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View Full Version : PS3 Bioshock Demo--less than impressive



Graham Mitchell
10-05-2008, 03:27 PM
Was I the only one to notice that it runs a notch worse than the 360 version? The frame rate is gimped and the sound is missing a punch. Plus it appears somewhat blurred, despite me running it on the same TV with the same connection (HDMI, 1080p...) What the hell? Is it emulating the 360 version or something?

I might notice a slight bit of increased detail, but I don't think it's worth rebuying the game for. The title screen does indicate that there's an added difficulty level that the 360 version doesn't have (Survivor mode?).

With all the hype about the PS3 being the beefier console hardware-wise, a direct comparison of Bioshock certainly doesn't yield results consistent with those claims. Now I'm REALLY hoping those extra levels that they demoed for this version show up as DLC on Xbox Live.

Don't get me wrong--the differences are very subtle, but shocking considering all the PS3-humping I hear from the Sony fanboys I work with day in and day out. And anyone considering getting this game who doesn't have a PC or 360 they can play it on definitely should buy the game despite these issues--it's just that good.

Has anybody else taken the Pepsi challenge on this? What did you think?

Frankie_Says_Relax
10-05-2008, 03:34 PM
Does the demo have the graphics settings options that the 360 version has?

I recall not being overly impressed with default settings of the 360 version until I changed the resolution and frame rate settings on the options menu.

And as far as judging the PS3's "power" based on a port of a year-old game that was obviously developed with the 360 in mind and then retro-fit to the PS3 ... well, simply put, I wouldn't go by that game to see what the PS3 can really "do".

Instead I'd take a look at a game that was developed solely on the PS3 like Uncharted, MGS4, or even cross-platform software that was developed concurrently like Assassin's Creed, GTA4, or Condemned 2.

swlovinist
10-05-2008, 04:51 PM
Ill have to check out the demo today. As for the PS3, I agree that comparing ports may not be the best comparison...but I do agree that the PS3 has more than once had subpar ports, and several developers have reported that programming for it is a pain. The truth of the matter is that the system is still in thrid place in terms of sales figures, and it will affect what types of games companies will develop for. I love my PS3, but it does not suprise me it is having trouble with ports.

Graham Mitchell
10-05-2008, 06:37 PM
Does the demo have the graphics settings options that the 360 version has?



I haven't messed around with the pause menu much in the demo. I'll have to re-evaluate it, because something looks really wrong about it. And even if the resolution can be improved, it's not gonna fix the frame rate. There are times when F-Zero looked smoother.

As for making comparisons based on this one port...I get a feeling of "stiffness" from a lot of PS3 games, even MGS4 and Heavenly Sword. The visuals look tighter and slightly more detailed in games designed for the PS3 from the ground up, but they still feel somewhat sluggish in terms of on-screen motion. The comparison between the two machines so far is kind of reminding me of SNES vs. Genesis in some ways. The SNES had nicer screenshots and subjectively sounded better, but the games felt stiff and poorly responsive compared to their Genesis counterparts. Does that make any sense? Probably not, but that's how I think about it, anyway.

Graham Mitchell
10-05-2008, 06:49 PM
One contradiction I have noticed to my above post is Wipeout HD-->runs smooth as a baby's ass and the controls are spot on.

Frankie_Says_Relax
10-05-2008, 06:57 PM
Well.

I've owned Bioshock on 360 since it dropped.

I finished it last year and enjoyed it thouroughly.

Based on your critique of the PS3 demo, I downloaded it so I could make my own comparison ...

... unfortunately, I'll have to disagree with you in terms of the overall package.

While there are no unrestrained frame rate options in the demo (they may add it in the disc version) I did not notice any significant "gimping" of the framerate overall. It looked to be locked down at a solid 30fps during my play through of the demo.

The resolutions also seemed nearly identical, and in my estimation, the texture filters on things like water looked even better on the PS3.

IMO, I'd say it's too close a call to make, the game looks and feels nearly identical to me ... it's going to be one of those comparisons where it's going to have to come down to a still picture of a close up of a texture ... and that kind of thing should never really sway a consumer in one direction or the other.

The only technical hiccup that I encountered was that Atlus's voice-overs stuttered a few times.

Other than that, everything looked good to me.

BHvrd
10-05-2008, 07:17 PM
The visuals look tighter and slightly more detailed in games designed for the PS3 from the ground up, but they still feel somewhat sluggish in terms of on-screen motion. The comparison between the two machines so far is kind of reminding me of SNES vs. Genesis in some ways. The SNES had nicer screenshots and subjectively sounded better, but the games felt stiff and poorly responsive compared to their Genesis counterparts. Does that make any sense? Probably not, but that's how I think about it, anyway.

Might as well turn this into a console comparison thread.

Seriously there is a design theory for PS3 games that involves shading and physics that set it apart, guess you could call it the modern day Mode 7 in a way. PS3 can have great view distance and throw around alot of polygons when programmed right, but when it's straight bump mapping and polish the 360 seems to excel which obviously is attributed to the ram mostly.

Cell technology seems to be able to create objects in real time, a sort of ray tracing I guess you could say that makes most of the games different everytime you play them. Now i'm sure 360 could do some of this stuff, but one wonders how well and just how much the cell processor can handle compared to what 360 could, it would be cool to see a PS3 exclusive ported just for shits and giggles.

I've been playing PAIN on the PS3 and I can say that the test level they have included really shows how much the processor can handle. About 1,000+ blocks stacked sky high with crates, characters, blocks and other objects being destroyable and hundreds of pieces all over the landscape with no slowdown....at all, with your characters limbs flaling and bouncing like a ragdoll at the same time while being blown by a fan. I think this really shows the power of the cell processor, but obviously it is at the costs of certain poly counts and some softer color tones/lighting and limited landscape, etc.

I really think the PS3 can push more true physics is what it comes down to and imo that is what is eventually going to set it apart and make it seem more ahead technological wise. The HDR lighting, poly count, antialiasing seem be more solid on the 360.

The biggest push so far on the PS3 imo was/is the Warhawk update. The new stages are about twice as big and push so much more, yet still do not slow down AT ALL. It almost seems like a new game and in such a short period of time, it is impressive imo. There is much technology to be pushed it seems and though at times it can't keep toe to toe with 360 in polish the two systems kind of complement one another.

If you want the solid poly count/bump mapping, etc. go 360. If you want to see technology being pushed in new and different directions go PS3.

An SNES/Genesis comparison seems fair to me and I would agree for the most part. Close yet both different and unique.

Frankie_Says_Relax
10-05-2008, 08:21 PM
I haven't messed around with the pause menu much in the demo. I'll have to re-evaluate it, because something looks really wrong about it. And even if the resolution can be improved, it's not gonna fix the frame rate. There are times when F-Zero looked smoother.

As for making comparisons based on this one port...I get a feeling of "stiffness" from a lot of PS3 games, even MGS4 and Heavenly Sword. The visuals look tighter and slightly more detailed in games designed for the PS3 from the ground up, but they still feel somewhat sluggish in terms of on-screen motion. The comparison between the two machines so far is kind of reminding me of SNES vs. Genesis in some ways. The SNES had nicer screenshots and subjectively sounded better, but the games felt stiff and poorly responsive compared to their Genesis counterparts. Does that make any sense? Probably not, but that's how I think about it, anyway.

Hmmm ...

... I don't think that "stiffness" has much to do with the console that it's developed for as much as it did in the past.

Even in the 16 and 8 bit eras, if the software was tweaked enough it could have physics that felt "smooth" or "intuitive".

I agree that Heavenly Sword plays "stiff" ... because I think that it does.

Especially when compared to a game in the same genre like God of War, which simply oozes with richly flowing movement and play control. I wouldn't ever think to blame the PS3 for that ... only the game devs. The game looks beautiful, but plays pretty half-baked, and (to me) at times feels rushed and under-developed (and I finished it).

The SNES / Genesis comparison is valid to a certain degree, but I still feel it's a case-by-case basis in terms of software and it will always depend on what kind of effort the programmers put into the dev process. Of course there will always be minor differences in how games "feel" across platforms considering the differences in how data, physics, sound and graphics are processed ... but again, I think this demo looks fine, and in some respects even a bit sharper than the 360 version.

Graham Mitchell
10-05-2008, 10:43 PM
You know, maybe "frame rate" wasn't the proper term for what was bugging me. I think "frame skipping" seems to be a more appropriate term. The camera pans were choppy in comparison to the 360 version. I thought it was subtle but it was there.

Anyway, I'm smart enough to realize you have to go on a case-by-case basis, and you can't really generalize based on one port. I'm also not really advocating one machine over another (I have both, and I'm relatively new to the PS3 so my experience with it is limited.) I just find it fascinating how each system deals with the same material differently, and with somewhat unpredictable results.

It really makes it tough for a consumer to pick which version to buy. You have to be familiar with the game ahead of time in order to predict which machine is going to tackle it better.

In the meantime, I'm waiting for Little Big Planet so I can have some experience with the high-end physics. I spent a lot of time playing Elebits on the Wii, and I noted how every object, regardless of size, appeared to have the same weight and momentum, and how the game really got bogged down when a lot of objects were in the playfield. It'll be nice to see this kind of thing done better.

Frankie_Says_Relax
10-06-2008, 04:22 PM
Yeah, on the PS3 demo there's an occasional frame dropped here and there when pivoting, but I'm pretty sure that happens on the 360 version as well.

tomaitheous
10-12-2008, 09:03 PM
It's funny to see people speculate the "power" of these systems without really knowing anything in depth about the processor and system archs. Or more specifically speculating physics "crunching" power. Physics is definitely CPU related, but how much do you guys know about the CPUs? It's hard to speculate the "power" of a processor without any previous knowledge and experience with low level coding. Comparing the SNES to the Genesis in that it would have some validation to these two current systems is ludicrous. The SNES and Genesis were vastly different visual, audio, and "speed" departments of each other, let alone these new consoles. Nothing is relative other than they were two competing systems with different specs. The PS3 and 360 are by far the closest systems in "output" of any generations IMO.

The only differences I've seen to far were some jaggies on some PS3 games *if* zoomed up or slightly blurry textures on release games of opposite ports. Some developer explained that the PS3 didn't have the pixel fill rate that the 360 had for higher resolutions - thus rendering games in lower res and upscaling them. As far as the CPUs, the PS3 has a simpler instruction set for the main processor than the 360's PPC core and the approach is more to feed specific data to one of the eight SIMD style cores. That to me says optimizations are *specific*, i.e. more limited in approach. While the 360 takes a more traditional approach with a wider and more flexible instruction set based on the PPC arch. The processor has 3 PPC cores and each core can process 2 threads each. Sounds pretty reasonable and simplier to have a single core dedicated to a physics engine without tying up the main processor with scheduling small chunks of data to SIMD type cores.

The PS3 will smooth out the optimization process like the PS2 did over time, but the same applies to the 360. The curve hasn't flattened out for either system yet. And it remains to be seen in the end, if the two system will clearly show any "leap" over the other.

Graham Mitchell
10-13-2008, 10:35 AM
Comparing the SNES to the Genesis in that it would have some validation to these two current systems is ludicrous.

When in my post did I saw I was giving a detailed, scientific comparison of the two? I can't do that. I'm a physician, not an engineer. But, I can tell you how I perceive the two experiences, and the similarities between this experience and previous ones, can't I?

Frankie_Says_Relax
10-13-2008, 10:41 AM
I think it's an even more ludicrous assumption to believe that anybody relating Genesis to SNES games in this thread was doing so on some kind of deep technical/diagnostic level.

roushimsx
10-13-2008, 10:56 AM
And as far as judging the PS3's "power" based on a port of a year-old game that was obviously developed with the 360 in mind and then retro-fit to the PS3 ... well, simply put, I wouldn't go by that game to see what the PS3 can really "do".

Nitpick - I don't recall Bioshock being developed with solely the 360 in mind, especially since it utilizes a platform independent engine and was simultaneously released on PC as well. It was developed with widescreen monitors specifically in mind and 4:3 support tacked on in the most glorious of ways (additional viewing space above and below the intended frame).

I wish more game would do that. The fallout from widescreen gamers was comical.

But hey! Bioshock is the bee's knees! I wish the difficulty hadn't been turned down quite as far as it did (there's nearly no penalty for dying :( ), but at least they managed to correct my chief complaints with System Shock 2. It was nice that the respawning enemies served a purpose other than to further degrade your weapons and your fun. Shame the hacking was so basic, but hey, who doesn't like a little Pipe Dreams every now and then?

Frankie_Says_Relax
10-13-2008, 12:18 PM
Nitpick - I don't recall Bioshock being developed with solely the 360 in mind, especially since it utilizes a platform independent engine and was simultaneously released on PC as well. It was developed with widescreen monitors specifically in mind and 4:3 support tacked on in the most glorious of ways (additional viewing space above and below the intended frame).

I wish more game would do that. The fallout from widescreen gamers was comical.

But hey! Bioshock is the bee's knees! I wish the difficulty hadn't been turned down quite as far as it did (there's nearly no penalty for dying :( ), but at least they managed to correct my chief complaints with System Shock 2. It was nice that the respawning enemies served a purpose other than to further degrade your weapons and your fun. Shame the hacking was so basic, but hey, who doesn't like a little Pipe Dreams every now and then?

You're right ... it obviously wasn't designed specifically for the 360, and in hindsight, and even though I worded it that way, what I should have said was that they weren't PRIMARILY thinking of the PS3's hardware architecture when developing the software, or at least not as much as they were on PC and 360.

fishsandwich
10-13-2008, 01:25 PM
I have not bought many PS3 games. The last one I picked up was a $5 basketball game at Walmart. I almost got Sonic for $10 but I hear it's not that great.

Bioshock will be THE FIRST PS3 game that I get brand-new, paying full retail, the first week it comes out.

Graham Mitchell
10-13-2008, 03:24 PM
I have not bought many PS3 games. The last one I picked up was a $5 basketball game at Walmart. I almost got Sonic for $10 but I hear it's not that great.

Bioshock will be THE FIRST PS3 game that I get brand-new, paying full retail, the first week it comes out.

You won't regret it.

tomaitheous
10-15-2008, 06:30 PM
I think it's an even more ludicrous assumption to believe that anybody relating Genesis to SNES games in this thread was doing so on some kind of deep technical/diagnostic level.

Good. 'Cause no one said that the comparison was on some kind of deep technical/diagnostic level. :rolleyes:

Sudo
10-15-2008, 06:38 PM
Well, the PS3 version of the game will have a patch (http://kotaku.com/5063709/bioshock-ps3-getting-patched) the day it comes out, so perhaps some of these issues you guys encountered will be rectified. I love that we're able to fix issues with games thanks to our modern consoles, but I still miss the days when a game was done and complete when you bought it at the store. No paid DLC nonsense or any of that shit. Meh, I guess that's a a rant for another thread.