Chris Priestly: Mass Effect 2 PS3 Demo 'Used 2-Month Old Build'

PlayStation Future writes:

That's what BioWare have said over on the US PlayStation Blog, so if you were a little disappointed by the ‘graphical leap’ Mass Effect 2 had made on the PS3 when you played the demo, chances are it was because the demo used an old build of the game – by nearly two months.

According to the Community Coordinator of BioWare, Chris Preistly, the Mass Effect 2 Demo released in December was using an October build of the game due to certification and testing, and therefore we can expect a much more polished and tweaked experience when we play the game in just a week’s time.

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Nitrowolf22885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

Knew it was an old build, that means when the game comes out it would have been about a 3-4month old build. lol at the people saying it prob. is the latest build and the game will end up performing like that in the end.

This is why comparisons that early are pointless, i don't understand why people do it. Just wait till the game comes out demo and full games don't play the same (performance/graphics)

@ Units

They will redo it, but that doesn't forgive them for writing so many comparison about it and trying to make it seem as if it's worse then what it will be.

units2885d ago

not Lens of Truth will

DualConsoleOwner2885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

was just as good as Xbox version..

i wonder how the final build would look like!!!

ShinMaster2885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

Ture. Graphics can change rather quickly within a few months, like UC2, GOW3, etc.

wicko2884d ago (Edited 2884d ago )

2 months won't be a night and day difference though so don't expect too much. Probably experience a more stable framerate but not any "missing" features really. This late in development anyway.

ShinMaster2884d ago

There aren't any missing features.
We were just talking about the game visuals.

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-Superman-2885d ago

Even for 2 old demo build, demo was very good.
I dont care if its 2 month old build because this was very good, so final will be even BETTER

MWong2885d ago

I got to agree with that. I don't care if it was a 2 month old build it still looked and played smoothly. Only problem I had was with the screen tearing which was present in the demo. Besides that it was awesome.

plb2885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

And yet it contains all DLC and an improved graphics engine all on a single disc unlike another console

@Below that is because MS buys timed exclusives rather than invest in studios. And it was also on PC not just 360 and there are also other improvements over 360 version.

SuperSaiyan42885d ago

Unlike another console you dont have to wait a year for a port or an optimised port *rolls eyes*

StbI9902885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

Yet you may for the sake of getting the definitive version, have fun with ur betabox 360 w/o games lol

ShinMaster2885d ago

The Betabox Beta tested Mass Effect and Bioshock for me :)

Although, those are like the only games I can think of for now...

duplissi2885d ago

or you guys could just not give a shit what some site says.....

Christopher2885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

Sorry, but a 2 month old build isn't going to see much, if any at all, graphical improvements. Especially on the first part of the game. Those last few months aren't spent on updating graphical quality as it is on graphical and similar bugs.

@Nitrowolf2: No, it was 2 months since the gold disc is created a month before release.

And by graphical polishing they mean fixing graphical errors, not improving the graphics throughout the whole game.

Graphical improvements must be tested for memory use and management and how it affects the overall game (crashes, load times, action stuttering, etc.). These games use an average baseline of graphics for gameplay, so any change would be reflected across the whole game and any change in them would need to be tested for the whole game by multiple testers.

As I said, we're not going to see a graphical leap of any sort with this demo, but there may be some minor differences that were considered 'graphical bugs'. You'd really have to look for them, though.

Nitrowolf22885d ago

technically it's 3 month since the demo came out in December, so 2 month prior to that would mean October. That means they had October, Novermber, and December to work on the game.

Most Devs. Spend the last 3 month before release month on Polishing the graphics, fixing bugs, working on framerate ect.

gamingdroid2885d ago

Actually, it is clearly stated that the build is about 2 months older than the final gold version i.e. the shipped game:

"The demo was, for certification and testing reasons, about a 2 month older build than the final “what you will play when you get it home” version."

CryofSilence2885d ago

Resistance 2 and Killzone 2 both come to mind as to why you're wrong, cgoodno.

Christopher2885d ago

***Resistance 2 and Killzone 2 both come to mind as to why you're wrong, cgoodno. ***

No, they don't. My professional career as a programmer and understanding of the software development life cycle is why I actually know what I'm talking about.

But, hey, you know what? Let's just wait for the release and see how vastly superior the graphics of the release are in comparison to the demo.

Masterchef20072885d ago

what nitro wolf says its true just look at God of War 3 and Uncharted 2. They did most of the polishing in the last few months before release i dont see why a game like Mass effect 2 would be any different

Christopher2885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

Here's the problem: Most of the art assets you're looking at up until a month or two before the release of a game is from alpha and pre-built demo.

God of War 3 is an excellent example of this. That one demo we saw for almost a year was from before beta. It's what people used to measure the game. And, of course, months later, there were obvious improvements since it went through those improvements during the early stages of beta.

Seeing a screenshot on Tuesday doesn't mean that the art asset is from the week before. Most times, that art asset is at least a month old and has gone through various approval processes to be allowed for public consumption.

For an example, watch the U3 video on the making of the U3 teaser trailer reveal.

Edit: The problem is that this topic has turned from logic and into yet another attempt to provide an example of which console is better through the software. Sad.

Dark_Vendetta2885d ago

Well I don't know if there will be graphical changes or not, but developers actually like to use just a part of the available ram until the end. This way they are able to fix the bugs. After making sure the game works perfect (or realising there is no time left to fix the minor bugs), they are able to use the extra available ram to polish the game. This is the reason why some games get a graphical boost at the very end of developement. But as I said, this might not be the case. I do not know how Bioware codes their games.

CryofSilence2884d ago (Edited 2884d ago )


Resistance 2 underwent an even larger facelift in the final months as Insomniac Games themselves declare that they spend the final 6 months (months 3 and 4 included) improving graphical fidelity. Sure, a lot is stabilization, but there is also significant post-processing, texture, model, particle effects, and other improvements.

A lot of developers don't have that same practice, so I can see where you are coming from.

juggulator2884d ago

"My professional career as a programmer and understanding of the software development life cycle is why I actually know what I'm talking about."

So that's why you're trolling on N4G.

Christopher2884d ago (Edited 2884d ago )

@CryofSilence: I guarantee that those Dec 2008 were put out to the public in said month but were not from a build of that same month. As I said above, a screenshot we see now is likely at least a month old as it goes through various approval processes and then sits around waiting for the right date to be put out to the public.

And "...spend the final 6 months (months 3 and 4 included) improving graphical fidelity." doesn't equate to doing anything of that sort in the last month, let alone in the last 3 months.

As I said above, what you're going to see in the last few months are more graphical updates that are considered bugs/issues.

I feel like I'm repeating myself a ton here, but you don't implement memory balancing changes on this scope in the last few months. Especially on graphically and physics/lighting intense games like Killzone 2 and 3. We're talking about programming to manage how you're using the memory on each SPU specific to what you doing in the game, which for games like Killzone 2 and 3, Uncharted 3, and inFamous 2 means utilizing SPUs for graphical rendering and enhancement purposes as well.

***So that's why you're trolling on N4G. ***

Really? You consider what I'm doing trolling? As opposed to your extremely "on topic" response?

Foliage2884d ago

I just lost my huge response, so I'll keep it brief:

"you don't implement memory balancing changes on this scope in the last few months."

Actually you are incredibly wrong. Memory balancing is largely done during the optimization phase, which is usually done in the last few months. That is the whole point. Up to beta you have content changes, afterward it is mostly polish and bug fixing of course. A huge part of polishing a game is going over the visuals. This is just common sense to anyone in the industry, which leads me to think that if you are really a programmer, you must be a mobile developer or work on XNA on a student project...

I've nearly worked on 20 titles to date, I can easily say that your comments are pure bullshit.

Mass Effect 2 on PS3 was practically already at beta when the 360 version was shipped out. Do you not understand how much a game changes in a month? If I showed you screenshots of the current game I am working on with a month between them, you'd think they were different games.

You are also forgetting that the PS3 version will be on the engine used for Mass Effect 3. As such, this is the earlier phases of working out the new engine. If you don't think they'd be focusing on graphical upgrades at this point, I think you should quit your day job.

Mass Effect 2 shipped over a year ago, the PS3 version was started at the same time the 360 one was, there is ample evidence to this. Add a year of development just right there on the PS3 version since the 360 shipped. How many bugs do you think would be left after the gold master 360 version shipped? You honestly think they didn't have time to upgrade the graphics?

You can't even really claim they wasted the last few months in certification, since the difference between the requirements for TRC and TCR are not that great once you have the basic platform framework in place. All of which would have been done in the early months.

Sure, the team size might have been reduced since, but again, since the PS3 version is using the Mass Effect 3 engine, don't think the team decreased in size by much.

Sorry to alarm you buddy, but you and your "studio" are doing it wrong.

Wow.... a "programmer"... really? yikes.......

Christopher2884d ago (Edited 2884d ago )

By your writings, it looks like you think I'm saying that there are no graphical improvements from the PS3 version overall, but we're talking about from the PS3 demo to the gold disc creation, which was only two months in length.

Memory balancing is a core requirement of the project as a whole. When you design & code your engine, it's one of the primary elements you build into it. As assets are developed, these balances are continuously optimized over time. On the PS3, this is even more of a trick as you will utilize SPUs for processing graphical data to offset the lack of RAM in the GPU. But even on the 360, you should be spending your last two months working on SQA.

Working on elements that can lead to issues arising in the last two months of a development project is never smart as it could easily affect your target release date. You meet your requirements before that and assign time for testing at the end that it used to remove bugs and fix them. This could be from missing assets in specific game areas, to loading issues, to even memory use issues that need to be fixed. It could even mean updating elements of the game that have not been completed to utilize the assets at the level expected. But, it doesn't mean developing whole new assets or writing new code outside of the scope of the current build.

Another way to look at it is this. They work hard on their demos to make them look the best possible to sell to the public. And it is extremely rare when a demo doesn't equate to what one will expect on release. Extremely rare. I can't even recall off the top of my head a demo this generation that has done as such. I can recall few developers saying that their demo wasn't reflective of the final build (Mafia 2 on the PS3 is one) though, when it turned out not to be true.

***This is just common sense to anyone in the industry***

Look up software development life cycle. In every single one, right before release is SQA. Every single one.

***[ME2] on PS3 was practically already at beta when the 360 version was shipped out.***

Beta a whole year before release? Very unlikely, especially considering they were still doing work on the 3rd generation of their engine.

***Do you not understand how much a game changes in a month?***

We're not talking about a month in the early development phase. We're talking about a month during the last two months of development.

***If you don't think they'd be focusing on graphical upgrades at this point, I think you should quit your day job.***

I think you're confusing the work form the last year to what we're talking about, which is major graphical advancements in the last two months of development.

***[ME2] shipped over a year ago, the PS3 version was started at the same time the 360 one was***

Actually, there is no evidence of this. They haven't provided us the details on when they started and how much investment they've put into it in regards to manpower.

***You honestly think they didn't have time to upgrade the graphics?***

You see, this isn't about upgrading the graphics at all. If you were paying attention, this was about the graphics looking advanced from what was shown in the PS3 demo of the game. We already know there were improvements to the quality (though issues with the screen tearing) in the PS3 demo.

***you and your "studio" are doing it wrong.***

No, we're not. Sorry to say, but you're either ignorant or not following the topic well at all.

gamingdroid2884d ago

It common sense that a product doesn't change much in the final two months of development lifecycle.

It is ridiculous to suggest anything else from a large developer even if it is cowboy coding in a game studio.

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Shogun Master2885d ago

So judging by what Chris Priestly said, Lens of Truth was right all along.

The PS3 Demo looked like garbage and Chris Priestly must have seen their pics (along with other sites) or he wouldn't be making a statment like this.

It just goes to show, never doubt the comparison, doubt the developer, there the ones who want your $59.99 + tax.

assmonkey2885d ago

Well said Shogun Master. Don't you remember how bad those PS3 fan-boys were toward the LOT... It was terrible!! and look they were right all along!

Biggest2885d ago

BioWare said it was an "old" build. They didn't say it was inferior to the 360 version. Lens of Truth was caught in a blatant lie. That's all there is to it.

donkeydoo2885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )


"so if you were a little disappointed by the ‘graphical leap’ Mass Effect 2 had made on the PS3 when you played the demo"

Meaning there was no graphical leap over the Xbox 360 on the PS3 version, how were they caught in a lie?

Lens of Truth "but as you can see the Xbox 360 version still looks to have the graphical advantage. Lets hope the PlayStation3 demo is a very old build. "

That's all there is to that.

jack_burt0n2885d ago

lens of truth comparison was a load of crap.

gamer20102884d ago

All I know is I compared the demos myself and the PS3 version was clearly inferior. It ran rougher and had screen tearing. The 360 version was the better running version.

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donkeydoo2885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )


Forgive them for what? Telling the truth. Lens of Truth put their neck out there to let you people know that the PS3 version was lacking, and you still think they falsified their findings? I think Lens of Truth is more creditable now than ever before for not beating around the bush.

IMO BioWare making this statement validates that the PS3 Demo build was inferior to the Xbox 360, if not why release a statement explaining the PS3 Demo version was an old build?

Anyway Lens of Truth quoted this "We decided to compare both demos of Mass Effect 2 to keep the playing field fair, but as you can see the Xbox 360 version still looks to have the graphical advantage. Lets hope the PlayStation3 demo is a very old build. Check back early next month for our full in-depth analysis when the PlayStation 3 retail version finally hits stores shelves."

Denethor_II2885d ago

"This is why comparisons that early are pointless, i don't understand why people do it."

Did you not see the response(= hits) that LoT garnished from their rushed analysis of the demo? Professionalism went out the window for pure opportunity of gain.

Sarcasm2884d ago

Honestly, any of these comparisons are pointless and it won't affect how much PS3 owners will enjoy this game.

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tigertron2885d ago

Its about time Bioware cleared this up for definate, because I wasn't too sure whether Chris meant the ME2 demo was an old build when he said "demos are made months before release" a couple of weeks ago.

Anyways I can't wait to play this awesome game. Day 1 buy for me on friday. :)

Apotheosize2885d ago

I was fine with the demo, unless their some huge improvements, ill be good with it

beavis4play2885d ago

i was thrilled with the demo! i enjoyed it a lot and didn't want it to end......looks like it has a great story, action....good converstion system.....interesting characters........what's not to love?
i'm very happy i'll get to play this game.

Masterchef20072885d ago

Do you need TP? TP for your Bunghole? srry had to do it cause of your user name. The game is fantastic i recommend it to anyone to check it out.

beavis4play2885d ago

i guess i should reply - "are you threatening me?!".....

you know - it's taken a LOT longer for someone to do that than i thought it would take!
nice reply!

N4g_null2884d ago

Most gamers here never watched b&b back when MTV played videos. These guys are really young. Lots of them claim to be older gamers but you know one when you hear one.

The game should be fine yet it's the graphic whores that are ruining it for themselves. Beta or not you choose to get a ps3 so get the game other wise it's on pc and 360.

Motorola2885d ago

I still dont care, just want to play the game. Was fine with the demo

HeavenlySnipes2885d ago

I have the first one on the Xbox and I don't see what made it such a huge success. It was good (like the powers and the dialogue trees, some stuff were bad like the planet exploring in the Mako and the facial animations during conversations) but I wouldn't be too disappointed if I never played it at all. The second comes out and I don't pick it up because I honestly don't think the series is as good as its hyped up to be.

I'll eventually pick it up on the PS3 even though I have the first on the 360 (due to the extra DLC) and it doesn't really make a difference.

Contrary to what fanboys are saying you only really make three choices in the game. Kill/or let Wrex live, Kill/let alien bug thing live, and kill or save Ashley or Kaiden. You are most likely going to let Wrex live (why not), IDK what happens if you let the bug thing live and you are definately going to save Ashley. Why? Because Garrus and Kaiden are EXACTLY the same. Wrex being dead or not doesn't ake a difference if you have Ashley because she's better, and the I couldn't give two shits if that bug was alive or dead. This is an overhyped serise.

beavis4play2885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

i've heard other 360 owners saying they hated the planet exploration...........what exactly about this was so bad - i won't be able to play until next week and im curious.

PM me about it if you want.

Masterchef20072885d ago

the planet scanning was the only part in the game that ticked me of a bit but the rest was fantastic

distorted_reality2884d ago (Edited 2884d ago )

It was clunky and fairly pointless, apart from the missions where you had to use the Mako to get from A to B. I didn't have a HUGE problem with it, but it did get old pretty quickly.

As for the planet scanning, I didn't have a huge problem with that either, considering you didn't need to do a hell of a lot to get the upgrades you need (i.e ship upgrades).

beavis4play2884d ago

thanks, distorted........bubbles for being helpful!

tigertron2884d ago

I actually liked exploring planets with the Mako, and its something I'm hoping will be in ME3.

Whilst going in the same buildings (killing enemies and looting) was sorta repetitive, but it was also great because it made ME like a traditional dungeon exploring RPG.

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