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Digital Foundry Direct: Weekly #60: Halo S2 Fixes, Square Enix IP Sale, Tink4K and John's BFI Tips

dcmk7

Member
Not really.

Developers like Techland and 343 have gone back and added 60 FPS and 120 FPS modesto their games after not having those at launch. The tiny box has more oomph than some here would like us to believe.
Many occasions on this forum developers are being called out whenever the Series S doesn't have parity. It's ignorance at its finest.

But you're right occasionally developers spend time post launch to implement something that the console should have been designed to do in the first place (according Jason R at least), that's hardly an endorsement or an encouraging sign going forward when titles get more and more ambitious 🤷‍♂️
 

adamsapple

Gold Member
Many occasions on this forum developers are being called out whenever the Series S doesn't have parity. It's ignorance at its finest.

But you're right occasionally developers spend time post launch to implement something that the console should have been designed to do in the first place (according Jason R at least), that's hardly an endorsement or an encouraging sign going forward when titles get more and more ambitious 🤷‍♂️

That's the thing, it's not just Series S. A lot of games are coming in real hot these days for a lot of reasons (covid related issues being primary IMO), key features and optimizations aren't on the games until a few days/weeks after they get released. But when they get some extra time, they put out appropriate patches to maximize the respective hardware.

But to bring it back to Series S, I don't think any developer has said that they had to make cutbacks to a game which effected all versions because of Series S. So that tiny little box doesn't deserve the hate y'all.
 

Hendrick's

Member
Developers do see the difference.

And view the memory constraints as a pain. Which is what DF has covered in the video in the OP.

If it was so scalable and easy like people are implying here then I don't see why developers would feel the need to speak out about the console so much.

Guess it's easier to blame the developers rather than the hardware.
Every extra SKU a developer has to optimize for is a pain in the ass. Doesn't effect me or the games though.
 

DarkMage619

Member
No indication of xss holding XSX as of now.

PS4 Pro has better looking games than the xss.
If the PS4 Pro had better looking games that is on the developer. No one here would say that the PS5 was the problem when that Lego Star Wars game had lower resolutions than the XSX.
 

DaGwaphics

Gold Member
I care because I firmly believe a high tide lifts all boats. The S muddies the entire generation. That’s all there is to it.

If Sony were to do it, I’d be even more critical. Luckily they looked beyond cashing in and did it right with the single baseline.

So how much harder do you think the PS5/XSX could have been pushed with the UE5 demo? I guess you figure they could have gone all out for 5fps? Is the XSS creating the issues that are already cropping up with 60fps modes only hitting 1080p? 🤷‍♂️

It's hard to imagine a situation where the XSS is leaving untapped performance on the table for XSX/PS5, those boxes are hitting their limits as it is. Unless, you think the PS5/XSX should be targeting XSS resolutions and settings.
 
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Shmunter

Gold Member
So how much harder do you think the PS5/XSX could have been pushed with the UE5 demo. I guess you figure they could have gone all out for 5fps? 🤷‍♂️
You're referring to a demo that was created with high end specs in mind as a showpiece and consequently downported to the S.

But herein lies the rub. The port to S took considerable effort as documented by the coalition. By virtue of time, effort and money such outliers will never be the standard in business.

Those with less means or aiming to push out products will target for the lowest common denominator because scaling up is trivial vs scaling down which brings complexity like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
 
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DaGwaphics

Gold Member
You're referring to a demo that was created with thigh end specs in mind as a showpiece and consequently downported to the S.

But herein lies the rub. The port to S took considerable effort as documented by the coalition. By virtue of time, effort and money such outliers will never be the standard in business.

Those with less means or aiming to push out products will target for the lowest common denominator because scaling up is trivial vs scaling down which brings complexity like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

The scaling up vs. scaling down thing seems to be more semantics than anything else. Short of the PS5/XSX running at 720p to render these bigger more complex worlds that aren't possible on XSS, it shouldn't be an issue.

If the showpiece can max the hardware, less demanding software certainly shouldn't have a problem.
 
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Shmunter

Gold Member
The scaling up vs. scaling down thing seems to be more semantics than anything else. Short of the PS5/XSX running at 720p to render these bigger more complex worlds that aren't possible on XSS, it shouldn't be an issue.

If the showpiece can max the hardware, less demanding software certainly shouldn't have a problem.
Scaling is semantics? Less demanding software maxes hardware easier than demanding software? Sort of like Pacman?!?

Now you've completely done a Cirque du Soleil
 
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S0ULZB0URNE

Member
You can see the higher resolution of the Touryst on the PS5 over the XSX? Honestly?
Yes you can see a difference when downsampling.

I have done it on the PC and it cleans up the image.

For example Ori and the will of the wisps on XSX has a 6K to 4K downsampling mode and its a noticeable difference.

But anyways from DF's Touryst comparison....

"The intensity of the depth of field effect changes with resolution, so this effect looks quite different between the 4K and 8K modes. Interestingly though, Shin'en has managed to push even further. Shadow definition, for example, is cleaner and crisper on PS5 compared to Xbox Series X. In fact, shadow cascade resolution is boosted in many areas - the changes to Shin'en's exponential shadow map system results in a slight difference in shadowed areas manifested as lighting differences."
 

Shmunter

Gold Member
I'm sure there's plenty of satified Series S owners but a lot of people who bought the Series S, myself included, only bought it because we couldn't get our hands on a Series X.
Be sure to destroy it after you secure an X. It must not live on…😆
 

DaGwaphics

Gold Member
Scaling is semantics? Less demanding software maxes hardware easier than demanding software? Sort of like Pacman?!?

Now you've completely done a Cirque du Soleil

I was referring to the work they would have to do to get things running on the XSS. If they can get the showcase running over there while still maxing out the big boys, a more realistic scenario shouldn't be a problem.

We'll see how it goes. So far, developers are getting the job done admirably, even if they aren't particularly thrilled about the XSS. I guess we'll see if that continues.
 
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Three

Member
IKR. It's such a nothing statement from a developer. The PS3 was a pain for the entire generation, go figure. It's out, it's selling, and consumers are okay with the box (the only voices that matter). 🤷‍♂️

Whether the developers are warm and fuzzy about it or not doesn't figure into much at the end of the day.

You could say the same thing about mobiles. Doesn't mean people here should be happy about it. Not sure why people are bringing up the portable Steam deck either. It's a portable and runs games like a portable. How much has it even sold in comparison?
 
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DF and the game developers are the ones concerned. I didn't start this thread. They're just confirming what most of us have been saying since the Series S and its specs were revealed.
To be fair, Digital Founry make a living from concerns and Fanboy arguments. With the Series X and Ps5 being fairly close in performance, the Series S is a godsend to them as despite people who own the machine seeming happy and despite developers getting games out for the system, it gives them something to be worried, concerned and to hand wring about. Twitter and forums ignite and they get to bask in those sweet, sweet clicks. That's what Digital Foundry do.
 
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Many occasions on this forum developers are being called out whenever the Series S doesn't have parity. It's ignorance at its finest.

But you're right occasionally developers spend time post launch to implement something that the console should have been designed to do in the first place (according Jason R at least), that's hardly an endorsement or an encouraging sign going forward when titles get more and more ambitious 🤷‍♂️
Meh, every game comes in not just hot, but on fire at the moment.
 

FireFly

Member
You're referring to a demo that was created with high end specs in mind as a showpiece and consequently downported to the S.

But herein lies the rub. The port to S took considerable effort as documented by the coalition. By virtue of time, effort and money such outliers will never be the standard in business.

Those with less means or aiming to push out products will target for the lowest common denominator because scaling up is trivial vs scaling down which brings complexity like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Games are sold in a competitive marketplace where graphics effect the desirability of the product. So developers will always be motivated to push for the best graphical effects possible. In that context, the biggest user base for 3rd party titles will be the XSX + PS5 consumers, so that's where the majority of the development effort will go. The "constraint" is that the game needs to be able to run in the memory footprint of the Series S in some form, but it remains to be seen how limiting that is. For example the Metro devs also "complained" about the Series S, but in the end were able to achieve 60 FPS with ray tracing on all platforms.

A "lazy port" of Metro could have been to drop the target to 30 FPS on the Series S. A lazy port of the Matrix demo could have been to remove ray tracing on the Series S entirely or use lower quality Nanite settings. Once you know you can hit the memory budget of the Series S, the resources you have to optimise for the platform just determine how close it looks to the PS5/XSX version. There are now plenty of games where the Series S version looks like a second class citizen (but still a big jump over last gen), with no discernable effect on the other platforms.
 

Riky

My little VRR pleasure pearl goes vrrrooommm.
Series S often has twice the framerate of the mid gen refresh consoles, some games four times and higher settings
So "looking" better resolution wise on a last gen console is hardly a triumph.
But if you want the highest console resolution you should get a Series X as that outperforms all other consoles 99% of the time.
 

phil_t98

Gold Member
I find it funny that many many people on this forum are constant shitting on digital foundry saying they don't do certain things right or they get things wrong but as soon as digital foundry post something that fits their agenda its taken as straight up FACT. laughable, only have to see the first few posts on the this thread to see it lol

good video a s always though
 
Series S often has twice the framerate of the mid gen refresh consoles, some games four times and higher settings
So "looking" better resolution wise on a last gen console is hardly a triumph.
But if you want the highest console resolution you should get a Series X as that outperforms all other consoles 99% of the time.
Just mentioning resolution without the framerate is peak trolling. It's like running games at 30 fps on an RTX 2070 and at 60 fps on an RTX 3070 and claiming the 2070 looks better because it can push higher resolutions. People are trying way too hard :messenger_beaming:
 


Series S is awesome.
 

DaGwaphics

Gold Member
You could say the same thing about mobiles. Doesn't mean people here should be happy about it. Not sure why people are bringing up the portable Steam deck either. It's a portable and runs games like a portable. How much has it even sold in comparison?

What we were getting at was people read too much into developers calling the XSS a PITA. They aren't saying they were forced to gut their software because of it, they are just saying they are annoyed by having to optimize for that extra target and they pointed to the available memory as the thing they have the most difficulty with (similar to how we've seen complaints about the Switch's low bandwidth). It's their right to be annoyed, just like many used to complain about PS3 or limitations with the Wii but it isn't exactly a sky is falling statement.

Steam reportedly has commitments from a lot of devs regarding Steam deck specific performance profiles in upcoming games, that absolutely needs to be considered because you can't really say the XSS is holding devs back if they are also targeting a weaker box already.
 

Three

Member
What we were getting at was people read too much into developers calling the XSS a PITA. They aren't saying they were forced to gut their software because of it, they are just saying they are annoyed by having to optimize for that extra target and they pointed to the available memory as the thing they have the most difficulty with (similar to how we've seen complaints about the Switch's low bandwidth). It's their right to be annoyed, just like many used to complain about PS3 or limitations with the Wii but it isn't exactly a sky is falling statement.

Steam reportedly has commitments from a lot of devs regarding Steam deck specific performance profiles in upcoming games, that absolutely needs to be considered because you can't really say the XSS is holding devs back if they are also targeting a weaker box already.

Nobody is saying the sky is falling. The issue is that to release on xbox you are forced to gut your software to fit that system. That's where the annoyance comes from. Some devs commiting to providing performance profiles for steam games (which ones exactly? probably not the same ones) so they are playable on a portable steam deck is different. The steam deck isn't even a huge seller but imagine if all console manufacturers had the Series S as their main seller.
 
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DaGwaphics

Gold Member
Nobody is saying the sky is falling. The issue is that to release on xbox you are forced to gut your software to fit that system. That's where the annoyance comes from. Some devs commiting to providing performance profiles for steam games (which ones exactly? probably not the same ones) so they are playable on a portable steam deck is different. The steam deck isn't even a huge seller but imagine if all console manufacturers had the Series S as their main seller.

We'll see if there is ever an instance where developers are saying we would have liked to have done XYZ but couldn't because of XSS. So far all we have is them saying it was a PITA to get things working on 8GB. With the PS5/XSX versions of software typically still pushing the boxes hard. MS isn't enforcing much in regards to XSS, seemingly just that the experience be the same (as far as levels, etc.) and the game be playable. Need to remove effects, no problem, we've seen that already. Need to run at a low resolution, not a problem, we've seen that too. Need to half the framerate, yeah, we've seen that already too.
 

Riky

My little VRR pleasure pearl goes vrrrooommm.
We'll see if there is ever an instance where developers are saying we would have liked to have done XYZ but couldn't because of XSS. So far all we have is them saying it was a PITA to get things working on 8GB. With the PS5/XSX versions of software typically still pushing the boxes hard. MS isn't enforcing much in regards to XSS, seemingly just that the experience be the same (as far as levels, etc.) and the game be playable. Need to remove effects, no problem, we've seen that already. Need to run at a low resolution, not a problem, we've seen that too. Need to half the framerate, yeah, we've seen that already too.
Exactly, the only mandate seems to be that the gameplay has to be intact as your save works across consoles, that's it.
 

Three

Member
We'll see if there is ever an instance where developers are saying we would have liked to have done XYZ but couldn't because of XSS. So far all we have is them saying it was a PITA to get things working on 8GB. With the PS5/XSX versions of software typically still pushing the boxes hard. MS isn't enforcing much in regards to XSS, seemingly just that the experience be the same (as far as levels, etc.) and the game be playable. Need to remove effects, no problem, we've seen that already. Need to run at a low resolution, not a problem, we've seen that too. Need to half the framerate, yeah, we've seen that already too.
They already had said it at id software then they were bought.
 
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Three

Member
Not really. Just like with Metro, they had concerns. So far, those concerns haven't amounted to much in regards to the final product, the DE XSS patch runs great.
They were talking about future games and asset creation not empty concerns that amounted to nothing. Their other concern amounted to what they mentioned about not being able to support BVH due to memory constraints. This actually showed in the DE patch. Completely missing quality mode on the Series S. That was based on an already released game. One where they couldn't cut other things like map size or enemies on screen (or in Metros case other things on screen) to fit the memory constraints of the newly released weaker console. They didnt need to do much either because it was a last gen game to boot. Future decisions will be based on it with what they choose to support. Parity in most things outside of res will be targeted and that means everything else would have to fit the XSS.

It's like trying to sell a really small apartment and saying what can't you do with this space that you can in a bigger one. A whole lot, you can live in it but what furniture and features you decide to fit it with is based on the small size of the apartment. Saying it doesn't really matter is just making excuses for the seller.
 
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Riky

My little VRR pleasure pearl goes vrrrooommm.
Not really. Just like with Metro, they had concerns. So far, those concerns haven't amounted to much in regards to the final product, the DE XSS patch runs great.
Yes Metro and Matrix Awakens are doing things not possible even on Xbox One X the most powerful last gen console. As for Metro id probably prioritised framerate over RT, with RT it may have to run at 30fps and each developer will decide what suits their game which is how it should be.
Same as some PC games like Far Cry 6 and Dying Light 2 having RT features totally missing on Series X and PS5, that doesn't mean they are gimped but that a fixed hardware for the mainstream has to have compromises somewhere.
 

DaGwaphics

Gold Member
They were talking about future games and asset creation not empty concerns that amounted to nothing. Their other concern amounted to what they mentioned about not being able to support BVH due to memory constraints. This actually showed in the DE patch. Completely missing quality mode on the Series S. That was based on an already released game. One where they couldn't cut other things like map size or enemies on screen (or in Metros case other things on screen) to fit the memory constraints of the newly released weaker console. They didnt need to do much either because it was a last gen game to boot. Future decisions will be based on it with what they choose to support. Parity in most things outside of res will be targeted and that means everything else would have to fit the XSS.

It's like trying to sell a really small apartment and saying what can't you do with this space that you can in a bigger one. A whole lot, you can live in it but what furniture and features you decide to fit it with is based on the small size of the apartment. Saying it doesn't really matter is just making excuses for the seller.

I just comment on things released and statements made about games released. It's a waist of time worrying about every little thing that "COULD" happen. If I were going to go down that road, and since I can see how the PS5/XSX have performed in some of these games that support XSS without issue, I'd have more concerns about the shape they'd be in if things got pushed beyond what could be downported to XSS, tbh.
 
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