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After reporting on the native rendering resolution of the Haze demo, some questioned my reasoning that the final game would sport the same resolution. This is despite there seldom being an example of a game’s resolution differing from its demo. In visiting Free Radical’s studio near Nottingham, creative lead Derek Littlewood confirmed our suspicions.

When I mentioned our story, Derek told me that the final game does indeed render at 1024by576, contrary to what is said by Ubisoft on the Playstation Blog; “From some other comments I read, I wanted to clarify that the game runs at 720p resolution.” Of course, Haze will output at 720p since the Playstation 3 can upscale, but this is not reflective of the game’s native resolution. Derek exclusively told us why they made the decision to render at a lower than HD resolution:

We prioritise a nice smooth framerate over a different res. Personally, I don’t really buy the whole thing. People did the same with Call of Duty, they did the same with Halo, and they say with those games ‘It’s not running at true HD!’ And it’s like, I don’t care. If the game looks good and it runs smoothly, those are the important things to me.

In asking whether the resolution was decided towards the end of development, Derek replied:

Yes. Well, as you develop an engine you’re aiming for a certain thing, but as all the pieces slot into place, you end up realising what sort of resolution you can run it at and that’s where we ended up with for Haze.

If you were to move forward with our next games, then as we optimise the engine we might be going, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll step things up and change things.’ But then different games we work on might have different requirements, so things may change there again. It’s all about how you use the resources you’ve got. But I don’t understand why people care whether there’s 20 pixels, 50 pixels, or 100 pixels more…

Naturally, I said that it’s not only a 100 pixel difference. 720p is over 300,000 pixels more than 576p:

Well, I always say, judge it [Haze] by the whole experience. Sit down with it and enjoy it. If people come away from that saying ‘Yeah, the resolution was a bit lower than I was expecting’ then I hope people wouldn’t, because it has other things it does really well.

For even more Haze goodness, our friends at PS3Attitude are holding a Haze week, starting tomorrow.

40 COMMENTS

  1. And this,is exactly why I refuse to buy a Playstation 3,I believe you buy an HD Console to play HD games,correct?

  2. I don’t know what the big deal is
    I play games on a wide screen 720p projector on a 100″ screen and every game I have played on the 360 and the ps3 looked great. The Haze demo was no different, it looked great. I would rather have less than HD resolution and nice smooth gameplay. if that is the price then fine.

  3. I agree, as long as it looks good and runs smoothly I don’t care what the native resolution is. BUT developers and publishers need to be honest about this stuff instead of BSing about how one kind of HD is better than another… and we’re looking at you, Sony. Hardly any PS3 games actually run at 1080p, so a lot of that pre-launch PS3 hype just turned out to be hot air.

  4. That I can agree with, If you tout it as a main feature or even in a list of features then you should be able to achieve that in
    “most” games. Now, I am not pulling my hair out because 1080p
    or 720p is not being achieved in most if not all games. I just think that if everybody knows that is the case, we should move on and just enjoy the merits of the console and the amazing work of the developers to give us such stunning games. the Haze demo was really good and looked great! ON an off topic afterthought I am really happy that developers are standardizing on a control scheme for FPS games, Haze, Resistance, Condemned, they all have a very similar control layout. keeps old guys like me from having to learn control schemes for every game.

  5. Full 720p – 1280×720 = 921,600 pixels
    Some Sub-HD games:

    Lair –  800×1080 = 864,000 pixels
    MGS4 – 1024×768 = 786,432 pixels
    Metal Gear Online – 1024×768 = 786,432 pixels
    GTA4 (PS3) – 1152×640 = 737,280 pixels
    Halo3 – 1152×640 = 737,280 pixels
    Dark Sector (PS3) – 1152×640 = 737,280 pixels
    Call of Duty 4 (PS3 , X360) – 1024×600 = 614,400 pixels
    Haze (PS3) – 1024×576 = 589,824 pixels

    1024×576
    It is nearly SD PAL game (720×576)
    LOL
    “New” HD ;)

  6. Right on Mr Derek Littlewood, about time I heard a dev who was straight up honest. Couldn’t have said it better myself ‘I don’t care’. All these idiots that analyse every single pixel and step – what’s the point.

    If a game looks and plays great then that is all that should matter. But please Microsoft and Sony – put your dogs back on their leashes and stop making these stupid FullHD / ProHD statements about how your competitor is failing. You both excel at what you do.

  7. AComputerlessWiyah: Buy a PS3 for the tens of HD games then.

    Madpuppy: Many people can tell the difference between sub-HD and HD. And Haze controls can be changed to almost any set-up you’d like.

    Andrew: I think the opporative word is “Pre-launch” and “hype” – is that really relevant now? They also tend to push their first party’s to reach 720p – they have no control over third party’s. What about “1080p” being on every Xbox 360 game box? Surely that’s false advertising also.

    Darren: Agreed, good on Derek for being honest. Still, I think developers shouldn’t rely on dropping the resolution.

  8. maybe the developers shouldn’t rely on dropping the resolution, maybe they shouldn’t rely on the manufacturer to have put enough horse power in the machines in the first place or even enough ram. god knows this 5 year old graphic card technology and huge 512Mb pool of memory are tailor made to deliver the greatest graphics effects maxed out at 1080p yeay, yeah. console developers are just lacking the necessary skills to tap these consoles full potential.

  9. LC, you have something there, I don’t know why the ps3 has 256 megs of ram? how much would have a gig or 2 added to the console?
    as for the video chipset, I don’t know what they could have done to
    improve that situation. do they use what is pretty good at the time of the consoles release?, do they have a custom chipset from their prospective suppliers? maybe utilizing a next generation die?
    I haven’t delved into the console that deeply do know personally. can anyone direct me to a good article on the specs of the 360 and the Ps3?

  10. @madpuppy

    The PS3 is more powerful in imagination land, the 360 is more powerful in reality. That’s pretty much how it’s turned out so far.

    But if you want the nitty-gritty, here’s a great article on the subject: http://dpad.gotfrag.com/portal/story/35372/?spage=1

    And yeah, I DO care about things like this. When console manufacturers start talking about their new HD consoles with HD games with their HD graphics.. Then I go out and buy an HDTV to fully enjoy them, then games like this come out that are barely above SD.. consider me irked.

    Especially since that was the BS-line we were fed about the new $60 price tags, because making these new HD games (with their HD graphics, etc etc) cost more money.

  11. This article will link you to a bunch of info on the specs. The ps3 actually has a split memory architecture of two kinds of memory each with 256Mb of ram and either way 512Mb is not enough ram for high def gaming even if you had the most advanced hardware memory would be an issue.

    many pc games are using more and more memory and we expect them to do the same thing on a console with a measly 512MB of shared ram.

    anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2453

  12. ur annoying.

    .corsairmemory.com/_appnotes/AN804_Gaming_Performance_Analysis.pdf

    a pdf showing a number of the latest pc games all using more than a gigabyte of physical ram. more ram means higher textures and higher resolutions while maintaining/improving framerate’s and load times.

    the discovery of sub-hd games on both ps3 and 360 as well as issues with other games including the ones you mention having frame rate issues, texture pop-in, frequent or long/annoying load times proves 512MB of ram is not enough.

    further games that have pc counter parts to there console version have higher resolution textures and playable resolutions, better performance and use significantly more ram because its generally available.

    Saying that delivering the same performance of a pc games on a console with such limiting specs is ridiculous.

    but hey if you think you can make haze better then the developers then… or no, I want to see you fit crysis on the 360 without crippling it, after all you wont have all those resource hogs in the background using up your precious 512MB of ram.

    @madpuppy here’s some more technical stuff.

    //forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=30197

    neoseeker.com/news/4933-playstation-3-gpu-less-powerful-than-the-xbox-360s-/

  13. ur annoying.

    .corsairmemory.com/_appnotes/AN804_Gaming_Performance_Analysis.pdf

    a pdf showing a number of the latest pc games all using more than a gigabyte of physical ram. more ram means higher textures and higher resolutions while maintaining/improving framerate’s and load times.

    the discovery of sub-hd games on both ps3 and 360 as well as issues with other games including the ones you mention having frame rate issues, texture pop-in, frequent or long/annoying load times proves 512MB of ram is not enough.

    further games that have pc counter parts to there console version have higher resolution textures and playable resolutions, better performance and use significantly more ram because its generally available.

    Saying that delivering the same performance of a pc games on a console with such limiting specs is ridiculous.

    but hey if you think you can make haze better then the developers then… or no, I want to see you fit crysis on the 360 without crippling it, after all you wont have all those resource hogs in the background using up your precious 512MB of ram.

  14. @madpuppy hmm will it go? will I defeat the built in moderation this time? one final click before the worlds ending….

    forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=30197

    theinquirer.net/en/inquirer/news/2005/08/31/playstation-3-gpu-slightly-less-powerful-than–geforce-7800

  15. “Saying that delivering the same performance of a pc games on a console with such limiting specs is ridiculous.”

    I didn’t say that at all. Re-read my comment.

  16. The reason why computer games need so much ram is because of how inefficiently they’re programmed. Computer games don’t have to program efficiently because ram for a computer is both easy to install and cheap. For consoles, less ram is needed because the games are programmed specifically for the hardware. Also – No notes here on how the console ram is much faster than your average pc ram.
    The ps3 has a 7800gt or gtx I believe, which I know to be capable of producing great games with resolutions over 1024 x 576.
    It also really pisses me off how they said that the systems will have 720p at least, when they are essentially running it much lower and scaling it to a larger screen.
    If you don’t care, then you aren’t likely to have an hdtv.

  17. john there’s efficiency and then there’s just the fact that high res textures and high resolution eat up ram, a recent pc developer made the comment that they used the entire 512MB of ram on your graphic card for textures.

    you can’t do that on a console so they have to compress textures, use lower resolution and often cache or dump and reload data.

    that’s one reason why we see so much pop-in in consoles games because that data is always being streamed in.

    and the rsx is supposedly less powerful then the 7800gtx. like i said before even with powerful hardware memory is an issue which were seeing here, there trying to use the latest techniques to deliver the latest and greatest visuals on 5 year old graphic technology with a very limited memory pool so things get cut or scaled back to make them fit.

    games on console are only coded to work more efficiently then pc’s because they have to in order to make these games run with the limited resources available.

    and maybe I am a bit of a hardware elitist but games like oblivion on a beefy machine with 2 gigs of ram fast processor and a 7800gtx was not that great for games like oblivion.

    take a number of high end games like flight simulator X, company of heroes and crysis simply wouldn’t run on console hardware without being fleeced.

    the information is out there and i posted links to it, the memory might be faster but its still being used up for high resolution textures. below are the quotes.

    ” The RAM bandwidth of Xbox 360 GPU is almost equal to RADEON X1600 XT and shared with CPU by UMA.

    Without the eDRAM pixel processor doing 4xMSAA, the fillrate of the GPU core itself is 4 billion texel/sec and almost equal to GeForce 7600 GT.

    While the Xbox 360 has a 3.5 times broader bandwidth than the original Xbox, 720p pixels require a 3 times broader memory bandwidth. It leaves only 0.5 times headroom which is insufficient for multiple texture lookups by complex shaders.”

    “Since textures are stored in the shared 512MB RAM, regardless of the eDRAM size or use of tile rendering, texture lookup consumes the shared memory bandwidth. Normal mapping and shadow mapping require many texture lookups.”

  18. OK. Time to do some work.

    David: The article you posted is out of date and has since been proven inaccurate – at least, it has since been shown to be one man’s opinion, full of presumptions. As for Sub-HD games, there are just as many on the 360 as on the PS3. What song were you singing when Halo 3 came out of the sub-HD closet?

    LC: Everything you say is all very well and perfect for taking the heat off of developers, but you’ve already been proven wrong. Yes 512mb makes it extremely hard for HD graphics and high-res textures – but it’s already been done. As David said, look to Gears of War and Gears of War 2, look to Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, and look to Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. As for the latter, it even puts PC games to shame with its high-res textures and holds its own on many other levels (eg. water and lighting). In fact, if you’re looking for the best looking games of 2007, Crysis would be top and Uncharted wouldn’t be far behind. You’re going to see many developers reach these heights on both consoles, and it is down to them to code well, get the support from other developers/console manufactures, and money.

    As far as memory is concerned, on the 360 it’s all about tiling, and on the PS3 it’s about getting everything into as small bits as possible – this is the time of multi processing and so the PS3’s Cell will be used for graphics (and has been already). This is the difference between Naughty Dog’s PS3 engine and Free Radical’s. HD graphics with high-res textures is possible, and even FR will get there this generation.

    I do really suggest you to play Uncharted (it will blow you away, especially the textures which you don’t seem to think are possible), and when Gears of War 2 comes out, I suggest you play that too.

    Madpuppy and LC: I wish you both the very best ;)

  19. c’mon Pat! look at all the activity on your article, a little debate, a little drama
    there are more posts on this article per day than any other.

  20. developers do things differently, state the obvious, and no doubt free radical will figure it out but that doesn’t change the fact that this trend will continue or the fact that hd graphics alone use nearly all the memory bandwidth available.

    these consoles are more suited for standard definition gaming, and i bet you that if people still care enough to figure it out there will be sub hd graphics stories till death of these consoles.

    memory is a limitation, and instead of delivering next generation leaps in actual game play or even convenience all the consoles power is focused on delivering hd graphics which means we get stupid games we already played with a new shine.

    you can sugar coat the console manufacture poor engineering decisions and a rush to hd as an oh the developers should just make it work mentality if you like however im going to have to say the prettier the game the dumber it is and ill throw your uncharted example back at you.

  21. LC: I really do not understand what you’re saying. Yes a console can produce more at a lower resolution, but in this case the better looking game by miles is Uncharted, compared to Haze at a lower resolution. Uncharted runs at a solid 30fps with 2xAA, employs HDR lighting at 720p etc. compared to Haze at 576p with 1xAA (no AA).

    The consoles are very much capable at HD, but yes it’s harder to do. Whoopy – developing is hard. And I don’t understand how the “prettier” game is dumber – the amount of work ND put into the game and how they proved everything you’re saying wrong, shows how undumb they are.

    Yes developers do things differently, but at the end of the day, one developer is doing it right and the other is doing it wrong. If the Spu’s aren’t being used, or old fashioned coding is still being used then of course you’re going to have problems.

  22. If a game looks and plays great then that is all that should matter. But please Microsoft and Sony – put your dogs back on their leashes and stop making these stupid FullHD / ProHD statements about how your competitor is failing. You both excel at what you do.
    Club Penguin Cheats

  23. Resistance, Condemned, they all have a very similar control layout. keeps old guys like me from having to learn control schemes for every game.

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