Xbox One’s eSRAM Too Small to Output Games At 1080p But Will Catch up to PS4 – Rebellion Games

Sniper Elite 3 senior producer Jean-Baptiste Bolcato talks about the challenges of developing on the Xbox One.

xbox one amd

Much has been said and written about the Xbox One’s eSRAM. While it doesn’t approach the power offered by the PS4’s unified architecture – and has even been blamed for Xbox One titles being unable to run at 60 FPS and 1080p – many developers have defended it. After all, this is the beginning of the new generation – as a developer’s understanding of the hardware improves, so does the visual quality of the games.

Rebellion Games’ Jean-Baptiste Bolcato, who is working as a Senior Producer on the upcoming Sniper Elite 3, had some interesting opinions about that though. GamingBolt spoke to him about Sniper Elite 3’s Xbox One development and asked how the team was handling eSRAM. Some developers use it for texture streaming, storing z-buffer and praise its ease of use while others have problems – how is Rebellion handling that?

Bolcato stated that, “It was clearly a bit more complicated to extract the maximum power from the Xbox One when you’re trying to do that. I think eSRAM is easy to use. The only problem is…Part of the problem is that it’s just a little bit too small to output 1080p within that size. It’s such a small size within there that we can’t do everything in 1080p with that little buffer of super-fast RAM.

“It means you have to do it in chunks or using tricks, tiling it and so on. It’s a bit like the reverse of the PS3. PS3 was harder to program for than the Xbox 360. Now it seems like everything has reversed but it doesn’t mean it’s far less powerful – it’s just a pain in the ass to start with. We are on fine ground now but the first few months were hell.”

Will the process become easier over time as understanding of the hardware improves? “Definitely, yeah. They are releasing a new SDK that’s much faster and we will be comfortably running at 1080p on Xbox One. We were worried six months ago and we are not anymore, it’s got better and they are quite comparable machines. The Xbox One is a bit more multimedia, a bit more hub-centric so its a bit more complex. There’s stuff you can and can’t do because it’s a sort of multimedia hub. PS4 doesn’t have that. PS4 is just a games machine.”

The PS4 is thus more of a gaming machine in its core focus. “Yeah, I mean that’s probably why, well at least on paper, it’s a bit more powerful. But I think the Xbox One is gonna catch up. But definitely there’s this eSRAM. PS4 has 8GB and it’s almost as fast as eSRAM [bandwidth wise] but at the same time you can go a little bit further with it, because you don’t have this slower memory. That’s also why you don’t have that many games running in 1080p, because you have to make it smaller, for what you can fit into the eSRAM with the Xbox One.”

Despite the challenges, Rebellion Games are working closely with Microsoft and Sony while developing Sniper Elite 3.  They are currently targeting 60fps for both the console versions. It is also interesting to note that Bolcato reveals that a new SDK update is on its way that will improve performance on the Xbox One. What that update will exactly do is still currently unknown or may be it’s the driver update that we reported about a month ago. Stay tuned for more details on Sniper Elite 3, including gameplay mechanics and the differences between current and next gen versions.


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  • RedTape

    Im sorry but anyone who says Xbone or Sony pony are just fan boying and look really ridiculous and i immediately skip over their post

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  • robotosoto

    What game out of all the next gen titles is described as
    follows?

    “one of the most visually impressive launch titles available. There are points – many of them – where this game is simply breathtaking, with an overall presentation that is very filmic in nature, making it stand apart from the pack.”

    “_____ looks so very different that it calls to mind a debate on visual presentation” (fill in the blank)

    “______ is arguably the closest we get to a practical example of this theory* – and it looks quite spectacular for much of its duration.

    *The theory in question is,

    “a more interesting next-generation metric is, can an engine on an ultra high-end PC* rendering at 720p look as real as a DVD quality movie?” *(note that they mentioned ultra high end PC)

    The debate was interesting enough that even a Hollywood CG professional
    contributed:

    “We do what is essentially MSAA. Then we do a lens distortion
    that makes the image incredibly soft (amongst other blooms/blurs/etc).
    Softness/noise/grain is part of film and something we often embrace. Jaggies we
    avoid like the plague and thus we anti-alias the crap out of our images,”
    said Pixar’s Chris Horne. “In the end it’s still the same conclusion:
    games oversample vs. film. I’ve always thought that film res was more than
    enough res. I don’t know how you will get gamers to embrace a film aesthetic,
    but it shouldn’t be impossible.”

    So what is this game that they are talking about? :-)

    To some people, facts are the enemy, and they run as far as they can away from it.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-next-gen-now-ryse-son-of-rome

    • Mikeherp Derp

      They’re talking about The Order, which destroys Ryse’s cheap tricks and pre-rendered FMV cutscenes.

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  • Nutballs

    ps4 & Xbox one suck donkey balls.my PC eats piece of s*** like Xbox one and PS 4 for breakfast

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  • dranzer

    Will the process become easier over time as understanding of the hardware improves? “Definitely, yeah. They are releasing a new SDK that’s much faster and we will be comfortably running at 1080p on Xbox One

    • Mikeherp Derp

      1080p 30 fps maybe, while PS4 is 1080p 60.

  • http://www.originalplots.com/ OriginalBryGuy

    Game forums since E3 last year:

    Kid 1: My processor is better than your processor.
    Kid 2: Nuh uh.
    Kid 1: Yes huh.
    Kid 2: Nuh uh.
    Kid 1: Yes huh.

    I think you guys are all a little nuts (I am too), but gamers rock! I understand why everyone is so passionate about the subject. Lots of money to spend once you make your ‘choice’. It matters. And even if PC is an option it can be an expensive one too. The reason to love consoles is the games. Some games ARE just on consoles and never make it to PC.

    PS4 is clearly better though. =P It won. Microsoft is too stupid to come back now. Why pay $100 more for inferior tech? It just doesn’t make sense. Xbots…just ditch Xbox Done and get a PS4. It’s ok. You can do it. You’ll be so much happier. I promise.

    • MrZweistein

      You do the same as the both kids you described …

    • http://www.originalplots.com/ OriginalBryGuy

      I don’t talk about better processors. I talk about better systems. I’m all for elevating the conversation if possible. It’s not even a debate at this point. Xbox can’t handle ‘next gen’ like PS4 and the sales prove it. It’s over. lol

    • MrZweistein

      Ok, You do the same and in addition you providing a conclusion that is only your opinion in the end of the day. I suggest to wait with your judgement if we are 2 years in this generation. Then we have the games to judge on. Now for me it is only speculation on the first wave of games developers have not learned all of the aspects both consoles deliver and are capable of. Just like in the last generation. Please be patient, man :)

    • http://www.originalplots.com/ OriginalBryGuy

      That’s the point. How long have we been waiting for next generation systems. PS4 is $100 less and it’s outperforming Xbox One. If I were an owner of Xbox One right now I’d be livid. Why should they have to wait anymore? Microsoft should be coming through for them with 1080p and 60fps like PS4 is consistently doing. Why should anyone have to wait. Great games are on PS4 right now.

    • MrZweistein

      Ok, then play your games on the PS4. But let us others do our own decision. Thx.

    • http://www.originalplots.com/ OriginalBryGuy

      I have been. PS4 rules.

    • Mikeherp Derp

      Delusional and wrong 360/PS3 comparison. Xbox hardware is both weaker and harder to code for.

    • http://TheBest404PageEver.com/ Calvin Kinzie

      No, PS4 is not superior for the price.
      PC is.

    • http://www.originalplots.com/ OriginalBryGuy

      It would be hard to get a decent gaming rig for $399. Hardcore PC gamers usually spend that just for a good graphics card. For the price, PS4 does just fine.

  • Socket77

    I love my X1 but I have to admit that after the fanboy battle over the 360 and ps3 (my machines more powerful than yours blah blah) I can’t understand why microsoft, when they designed the X1,didn’t make it at least on par with their rival Sony. For me,the biggest F@@k up is not being able to run at 1080p, not clever for a next gen machine.

    • Mikeherp Derp

      They went for media and multitasking first, games second.

    • Socket77

      True, but having played the Beta of Titanfall the X1 in the right hands can be a great machine. I cant wait for the full version and if Titanfall is anything to go by, things can only get better. I have both the X1 and Ps4 and well happy with both.

    • Mikeherp Derp

      Sure it has decent looking games. Just worse graphics price/performance compared to a PC or PS4.

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  • http://EconomicallyExuberant.com/ EconomicallyExuberant
    • Mikeherp Derp

      Wow, are you like the second coming of misterx? Where do these lunatics come from?

  • Socket77

    The Ps4 does outperform the X1 but not to the extent that the gaming pleasure for me is diminished. Like I mentioned before I have both consoles and the difference between them graphically, not raw power,isn’t that huge. I have both copies of Black Flag, (only because my ps4 was preowned and it came with it) and they both look stunning. The Ps4 is the more powerful machine,but for me, doesn’t make playing on my X1 less pleasurable. At the moment I’m playing Forza 80% of my time on Xbox live and loving every minute of it. I consider myself lucky to have both top notch consoles enabling me to play whatever exclusive games are released. One thing I will mention though is the free games on Ps+ are better than Xbox Gold.

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  • http://www.hdgenius.com MYSAGA M2

    No matter what is xbox one or PS4. In fact, Just use a hdmi converter will get 1080P output. http://bit.ly/1uea5uP

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