PS3 3D will be 'limited', say Heavenly Sword dev

Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades has told CVG the current generation of consoles will be limited in their ability to produce stereoscopic 3D effects.

"The problem is that to do 3D properly you need to render 60 frames per second, per eye. And at least a 720p resolution [per eye]," said Antoniades during a recent interview with CVG.

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unrealgamer583751d ago

lol because I'll believe a dev who probably won't use 3d

frogdefdaa3751d ago

but "Heavenly Sword" will be very nice in 3D.

Genesis53751d ago Show
morganfell3751d ago

Anyone that has seen 3D running in a game so far knows it looks phenomenal. Several companies - Crytek was one - that had behind doors presentations and the tech using Real3D is impressive.

mrv3213751d ago

PS3 3D limited... I agree, full 3D support won't come this generation but ATLEAST Sony is taking a step in the right direction, the next generation will hopefully bring full 3D for all games.

sinncross3751d ago

Thanks Mr Tameem Antoniades for telling us something we already knew.
Same could be said about motion controls and even vibration: limited at first but blossoming after some use.

Lifendz3751d ago

Avatar on an gigantic Imax screen? On to the next one...

zane_78493751d ago

Ninja Theory seem a little butt hurt lately.

krisq3751d ago

Gran Turismo's 3D demo begs to differ...

El_Colombiano3751d ago

Just because Ninja Theory can't develop an engine to run at 720p60 per eye doesn't mean others can't. They need to shut up. Yes Heavenly Sword was amazing, but they need to shut up and make another game.

STK0263751d ago

If you look at the the X360's and the PS3's current game library, you will notice that only a handful of games are native 1080p. Out of them, many are either ports from older generations (Perfect Dark, Rez HD), or simple looking games. When you look at "impressive" looking games at 1080p (think MGS4), they run at 30 FPS. The only game (as fas as I know), to look pretty good at 1080p and 60 FPS are GT5 and WipeOut HD (to a certain extent).

Considering there's only a handful of titles running at 1080p 60 fps, it's doubtful we'll see quality titles running at 1080p 120fps on the same systems.

El_Colombiano3751d ago

MGS4 was not full 1080p and it ran at a variable frame rate.

Ju3751d ago

I don't really care. I guess nobody really expects KZ2 or UC2 all of a sudden to run flawlessly in 3D (well, some people might), but if I would get goodies like SuperStardust 3D (and the like) or even special 3D games to enrich my library, that'll do for now.

Heck, I like that idea. That's the first thing which would justify to look out for the generation after the PS3. Until now - and without 3D - I would have said, the additional cost wouldn't justify to get yet another console...but a KZ4 in 3D, that would (I guess KZ3 will be on the PS3 still).

sikbeta3751d ago

I know it'll be "limited" but It'll be Awesome too, just search for B:AA + Nvidia 3D Vision, It looks Amazing...

dragonelite3751d ago

Lol Mgs 4 isnt even 720P.

there's isn't a proper 1080p AAA title on the market.
And with proper i mean 1920x1080p at least 30 fps with maybe drops to 25 fps in heavy parts

shadow27973751d ago

I understand how 60 fps per eye is equivalent to 120 fps. But how is 720p per eye equivalent to 1080p?

If I understand Sony's 3D correctly (and I probably don't), the display is supposed to alternate between two different view points very rapidly. At the same time, the shutter glasses isolate the eyes so each eye is only seeing the image assigned to its perspective. This contrasts with the traditional 3D red-blue image where both perspectives are on screen at the same time.

So, if I'm correct, since only one perspective is being shown at once, each image takes up the same screen space. So 720p each eye is still 720p. Now if I'm wrong and this isn't how it works, then yes, the console will have to render the same 720p field twice in order to accommodate both perspectives at the same time.

Can anyone confirm or deny how the tech on Sony's TVs* actually works?

*the only 3D tech Sony will probably worry about implementing on their console. So if Samsung's tech works differently, it wouldn't matter to them.

beardpapa3750d ago

I see the HS dev that's still bitter over their failed attempt at cashing out big from betting on the success of the PS brand.

Neo6043750d ago

60fps per eye seem right on the spot.

Sony did say from begining they aim for 1080p 60fps games.

it's a logical next step evolve cause it's not even ten years life cycle yet.

Ju3750d ago (Edited 3750d ago )

@Shadow, you are correct. However, to give the impression, that you have a stable image, both angles in those 720p frames have to have the same time stamp, or in other words need to be displayed at the same time.

To achieve this, they are rendered in a very fast sequence. And then they are displayed at the same time - almost. To out put two images at the same time would require two buffers, so, instead doing that, those two framebuffers are rendered sequentially. 60fps, or 16.7ms per frame is supposed short enough to make the eye believe both pictures are actually displayed at the same time (that's how I understand that). So, not being able to render a frame @ 60fps means, it needs to be buffered somewhere - which is not the case (e.g. the TVs would need to buffer one perspective, and waits for the other and then shows it). Its not. This 3D standard is a simple extension of the signal (timing) to interleave left and right frames.

None the less, the time required to render such a frame is usually half of the most of the games out now.

The only real 720p game running real 3D currently, is SuperStardust 3D. This games runs 2 720p puffers at @60Hz each, rendering a buffer @ around 8ms (which is actually at pseudo 120Hz). This is still an achivement but it was designed with 1080p @ 60fps before, same like WipeoutHD and GT5 - and yet they had to switch back to 720p (at least for Superstardust 3D) to squeeze that timing out of that game.

Technically, you don't need to render to 60Hz frames as long as you can use 2 independent back buffers. But, you need twice the memory to do that. That would allow you to output both frames when ever you want - but would possibly read one frame (at least) twice.

BTW: Why they bring up these 1080 requirements sometimes, is, that a 1920x1080 frame is about 2MB, while a 720p frame is as low as 900KB, which is half the size. So a full 1080p game @ 60fps uses about the same memory bandwidth as a 720p game at 120fps. That said, if you can nail down a full 1920x1080 at 60fps, you can most likely make it work for 720p at 2x60fps or 3D in 720p (and in case of GT5 or Wipeout3D use the scaler to line scale to the 720p line length).

raztad3750d ago

It seems someone got bitter after Sony funding is gone. Time for downplaying the PS3 and make sure everybody know your "great" multiplayer title will be identical on both platforms.

Blaster_Master3750d ago (Edited 3750d ago )

Heavenly Sword would look amazing in 3-D, but anyways. Ya so you mean to tell me since its limited that we shouldn't get it at all? Look how limited the Wii is and how its selling like hot cakes. I think thats why you should just be working on HS2 and leaving the technology to the scientist and the people who pay them to come out with the new hardware.

Oh ya, is that Motorstorm 3 on the picture? If so I cant freakin wait to get my hands on it. Also, all I need for 3-D is a 120 hrz tv and the glasses right? Someone please enlighten me.

ChozenWoan3750d ago

I wonder how great the 360s 3D capabilities will be.

zag3750d ago

720p at 60fps is the min?


GFX cards have been able to do 3D images for years now, you simply have it do interlace images and your only doing 1 frame at what ever the FPS will be, probably be faster as the GFX cards these days actually buffer frames before they display that frame so they are ahead of whats going on the screen.

Been like that since late 90's.

Also you only need 25fps per eye faster than that would simply make it look crisper but nothing else.

They did the 3D games thing on the PC back in the 90's but people weren't interested in wearing glasses for hours at a time, and for some people the glasses thing doesn't work anyway, unless your lucky in which your brain can piece the separate images together and don't need any glasses at all.

kneon3750d ago


Well since the 360 only has HDMI 1.2 it's stuck doing the colored glasses approach to 3D

back to the PS3 and 3D, rendering 3D at double the frame rate does not require double the horsepower. A lot of the work only needs to be done once, then you need to render the frame from two different angles. And in many cases not everything needs to be re-rendered. far off objects and backgrounds can be used as is as they will be too far away to have any noticeable parallax. Depending on the scene that could account for a good chunk of the on screen image.

The devs still haven't tapped the full power of the SPUs, we'll have to wait and see how much more the PS3 still has to give. But I'm not expecting KZ3 at [email protected]

pixelsword3750d ago

Don't you use both eyes at once?

cLiCK_sLiCK93750d ago

So what would happen if youre blind from one eye? No 3d, im guessing?

ChozenWoan3750d ago

To kneon
Sorry about that, I was being sarcastic but forgot the "/s"

To pixelsword
Yes you do, and most people only see 24fps. The thing is, not everyone's eyes are in sync to the monitor/tv all of the time. So by upping the framerate everyone is able to enjoy the show without being annoyed by a shuttering effect, thus why 60fps is preferred in gaming.

As we all know, 30fps is acceptable for a regular 2D effect game. However, 3D games using the shutter glasses technology requires each eye to receive a separate frame. This means that a game that runs at 30fps would run at 15 fps if converted to 3D without tweaking. We all know 15fps is far from acceptable in today's gaming, so we need at least 60fps so each eye would receive 30fps.

This also means that in order to get 60fps gaming in 3D, you would need a game that runs at 120fps. There is not that many games that run at a solid 60fps let alone 120fps, so don't expect cutting edge graphics on the first gen 3D games.

kneon3750d ago


re the 360 comment, that's ok, there are probably some people that are unaware of the limitations of HDMI 1.2 so it's worth mentioning.

Back to 3D and rendering rate, I don't understand why they would need to render frames at 120hz. Even if there is some technical and/or biological reason that requires 60 fps/eye, why can't you just send every frame twice? The motion is at 30fps since every frame is duplicated, but the images are at 60fps. For that you need only render at 60fps. That is still higher than most games but much more achievable than 120fps.

But to add to the confusion, on this months Qore episode someone from the Sony 3D lab mentioned they use 240hz. To me that almost certainly means frame duplication, or less likely, interpolation, either in the PS3 or the TV. Unless we are all looking forward to pacman in 3D :) Or are Sony ready to push the PS3 magic boost button like they did for the PSP, I highly doubt that is the case.

Heisenberg3750d ago

It's called progress. As tech gets better and time goes on 3D will get better, just like graphics will get better, just like gameplay, peripherals, production value etc etc etc will get better.

Were we to expect limitless, maxed out 3D tech at launch? Way to state the obvious, it's brand new tech, it will like all new tech, evolve or die. I think 3D is here to stay, when it's implemented correctly and creatively, it immerses you in the experience like never before. When it's not, it's a cheap gimmick, but that can be true with any tech used by lazy developers.

It does kinda seem like NT is a little bitter towards the PS3, perhaps jaded by the subpar returns from their stellar game HS. Either way, I'm not sure I trust their assessment of the tech in the first place, I think in the right hands, limited as it may be, 3D gaming will mean great new experiences for us gamers.

shawnsl653750d ago (Edited 3750d ago )

SONY is using "REALD" tech not old fashion 3d, those who have tested it knows what I'm talking about. It is amazing.

sid4gamerfreak3750d ago

Who cares if the ps3 3D is limited? I love ps3 games without the 3D.

Anon19743750d ago (Edited 3750d ago )

Other developers that have been working on the PS3 3D software have already commented on this. They don't need to render the image anymore times then usual. They only have to render the image once and then the software does it's magic and offsets the images accordingly. If this guy knew what he was talking about, yeah - if the PS3 had to totally render the image twice as much as often we would probably run into issues, but that's not how this works. I don't even work on games and I knew that.

On top of that, you don't need 60fps for 3D. With motion blur, the human brain recognizes 18fps as fluid motion. The standard that most games shoot for is 30fps, so really you just need to be showing 60fps on the screen to get games in 3D as good as games we're seeing now.
Now, some games might have a hard time rendering themselves at 60fps, but that goes back to my first point. You don't need to render each of those images new. You can render them, let the software do it's thing and display. Rendering scenes at 60fps and higher and displaying images at 60fps and higher are two different things.

That's if I understand correctly what I've read from developers working on the 3D so far.

cliffbo3750d ago

this is bogus 3d on ps3 is already at 120hz thats 60fps per eye and can be 1080p as demonstrated by wipeoutHD and other games.

vhero3750d ago

Who cares if it will be limited to a few elite games? I don't mind the major fact is blurays will soon start coming out in 3D and your PS3 will be able to output these if you have the correct TV.

Shepherd 2143750d ago

3D in my mind will forever be something that i feel is useless. I hate how its taking over the market and that they are now producing 3D TV's that will one day be standard in stores. I dont feel that it looks "impressive", only something that is added for kicks and giggles.

Last night i saw How to Train Your Dragon in 3D because they did not offer it in non-3D, the same thing with Avatar a few months ago. It costs me three extra dollars per ticket and i have to wear lame glasses just to see things pop out a bit more for better dimension.

But a huge cinema buff like myself isnt too impressed with such a shallow feature, and now im depressed that my games will be in 3D when other things should be focused on instead.

Ju3750d ago (Edited 3750d ago )

@darkride, I strongly doubt that. If you want real 3D, the renderer needs to render from two perspectives. Everything else is some pseudo depth effect, but not real 3D.

No matter how you turn it. 30fps per eye requires a 60fps render backend (to be very exact, two 30fps backends - but since there's only one GPU, you need to render in sequence, thus render one 30fps field in half the time (16.7ms that is) ).

Sure, you can decouple the render frequency from the physical output frequency which requires you to store both buffers somewhere in VRAM - and because they are actually independent, you'd need to double/triple buffer both.

We complain if games drop below 30fps. Even buffering and outputting it @30 fps (per eye) will not magically result in a smooth framerate - if the one field 30fps bandwidth now needs to be split in half, resulting in a 15Hz frame per eye. This would still require to render each perspective at least with 30fps (maybe 24 would still be acceptable).

With current games maxing out PPU, SPUs and GPU @ 30fps for one video stream, its hardly possible to do the same for stereoscopic rendering.

Even if the "OS" magically adds a post process to calc offsets (with proper depth - which actually is lost after rasterization) this requires additional bandwidth and will never look as real 3D.

But like I said, all games currently running 1080p @ 60Hz have the potential to be ported to 3D (running 720p @ 60Hz). And there are some quite good games out there. BTW: Ridge Racer 7 could be ported to run 3D. LOL. This is a full res [email protected] game (no tricks there).

I also could imagine, the PS3 will allow half line 720p resolution together with the line scaler to achieve that render performance. That would not necessarily require to double the render bandwidth, but would "only" need to push it to about 150% (which is still much better than a 200% requirement).

Nike3750d ago

Had a feeling fanboys would lynch a former Playstation 3 exclusive developer for saying something against the almighty Sony. You guys rarely disappoint.

xXjxXdOggY3750d ago

am i the only one who doesnt wanna wear glasses to play video games/watch a football game.....this wont catch it will die

IdleLeeSiuLung3750d ago (Edited 3750d ago )

So we can get amazing looking Wii games in 3D!!!

Jokes aside, I didn't realize 3D was that taxing on the system. As it is great looking Full 1080p games don't exist at best we get Full 720p and combining that with 3D is a pipe dream.

We will end up with 3D games that look like launch titles and unfortunately, the PS3 crowd seems to be graphics whores.

For me game play trumps graphics any time! ...and when the 3D I experienced watching Avatar 3D wasn't really that immerse or even that great looking, I have mixed feelings about this. Not enough to buy a new TV that is for sure.

Anon19743750d ago (Edited 3750d ago )

@ Ju. I wish I could remember which developer said that, but it made perfect sense to me. There's no reason you would need to render every single frame. It's just a waste of processing power. When we view the world through two eyes, we aren't looking at duplicate objects all the time, all we're doing is viewing the same object through different perspectives. So why on earth should we think the processor would need to render all objects in duplicate?

I'd recommend doing a search for developers who are actually working with the tech for their comments on this. It was an interesting read and made perfect sense. The processor simply doesn't have to render everything twice, it only has to do it once and make a slight adjustment for the other eye and simply display it twice. It makes perfect sense.

I'm not the technical guy here. Look for other developer's comments and maybe it'll make sense to you as you obviously have more understanding then me about what's going on with the processor behind the scenes, but I assure you the comments I read said you don't have to render each frame, and that's the point of the 3D software and why it works so well. And the developer interview I read stated that the PS3's cell is the perfect processor for doing these types of mathematical calculations on the fly and that it didn't even break a sweat with this type of conversion.

Edit: I've gone back and tried to find the original interview but I'm not having any luck. Every time you search 3d and the PS3 all you find is this article and other articles about how the tech is either going to fail or not possible. Gotta love the game media.
If anyone finds the interview I was talking about, could you post a link? I think it might have been one of the guys working on GT5.

Edit 2: Hmm. I found Ian Bickerstaff from evolution studios discussing 3d on the PS3. "Of course, the naive approach is to render the image twice and that gives you a quick result."
This isn't the interview I was thinking about though.

Edit 3: Ok. I need to cook some breakfast for my family so I've got to go. From what I've seen looking for that article, the 3D effect will be achieved by creating the usual image once but also create a "depth map" that goes along with it. Some quick 3D magic with the appropriate algorithms creates the appropriate two images, one for each eye, without having to render the source twice, thus saving on processing power. Again, I'm no tecky when it comes to this stuff but going by that gorgeous GT5 demo running in 3D, it's obvious that they've successfully pulled it off despite what this guys says. It's kinda hard to argue that the effects will be "limited" when we've already seen proof that it's not.

Ju3750d ago (Edited 3750d ago )

For example:

Because this is how 3D graphics works. Maybe you should read how three dimensional geometry is projected to a view plane and how this works as a reverse tracker from a certain viewpoint.

We see three dimensional, because we have two eyes and the distance between those actually allows the brain to "calculate" depth information.

To make a human brain re-imagine this experience, we must simulate exactly these two perspectives or view points. Thus geometry needs to be calculated from those two viewpoints, hence, we need to render it twice.

Edit: Using a depth buffer would theoretically work, however, it is impossible to do this on the fly. The (TV) signal is hard real time. That would mean, you'd have to compose/post-process that output stream by SW. Even the fastest SPU can't do that - without buffering. But, I could see where you are coming from. Technical, you do have the depth information: it's there in the z-buffer. And, yet, this would require to generate those two images in around 8-16ms; shift left&right based on z-depth to create either the left or right front buffer. Basically a copy with offset instead of plain buffer flip.

Still fast...a creative idea, though. And true, this would not require to render the frame twice, I agree. It would however, require a different render pipeline (e.g. 2x(or3x)pixel buffers + 2x(or3x) z buffers) for all backbuffers (could be a simple "z-blit" if you want).

To not loose any frame rate, however, same rules apply. Two buffers would need to be created at the very same time. One left, one right. If there is enough resources, and x amount SPUs can do that in parallel, this is maybe possible.

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csimpson3751d ago

How many more times must we endure those stupid smiling dudes in the article pic? Submitters, STOP BEING LAZY -- choose a different bloody picture off Google Image already!

Claudinho693751d ago (Edited 3751d ago )

f this dude, this guy sounds sour as hell, everything he says is negative...hopefully he starts workin for xbox only

Chris_TC3751d ago

You kiddies crack me up so much. Obviously, the same limitations apply to the 360. 3D cuts the framerate in half. If your 2D game runs with 30fps then you can forget about a 3D version.

Jedward-3751d ago

So the 360 will have next to no 3D if thats the case lol.

tripewire3751d ago

Im starting to get the feeling that there was some Acti-Infinity style problems between Sony and Ninja Theory, although in this case it seems to be the studio trying to stir up sh!t, not the publisher.

myothercar3751d ago

Yeah, I wouldn't pay attention to him. Basically he's saying that games will have to look like ass if they want to run in 720p x2. But just look at some 60fps games out there. All you'd have to do is bring the framerate down to a very bearable 30fps per eye. So imagine Modern Warfare 2 quality graphics at 30fps. Also, games that run in native 1080p 60fps would be able to do 720p 60fps. So think Wipeout HD in "just" 720p.

This Ninja Theory guy is just underestimating things.

beardpapa3750d ago

I just think they're bitter. If you were a dev jumping ship to produce a game on a platform you thought would be a success (PS3 betting on the success of the PS2), you'd expect your game to make a hefty profit. But this wasn't the case for them. They probably feel as if they should've developed HS for the 360 instead. They probably think they would've made more.

And by jumping ship that's exactly what it is. Before developing HS for the PS3, they started off development on the Xbox.

jack_burt0n3750d ago

They literally threw them out of the building when they were in the studio cambridge buildings LOL and that was when I think Harrison was still in charge of scee so to piss him off that much they truly must be crap.


tripewire3750d ago

I said the same thing in the relating article but I will say it again here, I have never heard of a dev complaining that they only sold 1.5 million copies. I still think Ninja theory's lack of profit was more to do with bad management and poor fiscal decisions.

1.5 million x say an average of 40 dollars per game sold is what, 60 million? From what I've heard, retail cut on new games is next to nothing (hence used games retailers focus on the used market so much)so say maybe 55 million makes it to the publisher. There is no way heavenly sword cost more to develop than a title like KZ2, and if it did, I am doubting that that was the backing publishers fault.

Hell sony PAID them for the IP. There's got to be a big wad of cash there.

Further more as an example of bad management, THEY HAVE A COMPLETED ENGINE, which from what most of us can gather is the most expensive part of making a game. So once their PS3 engine is complete, do they make another game using it? NO. They sit and complain about how much money they didnt make.

It just seems very unlike Sony to roll a developer for all they are worth. Particularly a dev who has a game that while not so crash hot on the review side of things, is adored by the people who bought it. Normally in that situation, Sony buys the dev, not bankrupts them.

If NT had started work on HS2 straight away they would have, i believe anyway, released an actually competitive rival to God of war, both visually and in gameplay.

Sorry aboot the wall....

Darrius Cole3750d ago

I have co-signed onto comments similar to yours in other articles and I must co-signed here as well. How do not make money off of 1.5 million copies sold? How many copies did they need to sell in order to make a profit?

Heavenly Sword released in Sept. 2007 when the install base was under 10 million. Moreover, it was originally planned as a release title. How many did they expect to sell? I guess they thought Heavenly Sword was going to have a 50% PS3 attach rate after one year.

It is unreasonable to NEED a game to sell more than 1.5 million units in order to make a profit, especially one that was in the position that Heavenly Sword was in.

I agree with tripewire, if Heavenly Sword lost money it was because Ninja Theory wasted too much money. 1.5 million sold is enough copies to generate a profit.

Nike3750d ago

@Tripwire and Darrius:

Ah, okay. Please, tell us of all the AAA exclusive games you both made that sold over 1.5 mil copies. You know, to add some credence to your claims.

Oh, what's that? You got nothing? Then shut your whiney conspiracy mongering. Just because they're no longer PS3 exclusive you treat them like they're fallen angels from Sony's heavenly abode.

They are allowed an opinion as much as any one. The only difference between Ninja Theory and you two is that they are actually game devs, which lends CREDENCE (look it up, it'll be on the test) to their opinions. Any opinion may wind up being total bull in the end, but the odds are a lot less for theirs going belly-up than yours.

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