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Metro Redux: what it's really like to develop for PS4 and Xbox One

Eurogamer:As tech interviews go, this one's a corker. Readers of our previous Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light tech Q&As will know that 4A Games' chief technical officer Oles Shishkovstov isn't backward about coming forward on the matters that are important to him, and in the transition across to the new wave of console hardware, clearly there are plenty of important topics to discuss.

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imt5581152d ago (Edited 1152d ago )

Overall great article, except Leadbetter's dig at Naughty Dog. TLOU runs pretty smooth to me most 98% of time. It has framebdrops, but most of the time is 60fps.

So, i expect some shitty dumb response from marcofdeath about eSRAM bandwidth, dual GPU, etc...

Oles Shishkovstov's answers are slap in the MisterX's face and marcofdeath's face. I'm so sorry guys. Somebody destroyed your dreams.

As developer said in the article and we already know this ( some won't accept the facts ) - PS4 is a bit more powerful!

Artista 1152d ago

Emphasis on 'a bit', while some tend to exaggerate. Everyone one is aware of this, the proof is in the pudding.

Kayant1152d ago (Edited 1152d ago )

That's true given the only difference between the two in their games is resolution and sightly tighter framerate on PS4. Although I wonder if things will be so close later on in the life cycle. Still it means that parity between the two will never be there when devs have the time and really optimise both systems.

OT -

"In general - I don't really get why they choose DX11 as a starting point for the console. It's a console! Why care about some legacy stuff at all? On PS4, most GPU commands are just a few DWORDs written into the command buffer, let's say just a few CPU clock cycles. On Xbox One it easily could be one million times slower because of all the bookkeeping the API does.

But Microsoft is not sleeping, really. Each XDK that has been released both before and after the Xbox One launch has brought faster and faster draw-calls to the table. They added tons of features just to work around limitations of the DX11 API model. They even made a DX12/GNM style do-it-yourself API available - although we didn't ship with it on Redux due to time constraints."

I guess it's not called DX11.X for not reason then. Given the way they have talked about DX on XB1 it's odd the situation is actually like this.I guess I eat some crow then :P. Well I guess this was what Matt was talking about with "Yes, you can get more out of the PS4′s CPU than you can the Xbox’s" statement.

Future_20151152d ago Show
Volkama1152d ago (Edited 1152d ago )

The dig could be considered a back-handed complement. He mentions Naughty Dog because they are as talented as developers get (and of course because there are obvious parallels between the two projects).

As for Mr X, I think he was exiled into the same land as that lawyer that used to show up every time GTA was mentioned. They can talk gibberish at each other, and probably get so worked up that they engage in mortal combat.

PCBOX1152d ago ShowReplies(2)
Stuart57561152d ago

"Well, you kind of answered your own question - PS4 is just a bit more powerful"

This comes from a man who has made games. Not some noob in a forum.

mochachino1152d ago

And it seemed like he was trying to be respectful to xbox fans while emphasizing that the "bit" may be more than a bit... like when someone asks you to compare two peoples projects, and one is clearly a lot better than the other, but you have to respect the other person's feelings so you say "his was just a bit better". But you really mean quite a bit.

"You forgot to mention the ROP count, it's important too..."

Mithan1152d ago

He didn't dig at Naughty Dog.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 1152d ago
Volkama1152d ago (Edited 1152d ago )

"Let's put it that way - we have seen scenarios where a single CPU core was fully loaded just by issuing draw-calls on Xbox One"

There goes the theory that Dx12 will have no effect on XBox One development. Seems the majority of devs will see a lot of benefit.

I'm not saying "I told you so", because I didn't. I was saying from the outset that the console API would already distribute draw calls across cores properly. Honestly surprised to read that is not the case.

Kayant1152d ago

Yh some crow eating.... Funny thing also that's with the mono driver which is supposed to be the low-level one. Which goes against some things MS have said about the XB1 especially about having lower-overhead. So basically DX12 will remove a lot of automation and pass that to the developer which will equally more performance because of the developer being in full control and the system not wasting resources having to do house-keeping.

"Digital Foundry: To what extent will DX12 prove useful on Xbox One? Isn't there already a low CPU overhead there in addressing the GPU?

Oles Shishkovstov: No, it's important. All the dependency tracking takes a huge slice of CPU power. And if we are talking about the multi-threaded command buffer chunks generation - the DX11 model was essentially a 'flop', while DX12 should be the right one."

So things like framerate with continue to improve as well as other CPU tasks. So situations where there has been things like shadow quality differences as in watchdogs, sniper elite 3 could be reduced or begone entirely.

Volkama1152d ago (Edited 1152d ago )

Given what he says elsewhere in the article about bandwidth limitations causing GPU stalls if the CPU is busy, and vice versa, it sounds like Dx12 could carry very significant benefits.

It wont negate the hardware differences in the GPUs though. Even with perfect CPU utilisation and assuming adequate bandwidth on both, the GPU difference will remain and GPU-heavy functions (like resolution and AA) should remain in the PS4's favour.

I would be interested to know which games will be using the already-available "to the metal" API. Same for the equivalent API options on the PS4. Those will show what the console will achieve, but I don't know how many devs and/or 3rd party engines go that extra mile.

He doesn't sound too positive about the unified memory archetecture on both consoles (nor too negative, but it had previously been heralded as a big advantage).

Certainly an interesting interview. Refreshing that someone are willing to just talk straight about their experience!

Kayant1152d ago (Edited 1152d ago )

"Certainly an interesting interview. Refreshing that someone are willing to just talk straight about their experience!" - Yep even though I only slightly understood the basics. Was a great read with no PR BS or being political not trying to upset either manufacturer. Just pure facts and figures :).

Axios21152d ago

Very impressive considering the amount of time they had with the development kits:

" - just four months hands-on experience with Xbox One and six months with the PlayStation 4"

Also impressive considering that, due to time restraints, they weren't even able to utilize more resources:

"They even made a DX12/GNM style do-it-yourself API available - although we didn't ship with it on Redux due to time constraints."

Dynasty20211152d ago (Edited 1152d ago )

Last Light on PC is proof they've learnt far better coding techniques, which they are implementing onto the new consoles.

Metro 2033 to this day will just destroy any hardware setup. No matter what. This is widely known among PC gamers. Mods saved it somehow and the peformance got far better, but on release, it was THE system killer.

Last Light was surprisingly easy to run, and ran far smoother.

Redux seems to have implemented Last Light's changes so it actually gets 2033 running well now.

I just hate when articles make it sound like it's the hardware that's made the difference, all this fake "please say how awesome the new console hardware is" talk, paid promotions etc.

Redux is the product of coders learning how to be better, not because of the console hardware.

Because the PC version of Redux will experience a boost due to engine coding alterations.

TFJWM1152d ago (Edited 1152d ago )

"I just hate when articles make it sound like it's the hardware that's made the difference, all this fake "please say how awesome the new console hardware is" talk, paid promotions etc. "

The hardware did made a big a difference did you not see this quote...

"But they are relatively well-balanced pieces of hardware that are well above what most people have right now, performance-wise. And let's not forget that programming close to the metal will usually mean that we can get 2x performance gain over the equivalent PC spec."

Emanno1152d ago

Metro Redux is looking amazing.

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