theNetImp (190602)
      Well it took me 7hrs to complete. It should have lasted at least 14, not as fun as I would expect it to be. The network play ok, but I don't care for the maps. I really liked the maps on Halo 2 better.
    • Re:BFD (Score:4, Funny)

      by onecheapgeek (964280) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:20PM (#20812501) Journal
      Less making sense, more complaining please.
    • It really depends on who you are. If you're someone who expected Halo 3 to cure cancer and solve world hunger then you're going to be disappointed, as many fans are right now. If you're someone whose never heard of Halo before (all 3 of you) then you're probably going to be amazed by how great Halo 3 is. If you're someone, like me, who enjoyed Halo 1 and 2 and is just looking for a good gaming experience, not the greatest game of all time but at least a fun game you can get together with your friends and pl
      • Hey now, you left out an option! What about the people who didn't expect Halo 3 to cure cancer and solve world hunger, but think it's arguably the best FPS (note: not game, just in the genre) of all time? ;)
    • two frame buffers, hang on this sounds familiar, is it not our good old friend doublebuffering? and *sigh* and people tell me that the xbox 360 is this all powerful machine, it cant run a modern (in PC terms) game at native resolutions to monitors, isn't it time that people realize that "next gen" consoles really aren't?
      • Re:BFD (Score:5, Informative)

        by p0tat03 (985078) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:46PM (#20812971)

        Er... less ignorance, more knowledge plz. These frame buffers are on TOP of the double (or maybe even triple) buffering that is already done from frame-swapping. The whole idea is that 32-bit screen buffers do not have enough range to properly account for HDR lighting (i.e. that nice effect where your eyes take time to adjust after coming out of a dark tunnel, and also the real way to do light blooms). So in essence what they're doing is two 32-bit buffers to simulate a very large 64-bit buffer, where each pixel has 64 bits of range. In total they would need to have at least 4 of these to account for the double buffering.

        In an ideal world I should just be able to tell the machine to give me 64-bit color, but our hardware isn't quite there yet (almost).

    • It reminds me of the original Xbox's CPU -- some people swore it was a Celeron, some said a P3.
      FYI, they're both right to an extent.

      It's technically a mobile Celeron, but based off a later generation Pentium III core compared to mass market Celerons (remember, a Celeron is nothing but a P2/3/4 with half the L2 disabled).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Since I can't playback HD content with it, I'm going to have to say Celeron. Man those things suck. The entire collective of Intel must have been drunk throughout the nineties. I can't believe they still exist, worthless pieces of trash that they are.

      cat /proc/cpuinfo

      processor : 0
      vendor_id : GenuineIntel
      cpu family : 15
      model : 4
      model name : Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 2.53GHz
      stepping : 1
      cpu MHz : 2533.610
      cache size : 256 KB
      fdiv_bug : no
      hlt_bu

    • by AbRASiON (589899) *
      It's all fine and dandy to say the gameplay is most important and well it is.

      Problem is Microsoft made SPECIFIC points when marketing the Xbox 360 as a powerhouse, with 12mb of EDRAM capable of 'free 4x AA at all time' and the fact that it will do 720p in all games as a mandatory requirement, no low def games alowed (you can run the games in low def, but it's a downsample) etc etc

      When push came to shove one of their first titles, Project Gotham Racing 3 runs at 1024x600 or some such resolution and upscales
  • Ending? (Score:5, Funny)

    by dws90 (1063948) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:18PM (#20812481)
    I was expecting an article about how the game ends, and was prepared to make an epic post about a bunch of dots...

    The article stole my joke!
  • by TriezGamer (861238) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:21PM (#20812509)
    I haven't had a chance to play Halo 3 yet, so I can't say anything about the game as a whole, but I'm glad to see they're more concerned with a steady frame-rate than killer visuals. I'd rather play a game at 320x240 with acceptable FPS (which I did back in the days of the original Unreal when I didn't have an accelerator) than play at 1024x768 at 20. Anything under 30 FPS irritates me to no end.
    • by Teckla (630646)

      I haven't had a chance to play Halo 3 yet, so I can't say anything about the game as a whole, but I'm glad to see they're more concerned with a steady frame-rate than killer visuals. I'd rather play a game at 320x240 with acceptable FPS (which I did back in the days of the original Unreal when I didn't have an accelerator) than play at 1024x768 at 20. Anything under 30 FPS irritates me to no end.

      Amen to that.

      I know some people that prefer eye candy above all else, including the frame rate. They'll max out their video resolution, but end up with choppy (in my opinion) frame rates. It doesn't seem to bother them. They seem to prefer the high resolution at the expense of frame rates.

      I'm like you. I'll happily drop the resolution to get smooth (at least 30+ FPS) frame rates.

      As a PC gamer, I've often wondered how console game players manage resolution vs. frame rates. Can console game players

      • by k8to (9046)
        Traditionally there were no configurable display options on any console games. With the advent of higher resolution television this has been changing. I do not own one of these higher resolution televisions and cannot comment on how the various games behave. However, because the hardware is a closed system, "tuning" the game to run at a reasonable, non-bothersome, steady framerate on the hardware is an achievable goal, and in my (non-HD) experience is nearly always (over 99% of the time) achieved.
      • by Kelbear (870538)
        No, the mandate is 30 average FPS from MS, but hiccups can still occur. Some games offer some choice, Bioshock for a recent example, that toggles between a best quality and a best speed setting.

        Most games manage a good bit above the 30fps minimum, but not all.

        That's the advantage/disadvantage of consoles. The standardization produces both consistency and mediocrity. Simplicity at the cost of complexity and vice versa. Not necessarily bad choices, just dependent on consumer preferences.
    • by p0tat03 (985078) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:55PM (#20813119)

      I can attest that Halo 3 runs smooth as butter, with consistently high framerates that haven't dipped even once in frenetic battle. It certainly feels smoother than graphical powerhouses like Gears of War, and in a multiplayer game framerate is king above all else.

      I also have to add that Halo 3 is amongst the most beautiful games I've ever played. They use this incredible lighting model (I suspect it's some offshoot of ambient occlusion) that simulates global illumination remarkably well. This is a nice change from the shiny "oh look we have bumpmaps! look!" feel that most other "next-gen" games have. Everything looks natural - shiny things shiny, dull things dull, and everything in between. Really have to give kudos to their coders and artists for making it all come together so well.

      • It's like the Alien series, 300 years later. With much better framerate. I'm just happy the flood look less like Smartfood.
      • I also have to add that Halo 3 is amongst the most beautiful games I've ever played.

        I was a great big meh on my 42" Sharp aquas at 1080p. It was like an improved Halo 1. Nothing caught my eye in any particular way. It was good but "ordinary" for the genre. I am spoiled form PC gaming so the bar is higher. I borrowed it and a 360 for the weekend and did think it had anything more then utilitarian graphics. A good extension to Halo 2.
        • by p0tat03 (985078)

          IMHO Halo 3 sets some bars that PC games haven't even yet gotten to. I think gamers are "spoiled" by the complete overuse of bumpmaps in recent years, and now that a game dares to come out where things aren't shiny and bumpy ALL OVER THE PLACE, it looks "worse" in comparison, despite being more realistic.

          I was never quite comfortable with the Doom 3 engine - we didn't have enough horsepower at the time to do real-time lighting *correctly*. So all we got was really black, sharp shadows with overly shiny bu

          • by Xtravar (725372)

            Real life is much more subdued, and I really enjoyed that look from Halo 3. Bumpmapping in the right places, none where it isn't meant to be.
            The colors in real life cannot be accurately reproduced by current display technology anyway, so why would I want to look at a poor imitation "subdued"? Drab games really bum me out.

            Not that I've played Halo 3... just sayin', realistic colors are unattainable (read up on color theory).
            • by fractoid (1076465)

              Not that I've played Halo 3... just sayin', realistic colors are unattainable (read up on color theory).
              Real colours, the kind you see when you look at that 'outside' place, are unattainable, but you can certainly display realistic colours a la TV, DVD etc.
      • "and in a multiplayer game framerate is king above all else."

        Umm, sure. You keep saying that when you play on a 450+ms ping.
        • by p0tat03 (985078)
          Your 30ms ping won't be doing you much good when you're chugging along at 15fps. With lag compensation so advanced these days I'll take 450ms at 60 fps over 30ms at 15.
    • I haven't had a chance to play Halo 3 yet, so I can't say anything about the game as a whole, but I'm glad to see they're more concerned with a steady frame-rate than killer visuals. I'd rather play a game at 320x240 with acceptable FPS (which I did back in the days of the original Unreal when I didn't have an accelerator) than play at 1024x768 at 20. Anything under 30 FPS irritates me to no end.

      Absolutely true, and it's hardly the first time this has been done. Several high profile games don't render at 720p, Project Gotham and Tomb Raider both render 600 lines and Perfect Dark 640.

      I'm not saying it is copacetic, but lots of people miss the point. Does it look good enough, does it look like you were told it would look, does it cause any real problems when playing? Personally I don't have a problem with it, but I have a nice enough 1080p display and use HDMI for connecting the two. It looks fuzzy,

    • I'd rather play a game at 320x240 with acceptable FPS (which I did back in the days of the original Unreal when I didn't have an accelerator) than play at 1024x768 at 20.
      If you're a sniper, you have to see what you're sniping, and high resolution helps you spot targets from farther away. It's like having normal vision vs. uncorrected myopia [wikipedia.org].
    • by LKM (227954)
      Case in point: The Jericho demo. The game looks awesome on my PS3. Unfortunately, the framerate is constantly below 30 fps, which makes the game absolutely unplayable. It's actually motion-sickness-inducing.
  • by rtechie (244489) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:32PM (#20812703)
    Those who care about this can wait for the PC version which I'm sure will allow you to pump the resolution to 1600x1200 (or possibly more by editing the .ini files) and zip along in glorious DirectX 10 goodness with their $500 video cards. Of course, by the time it comes out for the PC it will look dated (like Halo 2) and the people with the high-end rigs will be playing something else.

    But if you really want it, it's coming.

    • You're crazy if you think Microsoft is letting Bungie put out a PC (read: vista only) version before 2010.
      • by rtechie (244489)
        Considering porting to PC involves little more than a recompile (really, Halo is a DirectX game using standard interfaces, it's basically a Windows game already) I think it will be faster than that. QA, performance tweaking, packaging and market copy, and most time-consuming of all, copy protection are generally what eat up the porting effort. Expect it in late 2008, later if they want cross-platform online play.

        • You misunderstand. It could be done a whole lot faster than that, but it won't because Microsoft won't let it. This is their 360 system seller and they're sure as hell not undermining that by making it available on another platform. You really think that Halo 2 didn't see its PC release until 2.5 years later because of the amount of work involved?
    • Unfortunately halo 3 already looks dated compared to half-life 2 and I spent $200 on my vid card last year. I often play them on the same 37 inch flat hdtv that I play xbox 360 games. Comparing good pc games (even 2 year old ones like half-life 2) is kind of moot, the 360 doesn't even come close.

      Multiplayer gameplay is a different issue but then and again it's a ton of fun playing counterstrike source with a much greater flexibility in terms of teams. However it can get hectic since you can die far too
  • by ScotchForBreakfast (1060672) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:34PM (#20812727)
    All the complaints about Halo 3's resolution reminds me of all the "pixel peeping" that goes on when it comes to digital cameras. Everyone gets hung up on tech specs to the point that they stop looking at the image in question.

    Halo 3 looks nice, and plays great. That's all that matters to me. I'm certainly willing to forgo some extra pixels in favor of a smoother experience.
    • Right, because if they'd only shot the Halo 3 footage in RAW format, there would be way more dynamic range.

      All the complaints about Halo 3's resolution reminds me of all the "pixel peeping" that goes on when it comes to digital cameras. Everyone gets hung up on tech specs to the point that they stop looking at the image in question.
    • The people complaining about the resolution aren't trying to knock Halo 3.... They're taking aim at the platform it runs on. The developers should be applauded for picking playability over raw resolution, but the platform should have handled the graphics at a higher resolution without slowing down the game.
      • I don't think this is a pixel-pushing performance problem. I believe they're hitting the limits of 12MB EDRAM:

        2 working framebuffers plus 1 complete output buffer plus one 32-bit Z-buffer make for fully-used EDRAM:

        1152x640 pixels * 4 Bytes/pixel * 3 buffers + 1152x640 Z * 4 Bytes/Z = 11.25MB.

        The same buffer configuration with full 720p resolution uses up 14MB of ram. Sure, you can move your framebuffer outside of the EDRAM, but you'll see a significant performance hit.
  • Well, the output is true HD. The combining of the frame buffers as an interlacing technique to get that really pretty imaging is innovative and gives us a high framerate. So, it's playable, pretty, and the interleaving of the two framerates looks good (great, actually, at 1080p on my 42" Samsung)

    I've no complaints.
    From the article:
    "In fact, if you do a comparison shot between the native 1152x640 image and the scaled 1280x720, it's practically impossible to discern the difference. We would ignore it entire
    • by Ramble (940291)
      The two frames are not interlaced. You're just assuming the output of the framebuffer is added together to give some kind of large resolution. It's not, the game plays at the res stated in the article, all the time.
    • by adavies42 (746183)

      We would ignore it entirely were it not for the internet's propensity for drama where none exists. In fact the reason we haven't mentioned this before in weekly updates, is the simple fact that it would have distracted conversation away from more important aspects of the game, and given tinfoil hats some new gristle to chew on as they catalogued their toenail clippings.

      I have to save that last line - to be used at some point in the future, that's too funny to let die...

      Nice to see the true spirit of Bungi

  • Resolution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wilson_6500 (896824) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:43PM (#20812915)
    I think it happened right around the time that HDTV became available, but at some point resolution--previously a technical term--somehow became a buzzword related to quality. It's gotten to the point where I can't stand hearing people talk about 640p or 1080i or whatever, because it just comes off as marketing spew and e-penis-waving.
    • Especially if accompanied by the word "upscaling".

      What's the point of upscaling DVDs to a HD resolution, they'll look just the same as they did on a normal TV of the same size anyway.

      And even worse, why buy a £1000 DVD player that can do it, when you could just buy a £50 one and let the TV do it? It's not like there's a TV in existence that can't take the older non-HD signals. I bet you could still replay original black & white transmissions into them if you wanted to.

      Most of the people with
  • I think the same exact trick was used to keep the framerate up in Project Gotham Racing 3.
  • I love how with noscript on I they forward me to a page that claims their site requires javascript with no content. Then when I refresh I get the entire page of content with no warning and no hint of what javascipt was required.

    Fire the web developer.
  • "extra pixels."? (Score:4, Informative)

    by PoderOmega (677170) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:55PM (#20813139)
    Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with what they did, but I wouldn't be saying "extra". They are sacrificing pixels for FPS, not excluding "extra" pixels. I didn't know that 640p was standard and 720p was "extra".
    • by ADRA (37398)
      My TV's on-screen 720p is actually 1152x648 (Sony 50" LCD/proj) and I know that there are many TV models that are the same. Its possible that the developers didn't spec out native on-screen panel resolutions of 1280x720+. I'm sure that the 640 / 648 difference was just a typo though.

      PS: Look into "720p optimized" in Google if you want more background on the issue.
    • by xero314 (722674)
      It's worse than that. They are ignoring over 1 million pixels (actually ignoring nearly twice as many pixels as they are using) on full HD displays (1080 resolution). So in the end they are using .7 million pixels instead or 2 million pixels so that they can have a slightly smoother frame rate (or so they say). I guess it couldn't possibly be that they would have had to sacrifice a heck of a lot more than a few frames to get the 360 to output 1080 resolution (even interlaced).
      • by NeMon'ess (160583) *
        Except the 360 is not expected to render games at 1080p. When the 360 was announced it was declared that games would get designed for 720p, not 1080p. There were never any plans for Halo 3 to render at 1080p.

        So the real numbers you want are 1280x720=921600
        1152x640=737280
        737280/921600=0.8

        So, it's rendering at 80% of the pixels in a true 720p image.
        • by xero314 (722674)
          Those that have true HD TVs expect modern A/V Equipment to output 1080p resolution, though we will accept 1080i for video originally engineered at 30 fps or less. The fact that the 360 is incapable of outputting 1080i or p at 60fps in a real world scenario (Halo 3) does not make the previous comment invalid.

          So the real numbers I want are 1920 X 1080 = 2073600
          1152 X 640 = 737280
          73280/2073600 = .35

          So, it's rendering at 35% of the pixels available on a true HD display and the resolution used by other cur
          • by NeMon'ess (160583) *
            As opposed to those fake 720p HDTVs?

            Microsoft acknowledged when the 360 was announced that they were designing games for 720p. It's not like anyone tried to pull the wool over your eyes.

            More importantly, designing games to run at 1080p 60fps means hardware power goes unused when rendering for 720p or 480p TVs. That's a waste that could have been spent on prettier graphics. Most 360 owners don't even have HDTVs with 1080 lines so it makes more sense for games to look their best at 720p. If Bungie had sac
            • by xero314 (722674)
              My issue is that a flag ship AAA title for the leading HD console is not only not pushing 1080, like other games including a couple on the same console, but it's also not pushing 720. This is a sign of either, weak hardware, bad programing, a rushed product or some combination. I'm guess it was a rushed product and with in 2 years we will see games on the 360 pushing 720 with even higher detail than Halo.

              I'm just saying that if you are going to pointed out that at video game is outputting at a lower tha
  • Gears of War and BioShock are both displayed at a native 1920 x 1080 in progressive scan on my cousin's 360 Elite. The lighting in both games is amazing, as are the visuals, and the gameplay.

    The real problem is Halo's graphics engine, which has been too demanding of the graphics card/processor since Halo 1. They're not going to admit that their graphics engine is slow or that the 360's graphics card can't crunch through double-bufferred 1080p using an engine that is maintained at Microsoft.

    It goes to
    • by Osty (16825) on Monday October 01, 2007 @02:34PM (#20813835)

      Gears of War and BioShock are both displayed at a native 1920 x 1080 in progressive scan on my cousin's 360 Elite. The lighting in both games is amazing, as are the visuals, and the gameplay.

      The Xbox 360 will display every game at whatever output you choose. On your cousin's elite, he's apparently set it to 1080p. That doesn't mean that games change how they render. It just means that when the framebuffer passes through the on-board scaler chip prior to heading out the the TV, the image is upscaled to 1080p rather than 720p or whatever else you may choose. The two games you mentioned, Gears and Bioshock, actually render internally at 720p (or more precisely, 1280x720, since designations like "720p" don't make sense until the output is heading to a TV). Bungie made the decision to render at 1152x640 using a two-pass method (actually a two-buffer method) to render low-dynamic range and high-dynamic range lighting. The two buffers are then merged for the final picture. There's actually a Powerpoint on Bungie's HDR lighting method floating around the internets somewhere, if you feel like investigating why they did this. Anyway, the end result is mostly the same -- the 360's hardware scaler chip is quite good, and only the OCD pixel counters will ever notice that the game is natively rendered at 640p rather than 720p or 1080p.

      The real problem is Halo's graphics engine, which has been too demanding of the graphics card/processor since Halo 1. They're not going to admit that their graphics engine is slow or that the 360's graphics card can't crunch through double-bufferred 1080p using an engine that is maintained at Microsoft.

      History lesson: The graphics engine from Halo 1 was not re-used for Halo 2. It was re-used for Stubbs the Zombie (a game built by an ex-Bungie guy who which licensed the Halo 1 engine). The Halo 2 engine was all new. I haven't heard specifically whether or not the Halo 3 engine was again a new engine or if it was based on the Halo 2 engine, so for now I'll assume the latter.

      As for not being able to handle double-buffered 1920x1080 resolutions, there are currently exactly two games on the Xbox 360 that render in 1080p -- Virtua Tennis 3 and some basketball game (NBA Street Homecourt, I think). It's also good to keep in mind that Microsoft has all but said that 720p is the sweet spot for Xbox 360 (HD movies and trailers on the marketplace are all encoded at 720p rather than 1080p, for example). The hardware scaler is capable enough to convert the image to your TV's native resolution without compromising image quality. Obviously an upscaled 1080p image will not be quite as good as a natively-rendered 1080p image, but if you're playing the game rather than counting pixels you're never going to notice.

      It goes to show that third-party developers have a better handle on getting the most out of the 360's PC hardware than Microsoft.

      How many enemies and physics-affected items are on-screen at one time in Gears or Bioshock? How large are the areas? Now compare that to Halo 3, where you can have 30+ enemies on-screen at one time, with hundreds of items strewn about being affected by physics, on maps with draw distances measured in kilometers. Making a game is all about trade-offs. If you're going for small-scale battles in confined areas (think Doom 3), you can optimize for graphics because you'll have more free GPU and CPU time. If you're going for large-scale battles in wide-open areas, you're probably going to sacrifice some visual quality in order to get the gameplay right. You can't do it all, and if you can then it means you weren't ambitious enough.

      • by ookaze (227977)

        Anyway, the end result is mostly the same -- the 360's hardware scaler chip is quite good, and only the OCD pixel counters will ever notice that the game is natively rendered at 640p rather than 720p or 1080p

        Plain wrong! The end result is NOT the same AT ALL!
        It seems the initial message has been lost in translation, and lots of apologists say: "it's not a big deal".
        The end result is that the main XBox 360 game, the one that the console is most know for, HALO 3, IS NOT A HD GAME!
        Which is kind of a shocker, when it's a 1st party game coming from a company that bashed others for not being HD or not working with every HDTV out there.
        Their flagship game is not HD, can you believe that? You can see it as 20 % less p

        • Plain wrong! The end result is NOT the same AT ALL! It seems the initial message has been lost in translation, and lots of apologists say: "it's not a big deal". The end result is that the main XBox 360 game, the one that the console is most know for, HALO 3, IS NOT A HD GAME!

          Yes, that qualifies as not a big deal. Who the hell cares? I don't give a damn that the game runs in one resolution or another, I don't give a damn if Microsoft's marketing department lied to us, I don't give a damn about the game's resolution at all. I bought it, I played it, I had a hell of a lot of fun, and the graphics, despite the fact that they are apparently lower-res than they should be, looked pretty. THAT'S all that matters. Nothing more. Bitching about the resolution as much as people are is not

          • by ookaze (227977)
            So you're not the target of this backslash and all is well.
            The targets are the very XB360 apologists that were bitching about other games not being HD, or bitching about resolution as you like to put it.
            These people were proven wrong, that's all there is to it: resolution does not matter to make a good game.
            I hope they learn.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Gulthek (12570)
      It's not just "lighting" that Bungie is talking about. But high dynamic range rendering [wikipedia.org]. Notice how in Halo 3 when you are coming out of a dark tunnel the sunlit areas are blindingly bright? That's just a bit of the HDRR magic at work. Bioshock and Gears of War, both great, beautiful games, don't have this. It's a tradeoff to be sure, but as a amateur photographer I have to give Bungie the edge here. I don't notice the loss of pixels (I didn't even know about it until this article) but I sure as hell notice
    • by Dutch Gun (899105)
      Gears of War and BioShock both have *very* muted palettes compared to Halo. Gears' is pretty much about monochromatic shades of grey/brown, while Bioshock is constrained to indoor environments, and pretty dark / subdued ones at best. Don't get me wrong, I loved the look of both these games as well. But it's much, much harder to do a broad range of lighting and coloring scenarios, and the Halo 3 engine does it pretty damn well.
  • by captain_cthulhu (996356) on Monday October 01, 2007 @02:13PM (#20813455)
    We all know it's nit-picky to count pixels, but I am glad that someone called them on this. this 'NextGen' of consoles was supposed to be the HD-era of console gaming and here we are getting our corners cut secretly!

    I remember Peter Moore saying that this generation will also eliminate the jaggies. the anti-aliasing is better in these new consoles but not enough to eliminate aliasing. The marketers can spout lies upon lies before release because no one ever calls them on it later, so I say GOOD JOB and KEEP IT UP!

    so they cut corners to get a good frame rate. good grief! if this Gen of consoles were really the HD-era, then every game should be able to do 60fps at 1080p, period. I don't blame Bungie for this though, it's squarely MS's bucket of lies. Also, I am no Sony fanboy - for the PS3's price, it should have no jaggies and every game running 60fps at 1080p as well as my laundry. Guess we'll have to wait until next generation for the NextGen... until then, we're all suckers - albeit having fun with exceptional gameplay :)
    • by Babbster (107076)

      We all know it's nit-picky to count pixels, but I am glad that someone called them on this.

      Hear, hear! It's vital that gamers nitpick about issues that they can't see with the naked eye, especially if the game is a lot of fun! And, it's damned courageous to take shots across the bow of Microsoft. They've been pretty much immune from criticism for too damned long. KUDOS!

      Oh, and your implication that HD console gaming sucks because it's not full-on 1080p? DEAD ON! I mean, it's not like people have bee

    • if this Gen of consoles were really the HD-era, then every game should be able to do 60fps at 1080p, period.

      Where did you get your assumption that "high definition" should be defined as "1920x1080 native resolution, progressive scan, 60 frames per second"?

      Linguistically, anything of a better format than "standard definition" (to us North Americans, that would be a roughly 640x480, interlaced, 19.97fps NTSC signal) can be considered HD. So Halo 3's internal framebuffer resolution should surely qualify.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NeutronCowboy (896098)
      I'm guessing that you started gaming with the XBox and PS2? Otherwise you'd have experienced first-hand that the statement "it's next gen, so it should x at 60 FPS!" is as old as gaming in general. It used to be that things should be 60 FPS at 256 simultaneous colors or GTFO (no getoffmylawn jokes, please). I guess it's now 60 FPS at 1080p. This complaint is based on the complete lack of understanding how graphics technology and how game development works.

      1. Just because hardware can output things at resolu
  • Halo 3 is a really, really fun game. The visuals are not breathtakingly beautiful, but so what? Which would you rather have, a game that is an embodiment of HDR aesthetics, but often struggles to be smooth, or a game that has good graphics, and can easily handle anything the game throws at it? I'll take the latter. The last thing I want is a slow game.

    People complain too much about stuff like this. What do you want, a fun game, or one where 90% of the resources were put into the graphics? In my experience,
  • 1152x640 = 737280 pixels. Not even 1 Megapixel worth of fill rate per frame. Not quite the 2 Megapixels (1920x1080 = 2073600) of "Full HD in progressive scan" a Next-Gen console should be able to output.

    The trade-off between a lower resolution and a solid frame rate is completely understandable and I'd take the same decision to preserve playability over graphics any day of the year. But "just a few extra pixels" is just plain idiocy, since we're talking less than half resolution here, guys. The truth is far
    • by NeMon'ess (160583) *
      I think you'd find game designers would say designing for 720p makes the most sense for this generation of consoles. Many people still haven't upgraded to HDTV. More importantly, the early adopters bought TVs that only have enough pixels to truly display 720p, or 768p. Oh sure the box says it can do 1080i, but it doesn't have the pixels so it downscales. It wasn't until the last year or two that true 1080 sets became widely available. So it won't be until the end of this console generation that even a
  • 720p Guarantee (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew.gmail@com> on Monday October 01, 2007 @10:49PM (#20819005) Homepage Journal
    Didn't Microsoft DEMAND that all games must meet 720p to qualify as a 360 title?

    Didn't they guarantee that they were ushering in the HD era?

    I guess that didn't apply to their own internal titles.

    Bioshock looks better all around, has far more detail, oh, and runs natively at 720p without any problems. Why can't Halo 3? I don't get it.
  • Fuck Upscaling (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ren.Tamek (898017)
    This is actually a rampant problem on the xbox 360. I used to own one, and one of the first things I noticed about the machine was that images which should be crisp on your display were actually blurry around the edges. This odd phenomenon occurs everywhere, from the 360 dashboard, to the game menus and fmv's, to the in game graphics themselves. It seemed likely to me that this was because the machine is rendering things at a low resolution, and they trying to upscale by 20-30% in both x and y directions, w
    • by Darkfred (245270)
      It sounds like your television is using a filter on the 360 output. Or you have the wrong output mode set up for the 360. Make sure your output mode matches the native tv resolution. These differences are a lot more obvious with games than with TV because of the many straight lines they use.

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