Nitrous Engine Dev Explains Why PS4 And Xbox One Have Struggled To Deliver 1080p/60fps Experience

Oxide Games’ development team says it comes down to simple math.

Posted By | On 14th, Dec. 2015 Under News


Xbox One PS4

GamingBolt recently had a long technical chat with Dan Baker, Tim Kipp and Brian Wade from the Nitrous Engine. Though both consoles have been better about it since launching, there are still a large number of games on both the Xbox One and PS4 that are yet to achieve 1080p resolution and 60 FPS. According to Oxide Games, who have created the Nitrous Engine and Ashes of the Singularity (one of the few games out there built for DirectX 12), it’s really just simple math at the end of the day.

Speaking to GamingBolt, the development team said that, “It’s simple math. Last generation consoles and this generation, I think the number I heard quoted was it was 6 times more powerful. That’s great, right? Then you do the math. You realize that if you’re running at 720p and going to 1080p you’ve doubled the number of pixels.

“If you were running 30 frames a second at 720 and you doubled your pixels and wanted to double your frame rate, you just used 4 more per and you have no more perf. Then you additionally want to increase the fidelity. You’ll see the same thing on 4K. It has 4 times the pixels as 1080. You need a GPU 4 times as powerful just to do the same thing you did before just at a higher resolution level with most engines. With Nitrous you actually don’t. That’s probably why you haven’t seen the big jump that some people were expecting.

“It also takes increased bandwidth, etc. etc. When you try to get a game down into the 16 milliseconds consistently, category, it’s amazing how those milliseconds add up. Going to 30 frames per second is like gaining those extra milliseconds really is huge in terms of flexibility you’ve got there. It’s very difficult. Every game generation you want to do something a little more ambitious.

“And to pack additional graphics plus additional AI, plus additional gameplay and everything else into 16 milliseconds can be really, really challenging. Especially when trying to do that consistently. The last thing you want to do is stutter between 60 frames per second and 30. You don’t want to jump back and forth there a whole lot. There’s a lot of people that will argue the development cost and the discipline it takes to make a game run consistently at 16 milliseconds is just very difficult to achieve.

“There are other things you can say too. As resolution increases the computational cost increases. I think we’re one of the only engines out there that have been re-investigating how you render a frame. To some extent, as the resolution increases, not only is there a cost of more pixels but those pixels are being faded in a very simple manner. As we scale up in resolution how can we change our rendering so it’s less expensive? Because were doing the object space lighting we actually would scale better as the resolution increases. If you run our games at 4k, a lot of engines are 3 or 4 times slower – we’re like less than half speed.”

What are your thoughts on this especially since we’re still in the early years of the Xbox One and PS4? Will it ultimately matter if both consoles are still capable of delivering amazing visual fidelity with their games? Let us know what you think in the comments.


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