Software and Hardware Limitations
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(May 26th, 2022, 11:05 PM)Moonface Wrote:
(I'm not sure if 360 games with multiple discs managed to avoid this issue or not though).

They didn't; Final Fantasy 13 is well known for having far worse graphical quality on 360 opposed to the PS3. The fact that the game had to be split into three discs on 360 did not help that fact at all until the game became backwards compatible on the Xbone, where they introduced a patch that improved the graphics all the way to shiny 4K!

The Wii is always the odd man out in the console wars of that generation; they made the conscious decision not to go HD, and that let them get away with just supercharging their Gamecube hardware and calling it a day. Really, Nintendo has always been a company to march to the beat of its own drum, and while it's true they were the market leader by a country mile with the Wii, it's not really fair to lump it in with the PS3 and 360, kind of like how it is for the Switch now, where it's competing on it's dual-mode capabilities, rather than raw graphical power. Sure, it can run Doom Eternal at 60 FPS, but that came at a cost (specifically, it runs the cutscenes at about 20 FPS).
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(May 26th, 2022, 11:05 PM)Moonface Wrote:
(I'm not sure if 360 games with multiple discs managed to avoid this issue or not though).

They didn't; Final Fantasy 13 is well known for having far worse graphical quality on 360 opposed to the PS3. The fact that the game had to be split into three discs on 360 did not help that fact at all until the game became backwards compatible on the Xbone, where they introduced a patch that improved the graphics all the way to shiny 4K!

The Wii is always the odd man out in the console wars of that generation; they made the conscious decision not to go HD, and that let them get away with just supercharging their Gamecube hardware and calling it a day. Really, Nintendo has always been a company to march to the beat of its own drum, and while it's true they were the market leader by a country mile with the Wii, it's not really fair to lump it in with the PS3 and 360, kind of like how it is for the Switch now, where it's competing on it's dual-mode capabilities, rather than raw graphical power. Sure, it can run Doom Eternal at 60 FPS, but that came at a cost (specifically, it runs the cutscenes at about 20 FPS).
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Maybe it's because I watched on mobile but the graphical quality didn't seem like as big of a gap as you made it seem to be for me. XD

Oh yeah I know Nintendo does what they want to do, which has it's upsides and downsides. I just wonder how different some of their games might have looked if they had followed suit on stuff like media storage formats to allow games to have more data on the discs. Like I wonder if Xenoblade Chronicles was entirely graphically limited by the hardware or if the disc also played a factor in limiting the visual quality because of how big the game is and it needing to fit on the disc.
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Maybe it's because I watched on mobile but the graphical quality didn't seem like as big of a gap as you made it seem to be for me. XD

Oh yeah I know Nintendo does what they want to do, which has it's upsides and downsides. I just wonder how different some of their games might have looked if they had followed suit on stuff like media storage formats to allow games to have more data on the discs. Like I wonder if Xenoblade Chronicles was entirely graphically limited by the hardware or if the disc also played a factor in limiting the visual quality because of how big the game is and it needing to fit on the disc.
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(Jun 4th, 2022, 11:37 PM)Moonface Wrote:
Maybe it's because I watched on mobile but the graphical quality didn't seem like as big of a gap as you made it seem to be for me. XD

Yeah, because whenever these graphical comparisons are made, it's always in minor details unless the damn game is from multiple generations ago! But no, the 360 is running at only 576p and being upscaled, rather than a true 720p, so there are all sorts of artifacts and crap, so that's enough to be "much worse". Just one of many reasons why I hate graphics whores...
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(Jun 4th, 2022, 11:37 PM)Moonface Wrote:
Maybe it's because I watched on mobile but the graphical quality didn't seem like as big of a gap as you made it seem to be for me. XD

Yeah, because whenever these graphical comparisons are made, it's always in minor details unless the damn game is from multiple generations ago! But no, the 360 is running at only 576p and being upscaled, rather than a true 720p, so there are all sorts of artifacts and crap, so that's enough to be "much worse". Just one of many reasons why I hate graphics whores...
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I never knew the 360 didn't run in actual 720p; I always thought it did. I have to say that at least for FF13 it does a good job with the upscaling because the only real difference I make out easily is things look a little less sharp.

Reminds me of how the PAL versions of the PS2 ran at a different resolution too, and as such will not even function on a US TV without special equipment. I'm not sure if anything visually suffered for that but I found out frame rates did. It's crazy to think of how many things outside the realm of gaming had an effect on how games could be made or run; I'd never even thought about stuff like discs and TV's much in that sense until this thread. Gasp
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I never knew the 360 didn't run in actual 720p; I always thought it did. I have to say that at least for FF13 it does a good job with the upscaling because the only real difference I make out easily is things look a little less sharp.

Reminds me of how the PAL versions of the PS2 ran at a different resolution too, and as such will not even function on a US TV without special equipment. I'm not sure if anything visually suffered for that but I found out frame rates did. It's crazy to think of how many things outside the realm of gaming had an effect on how games could be made or run; I'd never even thought about stuff like discs and TV's much in that sense until this thread. Gasp
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(Jun 6th, 2022, 09:50 PM)Moonface Wrote:
I never knew the 360 didn't run in actual 720p; I always thought it did. I have to say that at least for FF13 it does a good job with the upscaling because the only real difference I make out easily is things look a little less sharp.

Reminds me of how the PAL versions of the PS2 ran at a different resolution too, and as such will not even function on a US TV without special equipment. I'm not sure if anything visually suffered for that but I found out frame rates did. It's crazy to think of how many things outside the realm of gaming had an effect on how games could be made or run; I'd never even thought about stuff like discs and TV's much in that sense until this thread. Gasp

I'm sure the CONSOLE is capable of a true 720p, but for whatever reason their quick fix was to run it at 576 for FF13. *shrug*

That's actually a well known problem with Electronics: The US and Japan runs on a TV standard called "NTSC", which is 525 lines (see "How CRT works" for what lines are) at 720x480 interlaced resolution at 30 fps (29.97 if in color -- long story). PAL is what most the rest of the world runs on, and is a completely independently made encoding system at 625 lines at 720x576 interlaced resolution at 25 fps. The reason for the framerates is because it syncs up to the power grid: the US grid runs at 60 Hz, and the EU runs at 50 Hz, and those respective locations are where those encoding systems were invented. The reasons for the lines and resolution is because of complicated math to allow the TV signal to encode all it's information. This incompatibility between encoding techniques is the main reason why region locking is a thing, because otherwise you run into...problems without adjustment. 

I'm surprised you've never heard about it, because NTSC vs PAL comes up all the time in gaming: it's used as a short hand for the three main game regions (NTSC-J for Japan, NTSC-U for North America, and PAL for Europe), and you can easily find all sorts of games that have minor or major differences depending on their region (NTSC-J Resident Evil 4 has no decapitations, Mario Kart 64 PAL runs 16.7% slower because of the framerate, such that the Speedrun Leaderboards have to actively compensate for it to keep competition fair, Digimon World 3 NTSC-U is missing the entire playable epilogue). Hell, that's why, when the FFX/X-2 remaster was announced as using the Internation release, I was HYPED AS HELL because that version of the game was only available to NTSC-J and PAL players before this. I suppose I might be at an advantage for this information though, because I've done a TON of emulation, and ROMs are always listed for their region (J, U, or E, with occassional things like C, K, or AU), so you have to know what that means to make sure you get the right version of the game.
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(Jun 6th, 2022, 09:50 PM)Moonface Wrote:
I never knew the 360 didn't run in actual 720p; I always thought it did. I have to say that at least for FF13 it does a good job with the upscaling because the only real difference I make out easily is things look a little less sharp.

Reminds me of how the PAL versions of the PS2 ran at a different resolution too, and as such will not even function on a US TV without special equipment. I'm not sure if anything visually suffered for that but I found out frame rates did. It's crazy to think of how many things outside the realm of gaming had an effect on how games could be made or run; I'd never even thought about stuff like discs and TV's much in that sense until this thread. Gasp

I'm sure the CONSOLE is capable of a true 720p, but for whatever reason their quick fix was to run it at 576 for FF13. *shrug*

That's actually a well known problem with Electronics: The US and Japan runs on a TV standard called "NTSC", which is 525 lines (see "How CRT works" for what lines are) at 720x480 interlaced resolution at 30 fps (29.97 if in color -- long story). PAL is what most the rest of the world runs on, and is a completely independently made encoding system at 625 lines at 720x576 interlaced resolution at 25 fps. The reason for the framerates is because it syncs up to the power grid: the US grid runs at 60 Hz, and the EU runs at 50 Hz, and those respective locations are where those encoding systems were invented. The reasons for the lines and resolution is because of complicated math to allow the TV signal to encode all it's information. This incompatibility between encoding techniques is the main reason why region locking is a thing, because otherwise you run into...problems without adjustment. 

I'm surprised you've never heard about it, because NTSC vs PAL comes up all the time in gaming: it's used as a short hand for the three main game regions (NTSC-J for Japan, NTSC-U for North America, and PAL for Europe), and you can easily find all sorts of games that have minor or major differences depending on their region (NTSC-J Resident Evil 4 has no decapitations, Mario Kart 64 PAL runs 16.7% slower because of the framerate, such that the Speedrun Leaderboards have to actively compensate for it to keep competition fair, Digimon World 3 NTSC-U is missing the entire playable epilogue). Hell, that's why, when the FFX/X-2 remaster was announced as using the Internation release, I was HYPED AS HELL because that version of the game was only available to NTSC-J and PAL players before this. I suppose I might be at an advantage for this information though, because I've done a TON of emulation, and ROMs are always listed for their region (J, U, or E, with occassional things like C, K, or AU), so you have to know what that means to make sure you get the right version of the game.
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(Jun 8th, 2022, 04:56 AM)Maniakkid25 Wrote:
I'm surprised you've never heard about it, because NTSC vs PAL comes up all the time in gaming: it's used as a short hand for the three main game regions (NTSC-J for Japan, NTSC-U for North America, and PAL for Europe), and you can easily find all sorts of games that have minor or major differences depending on their region (NTSC-J Resident Evil 4 has no decapitations, Mario Kart 64 PAL runs 16.7% slower because of the framerate, such that the Speedrun Leaderboards have to actively compensate for it to keep competition fair, Digimon World 3 NTSC-U is missing the entire playable epilogue). Hell, that's why, when the FFX/X-2 remaster was announced as using the Internation release, I was HYPED AS HELL because that version of the game was only available to NTSC-J and PAL players before this. I suppose I might be at an advantage for this information though, because I've done a TON of emulation, and ROMs are always listed for their region (J, U, or E, with occassional things like C, K, or AU), so you have to know what that means to make sure you get the right version of the game.
Prior to hooking up my PAL gaming systems to a US TV, I had no clue there was an actual difference in the games. I just thought it was gaming's way of defining regions like how DVD's get numbered ones, and that view got strengthened by finding out that Japanese SNES cartridges had different grooves on them to prevent being played in US systems. I didn't even know there were frame rate differences until that recent stuff about some PAL versions being used for the new PS+ classic game offerings, despite having played a NTSC copy of Ape Escape a few years ago and noticing that the "monkeys to catch" screen was faster than I was used to, but I thought that it was just a different version of the screen and the game has different VA's for the PAL and NTSC versions, so I just wrote it all off as being regional differences like your example of RE4 JP, rather than it being a mixture of that and higher frame rates. XD
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(Jun 8th, 2022, 04:56 AM)Maniakkid25 Wrote:
I'm surprised you've never heard about it, because NTSC vs PAL comes up all the time in gaming: it's used as a short hand for the three main game regions (NTSC-J for Japan, NTSC-U for North America, and PAL for Europe), and you can easily find all sorts of games that have minor or major differences depending on their region (NTSC-J Resident Evil 4 has no decapitations, Mario Kart 64 PAL runs 16.7% slower because of the framerate, such that the Speedrun Leaderboards have to actively compensate for it to keep competition fair, Digimon World 3 NTSC-U is missing the entire playable epilogue). Hell, that's why, when the FFX/X-2 remaster was announced as using the Internation release, I was HYPED AS HELL because that version of the game was only available to NTSC-J and PAL players before this. I suppose I might be at an advantage for this information though, because I've done a TON of emulation, and ROMs are always listed for their region (J, U, or E, with occassional things like C, K, or AU), so you have to know what that means to make sure you get the right version of the game.
Prior to hooking up my PAL gaming systems to a US TV, I had no clue there was an actual difference in the games. I just thought it was gaming's way of defining regions like how DVD's get numbered ones, and that view got strengthened by finding out that Japanese SNES cartridges had different grooves on them to prevent being played in US systems. I didn't even know there were frame rate differences until that recent stuff about some PAL versions being used for the new PS+ classic game offerings, despite having played a NTSC copy of Ape Escape a few years ago and noticing that the "monkeys to catch" screen was faster than I was used to, but I thought that it was just a different version of the screen and the game has different VA's for the PAL and NTSC versions, so I just wrote it all off as being regional differences like your example of RE4 JP, rather than it being a mixture of that and higher frame rates. XD
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Yeah, nope, different games deal with the frame rate change in different ways, but they all have conversion issues. Like mentioned before, Mario Kart 64 actually runs 16.7% slower, meaning times on it are artificially slower than NTSC times. This was a quickly recognized problem for speedrunning, so the official leaderboards have a conversion system to keep things fair between regions. But sometimes the game will just run a little choppier (though not really noticable outside of frame-by-frame analysis). Sometimes the game will just auto-compensate for the different speeds (DK64 has a feature where if it detects a low frame rate, it will artificially increase your speed so that you're always traveling the same distance), sometimes it won't. Most modern systems PROBABLY don't have as much of a problem with regions as there used to be, but this is why "Region Free" electronics (either natively or jailbroken) sell at a premium.

My favorite is actually Goldeneye N64. See, while the game runs slower (and that leaderboard does NOT convert, meaning PAL is disadvantaged in most levels), the game actually does fire rate calculations differently. For example, the watch laser fires for 2 frames, then off for 2 frames in NTSC. PAL, however, has it on a 3 frame cycle -- 2 frames on, 1 off. This means that the level that gives you the watch laser, Train, is actually FASTER over time on PAL than NTSC.
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Yeah, nope, different games deal with the frame rate change in different ways, but they all have conversion issues. Like mentioned before, Mario Kart 64 actually runs 16.7% slower, meaning times on it are artificially slower than NTSC times. This was a quickly recognized problem for speedrunning, so the official leaderboards have a conversion system to keep things fair between regions. But sometimes the game will just run a little choppier (though not really noticable outside of frame-by-frame analysis). Sometimes the game will just auto-compensate for the different speeds (DK64 has a feature where if it detects a low frame rate, it will artificially increase your speed so that you're always traveling the same distance), sometimes it won't. Most modern systems PROBABLY don't have as much of a problem with regions as there used to be, but this is why "Region Free" electronics (either natively or jailbroken) sell at a premium.

My favorite is actually Goldeneye N64. See, while the game runs slower (and that leaderboard does NOT convert, meaning PAL is disadvantaged in most levels), the game actually does fire rate calculations differently. For example, the watch laser fires for 2 frames, then off for 2 frames in NTSC. PAL, however, has it on a 3 frame cycle -- 2 frames on, 1 off. This means that the level that gives you the watch laser, Train, is actually FASTER over time on PAL than NTSC.
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I guess TV's in PAL regions were starting to transition to a 60hz system during the 6th generation then, because I know some of my games such as Burnout 3 present the option to run the game at 60hz instead of 50hz, unless they just have it ask that in any copy of the game worldwide (which I feel is a weird thing to do). I know at least 8th generation consoles run fine in either region with no need for special adapters because I've hooked my PS3 up to a US TV without issue, and it probably helps that it uses HDMI instead of the coloured cables older consoles can use. I'd imagine developers loved that change once it applied to all HDMI based consoles (which I assume it did right out the gate but took time maybe to realize).

Interesting about the Goldeneye differences actually having advantages in both formats. I'd love to see how fast the game can be if it had the higher overall speed of the NTSC version, but with the faster watch firing of the PAL version included. Hell I'd even just take someone doing a calculation of it by taking the two best runs of each and figuring out how to merge their differences into the best possible run.
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I guess TV's in PAL regions were starting to transition to a 60hz system during the 6th generation then, because I know some of my games such as Burnout 3 present the option to run the game at 60hz instead of 50hz, unless they just have it ask that in any copy of the game worldwide (which I feel is a weird thing to do). I know at least 8th generation consoles run fine in either region with no need for special adapters because I've hooked my PS3 up to a US TV without issue, and it probably helps that it uses HDMI instead of the coloured cables older consoles can use. I'd imagine developers loved that change once it applied to all HDMI based consoles (which I assume it did right out the gate but took time maybe to realize).

Interesting about the Goldeneye differences actually having advantages in both formats. I'd love to see how fast the game can be if it had the higher overall speed of the NTSC version, but with the faster watch firing of the PAL version included. Hell I'd even just take someone doing a calculation of it by taking the two best runs of each and figuring out how to merge their differences into the best possible run.
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