4A Explains How They Achieved 1080p/60fps With PS4, Xbox One’s eSRAM Small Amount Is A Pain

4A Games CTO shares his experience working on the PS4 and Xbox One.

Posted By | On 27th, Aug. 2014 Under News | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet


Metro Redux

Metro Redux which was recently released on the PlayStation 4 runs at 1080p and 60fps on Sony’s console. Given that Sony’s first party studios like Naughty Dog have somewhat struggled to achieve consistent 60fps in their games, it’s surprising that such a demanding game is running in full HD on the PlayStation 4. So how did 4A Games achieved it?

“There is no secret. We just adapted to the target hardware,” 4A Games’ chief technical officer Oles Shishkovstov said in an interview with EuroGamer. “GCN doesn’t love interpolators? OK, ditch the per-vertex tangent space, switch to per-pixel one. That CPU task becomes too fast on an out-of-order CPU? Merge those tasks. Too slow task? Parallelise it. Maybe the GPU doesn’t like high sqrt count in the loop? But it is good in integer math – so we’ll use old integer tricks. And so on, and so on.”

He also added that eSRAM itself  is not a pain to work with but the amount of eSRAM on the Xbox One is actually challenging. Regardless it’s sufficient performance wise. “Actually, the real pain comes not from ESRAM but from the small amount of it. As for ESRAM performance – it is sufficient for the GPU we have in Xbox One. Yes it is true, that the maximum theoretical bandwidth – which is somewhat comparable to PS4 – can be rarely achieved (usually with simultaneous read and write, like FP16-blending) but in practice I’ve seen only a few cases where it becomes a limiting factor.”

Metro Redux is now available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and it’s pretty solid remaster. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


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  • Stephane Vaille

    Oh, some interesting info in the whole interview (I believe the eurogamer one is complete but not sure at all). Too bad that GB is not publishing the full one instead of publishing tiny chunks … Anyway :

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2014-metro-redux-what-its-really-like-to-make-a-multi-platform-game

    Seems like in fact the DX11 base is really not optimized for console, and that MS is really pushing to improve that with new SDK.
    Wait and see, next month should be interesting. but currently I feel that purchasing a next gen console can wait one more year for new IP and well optimized games.

    • JerkDaNERD7

      Yeah, seems like they had to hedge it with a ton of features just to make it viable for now. Like Mantle is to Dx12…

    • Stephane Vaille

      Yes I think that the combo Esram GPU and the clock boost can finally make the job.
      But it’s sad that those consoles are not the beast I wanted … in few years the gap with PC world will be huge like last gen.

    • Michael Norris

      Eh both MS and Sony don’t want to take a huge hit on the hardware.

  • Rorison Meadows

    Feel free to utilize Azure, like you’re supposed to for Xbox One. We know you want to develop like you have been, but times are a changin’. Stop being lazy.

    • maybe

      We’re probably not going to see a third party developer use the cloud for a long time. It probably takes to long since we’ve already heard one developer state they had to basically build the game twice since they made a version that runs without the cloud. So for the foreseeable future we’ll only see the cloud used on first party games.

    • JerkDaNERD7

      That has NOTHING to do with this article…

    • Rorison Meadows

      Of course it does. It has to do with utilization of the system infrastructure as a whole. Xbox One is different, not traditional. Stop being lazy.

  • YOUDIEMOFO

    Hindered hardware outta the gate…… People need to understand that the latency for their cloud like ideas are going to be entirely to high for developers to anything other than “background” calculations. Do not get me wrong I know there are ways to make use of that stuff like environmental effects and other background tasks, but good luck making it “snappy.” If you had to have things done in a game I would assume that it would be geared more toward open world effects to where a lot of data is streaming constantly.

    Don’t get me wrong I hope that their cloud does take off do something special in a couple of years. Then when the system is around a couple hundo (maybe less used) I might decide to pick one up.

    • Starman

      I guess you haven’t seen or heard that CLOUD streaming and computing have been fixed , no latency / lag ,,all seamless , when HALO 5 , CRACK-DOWN SCALEBOUND AND FFXV come out …this topic/convo will be non existent …

      The fix is called ‘DeLOREAN’

    • jayflow

      I thought they said in that “Delorean” article that it wouldn’t be coming to consoles(Xbox one)? If it does come to the Xbox one that would be great.

    • maybe

      don’t think they said it wont come to the xbox, i believe it was the article writer that said it probably wont

    • Michael Norris

      Please reframe any cloud gaming comments,until MS has it running in the real world it’s a broken conversation.

    • MrSec84 .

      Yep, even Delorean isn’t a fix, it’s basically just the servers attempting to guess what you’re actions will be based on past data tracked from past games..
      Latency will always be an issue while we’re using current broadband tech, unless your Xbox One can use the power of a PC you have at home, with a decent spec multiple times the power of said console.

      Non-latency sensitive tasks are where that power should be spent, with the console dealing with stuff you’re directly interacting with.

  • HisDivineOrder

    This is what having a PC port allows. Future ports to future consoles that more closely match the PC of yesteryear.

    The funny thing is that even the Redux versions don’t match up to the level of the PC version of LL and that’s the engine they used to update 2033.

    • Michael Norris

      Metro 2033 needed a damn good Pc to run it at maxed settings and to get a smooth 60+fps.

  • GHz

    “Given that Sony’s first party studios like Naughty Dog have somewhat struggled to achieve consistent 60fps in their games, it’s surprising that such a demanding game is running in full HD on the PlayStation 4. So how did 4A Games achieved it?”

    DF Went straight to jugular on that one.

    Ain’t the kind to swing on anyones nuts but they’re both last gen games, and even on new hardware, they STILL look like LAST GEN games, just in 1080p. Visual wise I’m not that impressed. Watching The Division, now that’s impressive! i dont care what res that game will be running in because already it looks better than Metro, “remastered” & TLOU “remastered”. So DF saying Metro is a demanding game, I don’t really understand what that means in next gen content, when Ubi got games like Division looking like it do on PS4 & XB1.

    Maybe it has to do with this quote. (And it’s only one example)

    ” Counting pixel output probably isn’t the best way to measure the difference”

    ” There are plenty of other (and more important factors) that affect image quality besides resolution. We may push 40 per cent more pixels per frame on PS4, but it’s not 40 per cent better as a result… your own eyes can tell you that.”

    DF really needs to intelligently put some perspective to this whole 1080p 60 frames per second thing and help refocus gamers on what really matter in the end, and that is your experience with the game. Maybe Gaming bolt is up to the challenge. There are so many different factors that affects how great a game can look. 1080p is not the definitive factor. It’s great to have it, but if you have a better solution to make a game pop out better visually, go for it. Developers say this all the time. Why don’t we listen?

    That interview was live and direct, but it was also all over the place. But @ least 4A put to rest the exaggerative power attributed to the PS4 when compared to the XB1. In regards to the tools available and how they are utilized on the consoles…” PS4 is just a bit more powerful.” Mind you he also admits that in his opinion DX11 slows the performance of the XB1 significantly. His point? ” I don’t really get why they choose DX11 as a starting point for the console.” Then he continued, “On Xbox One it easily could be one million times slower because of all the bookkeeping the API does.” But yet we get near parity on the XB1, a system they have less experience with compared to the PS4. And they admitted that time constraint was the blame. They ran out of time + they did not even utilize updated tools because of time wouldn’t allow it.

    “They added tons of features just to work around limitations of the DX11 API model. They even made a DX12/GNM style do-it-yourself API available – although we didn’t ship with it on Redux due to time constraints.”

    But yet they achieved near parity with 912p 60 locked. Is anyone else confused by all this? I know it’s not just me. How much “bit” more powerful is the PS4 then?

    Overall great interview and somewhat enlightening. I really enjoyed it.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2014-metro-redux-what-its-really-like-to-make-a-multi-platform-game

    • Michael Norris

      TLOU was made on exotic hardware,and the fact it holds 60fps for about 95% of the game.Metro was made on Pc so porting it over to X86 hardware is a easy task compared to an Ps3-Ps4 conversion.

    • GHz

      Good point! DF didn’t even think about the TLOU situation before blurting out their statement.

    • demfax

      There will be no parity if PS4’s stronger hardware is being pushed. In essentially every way, the PS4’s hardware is more powerful than the XBO’s.

      If they’re the same resolution, PS4 will have a framerate or visual effects advantage, or its stronger hardware isn’t being pushed.

      Factual PS4 Hardware Advantages: +6 CUs, +540 GFlops (40% greater) or more (1.3TF to 1.84TF), +16 ROPs, +6 ACEs/CQs, better GPGPU support (volatile bit and onion+ gpu cache bypass bus), better performing CPU, faster unified memory, and less OS overhead.

      No amount of API updates is going to make up for that hardware gap.

      Exclusively 1080p 60 FPS console games on PS4: MGS V, CoD Ghosts, FFXIV, Tomb Raider, MLB The Show 14, Resogun, Trials Fusion, Diablo 3 (higher framerate), Project Cars, Metro Redux, TLOU Remastered, more.

  • You are flat out wrong’s mom

    they said the hardware is definitely capable of 1080p it’s just utilising esram to hit 1080p, maybe they should have asked ms for some help, i do think ms should have improved the hardware design from the get go, it seems devs can’t be bothered optimising their games through esram and rather dump big chunks of memory into the ram like they do on pc & ps4. still 900p vs 1080p ain’t a big deal but i still prefer if devs take the time to utilize esram better to hit the best performance possible.

    i wouldn’t want any game going lower than 900p, i can only really notice a difference when it goes lower than that.

    • Michael Norris

      Devs will not ”spend extra time” to hit 1080p.We still don’t know if the Xone version of Destiny will be a 100% like to like with the Ps4 version.Diablo 3 runs 1080p/60fps but it had some minor cutbacks and the frame rate dips.Esram isn’t as good as GDDR5,the guy even said it ”Yes it is true, that the maximum theoretical bandwidth – which is somewhat comparable to PS4 – can be rarely achieved”

    • You are flat out wrong’s mom

      i’m sure it’ll be the same on both if games hit 1080p, ps4 usually offers slightly better frame rates and maybe more room for better AA but apart from that playing it on both will be identical. it’s like when 360 games apparently ran better than ps3, but you couldn’t really see the difference.

    • demfax

      The gap between PS4 and XB1 is greater than 360/PS3.

  • UnspecifiedTronica

    is the whole game constant 60 FPS? Are there any dips? I know, i know..First world problem. :/

    • demfax

      According to DF it’s 60 fps 99% of the time.

  • d0x360

    Well.hello click bait misleading headline.

  • Mark

    Man 4A’s engine is nuts. Dude said, they’ll probably cut the frame rate in half, to get almost 3x the beauty on screen, in their next game….oh my. And for any Xbox owner, this is a bit encouraging, about the DX12 bit. “No, it’s important. All the dependency tracking takes a huge slice of CPU power. And if we are talking about the multi-threaded command buffer chunks generation – the DX11 model was essentially a ‘flop’, while DX12 should be the right one”. Nice Oles.

    And yeah I agree with GHz below. We need to hear more about Physically Based Rendering and stuff in these new games than resolution. I’d like to hear more about the rendering methods and Mantle, DX12, OpenGL etc. from journalists. Imo.

    I found this nice bit somewhere laying around, about DX12. It may be too blurry tho lol.

  • Failz

    Quote *eSRAM itself is not a pain to work with*
    I smell trouble brewing.

    • Zubayr Bhyat

      Was the cut and paste a prediction of what may come? 😛

    • demfax

      Taking quotes out of context.


 

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