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Graphics PlayStation (Games) Sony Build Games

The Nuts and Bolts of PlayStation 3D 154

Posted by Soulskill
from the wait-till-the-bayonetta-guys-get-ahold-of-this dept.
The Digital Foundry blog took an in-depth look at how Sony is introducing 3D technology to PlayStation 3 games. They give a step-by-step description of how the system generates a 3D frame (or rather, a pair of frames), and the graphical hurdles that need be to overcome to ensure the games look good. The article also discusses some of the subtle effects 3D technology can have on gameplay: "'One interesting thing came through in the immersion aspect was that in the first-person camera view, it felt so much more like being there. Typically when most people play MotorStorm, something like 90 per cent play in the third-person view,' Benson explains. 'As soon as we put the 3D settings in place, the first-person view became a lot more popular, a lot more people were using that view. This could indicate that 3D could perhaps change the standards, if you like.' ... 'We found that in the first-person view the game is giving you all the sorts of cues that you're used to in normal driving: speed perception, the ability to judge distances, things like that. It's far easier to avoid track objects.' The insertion of true stereoscopic 3D into MotorStorm also brings about a new sense of appreciation of the scale and size of the game world and the objects within it."
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The Nuts and Bolts of PlayStation 3D

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  • Re:first post! (Score:3, Informative)

    by ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @06:48AM (#31907980)
    There's a reason 120 Hz TVs have been pushed lately. That solves the frame rate issue. As for resolution, you shouldn't need to use much more processing power to get 3D from most games; after all, modern graphics are modeled in 3D then flattened. All 3D requires is that you flatten it from two slightly different perspectives; the incremental cost should be small, on the order of 10% or 20%, not enough to require you to drop from 1080p to 720p. One of the few things those extra processors on the PS3 can be used for without requiring a lot of work on the part of the game programmer is "free" stereoscopic 3D.
  • Re:first post! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Fackamato (913248) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @06:54AM (#31908006)

    If you read the article, you would know that many games requires going from 1080p to 720p because the PS3 can't push enough pixels in 3D to maintain 30 FPS in a 1080p resolution.

  • Re:Goofy glasses (Score:3, Informative)

    by Malard (970795) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @07:03AM (#31908050) Homepage
    The thing is, designer 3D glasses are still avoiding the underlying issue that its a hack on the eye. The real issue is not stereoscopic picture but accomodation of the eye. The eye is not being strained to adjust to the varying depth and that causes headaches as your brain is not used to it. While some autostereoscopic displays are emerging such as the Ninentdo 3DS, displaying the source content on a 2D service will always leave you with the issue of accomodation [wikipedia.org]
  • And how long? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @07:09AM (#31908066)

    Seems to me the PS3 has been in a constant spiral of removing features since the PS3 Launch, and I'm not just talking about the recent Other OS removal. So how long does anyone think Sony is going to let a novelty feature, i.e. 3D, fly before they pull the plug on who knows how many thousands of people who buy into this.

    1) people are wowed by it right now. The only reason Sony's trying to get this in the PS3 is to capitalize on the fad before it disappears.

    2) I've been to several 3D movies, Avatar being the most recent, and think it's a nice trick for a once in a while show. That being said, I know several people who have gone to 3D movies and complain about headaches, motion sickness, the 3D glasses are uncomfortable and they don't fit well over regular prescription glasses and some people can't see the 3D at all or find it just plan not impressive.

    3) It's just another way the movie industry is going to get people to re-buy stuff they already own. Pretty soon you're going to be able to by Star Wars and Lord of the Rings digitally remastered for 3D.

    I can't tell others what to do, but I recommend avoiding 3D for home theater and especially on the PS3 for gaming.

  • Re:first post! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Alphathon (1634555) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @07:45AM (#31908210)

    That actually depends on the game. The PS3 doesn't have a traditional CPU, and most of the really nice looking PS3 games use various parts of the cell for graphics (be it texture processing, or physics, or whatever). The cell isn't used for actual rendering, but it does affect many games graphics.

    That said, some of those functions will be irrelevent, as the calculations will apply to both frames (or both views of the same frame if you want to look at it like that). Physics for example is, if I'm understanding it correctly, is related to object position per frame (and effects like motion blur) so would apply largely, if not completely, to both frames. Texture processing on the other hand may not, depending on the game. Your point certainly holds up for AI, in the same way as physics, but you can't say for every game that the CPU has no effect.

  • Re:first post! (Score:3, Informative)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @09:06AM (#31908842) Homepage Journal

    That actually depends on the game. The PS3 doesn't have a traditional CPU, and most of the really nice looking PS3 games use various parts of the cell for graphics (be it texture processing, or physics, or whatever). The cell isn't used for actual rendering, but it does affect many games graphics.

    The PS3's CPU has one PPE and eight SPEs, one of which is disabled, and one of which is used by the operating system, leaving six for game development. The PPE is a PowerPC and its main job is to shovel data to the SPEs... if they are being used. Some of the weaker titles use the PPE for almost everything (except graphics, being handled by the GPU) and use one or two SPEs as if they were a math coprocessor... which I guess they are.

    Physics for example is, if I'm understanding it correctly, is related to object position per frame (and effects like motion blur) so would apply largely, if not completely, to both frames. Texture processing on the other hand may not, depending on the game.

    There's certainly games with procedural texturing. Creating these textures is going to be more or less done with the SPEs by anyone competent. It involves shoveling code and data at them and then standing back and waiting for the results to come back, then once they have returned, retrieving them and shoving them into a buffer in graphics memory, which unlike on the Xbox is a distinct and physically separate region/block of memory. So yes, the PPE will have something to do in this context, but it's just acting as a switchboard operator.

    Your point certainly holds up for AI, in the same way as physics, but you can't say for every game that the CPU has no effect.

    If the PPE is doing much with the graphics, then what you've got is a bad port to the PS3 that underutilizes the SPEs.

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