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PlayStation (Games) Games

Bethesda: We Can't Make Dawnguard Work On the PS3 371

Posted by Soulskill
from the have-you-tried-turning-it-off-and-on-again dept.
An anonymous reader sends this quote from Geek.com: "PS3 gamers may now never get access to the content in Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC. That's the news coming out of Bethesda via their forums. Administrator and global community lead Gstaff posted an update on the state of PS3 DLC for the game, and it's not looking great. Gstaff explains that releasing sizeable DLC is a complex issue, and it seems like for the PS3 it might be just a bit too complex. No detail is given as to what the specific problem is, but Bethesda is preparing PS3 gamers for the reality that Dawnguard, and for that matter any other Skyrim DLC, may never reach the platform. I'd like to know what the exact problem is they can't overcome, but I'd also like to know if this is a failing on Bethesda's part or a shortcoming of the PS3 architecture. Maybe Sony should pay Bethesda a visit and see what's going on." In other Skyrim news, a mod for the game that attempted to recreate J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, has received a Cease & Desist letter from Warner Bros, causing development to stop.
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Bethesda: We Can't Make Dawnguard Work On the PS3

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  • the reason (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:24AM (#41189795)

    The rootkit takes up too much disk space on the drive.

  • by 0racle (667029) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:25AM (#41189803)
    One way to answer that question is to ask are any other companies having problems with large DLC on the PS3?
    • by Cinder6 (894572) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:53AM (#41190199)

      Well, Bethesda themselves released Shivering Isles on the PS3, and that was a rather large piece of DLC.

      As someone who owns the PS3 version of Skyrim (wasn't paying attention and ordered it instead of the PC version, said "screw it, I'm impatient" and played it instead of returning it, and now I'm regretting it more and more each day), I can't tell you if Dawnguard is more complex than Shivering Isles.

      I spoke with Gamestop a couple weeks ago, and they offered $23 for Skyrim. Right now, they have a +50% trade-in bonus going on, making the trade-in value $34.50. I'm tempted to take advantage of it, and then watch Cheapshark for deals on the PC version of Skyrim. I've seen it for $30-$35 in the past.

      • by ildon (413912) on Friday August 31, 2012 @10:07AM (#41190397)

        At one point during the Steam summer sale, Skyrim was ~$30. I'd expect a similar (or better) price drop on Steam either during Black Friday or just after Christmas.

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday August 31, 2012 @10:19AM (#41190537) Journal

        I suspect that Shivering Isles isn't a terribly useful comparison. It's fairly large, in terms of quests and art assets and whatnot; but it is only modestly more demanding than any other part of Oblivion in terms of other resources.

        For the PC versions, the minimum-recommended specs for Oblivion GoTY(Oblivion+all official expansions) are fairly modest:

        Processor: 2 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent

        Memory: 512 MB

        Graphics: 128 MB Direct3D compatible video card and DirectX 9.0 compatible driver

        Hard Drive: 4.6 GB

        The minimum recommendation for Skyrim, no DLC, is substantially higher:

        Processor: Dual Core 2.0GHz or equivalent processor

        Memory: 2GB System RAM

        Hard Disk Space: 6GB free HDD Space

        Video Card: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512 MB of RAM

        And, if you actually want it to look nice and play properly at higher resolutions, the recommendation is double that on both system and GPU RAM, and a punchier processor.

        Obviously, direct comparisons are a bit tricky, since the Cell is sort of an oddball; but the PS3 only has 512 MB of RAM total, which must be a nasty constraint to work under(and it seems likely that Bethesda is having some trouble coping, even on the PC side, they cut the various battles in the civil war questline right down to the bone, with barely a handful of soldiers on each side and magic fast-disappearing corpses, in order to keep things running).

        I am a trifle surprised that Bethesda can't get a gimped version of Dawnguard running on the PS3(ie. no improvements to poly counts, texture quality, environmental detail, etc. over the original release; but with the new items and quests and arrow-crafting); but I'm rather more surprised that Skyrim ever managed to be released for the PS3 at all...

    • I haven't heard of anything like that before. Could it be that Microsoft just lined those guys' pockets? Everybody know that the Xbox division has been given unrestricted playroom in order to get exclusivity...

  • by AdmV0rl0n (98366) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:25AM (#41189809) Homepage Journal

    With gfx, storage, cpu, mem all piling on the pressure, consoles are drowning. Eventually, devs will move back to the PC because of its more open, less limited setup - even with the headaches that brings with it.
    Frankly, with steam its a good platform for devs and users. And the hardware is pretty amazing today, even in the medium PC markets, with bang for buck being quite high.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:29AM (#41189871)

      Woah woah woah! Didn't you get the memo? The desktop PC is dying! Everyone is going to be playing FPS' on their touchscreen tablets.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yikes.... I cant even stand playing an FPS on a console, let along on a tablet o.O

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:30AM (#41189879)

      *Current gen* consoles are at their limit (well past them, actually, most games can't even come close to 720p @ 30fps these days, let alone 1080p @ 60fps), but there will inevitably be a pair of new consoles out next year that will reset the clock so that instead of working with a 10 year old PC equivalent the devs are only working with 2 year old PC equivalent.

      The PC will always end up ahead in terms of raw power and flexibility but game devs like the stability of consoles and the low barrier to player entry that gives them a bigger target market.

      • by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:40AM (#41190021) Homepage Journal

        game devs like the stability of consoles and the low barrier to player entry

        PCs, on the other hand, have far lower barriers to developer entry. You don't have to start by making a mobile phone game in a genre you dislike in order to get a job working hundreds miles away for five years in order to build "relevant video game industry experience" in order to qualify for a console devkit.

    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      Eventually, devs will move back to the PC

      No, eventually MS/Sony/Nintendo will release a new generation of consoles. But do keep dreaming.

    • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:38AM (#41189987) Journal

      The move back to PC is already happening. The proportion of games which aren't single platform console exclusives which don't get a PC port is shrinking fast. And if anything, the number of single platform exclusives on the consoles is shrinking even faster; one lesson of this generation has been that development costs are so high that you can't afford to limit your market unless you're getting a very, very high degree of financial support from the console manufacturer.

      We're also at the point now where even the shoddiest and most rushed of PC ports are significantly better than the console equivalents. I recently played Spec Ops: The Line (great game, don't be put off by the title and box art, it's not a generic modern military shooter) on the PC and felt pretty hard done by. The port's an absolute mess, with all of the rubbish around lack of graphical and control customisation options that drive PC gamers up the wall. Then I saw the 360 version running on a friend's console. And all of a sudden, I felt rather better about the PC version, simply because it was so much easier to actually see what was going on with a decent resolution.

      The true next-gen is probably still 18 months or so away (the Wii-U doesn't really count, in hardware terms). Developers know they can get a head start on it at the moment by working on PC development - particularly with all the indications that the PS4 will go for a more PC-like architecture.

      We've been here before, actually. Just as "PC gaming is dying" is a cyclical thing, so is "console games have been left in the dust". The PC actually moved into a very commanding position at the end of the SNES/Genesis cycle, when there was a long gap before really credible console successors emerged in the form of the Playstation and (to a lesser extent) the N64. That was a great time to be a PC gamer and a terrible time to be a console gamer.

      We kind of missed out on this at the end of the last cycle because, to be honest, the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube probably had a year or so of life in them when they were replaced by a new generation (indeed, the PS2 carried on doing quite nicely for ages after the PS3 launch, getting some of its best games during this window). But that was in a different economic environment, when there was felt to be a lot of customer demand to spend money on new consoles and when it felt like a genuine race to market. This time around, the PC's had much more of a chance to come into its own.

      Of course, 6 months after the next Xbox and the PS4 launch, the gaming headlines will be full of "PC gaming is dying".

      • The proportion of games which aren't single platform console exclusives which don't get a PC port is shrinking fast.

        One way to shrink it faster would be for PC makers to get serious about marketing gaming PCs whose cases are designed to fit in next to an HDTV. Case in point: Mortal Kombat (2011), another WB game, is for Xbox 360, PS3, and PS Vita, not PC, despite that the engine it's based on began on PC, because it's designed for the players to plug in two joysticks, and that's an uncommon use case on PC.

        • you do know its just as easy to plug 2 wired xbox controllers into a PC and play as it is to plug them into an xbox right?
          • by tepples (727027)

            plug[ging] in two joysticks [is] an uncommon use case on PC.

            you do know its just as easy to plug 2 wired xbox controllers into a PC and play as it is to plug them into an xbox right?

            I am aware of this. But multiplayer on a PC requires more than two controllers; it requires two controllers and a game compatible with two controllers. Most major PC game developers do not anticipate this use case.

            • by alantus (882150)

              It's a shame that PC games don't allow the user to control everything with a gamepad. I'm talking about starting the game, configuring settings, etc, just like in consoles. Not even in opensource games, I never see this.
              That makes them impossible or inconvenient to play from a HTPC.

    • And the hardware is pretty amazing today, even in the medium PC markets, with bang for buck being quite high.

      True, PCs have enormous bang for buck with single player, long-form games like Skyrim [cracked.com]. But some other genres tend to have shorter play sessions, and multiplayer among people in the same room can become expensive (if all PCs are owned by the head of one household) or impractical (if everybody has to bring his own PC).

      • by RogueyWon (735973) *

        That's true, but unfortunately, the number of console games which allow for local (split-screen) or LAN multiplayer is pretty damned small these days. With the Wii-U likely to suffer local multiplayer restrictions due to controller limitations, the last bastion of console local multiplayer (Nintendo platforms) looks set to be undermined. Xbox Live and the PSN is increasingly where console multiplayer happens.

        Consoles in general have done a good job of undermining their historic strengths vis a vis the PC ov

        • by tepples (727027)

          the number of console games which allow for local (split-screen) or LAN multiplayer is pretty damned small these days.

          Mortal Kombat (2011) is console-only despite that PCs can take multiple gamepads and display on large HDTV monitors.

          With the Wii-U likely to suffer local multiplayer restrictions due to controller limitations

          Nintendo has been spinning these limitations as creating an opportunity for "asymmetric gameplay": one player playing one role with the tablet and three players playing another role with Wii Remotes. There was a tech demo of this on the GameCube (Pac-Man Vs.) that used a GBA as a display.

          Xbox Live and the PSN is increasingly where console multiplayer happens.

          Does this mean parents will have to start buying one console per child instead of one console per househol

    • by Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) on Friday August 31, 2012 @10:18AM (#41190523)
      You've just demonstrated a large ignorance of games, consoles, and hardware.

      If gfx, storage, cpu, mem were the issue, we wouldn't be seeing Skyrim on PS3 at all.

      Skyrim is already on PS3. This is purely adding a small DLC. There's no way that its memory or gfx or cpu limitations.

      Maybe, MAAAAAYBE I could see an argument for RAM limitation being the limiting factor here, but I still feel like there'd be tons of workarounds. Most of the new content isn't stitched into the existing world, and I don't think they're that maxed out on RAM budget all the time, they could just cache to disk more, and the game already has to have to cache to disk. Most of the new areas are separated from the overworld, and so allow you to unload the overworld from memory to load the new areas.
    • " Eventually, devs will move back to the PC because of its more open, less limited setup"

      Don't bet on that. As long as there is more money in console development, and there are 3 brand new systems on the horizon in the next 2 years there is little point to move away from developing for them. Remember the current gens been out for years now. THATS the only reason they are having issues with the PS3 DLC, not the system it's self but its age.

  • The simple answer is they are incompetent. After all the issues I had with Fallout and New Vegas I will never buy another Bethesda game. The crashing, the stalling, the slowing down of the game as you get farther along.

    Games are my time to relax, not be frustrated with the amateur hour programming Bethesda seems to employ.

    • by i kan reed (749298) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:34AM (#41189933) Homepage Journal

      Yep, I'm sure it's a problem with bad programming, because good programmers never produce serious bugs, right? It's not like quality control is actually really hard, especially with large and complex software under a single unyielding deadline. Forgive me, but it seems like you've never done professional software development in your life.

      • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:38AM (#41189991)

        Good programmers can make serious bugs, but good companies fix their products when they find them.

        What unyielding deadline? These games have been out for years and they are still not fixed.

        Oh noes, its hard, so we should be able to ripoff the customer with an unfinished product that we will not take a return on nor will we ever fix.

      • by The Moof (859402)
        Yea, good programmers create bugs, and nobody will ever code a flawless system. But Bethesda really raises the bar in the "screwing things up" department. Some of the problems they have had in original releases and patches would have never cleared a preliminary round of testing in a "professional software development" environment. They also have a knack of reintroducing bugs fixed in previous patches. Their problems range from glaringly obvious but cosmetic problems (such as displaying the entirely wron
      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday August 31, 2012 @10:28AM (#41190673) Journal

        Yep, I'm sure it's a problem with bad programming, because good programmers never produce serious bugs, right? It's not like quality control is actually really hard, especially with large and complex software under a single unyielding deadline. Forgive me, but it seems like you've never done professional software development in your life.

        In fairness to h4rr4r, Bethesda is notorious for releasing sprawling RPGs with absurd numbers of bugs(and not just technically challenging 3d-engine-developer-wonk stuff, bugged quests, faulty item stats, broken dialog trees, etc. are also quite common and can persist through multiple patches even after being conveniently cataloged on the assorted fan-wikis or even systematically cleaned up by 3rd-party mods...)

        Software quality is definitely a hole with no bottom, into which even the smartest can fall; but Bethesda is undeniably a standout for "AAA big-budget titles from people who should know better that are crawling with bugs you can discover just by playing through once, never mind actually doing any QA".

        • It'd be really interesting to see what a Bethesda QA person says the game looks like BEFORE release...

          • We tried asking one once, but we couldn't get a satisfactory answer.

            He just kept mumbling "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"

            We tried running it through ROT13, but no luck...

      • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Friday August 31, 2012 @11:07AM (#41191171)

        To give you an idea, Skyrim has thousands of quests all of which can interact with each other in thousands * thousands of ways.

        There's no support in Bethesda's development tools for unit testing of quests. There's no support for fuzz-testing of quests.

        They don't have the tools to make a bug-free complex game, and they haven't bothered to make them.

        They did however waste tons of time writing a custom BASIC-esque scripting language (which is itself incomplete and buggy) instead of just glomming-on some JS or Lua.

        I used to think the problem was simply complexity, like you. Since Bethesda has released their dev tools to the public, now I'm thinking it's 90% incompetence.

    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      I'll take a Bethesda huge open-world game any day over 99% of the games from every other studio. Of course they're buggy. *You* try building open worlds on the scale and complexity of Fallout New Vegas or Skyrim and see if you don't end up with at least a few bugs, bucko!

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        We are not talking about a few bugs, we are talking about a great many bugs, and that two plus years later are still not fixed.

        If they ever go back and fix Fallout 3 or New Vegas, just one I am not greedy, I will buy more Bethesda games.

        • by Khyber (864651)

          "If they ever go back and fix Fallout 3 or New Vegas,"

          That's implying the Oblivion engine can be fixed.

          It can't. That's by far one of the worst game engines I'd ever seen, laid hands on, and tried modding.

      • by Type44Q (1233630)

        Of course they're buggy. *You* try building open worlds on the scale and complexity of Fallout New Vegas or Skyrim and see if you don't end up with at least a few bugs, bucko!

        But is that why they're buggy? I suspect not...

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Fallout 3 worked just fine on my old core 2 duo with 2 gigs of RAM and an ati 4250. Not a crash or a slowdown once in 70 some hours. Perhaps the issue really is the PS3.

    • by Altanar (56809)
      You can't judge Bethesda for New Vegas. New Vegas was made by Obsidian, masters of half-finishing games.
    • by Thruen (753567)
      It's a massive world with more options than you can count, as open as game play gets, you can dump hundreds of hours in without ever doing the same thing twice, of course it's buggy. Find me any game with a world that large and open that Bethesda didn't make with fewer bugs. Go for it. I don't think you'll have any luck, though. MMOs are often as big but they're far simpler worlds, much more linear game play, and all the ones I've played (which is a good number) have both been full of bugs and failed to hol
    • by ildon (413912)

      Skyrim PC, while still exhibiting a lot of Bethesda's traditional AI goofiness, is the most stable Bethesda game I've ever played, even before it had any patches. I completely understand your trepidation after Oblivion/FO3/NV, but as long as you don't get the PS3 version, Skyrim is actually pretty damn solid. Part of that is likely due to them moving to their own game engine rather than continuing to rely on Gamebryo.

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      Bethesda sucks at removing bugs. We know this, we've known this ever since what, Morrowind? Maybe even earlier.

      But that doesn't mean their programmers are incompetent. Their problem, rather, is twofold:

      1) They give level designers access to a fairly powerful scripting language (it's no UnrealScript, but it's more code-like than most others). All those quests with broken "coding"? All those items with broken effects? Those are the natural result of giving a programming task to a non-programmer.

      2) A focus on

  • so I'm not surprised it's too difficult for them.

    • by dywolf (2673597)

      I've played their games too. But on a PC. They make PC games, and then cram them into consoles. You think you can do better? Prove it.

      • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:42AM (#41190045)

        You don't have to be able to better yourself to state facts about flaws.

        Do you think Ebert makes better movies? Do you think you should not be able to sue GM when your new car burns up in your driveway because you could not make a better one?

      • by Nemyst (1383049)

        Hah! Nice one. Just a single look at the deficient UI for Skyrim on PC should be proof enough that Bethesda makes games for the most profitable platform available at the time, and then try to mostly port it to the other platforms. Hint: that platform isn't the PC.

        This is why the 360 gets the best experience with the fewest bugs and receives all the DLC exclusively for a certain time period.

  • F em. the mod team put more time and effort into their free project than WB has put into....well pretty much anything since the 70s.

  • by danbuter (2019760) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:29AM (#41189863)
    I'm really glad I bought Skyrim on PC. I've got at least one "Dawnguard expansion" worth of material free as mods. (I've even posted a few small ones of my own)
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, we're all familiar with your "Winterhold Male Brothel" mod, Dan.

  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by bazorg (911295) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:31AM (#41189895) Homepage

    "I'd like to know what the exact problem is they can't overcome[...]"

    perhaps an arrow in the knee?

    • by FSWKU (551325)

      "I'd like to know what the exact problem is they can't overcome[...]"

      perhaps an arrow in the knee?

      This (NSFW) [youtu.be] seems an appropriate response...

  • In other Skyrim news, a mod for the game that attempted to recreate J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth has received a Cease & Desist letter from Warner Bros, causing development to stop.

    This sounds like a gross abuse. Unless they actually used images from the films or made it look too much like the films ... the sheer amount of artwork imagining Middle Earth was already vast when I played D&D in the 80s.

    There's no way Warner Bros has the rights to all artistic works related to that. They may have the f

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Warner Brothers has exclusive rights to make Lord of the Rings based video games. It is fully in their right to protest someone making such a game without their agreement. Before they bought Turbine, WB only had rights over a large subset of LOTR video gaming potential, now they have all of it.

  • Unplayable (Score:5, Interesting)

    by symes (835608) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:52AM (#41190181) Journal

    Skyrim is pretty much unplayable on the PS3, particular in the latter stages. I enjoyed the game but have since swapped to my PC and will no longer buy new games for the PS3... now it just sits there as a bulky blueray player. I think this is Sony's loss rather than Bethesda's downfall, imho.

    • by Flector (1702640)
      I played to level 31 on a PS3 before buying the Steam version for the PC. The PC version is so much more responsive, not to mention moddable, that there's almost no comparison. The long delays on the PS3 when moving to another area, opening doors & etc. was pure torture.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:54AM (#41190211)

    It's a strange architecture. Most modern machines are symmetric-multiprocessor (SMP). That means programming is very straightforward - all the processors share the same memory space and each processor can do any work you like, so you just have to worry about the normal threading issues (race conditions, deadlocks, etc.) but it's otherwise just standard multithreaded programming.

    The PS3 is not SMP - it has one main processor with 256MB of non-video RAM (a big chunk of which is reserved for the OS) and a lot of smaller coprocessors that have very limited RAM (256K). If you can fit chunks of work nicely into 256K, then the thing screams. If you cannot, then you have to do most of the work on the main processor, in less memory than is available on the Xbox360. In other words, you've gone from 6 hardware threads on the Xbox to 2 on the PS3. The combination of less general-purpose processing power and less usable main memory is a really hard problem to solve.

    Now, for a lot of games, the Cell is great. Fighting games, puzzle games, art games, ARPGs, JRPGs, platformers. Any time you can offload individual character animation or rendering to the SPEs, you win. The PS3 can animate and render a whole lot more mobs in a scene than the Xbox360 can. If you have a physics calculation like waves on water or swarm movement that is easily separatable into small chunks, the PS3 is also superior.

    But think about an open-world game - especially one with the sort of wide-open spaces and anyone-can-go-anywhere gameplay of Skyrim. We did open-world games and we constantly had trouble because physics and AI could interact over a long distance. We broke the world up into cells and aggressively limited the range of some computations to avoid this problem, but still, a lot had to run on the main processor because once the size of a physics calculation or a pathfind exceeded 256K, you couldn't do it on the SPEs. And believe me, pathfinding data alone in an open-world game is always going to be larger than 256K! AI in modern games is expensive, and we know that Bethesda takes their AI very seriously.

    Maintaining a large, persistent world also means keeping track of lots of stuff, and that means memory. On the PC, you have practically unlimited swap and tons of main RAM, so it's not an issue. On consoles you have limited RAM and swap space and fragmentation can kill you if you dead. To be honest, I'm surprised the game runs as well as it does on the Xbox360, but again, you have more memory there and they have the ability to "steal" RAM from graphics if they need it, whereas you can't on the PS3.

    So while I wish Bethesda had overcome the technical hurdles and made the game workable on the PS3, I can hardly fault them for coming up short. It's just not a platform well-suited to the type of game Skyrim is.

    • by crossmr (957846) on Friday August 31, 2012 @10:41AM (#41190831) Journal

      http://www.cracked.com/article_15748_a-gamers-manifesto.html [cracked.com]

      I've been posting this link since it came out. This was originally written on a website called "pointless waste of time". I guess cracked bought them. Anyway, point 1, 5 years ago called this:

      Two, as developers have lamented, the guts of the new consoles are geared to make the gaming equivalent of dumb blondes. It has to do with the fact that both the XBox 360 and the PS3's Cell CPU use "in-order" processing, which, to greatly simplify, means they've intentionally crippled the ability to make clever A.I. and dynamic, unpredictable, wide-open games in favor of beautiful water reflections and explosion debris that flies through the air prettily.

      • by non0score (890022)
        I don't know about "calling" anything. If people are still complaining about the PS3's Cell, they really need to get over it or learn "how it's done" and stop being ignorant devs. The real limiting factor is actually memory or GPU, which is really a PITA.

        At my work, we're limited by the 360's CPU more than the SPU. We're data optimized enough to say that we're afraid of how underpowered 360's CPUs are. If anything, when the Cell came out, it was wayyyy more compute capable than x86.

        Then again, you're sa
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        http://www.cracked.com/article_15748_a-gamers-manifesto.html

        I've been posting this link since it came out. This was originally written on a website called "pointless waste of time". I guess cracked bought them. Anyway, point 1, 5 years ago called this:

        Two, as developers have lamented, the guts of the new consoles are geared to make the gaming equivalent of dumb blondes. It has to do with the fact that both the XBox 360 and the PS3's Cell CPU use "in-order" processing, which, to greatly simplify, means they'

    • by Sez Zero (586611)
      They already got the game to work though. Is there really that much more new stuff in the DLC that can't be bothered to figure out?

      It sounds like just a calculated choice: "It would take X man hours and would bring us Y dollars. Skip it."
      • by Tridus (79566)

        No, they wouldn't say they're going to do it, then suffer this embarrassment if it was really doable. The PS3 is a highly RAM starved system, and Skyrim uses a ton of data. Increasing the amount of data is going to hit a wall at some point where it's just not doable. GP already explained why extremely well.

        This is Sony's design decisions years ago coming back to bite people in the ass, nothing more.

        • Is that the RAM is divided on it.

          So consoles don't have a lot of RAM compared to PCs anyhow. I mean even when the 360 and PS3 launched 512MB wasn't a ton, and now of course it is just minuscule. However consoles have two tricks that PCs don't that help:

          1) They don't have nearly as much overhead. A full blown desktop OS takes up quite a bit of RAM just to run, never mind all the background processes most users add on (IM client, virus scanner, etc). While consoles do have an OS these days, it is cut down a w

    • by non0score (890022) on Friday August 31, 2012 @11:06AM (#41191151)
      While I can attest the parent poster did actually develop for the PS3, I am sadden by the fact that he/she didn't get a chance to learn the tips&tricks of PS3 SPU programming that will, in all honesty, apply to all sorts of performance optimization work. Now to the parent:

      For one, if you're worried about SPU local store memory size, there are tricks to do double/tripple/etc... buffering. There are also libs doing software caching if you're inclined. At the end of the day, you just have to realize that local store latency to main memory isn't all that different from an L2 cache hit on a "normal" CPU - they're both around 500-1000 cycles. Only difference is that for SPUs, it's manual work to DMA it over from main memory and syncing. But really, that's only 4 extra lines of code that you can wrap up into two macros.

      But I think the real trouble isn't the hardware architecture, but your project's data layout. If the code accessing data all over the place (e.g. "over long distances"), then you're getting crappy performance anyway. It's not like the CPU has great prefetching (that you can't unwrap and do in the SPU anyway) or any out-of-order execution. So if you're just getting L2 misses all over the place (in your PPU), you're just stalling the CPU for those 500-1000, plain and simple.

      If anything, the SPUs make you VERY concious about your data layout. At the end of the day, you're going to get much, much more improvement in speeds via good data layout (as a first step anyway) than, say, doing super-low-level assembly programming. The L2 latency wayyyyy outweighs the 10 cycles you're going to save on your tight inner loop after going to ASM. The real benefit of ASM is if you have all your data laid out in a way that you don't stall, then the throughput really matters.

      For reference, people at my workplace have done AI updates on the SPU. They've also done full screen SPU post processing, animation (like you said), physics, etc...and even pathfinding! I'll even take your example. Do you need all 256k? Can you not cull out data on the PPU that you know won't be needed off hand? If you already compartmentalized each cell, then you certainly have enough information to work for a while on one cell. Then you can grab the potential references to each adjacent cell as you path to them and stream them in as you continue working. You can even predict which cells you need ahead of time and prefetch them, and discarding them when it doesn't look like you'd need them as you process more of your current cell. It's not like your A* isn't operating on triangles anymore, so you always have a finite set of triangles that you have to compute through before you can do anything else.

      It really is all about the data, man.
  • "we are working together with Sony to try to bring you this content."

    It's obvious that the person writing the summary hasn't even read the post from Bethesda, thanks for your useless commentary.

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