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Thread: Saturn has better 2D graphics than the PSX: How do you conclude that?

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    Master of Shinobi Curryman123's Avatar
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    Default Saturn has better 2D graphics than the PSX: How do you conclude that?

    I keep hearing Sega fans brag about the 2D capabilities of the Saturn, and how it's much better than the 2D graphics of the PSX.

    How do people reach such conclusions? I looked at some 2D games on the PSX-such as Gaia seed, SoTN, and Gradius Gaiden-and the 2D graphics on the PSX seem just as good to me.

    I even looked at street fighter Alpha comparisons and aside from 4 second extra load times on the PSX (big whoop), I noticed no difference.

    Is this some sort of bragging rights issue? Can anyone explain the rational behind such statements?
    Last edited by Curryman123; 01-28-2012 at 12:51 AM.
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    Master of Shinobi Zz Badnusty's Avatar
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    DieHard Gamefan magazine said so. Ever since then it has been indisputable truth.

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    I remain nonsequitur Shining Hero sheath's Avatar
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    Well, in my opinion it is sort of the other side of the coin for what PS1 fans (including magazines) have always claimed was "true 3D" or "true transparency", which is always only the way the PS1 does it. The Saturn does 2D with more color and better animation because it has more RAM and the VDP2. VDP1's quads is also widely referred to as 2D distorted to look like 3D. I question that assertion, but it seems to be accepted as fact.

    Secondarily to that, the Street Fighter games have more animation in their Saturn iterations, and Saturn exclusive 2D games like Astal, Galactic Attack, and Guardian Heroes have no equivalent on the PS1. Then lesser titles like Skeleton Warriors have added VDP2 features on the Saturn. Whether or not the PS1 could technically surpass the Saturn at 2D, it took longer than the Saturn was on the market to even come close to touching Saturn launch titles.

    I find Saturn fan's persistence on this library advantage definitely of the bragging rights variety, that actually undermines any assertion that the Saturn was the PS1's contemporary at 3D as well.
    "... If Sony reduced the price of the Playstation, Sega would have to follow suit in order to stay competitive, but Saturn's high manufacturing cost would then translate into huge losses for the company." p170 Revolutionaries at Sony.

    "We ... put Sega out of the hardware business ..." Peter Dille senior vice president of marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment

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    Genesis Knight's Avatar
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    SOTN is the classic unique instance where the PSX had better 2D graphics than the Saturn. This was not due to Saturn inferiority, but rather due to shoddy porting.

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    Angry Liberal Arts Major Hero of Algol Iron Lizard's Avatar
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    There are always two ways to look at these things which is the technical argument vs what was actually achieved with the system. I think a quick google search would help you faster than any one here could. What is with all of these Saturn threads?

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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curryman123 View Post
    I keep hearing Sega fans brag about the 2D capabilities of the Saturn, and how it's much better than the 2D graphics of the PSX.

    How do people reach such conclusions? I looked at some 2D games on the PSX-such as Gaia seed, SoTN, and Gradius Gaiden-and the 2D graphics on the PSX seem just as good to me.

    I even looked at street fighter Alpha comparisons and aside from 4 second extra load times on the PSX (big whoop), I noticed no difference.

    Is this some sort of bragging rights issue? Can anyone explain the rational behind such statements?
    How do people say the Mega Drive had better 2D than the Snes or even better 3D ? You compare the both and on that front Saturn 2D games blew away the PS ones just play Cotton II, Guardian Heroes for starters . Not seen much diff in Alpha ? then maybe you should play Street Fighter Alpha II where the Saturn had better backgrounds, effects like reflections and more animation and even a real time intro thrown in too
    Btw SOTB, Gradius Gaiden aren't 2D they use use a combo of 2D and 3d polygons - just like Saturn games like Clockwork Knight, Thunder Force IV ECT. And on that score it really doesn't get better than RSG or Shinrei Jusaishi Taroumaru

    I'm sure some with bring up In the Hunt or Dodonpachi. In the Hunt yeah the PS version is better , but then Darius Gaiden is better on the Saturn, and Dodonpachi when playing in Tate mode I can see next to no different between the 2 versions bar the PS version sounding better , but there Battle Garegga pee's on the lot of them and RAIZING didn't even bother to port it to the PS, which should tell you all you need to know
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    ESWAT Veteran Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheath View Post
    Well, in my opinion it is sort of the other side of the coin for what PS1 fans (including magazines) have always claimed was "true 3D" or "true transparency", which is always only the way the PS1 does it. The Saturn does 2D with more color and better animation because it has more RAM and the VDP2.
    What VDP2 gives over the GPU in the PSX is ease of programming and speed. What the VDP2 does in hardware with no CPU intervention must be done by having the CPU direct the GPU for every little thing in the PSX. Need to make a layer from a select bunch of cells? The VDP2 does that with a map. The PSX must have the CPU go through that map and create a command list for the GPU telling what and where to draw each individual thing. Much of the time, it's not an issue. Many 2D games can be done equally well on either system at full speed. However, there are some things that take full advantage of VDP2 that push the PSX enough that it bogs down a bit. They either have to pull back a little or sacrifice speed. Saturn is clearly the King of 2D... the PSX is just the Prince. That's usually enough.


    VDP1's quads is also widely referred to as 2D distorted to look like 3D. I question that assertion, but it seems to be accepted as fact.
    It's accepted as fact because even SEGA's own VDP1 manual says so. They go into detail as to how warped sprites are better than plain rasterized polys. It IS more flexible, allowing you to do things that regular polys can't. However, it also has it's drawbacks. It's been discussed a bit in other threads. The primary advantage of "real" 3D polys is speed. The second is no artifacts on shading/transparency like warped sprites suffer.

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    urusei yatsura Master of Shinobi lumclaw's Avatar
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    It's actually difficult to make a fair case by comparing just their libraries. Few major new hardware pushing 2D games launched near side by side on both PSX and Saturn from the same dev team.

    Most were either exclusive to one or the other, originated on another system, were ported later (if not outsourced in the process), didn't make heavy use of graphics abilities to begin with, etc.

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    I DON'T LIKE POKEMON Hero of Algol j_factor's Avatar
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    But it's still being defined in 3D space, isn't it? There are still three axes, aren't there?


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    Genesis Knight's Avatar
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    J-factor, remember the good old days when you said that life was better with Saturn and that was good enough? I don't get all these people who are rejecting the holy light of Saturn and the cleansing effect it has on a person. My Saturn has made me, like, 5x as good as I used to be. In every area of life, from sex to philosophy to channel surfing.

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    Hero of Algol kool kitty89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    What VDP2 gives over the GPU in the PSX is ease of programming and speed. What the VDP2 does in hardware with no CPU intervention must be done by having the CPU direct the GPU for every little thing in the PSX. Need to make a layer from a select bunch of cells? The VDP2 does that with a map. The PSX must have the CPU go through that map and create a command list for the GPU telling what and where to draw each individual thing. Much of the time, it's not an issue. Many 2D games can be done equally well on either system at full speed. However, there are some things that take full advantage of VDP2 that push the PSX enough that it bogs down a bit. They either have to pull back a little or sacrifice speed. Saturn is clearly the King of 2D... the PSX is just the Prince. That's usually enough.
    There's also some cases where the PSX has an advantage for 2D games, including the overall flexibility of the GPU (and the PSX RAM) compared to the Saturn's VDP1+VDP2 set-up. (including extreme cases of heavy sprite generation with limited/no full-layer BG use, flexible per-sprite priority and translucency/blending effects, etc, and cases where the vast majority of graphics memory is needed for sprites -since the PSX GPU has more texture RAM for common resolutions and also has 4 and 8-bit indexed texture support -which VDP1 only has in indexed mode, which disables VDP1 blending and shading effects entirely, and also the faster main RAM in the PSX allowing less overhead for VRAM updates -moderately faster than main SDRAM in the Saturn, and several times faster than low-RAM . . . plus Saturn texture RAM is only 16-bits wide, so less than 1/2 the bandwidth of PSX VRAM for DMA at best)

    There's also the separate advantage of the Saturn with RAM expansion (since the PSX never got a RAM add-on), and that's part of where the "better animation" argument comes from. (though a handful of vanilla Saturn games also have slightly better animation iirc)
    You could argue the same thing for Saturn multimedia quality with the MPEG module installed.

    It's accepted as fact because even SEGA's own VDP1 manual says so. They go into detail as to how warped sprites are better than plain rasterized polys. It IS more flexible, allowing you to do things that regular polys can't. However, it also has it's drawbacks. It's been discussed a bit in other threads. The primary advantage of "real" 3D polys is speed. The second is no artifacts on shading/transparency like warped sprites suffer.
    How would true rasterized 3D quads compare with this? (would there be any advantages of warped quads over rasterized quads)

    And on that note: any idea if the 3DO uses warped or rasterized quads (asked before on the 5th gen thread, but never got a response). I'm almost positive than Nvidia's NV1 design used actual rasterization (with perspective correct texture support at that), but also went beyond that and added support for quadratic texture mapping for curved surfaces. (beizer surfaces -something the RSP apparently could handle too, though rarely ever used . . . and the complexity of using it on the NV1 along with the use of quads and lack of standard API support- made it unpopular with most developers)

    If nothing else, anfast quad rasterizer (one limited primarily by fillrate) would tend to be more efficient due to the lack of overdraw compared to warping. (and also avoid the translucency and shading artifacts) . . . and for that matter, if the 3DO does use warped quads too, then it should suffer similar artifacts as the Saturn for translucency and g-shading. (same for any Sega arcade board that used warping rather than rasterization)


    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor View Post
    But it's still being defined in 3D space, isn't it? There are still three axes, aren't there?
    Yes, it is still built with 3D math (via the CPU -similar to 3D cards of PCs at the time, and all software renderers obviously), but the difference comes in the actual 3D to 2D projection and rendering. 2D warping vs actual rasterization . . . and for solid color (flat shaded) polygons, there's no visual difference (aside from translucent blended quads -which would still suffer from the overdraw artifacts), but textured and smooth-shaded polygons would present greater visible differences. (on the technical end, there's differences in all cases, and the issue of overdraw is one of the more significant ones even for solid filled polygons)

    And in terms of being defined in 3D space, you could technically have a fully scaled/rotated sprite based "pseudo 3D" game that actually used 3D projected coordinates to keep track of the objects in real 3D space. (say a game like Wing Commander actually using 3D points and 3D game logic -with 3D points defining position, distance, scaling/size, animation frame, and collision, but looking the same as the original WC -it may actually work that way already too . . . I'm not sure what WC actually does -you can have the opposite too, polygonal 3D objects rendered from 3D coordinates, but with actual gameplay limited to a fixed 2D plane)
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    Dude it’s the bios that marries the 16 bit and the 8 bit that makes it 24 bit. If SNK released their double speed bios revision SNK would have had the world’s first 48 bit machine, IDK how you keep ignoring this.
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    ESWAT Veteran Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    How would true rasterized 3D quads compare with this? (would there be any advantages of warped quads over rasterized quads)
    Rasterized polys aren't warped - they're flat. You don't have any overdraw due to the rasterization. That makes them faster and less prone to distortion (beyond normal affine distortion on affine mappers).

    The advantage to warped quads come in that ability to twist around the quad to where they aren't flat - the common example given is to twist one side completely upside down, making a bowtie of the quad. That cannot be done with rasterized quads.


    And on that note: any idea if the 3DO uses warped or rasterized quads (asked before on the 5th gen thread, but never got a response). I'm almost positive than Nvidia's NV1 design used actual rasterization (with perspective correct texture support at that), but also went beyond that and added support for quadratic texture mapping for curved surfaces. (beizer surfaces -something the RSP apparently could handle too, though rarely ever used . . . and the complexity of using it on the NV1 along with the use of quads and lack of standard API support- made it unpopular with most developers)
    No idea on the NV1. As to the 3DO, if the hardware is anything like the emulator, it seems it is like VDP1, drawing textured lines from the corners on down the cell to the other corners. If that is accurate, it would probably have all the same issues.

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    What? Shir is gone? Raging in the Streets StarMist's Avatar
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    It's bragging rights along with the Saturn's having more old fashioned 2D games. PS has more 2D games in the 32 bit style like Panzer Bandit's, and whilst the Saturn's SFA graphics are a little better (and incrementally from 1 to 3) what's made out to be its laurels by Sega fans is very much in the 16 bit style, eg Astal, the Cottons, Clockwork Knight, SNK fighters, and more shooters--CK falls into 16 bit SNES style, the others 16 bit NeoGeo style. Layer Section, Battle Garegga, and arguably the Strikers/Gunbird games are legitimately 32 bit 2D. Soukyugurentai and RSG are blends involving ACM, sprites, and polygons, which serve as yes-we-can rights in defence against the PS's fortes.
    The rest of the bragging comes from shooter fans, in which domain it's somewhat ill founded, and as a stock tradeoff to the Playstation's 3D prowess. You're best off reserving judgement for a game by game or library to library comparison.

    Oh yeah, and Sega fans hate Sony.
    I think that's because Sony made the 32X.
    Last edited by StarMist; 01-28-2012 at 09:44 AM. Reason: oh yeah

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    ESWAT Veteran Da_Shocker's Avatar
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    Just take a look at XvSF and the PSx version has loads of slowdown

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    I DON'T LIKE POKEMON Hero of Algol j_factor's Avatar
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    Any fighter that uses the Saturn RAM cart is going to be way lopsided in the Saturn's favor. You can argue it's not a totally fair comparison because Playstation never had a RAM expansion. Good non-RAM-cart examples are X-Men COTA, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Marvel Super Heroes (optional RAM cart support, but even without it), and Night Warriors (compared to Darkstalkers). Those still show a clear advantage for the Saturn.


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