Ubisoft’s New Rendering Technique Allows Them To ‘Fit A Lot More’ In The Xbox One’s ESRAM
A very neat technique, used to great effect by Ubisoft for Rainbow Six: Siege.
One of the most criticized things about the Xbox One this generation, from a hardware perspective at any rate, has been the ESRAM- it has often been cited as a bottleneck for games development, and it is a decision that we have seen Microsoft attempt to first justify, and then circumvent.
Ubisoft, one of the biggest supporters of the Xbox One platform, too have been working up ways to not be limited by the ESRAM- and during a GDC panel (summarized by WCCFTech), they shared one such technique that they have used to some success. The technique in question was used for Rainbow Six: Siege, and the technique used by Ubisoft was the checkerboard rendering technique. This technique breaks the image down into smaller squares, which can lead to less aliasing, and better IQ in general, with less noise. It can also mean that there is enough processing grunt left to render the game at a steady 60FPS (something that Ubisoft was consciously trying to do with Siege), at relatively high resolutions than would be possible otherwise, to boot. Finally, it helps Ubisoft get around the ESRAM issue too, as this technique allows them to ‘store more in the ESRAM’ than would be otherwise possible.
It sounds like a technique with a lot going for it, and very little against it- it will be interesting to see if we see more Xbox One bound games adopt it going forward.