How much more powerful was the N64 compared to the PlayStation anyway?

jett

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crash was a tight hallway.

Too easy to focus all the poly in a tight area.


Look at the differences between Shadowman on psx and n64.
I'm quoting this again because damn it, you compelled me to make a quickie Shadowman comparison, I grabbed the shots from this video that was posted earlier:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woJ1GUmL0Xw


Major difference is honestly one you can't see in the pictures, the framerate is smoother on the N64. There are also some lighting effects missing on the PS1, but they largely look the same. I even prefer the use of color on the PS1 in some places. Neither is a particularly good looking game, I think I pretty much wasted my time to be honest. :p
 
Jul 16, 2004
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I'm quoting this again because damn it, you compelled me to make a quickie Shadowman comparison, I grabbed the shots from this video that was posted earlier:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woJ1GUmL0Xw




Major difference is honestly one you can't see in the pictures, the framerate is smoother on the N64, there are also some lighting effects missing on the PS1, but they largely look the same. I even prefer the use of color on the PS1 in some places. Neither is a particularly good looking game, I think I pretty much wasted my time to be honest. :p
The N64 version supported "high resolution" (lol 640 x 480) , those pics dont look like they are in the hires mode.
 
Jan 25, 2010
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I chose N64 back in the days and always felt the PS1 was able to display more polygons based on what I played. I was finally able to play and complete FF7 and MGS in 2003....those games would've blown my mind in 1997/1998.
 

jett

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nowadays i find much more appealing to the eye the raw but sharp psx polygons to the blurring anti-aliasing of the n.64

but hey, nintendo and rare games are still awesome
The PS1 look has a very specific retro feel to me that has grown on me. On emulators I prefer to run PS1 games on all their low-res glory, too. :p Although mostly because the higher res you go the more noticeable texture warping becomes.
 
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Banjo Tooie chugged at a lot of points that had massive environments and draw distances where Rare probably pushed it a little too far, but taking a portion of the game in a more closed environment it ran very respectably.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogt9KwPbIMw&t=3m00s

Even you can agree that looks pretty good and runs well, right jett?

And that still is a pretty large area.

Edit: Whole section in the cave runs without a hitch as long as you let it buffer, did a double take second time I watched it but the frame dropping was youtube buffering.
 

jett

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Sep 20, 2006
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Excellent Eriador
I think, overall, my opinion is that PS1 games generally look better in screenshots, but in motion, the N64 wins, simply because the games don't become a soup of jagged pixels as soon as the camera moves. Not to say there aren't any PS1 games that avoid this, but you do have to design your game around those limitations. Many of the better-looking PS1 games have a semi-fixed camera, for instance. Not to mention the prevalence of pre-rendered backdrops.
 
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Sure Nintendo was always profit oriented what Jett maybe don't realize (I name him just because he talked about it a few post above) is that CD alone wouldn't have made a huge difference in software support (especially because the CD drive would have added to the hardware costs).
The big difference between Sony and Sega/Nintendo is that the former viewed itself as a platform provider on which other companies (even small ones) could find success while Sega/Nintendo considered themselves as the big software company that drive the platform adoption all by themselves and let the other developers to create games for it but always under their "strict"rules.
What really hit Sega and Nintendo (with opposite consequences) was a paradigm shift.


Lunga vita al Presidente.
Yeah, I think the focus on carts v CDs distorts from the real issue, which was Nintendo's authoritarianism and greed. If they were as lax re licensing and quality as Sony was I'm not sure the difference in media would've really had that much of an impact (well, aside from the carts being naturally more expensive). It was stubborn philosophy that sunk the N64, not carts as such.
 

dimb

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Spreadin' some Tooie love

The texture on these little guys almost looked like bump mapping with a specular highlight!
You are posting stuff from what is most likely the Xbox 360 version. Not that I don't think Banjo-Tooie looks great and all, but really this thread documents very little of what it was like playing games on the N64 and the PSX.
 

Fafalada

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Jun 22, 2004
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jett said:
AITD4 uses CG backgrounds, looks good for what it is. The other game is more impressive though, it almost looks like an early shovelware PS2 game. :p
AITD backgrounds interacted with flashlight - as well as having some other neat effects with rain etc. Tradeoff sure - but it looked good.

As for the other game - the guy that made claimed some pretty extravagant poly-counts etc., and it does kinda show it. Too bad the tech was a few years late to make any impact.
 
Nov 18, 2006
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JRPG's hit a mythical ceiling on the PS1. It's been downhill ever since.

FFIX spell effects are still unmatched.
Vagrant Story had so many crazy faked visual effects, MGS -esque cinematic storytelling and incredible dark atmosphere.
FF Tactics was probably the best 2D RPG of the era with an amazing soundtrack.


As the PS1 ran away from N64 the developers grew increasingly better at going past the systems restrictions. The same would've happened to N64.
 
Nov 18, 2006
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Agreed, it happened with Wii, nobody initally thought Wii was capable of Xenoblade, Last story or pandoras tower did they?
Actually almost no-one gave a fuck in Wii's case :b

And you had bigger worlds than Xenoblade streaming on the PS2 (San Andreas), but that's a story for another thread.
 
Feb 19, 2012
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You are posting stuff from what is most likely the Xbox 360 version. Not that I don't think Banjo-Tooie looks great and all, but really this thread documents very little of what it was like playing games on the N64 and the PSX.
Yeah, I tried hookin up my old n64 to my plasma few years ago and man is shit slow and awlful lookin. It does run alot better on small tv though. But at least it looks good running on emualator and was good for its time. PSX stuff however does not look good on emulator and def did look significantly worse at the time.
 

Lord Error

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crash was a tight hallway.

Too easy to focus all the poly in a tight area.


Look at the differences between Shadowman on psx and n64.
That may seem easy now, but optimizing hallway graphics like that was a nightmare back then. You should read about the hell they went through making that game. There's a lengthy series of articles on Andy Gavin's site talking about this. If I remember correctly, Crash was the first game to successfully pre-cull the polygons visibility like that. It was a novel idea that paid off in spades. They made big improvements in visual quality going up to Crash 3 as well. In fact, I think those three are the only PS1 3D games where the polygon warping is not bothersome, probably because they used so many polys that the effect was minimized.
 

jett

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Took some R4 pics, cuz gawd dayum that game is pretty. Had to do my boy justice













Just freaking gorgeous art design. Marvelous color palette, the dreamy, pastel colors give me an instant of nostalgia and longing. This game is just unique among all racers. BTW, notice the subtle changes in the shading of the car depending on the lighting, and the use of motion blur on the last shot.
 
May 23, 2006
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If N64 released with a bit more texture cache (seriously Nintnedo 4 kb?) a CD ROM, Microcode for devs day one (from what I understand that was kept close to the chest until the very end, even though it dramatically improved performance) and 8 MB of RAM or at least release the RAM Pak sooner...it would have been a little beast.
 

jett

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If N64 released with a bit more texture cache (seriously Nintnedo 4 kb?) a CD ROM, Microcode for devs day one (from what I understand that was kept close to the chest until the very end, even though it dramatically improved performance) and 8 MB of RAM or at least release the RAM Pak sooner...it would have been a little beast.
And if the PS1 had a z-buffer, texture filtering, mip mapping and anti aliasing...oh boi. :eek: Some PS1 games can look quite the mess in motion, and not even emulation can save them. Others successfully manage the texture warping problem to a certain extent.
 
May 23, 2006
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And if the PS1 had a z-buffer, texture filtering, mip mapping and anti aliasing...oh boi. :eek: Some PS1 games can look quite the mess in motion, and not even emulation can save them. Others successfully manage the texture warping problem to a certain extent.
The changes to N64 are basic additions. A little more texture buffer, a CD ROM, a RAM expansion they did in fact release and microcode they already had.

For the PS1, you are talking about serious architectural changes. Would still be nice. The best video I ever saw on the PS1 was some game about an alien who had to save the world or something...a shooter I believe. That was a stunning PS1 game. From what I saw, it was the best looking PS1 title.
 

jett

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Hmm...considering the strengths of both the PS1 and N64...does anyone think that the Nintendo DS is basically the pinnacle of that generation of technology?
Hmm it's hard to say, without AA and texture filtering it's still missing what gave the Nintendo 64 its perceived superior image quality.

I find it weird that DS games are closer in "look" to the PS1 than the N64



Mario 64 DS is almost what Mario 64 would look like on the PS1.
 

Fafalada

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Log4Girlz said:
If N64 released with a bit more texture cache (seriously Nintnedo 4 kb?)
The problem there was that it was just a buffer - not actual cache, 4KB would have been fine if they made that change.

NDS was generally the better of both worlds - but it did introduce some odd limitations of its own that neither PSX or N64 had.

jett said:
And if the PS1 had a z-buffer, texture filtering, mip mapping and anti aliasing...oh boi.
I thought the lack of sub-pixel rasterization precision and persp.correction are the most common complaints (jittering and swimming) - AA was still a rarity in PS2 generation and if you don't have filtering anyway - mipmapping in software does the job well enough.
 
May 3, 2011
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there's people out there who think the PSX looks better than the N64?

i remember being a kid and feeling like i was playing in real life on the N64. PSX was great, gorgeous, and powerful enough graphically to suck me in, but i never had those same feelings. i didn't even like the games on N64 that much compared to the ones on PSX.
 

jett

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The problem there was that it was just a buffer - not actual cache, 4KB would have been fine if they made that change.

NDS was generally the better of both worlds - but it did introduce some odd limitations of its own that neither PSX or N64 had.


I thought the lack of sub-pixel rasterization precision and persp.correction are the most common complaints (jittering and swimming) - AA was still a rarity in PS2 generation and if you don't have filtering anyway - mipmapping in software does the job well enough.
Yeah that's the main issue, but it's nice to dream about the other stuff. :p
 

Man

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Some PS1 games can look quite the mess in motion, and not even emulation can save them. Others successfully manage the texture warping problem to a certain extent.
Later in the generation the better devs (Naughty Dog etc) started implementing logic for dynamically splitting up the polygons into smaller chunks the closer they got to the screen (textures warp on large singular polygon surfaces so by adding more detail you minimize the problem). Since it was dynamical it's kinda like tessellation (not LOD models which are pre-made).
 
Aug 6, 2006
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Hmm...considering the strengths of both the PS1 and N64...does anyone think that the Nintendo DS is basically the pinnacle of that generation of technology?
Yeah, no way. The DS has no anti-aliasing or texture filtering, and you can REALLY tell. Sure, DS games are all 60fps and can have much higher-res textures, but the horrible aliasing absolutely ruins them versus the N64. I'd absolutely say that the N64 looks better overall because of that.

Took some R4 pics, cuz gawd dayum that game is pretty. Had to do my boy justice













Just freaking gorgeous art design. Marvelous color palette, the dreamy, pastel colors give me an instant of nostalgia and longing. This game is just unique among all racers. BTW, notice the subtle changes in the shading of the car depending on the lighting, and the use of motion blur on the last shot.
... I just don't see it at all, beyond "decent late-PS1 graphics". It looks almost as bland to look at in those screenshots as it is to actually play...

As for Shadow Man, I know it was said, but you really would have to include the high-res mode of the N64 game to do a fair comparison. It looks great in hi-res.

The changes to N64 are basic additions. A little more texture buffer, a CD ROM, a RAM expansion they did in fact release and microcode they already had.
A CD-ROM would not have helped gameplay. Maybe it could have been okay as an option, but I don't know... if costs were lower, third parties would have dumped all their games on CD, which would have made them worse games (long loading times, gameplay ramifications, etc.), and I wouldn't want that at all... otherwise though, yeah. I think what the system needed most was multiple microcode options open to developers, a little more texture buffer, and to either cancel the 64DD in 1998, or release it then, with OoT and such as 64DD games. That project should never have kept limping along, crippled, only to release and die. It should have been abandoned much sooner, once Nintendo delayed it and moved most of the games worth mentioning onto cartridges. I think it did hurt the system that Nintendo was distracted with the 64DD, releasing that hardware and nine games for it, all of which only released in Japan, while the system so badly needed games in all regions... and some of those could have worked at least somewhat on cart too. Nintendo needed more focus on actual N64 games, less on the 64DD.

On that note, NIntendo sould have pushed more games onto the N64 earlier on, too. I mean, I have no problem with how they released Super Famicom games until 2000 because of how successful it was in Japan, but why didn't they do, for instance, an N64 version of Kirby Star Stacker (SFC ver.), like how they had both NES and SNES versions of all those puzzle games in the early '90s? The same goes for Fire Emblem: Thracia 776. Even without much of a change from the SNES, it'd have helped the N64 to have games like those on it. Nintendo released its last SFC game in Japan just like six months before their last N64 game... and yes, I know the SFC sold like four times more than the N64, but still, it can't have helped it that Nintendo was still releasing SNES exclusives. At least with the NES, those late puzzle games were all on SNES too... well, all except for Yoshi, that is. There were a couple of late NES-only titles, but the difference was that Nintendo also had a lot of SNES-only games at the same time, while on the N64 Nintendo's releases were slow and thin because of how many of their teams had issues with the move to 3d, and they abandoned the system six months before the GC even released, too. I know the system was fading fast in 2001, but they could have pushed a little more at the end. But anyway.

For the PS1, you are talking about serious architectural changes. Would still be nice. The best video I ever saw on the PS1 was some game about an alien who had to save the world or something...a shooter I believe. That was a stunning PS1 game. From what I saw, it was the best looking PS1 title.
The PS1 is probably about as good hardware as you can expect from a consumer system launched in late 1994, I think...
 
Sep 20, 2006
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Excellent Eriador
Hmm it's hard to say, without AA and texture filtering it's still missing what gave the Nintendo 64 its perceived superior image quality.

I find it weird that DS games are closer in "look" to the PS1 than the N64



Mario 64 DS is almost what Mario 64 would look like on the PS1.
The DS did have anti-aliasing, but not texture filtering, obviously. It does have perspective correction and z-buffering, so it still looks much better than PS1 in terms of image quality.

I'd say the DS is pretty easily the strongest hardware compared to N64 and PS1. The Super Mario 64 remake is proof enough of that. Of course the DS also benefited from the vastly improved tools and techniques of modern graphics, but even so, the DS is a clear step up in terms of detail- oh, and let's not forget, pretty much all of the games run at 60 frames per second. That would be enough to make it the victor even if the games didn't look any better.
 
Jun 27, 2012
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Yeah, no way. The DS has no anti-aliasing or texture filtering, and you can REALLY tell. Sure, DS games are all 60fps and can have much higher-res textures, but the horrible aliasing absolutely ruins them versus the N64. I'd absolutely say that the N64 looks better overall because of that.
Actually, the DS also had a method of edge AA.

Gah, beaten. But yeah, I've always liked how DS games tend to run and render better than what I'm used to back in the PS1 days.
 

Man

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Anyone try Forsaken on PSX? Unlike the N64 version it runs almost entirely at 60 fps on PSX while delivering the same levels as the PC version (which the 64 game does not).

Also, Quake 2 on PSX is an impressive piece of work. It runs at a higher framerate, contains more detail, and features much smoother animation than the N64 game. Plus it managed to combat texture warping beautifully.

Quake 2 PSX used a custom engine unrelated to the Quake engine while the N64 game used the same engine that was designed to run Quake 64. So while they were basically the same games, the end results were vastly different.

Look at dat textures!





It does change the appearance of the distortion but there is still distortion nonetheless.
I loved playing 4 player split screen in the PSOne version. Quake 2 PSOne was a real achievement, one of those titles that 'couldn't be done' but they did. Same adventure as the PC title but with a bit more frequent loading.
 
Jan 12, 2012
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The DS did have anti-aliasing, but not texture filtering, obviously. It does have perspective correction and z-buffering, so it still looks much better than PS1 in terms of image quality.
Mario 64 DS also had an increased polycount on the game models and some models that were completely sprite in the N64 game (like the bomb characters, their bodies were circular 2D sprites) were actually made out of polygons as well. aside from lack of texture filtering, it did look better then the N64 game in most every respect.
 
May 23, 2006
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Mario 64 DS also had an increased polycount on the game models and some models that were completely sprite in the N64 game (like the bomb characters, their bodies were circular 2D sprites) were actually made out of polygons as well. aside from lack of texture filtering, it did look better then the N64 game in most every respect.
And yet Mario, being more detailed in the DS version, had fewer polys than the N64 version lol.
 
Jun 27, 2012
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Mario 64 DS also had an increased polycount on the game models and some models that were completely sprite in the N64 game (like the bomb characters, their bodies were circular 2D sprites) were actually made out of polygons as well. aside from lack of texture filtering, it did look better then the N64 game in most every respect.
I think the more important thing is that a lot of stuff that were originally (mostly) purely untextured in the N64 version got all textured up. It's very obvious with Peach and Mario especially in close-ups - more detail without wasting polygons.

I like how the DS has its own audio processing on its sub CPU, and how the DSi can render a 3D scene that responds to music and input while playing a 320 kbps AAC file
 
Aug 6, 2006
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The DS did have anti-aliasing, but not texture filtering, obviously. It does have perspective correction and z-buffering, so it still looks much better than PS1 in terms of image quality.

I'd say the DS is pretty easily the strongest hardware compared to N64 and PS1. The Super Mario 64 remake is proof enough of that. Of course the DS also benefited from the vastly improved tools and techniques of modern graphics, but even so, the DS is a clear step up in terms of detail- oh, and let's not forget, pretty much all of the games run at 60 frames per second. That would be enough to make it the victor even if the games didn't look any better.
It does have AA? It's still so horribly pixelated, though... DS graphics look in between N64 and PS1 graphics because of the missing filters. DS 3d looks ugly for me compared the N64 3d because of the awful, unfiltered polygons. And that anti-aliasing can't be as good as the N64s... but yeah, it does look better than PS1 because of the Z-buffering and perspective correction.

One game was Montezuma's Return (got released on PC) the other was third person action game.
Oh, Montezuma's Return. That was a somewhat interesting game on the PC, too bad the N64 version never released. The GB/C one did, though... that was a pretty awesome new game in the style of the original.

The problem the Dreamcast had with triangles was a lack of RAM - it could push roughly 3-5 million triangles per second at full tilt (Test Drive: Le Mans came close, I believe), but it came at the expense of a large portion of the video RAM, leaving little room for textures or other video data.
That "Test Drive Le Mans did 5 million polys" thing is out there because a developer said it, but yeah, it's not true. The game does push more polygons than most Dreamcast games, though I don't know if the exact number is known, but the DC can't really go over ~3.2 million polygons before you start to run out of room for textures as you mention... but as I've said, I don't know if any released games get anywhere near that number. Had the system lasted longer we would have seen more DC games for sure with multi-million polygon counts.

Here's an interesting discussion that mentions the game. http://www.dreamcast-talk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1923&start=20

Most games didn't bother to optimize for polygon performance, instead opting to use high resolution textures to hide polygon deficiencies. Another problem was that it couldn't come close to the PS2's raw pixel pushing power - the PS2 was an effects monster, hence most games on Dreamcast looking 'flat' in comparison.
Good point on DC textures, you can really tell that they relied on textures over polygons. And good textures does help, but you need some polygons too, sometimes. As for effects though, I don't know whether the DC could ever match the PS2 at that. It could have kept close to the polygon counts you see in most PS2 games, I'll guess, but the effects? Yeah, that probably is less likely.

If you had a Voodoo 2 by the time you owned a N64, the system was already out for a couple years IIRC. I was also PC gaming at the time and I loved console gaming but thought it looked like ass compared to something like Unreal at that time.
Yeah, as I said earlier in the thread, I got an N64 in Sept. '99. N64 didn't look as good as what my PC could do, but it was decent enough to do, and the games were outstanding.

Mama Robotnik's description of when he first played Mario 64 is a perfect example to other stories I've heard/read as to why others were impressed with Mario 64. I just was never impressed since the sense of exploration wasn't new after playing Tomb Raider. Well that and it always bothered me that I could fly above the mushroom kingdom, look down, and watch the sprite trees lay flat and followed my direction as I flew in circles. =p
I never cared about Tomb Raider at all, myself... but I've already said about what my reaction to Mario 64 was. (to repeat myself, it was the most amazing thing ever, essentially.)

I was actually trying to say that the environments look to have less geometry than the vehicles in those two games mentioned. Then again, some of the environmental effects in Speed Devils did look to have some decent detail as well. Basically I can see the PS1 or N64 coming closer to rendering the environments to some of those games before it renders the vehicles or cars with all the present geometry.
Ah. Yeah, that's probably true. Then it would just depend on how high detail the car models are.

I don't remember Under Defeat but I do remember Propeller Arena as the cancelled DC game. I also remember the devs for Test Drive Le Mans claiming they were pushing up to 5 million polys at once. Not sure if this was true, but I remember other reports of devs saying that Sega undersold the specs a bit for the DC.
Under Defeat's a Japanese-only shmup released in '05 or so. Some of the most impressive visuals in a DC shmup, right up there with Ikaruga.

As for Test Drive Le Mans, I address that above.

I thought it was very simple in both geometry and effects. Looked like a cheap PC port back then instead of a game made for the DC from the ground up.
I don't know, I think it looks comprable to the Speed Devils games in graphics. I'd guess that they run on the same engine, maybe even? But yeah, Speed Devils is of course a port of the PC game Speed Busters, so that's somewhat true. Pod 2, though, is Dreamcast only.

I think it's clear that they were far above PS1/N64 in the geometry area, no question. Of course without specifics of each game we won't know exactly by how much but there are no games from the 32/64-bit gen that come close to the detail or poly counts of those games I listed. Nowhere near, without question. If I wasn't at work I'd happily post pics to support this easy to see opinion of mine. =p
Far above, for the games I mentioned, or most other DC games that aren't the few (and it was a few) that really pushed the hardware? I'm somewhat doubtful...