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Sunday, May 28, 2006

A commenter simply describes the Cell's weakness

While the cores of the 360's cpu can operate independently, the SPU's of the Cell cannot operate with out the core. The Cell CPU is more powerful than the 360's in theory, if you can get a handle on the SPUs. The problem is even if developers get a handle on the Cell it won't make up for the inferior GPU.

-Darcrequiem


I don't agree with the some of the other parts of the comment, but this part nails it. The 360 CPU has 3 independent cores. The Cell has 1 independent core with 6 dependent SPE's (the 7th is reserved for the OS). This is why I refer to SPE's as "dumb processors". Without instruction from the core, they are essentially worthless.

As far as the XBox having the weakest processor, I have to correct that part. The PS2 had a 300mhz processor and the Gamecube had a 485mhz processor. The Xbox had a 733mhz processor. Speed is not everything, but the Xbox's processor was x86 intel-based which was familiar territory to programmers. That alone made it leaps and bounds more powerful than the other two systems; it was less proprietary. The only problem is that since the PS2 was so popular, the stronger consoles received mere ports most of the time. When a developer took time on the Xbox (720p, graphics cleanup, etc.), the difference was obvious, even "next gen" to the PS2 if you will.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

They should have dumped the Blu-ray, and upped the ram to 1Gb.

At 600 dollars, many studios are making contingency plans.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I agree.

I think a dual Cell or more memory would have faired much better than Bluray for the price.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, there is no way that the Xbox looks "next-gen" next to the PS2. Just slightly better. Pit FFXII, or Shadow of the Colossus, or God of War, or MGS3 next to Halo and you're not going to say "WOW, now there's a difference". Hell, the "mom test" can apply since the N64 vs. PS1 times (tell me FF8 doesn't look as great as any N64 title).

Anyway, while I like Blu-ray on a console, a nice way for Sony to 1 uping microsoft with a costly console, yet seeming more worth it (in the eyes of the casuals), would have been making it a lot more powerful (a dedicated GPU, faster clocked cell, more RAM), plus a huge hard drive as a standard. That way, even if there is no blu-ray, you can ship *any* game as a multiple disc title, and install it on the hard drive; that way there is no problem for a GTA: "Entering China Town, please insert Disc 2". Hell, let the gamers install any game on the hard drive and you got a huge gaming/hackers hit.

boots

4:34 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I have to STRONGLY disagree here. However, using Halo 1 as an example, I can understand what you say completely. That game looks like crap. I never use that game as an example, and I don't understand people's attachment to the inferior freshman effort. In any case, that comparison is like comparing the Xbox Bruce Lee game to FFX.

Splinter Cell: CT, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, and Burnout: Revenge all put the PS2 versions to shame. When in 720p, it visually just seals the deal, especially when playing them side-by-side. The PS2 couldn't dish anything like Halo 2, Doom 3, or Ninja Gaiden. Compare Halo 2 to Killzone. Compare Ninja Gaiden to Devil May Cry. No contest.

I think God of War and MGS3 were ridiculously over-rated. And I really, really, really dislike the latter. So I'll refrain from further comment on them.

Shadow of the Colossus is grainy and horrible looking. It was a graphical disappointment. I'm glad the gameplay was good enough to somewhat ignore its graphical downfalls. I should perform the mom test with Halo 2 as you suggest. However, everyone else I've shown SOTC has asked, "This looks awful; why is it so grainy?"

I cannot argue the PS1 vs N64. I've not played enough N64 to have an opinion. I only owned the PSX. I'd have to compare FF8 to my brief experiences with Mario Kart 64 or Goldeneye, which doesn't work.

For any Xbox games that seem to be merely a "slight" improvement, it really isn't the fault of the Xbox hardware. That's the developers fault for not taking advantage of the better resources the Xbox had. That's what happens when the weaker console has more sold units.

With the PS3 and XBox 360, the differences are not as great so the situation changes. They each have strengths and weaknesses in hardware. The differences are likely to be less obvious.

As far as multiple discs, I really don't think we're going to see a problem there. If they can fit ES4: Oblivion on 1 DVD disc with room to spare, then I wouldn't be too concerned about GTA. I'd be surprised if our PS3's ever used a dual-layer Bluray disc in its lifetime.

Thanks for your comment!

10:13 AM  

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