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Opinion Game Dev Platform Xbox Series S Could Present Challenges For Future Titles, Says Chief Technical Officer Of 4A Games

IbizaPocholo

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4A Games Chief Technical Officer Oleksandr Shyshkovtsov, the developer of the popular Metro series, was asked about the Series S. Specifically, he was asked if he thought the system’s known RAM issue would be a problem. He said he didn’t think the RAM specifically was going to be an issue but that there could be challenges with the system down the road with how they develop. It seems like, for the time being, they don’t have any problems developing for the Series S, but sees potential for that to be a challenge down the road.

“The RAM is not an issue for us (currently), but GPU performance presents challenges for future titles,” he said. “Our current renderer is designed for high spatial and temporal resolution. It is stochastic by nature. Dropping any of those would require us to do more expensive calculations dropping performance even further. We have a compromise solution right now, but I am not satisfied with it yet.”

Full interview: https://www.neogaf.com/threads/4a-g...blicly-revealed-things.1527582/post-262389947
 
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ZywyPL

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Stop chasing 4K with XSS then. I really don't get all that kind of XSS talk, just stick to native FullHD and appropriate textures and you're good to go. The console might be powerful enough today for 1440p or even 4K in few titles, but the consoles' inevitable future is 1080p anyway.
 

Bonfires Down

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Well if you have RT by default and you are moving away from raster, I can see it.
RT wont be the default. We are getting too many months of 60 fps under our belt that the news stories are gonna read "New game only 30! Gamers getting sick and gameplay feels last gen!". Devs are going to have to keep a mode that looks good and runs too.
 
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scydrex

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Stop chasing 4K with XSS then. I really don't get all that kind of XSS talk, just stick to native FullHD and appropriate textures and you're good to go. The console might be powerful enough today for 1440p or even 4K in few titles, but the consoles' inevitable future is 1080p anyway.

From what we have seen is not powerful enough for 1440p. It's have been 1080p or less in cross gen. I think MS should have release an XSX digital like Sony for less.
 

icerock

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I mean it's already at 1080p in cross-gen titles, once assets are built from the ground up as devs plateau towards next-gen only, this machine will push towards more cutbacks.

Apart from most rabid fanboys, everyone saw the problem when they announced this box. It's gonna be obsolete half-way through the gen never mind full.
 

sublimit

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I mean it's already at 1080p in cross-gen titles, once assets are built from the ground up as devs plateau towards next-gen only, this machine will push towards more cutbacks.

Apart from most rabid fanboys, everyone saw the problem when they announced this box. It's gonna be obsolete half-way through the gen never mind full.
It was to be expected by fanboys but the sad thing is that even some suppossedly "objective" gaming news sites and channels tried to portray it as if its only difference with XSX would be the resolution. Of course MS's official marketing gave them the "right" to make those stupid claims:
 
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ZehDon

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Temporal image reconstruction is one area of the XSS I've been curious to see play out. When a game natively targets 4k on the XSX, dropping down to 1080p on the XSS seems like an easy win, as everything scales down with it due to the drop in resolution. Works well, as we've seen. However, when you're employing a 4k reconstructed image, you're relying on a limited amount of pixels to build up the image. Dropping the internal render resolution low enough for the XSS may not provide enough visual information to re-construct the frame without significant artifacts. We saw this with Cyberpunk at launch on the base last-gen consoles; CD Projekt Red's temporal AA solution is brilliant on PC and next-gen consoles... but on base last-gen consoles it left trailing artifacts like mad across the screen, because the frame rate and resolution were simply too low to successfully employ the technique. They cleaned it up with a patch, but it makes the point: there is a limit to the magic of temporal reconstruction.

AMD is looking to launch their DLSS competitor soon, and Microsoft wisely baked in ML hardware into their consoles to provide some degree of support here. We've seen almost miraculous results with Nvidia's solution in the PC space, even when reconstructing from sub-HD resolutions. Perhaps this will provide developers the tools they need to deliver acceptable image quality at lower resolutions on the XSS as move into the next-gen? I'll be watching this space.
 

Riky

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Temporal image reconstruction is one area of the XSS I've been curious to see play out. When a game natively targets 4k on the XSX, dropping down to 1080p on the XSS seems like an easy win, as everything scales down with it due to the drop in resolution. Works well, as we've seen. However, when you're employing a 4k reconstructed image, you're relying on a limited amount of pixels to build up the image. Dropping the internal render resolution low enough for the XSS may not provide enough visual information to re-construct the frame without significant artifacts. We saw this with Cyberpunk at launch on the base last-gen consoles; CD Projekt Red's temporal AA solution is brilliant on PC and next-gen consoles... but on base last-gen consoles it left trailing artifacts like mad across the screen, because the frame rate and resolution were simply too low to successfully employ the technique. They cleaned it up with a patch, but it makes the point: there is a limit to the magic of temporal reconstruction.

AMD is looking to launch their DLSS competitor soon, and Microsoft wisely baked in ML hardware into their consoles to provide some degree of support here. We've seen almost miraculous results with Nvidia's solution in the PC space, even when reconstructing from sub-HD resolutions. Perhaps this will provide developers the tools they need to deliver acceptable image quality at lower resolutions on the XSS as move into the next-gen? I'll be watching this space.

Also next gen engines will take advantage of VRS, SFS and Mesh Shaders which Series S has hardware support for.
 

ZywyPL

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Pretty sure nobody does unless we're talking 2d or indi stuff. Hell, many devs don't even Chase 1080p...

All the games so far try to reach as high resolution as possible - 1200p, 1440p, and so on, as close to 4K as possile, and then using upscaling/reconstruction to reach that final 4K output, which for me personally is a wrong approach for the XSS, the devs are setting themselves up for a huge downgrade somewhere down the line once the cross-gen period is over, or as mentioned in the article additional work to avoid the said downgrade as much as possible.
 
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martino

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so far dev says it wil be challenging.
challenging become bad, limiting the gen or impossible only for the real biased poeple (always same ones too) changing meaning of words.
this wording should also tell this dev intent to scale down.
 
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Mr Moose

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All the games so far try to reach as high resolution as possible - 1200p, 1440p, and so on, as close to 4K as possile, and then using upscaling/reconstruction to reach that final 4K output, which for me personally is a wrong approach for the XSS, the devs are setting themselves up for a huge downgrade somewhere down the line once the cross-gen period is over, or as mentioned in the article additional work to avoid the said downgrade as much as possible.
I think you're confusing the Series S with the X.

We’re targeting 1080p on Xbox Series S, but the other benefits above will apply, including 60 FPS and full Ray Traced lighting throughout.

And it might not be 1080p.
 
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killatopak

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There are some Japanese games that I was waiting for to drop support on Vita but then Switch came along and it gave them reason to keep using cheap games and just scale them to the PS4.

So yes, these lower spec version consoles either make devs stop trying to push tech too much or make them complacent to not bother enough.
 

Panajev2001a

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Don't care for the S. But when we have games like the Witcher 3, Overwatch, and etc ported to the switch. It looks more like incompetence from developers.
Witcher 3 is a separate SKU, developed by a Switch ports specialist, and sold after the launch of Witcher 3 and its many patches for consoles.

Do you see how this is different than asking the game to support XSX and XSS day and date with the same binary without being able to get additional money for the XSS specific port?
 

Concern

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Witcher 3 is a separate SKU, developed by a Switch ports specialist, and sold after the launch of Witcher 3 and its many patches for consoles.

Do you see how this is different than asking the game to support XSX and XSS day and date with the same binary without being able to get additional money for the XSS specific port?


My point is its possible. May they need to allocate more resources to meet its day and date demands? Possibly. But writing it off as impossible is just incompetence.

Imo they should have just done an all digital X and forget about the S. But we're already here. So either they end up delaying S versions, adding more resources, or whatever they do. They'll have to figure something out. We're in cross gen territory, so we have at least 2 years before these consoles will be pushed to their capabilities.
 

onnextflix5

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If anyone is happy to play 900p on next gen console, then they should buy this crap, how can anyone say this is not holding back next gen, u plan what u can do based on min spec, without this min spec would have been 10tf 14gb ram, now its 4tf, 6gb ram, lol
 

sublimit

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It does not matter if SS will be a bottleneck or not.

It's here, it is out n gonna be 149$ in 3-4 years.
Allot of people ll buy it.
How much is "a lot" though? And will it be reasonable and profitable enough for devs to put so much effort into scaling down and porting their games on it based on its sales numbers of which Microsoft will never reveal?
 
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jroc74

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Don't care for the S. But when we have games like the Witcher 3, Overwatch, and etc ported to the switch. It looks more like incompetence from developers.
Porting games to other platforms, PC game scaling will always newer be good arguments.
 
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Do you see how this is different than asking the game to support XSX and XSS day and date with the same binary without being able to get additional money for the XSS specific port?
I think the problem is how low is acceptable for it to count as "next-gen" on the Series S machine, I honestly think they can make pretty much any current game work on it by adjusting resolution and other typical graphical settings (I don't think they should attempt RT and concentrate on reaching 1080p + 60fps on games with xbox one type graphics settings whenever possible).

I mean, games like The Medium where resolution drops to around 600p... it makes it seem like an xbox 360 title.
 

x@3f*oo_e!

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Stop chasing 4K with XSS then. I really don't get all that kind of XSS talk, just stick to native FullHD and appropriate textures and you're good to go. The console might be powerful enough today for 1440p or even 4K in few titles, but the consoles' inevitable future is 1080p anyway.

When he says "We have some issues with it currently because of the stochastic nature of our renderer." and "The RAM is not an issue for us (currently), but GPU performance presents challenges for future titles. Our current renderer is designed for high spatial and temporal resolution (read: 4K @ 60 fps). It is stochastic by nature." the key term is stocastic (random) The global illumination will has a lot of random noise in the (near) final image. When doing it at high resolution and high frequency it's easier to de-noise -.. the 60fps is also important if they want to use temporal denoising (like temporal antialiasing)

The final image might be comparable to a 1440p checkerboard image quality with minor artifacts due to temporal denoising

Trying to do the same say at 1080p 30fps (on Series S) doesn;t work at well. It could end up "equivalent" to 720p image, and the temporal effects will be twice as bad

People can't tell a huge difference between 1440 and 2160, but the differences at the lower frequence and resolution will be much more pronounced.

That's my take anyway.

..

My other take is that the whole inteview reads like 2000s era Crytek . obsession with cutting edge gfx techniques that are generally too much for the general market

[edit - some else said it better - just going to quote it again here] :

Temporal image reconstruction is one area of the XSS I've been curious to see play out. When a game natively targets 4k on the XSX, dropping down to 1080p on the XSS seems like an easy win, as everything scales down with it due to the drop in resolution. Works well, as we've seen. However, when you're employing a 4k reconstructed image, you're relying on a limited amount of pixels to build up the image. Dropping the internal render resolution low enough for the XSS may not provide enough visual information to re-construct the frame without significant artifacts. We saw this with Cyberpunk at launch on the base last-gen consoles; CD Projekt Red's temporal AA solution is brilliant on PC and next-gen consoles... but on base last-gen consoles it left trailing artifacts like mad across the screen, because the frame rate and resolution were simply too low to successfully employ the technique. They cleaned it up with a patch, but it makes the point: there is a limit to the magic of temporal reconstruction.
 
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Umbasaborne

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More like xbox series s....hit! 🤮

im kidding. I think its a great device for casual gamers, but ya, i wouldnt be surprised if in the future a game was released for series x and ps5 and not series s.
 
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ethomaz

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Depend of the engine/game.

One dev will say due the RAM.
Other dev will say due the GPU.
Other dev will say due something else.

The fact is the Series S is really a very capped machine that will hold development and add extra costs depending of the engine/game.
Imagine like nobody guessed that when it was a rumor it.

Edit - That doesn't affect only Series X but all multiplatform development.

It does not matter if SS will be a bottleneck or not.

It's here, it is out n gonna be 149$ in 3-4 years.
Allot of people ll buy it.
I don't believe it will ever reach this price.
Look at PS4 and XB1 prices that are way cheaper to manufature and never reached these prices even after 7 years.
 
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Armorian

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Stop chasing 4K with XSS then. I really don't get all that kind of XSS talk, just stick to native FullHD and appropriate textures and you're good to go. The console might be powerful enough today for 1440p or even 4K in few titles, but the consoles' inevitable future is 1080p anyway.

Even 1080p is a dream in a long run, it's not like 4k is a standard on XSX.

This console will suffer more and more, 720p games will appear at some point.

And the most fun stuff is: when "Pro consoles" will appear with ~24GB of RAM baseline for multiplatform games will still be ~7GB, it's like Xbox One (S) all over again :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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Arcadia88

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i wouldnt be surprised if in the future a game was released for series x and ps5 and not series s.
Is this an option for developers? Or is it a requirement that it must work on S?
So far I've only been able to find the S to buy. I can't find the X or the PS5.
the S works well enough that I might just skip the X and wait for the Series X Pro or whatever they call it.