Remedy confirms Alan Wake's resolution a composite between 720p and 540p

Remedy said today:

"Modern renderers don't work by rendering everything to a certain final on-screen resolution, but use a combination of techniques and buffers to compose the final detail-rich frames, optimizing to improve the visual experience and game performance.

Alan Wake's renderer on the Xbox360 uses about 50 different intermediate render targets in different resolutions, color depths and anti-alias settings for different purposes. These are used for example for cascaded shadow maps from sun & moon, shadow maps from flashlights, flares and street lights, z-prepass, tiled color buffers, light buffers for deferred rendering, vector blur, screen-space ambient occlusion, auto-exposure, HUD, video buffers, menus and so on. In the end all are combined to form one 720p image, with all intermediate buffer sizes selected to optimize image quality and GPU performance. All together the render targets take about 80 MB of memory, equivalent in size to over twenty 720p buffers."

Beyond3D appears to be somewhat confused as well. Most consider the opaque geometry framebuffer to be the "game resolution," which is 960x540 in the case of Alan Wake, but they do agree that there is more to Alan Wake than just that, which makes this entire situation sort of complicated... It isn't strictly 540p. But it isn't strictly 720p either.

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3504d ago Replies(2)
champ213504d ago

and we thought 576p was bad enough.

next Xbox game will be 480p.

DatNJDom813504d ago Show
Nathan1233504d ago

Bots should be thankful that the game ditched it's open world or else it would have been rendered in SUB-SD iPhone resolution aka 320P

Mo0eY3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

I will enjoy this game on my Xbox 540p.

180p per year WOOT WOOT.

avengers19783504d ago

game play 540, cut scenes in 720. All I can say is Buh ha ha ha.

Anon73493504d ago

"Modern renderers don't work by rendering everything to a certain final on-screen resolution, but use a combination of techniques and buffers to compose the final detail-rich frames, optimizing to improve the visual experience and game performance."

Modern Renders? Come'on guys, you guys used to be PC devs, you've already forgot what it was like to have resolutions higher than 1080p and 32x AA everywhere?

Yeah console scrubs, PCs can do that. You console scrubs are bragging about 60 extra pixels or so, while my PC can run games past 5000x5000 pixels.

AngryTypingGuy3504d ago

Another case of you geeks making too big a deal of something. All I have to say is, just wait until the game comes out, and you'll see how incredible it looks :-)

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 3504d ago
coldfoot3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

All games have multiple buffers for different effects and these are at different resolutions by default to be efficient. There is the main opaque geometry buffer where you have the polygons and textures, the lightmap, shadow buffer, alpha buffer for transparencies, particle buffer, etc. These are usually never the same size as each other.

The most important one is the main opaque geometry buffer since it countains the polygons and textures, and determines image and texture quality. If you choose your opaque geometry buffer too low resolution, things such as enemies far away will be smaller than one pixel and you won't be able to see them. Also the polygon edges will be rougher and will need more extensive (and expensive) anti-aliasing. Texture detail will also suffer.

What the developer said confirms MazingerDUDE and Quaz51's findings that the main opaque geometry buffer is indeed at 540p. The other effect buffers contribute much less to the overall image, for example many of Killzone 2's secondary buffers such as particle and alpha buffers are 1/4th resolution, at 360p, but you'd never notice it unless you were specifically looking for it. However the lower resolution opaque geometry buffer will have the side effect of making everything blurry, just like the PS3 version of GTA4, which was at 640p. 540p will be even worse.

You can combine a 720p HUD (text on screen, crosshair, etc.) buffer with a 540p opaque geometry buffer and end up with a 720p image that you achieved by "composing various size buffers", but that won't truly make your image 720p, just like watching DVD's on an HDTV won't make them 720p/1080p.

TL;DR: Alan Wake is 540p.

FangBlade3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

This is pretty much confirms that the game is 540p. too bad lol.
Thanks for the clarification.

Shaman3504d ago

Why to bad?Like you are going to play it...

N4PS3G3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

lol lie to yourself man. The native resolution is not 540p neither is 720p

but why do i waste my time? lol It's obvious you rather take some random guy clarification instead of what Remedy really said.

thor3504d ago

I would suspect that the native resolution of the HUD is about the only thing that is 720p. What MATTERS is what resolution the polygons & textures are. That is 540p. It will LOOK like a 540p image, with all the associated LACK OF DETAIL. Lack of detail is what we are interested in, not numbers and waffle. And in Alan Wake, you will see texture and polygon detail equivalent to that of 540p.

3504d ago
LostDjinn3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

but I guess I'm just not fast enough.

OT: Why the hell did Remedy lie about AW being a native 720p when they should of known that they'd get caught right before launch? This just doesn't make sense to me.

cyborg69713504d ago

So after all of these years and taking away the sandbox element this is the best they could do. I was under the impression that it was easier to dev for the 360. I still wanna play this but what a disappointment. This and mw2 must be the main reasons for MS to drop the mandatory 720p standard.

Erotic Sheep3504d ago

N4PS3G, quite frankly a lot of people made fun of GOW3 for being between 30 and 60 FPS and called the game 30 FPS. So, just saying, dont look too surprised when people start calling this 540p as well, but thats N4G lol..

REALgamer3504d ago

For example, both Killzone 2 and Infamous rendered certain effects at lower resolutions - namely explosions and certain particle effects. You can notice the pixelation around the effects, but thanks to some clever blurring in Killzone 2 it successfully hides it, much as I'm sure Alan Wake will.

It's just people see anything below 720p and start having panic attacks, which is why most developers won't talk about it at all.

talltony3504d ago

Alan wake still looks good but for the people that care about counting pixels this will not end well.

OpenGL3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

You're right, it's 547p which is neither 540p or 720p. The talk about different buffers being different resolutions is simply being brought up to avoid the true issue at hand. Killzone 2(as many games do) on the PS3 used some lower resolution buffers for things like depth of field, but the actual render target was still 720p.

Alan Wake being sub-720p doesn't mean the game can't be good, or even great. It just means that it won't look quite as sharp as it could have. I personally am still excited about the game.

hamoor3504d ago

i love how people think that higher rez means MAGICALLY better graphics
sure it does makes a cleaner image but thats it
neither ps3 or xbox 360 are REAL hd consoles
they both have some sub-hd games like halo and mgs 4
only the pc that can do every game in 1080P and beyond that

ColdFire3504d ago

They do on PC don't they?

fishd3504d ago

Compared to 720P,540P means almost 50% less pixels on the screen

But at the end of the day,I think the game looks great,so

thor3504d ago

You haven't read what Remedy said.

It's not like Wipeout HD which ACTUALLY fluctuates resolution very occasionally.

In fact I've no idea where that word "fluctuation" in the title comes from.

What they mean is that they do various passes - let me give some examples:
Shadow maps
Volumetric lighting
3D geometry
Heads up Display

This is STANDARD for ALL GAMES. Now obviously, your shadow maps might be a different res from your particle effects and so on. But EVERY GAME DOES THIS. Nearly ALL sub-hd games have a 720p Heads up Display (since it takes very few resources to render). But what matters? It's the 3D geometry. Mountains in the distance. Alan himself. Cars, buildings and other foreground objects. In Alan Wake, those things are ALL rendered at 540p, ALWAYS - including their textures.

When we say that other games are 540p, it is a similar story. Their HUD may be 720p, they may use high-res shadow maps but the native resolution is that of the 3D geometry you can see. That's what makes the difference.

Hill_billy3504d ago

If the game plays great and is full of suspense then it's a win for me. I think the most damaging factor for Alan Wake is the hype they have been given since the game was first announced. The game looks good to me and that is what matters to me.

HolyOrangeCows3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

Alan Wake looks blurry, and that explains it; low geometry res.

OpenGL3504d ago

Yeah, Wipeout HD's native resolution changes from 1280x1080 to 1920x1080 to maintain 60 frames per second. Alan Wake's resolution will probably be static throughout the entire game.

IdleLeeSiuLung3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

You know for a crowd that loves the Playstation brand, it is ironic that PS2 didn't dominate the console market because of it's graphical prowess last generation. Likewise, Crysis didn't isn't a great game because of it's heart pounding graphics! Heck, Crysis wasn't even a great game.

So why is it all of a sudden so important now? Art direction determines more of the aesthetics than resolution.

Nihilism3504d ago

HD generation y'all, i'm selling my PC, i mean it's not like the resolution i'm running now has 400% of the number of pixels that 540p is pushing....oh wait a minute...

lokiroo4203504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

When were ps2 graphics touted as the best ever? try again idlelee, so much back peddling in this comment section. Is nobody going to say that alan wake is still the graphical beast that it was a week ago? LOL

3504d ago

thats why I never thought KZ2 nor Infamous looked amazing, and there is a lot more going on or should I say isn't going on with those games. But thats the norm of console games, I mean they look great for what type of power they're using. Its all trickery of the eyes. What ever is closer to the camera or screen is going to have WAY more polys and stuff further away...less. I thought this was already understood?!?!?

Noctis Aftermath3504d ago

This is why you shouldn't believe community managers, wait for developers to comment themselves before you believe it(even then it's not certain).

3504d ago

If they were saying that, then they are fools just like anyone who hasn't played any game that hasn't came out yet. But I'll let you know my verdict when I play it on May 18th. I might even buy some motion capture stuff and nitpick every game in my collection and do the compare and contrasting thing, lol.

Anon19743504d ago

I'm buying Alan Wake because these types of "action thrillers" don't come around very often and it's a genre that we haven't seen enough of this gen. Frankly, I don't expect the game to have graphics as good or even close to Uncharted 2 or GOW3, and I'm fine with that. If I wanted graphics as good as Uncharted 2, I'd play Uncharted 2.
I came to the conclusion years ago that the 360 had hit it's ceiling. In 2006 Gears hit and looked awesome. I thought "Here we go. The bar has just been raised and now I can look forward to a flood of games looking as good or better."
Guess what? It didn't happen. Game after game was touted as the next big thing graphically and they all failed to deliver on the promise that Gears made, until Gears of War 2 came out setting the bar just a bit higher but again, nothing has matched it despite every second game being hyped as the next big graphical monster hit.
Well, I'm not holding my breath for that to happen anymore and haven't been for quite some time and you know why? Because the 360 is 5 years old running on older tech. It was bound to reach a ceiling with what it could do, I just didn't think it would happen so soon and there's nothing wrong with that. It's not like 360 games have suffered because of that fact.

If Alan Wake is the game that sets the new graphics bar, outstanding! If not, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it, I'm just going to enjoy the hell out of it.

Inside_out3504d ago

Can't wait for this title...360 keeps on delivering...PS3 fanboys reaching a feverish pitch...some are even game designers/developers now...LMAO...AW will be PS3 guys can READ about it...

wicko3504d ago

This isn't anything new, most likely every game this generation will render its effects at different resolutions from its native resolution (meaning the resolution at which the geometry is rendered). And it makes sense, if you can save some performance with nearly unnoticeable visual degredation, then you should do it, especially if it gives you more room for more important visual features. For example, have you noticed in some games the shadows are very blocky and rough? That's because the shadows are rendered at a different resolution, the developer felt that shadows were worth sacrificing (quality) for the improvement of another feature.

In Alan Wake's case, the native resolution was reduced to improve what the developers consider to be more important. Lighting and shadows seem to be a very important part of AW so perhaps they were able to improve those features with what they gained from a lower native res.

EvilBlackCat3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )


Re: What is with this?
Guys, unfortunately Markus Mäki, Director of Development, has been grounded in southern Europe with family due to the volcanic ash. We are sorry you haven’t gotten an answer sooner. This is Markus’s reply to your questions.

"Modern renderers don't work by rendering everything to a certain final on-screen resolution, but use a combination of techniques and buffers to compose the final detail-rich frames, optimizing to improve the visual experience and game performance.

Alan Wake's renderer on the Xbox360 uses about 50 different intermediate render targets in different resolutions, color depths and anti-alias settings for different purposes. These are used for example for cascaded shadow maps from sun & moon, shadow maps from flashlights, flares and street lights, z-prepass, tiled color buffers, light buffers for deferred rendering, vector blur, screen-space ambient occlusion, auto-exposure, HUD, video buffers, menus and so on. In the end all are combined to form one 720p image, with all intermediate buffer sizes selected to optimize image quality and GPU performance. All together the render targets take about 80 MB of memory, equivalent in size to over twenty 720p buffers."

Ozz, posting on behalf of Markus


"In the end all are combined to form one 720p image, with all intermediate buffer sizes selected to optimize image quality and GPU performance. All together the render targets take about 80 MB of memory, equivalent in size to over twenty 720p buffers."

OMG you all loyalists are dumbed down by your xtreme fanboynism. Damn now is clear on N4G that you guys are the worst ever!

TotalPS3Fanboy3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

Obviously, it's 540P.

Remedy: But but but all these other buffers like the HUD...

That's like saying that if you take a 480P game and composite a 720P HUD onto it, somehow, it magically becomes 720P. In reality, it is only upscaled 720P, and not native 720P. And it will never look as good as native 720P.

3504d ago
archemides5183504d ago

game graphics are 540p

HUD is 720p

darthv723504d ago

to just playing games because you liked to play games?

Chris_TC3504d ago

Why do people keep saying "it looks good anyway"? Have you actually watched the gameplay footage full-screen or looked at the screenshots full-screen?

540p becomes blurry when it needs to be upscaled for a 1080p display. It's barely more than PAL SD.

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Christopher3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

Yeah, this is not good news. Essentially, if you have 20 different art assets of various size from 300p to 720p, lay them over top of each other in the appropriate order, what you end up with is a 720 sized image, but of various quality. That's why the light looks good and some textures stand out, but then that's also why we've been seeing lots of jaggies on environment elements, muddy textures, and blurring on edges when the light is overlayed.

This doesn't discount the gameplay, but it does speak ill towards what they've been saying about the graphics, and by 'they' I mean Microsoft.

@Greywulf below: ***Because this is literally the final nail in the coffin. ***

Gotta disagree. Look at the Halo: Reach screens and the recent 360 qt vid. It's possible to get some really nice graphics out of the 360. Even Red Dead Redemption looks very good on the 360, which is what's been used in many of the recent game movies on GameTrailers. And then there's Crysis 2.

Alan Wake may not win any rewards, but it's far from a nail in the coffin of what is possible on the 360.

Greywulf3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

The issue is that the 360 community has boosted Alan Wake to the level of showing off the 360's hardware. And its been the sole title that was/will do so. They removed the sandbox, the game is soft, and now its below MGS4's native resolution. When will the hype about its graphics stop, or the 360's hardware? Because this is literally the final nail in the coffin.

No one is saying Graphics is more important than gameplay. No. Once again, no. Stp.

The argument was made that the title will have better visuals than the top titles today, every single one of them mind you. Killzone2, Uncharted2, MGS4, everything.

With that argument out there, you have to back this up. Like Naughty Dog, or Santa Monica studios has done. Remedy hasn't done this, just as no 360 developer first or third has managed to do this & release a retail title. Now people are pointing fingers at the PS3 community trying to ignore the simple fact that none of this would even be here if it wasn't claimed in the first place? You can pretend its not, and

I can point to several articles claiming Alan Wakes graphical powerhouse abilities, based on flashlights in the dark, but even if it was. Its rendering at a sub MGS4 resolution. And even then, MGS4 ran cut-scenes with its game assets, not high resolution models. It did all of its effects realtime.

This is why the news of this game being below 600p was big news. Because its yet another case of a 360 title that can't compete with todays leading engines. Sure, MGS4 was some sort of 700p. Uncharted2 wasn't, neither was Killzone2. Which are all the current targets of next-gen hopefulls. These all stream load as well, not hide loading behind cut-scenes. Crytek isn't claiming their engine will top 360 exclusives as well.

You have people still trying to defend it claiming PSN or Retail titles switch from multiple forms of greater than 720p native resolutions. Yet, still not getting the fact that its greater than the 360's best efforts today.

There is this blame on the PS3/N4g community with the hate behind this. As if its just fanboy rage. Its not. Its just a case of told-you-so. And no one wants to hear it. Which is fine, but why does the community continue to do this? Every single title on the 360 is hyped to be a visual & technical masterpiece, then when it falls short, off to the next title. Just in the past few months we had to go over Splinter Cell, Metro2033, and now Alan Wake.

All great looking titles, but it takes more than that to be claimed as some technical masterpiece. Running a good looking game in subhd isn't raising the bar at all, its not remarkable. If thats the case, then why do PC/PS3/all other media strive for the current HD bar? Why is it that yet again, 360 gaming needs to redefine definitions of quality and the status-quo to support the 360's console life? High resolution in gaming has always been the target. Yet, like the word "exclusive", resolution importance is trying to be changed to no longer being important? Just like storage space was always the bigger-better deal, but nope. Not in 2010!

At the end of the day, resolution doesn't matter for a games enjoyment.

But no one was claiming Alan Wake wouldn't be enjoyable.

not for one second.

Consoldtobots3504d ago

guess this makes the fanboys here look pretty silly and DESPERATE for taking the word of a community manager over someone with a long reputation for getting these calls right. Then again I and many others DID WARN YOU in that thread that this would be the end result.

360 fanboys are wayyyyyyy too predictable and gullible.

y0haN3504d ago

PS3's GTA 4 is 720p, confirmed by a R* dev. Video buffer output taken from both consoles before post-processing = 1280x720. You can't really tell a difference!

Just sayin'.

Oner3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

@ coldfoot & Greywulf ~

Absolutely great posts, comments and information. Agree + Bubbles.

3504d ago
MNicholas3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

The graphics are 540P.

Quaz51 didn't lie. Never has.

Images don't lie either.

-Sharp text and HUD
-Blurry graphics

It's not all bad. Water looks nice:

Overall lighting is nice:

Some really nice settings:

Remedy is finally starting to come clean but they're trying to muddy the water by using big words that regular gamers don't understand.

All this talk about "composite" resolution is just spin. Multiple render targets of varying resolution is pretty much standard practice.

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LostDjinn3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

That's complete BS.
MGS4 employs interlacing. So that's 1024x768 multiplied by two (1572864 pixels) to provide a 1080 res. Interlacing fills scan lines in two sweeps to fill the image. While the image is not 1920x1080 (2073600 pixels) it's still a lot better for definition than 720p (1280x720 is 921600 pixels) though 720p provides less noise and a smoother line. That said, lcd's are progressive in nature so the entire image gets de-interlaced anyway. This is why MGS4 show up as 1080p if you have an lcd that goes that high.

Before you explode with mirth let me also say that 1080i was touted as being the maximum native resolution for the 360 when it launched. So it's not like the 360 can't technically do it.

xTruthx3504d ago

For the people saying y some care so much about graphics. Well its because there was a lot of comments before about how amazing the game was going to look. It looks good theres no denying that but it doesn't look like many hoped for. ANYWAYS, this wont stop anyone from enjoying the game if its good. The reviews probably wont come after the game is released, just to save people from spoilers, I can be wrong but they should do that, We all say what happened with HR, SC & many others.

u got owned3504d ago

And this is the reason why the xbox 360 needs BR disk.

ThanatosDMC3504d ago

Did Natsu and Cold commit suicide when they read this? Those two defended that AW was 720p native yesterday so adamantly. Wonder how disappointed they are... oh well.

WildArmed3504d ago

I was just talking about this.
When all the fanboys got all riled up yesterday.

Ofcourse it's not running natively @ 720p.

90% of the games released this gen dont run at that

pixelsword3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

One can only hope.

I'm just kidding.

I wish them well.

wpggamer3504d ago

You got all that from that little snippet of information? Either you are able to read between all the lines, or your poop shoot is flapping about a whole hell of a lot.
Sorry to say, but i'm leaning toward the latter. You kids just don't really know. But this is N4G, so I guess it must be true.

tplarkin73504d ago

I hope there's a good reason for 540p. It's a tough call between great special effects vs framerate/resolution. The frustrating part is that powerful hardware doesn't translate into solid framerates/resolutions.

Framerates and resolutions are fundamental requirements for the eye. Blurry and choppy images ruin the experience.

vhero3503d ago

We all knew it would be native 540p with either buffers or up-scaling anyways but honestly like I always said if you don't buy a game because of resolution you don't deserve to play great games anyway either on PS3 or XBOX 360. I just wish people would stop going on about Alan Wake now until launch already..


The funny thing to me is 95% of the post above me the posters have absolutly no idea what they are talking about.

sid4gamerfreak3503d ago

lol i knew this would get a lot of degrees...

To PC gamers: Lets sit down eat popcorn and see who wins the fight whether it is 540p or 720p. (LOL)

I bet on the ps3 fanboys...

mythamp3503d ago

"Alan will KILL uncharted 2 graphics, just watch!!!!"
Ohh its only 547p, damn, there will be poor textures, i have to change to defense mode. Next-Gen - HD era, 3D is on its way, damn, moving to last resort...
"Bu Buh But its the GAMEPLAY which matters you pathetic PS3 owners, gameplay is da KEY!"

As if UC2/KillZone2/GOW3/HeavyRain/L BP/MGS4/ didnt have good "gameplay"

+ Show (55) more repliesLast reply 3503d ago
washingmachine3504d ago

WTF,fluctuate.ROFL makes me wonder if any games on 360 are real 720p lol

Shaman3504d ago

You would be surprised to see that ps3 has more sub hd games than 360 and it was touted to be REAL HD system,funny isnt it?

SPACEBALL 13504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

most bluray movies arent even full hd, and no one can tell the difference. these arguments are stupid...

OpenGL3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

This is just silly; there are plenty of games on both the PS3 and 360 that are native 720p. Really though, up until recently there were quite a few multi-platform games that actually ran in a sub-720p resolution on the PS3 while they were 720p on the 360.

HolyOrangeCows3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

It's easy to list a bunch of trashy games and try to use it as basis of the console's power.

thewhoopimen3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

I think what's being argued in the end isn't that multiplat games showcase sub-HD resolutions but rather that a console 1ST party exclusive shouldn't.

You guys can josh and manipulate the argument all you want all day about this or that game on the ps3 or 360 having sub-HD resolution. But at the end of the day, Remedy, Bungie, etc, all considered FIRST PARTY studios have released sub-HD titles. None of Sony's 1st party have this syndrome. And considering that even MGS4 (released in 2008) ridiculed for its 1024 x 768 has a higher resolution...

That's the bottom line and this should quantitatively end any arguments of which console having more horsepower.

Pennywise3504d ago

These guys are all delusional as usual.(I'm really not a poet)

For graphics to improve on PC tech that is 5 years old, something has to be sacrificed. It's obvious that the sacrifice these developers have to make is to the resolution of the game.

You can keep blaming devs all you want, Dance. I think its pretty obvious the 360's tech is aging poorly. I have said it before, and I will say it again: My old PC parts were used to make the 360... my old PC had to be upgraded to keep up with graphics... why would the 360 be immune to this?

DatNJDom813504d ago

"You would be surprised to see that ps3 has more sub hd games than 360 and it was touted to be REAL HD system,funny isnt it?"

I wouldn't doubt that at all. We all know Sony suffered (and still does) from what is known as "Lazy Developer Syndrome." I admit at the beginning I questioned the PS3 power claims. All the multiplats I had were a little worse on the PS3. That is until Uncharted, Heaven Sword, Resistance, Ratchet and Clank: TOD, and of course the almighty Metal Gear Solid 4. Then I saw the reality of the situation.

IHateYouFanboys3504d ago

remember how Sony said that the PS3 would be able to output DUAL 1080p displays, and run all games at 200fps in 1080p?

if theres ever been a company telling lies about how powerful their console is, its sony - not microsoft.