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6'th gen hardware wars: Game Cube vs Xbox OG vs PS2 vs Dreamcast

MrTickles

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yes they are sprites when are far away and trees when close like most LOD system at the time and that is for good LOD systems most dont draw foliage at all when is that far and you forget that this amount of sprites for trees and bushes in far away mountains was uncommon in that generation and the resolution seems correct for the screen resolution of the time, so not exactly easy you need a lot of fill rate to draw so many.... like ps2

oblivion its a game for newer and more powerful consoles yet I dont see it use as many sprites for far and close foliage probably not the right game to compare not even the same genre different goals and requirements but if its so easy I think using lot of "ugly sprites" is a clever way of improving your game

transformers (PS2)




Oblivion(PS3 Xbox 360)




Morrowind(Xbox)



Yes, relative to the low resolution it ran most games at (typically 480i), the ps2 had a very high memory bandwidth (50gb/sec). PS2 was designed for high fill rate. This was possible because each pixel did only a very simple ALU operation and only accessed one texture. This allowed it to draw something to every pixel without breaking a sweat. However this was of limited utility outside of the transformers example, because the operations had to be fairly simplistic. i.e draw hundreds of shitty little 4 color sprites across millions of pixels.

There is so much more 3D space geometric complexity in Morrowind than in your transformers example.

More impressively, the Sega Saturn managed Faux-polygonal 3D WITH textures / sprites. i.e it couldn't even do polygons but could pretend to do so by creating 6 sided quads and manipulating each texture surface appropriately in real time. This made the 3d graphics on saturn more complex and culling more difficult which meant most 3d titles on the sega saturn underperformed relative to the ps1.
 
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Havoc2049

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Xbox was a beast. Here is a great comparison of all the different versions of Splinter Cell Chaos Theory and the the PS2 and GCN look like arse compared to the Xbox. While the Xbox version is comparable to the PC and PS3 versions. Visuals aren’t the only thing, as the PS2 and GCN versions had levels broken up in many third party games and had loading screens, while the Xbox version would be one large seamless level.
 

DynamiteCop!

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Xbox was a beast. Here is a great comparison of all the different versions of Splinter Cell Chaos Theory and the the PS2 and GCN look like arse compared to the Xbox. While the Xbox version is comparable to the PC and PS3 versions. Visuals aren’t the only thing, as the PS2 and GCN versions had levels broken up in many third party games and had loading screens, while the Xbox version would be one large seamless level.
It looks like the PC, PS3 and Xbox are of the same build of the game and the PS2, GameCube and 3DS are of another build.

 

SpiceRacz

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My understanding as far back as the mid 2000s was that the Gamecube was more capable than XBOX and PS2. With that said, I distinctly remember looking at stuff like Project Gotham and Splinter Cell on a really nice TV and thinking how much better they looked than most games at the time. I think Rogue Squadron II is probably the most impressed I've been by a game from that generation of consoles. Especially considering it was a launch title.
 

DynamiteCop!

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My understanding as far back as the mid 2000s was that the Gamecube was more capable than XBOX and PS2. With that said, I distinctly remember looking at stuff like Project Gotham and Splinter Cell on a really nice TV and thinking how much better they looked than most games at the time. I think Rogue Squadron II is probably the most impressed I've been by a game from that generation of consoles. Especially considering it was a launch title.
Look at it again and then look at the best the Xbox can offer, it's not that great. I've got both running through component to an at the time $1,400 CRT. Xbox is better.
 

Stuart360

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Xbox was a beast. Here is a great comparison of all the different versions of Splinter Cell Chaos Theory and the the PS2 and GCN look like arse compared to the Xbox. While the Xbox version is comparable to the PC and PS3 versions. Visuals aren’t the only thing, as the PS2 and GCN versions had levels broken up in many third party games and had loading screens, while the Xbox version would be one large seamless level.
I kind of miss them days, when versions of games looked different depending on what system it was on, and how powerful the system was. Nowadays games all look the same regardless of system, even on PC, except for resolution and framerate of course.
 

Gashtronomy

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Thanks for this thread.

I went from a DC straight to OG Xbox day one. I remember unpacking that black slab and playing Halo 1. HOLY SHIT. Man I was blown the fuck away. 2 player co-op on the same screen was a game changer.

Maybe I'm getting old and jaded, but gaming just doesn't have those wow moments anymore.
 

Romulus

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The funny thing is that Factor 5 were going to release a 'Rogue Leader' trilogy on Xbox, complete with upgraded visuals and a higher resolution, but structuring by LucasArts caused the game to be canned (and Xbox being dropped after 4 years possibly).
If you dont believe me, Google it.

EDIT.
Also just to put an end to your babbling -

"When Factor 5's exclusivity window with Sony ended in 2007, the studio's gaze was set on the Wii. They reworked the Rogue Squadron trilogy project originally built for Xbox and added optional play styles (you could steer an X-Wing with the Wii wheel and manage its pedals with the Balance Board, for example). Beyond piloting ships, Factor 5's "Rogue Leaders" used the Wii Motion Plus for 1:1 lightsaber battles between 20 characters, complete with force powers. Rogue Leaders essentially ran on Lair's graphics engine at 60 frames-per-second and featured ducking and dodging beyond what's found in Wii Sports Resort. "

Footage of the cancelled Xbox......er sorry Wii version -


Looks just as good, if not better than the Gamecube versions. So just stop with the nonsense.
Lol, great find.
 
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Doczu

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Ran XBC like shit though and at way lower resolution
It did, because the game was mostly bottlenecked by the GPU (even with the extra memory of the n3DS) and the engine was ported, not made on the ground up for the portable.
Still, an impressive game, even with the drawbacks.
 

Romulus

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I think Hulk Ultimate Destruction is a top tier stress test game during that generation too. Some of the craziest physics, explosions of that generation and open world. And for the developers to have overhead to push that to 720p on Xbox? That speaks volumes.

Half Life 2 is a other one. Holy shit, imagine trying to get that running on the GC or PS2.
 
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Panajev2001a

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Yes, relative to the low resolution it ran most games at (typically 480i), the ps2 had a very high memory bandwidth (50gb/sec). PS2 was designed for high fill rate. This was possible because each pixel did only a very simple ALU operation and only accessed one texture. This allowed it to draw something to every pixel without breaking a sweat. However this was of limited utility outside of the transformers example, because the operations had to be fairly simplistic. i.e draw hundreds of shitty little 4 color sprites across millions of pixels.

There is so much more 3D space geometric complexity in Morrowind than in your transformers example.

More impressively, the Sega Saturn managed Faux-polygonal 3D WITH textures / sprites. i.e it couldn't even do polygons but could pretend to do so by creating 6 sided quads and manipulating each texture surface appropriately in real time. This made the 3d graphics on saturn more complex and culling more difficult which meant most 3d titles on the sega saturn underperformed relative to the ps1.
To be fair while the per pixel operations of course favour the Morrowind example, the draw distance of Morrowind is a bit low for some of the most complex ones and they resort to distance fog soon... still amazing looking game if you play it over component... otherwise yuck... Vaseline filter hehe... well, this was my reaction when I switched to component cables. Personally, style wise, I prefer Primal and MGS2 to the Transformers shot that was posted... but that is just me maybe :).

Considering when it came out, back then 1-1.5 years were an eternity in terms of technological evolution (and GPU generations), and the cost of the console rapidly dropping during the generation... I think PS2 held its own pretty well: it was designed back when you just had to do multi-pass rendering most of the time so they focused on a very very flexible geometry front end with the VU’s (much more versatile than the VS of the time), ensured the GS could access its memory without bottlenecks (RMW operations were super fast with read, write, and texture I/O channels and fast access to page buffers with even much faster access to the eDRAM macros), and the GS was also designed not to lose a beat when the developer changed render state or flushed buffers even on a per object basis. Blending modes and tri-linear filtering were both bit limited and I do not need to ask devs what they thought about anisotropic filtering on it or PSP ;), but at least multi-pass rendering allowed you to take advantage of the more limited fixed function blending operations you had.

Thanks to the massive popularity and ROI for optimising your title for it, devs got pretty creative with uses of the IPU and the CRTC and even per pixel bump mapping in some very late titles.
 
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SonGoku

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It did, because the game was mostly bottlenecked by the GPU (even with the extra memory of the n3DS) and the engine was ported, not made on the ground up for the portable.
Still, an impressive game, even with the drawbacks.
The 3DS GPU has a more modern feature set when specifically exploited it can produce great resuls as seen on Revelations and SM3DL the only downside is that's under powered and works at super low resolution.
Where's the evidence its CPU is better than the Wii?
The ARM11 Core was trash, the Cortex A9 clocked at 400Mhz inside the Vita was much better
I seriously doubt (unless proven otherwise) that a 800Mhz ARM11 dual core beats the Wii CPU
 
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GreyHorace

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I resent the notion that the 6th generation of consoles is considered "ancient." I played with an Atari 2600 you know? :messenger_angry:

That said, I had the OG Xbox, and it was a fun console. Yeah the controller was big and unwieldy, but eventually I got used to it. And there were some quality games too, like Ninja Gaiden, Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Max Payne, Hulk: Ultimate Destruction and others. I wouldn't call my other favorite game, Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball a quality title. It's more of a sentimental favorite.

A couple of games that are often overlooked in the Xbox library is the Kingdom Under Fire series. I played the shit out of these back in the day and really digged the Dynasty Warriors style combat combination with real time strategy. It's a shame though that the sequel became an MMO. I hope they come out with a new title focused on single player in the future.


 

Panajev2001a

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I resent the notion that the 6th generation of consoles is considered "ancient." I played with an Atari 2600 you know? :messenger_angry:

That said, I had the OG Xbox, and it was a fun console. Yeah the controller was big and unwieldy, but eventually I got used to it. And there were some quality games too, like Ninja Gaiden, Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Max Payne, Hulk: Ultimate Destruction and others. I wouldn't call my other favorite game, Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball a quality title. It's more of a sentimental favorite.

A couple of games that are often overlooked in the Xbox library is the Kingdom Under Fire series. I played the shit out of these back in the day and really digged the Dynasty Warriors style combat combination with real time strategy. It's a shame though that the sequel became an MMO. I hope they come out with a new title focused on single player in the future.


Unwieldy? I super liked The Duke, especially for Halo!!!!
 

MrTickles

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To be fair while the per pixel operations of course favour the Morrowind example, the draw distance of Morrowind is a bit low for some of the most complex ones and they resort to distance fog soon... still amazing looking game if you play it over component... otherwise yuck... Vaseline filter hehe... well, this was my reaction when I switched to component cables. Personally, style wise, I prefer Primal and MGS2 to the Transformers shot that was posted... but that is just me maybe :).

Considering when it came out, back then 1-1.5 years were an eternity in terms of technological evolution (and GPU generations), and the cost of the console rapidly dropping during the generation... I think PS2 held its own pretty well: it was designed back when you just had to do multi-pass rendering most of the time so they focused on a very very flexible geometry front end with the VU’s (much more versatile than the VS of the time), ensured the GS could access its memory without bottlenecks (RMW operations were super fast with read, write, and texture I/O channels and fast access to page buffers with even much faster access to the eDRAM macros), and the GS was also designed not to lose a beat when the developer changed render state or flushed buffers even on a per object basis. Blending modes and tri-linear filtering were both bit limited and I do not need to ask devs what they thought about anisotropic filtering on it or PSP ;), but at least multi-pass rendering allowed you to take advantage of the more limited fixed function blending operations you had.

Thanks to the massive popularity and ROI for optimising your title for it, devs got pretty creative with uses of the IPU and the CRTC and even per pixel bump mapping in some very late titles.
Well considering it came with DVD playback support out of the box, it was certainly a well rounded system. They made some compromises but made up for them in other areas. Still if I was a graphics whore at the time, absent of a good pc (I was a pc gamer at the time) I would have picked an xbox. It could do dvd playback with a playback kit, it had an inbuilt hdd, it was beefy in terms of specs (a fully programmable geforce 3 ti in 2001 was a high end part). It was the bees knees for the price. But sadly it never had many killer apps in terms of exclusives, even halo made it to my PC at the time.

In retrospect, given the huge software support, of course the ps2 is preferable. I have two ps2's, a phat and a slim. It also meant they squeezed every bit of juice out of it. Shadow of the Colossus despite it's lowly frame rate really pushed the system to the edge.

Gamecube was least desirable not because the hardware sucked, it was an amazing design spec-wise given the form factor but because by that point third parties had abandoned Nintendo completely, and it was considerably priced without having DVD playback support. In retrospect it has an exclusive library to rival the ps2 in terms of premium titles, just not much else.

Dreamcast blew minds in 1999 and early 2000 with Sonic Adventure and Soul Calibur 2. Alas that did not last. In retrospect it has a great library of games, but sadly most were ported to other consoles, where they look and run better. In retrospect it is a dead platform even for the collector. I sold my dreamcast after the controller started giving me cramps. Sonic Adventure plays much better on gamecube.
 
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SonGoku

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Considering when it came out, back then 1-1.5 years were an eternity in terms of technological evolution (and GPU generations), and the cost of the console rapidly dropping during the generation... I think PS2 held its own pretty well:
Thinking back do you think Sony made a mistake making the PS2 chip in house? It was a big expensive chip, the GC was much better all around and probably a fraction of the cost.
Imagine what could have been if Sony used the EE/GS R&D money and paid imgtech/Ati and IBM to develop a top of the line solution instead.
 
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Romulus

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I posted about it in another thread, but my avatar is the most impressive game of the generation for me bar none.

Battle Engine Aquila

It's like an RTS where you play as a "hero" unit but from the first person perspective.

The amount of chaos and scale is insane still to this day. You can literally set back and watch two massive armies battle it out.

There was a ps2 and Xbox version, but the Xbox was a big step up.

 

pawel86ck

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Beautiful games (although jetset doesn't really push technical boundaries much)

But none of those games really use xboxs advanced shaders much. Which is half my point ; games like Riddick and halo 2 were doing too much for their own good.

I honestly only think that rallisport challenge 2 wouldn't be doable on cube, since it doesn't tax the bandwidth much. Xbox really had great looking racers.

We have absolutely no idea how much the Wii footage resembled the Xbox build, if they even had it running on x.
Ralli sport challenge 2 was using shadows buffers and because of that many shadows were dynamic, pixel shaders were used also (on water surface, road surface, car reflections). Game also had very big levels with insane number of detailed trees and vegetation so 2x vertex units were used to the extreme for sure. I doubt this game could be ported to PS2 and GC.




Ralli Sport challenge 2 was really awesome and I hope MS will emulate it on xbox x/scarlett in the future because in higher resolution game would look even better. Some xbox enchanced games like splinter cell looks good to me even today thanks to xbox x emulation.

Dead or alive games also were using shaders, Panzel Dragoon and jest set radio future also although not to the extreme (on water surface for sure). I dont remember any effects in ninja gaiden however, and for that reason NG never really impressed me like other xbox games.
 
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Romulus

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A couple of games that are often overlooked in the Xbox library is the Kingdom Under Fire series. I played the shit out of these back in the day and really digged the Dynasty Warriors style combat combination with real time strategy. It's a shame though that the sequel became an MMO. I hope they come out with a new title focused on single player in the future.


Another graphical powerhouse during the timeframe I forgot about. I remember being blown away with how many units were onscreen and how detailed they were considering the sheer numbers(for the time).
 

polybius80

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This allowed it to draw something to every pixel without breaking a sweat. However this was of limited utility outside of the transformers example, because the operations had to be fairly simplistic. i.e draw hundreds of shitty little 4 color sprites across millions of pixels.
its not just across pixels, they are 3d models(quads) with distance and there is overlap, transformers make a strong use of particles wich are an important effect in games, that scene in particular is about a jungle so a strong use for trees and lawn, there are other areas where rain and snow are used instead, just because they are simple doesnt mean its cheap to run lot of them, it require lot of access to frame and z-buffer and was not that common at the time

There is so much more 3D space geometric complexity in Morrowind than in your transformers example.
not sure what you mean here, morrowind is realtively low in geometry and doesnt make a strong use of shaders overall like other games, sure is more complex in certain areas than other more action oriented game, is it someting with collision boxes?,

I made the comparison only for foliage, you say its nothing special, morrowind its a game that can benefit a lot using "shitty little 4 color sprites" for plants, lawn and more trees, like oblivion and skyrim use, they are nothing special after all ;)

More impressively, the Sega Saturn managed Faux-polygonal 3D WITH textures / sprites. i.e it couldn't even do polygons but could pretend to do so by creating 6 sided quads and manipulating each texture surface appropriately in real time. This made the 3d graphics on saturn more complex and culling more difficult which meant most 3d titles on the sega saturn underperformed relative to the ps1.
it didnt "managed to do faux-polygons", it was desgined that way in order to do 3d and compete with playstation and N64, the sega saturn 3d consist in distorted sprites, they behave like quads made of triangles, it was a clever way of using sprites for 3d, it allows it to make 3d but they are not as good specially with the lack in light and alpha of the system and the inefficiency compared to triangles and the memory and fillrate waste with overlaping at the edges required with the technique , the VDP2 was very good adition to the hardware it solved floor and ceiling in lot of games without using polygons, saturn is a very interesting system but I dont see what it have to do with the use of sprites and particles in other systems, psx and n64 also can use their triangles to display sprites on screen and even better thanks to alpha effects, light, blending and fill rate(not so much in N64)
 
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GreyHorace

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Another graphical powerhouse during the timeframe I forgot about. I remember being blown away with how many units were onscreen and how detailed they were considering the sheer numbers(for the time).
I'm surprised no one has made a game like it since then other than developer Blueside with Kingdom Under Fire 2. As far as I know the Dynasty Warrior series or any other musou game hasn't adopted real time strategy elements into their hack and slash gameplay. I;d really to see another developer take a crack at this with today's graphics.
 

pawel86ck

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You are talking rubbish. The fact is that RE4, Rogue Leader(60fps), MP2(60fps} and F-Zero(60fps) all destroyed Xbox games in poly count. I posted two over 15 year old threads with links to developers quotes of the time stating real world performance of both consoles! With Rogue Squadron a launch GC game setting a bench mark that Xbox never reached in real world.
GC was similar in a way to ps3 in that exclusives were what pushed technical boundaries.

Reading comprehension for the win.
My whole argument here is based around the fact that GC was superior in pushing polygons.
That's your opinion, not a fact. I have played fzero GX yersterday on dolphin emulator and there's nothing impressive in that game besides framerate. Only ships models have high quality textures, but besides that textures are low quality and levels arnt very detailed.
Here's similar game on xbox, ground texture is very detailed and is using pixel shaders (you can see bumps and reflections even during high speed). Why fzero gx doesnt feature details like that? The thing is, many xbox games were using effects like that frequently while GC games very rarely. The only game that can be compared to the best xbox titles is rogue leader, maybe also star fox (water surface had reflections and some object had realtime shadows instead of blob shadows) and wave race (water surface looked good) but besides that I dont really remember many other GC games that would feature graphics effects comparable to xbox.

It was totally opposite on MS console, because pretty much every xbox exclusive game used xbox hardware features (pixel and vertex shaders, shadow buffers) and later on even multiplatform games from PC also were using shaders (like doom 3 or Half Life 2 for example). And the thing is, when games were made with xbox in mind from the start (like Splinter cell 1-4) and later on ported to GC they were downgraded to the extreme (unlike RE4 port on PS2, because RE4 on PS2 still looked like the same game). If GC hardware would had more RAM + HDD and could recreate shaders and shadow buffers with good performance GC port would look comparable to xbox. Splinter Cell 1 on GC version had higher resolution textures compared to PS2 version, better water surface, better framerate but it was everything they could improve on GC version. Xbox version however still looked like a different game compared to both PS2 and GC versions.

Splinter cell 1

What's interesting even PS3 version had downgraded shadows compared to xbox version because RSX didnt had shadow buffers like Geforce 3-4-5 and xbox GPU. It's possible to emulate shadows buffers on PC with similar GPU (7800 GTX, and even xbox emulator on x360 did it) so I dont know why PS3 port used much worse looking shadows in this game. But one thing for sure, GC hardware would never emulate Splinter Cell shadow buffers with good performance and not to mention shaders on top of that.

Splinter Cell 3

In splinter cell 3 the difference is even bigger because this particular game was using shaders and specular lighting on all textures.

RE4 was very detailed game (polygon wise) and also texture quality was good but compared to xbox games I could see mamy effects missing. Water surface looked really bad, there were no dynamic shadows, and no shaders and bumps on textures. With effects like that RE4 would look stunning. Shader effects and shadow buffers really made a difference in xbox games and there's no way games like doom 3, riddick, splinter cell 1-4 games, far cry instincts, Half life 2, halo 1-2, PGR2, ralli sport 2 could be ever ported to GC because of inferior hardware. In fact people here mention even PS2 burnout 3 was too demanding for GC and that's why game wasnt ported to GC and you want to tell us GC had the best hardware 😂👌. Yeah but lets believe GC hardware was the best despite the evidence (gamecube games vs xbox games).
 
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pawel86ck

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I resent the notion that the 6th generation of consoles is considered "ancient." I played with an Atari 2600 you know? :messenger_angry:

That said, I had the OG Xbox, and it was a fun console. Yeah the controller was big and unwieldy, but eventually I got used to it. And there were some quality games too, like Ninja Gaiden, Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Max Payne, Hulk: Ultimate Destruction and others. I wouldn't call my other favorite game, Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball a quality title. It's more of a sentimental favorite.

A couple of games that are often overlooked in the Xbox library is the Kingdom Under Fire series. I played the shit out of these back in the day and really digged the Dynasty Warriors style combat combination with real time strategy. It's a shame though that the sequel became an MMO. I hope they come out with a new title focused on single player in the future.


I have never played that game on my xbox, but I can see insane amount of characters on the screen. But I'm sure Game Cube fans will ignore your video and still say GC hardware was pushing more polygons in GC games.

Guys when it comes to PS2 I remember Half Life 1 and ureal engine 1 games like deus ex and unreal tournament 1. These games run like a dream on my PC back then (celeron 500MHz and geforce 2MX), yet PS2 was struggeling. Why is that? These games looked nowhere as good as the best looking PS2 games and should run without problems.
 
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Doczu

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Guys when it comes to PS2 I remember games like Half Life 1 and ureal engine 1 games like deus ex and unreal tournament 1. These games run like a dream on my PC back then (celeron 500MHz and geforce 2MX), yet PS2 was struggeling. Why is that? These games looked nowhere as good as the best looking PS2 games and should run without problems.
Problems with porting the engines. UE1 wasn't strictly written for consoles, therefore ithad many shortcomings compared to the same games on PC.
Starting with UE2 Epic was pushing console compatibility (with the Xbox as primary platform) and went balls deep with UE3 - Epic is the reason why the 360 had 512MB, double the RAM afterthey demoed Gears 1 to M$ with256 and 512MB memory.
 
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GreyHorace

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I have never played that game on my xbox, but I can see insane amount of characters on the screen. But I'm sure Game Cube fans will ignore your video and still say GC hardware was pushing more polygons in GC games.
If you have a original disc and a 360 you can play it via backwards compatibility. I don't see it on the Xbox One's bc list sadly.

But it's a good game, with a unique control scheme that makes it possible to hack and slash with your main character and command units on the battlefield.

Guys when it comes to PS2 I remember games like Half Life 1 and ureal engine 1 games like deus ex and unreal tournament 1. These games run like a dream on my PC back then (celeron 500MHz and geforce 2MX), yet PS2 was struggeling. Why is that? These games looked nowhere as good as the best looking PS2 games and should run without problems.
I read that the PS2 was initially difficult to develop games for, but eventually Sony offered proper support to developers and the games started pouring in. Of course, Sony wouldn't learn their lesson with the PS3, which was even more difficult to program for by all accounts. They finally settled on a PC friendly devkit with the PS4 though.
 
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They can be compared in terms of graphical capabilities.

I havent said Playstation 2 or Gamecube are running D3D, of course, its a MS thing.
The PS2 does things that were not supported in DX7, its GPU can do shader, however it also had much less memory to store textures and polygons (it has less effective space for textures than the Dreamcast had).

One thing people often forget is that the PS2 was the most powerful concole at its release, it did very advanced graphical effects for a machine released on the year 2000.

The Xbox was a beast for its time, Microsoft went all in on it, they gave it a lot of RAM, a top of the line CPU (for a console) and GPU with all the latest features. its weakness was memory bandwidth, making it slower than the PS2 - obviously the GCN too - for specific tasks like alpha channels (the PS2 was especially fast at this because it had a very quick memory buffer on its GPU, if I remember well).

Over all the xbox was the most interesting and impressive machine for me in this generation.
 

Doczu

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I remember that water in Morrowind was like nothing else at the time. Even most PCs couldn't render it.
Shaders baby. During those days they were slowly standardizing it and more graphic cards started to use them. Before that fancy effects were really bound to specific cards and drivers, for example Dungeon Keeper 2 and it's fantastic bump mapping.
 

Panajev2001a

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Thinking back do you think Sony made a mistake making the PS2 chip in house? It was a big expensive chip, the GC was much better all around and probably a fraction of the cost.
Imagine what could have been if Sony used the EE/GS R&D money and paid imgtech/Ati and IBM to develop a top of the line solution instead.
IBM + ATI or say nVIDIA for the full solution? Like PS3 ;)?

No, I think that the time was perfect for both PS1 and PS2 to be done in house and at that time Sony and Toshiba had a pretty powerful semiconductors division and quite lofty aims (BTW, it was Kutaragi who consolidated Sony semiconductor groups and actually scaled down some of the biggest wildes ambitions during the PS3 early days).

PS1 and PS2 were manufactured at a time where semiconductor manufacturing nodes were improving very rapidly and the complexity and cost was a lot lower than it would be nowadays to design something competitive with the industry leaders: you could differentiate a lot and keep costs low and be fully in control of your console price and profit margins over time (something both Nintendo and especially MS, who was royally screwed over by both Intel and nVIDIA)... look at PS2 and how they migrated the chips to smaller and smaller nodes over time ending up in the EE+GS@90nm SoC.

The GC's Gekko and Dolphin had some advantages yes, but the console came out over a year later and Sony was arguably able to control its console price and maximise profits as well as launch earlier than the competition with HW that was more than powerful and flexible enough to make a very strong stand against the DC and once developers got accustomed to its architecture it was able to flex its wings throughout the generation. The flexible and strong geometry and FP processing performance of the EE's VU's, the flexibility and speed of the eDRAM and the GS in general, etc... were powerful tools in the right hands IMHO.

Also, I think that developers who learned how to push PS1 well should have found PS2 to be a design that managed to be both evolutionary from it (addressing the 3D bottlenecks PS1's generation 3D had) and revolutionary.
 
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SonGoku

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IBM + ATI or say nVIDIA for the full solution? Like PS3 ;)?
IBM + ATI/PowerVR (nvidia is a no no for consoles)
No, I think that the time was perfect for both PS1 and PS2 to be done in house and at that time Sony and Toshiba had a pretty powerful semiconductors division and quite lofty aims
But neither of them had the tech, talent, ip to match graphics technology from ati/imgtech
The PS2 cost Sony billions (R&D and manufacturing fabs) with inferior performance to the GC, didn't the GC hit $99 at one point?

Correct me if im wrong but i assume either ATI or imgtech would have delivered considerably better graphics solution than the GS for the same R&D budget for the same launch time frame
The DreamCast launched a year earlier with presumably a much lower budget and look what they managed, with one extra year in the oven and PS2s budget im sure Sony/Toshiba with a PowerVR design license would have delivered something truly impressive.

The only advantage i can think to Sonys in house exotic hw approach is making it harder to port PS2 games thus indirectly gaining console exclusives
 
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HE1NZ

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Xbox is a great purchase - tons of hidden gems, best visuals and best multiplatforms of that gen..Most of PS2's library is either remastered on PS3/4 or better on Xbox. I never owned GC, but played it's games on the Wii.
 
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PS2 Is still the best because the exclusive titles and the huge library

Gamecube have a marvelous graphics and support of 3rd companies... but is a cult console that nobody have it and care

Xbox Have a Impresive Graphics and power, but still have a amazing Exclusive and the best looking 3rd companies graphics but not have the huge library of japanese games.
 
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bumleforce

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Og xbox had superior third party games. GTA felt like a generation leap over ps2. Xbox had in my opinion better rpgs in kotor and all good are games plus fable. Better racing. Halo 2. Was the best looking game that gen.. Gc had eternal darkenss and metroid. Everything else sucked or was multiplatform.
 

Oso Torpedoes

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I've owned all 3 systems but honestly MS paved the way with an Internal hard drive unlike Sony or Nintendo's bullshit proprietary memory cards which were required. The OG xbox also had their own memory card but it wasn't required since it had a HDD inside the console... Which was massive AF. But I loved all 3 systems equally since they had good games. Mostly the PS2!
 
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Lukin1978

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I miss this era of gaming I had all 3 this was back when I bought every big game. My ex wife would constantly nag about having too many games.
My favorite of this era though was dreamcast.
 
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Had a PS2 and it was great. Fav games were TM, NFL 2k's, Ace Combat 4, Gran Turismo, God of War etc.....

Friend had an Xbox. EA Sports ran at 60 fps!!! His HDD hd a shitload of Genesis and SNES rips, Halo, GTA 3 etc.....

I never tried XBox online on his system (and I never had an ethernet add-on for PS2 as I had a model 1 version), but got to admit XBox games looked much better. And playing some pirated 16 bit games were awesome. Couldn't believe we were playing Contra III. Ripping games like this was new on consoles. Never knew Xbox OG could do it. And when I saw it for the first time, my buddy just had the biggest smile on his face.
 
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Sub_Level

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Xbox was a beast. Here is a great comparison of all the different versions of Splinter Cell Chaos Theory and the the PS2 and GCN look like arse compared to the Xbox. While the Xbox version is comparable to the PC and PS3 versions. Visuals aren’t the only thing, as the PS2 and GCN versions had levels broken up in many third party games and had loading screens, while the Xbox version would be one large seamless level.
Imagine being a kid who had a DS instead of a PSP.

Shit was Atari Jaguar graphics.
 

Tesseract

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ps2 had crippling memory issues

gc was a strange basket case with its fixed-function gpu

xbox was a goddamn monster the likes of which we may never see again

i actually think it was a mistake for ms not to open up the xbox to windows, they might've won the console war in one fell swoop
 
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polybius80

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Most of Dreamcast ports to other consoles of the same generation run at lower res, lower textures or both.
DC use 8 MB for framebuffer, z-buffer but even with that it leaves a huge texture cache with very good compression its slow but its a big amount to compensate for, many DC ports to other systems are very cheap/quick ports you cant just take a game developed around a big texture cache and slow ram( = fewer texture streaming) to something like GC and PS2, they have 1 MB and 2 MB+ for texture cache and rely on heavy texture streaming with faster ram and texture cache, they work opposite to DC, you will end up removing some textures or using less color to fit the game or making a quick texture stream routine to compensate but probably a cheap one if you want it quickly , you will have to rework all for the memory system and that is no easy task but if you do that maybe you can use some of the extra features in other systems and make some improvements, only xbox work in a way that allows DC games run in a similar texture memory configuration with the advantage of being faster and even work with more space

SEGA did very good games for each system later that generation, they used each system very well but its clear they needed time to adapt
 
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Panajev2001a

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But neither of them had the tech, talent, ip to match graphics technology from ati/imgtech
No, but they had their own in house talent and when such talent is also able to work very closely with the chip layout/semiconductor manufacturing lines more efficient output can be achieved.

The Nagasaki and Oita manufacturing plants they worked on with Toshiba were again cheaper than a 7nm plant would be now, much much cheaper, served them from the PS1 to the PS3 with retooling and expansions, and allowed then higher and higher manufacturing volumes, earlier launch, and higher profit margins as they scaled up production and lowered the MSRP too.
The plants were not exclusive to PlayStation HW production and Sony would have likely wanted to control production even if they went with a third party supplier.

The PS2 cost Sony billions (R&D and manufacturing fabs) with inferior performance to the GC,
Some bits inferior, some bits not so much actually and again it came out a lot earlier (1-1.5 years then is one to almost two full GPU generations).

ATI proper had no console parts and would have been an nVIDIA like partner, Nintend did not got with ATI, but with Art-X, who also had some of the engineers they worked with on the N64’s console and iQue.

didn't the GC hit $99 at one point?
When they were essentially discontinuing it yeah and it led to Nintendo re-using the same core tech for almost three home consoles in a row (Wii U count as the third CPU wise)

Correct me if im wrong but i assume either ATI or imgtech would have delivered considerably better graphics solution than the GS for the same R&D budget for the same launch time frame
The DreamCast launched a year earlier with presumably a much lower budget and look what they managed, with one extra year in the oven and PS2s budget im sure Sony/Toshiba with a PowerVR design license would have delivered something truly impressive.
I think that for the time EE and GS were truly impressive (alongside the other custom HW used by developers like the IPU, there to speed DVD playback and used by developers as 150 MPixels/s texture decompressor) and while the DC was not a bad HW by any stretch of the imagination and may have allowed developers a nicer and less steep learning curve, overall performance and flexibility crown goes to the PS2 HW. Although yes, it would have been interesting to see the results of a PVR enhanced Sony console before the PS Vita... volume modifiers and HW translucency sorting were unique attractive features that saw in the DC their last hurrah...

The only advantage i can think to Sonys in house exotic hw approach is making it harder to port PS2 games thus indirectly gaining console exclusives
Even if it were only that... call it a small advantage hehe 😉.