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

Romulus

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There wasn't a single FPS that outdid Halo on either 6 gen console, even after years of optimization. You might not like the art style(I don't), but it was incredibly impressive for a launch title, large scale worlds, great AI, advanced physics, lots of npcs, all the while capable of running it in split-screen.


 
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Gran turismo 4 runs nowhere near 1280x 720 let alone 1920x 1080 in fact the actual frame buffer is something around 512x 224, or 640x 224 don't remember exactly, (someone correct me if a I'm wrong) people confuse upscalinng and image to a certain resolution with rendering a picture at one specific resolution.

Also IIRC the ps3 has less bandwidth than the ps2 and no one is gonna deny that the ps2 is a generation behind it.
Okay i didn't know, but the point is Xbox nor ps2, or any console isnt more powerful than another just because it's capable of higher resolution output. Just because Xbox can output HD doesnt mean it should.

Xbox's sweet spot is 480p rendering just like cube. Unless it's a ps2 port that didn't take advantage of ps2s unique advantages.
 
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Cheezeus

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Okay i didn't know, but the point is Xbox nor ps2, or any console isnt more powerful than another just because it's capable of higher resolution output. Just because Xbox can output HD doesnt mean it should.

Xbox's sweet spot is 480p rendering just like cube. Unless it's a ps2 port that didn't take advantage of ps2s unique advantages.

Hes right. GT4 was nowhere near true 1080i. It was barely even 640x480. It was just upscaling to 1080i. It looks fucking gross, tbh, IQ wise.
 

Romulus

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Okay i didn't know, but the point is Xbox nor ps2, or any console isnt more powerful than another just because it's capable of higher resolution output.
Resolution takes horsepower, and the Xbox has demonstrated quite often it can render above GameCube settings and resolutions. There are lots of games that render at 720p with just a patch and little to no difference in framerate.

Hulk Ultimate Destruction is a great example. Better framerate on Xbox while rendering at native 720p versus GC 480p. Do you not understand the power it takes to render a 6th generation game of that magnitude and destruction at 720p?
We just get the point of looking at ALL these examples of thinking, why do we have to constantly use the excuse of "bad port" for GC/PS2, why can't the Xbox just be more powerful?
Why were so many of these graphical powerhouse games during that era not even attempted on GC/PS2? Why are developers lying and saying Xbox is more capable? There's no other way around it, Xbox was more powerful. Any exclusive on GC would have looked better on Xbox. Give Factor 5 or Capcom, hell Nintendo 2 years with the Xbox to build their game and it would have looked noticeably better on the XBox. It's that simple.
 
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MrTickles

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There wasn't a single FPS that outdid Halo on either 6 gen console, even after years of optimization. You might not like the art style(I don't), but it was incredibly impressive for a launch title, large scale worlds, great AI, advanced physics, lots of npcs, all the while capable of running it in split-screen.


Doom 3 came to Xbox. It was technically superior in every way.

Hes right. GT4 was nowhere near true 1080i. It was barely even 640x480. It was just upscaling to 1080i. It looks fucking gross, tbh, IQ wise.
If I recall correctly, PS3 version was 540p with a really gross FXAA implementation. Xbox360 was not much better, capping at 600p but it had proper 4x AA making it look 'much' (relatively speaking) nicer. That said running the game even at 720p on PC was a challenge at the time. It was so badly optimized.
 
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Tesseract

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doom 3 came late after years of shader doc, halo was a launch title

still superior obv, but incredibly limited by its level design
 

Havoc2049

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Compared to Halo and Halo 2, Doom 3 was a side show.

Doom 3 wasn’t even the best id game on the Xbox. Both the single player campaign and online multiplayer for Return to Castle Wolfenstein was better than what Doom 3 brought to the table. Online multiplayer for Return to Castle Wolfenstein on both the PC and Xbox was god tier.
 
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Romulus

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Doom 3 came to Xbox. It was technically superior in every way.
Much smaller levels and not even half the enemies onscreen. No physics based vehicle combat or split screen. Doom 3 was a corridor shooter with lots of nice tricks and amazing considering the hardware, but in ways mentioned above, halo was much more impressive.
 

Tesseract

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halo 2 launch was the greatest night of my life

maybe, probably not

was pretty dope tho, that fucking online mode delivered in ways many xbl games still haven't
 
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Romulus

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halo 2 launch was the greatest night of my life

maybe, probably not

was pretty dope tho, that fucking online mode delivered in ways many xbl games still haven't met
It literally worked flawlessly too for me, most impressive online console game despite the massive numbers online. For soooo many people it was their first online game that night. And back then it looked incredible too.
 
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brohmbel

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GT4's 1080i mode, as I understand it, renders a 1920x540 field in 1/60 of a second, then the opposite field at 1920x540 in the next 1/60 of a second, and each field stays on the screen for 1/30th of a second, sharing screen space with the other field, interlacing together like two fine-toothed combs. Rinse and repeat for every frame the PS2 spits out. The final picture your eye sees on the TV is literally 1080 vertical pixels tall, but the image looks a little jankier if you look at it closely in a still capture. (The overall image also looks jankier because there was no anti-aliasing back then, so every pixel stands out and looks raw.)

Edit: n/m, looks like you guys are right, it is rendering 640 horiz x 540 vert (interlaced to 1080). Weird. Better than 640x480 technically, but not by a lot.
 
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Romulus

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I made a thread so that we can vote on the most impressive Xbox game. I forgot to add an "other" option but there's a ton of choices but comment otherwise.
 
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pawel86ck

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Both look beautiful, I don't understand why one "must" be better than the other.

And something no one mentions and it should get credit is the incredible amazing grass in star fox
Texture work could be better in both of them. Conker has average texture quality (compared to other xbox games, for example Enclave) and unlike other xbox games very little bump mapping (with bump mapping and shaders even these textures would look amazing), but the thing is in Star Fox textures are even more blurry and reminds me frequently PS2 games.




Maybe on CRT SD these textures would look better but on LCD in high resolution than 480p textures looks very blurry. Star Fox has better water, very nice looking grass and it's 60 fps game, but Conker has also very beautiful tall grass, bigger levels and more impressive dynamic shadows (in star fox only character models and certain word object cast shadows, in Conker however pretty much everything cast dynamic shadows). IMO in the end both looks equally good👍.

Conker on xbox x in higher resolution





 
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Fafalada

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Ok let's get this out of the way - none of these systems were comparable on any single-metric like 'power' - but it can be broken down in some 'reasonable' categories:

XB:GC
Pixel operations throughput
2.9 : 1
Textured Fillrate / Untextured fillrate (mostly things like shadow rendering)
1.4 : 1 / 5.7 : 1

Geometry/transform throughput
3-4 : 1

CPU
2-3 : 1

Memory / Usable graphics memory
1.3 : 1 / 2-3 : 1
Max Framebuffer memory*
32 : 1
* This really just to illustrate 'why' 720p patching is so easy on XB, it's a lot less to do with performance than available memory.

Optical disc speed
3.3 : 1

Numbers with a 'range'(like CPU) are based off of observed 'real-world' stats more than on-paper specs. The precise ones are paper-spec based, but generally reflect in real-use too.
Bandwidth figures are mostly irrelevant to compare directly because the above figures directly correspond to available bandwidth (all peak figures are achievable with existing memory setups in these consoles).
Real-world it was uncommon to see cases where XB didn't outperform the other two by at least 2:1 'overall'. Specialized workflows existed where you could see that advantage disappear, but it was never lopsided.

PS2 compares better on paper, but matching certain things was a lot more cumbersome on it, and it had the weakest CPU, which was the biggest single limiter when comparing 3rd party games.
On the flipside there were a few things only PS2 could really do that gen (like geometry shader acceleration), so it was entirely possible to build software difficult to port the other way too.
 
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pawel86ck

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Ok let's get this out of the way - none of these systems were comparable on any single-metric like 'power' - but it can be broken down in some 'reasonable' categories:

XB:GC
Pixel operations throughput
2.9 : 1
Textured Fillrate / Untextured fillrate (mostly things like shadow rendering)
1.4 : 1 / 5.7 : 1

Geometry/transform throughput
3-4 : 1

CPU
2-3 : 1

Memory / Usable graphics memory
1.3 : 1 / 2-3 : 1
Max Framebuffer memory*
32 : 1
* This really just to illustrate 'why' 720p patching is so easy on XB, it's a lot less to do with performance than available memory.

Optical disc speed
3.3 : 1

Numbers with a 'range'(like CPU) are based off of observed 'real-world' stats more than on-paper specs. The precise ones are paper-spec based, but generally reflect in real-use too.
Bandwidth figures are mostly irrelevant to compare directly because the above figures directly correspond to available bandwidth (all peak figures are achievable with existing memory setups in these consoles).
Real-world it was uncommon to see cases where XB didn't outperform the other two by at least 2:1 'overall'. Specialized workflows existed where you could see that advantage disappear, but it was never lopsided.

PS2 compares better on paper, but matching certain things was a lot more cumbersome on it, and it had the weakest CPU, which was the biggest single limiter when comparing 3rd party games.
On the flipside there were a few things only PS2 could really do that gen (like geometry shader acceleration), so it was entirely possible to build software difficult to port the other way too.
Good post, I wonder why untextured fillrate was so low on xbox, it's because of memory bandwitdh? Maybe that's why xbox GPU had technologies like shadow buffers to speed up shadow rendering, while GC had to do it traditionally. Also I wonder how they did per pixel shadows in Doom 3, Riddick, Deus Ex 2 etc., they have use shaders for that?

But anyway I have just played halo 1-2, and I have to say Halo 1 despite being a launch title still looks good compared to Halo 2. Maybe even character models and textures looks better in halo 1 (halo 2 has way too much normal maps) but everything else looks better in halo 2.















Halo 2
























 
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Journey

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Okay i didn't know, but the point is Xbox nor ps2, or any console isnt more powerful than another just because it's capable of higher resolution output. Just because Xbox can output HD doesnt mean it should.

Xbox's sweet spot is 480p rendering just like cube. Unless it's a ps2 port that didn't take advantage of ps2s unique advantages.

I'm trying to reply to this without being a dick, but it's hard :p


You're basically saying that the PS4 isn't more powerful than Xbox One just because it can output games at 1080p whereas Xbox One is struggling with the same games at 900p and even 720p. SMDH
 
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I'm trying to reply to this without being a dick, but it's hard :p


You're basically saying that the PS4 isn't more powerful than Xbox One just because it can output games at 1080p whereas Xbox One is struggling with the same games at 900p and even 720p. SMDH
Outputting resolution =/= native resolution.

Is ps2 more powerful than cube because it has a sprinkling of 1080i games? Or another point - what if the ps4 slim could output in 4k? Does that mean games should then target native 4k? No - and that is my point with the og Xbox.

Reading comprehension
 
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I say Starfox wins. Superior quality water and grass from the GC tev unit and 8 layer textures. While pushing 60fps showing the GC superior polygon pushing power.
Oh I agree it's definitely pushing more than conker overall. One can only imagine if Nintendo had not been overly conservative twits and just bought Rare back then!
 

Romulus

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I say Starfox wins. Superior quality water and grass from the GC tev unit and 8 layer textures. While pushing 60fps showing the GC superior polygon pushing power.
To me it looks like an average amount of polygons for the era, outside of Fox, all the other characters look average to me. 60fps is great.
 

Romulus

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Outputting resolution =/= native resolution.

Is ps2 more powerful than cube because it has a sprinkling of 1080i games? Or another point - what if the ps4 slim could output in 4k? Does that mean games should then target native 4k? No - and that is my point with the og Xbox.

Reading comprehension

That's just muddying the waters. N64 could potentially do 1080i. Look at the sheer amount of games on ps2 and the ratio of 1080i games, its almost nothing, and their almost always simpler games.
Xbox is more powerful because it does the same game that Gamecube does at a higher resolution. Name a single game on GC with a higher resolution than Xbox? You can't, not a single case, but the opposite can be said many times with better framerate and textures to boot. So yeah, huge difference in power when you can up the resolution from 480p to 720p of the same game and still have a better framerate.
 
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Journey

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That's just muddying the waters. N64 could potentially do 1080i. Look at the sheer amount of games on ps2 and the ratio of 1080i games, its almost nothing, and their almost always simpler games.
Xbox is more powerful because it does the same game that Gamecube does at a higher resolution. Name a single game on GC with a higher resolution than Xbox? You can't, not a single case, but the opposite can be said many times with better framerate and textures to boot. So yeah, huge difference in power when you can up the resolution from 480p to 720p of the same game and still have a better framerate.
And better texture filtering as was the case with Enter the Matrix on top of having a higher resolution.

I thought I was alone in the twilight zone lol.
 
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Romulus

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And better texture filtering as was the case with Enter the Matrix on top of having a higher resolution.

I thought I was alone in the twilight zone lol.
Well now here comes the "bad port" argument. Bad ports dozens and dozens of times with different developers. They're all lazy/untalented I guess. lol

Same would happen with Rogue Squadron/Star Fox/RE4 on Xbox. Give each developer two years with the Xbox and you'll get a better-looking version especially considering the pedigree of each developer.
 

Thanati

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Good post, I wonder why untextured fillrate was so low on xbox, it's because of memory bandwitdh? Maybe that's why xbox GPU had technologies like shadow buffers to speed up shadow rendering, while GC had to do it traditionally. Also I wonder how they did per pixel shadows in Doom 3, Riddick, Deus Ex 2 etc., they have use shaders for that?

But anyway I have just played halo 1-2, and I have to say Halo 1 despite being a launch title still looks good compared to Halo 2. Maybe even character models and textures looks better in halo 1, but everything else looks better in halo 2.















Halo 2
























Man, such a beautiful and amazing game (both). Brings back so many awesome memories!
 
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And better texture filtering as was the case with Enter the Matrix on top of having a higher resolution.

I thought I was alone in the twilight zone lol.
You're not in the twilight zone but you cant read apparently. How does matrix compare graphically to orta or ninja gaiden?
 
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Journey

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You're not in the twilight zone but you cant read apparently. How does matrix compare graphically to orta or ninja gaiden?

I can read just fine :messenger_winking:


Not sure what you think I'm replying to, but let's use that as an example since you brought it up, does Ninja Gaiden run at 1080i? nope, because instead of under-utilizing Xbox resources and lazily just upped the resolution with the remaining horsepower, akin to Xbox One running old games in 4K even though its regular games cannot, Team Ninja used the cool lighting/shadow, reflection/refraction, bump mapping, etc., and applied that in a 480p resolution, simply not possible of achieving those visuals at 720p unless you have an Xbox 360, that's why Dead or Alive 3 looks just like a 360 game visually, but at 480p.


This is PS3/360 level of effects at a lower resolution

 

Romulus

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Good post, I wonder why untextured fillrate was so low on xbox, it's because of memory bandwitdh? Maybe that's why xbox GPU had technologies like shadow buffers to speed up shadow rendering, while GC had to do it traditionally. Also I wonder how they did per pixel shadows in Doom 3, Riddick, Deus Ex 2 etc., they have use shaders for that?

But anyway I have just played halo 1-2, and I have to say Halo 1 despite being a launch title still looks good compared to Halo 2. Maybe even character models and textures looks better in halo 1, but everything else looks better in halo 2.















Halo 2
















Incredible when you consider the scale of those environments, the texture quality, enemies onscreen running on 64mb of RAM.
 
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I can read just fine :messenger_winking:


Not sure what you think I'm replying to, but let's use that as an example since you brought it up, does Ninja Gaiden run at 1080i? nope, because instead of under-utilizing Xbox resources and lazily just upped the resolution with the remaining horsepower, akin to Xbox One running old games in 4K even though its regular games cannot, Team Ninja used the cool lighting/shadow, reflection/refraction, bump mapping, etc., and applied that in a 480p resolution, simply not possible of achieving those visuals at 720p unless you have an Xbox 360, that's why Dead or Alive 3 looks just like a 360 game visually, but at 480p.


This is PS3/360 level of effects at a lower resolution

Xbox is a 480p machine first and foremost, and just because it can render games in 720p doesn't mean it should, nor does being able to do so make it any more or less powerful than another machine in and of itself.

Just like a 360 game, you are another that's too stupid to deal with further.
 
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Journey

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Xbox is a 480p machine first and foremost, and just because it can render games in 720p doesn't mean it should, nor does being able to do so make it any more or less powerful than another machine in and of itself.

Just like a 360 game, you are another that's too stupid to deal with further.
Wow, it sounds like you're dealing with multiple people that are conflicting with your views, maybe it's time to start looking at yourself instead of calling the rest of the world stupid.

 
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pawel86ck

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I have found GT3 trailer that really shocked me in 2001. PG2 on xbox was more detailed, but GT3 looked more realistic despite running on inferior hardware

GT3 even after so many years still looks good on emulator
 
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I have found GT3 trailer that really shocked me in 2001. PG2 on xbox was more detailed, but GT3 looked more realistic despite running on inferior hardware

GT3 even after so many years still looks good on emulator
Shame how the mighty fell on the ps3. Gt sport looks great visually but all online and feature devoid at launch

Pgr3 and 4 however on 360 looked beyond gorgeous ; my favorite "realistic" racer.
 
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Esppiral

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There are Xbox games that supports native 1280x720 out of the box, officially... If that is not indicatove of the extra power of the Xbox well...

Btw team ninja games (DOA 3 and Ultimate and Ninja Garden) run at 720x480 natively on Xbox.
.
 
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There are Xbox games that supports native 1280x720 out of the box, officially... If that is not indicatove of the extra power of the Xbox well...

Btw team ninja games (DOA 3 and Ultimate and Ninja Garden) run at 720x480 natively on Xbox.
.
It's not, in and of itself. We can compare the specs, not resolution output.

Dreamcast runs games consistently higher resolution than ps2. So what?
 

Romulus

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PS2 hardware was far and away the most difficult to work with, the ugly standout by far in terms of development. Of course, you'll get a lot of ugly low res ports. DC was the opposite, developers loved it.
 

egocrata

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Metroid Prime 1 and 2 look better than Halo.

Art design has a lot to do with that, certainly, but Metroid games are REALLY pretty, even now.
 
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muteZX

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There wasn't a single FPS that outdid Halo on either 6 gen console, even after years of optimization. You might not like the art style(I don't), but it was incredibly impressive for a launch title, large scale worlds, great AI, advanced physics, lots of npcs, all the while capable of running it in split-screen.


not a FPS but a big open space, massive polycount, alpha fx/particles, buggy alias warthog, AI on foot or wheels, smooth framerate. I would say one can make easy a HALO PS2 game with this engine. First video is from the PS3 remaster.


- eg. 3:15::30 or 4:40:00 /a "banshee" sequence/

 
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Romulus

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not a FPS but a big open space, massive polycount, alpha fx/particles, buggy alias warthog, AI on foot or wheels, smooth framerate. I would say one can make easy a HALO PS2 game with this engine. First video is from the PS3 remaster.


- eg. 3:15::30 or 4:40:00 /a "banshee" sequence/


I used to own that game along with Jak 2. I think you could make a simpler version of Halo, but the texture resolution, environments, and lighting looks very basic by comparison to Halo, and the AI isn't as nearly as smart either. But yeah, probably the closest you could get on a ps2.
 
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muteZX

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I used to own that game along with Jak 2. I think you could make a simpler version of Halo, but the texture resolution, environments, and lighting looks very basic by comparison to Halo, and the AI isn't as nearly as smart either. But yeah, probably the closest you could get on a ps2.

sure thing, a cartoon gfx etc.


for something more realistic - there is this little PS2 gem ..

http://francksauer.com/index.php/16-games/unpublished-prototypes/29-outcast-2-the-lost-paradise
 
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DGrayson

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Xbox is a 480p machine first and foremost, and just because it can render games in 720p doesn't mean it should, nor does being able to do so make it any more or less powerful than another machine in and of itself.

Just like a 360 game, you are another that's too stupid to deal with further.

Lets keep the name calling out of the discussion, these are near 20 year old machines at this point. Its just friendly stuff.
 

Esppiral

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It's not, in and of itself. We can compare the specs, not resolution output.

Dreamcast runs games consistently higher resolution than ps2. So what?
Do you realize that rendering games at higher resolutions requires more power, don't you?

Why do you think base ps4 renders most of its games in 1080p while base Xbox does in 900p? Artistic choice? No, power differential.

Edit, btw Dragons Lair for the original Xbox runs natively in 1920x1080, incredible feat.
 
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pawel86ck

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Metroid Prime 1 and 2 look better than Halo.

Art design has a lot to do with that, certainly, but Metroid games are REALLY pretty, even now.
Art design aside what exactly looks better in metroid prime games compared to halo? Shadows are non existent, my screenshots proves textures are low quality and have no shaders or bump mapping effects unlike halo textures. Metroid prime is also a corridor shooter compared to halo games and yet metroid prime has simple geometry and nothing really stands out besides detailed main character model.
 
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pawel86ck

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not a FPS but a big open space, massive polycount, alpha fx/particles, buggy alias warthog, AI on foot or wheels, smooth framerate. I would say one can make easy a HALO PS2 game with this engine. First video is from the PS3 remaster.


- eg. 3:15::30 or 4:40:00 /a "banshee" sequence/

JAK is a TPP game, so textures quality and geometry dont need to be detailed. It was possible to make big open world games on PS2 (GTA games) but not with detailed geometry and texture quality. JAK 2 as a FPS game would look much worse.
 
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Do you realize that rendering games at higher resolutions requires more power, don't you?

Why do you think base ps4 renders most of its games in 1080p while base Xbox does in 900p? Artistic choice? No, power differential.
You answered your own question. Is it artist choice that most Xbox games are 480p?