PS4 Pro’s 4K Checkerboard Is A ‘Cute Trick’ But Requires Big Investment, Says Former Lionhead Developer

“That Sony have chosen to accelerate part of this for developers can only be a good thing for the short term.”

Posted By | On 16th, Nov. 2016 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


ps4-pro

The PS4 Pro is not powerful enough to actually push native 4K visuals on most games- that’s why Sony have to resort to tricks and shortcuts such as checkerboard rendering, an upscaling technique to 4K that works better than traditional upscaling.

Developers largely seem to agree- while they do think that it’s a trick compare to native 4K rendering, they also think that it’s a good way to get developers acclimatized to the challenges of outputting in 4K resolutions. One of the developers who thinks this is Don Williamson, former developer at Fable development studio Lionhead, and currently the Owner and Consultant Engine Programmer at Celtoys.

“[PS4 Pro’s Checkerboard rendering is] a cute trick that fell out of the temporal anti-aliasing line of thinking,” he said. “Like TAA it requires a big investment in a specific direction for your engine architecture: you need per-pixel velocity vectors, fallback strategies for the myriad effects that don’t fit that design, well-designed reprojection systems and game systems that are aware of single-frame effect limitations. If you’ve already invested in TAA then it could be a lot easier for you to integrate but there are strains of developers who don’t believe betting the farm on TAA is wise: you end up building a significant amount of code that stops working the minute you turn TAA off.

That said, he does think that there are advantages to using the technique, and thinks that Sony are smart in pushing it. “On the plus side? You get stunning performance improvements with visual idiosyncrasies that you might be happy with. That Sony have chosen to accelerate part of this for developers can only be a good thing for the short term as we figure how to target higher resolutions more efficiently.”

I suppose it is as good a tutorial for developers about developing in 4K as anything, but- its ultimately a trick. I imagine that when true 4K gaming becomes mainstream, the difference between this and the real thing will become more apparent.

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  • jp

    more lies, FOR THE PLAYERS!

    • Riiiiight buddy, yeah, dream on!

    • Guest

      Whats this like HVD’s 1000’s account? What a sad bast’rd.

    • Starman

      Just like the same 5 you used to give yourself fake likes … must be sad being lonely … oh wait , you’re only a guest hear…pls STFU.

    • Guest

      Nope sorry, I’m not you and just have this account so get your facts straight and stop making up sh’t cuz it just makes you look dumb. I got better things to do with my life than to make fake accounts to respond to you pathetic fanbots . Besides, this account is more than enough to smack down you pathetic f’cks. So you STFU, Stargirl

  • Mark

    Although some people don’t like this idea of mid-gen upgrades, I love it. I feel some developers are just goin thru challenges to help them achieve 4K visuals, while simultaneously doing it efficiently, or saving as much performance on these consoles as they can. By next generation consoles will be pushing native 4K, so I think it’s good studios get experience right now. What next gen games look like, from now, I think will be big. 4K with all kinds of new rendering features, new lighting, particles etc., and no Xbox One or PS4 limitations to worry about.

  • Starman

    ‘PS4 Pro’s 4K Checkerboard Is A ‘Cute Trick’
    Ha haaaaaaaa funniest thing I’ve heard all day but, very true at the same time..

    • Hvd

      wake up.

    • Aenea

      You’re not sleeping mate, it is a nightmare, the Pro is doing things your measly Xbox can’t do and you won’t wake up from it for a very long time! Four years is quite the wait for “really true 4k”!

    • kma99

      So he waits 4 years but you have to wait for another generation. Pot meet kettle

    • Aenea

      Yes, we all have to wait 3 to 4 years from now before we actually have a console that can do native 4k on everything!

      That is what I meant after all, waiting 4 years, as in, waiting until the actual next gen hits in 2019/2020…

    • Guest

      Go to sleep little boy.

    • Guest

      Actually a name as stupid as Starman is the funniest thing I’ve heard all day, ahahahahahahaha!

    • Starman

      And that had to be the wackest reply ever … FYI, geeks have never made me laugh with them, only at them…Oh yeah , almost forgot STFU !

    • Guest

      And that had to be the wackest reply ever … FYI, geeks have never made me laugh with them, only at them…Oh yeah , almost forgot STFU!
      Talk about ret’rded.

  • jacksjus

    In layman terms checkerboard rendering is enough to get you an improvement upon 1080p right now but once true 4K gaming becomes standard you will look back on checkerboarding and notice it wasn’t as good as you thought.

    They could have spared us all on the big technical terms there. By the way, I thought all of this information was quite apparent before reading this article.

    • theduckofdeath

      I like to hear the technical side. Graphics and rendering have been a hobby since 1999-2000.

    • Dougdec92

      Well.that is always the basis of technology, if you look back and the preceding tech is better than present then you haven’t evolved bro

  • Hvd

    as usual cerny lies andsay it take only .2% effort to do it.

    you are a fool if you believe anything cerny says

    • Aenea

      Haha, you again, of course, on a PS4 article!

      Anyhoo: why did Cerny lie, hmm?

      Also, why would we believe this article is even correct, is this dev quoted correctly and does he even know how the checkerboard rendering is being implemented by the Pro? Does he have experience with the Pro hardware?

      I Googled it, Celtoys doesn’t do anything with game programming at the moment, he already left Fable in January before most developers even knew about the Pro. And Fable didn’t do anything with the PS4 as you might know so we can assume he has no experience with the PS4 SDK.

      Because what is quoted here seems like he thinks it takes a lot more work than just dropping it into an existing game and what I’ve read about Sony’s checkerboard rendering is that it’s not as complicated as what is written in this article.

      But hey, feel free to believe whatever makes you sleep better at night!

    • TheNorthFace

      pipe down little wannabe dev, the ps pro is a weak pile of crap, they shouldn’t be allowed to call it a 4k mode, it’s a 1800p dynamic mode

    • Guest

      Calm down wannabe dev, the Pro is not nearly as bad as you say as 1800 is really close to 2160 which is what 4K is, moron! Now run along and learn something so you don’t look so stupid next time. And Scorpio will be just as weak, just watch as we all laugh at you suckers!

    • TheNorthFace

      scorpio must’ve stung you in the wrong place eh sony bot

      https://www.extremetech.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/southpark-mmo-gamer-ps4-gamer.jpg

    • Aenea

      Can it do native 4k? Yes, so they can call it what they like.
      PS4 Pro is weak? Then why are you so on the offensive in a PS4 Pro article? Scared?
      The Pro is 3x more powerful than any Xbox available on the market today…

      And ehmm, I’m a wannabe dev? Been coding since the early 80s, you?

    • TheNorthFace

      native 4k with ps3 graphics (last of us) 30fps lock lol
      or 1800p 60fps with fps drops and not many graphic improvements due to low memory bandwidth (512mb extra lol)

      scorpio is 3x more powerful than ps4
      it is also 1.8 more tflops more powerful than ps pro.. thats a whole ps4 gpu more powerful! LMAO

      i feel sorry for the guliable fanboys

    • Nathandrake777

      The difference isn’t going to be vast. The Scorpio version won’t look much better than the pro version outside of native 4k which won’t be a big difference from 1800p. Some people are having a hard time telling the difference from 1080p and 4k, what makes you think the difference from checkerboarding and native is going to be big. There’s also the reality that Xbox One has half the market share of PS4, doubt devs are going to give the Scorpio version of games special treatment. 4k is a small market as it is.

    • crazy_black_man-

      Pure logic on display.

    • Aenea

      1800p: 5760000 pixels
      2160p: 8294400 pixels

      Power difference between Pro and Scorpio: Scorpio is 1. 43 times more powerful.

      5760000 x 1.43 = 8228571 pixels

      What a shame, even the Scorpio can’t lift that 1800p Pro game to native 4k…

    • Guest

      Oh hey look who it is, its lifeless loser, that’s got nothing better to do with his life other than obsess over Sony. This kid is sick, a real loser who’s whole life revolves around this.

    • Hvd

      loser? im not the one hideing under guest thats a loser.

    • Aenea

      It means he doesn’t care enough to create an account for it, you on the other hand did and are on every single Sony article spouting negative crap.

      It’s pretty clear who the loser is….

    • Guest

      Sorry to break it to you but that is my name. Now keep obsessing over Sony you loser! Get a life.

    • Fernando Barros

      correct

    • Dougdec92

      Hahahahaha, design a console that sells 40million plus and I would delete this reply, no matter how perfect a console is, there is bound to be a developer with a game that would stretch your hardware to its uttermost limits. even expensive PC setups struggle with your ideal situation of visual bliss. Cerny builds for the mass market at a target price for the most efficiency and the fact that a tutorial-like strategy doesn’t go well with a former Xbox dev doesn’t spell doom for others, you just need time for everything to settle, that’s why games that come on earlier in the life cycle of a particular console are averagely bland compared to those that come later. Chillax

  • Riggybro

    Although not reported on a lot, playing a Pro on a 1080p TV with supersampling actually looks pretty damn good.

    I hope all games (on Pro and Scorpio) have this option.

    • Fernando Barros
    • Hvd

      because it bottlenecks.what ever happened to that mandate that ps4 pro games have to have thje same frame rate ps4 games have?…another lie by sony.

    • Guest

      And you’re still at it. Loser!

    • Hvd

      and your the one under guest…lmao

    • Aenea

      Yet, you’re still the one having created an account so you can badmouth anything Sony….

    • Aenea

      Nothing to do with bottlenecks you silly guy, they just did the wrong thing for 1080p users on the Pro, they will patch this and then the framerate will be rock solid and will still look miles better than your Xbox One!

    • Riggybro

      Probably same reason slow frame rate on my GTX1080.

      Companies do junk ports all the time.

    • Guest

      So a measly 4 frame difference makes it so much slower now? I think the only thing slow here is you.

    • Aenea

      Yeah, that’s bad, but then again they are rendering in a higher resolution and then downscale so it’s actually doing more, they just chose the wrong thing to do for 1080p users. This can and am sure it will be patched soon enough.

    • Gamez Rule

      Why does PS4-Pro run higher frame-rates while looking better?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGY1fdd0zO0

  • TheNorthFace

    so in short, the ps pro is weak and will be dead in a year, let’s hope the gullible fanboys keep buying it though. I do like sonys marketing though, calling it checkerboard rendering rather than UPSCALING. It should fool enough fanboys to keep them buying it. #4theplayers

    • Guest

      In short, it stomps the X1S and MS wont catch up for another year son! Recognize you dumb bot.

    • TheNorthFace
    • Guest
    • Kelarth

      No it doesn’t, the XB1 S does 4K as well and doesn’t need an update to do it unlike the PS4 Pro. The XB1 S also has an UHD unlike the PS4 Pro that’s why Xbox has been outselling PS for the past 4 months — people want the UHD feature.

    • Guest

      The Pro is a game system and not a movie player and has much higher res than the weak a$$ X1S with its upscaled 720/900p graphics and that’s a heck of a lot more important of a feature for gaming then a already obsolete out the door tech like a UHD player and you do know that this is a gaming system right and not some movie player and therefore, that’s what really matters. So have fun with your 4K movies which where probably really filmed at 2K and upscaled 720/900p games while Pro players get to play games with much higher res. Sucker! MS got you suckered good.

    • Aenea

      They’re not calling it upscaling because it’s not upscaling.

      Checkerboard rendering is done during the rendering process in a game engine, before a frame is finished. Upscaling is done when a game is done rendering and presents the final frame to the upscaling algorithm…

      But hey, let’s keep calling it upscaling if it makes you sleep better!

    • TheNorthFace

      ha LMAO!!! checkerboard rendering IS an upscaling technique you idiot! fanboys will believe anything lol well done sony http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2016-three-hours-with-playstation-4-pro

    • Aenea

      Ahh yes, “I can’t win so I will insult you” move, classic!

      I don’t care what anyone else is calling it, the fact remains it’s not the same thing as upscaling…

  • Mr Xrat

    Oh, so the former Lionhead developer is trustworthy now, Xgimps?

    • TheNorthFace

      you like upscaled gaming now little rat? scorpio says hi

    • Guest

      bot!

    • Mr Xrat

      When only indies and those awful-looking MS games are 4K on the Shitpio I’ll give you a hearty laugh in your desperate direction.


 

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