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Carmack: Next-Gen Console Games Will Still Aim For 30fps 230

An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from Develop: "Games developed for the next-generation of consoles will still target a performance of 30 frames per second, claims id Software co-founder John Carmack. Taking to Twitter, the industry veteran said he could 'pretty much guarantee' developers would target the standard, rather than aiming for anything as high as 60 fps. id Software games, such as Rage, and the Call of Duty series both hit up to 60 fps, but many titles in the current generation fall short such as the likes of Battlefield 3, which runs at 30 fps on consoles. 'Unfortunately, I can pretty much guarantee that a lot of next gen games will still target 30 fps,' said Carmack."
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Carmack: Next-Gen Console Games Will Still Aim For 30fps

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  • Detail (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:20AM (#42334123) Journal

    Would you rather have double the detail at 30 FPS, or half the detail at 60 FPS? Considering most people can't perceive frame rates faster than 30, it makes a bit of sense to push more polygons instead.

  • Re:Detail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Radres ( 776901 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:21AM (#42334135)

    I think Carmack's point is that the other studios will push half the content at 30fps because they're lazy.

  • Re:Detail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:38AM (#42334215)

    Not this again.. This assumption is based on perceived motion from frames containing captured motion blur and even in such (24/30hz) frames, motion is NOT transparent to most people. With games there is no temporal data in frames, so it's VERY obvious. Even 60 is to many gamers, and is why they opt for 120hz (real 120hz, not hdtv '120' interpolated which looks terrible) panels and video cards that can push them.

    Then there is input lag. Its perceived turnaround time is very noticeable at 30fps, and if the rendering is not decoupled from the input polling/irq, the latter's latency actually does go up. id had to patch quake 4 to make it acceptable to play because the 60hz was dropping inputs and looked choppy as hell compared to previous releases. Enemy Territory quake wars, which is also idtech4, was locked at 30 and was deemed unplayable by many.. I think it was one of the reasons the game tanked. It was actually painful to look at in motion.

    Console devs always push excessive graphics at the expense of gameplay because the publishers want wow factor over playability. This was true in the 8bit and 16bit days too. Some games suffered so badly they were deemed unplayable. This is why pc gamers value useful graphics configuration capability in their games. Often what the publishers/devs thought as 'playable' was not what the community thought was playable, not that this should shock anyone with today's 'quality' releases.

  • by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:39AM (#42334231)

    people who complain about higher framerates never seem to have a justification other than 'it's not what I'm used to'. What about the 48fps made it suck? Please avoid using 'audiophile-like' subjective/emotional terms.

  • by bazald ( 886779 ) <bazald@ze[ ]ex.com ['nip' in gap]> on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:48AM (#42334273) Homepage

    A display (television or monitor) has a fixed refresh rate. Assuming vertical synchronization is turned on to avoid tearing, you're pretty much limited to a framerate which evenly divides into the true refresh rate of the display. If the refresh rate is 60 fps, possible targets include 60 frames per second (providing 16.7 ms of computation time per frame), 30 FPS (providing 33.3 ms of computation time per frame), 15 FPS (providing 66.7 ms of computation time per frame), and so on. Anything below 30 FPS is kind of a joke, so nobody reputable would consider allowing more than 33 ms computation per frame in a shipping game.

  • Next Gen? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:49AM (#42334279)
    So next years consoles are going to be inferior to last years PC? Personally I think between PC and mobile, the console is doomed. This will never happen with iDevices but Android tablets already support HDMI out and input from bluetooth controllers. All we need is for them to get a bit more powerful (Nvidia is advertising a 6 fold power increase between Tegra 2 and Tegra 3) and a method of transfering large games (SD card) and they will become plugin replacements for consoles.

    As for real cutting edge games, these never left the PC because it was the only platform that could be counted on to increase in processing power.

    Consoles were never about power, they were about the money. Carmack should know that. Casual games are now the big earners. This does not mean that traditional cutting edge games have no place, they're earning better than ever but it's still chicken feed compared to casual.

    Console developers will follow the money, which is on mobile and cutting edge developers will concentrate on PC. Traditional Consoles are left with first party developers which wont cut it. Even Nintendo with it's Mario and Zelda cash cows would struggle if it doesn't adapt (I.E. release a tablet/console hybrid. They're half way there with the Wii U).
  • by dirtyhippie ( 259852 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:35AM (#42334483) Homepage

    Good lord, this entire article is based on one tweet - 107 characters. Surely we could have waited for Carmack to say something more detailed than this??

  • by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:55AM (#42334545)

    Well, there's a bandwagon of snobbery out there about this issue. Kinda like people who say vinyl or vhs is superior to digital audio and video, I suspect this whole 'butt is it art' routine is more about social exclusivity and differentiation (and unhealthy doses of insecurity) than it is about their actual experience. I could understand if someone got motion sickness from the higher rate and didn't like that, but otherwise I cannot understand why someone would want animations deliberately choppy.

    With today's style all about fast cuts and jerkycam, I think the higher framerate would help the viewer track the action.. It helps in games and I suspect it would help me in such scenes, esp when they pile on the blur and urinal tournamint style colored lighting..

  • by Sarusa ( 104047 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:02AM (#42334583)

    It's a given that most will target 30fps since more shinies looks better in screenshots and youtube videos than 60fps does. And most consumers can't tell the difference until put a 60 and 30 fps version side by side and let them play.

    The leaked/rumored PS4/XNext specs show them as equivalent or slightly weaker than current mid-high gaming PCs, and those can't do 60 fps locked on all the recent shiny games at 1920x1080 with all effects on (except those like CoD MP that specifically target it), so it's unlikely the consoles would. Cheap components is the driver, especially for PS4.

    But there's no reason a fighting game or fps can't aim for 60fps on the new gen if it wants to. Use your shaders and effects wisely and no problem.

  • Re:Detail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:23AM (#42334645)

    lets count the fallacies shall we?

    1. argument from antiquity (it's old so it sucks)
    2. argument from inverse popularity (no one does it now so it sucks)
    3. appeal to realism (when did I say quake was realistic? I said higher steady framerate allows for better perception of action)
    4. ad hominem. I'm not butthurt. Perhaps you prefer COD et al because you can't play something requiring more attention and lower reaction time. It's alright, I'm not crazy at quake either.. I was only a bit above average as far as competent players go, but I enjoyed the fluid, fast gameplay much more than the tedious waiting and camping of CS, action quake and its subsequent 'realism' clones. There's no need for insults.

    If anything, it's the dominant playerbase who reason like your post who are to blame for why so many games today lack actual gameplay learning curves. There's nothing to master and it's all about pressing the right button at the right time a la dragon's lair single player, or having a real time rendered backdrop for VOIP 'multiplayer' conversations...all of this while fumbling around with simplified gameplay mechanics despite the fact they were dumbed down specifically to make the pad workable at all. That's not what I got into gaming for, but to each their own.

  • Re:Detail (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:31AM (#42334677)

    I should of mentioned the reason why.

    I should have mentioned the reason why.

    Just an FYI...

  • News Flash! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Moof123 ( 1292134 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @06:11AM (#42335085)

    Game play still is more important than FPS, see: RAGE.

    A good game with low FPS is tragic, but a lame game at even the highest FPS still just sucks.

  • Re:Detail (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @08:18AM (#42335525)

    I should of mentioned the reason why.

    Repeat after me: "should've" means "should have", not "should of".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @08:28AM (#42335551)

    That's just conditioning -- you're used to seeing sitcoms in higher framerates than movies. If sitcoms were traditionally filmed in color and movies traditionally filmed in black and white, you'd be ranting about how much color sucks in movies.

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@NOSpAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @09:49AM (#42335929) Homepage Journal

    using a controller, playing a lot of single player games

    You can have a mouse and keyboard. You can have multiplayer. You can have no lag. But you can't have them all. Mouse and keyboard + multiplayer = online PC game with net lag. Mouse and keyboard + no lag = single-player PC game. Multiplayer + no net lag = same-screen multiplayer game with gamepads.

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