PS4 Pro Checkerboard Rendering Technique May Be Resource Intensive – Jonathan Blow

In real life, there are no free lunches.

Posted By | On 09th, Sep. 2016 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


The PlayStation 4 Pro may not be a hardware beast, but it definitely seems to be delivering some serious oomph and eye candy. A lot of this is because of some shortcuts and handy tricks that Sony have incorporated and embedded into the architecture of the new system itself, such as the much vaunted checkerboard rendering technique, which lets the system upscale graphics to 4K resolutions very effectively, without much in the way of a hit to resources.

Or at least, that’s been the understanding so far- as it turns out, that may not be entirely true. Posting on his blog, Jonathan Blow, the developer of The Witness, the acclaimed puzzle game that launched on PS4 and PC earlier this year, and which will be upgraded for Pro as well, explained that checkerboarding isn’t as ‘free’ as one might thing- there are still trade offs to be made.

“I think it depends on the particular game and engine,” he said. “Different rendering pipelines are structured differently; for some pipelines, the cost of adding checkerboard rendering would be very low, because they are already computing a lot of the information that checkerboard rendering needs. For other pipelines the cost might be higher. In our case we’re just not sure of the total cost yet, but we think it is probably high enough that we may prefer to do a straight upscale. But we’re not completely sure.

“(It is true that, as Sony has announced, the PS4 Pro provides hardware support for checkerboard rendering that makes it faster than it would otherwise be. I think in some places I have seen the rumor that checkerboard is completely free, but I would consider that an exaggeration: the cost is going to vary per game. Unfortunately due to NDAs I can’t provide details; I can’t say anything more about Sony technologies than what they have announced. It is definitely true that if you had a game running on the original PS4, and the developer wants to do the most straightforward thing to make the game look better on the Pro, that developer could enable checkerboard rendering and the game will look better and run faster; so it’s “free” in that sense. But if you are going to get picky about how you are spending the GPU memory and bandwidth of the new machine, then there are tradeoffs here, like with anything.)”

So it sounds like there are a lot of trade offs to be made- and that there are a lot of alternative ways that that extra power could be used and utilized by developers in their games. It should be interesting to see how the PlayStation 4 Pro is utilized by game makers in the days to come.

Awesome Stuff that you might be interested in

  • Nintengods


  • Gamez Rule

    smoke & mirrors as days go by

    • Nadinewturner3

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !ro548f:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash798MediaPlazaGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!ro548f:….,…….

  • justerthought

    Jonathan Blow is not indicating checkerboard rendering has a performance cost in terms of processing power, because it’s hardware based.

    He is referring to the fact that in order to use the function, the game has to be specifically coded and configured to make it compatible. If a game is already made and does not use the required pipeline, it’s just not cost effective to convert the whole game to use it. Any new games that are coded to use it from day one are able to use it with very little overhead.

    It’s all about how much work you have to redo in order to use the checkerboard rendering feature if your rendering pipeline is not compatible. Some games require very little change, while others are so far off the mark it’s too expensive to re-code it all. The Witness appears to be one of the latter.


Copyright © 2009-2017 All Rights Reserved.