3D PlayStation 3 Games Take Framerate and Graphics Quality Hits

The fine folks at Digital Foundry have a great write-up on the technological trickery going on under the hood of the PlayStation 3 to make existing...


The fine folks at Digital Foundry have a great write-up on the technological trickery going on under the hood of the PlayStation 3 to make existing games 3D.

If the following excerpt interests you, I suggest you read the full article:

Step two is to apply the convergence to define the maximum depth of the image, the maximum positive parallax," Bickerstaff says. "It's a 2D X-axis translation in screen-space and we move the left image to the left and the right image to the right. For our games we've used a 1/30th screen width as the default parallax.

For the rest of us, there is the report that some games will take a framerate and graphical quality hit during the 3D conversion. WipEout HD originally ran at 1080p and 60 frames-per-second. The 3D version, which will be available when 3D support launches, runs at 720p and 30 frames-per-second.

MotorStorm: Pacific Rift, which will get a one-level 3D version, already started at 720p at 30 fps. To hit 3D, the designers used the game's split-screen mode codebase, which reduced the graphical fidelity to allow the game to render two images at once. Then, both cameras were placed on the same image to generate the two required images for 3D.

An earlier article at Digital Foundry confirmed that the 3D version of Super Stardust HD will run at 720p and 120 frames-per-second (60 fps for each eye). To achieve that, the developers behind the game put an additional year of work into improving the game engine. It was not something that came about by flicking a simple switch.

It is becoming clear that taking existing games, engineered for 2D, will lead to quality or framerate hits. If developers dive back into the codebase to optimize for 3D, higher quality is possible, but games designed from the ground up for 3D will look and perform better. The question is how many developers will be willing to put in the extra time developing for 3D when it is a PlayStation 3-exclusive feature that requires a 3D-ready television.

From The Chatty
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    April 26, 2010 12:46 PM

    I like 100 times more a good game with good image quality and effects than a game in 3D with crappy graphics. No matter the platform.
    And glasses... 3D wont succed till they remove the glasses and make it non resources hungry.

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      April 26, 2010 1:02 PM


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      April 26, 2010 1:07 PM

      To render an image in 3D it needs to be rendered twice. So, by definition, 3D will always eat more resources.

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        April 26, 2010 1:25 PM

        The cost can be reduced with dedicated hardware though. What each eye sees is virtually the same so you can avoid a huge amount of drawing time by only sending the draw calls once and having the graphics card draw each eye at the same time. It's not going to happen this hardware generation though obviously.

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        April 26, 2010 1:43 PM

        That is only for 3D that uses glasses.
        We need another method for 3D.. well, we have to see how the next ds 3D works, if it works well, then 3D will have a chance, but, well, even if it works, non 3D devices will always be more pleasant and less stressing for the eye = better.

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          April 26, 2010 2:32 PM

          No, any stereoscopic 3d in games has to be rendered twice.

          No matter what the format is, glasses, or no glasses, 3DS, pc, ps3, the basic principal in 3d is to deliver 2 slightly different images to each eye of the viewer. The images are almost the same, but each one has a slightly different perspective, and has to be drawn by the gpu.

          Also, there is no cheap way to do dedicated hardware to accelerate rendering two frames, as the only way to do that would be to add a second GPU or a more powerfull GPU.

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            May 2, 2010 3:14 PM

            The 3D that the new DS is going to use doesn't need double rendering. Its just a set of lenses inside the screen well placed to trick the eye.

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          April 26, 2010 2:32 PM

          What? No. If it's stereoscopic, it requires a left and a right frame. The only '3D' that wouldn't require that would be the kind that tracks head position. While there's something to be said for, say, an XBL headset with IR LEDs to provide a reference, that's not the kind of 3D that's making the rounds.

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