Friday, November 16, 2007

Think That Game Is Running In Full High-Def?

Think again.

Remember all those Microsoft and Sony adverts decreeing the death of standard-definition gaming? How the buzz words 720p and 1080p got hurled around like confetti at a fat, overpaid groom's wedding? How Samsung, LG, and Sharp, amongst others, made us think we needed Full HD LCD TV sets? Here's the truth for all you gaming-graphics-whores: Most games don't even render at 720p, let alone 1080p.

That LCD you splurged $3,000 for? Hardly being used. That $599 PS3 you shelled out for? Forget the whole HDMI-1080p hype. Click below to find out just how many games actually use the full HD spec...and then weep.

Here are two of the very latest games to be advertised as Full HD:

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (360) 1024×600p 2xAA
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3) 1024×600p 2xAA
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS3) 960×1080 in 1080p

Neither Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare or Uncharted run in the actual resolutions that are stated on the back of the box.

The reason most developers do this is to allow for more visual effects to be rendered on-screen without slowing the game down. Trying to code and develop a game with "next-gen" visuals, full-screen anti-aliasing, post-processing, and anisotropic filtering in full 1080p resolution is an incredibly difficult and time-consuming process. Even Sony's much-fabled Killzone 2 slated for release in 2008 won't be running at 1080p, but rather 720p.

Most gamers won't really notice the difference (did you before I posted this? No, didn't think so) but its still an interesting, if not contentious point to note, and one to definitely take on board next time you see gimmicky buzz words being bandied about. More from the pixel counter at Beyond3D.

Def Jam: Icon (PS3) 1152×648
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (PS3) 1920×1080 FullHD
Transformers (PS3) 960×1080
Pirates of the Caribbean (PS3 720p): 960×720
Pirates of the Caribbean (PS3 1080p): 780×1080
Oblivion (360): 1024×600 (PS3 version is full 720p)
ICO (PS2): 512×224p (less than Tekken on PS1 at 512×240)
VF5 (PS3 720p): 1024×1024 (same as 360)
VF5 (PS3 1080p): 1024×768

Some older games from the same thread:

Full Auto 2: 1920×1080 AA 4x, bad framerate - PS3
NBA Street: 1920×1080 AA 4x (30-60fps) - 360
LocoRoco Cocoreccho 1920×1080 MSAA 2x -PS3
Tony Hawk Project 8: 1040×584 AA - 360
Tony Hawk Project 8: 1280×720 - PS3
Virtua Tennis 3: 1920×1080 AA 2x - PS3, 360
XMB: 1920×1080p - PS3
Dashboard: 1280×720p - 360
Perfect Dark Zero: 1138×640p - 360
Halo 3: 1152×640p - 360
Call of Duty 3: 1120×630p 360
Ninja Gaiden Sigma: 1280×720p PS3
Project Gotham Racing 3: 1024×600 360
Tomb Raider: 1024×600 360
Ridge Racer 7:
NBA 07: 1920×1080 - PS3
NBA 08: 1920×1080 - PS3
Tony Hawk Proving Ground: 600p - PS3
Tony Hawk Proving Ground: 720p - 360
GRAW2: 720p - PS3
GRAW2: 720p AA 2x - 360
Super Rub a Dub: 1600×1080 - PS3
GTHD: 1440×1080 - PS3
Super Stardust HD: 1280×1080 - PS3
Skate: 1536×864 - PS3
Skate: 1280×720 AA - 360
Bioshock: 1280×720 - 360
Harry Potter: 1280×720 MSAA 2x PS3 ?
Pixel Junk Racers: 1920×1080 PS3
Heavenly Sword: 1280×720 AA 4x PS3
Blast Factor Demo: 1920×1080 PS3
The Darkness Demo: 1024×576 PS3

There you have it. Sucks doesn't it?


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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

PC: Budget Builder's Guide (Anandtech)

In recognition for all my hard work and hours of Force 10 geekness, comes my first bona-fide article for tech-site-to-the-gurus Anandtech. (Nothing to do with whoring myself bountifully forum-wide, I promise you.)

Regardless of reason, if you're into building your own all-in-one entry-level office system for roughly $600, or are wondering how to build your own kick-ass gaming system for $1000 - including an LCD and all peripherals, look no further than the November Budget Builder's Guide. And yes, Dell, HP, Sony, etc - all rip you off. You can do it all so much better, and by yourself...

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