Irrational: PS3 Won't Hold Back BioShock Infinite

Tom Goldman

Crying on the inside.
Aug 17, 2009
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Irrational: PS3 Won't Hold Back BioShock Infinite



Irrational Games is developing BioShock Infinite in such a way that the PlayStation 3's unique architecture won't be an issue.

The PlayStation 3 has been criticized by developers since its release for what they say is its BioShock Infinite [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/92333-Valve-Says-PS3-Complexity-Hinders-Game-Development], don't, because the company has a development structure in place to specifically negate any PS3 issues.

In a post on the Irrational Games forums, the studio's technical director Chris Kline replied to fans' questions about how it was handling the PS3 version of BioShock Infinite. He says Irrational is "serious about making sure the PS3 version is great," and wants everyone to know that it won't be a "port" of the PC or Xbox 360 versions.

To do this, Irrational is actually making the development of the game harder. Kline says that instead of declaring the PC, PS3, or Xbox 360 a "lead platform," it has "changed the game engine so that all platforms look (to a programmer) more like a PS3." Some technical details are in the post [http://irrationalgames.com/community/forums/ask-irrational/please-tell-me-your-new-game-will-be-on-ps3], but Kline basically wrote that this is both optimal for the PS3 and provides speed improvements on other platforms.

Kline also detailed the testing environment that Irrational has created to ensure that the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 versions are all up to speed through every change made. Through these processes, Irrational is simultaneously developing all three versions of BioShock Infinite in-house rather than handing one off to another studio.

Kline wants BioShock fans to have "confidence" that it's going to put out a great game on every platform. For the gamers that only own one console but still want to get in on Infinite's awesome looking gameplay [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/trailers/2028-BioShock-Infinite-Gameplay], that's good news indeed. As a sad reminder, the game still won't be out until 2012.

Source: Irrational Forums [http://irrationalgames.com/community/forums/ask-irrational/please-tell-me-your-new-game-will-be-on-ps3]

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Megacherv

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Sep 24, 2008
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UE3 (if they've finally decided to upgrade from UE2.5) is meant to be very well supported on the PS3 I think, what with Unreal Tournament 3 being far superior on the PS3 version than the 360 version.
 

Jumplion

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Oh for goodness sake, I thought we were over the "PS3 is too hard to develop for!" thing? It's been nearly, like, what, 5 years or something since it came out? I think that's plenty of time to get the hang of things.

Whatever, it's good that Irrational are taking a varied approach to this, and regardless of what platform it's on, it's going to look amazing no matter what to me. Seriously, that gameplay footage of Infinite got me pumped.
 

Korten12

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Aug 26, 2009
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Megacherv said:
UE3 (if they've finally decided to upgrade from UE2.5) is meant to be very well supported on the PS3 I think, what with Unreal Tournament 3 being far superior on the PS3 version than the 360 version.
Yeah the ps3 version even had Mod support, which is pretty big, it kind of proved that console games can have mods for their games, its just most games don't.

I believe you make a mod on the PC and then their's a way of making the ps3 version compatiable.

Like these:

http://www.moddb.com/mods/airborn

http://www.moddb.com/mods/renegade-x
 

UberMore

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Sep 7, 2008
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'bout time a company actually told fans that they care about the PS3. (not forgetting Steam/Valve, of course)
It's not superior (really) to the Xbox or PC, nor is it inferior (in the grand scheme of things), but it always felt that console to console to PC, that the PS3 guys were getting a raw deal with the hardware available, where as the PC and Xbox versions were getting all they could.
 

UltimatheChosen

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Jumplion said:
Oh for goodness sake, I thought we were over the "PS3 is too hard to develop for!" thing? It's been nearly, like, what, 5 years or something since it came out? I think that's plenty of time to get the hang of things.
It's not hard in the sense of learning a new language, where you'll struggle until you learn it.

It's more like... trying to drive in the middle of a blizzard. You can get used to it, but it'll always be more challenging than driving under good conditions.

That's the impression I got, anyways.
 

Flunk

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Feb 17, 2008
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UltimatheChosen said:
Jumplion said:
Oh for goodness sake, I thought we were over the "PS3 is too hard to develop for!" thing? It's been nearly, like, what, 5 years or something since it came out? I think that's plenty of time to get the hang of things.
It's not hard in the sense of learning a new language, where you'll struggle until you learn it.

It's more like... trying to drive in the middle of a blizzard. You can get used to it, but it'll always be more challenging than driving under good conditions.

That's the impression I got, anyways.
It's not a matter of how long it's been around, or skill, or anything else. The PS3 has some very specific limitations that you have to code around. I have first-hand experience programming for the Cell Architecture and I can tell you that although the theoretical floating-point performance is fantastic you'll never actually see it in a game because of limitations in the Cell's design (Most importantly not being able to access memory directly from code running on SPEs).

This is the reason games on the 360 and PS3 are very similar in graphic quality. The 360's processor has less raw floating point power, which is important for 3D games but it's much easier to program for so less of that potential is wasted waiting for memory. Well, that and the GPU in the 360 is more powerful than the PS3's, but they're in the same ballpark.

Sorry If I just made someone's head explode with all that technical mumbo-jumbo. The short version is that it takes a lot more time to write equivalent code on the PS3 than the 360.
 

Onyx Oblivion

Borderlands Addict. Again.
Sep 9, 2008
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2012.

Maybe this game will be so awesome the world explodes.

Anyway, that's nice.

But how's the Wii version coming?
 

Mr.Amakir

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Jun 2, 2010
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The most important question about this game is still unanswered. Will the game have the same amount of depth that System Shock 2 had or will it be just as dumbed down as Bioshock.
 

ZippyDSMlee

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Translation:We got off our asses and finally figured out how to code for the PS3.

Flunk said:
UltimatheChosen said:
Jumplion said:
Oh for goodness sake, I thought we were over the "PS3 is too hard to develop for!" thing? It's been nearly, like, what, 5 years or something since it came out? I think that's plenty of time to get the hang of things.
It's not hard in the sense of learning a new language, where you'll struggle until you learn it.

It's more like... trying to drive in the middle of a blizzard. You can get used to it, but it'll always be more challenging than driving under good conditions.

That's the impression I got, anyways.
It's not a matter of how long it's been around, or skill, or anything else. The PS3 has some very specific limitations that you have to code around. I have first-hand experience programming for the Cell Architecture and I can tell you that although the theoretical floating-point performance is fantastic you'll never actually see it in a game because of limitations in the Cell's design (Most importantly not being able to access memory directly from code running on SPEs).

This is the reason games on the 360 and PS3 are very similar in graphic quality. The 360's processor has less raw floating point power, which is important for 3D games but it's much easier to program for so less of that potential is wasted waiting for memory. Well, that and the GPU in the 360 is more powerful than the PS3's, but they're in the same ballpark.

Sorry If I just made someone's head explode with all that technical mumbo-jumbo. The short version is that it takes a lot more time to write equivalent code on the PS3 than the 360.
Not to mention the limited ram of the PS3, gaa the Cell makes the emotion engine look fing great.

And heres a question if they tripped the spec of the PS2 (ram/cache size/speed) CPU speed, GPU speed maybe update the architecture to optimize things but essentially its a super PS2 only without the limitations of the PS2 in power and graphics would it not have been cheaper and "faster" than the PS3?
 

Rayansaki

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May 5, 2009
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UltimatheChosen said:
Jumplion said:
Oh for goodness sake, I thought we were over the "PS3 is too hard to develop for!" thing? It's been nearly, like, what, 5 years or something since it came out? I think that's plenty of time to get the hang of things.
It's not hard in the sense of learning a new language, where you'll struggle until you learn it.

It's more like... trying to drive in the middle of a blizzard. You can get used to it, but it'll always be more challenging than driving under good conditions.

That's the impression I got, anyways.
The difference is the way the console handles the instructions. The Ps3 handles very dedicated instructions, while the x360 has a unified architecture

In a simple way of explaining:

The X360's way of handling load is like having a 1 Gallon bottle. If you want to fill it with water, you get 1 gallon of water. If you fill it with wine, you have 1 gallon of wine. If you want to fill half and half, you can.

The PS3's architecture is like having three 1/2 Gallon bottles, except you can only put water on Bottle A, wine on Bottle B and beer on Bottle C

The PS3 has more total power, and if you are utilizing all dedicated sources, you can create more powerful stuff than the x360, but if you want to dedicate all the power to a specific instruction, the x360 is superior.

This makes programming for the PS3 a lot harder, because you can't dedicate all the resources to a specific kind of instruction, and it's also why you can't just port stuff from the PC or x360 into it.
 

Orcus The Ultimate

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Nov 22, 2009
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FATALITY ! PS3 engine Wins !

personally i don't think this game will deliver much more than the previous Bioshocks...

and also: it was a about time they get familiarized with the PS3's engine ! i mean, it's not because other corporations send bad PR that gaming companies will follow their lead. unless they get paid or bought for it.

it's been like 6 or so years since the PS3 got out, and there's still an infinite amount of possibilities for new games to be done, and there's such few games released that it's almost as if we don't have a variety of choices. i think it's just the beginning of the console, and i strongly believe that if Sony releases another console so soon, it would be counterproductive and will only be made because of the Toyotist economists/ideologists on the inside of the corporation.
 

Nalgas D. Lemur

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Nov 20, 2009
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Megacherv said:
UE3 (if they've finally decided to upgrade from UE2.5) is meant to be very well supported on the PS3 I think, what with Unreal Tournament 3 being far superior on the PS3 version than the 360 version.
I'm all in favor of people making sure their games work as well as possible on every platform they release them on. It always sucks for someone if one or more of the platforms gets neglected or isn't properly accounted for in the software design.

That said, as someone who plays stuff like this on a PC, UE3 can eat a dick. It is pretty nice that basically any UE3 game can be easily maxed out at higher settings than the consoles use, and it only takes mid-range hardware to do it, but unless they rewrite how half the stuff the engine does for you is handled in the PC version, you get stuck without a bunch of otherwise standard features (e.g. generally no AA (unless you force it, which doesn't always work well and is slower) unless they rewrite the rendering/lighting system), silly default settings that often can only be changed by digging through config files (e.g. the mouse smoothing/acceleration/etc. settings in games like Borderlands), and various other crap (e.g. streamed textures that are loaded as needed, which makes a lot of sense on a console with very limited RAM, but results in lots of unnecessary texture pop-in on a PC, because the cache seems to very aggressively discard them instead of hanging onto them longer, despite my video card itself having as much memory as an entire console, plus 4 GB of system RAM on top of that to work with). Occasionally someone tries to account for those things in PC ports of stuff, but not usually. I put up with it because it means more PC releases of things I can actually play because it's easier to port stuff (or make it cross-platform in the first place), but it sucks that most of the time when you see "UE3" listed, you can almost reliably predict that certain things you take for granted in other games will probably be missing or screwed up.

Ranting aside, Irrational does have pretty high standards and production values, so I do expect them to probably do a better job with it than most people. There was a bit of minor stupidity along those lines even in BioShock, though, so I'll wait and see how it turns out.
 

seekeroftruth86

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Nov 20, 2010
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This and The Last Guardian have cinched the PS3 for me.

(Money's been tight and I've had to put off a game system for some time. I still want a Wii really bad though.)

Great to see that the PS3 is coming into its own after a rocky start. How much longer do you think this generation has left though?