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Yohko16
01-12-2020, 01:27 PM
Because it's a bit unclear to me...


The Saturn was released around the same time as the PS1 but was retailed at a higher price.
Saturn / 1994-11-22 / •44,800 in Japan and $399 in US.
PS1 / 1994-12-03 / •39,800 in Japan and $299 in US.

Furthermore, the Saturn also needed things like RAM carts to properly run some games which further increase its price.

So given this, you would expect the Saturn to perform better or something but the problem is that it's not really the case.

It's said to be a 2D powerhouse but I've seen some impressive 2D games on PS1 as well, like Symphony of the Night, Panzer Bandit or Hercules.

3D games on the other hand seem to perform better on PS1, with impressive titles such as Tekken 3, Ridge Racer Type 4 or Quake 2.


There are a few surprising things about all of this like the fact that the PS1 is said to be designed solely around 3D yet it can do some superb 2D games.

Also the fact that the Saturn has a complex sound hardware yet it can't even compress data???

And the PS1 seem to have full transparency support whereas the Saturn is kinda compromised in that regard.


So, was the Saturn poorly engineered and too expensive for what it is? Or does it have some actual advantages over the PS1 and if so, which ones exactly?


I'm sure there are already a few threads related to this but I thought that a whole new one with all the knowledge that people gathered so far would make things clearer. So please try to be the most concise possible and thanks in advance for any relevant informations regarding this subject! :)

gamevet
01-12-2020, 01:55 PM
The RAM cart is for 2D fighting games. It allows the Saturn to have near arcade perfect ports of Street Fighter Alpha 3, Cyberbots, KOF 95, Vampire Savior (Dark Stalkers): Lord of Vampires and X-Men vs Street Fighter.

The Saturn already has more system RAM than the PlayStation, even without the RAM cart.


http://www.sega-16.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=15251&d=1578856070

Black_Tiger
01-12-2020, 02:11 PM
Just like 16-bit consoles it's more about balance. The Playstation pulled ahead early on and defined what was considered "normal". So common aspects in PSX games like full screen dithering, flappy seams, warping and jittery textures all got a free pass.

Some of the better aspects of Saturn 3D aren't simply because of a technical superiority and more of a manifestation of how Saturn games were typical deceloped. Do Saturn 3D looks much more like N64 in that everything is usually solid and not warping excessively. N64 3D itself isn't as solid as it appears if you see it in RGB with anti-aliasing turned off.

SegaAMD
01-12-2020, 02:58 PM
I hope it's not trolling

saturn natively has more RAM than ps1

Saturn has 1.5MB of VRAM, that's 50% more and allows saturn to play games with higher resolution (Dead or alive) and better texture than the PS1.(Sonic world)

Saturn can do Nights and PS1 can't (in fact it could but would get worse) Nights needs to operate with 60fps backgrounds and 30fps characters in a fluid and continuous way. SEGA Marketing said it was impossible on PS1. Panzer Dragoon Zwei too cause Saturn can do infinit plans so beach look or sky above the clouds, better draw distance.

VDP1 is weaker than the PS1 processor by about 40%, something like 14fps less, so any ps1 game can run on Saturn with reduced frame and some trade offs.

But it was designed to run the floor and some backgrounds using the VDP2 2D chip, so the VDP1 chip could be free and thus outperform the PS1 in 3D.

In 2D Saturn runs better than PS1 since the game is made with hand-drawn sprites, understand Yoshi story, Klonoa, Castlevania are 2D but are made of polygons.

So in hand sprite games the PS1 can't replicate Guardiam Heroes and other similar Saturn gifts.

Finally the expansion card is to optimize loadings, but saturn also came with internal memory card, SEGA believed that this was important, but the public preferred to buy a console with bad CD player, bad plastic and paid to save their games. So Play 1 sold fast and when the N64 arrived in 1996 with MArio 64 and effective marketing, Saturn was seen as unnecessary, and even though it was better forgotten, SEGA in turn stopped investing in big budget games so Saturn has no prettier game than later PS1 games.

TrekkiesUnite118
01-12-2020, 03:00 PM
Anything that makes heavy use of VDP2 planes on the Saturn is going to suffer when ported to the Playstation. Grandia is a really good example of this. The floors in most areas are a VDP2 plane on Saturn, and on PS1 they had to recreate them with polygons. As a result there's worse framerate drops in areas and the texture of the floor is simplified:

https://i.imgur.com/ITKgb9N.jpg

Saturn is on the left, Playstation/PC/Switch is on the right.



saturn natively has more RAM than ps1

No, both systems have 2MB of Main System RAM. Saturn is actually worse in this regard as instead of it being 1 unified bank, it's instead 2 separate 1MB banks defined as LWRAM and HWRAM. LWRAM is actually slower than HWRAM.



Saturn has 1.5MB of VRAM, that's 50% more and allows saturn to play games with higher resolution and better texture than the PS1.

While yes it does have 1.5MB of Memory for the VDPs, saying it's all VRAM is misleading. It's 512KB of VRAM for VDP1, 512KB of VRAM for VDP2, and then 2 hardware controlled 256KB Frame buffers for VDP1 to write to. VDP1 can write to VDP2's VRAM but it can't read from it, and the frame buffers aren't configurable and a lot of problems come about with how VDP1 and VDP2 interact with them. So for 3D it really comes down to 512KB of VRAM and 512KB for a double buffered frame buffer set up. VDP2 in many cases sits unused for 3D games and that VRAM can't be used well. It takes a lot of creative design ideas to make full use of VDP1 and VDP2 in a 3D game.

PS1 on the other hand has 1 MB of unified VRAM it can use however it wants.



Saturn can do Nights and PS1 can't (in fact it could but would get worse) Nights needs to operate with 60fps backgrounds and 30fps characters in a fluid and continuous way. SEGA Marketing said it was impossible on PS1.

This is a pile of BS. The backgrounds operate at a different frame rate simply because VDP1 and VDP2 can render at different frame rates. It's not any kind of requirement for the game.



VDP1 is weaker than the PS1 processor by about 40%, something like 14fps less, so any ps1 game can run on Saturn with reduced frame and some trade offs.

The only thing accurate here is that VDP1 is weaker than the PS1's GTE.

Crazyace
01-12-2020, 03:24 PM
When you look at the screen like that it really seems like a bug in the conversion , almost as if the Playstation version didn't look at the character map on VDP2 and just used the raw texture. Actually drawing the floor as polygons seems ok in terms of performance. Maybe there was a memory problem.

zyrobs
01-12-2020, 05:10 PM
When you look at the screen like that it really seems like a bug in the conversion , almost as if the Playstation version didn't look at the character map on VDP2 and just used the raw texture. Actually drawing the floor as polygons seems ok in terms of performance. Maybe there was a memory problem.

There is no bug. Those screenshots are from the overhead map view (I'm guessing), not the actual ground texture. You can see things like the house ceilings and the fountain and the river on it. Remove all of those, and you'll see that the Playstation version is just a repeating pattern: it did not have memory to store the entire, fully detailed ground texture. The Saturn could use a more detailed ground because it was using an entire separate gpu and dedicated bank of memory just for that.

zyrobs
01-12-2020, 05:51 PM
What the Saturn has over the PSX:
- dedicated tilemapper graphics chip with two 256k memory banks, think of it as something over 2x as strong as the SNES with 8x the memory for backgrounds... probably the strongest dedicated tilemapper ever put in consumer hardware. It can also take the polygon output and treat it as a background, doing some effects with it, but how much it can do depends on the polygon modes used. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a mode that makes both polygons and backgrounds work to maximum effect, which is part of the reason why the mesh effects were so common.
- dedicated 2x 256k framebuffers. Unfortunately this meant the machine had much less space available for textures than the PSX.
- the VDP1 has a feature that can be sort of used for hardware mipmapping, it's called High Speed Shrink and it makes the give polygon texture sampled at half the resolution. I don't know if any games ever used it for that though, they probably all just turned it on as a general speed increase.
- Saturn could run in higher resolution (320/352/640/704 x 224/240/256/448/480/512), while PSX could run in lower resolution (256/320/368/512/640 x 240/480). The difference here is that Saturn could run low-res polygons but still keep hi-res backgrounds, while the PSX shared framebuffer size with texture memory and so using a lower resolution meant saving up extra space for textures. It's what Castlevania used to get as much animation in as possible.
- Saturn could run 24-bit backgrounds while still being able to draw polygons. PSX could not do that.
- Saturn could abuse a hardware snafu to shade textures in a way that every pixels colour was definable, thereby being theoretically capable of more advanced shading effects. However it had many limitations and only a single tech demo did it.
- It had more CD buffer (128k vs 512k)
- more robust CD hardware in general - dedicated processor for controlling the drive, plus the drives are better quality
- sound channels can be used as FM operators and you can link any number of them (this is very advanced stuff similar to high-end FM synth keyboards), and the sound DSP is programmable instead of fixed. Unfortunately the lack of hardware sample compression made PCM samples sound much worse in the end, and nobody really programmed FM channels by then so the more advanced hardware was left unused. Four years later they took the same chip, removed the FM stuff, doubled the PCM channels, added hardware ADPCM compression, and put it in the Dreamcast.
- SCU DSP can be used for other calculations than just doing T&L, although even then it just isn't as useful as the PSX GTE.
- expansion ports are theoretically capable of doing much more in hardware


No, both systems have 2MB of Main System RAM. Saturn is actually worse in this regard as instead of it being 1 unified bank, it's instead 2 separate 1MB banks defined as LWRAM and HWRAM. LWRAM is actually slower than HWRAM.

Technically the Saturn could use its larger CD buffer memory as a generic memory bank, so it had a slight advantage in memory size, even without counting the VDP2 or the RAM expansions.... 1mb + 1mb + 512k vs 2mb + 128k. But it was overall slower as only 1 meg was 32bit, everything else was 16bit. Even the RAM expansions.

Yohko16
01-12-2020, 06:40 PM
common aspects in PSX games like full screen dithering, flappy seams

Not sure about what these things refer to. Can you give precise examples, preferably via pictures or videos?



I hope it's not trolling

LOL, I don't think that it looked so, unlike your post! :p

I appreciate your enthusiam mister SegaAMD but I feel that you're a bit on the delusional side.


SEGA Marketing said it was impossible on PS1

I wouldn't trust a marketing division on such things!


Panzer Dragoon Zwei too cause Saturn can do infinit plans so beach look or sky above the clouds, better draw distance.

Wouldn't this game be doable on PS1?


In 2D Saturn runs better than PS1 since the game is made with hand-drawn sprites, understand Yoshi story, Klonoa, Castlevania are 2D but are made of polygons.

Can someone explain me how 2D games can be made of polygons? :confused:

Otherwise I agree that the Saturn build quality feels better but it's the games that matter the most.



Anything that makes heavy use of VDP2 planes on the Saturn is going to suffer when ported to the Playstation. Grandia is a really good example of this. The floors in most areas are a VDP2 plane on Saturn, and on PS1 they had to recreate them with polygons. As a result there's worse framerate drops in areas and the texture of the floor is simplified:

https://i.imgur.com/ITKgb9N.jpg

Saturn is on the left, Playstation/PC/Switch is on the right.

Lot of repeated patterns on PS1 and also no shadow for the houses. But the resolution is higher. Is it the PC version shown here?

Also, some good infos in your post!


@zyrobs: amazing! This is the kind of overview that I wanted. Thanks! :)

I don't get it all though but I will dig this.

And in a more practical way, can you tell which games the Saturn got that couldn't be achieved, or not without many compromises, on PS1?

Black_Tiger
01-12-2020, 07:13 PM
Can't quote. Yohko: PSX dithering explained:

https://youtu.be/3XDyQnY5GHI

Most PSX games, seemed like every game I played, have a dithered haze moving over the screen. N64 does too, but it's masked by the AA smearing and poor video quality.

Yohko16
01-12-2020, 07:25 PM
Can't quote. Yohko: PSX dithering explained:

https://youtu.be/3XDyQnY5GHI

Thanks! Gonna watch that.

TrekkiesUnite118
01-12-2020, 08:04 PM
Can someone explain me how 2D games can be made of polygons? :confused:

Draw the polygons so they always face the camera at the same angle as it moves.



Lot of repeated patterns on PS1 and also no shadow for the houses. But the resolution is higher. Is it the PC version shown here?

Yes, the comparison is to the PC/Switch version. However the way the floor textures look is identical to the PS1 version as the HD port is based on the PS1 version. To be honest I'm almost convinced it's running on some hacked up PS1 emulator that allows them to swap in upscaled assets and the like as there's certain parts where you can see tell-tale PS1 texture warping in the new HD remaster:

https://i.imgur.com/7Xh6Kqb.jpg

Top is Saturn, bottom is HD Remaster.



And in a more practical way, can you tell which games the Saturn got that couldn't be achieved, or not without many compromises, on PS1?

Any game that's making extensive use of VDP2 planes like this:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUyhbhJ5jqI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fecL6GyhBU

SegaAMD
01-12-2020, 08:34 PM
there's nothing at all like X Men vs Street Fighter on any other fifth generation console.

gamevet
01-12-2020, 09:08 PM
I love me some Vampire Savior. That game is gorgeous.

Bloodreign
01-13-2020, 07:49 AM
I love me some Vampire Savior. That game is gorgeous.

Probably the absolute best Capcom arcade port on the Saturn, everything sounds so good, colors pop nicely, animation is spot on, no load time, bigger than arcade roster. Plus if you have RGB setup, it has a mode for it either in the regular options, or the hidden options menu (1CC the game to access it via code). SFZ 3 has some sound muffling from the announcer, and an extremely high price, but Vampire Savior is quite affordable, and the audio is all crystal clear.

Team Andromeda
01-14-2020, 04:08 AM
Wouldn't this game be doable on PS1?

Of course, it could, but there would be trade-offs for the floor and clouds effects, while no doubt improvements ,with lighting transparent effects. Which is what one saw, when developers, looked to make good use of both systems


Platform holders say silly stuff all the time, Like how Mario 64 could never be done on a CD-based system, Wipeout 2097 could only be done on the PS, Cel shading can't be done on the PS2 LOL

I don't really get why, some look to bring NiGHTS up TBH. It's not really the best looking Saturn game, while it is full of amazing effects, the heavy clipping spoils the overall effect a little too much for me.

SegaAMD
01-23-2020, 11:45 AM
Of course, it could, but there would be trade-offs for the floor and clouds effects, while no doubt improvements ,with lighting transparent effects. Which is what one saw, when developers, looked to make good use of both systems

Platform holders say silly stuff all the time.


Kotaku: how Panzer Dragoon defined SEGA Saturn Era, see that.

Team Andromeda
01-23-2020, 12:49 PM
Kotaku: how Panzer Dragoon defined SEGA Saturn Era, see that.

I've seen it thanks. Any system can handle a game, its what is lost in the process. I mean for some the Wipeout series, defined the PS era and the Saturn was able to handle it with some compromises.

Leynos
01-23-2020, 01:11 PM
Play Bulk Slash and Guardian Heroes.

Team Andromeda
01-24-2020, 03:02 AM
Play Bulk Slash and Guardian Heroes.

Play Panzer Bandit and see the PS could handle Guardian Heroes style game, only with limitations. If one plays Fighting Force on the PS, which was a game built around the Saturn VDP2 and where it was the lead system. The PS can pull it off, it's just compromised Like how the PS versions of Grandia, Street Racer, Mass Destruction, Thunder Force V lack the VDP2 effects and how in Thunder Force V there are more transparent effects thanks to the VDP2

I would hate to see how the Radiant Silvergun would have turned out on the PS, but it could have handled the game, only missing loads of VDP2 effects

Leynos
01-24-2020, 04:24 AM
Woosh.

Team Andromeda
01-24-2020, 06:13 AM
Woosh.

So childish. Can anyone have a debate with you? Or does it all go over one's head

zyrobs
01-24-2020, 11:34 AM
Most of the VDP2 effects could be done by the Playstation with a decent software library to simulate it, even the infinite plains. The big problem is just RAM - it would need twice as much memory for this, especially to alleviate the lack of tiling. That's what makes this stuff nearly impossible.

Something like Panzer Dragoon wouldn't be a problem on the playstation, it would obviously take a hit in the ground texture quality, but it would be a minor trade off. The infinite playfields could even be kept in, with some trickery.
Radiant Silvergun on the other hand would be a nightmare to do, it seamlessly transitions 2-3 layers constantly throughout the game, with blending and sometimes other effects. Like the turtle on stage 6 where a mechanical shaft opens beneath with a deep perspective effect, or the stone-like where the entire world begins to ripple apart in rainbow colours... and they all have transitions, animations from one background effect to the next, you really have to see them in motion.

Leynos
01-24-2020, 11:51 AM
So childish. Can anyone have a debate with you? Or does it all go over one's head

There never was a debate. The first post was a throwaway joke post as if I put my disc in the PS1 it does not play. Therefore it cannot play those games. It wasn't serious, to begin with.

turboxray
01-24-2020, 11:54 AM
It was mentioned a number of years back, on this forum, that the PSX has mode where a texture can repeat (span) infinite directions and instances across a single polygon - but can't on the Saturn. It was some port of the Saturn where this was an issue, and the devs had to come up with a creative work around. It didn't sound like a big deal overall, but you know.. since we're checking off boxes here hahah

Team Andromeda
01-24-2020, 01:07 PM
There never was a debate. The first post was a throwaway joke post as if I put my disc in the PS1 it does not play. Therefore it cannot play those games. It wasn't serious, to begin with.

It was a debate, but like usual you look to rubbish or make fun of anything or anyone, you don't agree with

SegaAMD
01-24-2020, 10:11 PM
I've seen it thanks. Any system can handle a game, its what is lost in the process. I mean for some the Wipeout series, defined the PS era and the Saturn was able to handle it with some compromises.

SEGA challenged that producer to make games that were ''impossible'' on PS1.

Okay we know that both consoles are fifth generation so with the due losses they could both run the same games, but the question is: Can SF Alpha 2 from Snes be compared with SF Alpha 2 from Saturn? can we consider it a true street fighter alpha 2 or were the downgrades so massive that it is no longer the same game? x-men ps1 and saturn are the same game ?

Dungeons and Dragons from arcade cps2 runs with 4 players and lots of animations, saturn runs with 2 players and some animations have been lost, from my experience, PS1 runs 2D games with about 50% of the animations, Saturn version, so I can say that a ps1 version of DD would be downgraded, so we can almost say that Guardiam Heroes and Dragon Force are impossible on PS1 unless there are massive cuts, and to make it more fun I'm pretty sure that Enemy Zero would be impossible on the N64 as well.

this is a matter of specs and those of saturn are bigger, only loses in vpd 1 in about 15 frames in my observation. it remains to measure the degree of loss of ps1 when simulating VDP2 in games like DOA and Grandia. If VDP1+vpd2 > ps1.

Team Andromeda
01-25-2020, 12:01 AM
SEGA challenged that producer to make games that were ''impossible'' on PS1..

What... you think a 3D on-rails shooter couldn't be done on the PS1?. Snes fans would have you believe that Street Fighter II couldn't be done on the Mega Drive, only for the MD to do it. Mega Drive fans would say Steet's Of Rage II would be impossible on the SNES, only for the game to appear on the Master System or how Gunstar heroes could only be done on the Mega Drive, only for it to come out on the Master System . I remember PS1 fans and some PS Mag's saying Resident Evil would be impossible for the Saturn to handle, or how Resident Evil 4 could only be done on the Cube, only for it come out for the PS2 . I'm sure Smilbit said how JSR couldn' be done on the PS2, only for the PS 2 to handle the likes of Viewtiful Joe

I think you're trolling, to be honest, but the PS was able to run many CP1 and CP2 games, maybe you should play the Capcom Collection 1 to 4 to find out. Sure, Guardian Heroes and Dragon Force would lose out, but it's hardly impossible on the PS1 and given Enemy Zero was a 4 disc CD game, I think it's fairly obvious ,it couldn't be done on the N64.For storage reasons, if nothing else

Team Andromeda
01-25-2020, 12:06 AM
Most of the VDP2 effects could be done by the Playstation with a decent software library to simulate it, even the infinite plains.

The PS had big issues trying to emulate that effect, very apparent in games like Thunder Force V. Sure it could pull it off, it just didn't look anywhere near as good. But like with anything do with the Saturn. Many people rather point out it's weak PS ports, rather than the games the Saturn does better than the PS . When a PS game is worse than the Saturn version,then it's down then to the developer.

zyrobs
01-25-2020, 12:13 PM
I don't know of any PSX games that actually try to emulate that effect at all, other than the SNES ports the system got. For Thunder Force V and DOA they changed it to a polygonal ground instead of emulating it, which is why they look worse. Like I said, one could do that effect pixel perfect on the PSX, but this would assume that you have the exact same background graphics in memory, and the PSX just does not have the VRAM to do that on top of running the rest of the game. It's why they opt for polygonal ground instead; they only need 2-3 textures for that instead of the whole tile map.

Team Andromeda
01-25-2020, 12:51 PM
Fighting Force is a nice example. That game was build around the Saturn's VDP2 and the PS does a half decent job of handling it . Grandia isn't too bad either, but comes up way short in parts , same goes for Souky VDP2 backgrounds on stage 2 and 3.

Thunder Force V Stage 1 on he PS does a decent job, it's on stage 3 where is goes to hell and on stage 4 , the swirling transparent VDP 2 background is completely gone , very like with Skeleton Warriors on the PS.

EPSYLON EAGLE
01-25-2020, 08:15 PM
Well the PSX 007 game has very impressive VDP 2 like effects in the first stage sky.


https://youtu.be/4mGrLwBG2Aw?t=307

Team Andromeda
01-26-2020, 03:49 AM
Well the PSX 007 game has very impressive VDP 2 like effects in the first stage sky.


https://youtu.be/4mGrLwBG2Aw?t=307

I've tended to use Ghost in the Shell. That has a nice VDP2 style sky effect and a flat floor too, but it runs a choppy (That's a big issue with so many PS games on YouTube most of through an emulator, don't get a real picture) and you just know the Saturn could handle the floor and sky so much better

It can work both ways sometimes; I was very impressed with Layer Section 2 on the Saturn. Given it was a full polygons title developed from the ground up on the PS, one would expect the worse, but the team made some great use of the VDP2, to help with the workload and handled a very decent port, with some lovely polygon handling for a Saturn game. A shame the mesh transparencies, stick out like a soar thumb mind :(. Tiburon made some nice use of the VDP2 to handle the floors and weather effects to help with the Madden 97/98 ports and I even liked how they used the VDP2 for the HUD in Soviet Strike and you could cycle thought the VDP2 transparences. Quality team, I so wanted to buy them out back inthe day LOL.

Blades
01-27-2020, 12:17 PM
Because it's a bit unclear to me...


The Saturn was released around the same time as the PS1 but was retailed at a higher price.
Saturn / 1994-11-22 / •44,800 in Japan and $399 in US.
PS1 / 1994-12-03 / •39,800 in Japan and $299 in US.

Furthermore, the Saturn also needed things like RAM carts to properly run some games which further increase its price.

So given this, you would expect the Saturn to perform better or something but the problem is that it's not really the case.

It's said to be a 2D powerhouse but I've seen some impressive 2D games on PS1 as well, like Symphony of the Night, Panzer Bandit or Hercules.

3D games on the other hand seem to perform better on PS1, with impressive titles such as Tekken 3, Ridge Racer Type 4 or Quake 2.


There are a few surprising things about all of this like the fact that the PS1 is said to be designed solely around 3D yet it can do some superb 2D games.

Also the fact that the Saturn has a complex sound hardware yet it can't even compress data???

And the PS1 seem to have full transparency support whereas the Saturn is kinda compromised in that regard.


So, was the Saturn poorly engineered and too expensive for what it is? Or does it have some actual advantages over the PS1 and if so, which ones exactly?


I'm sure there are already a few threads related to this but I thought that a whole new one with all the knowledge that people gathered so far would make things clearer. So please try to be the most concise possible and thanks in advance for any relevant informations regarding this subject! :)

I don't think you're asking what the Saturn can do that's special, but why the Saturn performed the way it did.

Simply put, the Saturn is an older design than the PSX. The PSX's streamlined development is what won the war. Couple that with a rapidly advancing industry, and the Saturn couldn't really compete on any level against a well-engineered and put together graphics computer.

That's easier said than done though, Nintendo had 2 extra years for development and still messed it up (by their own admission).

j_factor
01-27-2020, 04:05 PM
I don't think you're asking what the Saturn can do that's special, but why the Saturn performed the way it did.

One piece of that which is rarely talked about is the choice of dev kits. There were three different ones: the original official SDK from Sega, the third-party Psy-Q system from Psygnosis, and the Cross Products SNASM2 kit which was originally a third-party option but became the official SDK when Sega bought out the company. The Psy-Q was cheaper and was designed to facilitate multi-platform development with the PS1 Psy-Q dev kit. I imagine this made ports faster to develop but its approach favored the PS1 and the peculiarities of the Saturn hardware were less well-supported. I remember Next Gen magazine had an article about Psy-Q vs. SNASM2 but it was more about the choice that developers faced than the fine details of technical differences between the two. For some reason Psygnosis and Cross Products took out competing magazine ads.

https://i.imgur.com/GJYE9lE.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/U7SrX6b.jpg

Black_Tiger
01-27-2020, 04:27 PM
Psygnosis ports still turned out alright for shovelware.

SegaAMD
01-27-2020, 08:17 PM
The only thing accurate here is that VDP1 is weaker than the PS1's GTE.

it is not accurate it is true but observing the multiplatforms between both it is possible to establish an equivalence, with few trade offs and a reduction of fps Saturn could run almost all PS1 games did, using only VDP1 and 1 SH2.

They were very close consoles but given the specs it is possible to see that if devs wanted they could make Saturn a game impossible to run on Playstation, such a game never existed, the closest to this feat would be 2D games, there is no doubt about it.


jeOWGnI0tmM

Bonus:

Hh7w4qoR8t8

SegaAMD
01-28-2020, 10:05 AM
when I said that VDP1 was 40% weaker than the PS1 GPU it was just a deduction from me based on the trade offs I see in the ports.

But researching I found this guy http://www.davidgamizjimenez.com/inpositivegames/sega-saturn-to-the-limit-ii/ who observed through a calculation that the VDP1 is 37% weaker than the GPU of the PS1, however the situation changes when VDP2 + VDP1 are widely used this reverses giving SEGA Saturn a 34% advantage over the PS1, imagining a scenario where saturn was well explored with better development kits in the worst case, their games would be the same as the PS1, maybe lost in textures. but in an extreme situation where everything works perfectly, where the saturn had sold 40M units the Saturn would have more beautiful games to the point of rivaling the best games on the N64.

zyrobs
01-28-2020, 10:41 PM
when I said that VDP1 was 40% weaker than the PS1 GPU it was just a deduction from me based on the trade offs I see in the ports.

But researching I found this guy http://www.davidgamizjimenez.com/inpositivegames/sega-saturn-to-the-limit-ii/ who observed through a calculation that the VDP1 is 37% weaker than the GPU of the PS1, however the situation changes when VDP2 + VDP1 are widely used this reverses giving SEGA Saturn a 34% advantage over the PS1, imagining a scenario where saturn was well explored with better development kits in the worst case, their games would be the same as the PS1, maybe lost in textures. but in an extreme situation where everything works perfectly, where the saturn had sold 40M units the Saturn would have more beautiful games to the point of rivaling the best games on the N64.

The PSX GPU is conservatively something like 4x faster than the VDP1 (depending on rendering mode it can be even more, and that's still without counting transparencies), and the VDP2 doesn't really reverse the situation except by providing a lot more memory. Getting the most out of the VDP2 is extremely difficult and requires the game to be designed around its features (like Sonic R or the Panzer Dragoons).
Between the VDP1 and the PSX GPU, the difference isn't just "10fps" or so, the PSX also has much higher colour counts, triangle support, UV mapping support, and both shading and transparency always works as intended, instead of just once when the planets align like on the Saturn. It can also use all features and colours in high resolutions too, the Saturn is limited to 256 colours if it goes high-res (meaning no shading and no transparency).

If the Saturn had sold 40 million units, it would've cost Sega 4 billion dollars, since according to Hideki Sato they lost $100 on every unit sold - they had to cut back on production to lessen the losses.

Team Andromeda
01-29-2020, 01:28 AM
We'll I don't think Mass Destruction or Street Racer lead on the Saturn and the Saturn versions, thanks to relatively simply use of the VDP2 looked better had more effects, run in a high scree Res and for Mass Destruction, better FPS too.

I remember many mags saying Wipeout 2097bon the PS looked one of the best games ever made and didnt see a 4X difference in the Saturn verison to be honest . Sony made a underpowered GPU for the PS3 so many 360 ports to the PS3 run in lower screen Res and had issues with the Frame rate.

Microsoft too made the One had a underpowered GPU and lesser memory system and where ports on its system suffer. Also with regards to sales , wasn't SONY losing quite a lot on each PS sold , same for the PS2.

Maybe if the Saturn sold over 40 million units , software sales and 3rs party royalties would have made the difference, like for the 360, PS 1 and PS2.

Moirai
01-29-2020, 01:34 AM
i doubt the playstation could pull off Radiant Silvergun... maybe a somewhat butchered version of it... but that being said the number of Saturn games that couldnt be done on playstation is probably pretty low...

Team Andromeda
01-29-2020, 01:38 AM
i doubt the playstation could pull off Radiant Silvergun... maybe a somewhat butchered version of it... but that being said the number of Saturn games that couldnt be done on playstation is probably pretty low...

When you have the GBA handling Crazy Taxi or Tekken 3 LOL, one can say the PS could have handled RSG , but with issues like with any Saturn game that made half decent use of the VDP2.

Leynos
01-29-2020, 01:47 AM
Crazy Taxi on GBA is not port. It's built from the ground up for GBA. Tekken Advance is not Tekken 3. It's a noncanonical sequel. Tekken Advance also had rendered backdrops and the characters were digitized sprites.

zyrobs
01-29-2020, 02:09 AM
PSX didn't have the memory to handle Radiant Silvergun.


We'll I don't think Mass Destruction or Street Racer lead on the Saturn and the Saturn versions, thanks to relatively simply use of the VDP2 looked better had more effects, run in a high scree Res and for Mass Destruction, better FPS too.

I remember many mags saying Wipeout 2097bon the PS looked one of the best games ever made and didnt see a 4X difference in the Saturn verison to be honest . Sony made a underpowered GPU for the PS3 so many 360 ports to the PS3 run in lower screen Res and had issues with the Frame rate.

Microsoft too made the One had a underpowered GPU and lesser memory system and where ports on its system suffer. Also with regards to sales , wasn't SONY losing quite a lot on each PS sold , same for the PS2.

Maybe if the Saturn sold over 40 million units , software sales and 3rs party royalties would have made the difference, like for the 360, PS 1 and PS2.

The 4x difference is for polygon fillrate. Most multiplatform games on the PSX would run at a smoother framerate, with better textures, with plenty of transparency effects, and sometimes better lightning too, compared to the Saturn. There are very few exceptions to this, most notable Lobotomys games, but even they said that when they ported their Saturn Quake to Playstation, it ran at an almost constant 60fps and was held back by the T&L code, not the GPU (it runs at 15-20 fps on Saturn).

Sony didn't make the PS3 GPU, they didn't have time because the Cell cpu had issues and Microsoft was rushing the 360 ahead (which incidentally had a non-bullshit version of the Cell). So they bolted on a random Geforce GPU, which was responsible for nearly every architectural problem the PS3.

And Sony could afford to sell the console at a loss since they had a gigantic worldwide empire of electronics, movies, and music.

zyrobs
01-29-2020, 02:11 AM
Crazy Taxi on GBA is not port. It's built from the ground up for GBA. Tekken Advance is not Tekken 3. It's a noncanonical sequel. Tekken Advance also had rendered backdrops and the characters were digitized sprites.

Yeah, at that rate you might as well point out Virtua Fighter 2 running on the Megadrive. Or even Duke Nukem 3d.

Leynos
01-29-2020, 04:12 AM
PSX didn't have the memory to handle Radiant Silvergun.



The 4x difference is for polygon fillrate. Most multiplatform games on the PSX would run at a smoother framerate, with better textures, with plenty of transparency effects, and sometimes better lightning too, compared to the Saturn. There are very few exceptions to this, most notable Lobotomys games, but even they said that when they ported their Saturn Quake to Playstation, it ran at an almost constant 60fps and was held back by the T&L code, not the GPU (it runs at 15-20 fps on Saturn).

Sony didn't make the PS3 GPU, they didn't have time because the Cell cpu had issues and Microsoft was rushing the 360 ahead (which incidentally had a non-bullshit version of the Cell). So they bolted on a random Geforce GPU, which was responsible for nearly every architectural problem the PS3.

And Sony could afford to sell the console at a loss since they had a gigantic worldwide empire of electronics, movies, and music.

Yeah, Sony planned to use 2 CELLs instead of a GPU. Axed that idea delayed the console a year and had to retool the memory. I believe originally it used 512MB of unified ram but before launch split it. Always felt PS3 in terms of hardware difficulty was very similar to Saturn. The difference is as you pointed out. Sony could afford it. SEGA could not.

Team Andromeda
01-29-2020, 08:21 AM
Crazy Taxi on GBA is not port. It's built from the ground up for GBA. Tekken Advance is not Tekken 3. It's a noncanonical sequel. Tekken Advance also had rendered backdrops and the characters were digitized sprites.

I guess the 'LOL' went WOOSH for you?. But if one was to be serious, when you have Chase HQ appearing on a Zx Spectrum, the very latest Model 2B games on a Saturn or even the likes of Doom Enteral coming out on a Switch.
RSG would have been very possible on the PS, but with issues over the VDP2 backgrounds.

Team Andromeda
01-29-2020, 08:37 AM
The 4x difference is for polygon fillrate. Most multiplatform games on the PSX would run at a smoother framerate, with better textures, with plenty of, and sometimes better lightning too, compared to the Saturn..

Was there a 4X times difference in Wipeout 2097 on the Saturn?. Transparency effects are a far point, only when the VDP2 comes in to play Saturn games that made basic use of the VDP2 some times have transparency effects not seen in the PS version:
The VDP2 swirling transparent background in Thunder Force V stage 4, more transparent clouds in Souky stage 3, the transparent mist in Skelton Warriors, also With the VDP2 one can add in effects too, that sometimes were emitted from the PS version: The swirling heat Haze effect was seen in Mega Man X4, the reflections seen in Mass Destruction, the scrolling Lava in Croc.


Sony didn't make the PS3 GPU, they didn't have time because the Cell cpu had issues and Microsoft was rushing the 360 ahead
I thought it was only SEGA that looked to rush consoles out. I guess Microsoft can blame SONY and the need to rush out the One with an underpowered GPU and poor memory system too

I also never really had SEGA down has a Hardware CPU and GPU developer, most of SEGA's tech seems to be re-engineered off the shelf parts for the main. That's to overlook SONY, Microsoft selling the 360, PS2, PS and PS3 and huge loses per system sold.
It's ok for SONY, just not SEGA

SegaAMD
01-29-2020, 09:31 AM
The PSX GPU is conservatively something like 4x faster than the VDP1 (depending on rendering mode it can be even more, and that's still without counting transparencies), and the VDP2 doesn't really reverse the situation except by providing a lot more memory. Getting the most out of the VDP2 is extremely difficult and requires the game to be designed around its features (like Sonic R or the Panzer Dragoons).


there is no game that supports your claim, but I do not deny that the PS1 can draw up to 4x more triangles than Saturn, but Saturn works with Quads, so they are apples and oranges.




Between the VDP1 and the PSX GPU, the difference isn't just "10fps" or so, the PSX also has much higher colour counts, triangle support, UV mapping support, and both shading and transparency always works as intended, instead of just once when the planets align like on the Saturn. It can also use all features and colours in high resolutions too, the Saturn is limited to 256 colours if it goes high-res (meaning no shading and no transparency).



in fact it is 15fps (that means 40%) but in real games the average was 10fps (30%) because the devs made trade offs. to keep the game within the limits of smoothness.

let's see what the main downgrade between ports is:

Tomb raider: ps1 mostly at 30fps, Sega Saturn can reach 30fps but it is mostly 20fps (measured by DF Retro) taking this difference out of frame rate, and some water effects are the same game, the match has been successfully reached.

In Croc both have 30fps (and that can never happen cause PS! gpu is more powerfull than vdp1) so the devs reduced the draw distance, ready the equivalence was done successfully.
Quake 1: there is no PS1 version but a dev said he put the saturn code on PS1 and reached up to 60fps without the collision detection physics, this shows that the PS1 cpu is not as strong, I believe that when putting the physics , the game must have dropped to 40fps. But there is a version for N64 and the main difference is that on N64 the fps are more solid and the screen is full, while saturn needs to use that inventory to be able to reduce rendering area. thus equivalence with N64 is achieved.

Any subsequent game would follow one of these 3 forms of equivalence.


Now let's see when saturn is the owner of Port;

DOA: uses a different engine on PS1 and had its stages redrawn, so PS1 would not be able to replicate the game as it did on Saturn.

Radiant Silvergun: started to port to pS1 and then gave up, there is a vertical shooter for ps1 and saturn where the PS1 version runs well at 60fps but the slowdowns reach 10fps, we can deduce that the machine would not support an RSG port.

So for ps1 to receive a native game from saturn basically the game needs to be reimagined for the system. But in fact the colors and textures of the PS1 are better in most cases and that would remain.

Team Andromeda
01-29-2020, 10:21 AM
Tomb raider: ps1 mostly at 30fps, Sega Saturn can reach 30fps but it is mostly 20fps (measured by DF Retro) taking this difference out of frame rate, and some water effects are the same game, the match has been successfully reached.
.

Tomb Raider isn't a fair example either. Looking over how the PS had a few more months work, thanks to SEGA Europe the Saturn version was pushed 6 weeks forward from the team's original completion/Gold date. And we all know, it's in the last few weeks of a games development that a serious push is made to optimise the game code with the move from debug hardware to retail hardware


Radiant Silvergun: started to port to pS1 and then gave up, there is a vertical shooter for ps1 and saturn where the PS1 version runs well at 60fps but the slowdowns reach 10fps, we can deduce that the machine would not support an RSG port

We can, but there's no doubt the PS version would suffer from those VDP 2 backgrounds. For a laugh play the PS version of Darius Gaiden and see it suffer when trying to handle effects the VDP2 pulled off in its sleep

Black_Tiger
01-29-2020, 11:02 AM
Some sections of Tomb Raider run much smoother on Saturn. Bitd I compared both and the spots that had the furthest/widest view chugged pretty bad on Playstation.

SegaAMD
01-29-2020, 12:32 PM
Tomb Raider isn't a fair example either. Looking over how the PS had a few more months work, thanks to SEGA Europe the Saturn version was pushed 6 weeks forward from the team's original completion/Gold date. And we all know, it's in the last few weeks of a games development that a serious push is made to optimise the game code with the move from debug hardware to retail hardware



I chose Tomb Raider as an example because it is a 3D game with a free camera, something that after the N64 arrived, became a requirement for the market. it also represents a real situation where teams have deadlines and budgets. We know that multiplat games aren't that best exploit the hardware, and saturn suffered doubly from this, as most ports were made by secondary teams and with low budgets, which increases the gap between machines.

But when we take the best efforts from Sega Saturn we see a powerful machine Panzer Dragoon Zwei came before Tomb Raider and is a more elaborate graphic.

that topic is about what Saturn could do that the Playstation doesn't. and I feel like 2D action games. In terms of 3D, both could play the same games, ps1 advantage multiplat with saturn taking advantage in its exclusive. such a situation would benefit (as it benefited) the playstation, SEGA would need to partner with third parties to make multiplat based on Saturn hardware, otherwise it would always be the ugly duck.

zyrobs
01-29-2020, 08:43 PM
4x fillrate does not mean 4x triangles. It means it has bandwidth to draw 4x as many pixels. But the main cpu holds up the polygon count, so neither console is significantly ahead there.
However the abundance of drawing speed means that it is possible to draw a ton of transparent polygons without it slowing down the game (despite them taking 2-3x more time to draw). You can also do way more special effects. Like a full screen motion blur. Or drawing multiple polygons at the same place for lightning or reflections (draw a base polygon, then on top of that draw another, semi-transparent one, either with a reflection pattern or with just gouraud shading) - since the extra polygon is at the same place, you aren't held back by T&L math, you just have to crunch the pixels, which the PSX GPU can do.

Team Andromeda
01-30-2020, 02:36 AM
I chose Tomb Raider as an example because it is a 3D game with a free camera, something that after the N64 arrived, became a requirement for the market. it also represents a real situation where teams have deadlines and budgets. .

It wasn't just that, it was the fact that the team had to rush the game out and lose 6 weeks of coding (with any game the optimising comes right at the end)
If you look at CORE other early 3D Saturn and PS games like Blam Machine Head and Thunder Hawk 2 the Frame rate different isn't as high. It is quite remarkable what the Tomb Raider team did on both the PS and Saturn mind, given the size of the team and their budget; While STI with more staff and far more resources, were screwing up Sonic X.

Team Andromeda
01-30-2020, 02:44 AM
4x fillrate does not mean 4x triangles. It means it has bandwidth to draw 4x as many pixels. But the main cpu holds up the polygon count, so neither console is significantly ahead there.
However the abundance of drawing speed means that it is possible to draw a ton of transparent polygons without it slowing down the game (despite them taking 2-3x more time to draw). You can also do way more special effects. Like a full screen motion blur. Or drawing multiple polygons at the same place for lightning or reflections (draw a base polygon, then on top of that draw another, semi-transparent one, either with a reflection pattern or with just gouraud shading) - since the extra polygon is at the same place, you aren't held back by T&L math, you just have to crunch the pixels, which the PSX GPU can do.

True, but does Wipeout 2097 on the Saturn run and look so much worse than the PS version? And Wipopot 2097 is one of those games where the VDP2 can't be used that much. And when we have Saturn games that use the VDP2, we see its the PS version that loses the special effects like transparency and fake reflections with Thunder Force V, Street Racer, Souky Ect. Saying SONY can afford to lose more is such a cop-out (even if factually true). Think like that there was no way SEGA could match SONY on price or for specs. So SEGA did so well to get the Saturn's spec so close.

SegaAMD
01-30-2020, 10:11 AM
It wasn't just that, it was the fact that the team had to rush the game out and lose 6 weeks of coding (with any game the optimising comes right at the end)
If you look at CORE other early 3D Saturn and PS games like Blam Machine Head and Thunder Hawk 2 the Frame rate different isn't as high.

the most rational explanation is that these two games are below the playstation's capabilities, there is a hardware difference between ps1 and saturn, itī's impossible for them to run the same games insame quality. saturn has two alternatives; reduce the fps or reduce the graphics
the third alternative is for Saturn to be the base for the port, so in this situation the PS1 would have the worst version, for example Sonic R the PS1 would have difficulties.


Saying SONY can afford to lose more is such a cop-out (even if factually true). Think like that there was no way SEGA could match SONY on price or for specs. So SEGA did so well to get the Saturn's spec so close.


the Sega saturn responds very well to the Playstation in hardware, a Sony fanboy will surely say that not that the Saturn is rubbish and stuff.

when I talk about Saturn I always see it from the historical side, a modern science is even the so-called counterfactual history, which tries to reimagine the world and perception if certain historical events had happened differently, or had not happened at all.

for instance if saturn hadnít boycotted by the logists (the severity of this is so disastrous that it undermined Sega Saturnís chances of winning) how are people going to buy Saturn if they donít have it in the store? and everyone just talking about ps1, since Sony spent higher amounts on marketing than SEGA. a scenario is created with only one viable platform. There are those who say that the first 8 months of a platform is crucial to determine your destiny.

So as @Zyrobs said, Ps1 could have more effects due to the 4x higher fill rate, but the question is: who determined what effects are important? such a feature only became important because the playstation became important, the console got a base if I'm not mistaken 15M worldwide before the N64 arrived. who sells more consoles dictates to the rules.

But if the opposite occurs, today we would be placing the effects of VDP2 as being important, the ability to merge 2d with 3d and ps1 in turn would be restricted to a lot of mid-range games, I find it very interesting to look at things for this angle.

all this that I wrote is part of a theory that I developed based on the gaming market, which I call '' distortion '', is an event or game or situation that somehow becomes a success, the whole industry starts to follow. For example: if one of those 1995 Saturn 2D games had fallen into the public eye and sold 2M (inexplicably like this PUBG), that would change the entire generation dynamic in favor of Saturn. Sony has the most advantage over the generations because it understood it somehow. how perception is created, its competitors do not seem to know such a science.

Team Andromeda
01-30-2020, 10:35 AM
the most rational explanation is that these two games are below the playstation's capabilities, there is a hardware difference between ps1 and saturn, itī's impossible for them to run the same games insame quality. saturn has two alternatives; reduce the fps or reduce the graphics.

Even with 6 weeks more work and high-end optimisation, the PS version was going to look and move better. I just feel and reading interviews from the original members, they were not happy with the push to get it out and the Saturn version would have been far more stable and run more at 25 fps IMO.


the Sega saturn responds very well to the Playstation in hardware

I wouldn't go that far, I wouldn't like to see what MGS or Vagrant Story would have looked on the Saturn. But in the just the same way PS 2D graphic isn't that bad, even if they have to go through the PS 3D engine, they still look good and more than good enought.
Same for the Saturn 3D. They are not that bad, even if they had to go through the Saturn's 3D engine, they're more than good enough.

It's like any system, care and work is needed when handling a port. The Saturn just never got enough market share in the west for more developers to take the time and effort needed. I feel the same for the Vita or the 2D of the Jaguar; systems that we never really saw pushed to the limits bar the odd title.

zyrobs
01-30-2020, 11:46 AM
the question is: who determined what effects are important? such a feature only became important because the playstation became important, the console got a base if I'm not mistaken 15M worldwide before the N64 arrived. who sells more consoles dictates to the rules.

That's bullshit, even back on the Saturn everyone was spazzing out over how good the lightning was in Exhumed and how better Saturn Quake looked due to the dynamic lightning on the port. Or in Japan, D-Xhird was a big deal because it had real time lightning effects.
But we can go back further, for example the big improvement that made Doom more atmospheric than ever was its ability to include per-sector illumination.

Even today the reason games run at 30fps or at 892p or some other oddball resolution is because the authors go max on the effects, sacrificing the resolution and framerate, because effects can make a game look better.

Team Andromeda
01-30-2020, 11:55 AM
That's bullshit, even back on the Saturn everyone was spazzing out over how good the lightning was in Exhumed and how better Saturn Quake looked due to the dynamic lightning on the port. Or in Japan, D-Xhird was a big deal because it had real time lightning effects.

Why is it anything that the Saturn does pretty well? you take issue with?. Dynamic lightning can add so much to the game or take away from it (hello Aliens Marine) I gather itwas the slave SH-2 handling/calculating the effect for Exhmed/Quake/Duke effects too)
I remember when PS mags were making out that DDD project (D-Xhird ) was a PS game, because of its GFX.


You talk of DOOM such a shame Saturn owners were robbed of the 60 fps Saturn Doom from Jim, via id

SegaAMD
01-30-2020, 07:13 PM
That's bullshit, even back on the Saturn everyone was spazzing out over how good the lightning was in Exhumed and how better Saturn Quake looked due to the dynamic lightning on the port. Or in Japan, D-Xhird was a big deal because it had real time lightning effects.
But we can go back further, for example the big improvement that made Doom more atmospheric than ever was its ability to include per-sector illumination.

Even today the reason games run at 30fps or at 892p or some other oddball resolution is because the authors go max on the effects, sacrificing the resolution and framerate, because effects can make a game look better.

yes, but we are not saying the same thing, oranges and apples, you are saying how important the effects are and I am saying that the platform that dominates in sales decides what is most important. resolution for example 360 ​​ran most major games at 720p for the entire generation while PS3 was restricted to lower resolutions in those same games, however resolution was not important, M $ said that the important thing was who had the best online network; came PS4, we know that he quickly dominated and spiked that the important thing was 1080p, as the xbox was weaker it would not be able to keep up with this rule imposed by marketing and that the people embraced, with SEGA Saturn and N64 it is the same thing, what they offered as a differential was restricted to the background, faster loadings didn't matter, better 2D didn't matter, higher resolution didn't matter, what mattered was better frame rate, effects and textures, you show Perfect Dark to a person, instead say ''wow amazing graphics'' , he will say '' low frame rate ugh''.

this is what I am saying the console taht governs sales dictates which points are important to be valued and which are not, in general, what favors me is good what harms me is bad, this is how companies act, I myself gave preference to perfect conversions, but most people don't care about it, so much so that when Bernie Stolar took over as ceo he had several locations canceled because in his mind a perfect port is not worth the cost, and he was partly right, having to buy the game and another cartridge of RAM was not simple on a commercial level.

zyrobs
01-30-2020, 10:22 PM
Except that special effects just mean that the game looks better, and better graphics were *always* important, regardless how well a console did.

saturndual32
01-30-2020, 10:57 PM
True, but does Wipeout 2097 on the Saturn run and look so much worse than the PS version? And Wipopot 2097 is one of those games where the VDP2 can't be used that much. And when we have Saturn games that use the VDP2, we see its the PS version that loses the special effects like transparency and fake reflections with Thunder Force V, Street Racer, Souky Ect. Saying SONY can afford to lose more is such a cop-out (even if factually true). Think like that there was no way SEGA could match SONY on price or for specs. So SEGA did so well to get the Saturn's spec so close.

Isnt Wipeout 2097 for the Saturn running on the Manx TT engine from Tantalus? Maybe if an engine was written from scratch for the Saturn port it would have run better...maybe using Sonic R type lightning and transparency FX. Sure, still not up to Playstation quality, but better than what we got. I mean, Tantalus engine doesnt even try with any Saturn defying graphical FX. It was pretty good for Manx TT, but maybe not for Wipeout 2097...

Team Andromeda
01-30-2020, 11:47 PM
yes, but we are not saying the same thing, oranges and apples, you are saying how important the effects are and I am saying that the platform that dominates in sales decides what is most important. resolution for example 360 ​​ran most major games at 720p for the entire generation while PS3 was restricted to lower resolutions in those same games, however resolution was not important, M $ said that the important thing was who had the best online network; came PS4, we know that he quickly dominated and spiked that the important thing was 1080p, as the xbox was weaker it would not be able to keep up with this rule imposed by marketing and that the people embraced, with SEGA Saturn and N64 it is the same thing, what they offered as a differential was restricted to the background, faster loadings didn't matter, better 2D didn't matter, higher resolution didn't matter, what mattered was better frame rate, effects and textures, you show Perfect Dark to a person, instead say ''wow amazing graphics'' , he will say '' low frame rate ugh''.


To be fair MS did hype up the 720P and mandate it, untill it allowed certin games to break that rule . You're so spot on about the N64 mind. For all the talk of the Saturn polygon speed, there you had a system running games like Pilotwings at 20 fps and with a screen res below most Saturn games, even Panzer Dragoon run at higher frame rate and better screen res. Of course with a cheat you could make it run at 60 fps in places, which I bet even the PS might find though going


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3sFQJ6FjYY

Team Andromeda
02-01-2020, 03:48 AM
Isnt Wipeout 2097 for the Saturn running on the Manx TT engine from Tantalus?

It's running on the 'Duck engine version 3' . Tantalus did a good job more so as we call all fairly assume the team never had the same level of resources and budget given to the Liverpool PS team. Also, I doubt most could have done much better, given the game made little scope for use of the VDP2 to handle Saturn style effects. That said their House of the Dead Saturn port could have made some nice of use of the VDP2 to handle the flat floor and even some of the hit effects, but from what I read of the making of the game they were given little more than 4 months to get the game out before Easter, when a standard port of that type, takes 6 to 8 months.

Team Andromeda
02-01-2020, 03:53 AM
Except that special effects just mean that the game looks better, and better graphics were *always* important, regardless how well a console did.

Agreed, which is why SNES owners made such a big deal of Mode 7 and the colour . And why the Xbox dumps on the PS2. But then, it's all about the games , not the better gfx or sound

turboxray
02-01-2020, 10:38 AM
Agreed, which is why SNES owners made such a big deal of Mode 7 and the colour . And why the Xbox dumps on the PS2. But then, it's all about the games , not the better gfx or sound

True, but I had my PS2 running through component cables to 57" HD TV at the time and it was painful! I always opted for GC versions if I could (I didn't have an xbox at the time, but a friend did and I'd borrow it from time to time.. it definitely looked incredible on HD at the time). Mode 7 was soo gimmicky, but color was always the real deal haha. It's something not easily ignored, but yeah software still is the bigger factor (Atari Jaguar games were just horrible haha despite all the extra color. Same for 3DO.. the games just weren't fun).

SegaAMD
02-01-2020, 01:44 PM
Except that special effects just mean that the game looks better, and better graphics were *always* important, regardless how well a console did.

it is not necessarily true; see Quantum Break had a good graphic and great effects but it was deconstructed by people because it didn't run natively in 1080p, in this situation it was more important to be in 1080p than to have effects. Who determines what is good for the public is the Marketing and the popularity of the system.

it's not difficult to imagine if Saturn were the most popular system, perhaps a higher resolution of a Virtua Fighter was considered better than the good graphics of Soul Edge . the N64 has good graphics for the time but it doesnít matter if the game has good effects, people just say itís blurry and therefore they prefer simpler games as long as theyíre sharp. this is how things work in this industry.

Blades
02-01-2020, 05:10 PM
when I said that VDP1 was 40% weaker than the PS1 GPU it was just a deduction from me based on the trade offs I see in the ports. But researching I found this guy http://www.davidgamizjimenez.com/inpositivegames/sega-saturn-to-the-limit-ii/ who observed through a calculation that the VDP1 is 37% weaker than the GPU of the PS1, however the situation changes when VDP2 + VDP1 are widely used this reverses giving SEGA Saturn a 34% advantage over the PS1, imagining a scenario where saturn was well explored with better development kits in the worst case, their games would be the same as the PS1, maybe lost in textures. but in an extreme situation where everything works perfectly, where the saturn had sold 40M units the Saturn would have more beautiful games to the point of rivaling the best games on the N64. That reference is brilliant.

Team Andromeda
02-02-2020, 02:05 AM
Mode 7 was soo gimmicky, but color was always the real deal haha. It's something not easily ignored, but yeah software still is the bigger factor (Atari Jaguar games were just horrible haha despite all the extra color. Same for 3DO.. the games just weren't fun).

I would say a lot of graphical effects at the time were a little gimmicky, but they they help make the game look a lot better, like with PS lens flare effects or nice multi-layer scrolling in MD games. In the UK mag's like GVG, EDGE would always look to praise the Snes GFX more.
Don't agree with you on 3DO games sorry, there were plenty of good games on it and even 2D games looked noticeably better than their 16-bit counterparts like with Super Street Fighter and Samurai Showdown.

When SEGA pulled out of the hardware, I was sort of at a loss of if to go with Nintendo or MS (My brother already had a PS2) and after seeing a 10% JSRF at E3 2001 my choice was made for.
I really can't think of any major 3rd party game that looked worse on the Xbox to the PS2, only a port of MGS 2. Most times, PS2 games had rough textures, low res graphics half the time DC games looked better. Xbox stuff on the other hand just looked and sounded incredible from day one.

Leynos
02-02-2020, 05:38 PM
Graphics by definition are a gimmick by themselves in any era.

Toasty Costanza
05-14-2020, 06:00 PM
Load times and resolution

Blades
05-16-2020, 01:58 AM
- Saturn could abuse a hardware snafu to shade textures in a way that every pixels colour was definable, thereby being theoretically capable of more advanced shading effects. However it had many limitations and only a single tech demo did it.

What tech demo is this?

zyrobs
05-17-2020, 02:57 AM
What tech demo is this?

One of the demos from the 1996 DTS discs, I think it was made by one of the STI people who worked on Sonic X-treme and then got folded into doing Saturn devkits. Chris Senn maybe. It's basically a single spinning white cube with texture indents on the inside, which get shaded in a peculiar way that it looks like they are casting a shadow on themselves. Primitive bump mapping. Maybe it would've looked better if put on a full character model, but I think it would be too limited due to how much pre-baking the palettes would need.

I think Wipeout 2097 used the same palette trick for the metallic shining on the trophies.

Mega Drive Bowlsey
05-19-2020, 06:40 AM
I'm not tech minded at all but of the games I own and have played for the Saturn the one title that actually has me thinking to myself "I don't think this could have been done on the PS1, or if it could it wouldn't look anywhere near as good." is Shining Force III. I found the 3D rendered world environments and effects like waterfalls simply jaw dropping when I first played it a couple of years ago. Now I know Shining Force III was a very late Saturn game, and I also know how good 3D effects on the PS1 looked (I played a LOT of PS1 games back in the day), but I simply don't remember anything that jumped out at me in the same way. Could somebody confirm or deny for me that Shining Force III is genuinely as impressive visually as I believe it to be? Also I would like to know if that game pushed the Saturn to it's limits. It is a simply beautiful looking game I think.

SegaAMD
05-19-2020, 10:12 AM
shining force scenario 3 is more beautiful than the others and somehow it uses the power of saturn effects. but at the level of polygonal counting the numbers are as low as 600 polygons per frame 30fps.

the most advanced ones as a whole are Sonic R which has the highest polygonal count combined with effects, Dead or Alive is the most advanced fighting game, ps1 version didnít try to replicate the Model 2 version like SS did, on the other hand itís based on a simpler arcade board more based on ps1 hardware, use other engine, at the end of the day is more beautiful to someone, but less impressive
technically. in fact many saturn games are not possible on ps1 without proper downgrade.

zyrobs
05-19-2020, 02:07 PM
The summon spells in SF3 are indeed very impressive.

Blades
05-20-2020, 02:02 AM
I would argue Panzer Dragoon Saga is the most technically impressive Saturn game. A little bit of chugging, but full 3D environments, great effects, great score, and huge environments.

Sonic R is good but has pretty huge pop in and is kind of plain-looking. Not to take away from it, but Saga is better IMO.

I doubt Saga would've been possible on a PS1, mostly because of VDP2 helping out with the planes and effects.

Team Andromeda
05-20-2020, 05:31 AM
Its silly to say the PS couldn't handle a Saturn game or that a Saturn couldn't handle a PS game, it's more, what would be lost in the porting.

Without getting all silly and flambaiting. I would say the few Saturn games that the PS would really have a hard time with would be Guardian Heroes, Radiant Silvergun, Astra Superstars given heavy use of VDP2

zyrobs
05-20-2020, 03:13 PM
What makes Sonic R so great is that they could do the background fading, light sourcing, and doing sporadic polygon transparency all at the same time. This requires using two separate render paths at the same time. Very complex stuff.

Saga is great, but note that some of the indoor areas, which are notably more complex, have a fixed camera. This can cut down on processing a lot since they can pre-calculate things like polygon sorting in advance. Crash Bandicoot could do so good graphics for its time because the entire game ran on a fixed path, and they were streaming from disc the pre-calculated polygon sorting for each camera instance.

And Saga is one game that would've benefited immensely from Sonic R style fading, since so many levels had polygon areas that were directly flowing into the background (the desert area comes to mind). If it had that fading, I'd say it is by far the best looking Saturn game. Without that, it's just one of the best.

Team Andromeda
05-21-2020, 12:29 AM
I maybe would add a little more ...

I sure I read in a Japanese mag interview that Battle Garegga port was tried on the PS but the team gave up. Even while the game was entirely possible I guess those infinte VDP2 planes on some of Zwei levels would lose out on the PS, as would EP2 VDP2 water effects (If Grandia is anything to go on). I woudn't like to see Last Bronx amazing VDP2 backround and underground VDP2 layers emulated on the PS, nor would I like to see Cotton 2 emu on the PS, in just the same way, I wouldn't like to see the Saturn try and emu MGS

bultje112
05-21-2020, 03:47 AM
if you like the graphics of shining force 3 then check scenario 3. they improved the graphics slightly with each scenario,

Blades
05-22-2020, 04:50 AM
What makes Sonic R so great is that they could do the background fading, light sourcing, and doing sporadic polygon transparency all at the same time. This requires using two separate render paths at the same time. Very complex stuff.

You're right. I forgot how clever Sonic R was. GameHut's videos on the special effects of Sonic R are very interesting, I particularly found the use of the DSP for 3D math very interesting.

What impressed me about Saga was the animation. The dragon can morph shape and warp, while many objects have fluid and very unique movements and distortions. It was very rare to see back then. There was no RPG like it on PSX. The closest title was Ocarina of Time, which ran on much newer hardware.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txks9hG21qs

Here at 1:32 is a good example. I also like how the infinite planes were done.

Team Andromeda
05-22-2020, 05:41 AM
What impressed me about Saga was the animation. The dragon can morph shape and warp, while many objects have fluid and very unique movements and distortions. It was very rare to see back then. There was no RPG like it on PSX. The closest title was Ocarina of Time, which ran on much newer hardware.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txks9hG21qs

Here at 1:32 is a good example. I also like how the infinite planes were done.

Yep, Saga really was one of the 1st true 3D RPGs . Incredible given the hardware and time it was made . Also Saga was no doubt handling a lot more under the hood, with NPCs Ect.

The music was stunning too, even more so as most of it was coming off the chip .

zyrobs
05-22-2020, 03:01 PM
You're right. I forgot how clever Sonic R was. GameHut's videos on the special effects of Sonic R are very interesting, I particularly found the use of the DSP for 3D math very interesting.

What impressed me about Saga was the animation. The dragon can morph shape and warp, while many objects have fluid and very unique movements and distortions. It was very rare to see back then. There was no RPG like it on PSX. The closest title was Ocarina of Time, which ran on much newer hardware.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txks9hG21qs

Here at 1:32 is a good example. I also like how the infinite planes were done.

There's a funny anecdote about that morphing dragon shape. Something like that (arbitrary user-set morphing of a 3d mode) was seldom done before in a 3d game, and the programmer said "no way, we can't do this" when asked about the effect. Then the next day he came in saying that he implemented it. It was in one of the interviews about the team.

Blades
05-23-2020, 08:07 PM
There's a funny anecdote about that morphing dragon shape. Something like that (arbitrary user-set morphing of a 3d mode) was seldom done before in a 3d game, and the programmer said "no way, we can't do this" when asked about the effect. Then the next day he came in saying that he implemented it. It was in one of the interviews about the team.

Yes, it was this one (http://shmuplations.com/panzerdragoonsaga/) and this one (https://www.polygon.com/2018/4/30/17286042/panzer-dragoon-saga-sega-saturn-oral-history).

It is very interesting how effective PSX's GTE was at transforms compared to the Saturn DSP. Sega's internal design documents suggested (https://segaxtreme.net/threads/scu-dsp-for-matrix-transformation.24242/) using the slave SH2 and DSP in parallel to do polygon transformations and then feed it to VDP1.


According to Sega's documentation, it's possible to use the SCU DSP for matrix transformation and Sega suggested back in 1995 to use the SCU DSP for the matrix and the SH2 for the polygon processing in parallel.

When SGL was released, transforms moved completely off the DSP onto the SH2s. One of the few games to use the DSP for polygon transforms was Sonic R, which is why it runs as well as it does.


Games using the SCU DSP that I know of : Sonic R, Quake and Burning Rangers. They all have in common that they are late games and look amazing.

At least that is my understanding.

zyrobs
05-24-2020, 08:55 AM
The very first Virtua Fighter as well as Remix used the DSP for doing math, so did Dead or Alive.

The yabause wiki had a list of games that used it but I can't find that anymore.

Team Andromeda
05-24-2020, 10:15 AM
When SGL was released, transforms moved completely off the DSP onto the SH2s. One of the few games to use the DSP for polygon transforms was Sonic R, which is why it runs as well as it does.


I read that Sega Rally used the DSP and that quite a few developers weren't happy that SEGA wouldn't share the micro code .

I wonder if Radiant Silvergun or Dark Saviour use the DSP as well ?

zyrobs
05-24-2020, 10:59 AM
When SGL was released, transforms moved completely off the DSP onto the SH2s.

Regarding this, I think SGL was a completely new SDK, so the function wasn't "moved", it was written using the SH2s for the first time.
Before that they had the SBL which wasn't even an SDK so to speak, just a lot of basic helper functions. One of which was transform, which optionally could use the DSP.
They later released code for doing DSP transforms. I don't know if that was completely new or if it re-used the SBL code... one of the tech bulletins has it, full with explanations, and it is said to be a third faster than the same thing running on SH2 (but it doesn't mention if using this code frees up SH2 cycles or not.).

I could be wrong about this, though...