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Thread: What the Saturn can exactly do that the Playstation cannot?

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Da_Shocker View Post
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    Reading this it seems like the Saturn had so many flaws that could've been fixed maybe. The issue with the fast and slow ram seems a bit mind boggling but I assume they did this to cut costs. How much are these flaws related strictly to costs and how many are related to just bad r&d is what I would like to know.
    The Saturn hardware makes a lot more sense if you consider it before they started gluing stuff to it. Consider: 1 main cpu, 2x VDPs (sprite and backgrounds), 1x sound cpu+synth, the SCU to keep everything connected, and a connector for a CD addon. Would've only had 6-7 custom chips, which is not significantly more than what other consoles had at launch. It's basically a souped up SNES, and it probably still could've run VF and VF Remix largely the same.

    But then they decide to
    - keep the CD logic built in (two very large chips and 512k more ram is added)
    - upgrade the CPU to 2x SH2 (second main CPU is added, plus a watchdog chip that glues them together)
    - add more main memory (1M 16bit memory glued onto the watchdog IC)

    and now you have almost twice the custom ASICs, and the main cpu + main memory is in a Quasimodo setup.

    The problems with the VDP1 are much stupider though, and can be attributed simply to them not knowing how to do 3d graphics (they admitted as such). And also the chip being extremely underpowered. If it was faster, then it could've gotten away even with the crappy feature set, but it wasn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post

    The problems with the VDP1 are much stupider though, and can be attributed simply to them not knowing how to do 3d graphics (they admitted as such). And also the chip being extremely underpowered. If it was faster, then it could've gotten away even with the crappy feature set, but it wasn't.
    What's interesting though is the guy working on this is saying he's being held back not by VDP1 fillrate, but by the CPUs:




  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    What's interesting though is the guy working on this is saying he's being held back not by VDP1 fillrate, but by the CPUs:
    I can imagine a lot of CPU being burnt up when he does 4 player split screen, or has 10+ polygonal enemies on screen at the same time, not to mention all that lightning, and having large open maps.

    But I remember him mentioning that on emulators that don't have the VDP1 speed capped, he gets solid 60fps versus 15-20fps on the real hardware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post

    But I remember him mentioning that on emulators that don't have the VDP1 speed capped, he gets solid 60fps versus 15-20fps on the real hardware.
    I think that's more that the emulators just run too fast in general. He's pointed out numerous times that what slows him down is more the CPU not VDP1, and that if he optimized his code a bit more he could probably get a solid 30fps in most cases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    And also the chip being extremely underpowered. If it was faster, then it could've gotten away even with the crappy feature set, but it wasn't.
    Sarah Avoy said on Twitter she found a way to actually increase the speed of the VDP1 while working on Fighting Force over the SEGA toolset?. Saturn 3D was very decent I think the issues were in other area's of the system with poor tools, no hardware compression for sound and divisions tasked with making games for a variety of systems, while SEGA's rivals were focused on one and also had tons more cash.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    Sarah Avoy said on Twitter she found a way to actually increase the speed of the VDP1 while working on Fighting Force over the SEGA toolset?. Saturn 3D was very decent I think the issues were in other area's of the system with poor tools, no hardware compression for sound and divisions tasked with making games for a variety of systems, while SEGA's rivals were focused on one and also had tons more cash.
    Do you have a source on that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    Do you have a source on that?
    She 1st elaborated on it in EDGE and then went into more detail in response to a comment to either Twitter or YouTube (I can't remember which) on how she was able to push the VDP1 more than the SEGA tools
    Here's the EDGE part anyway....

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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    Do you have a source on that?
    To be honest it kind of does line up with what I've heard from homebrew devs. Apparently SGL (at least the versions we have available) really isn't that optimized for 3D. It's very wasteful with memory and it does a lot of wasteful stuff that can cause problems with 3D performance. A few homebrew devs have either hacked SGL to work differently for their needs, gotten rid of it completely with their own code, done hacks to basically work around it, or all of the above.

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    I've been analyzing all the main multiplatforms between Saturn, PS1 and N64 and after filtering I came to some conclusions,but to demonstrate the reasoning i will need to show some game samples i know the polygon count and i know the frame rate.

    Detailing the differences In the games the PS1 did better.

    Wipeout/wipeout xl 2097: run at 20fps on Saturn and 30fps on PS1, Saturn has longer draw distance and the usual transparency issues.
    Tomb raider: on Saturn it varies from 15 to 30fps, 30fps in short stages, 20fps in more open areas without enemies and from 15fps to 20fps with enemies , on Playstation it runs fixed at 30fps, the PS1 version has better sound, nicer lighting and textures.
    Die Hard Trilogy: 30fps on both, ps1 better in terms of particles, light effects and transparencies (very useful in this game). Saturn also 30fps a little choppy.
    Alien Trilogy: better lighting, smoke transparency on ps1, much the same, Saturn better draw distance and better frame rate sustain.
    Croc: 30fps the Saturn version is a zoom of the ps1 version, everything is closer and therefore less detail is displayed, lava and liquid feats move due to vdp-2, demonstrating that at least that effort was put into production.
    Toshiden: 30fps the difference is due to the transparencies but effects that are based on sprites look better on the Saturn. Toshiden use 3k poly per frame. this is the why it runs 30fps.
    Hardcore 4x4: game that moves many polygons per frame around 3k, the Saturn version was penalized by being almost unplayable in terms of fps.
    Crypt Killer: 30fps. Saturn version has lower draw distance and in some stages horrible textures
    Hi-octane: same wipeout situation, better textures on vehicles on ps1 higher frame rate, lower draw distance, saturn on gourad shading.
    Destruction Derby: 30fps on ps1, 20fps on Saturn, otherwise missing transparencies.

    Detailing the differences In the games the SEGA Saturn performed better

    Mechwarrior 2, duke nuken 3d, powerslave/exhumed, soviet strike , mass destruction, Hexen, grandia, street racer ,Dead or Alive , courier crisis, silhoutte mirage, thunder force 5, x-mem children aton, darkstalker 3, stree fighter vs x-men, poket fighter, shienryu, street fighte zero 3, kof 96, kof 97 ,kof 95,street fighter zero 2 , metal slug.

    Fighting games and 2D games: I don't think it's necessary to go into detail.
    Mechwarrior 2: it's a game that came from the PC, the console versions are downgraded. the Saturn version has less warping and clouds move, the ps1 version has transparencies and other differences but overall it's an inferior product.
    Duke Nuken 3d: the ps1 version was adapted by a small studio using the original 2d engine while the Saturn uses the Powerslave engine, being in fact 3d but imitating imitating 2d. the ps1 version seeks 60fps but fails to drop below 20fps. open frame rate.
    Powerslave/Exhemed: also seeks 60fps in the ps1 version but the game has been massively simplified in its stages by adding walls to reduce the stages, the Saturn version runs at the console standard 24fps to 30fps, with large stages. yeh the best version.
    Dead or Alive: The ps1 version is very beautiful and somewhat resembles tekken 3 but the Saturn version has a closer arcade look it tries to imitate , higher resolution and pushes more polygons.
    Mass Destruction: The Saturn version runs at 60fps and the PS1 version is not.
    Courier Crisis: The Saturn version has a smooth Sonic R-style fog and because of that better performance the ps1 version the draw distance is greater but the stages construction is uglier, the Saturn version has less warping and makes us wonder how it could have been a Driver or Tony Hawk.
    Thunder Force 5: Saturn version takes advantage of background layers due to vdp-2 but ps1 version has better textures on polygonal objects, performance is more solid on Saturn.


    here are my conclusions.

    taking Dead or alive as an example to me it is evident that the ps1 could not make a port entirely in 3d like Toshiden is, and at the same time keep the 60fps yeh I know Tobal is 60 fps but it's not a port coming from a higher equipment but a game originally created for the platform, so in DOA they chose to use bitmap, so it is clear to the fans that the saturn can port fighting games to more powerful boards like Mace the dark Age or Soul calibur at 60fps, honestly I don't doubt that a port of virtua fighter 3 would be possible. using multiple layers is an excellent replacement for polygons and create a 3d sensation.

    it is also evident to me that using sprites the Saturn performance is higher, combining sprites and polygons the result is superior than using only polygons but a situation apparently doesn't change, the ps1 actually has better light effects, textures and the ability to texturize over 3d objects the difference is not big but it will always be necessary to choose where to use better textures and where not to use as we see RE1, Tunderforce 5 and Hi-octane. Better light as TunnelB1, Die hard trilogy (lighting and transparency).

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    On a few of these games, Wipeout 2097, Exhumed, Tomb Raider, Die Hard Trilogy, and Toshinden (that i know of, not sure about the rest) the Saturn runs in lower resolution compared to the Playstation versions and it is noticeable, especially in Wipeout 2097 and Exhumed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SegaAMD View Post
    I've been analyzing all the main multiplatforms between Saturn, PS1 and N64 and after filtering I came to some conclusions,but to demonstrate the reasoning i will need to show some game samples i know the polygon count and i know the frame rate.

    Detailing the differences In the games the PS1 did better.

    Wipeout/wipeout xl 2097: run at 20fps on Saturn and 30fps on PS1, Saturn has longer draw distance and the usual transparency issues.
    Tomb raider: on Saturn it varies from 15 to 30fps, 30fps in short stages, 20fps in more open areas without enemies and from 15fps to 20fps with enemies , on Playstation it runs fixed at 30fps, the PS1 version has better sound, nicer lighting and textures.
    Die Hard Trilogy: 30fps on both, ps1 better in terms of particles, light effects and transparencies (very useful in this game). Saturn also 30fps a little choppy.
    Alien Trilogy: better lighting, smoke transparency on ps1, much the same, Saturn better draw distance and better frame rate sustain.
    Croc: 30fps the Saturn version is a zoom of the ps1 version, everything is closer and therefore less detail is displayed, lava and liquid feats move due to vdp-2, demonstrating that at least that effort was put into production.
    Toshiden: 30fps the difference is due to the transparencies but effects that are based on sprites look better on the Saturn. Toshiden use 3k poly per frame. this is the why it runs 30fps.
    Hardcore 4x4: game that moves many polygons per frame around 3k, the Saturn version was penalized by being almost unplayable in terms of fps.
    Crypt Killer: 30fps. Saturn version has lower draw distance and in some stages horrible textures
    Hi-octane: same wipeout situation, better textures on vehicles on ps1 higher frame rate, lower draw distance, saturn on gourad shading.
    Destruction Derby: 30fps on ps1, 20fps on Saturn, otherwise missing transparencies.

    Detailing the differences In the games the SEGA Saturn performed better

    Mechwarrior 2, duke nuken 3d, powerslave/exhumed, soviet strike , mass destruction, Hexen, grandia, street racer ,Dead or Alive , courier crisis, silhoutte mirage, thunder force 5, x-mem children aton, darkstalker 3, stree fighter vs x-men, poket fighter, shienryu, street fighte zero 3, kof 96, kof 97 ,kof 95,street fighter zero 2 , metal slug.

    Fighting games and 2D games: I don't think it's necessary to go into detail.
    Mechwarrior 2: it's a game that came from the PC, the console versions are downgraded. the Saturn version has less warping and clouds move, the ps1 version has transparencies and other differences but overall it's an inferior product.
    Duke Nuken 3d: the ps1 version was adapted by a small studio using the original 2d engine while the Saturn uses the Powerslave engine, being in fact 3d but imitating imitating 2d. the ps1 version seeks 60fps but fails to drop below 20fps. open frame rate.
    Powerslave/Exhemed: also seeks 60fps in the ps1 version but the game has been massively simplified in its stages by adding walls to reduce the stages, the Saturn version runs at the console standard 24fps to 30fps, with large stages. yeh the best version.
    Dead or Alive: The ps1 version is very beautiful and somewhat resembles tekken 3 but the Saturn version has a closer arcade look it tries to imitate , higher resolution and pushes more polygons.
    Mass Destruction: The Saturn version runs at 60fps and the PS1 version is not.
    Courier Crisis: The Saturn version has a smooth Sonic R-style fog and because of that better performance the ps1 version the draw distance is greater but the stages construction is uglier, the Saturn version has less warping and makes us wonder how it could have been a Driver or Tony Hawk.
    Thunder Force 5: Saturn version takes advantage of background layers due to vdp-2 but ps1 version has better textures on polygonal objects, performance is more solid on Saturn.


    here are my conclusions.

    taking Dead or alive as an example to me it is evident that the ps1 could not make a port entirely in 3d like Toshiden is, and at the same time keep the 60fps yeh I know Tobal is 60 fps but it's not a port coming from a higher equipment but a game originally created for the platform, so in DOA they chose to use bitmap, so it is clear to the fans that the saturn can port fighting games to more powerful boards like Mace the dark Age or Soul calibur at 60fps, honestly I don't doubt that a port of virtua fighter 3 would be possible. using multiple layers is an excellent replacement for polygons and create a 3d sensation.

    it is also evident to me that using sprites the Saturn performance is higher, combining sprites and polygons the result is superior than using only polygons but a situation apparently doesn't change, the ps1 actually has better light effects, textures and the ability to texturize over 3d objects the difference is not big but it will always be necessary to choose where to use better textures and where not to use as we see RE1, Tunderforce 5 and Hi-octane. Better light as TunnelB1, Die hard trilogy (lighting and transparency).
    You're gonna have to cite your sources on some of this as some of those polygon counts seem very suspicious. Also Saturn doesn't have a "standard" frame rate. It's whatever you can get it to run at.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edek View Post
    On a few of these games, Wipeout 2097, Exhumed, Tomb Raider, Die Hard Trilogy, and Toshinden (that i know of, not sure about the rest) the Saturn runs in lower resolution compared to the Playstation versions and it is noticeable, especially in Wipeout 2097 and Exhumed.
    You might want to double check that. For example Wipeout 2097 is 352x240 on Saturn. I believe on PS1 it's 320x240. I think you're confusing texture resolution with overall screen and rendering resolution.

  12. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    You're gonna have to cite your sources on some of this as some of those polygon counts seem very suspicious. Also Saturn doesn't have a "standard" frame rate. It's whatever you can get it to run at.
    Battle Arena Toshiden Takara. proclaim 90.000. per second on the CD and booklet cover. In an interview with the magazine, it was stated that the game works at 30 frames per second, so it shifts around 3,000 polygons in a single frame. Each character uses around 800+ polys, with texture mapping, gouraud shading, light sources and light effects. I just don't remember the magazine.

    fps measurements are sourced from DF Retro and a channel that unfortunately closed called Madtech gaming.

    yes, in fact, the Saturn does not have fixed frame rate specifications, but in this games- real world examples are two ways to go when we compare it with the Playstation according to my analysis:

    if the saturn wants to have fps equal to the PS1, it needs to have compromises like in Die Hard Trilogy, in addition to the usual transparencies and lighting (standard).
    in case the saturn wants to have an equivalent port in assets it needs to have reduced fps as we see in Wipeout.

    That's for polygonal games the way they were released, in polygon-based games, but the Saturn's result was superior or very close results in sprite-based 3d games. Alien Trylogy, Duke Nukem, Exhumed, Hexen.

    In general the Saturn does the same as the ps1 both are 5th gen but it has a deficiency in these three areas: lighting, transparencies. minor in textures and frame rate, When Saturn wins it has greater draw distance, 2d effects on 3d game and a more stable frame rate.

    so when some games abuse transparency in their art, it is very likely that it was at the request of Sony to show better results against the Saturn Die Hard Trilogy, it seems to have been thought of that way. As well as games with higher draw distance it slightly benefited the Saturn.

    but this is just my opinion after compiling all the comparatives on the internet and crossing the technical data, specs with result in real world games.

  13. #103
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    Don't try to draw conclusions about hardware capabilities from cross platform ports. It's too confounded by the time / ability of the developers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    Don't try to draw conclusions about hardware capabilities from cross platform ports. It's too confounded by the time / ability of the developers.
    each case is a case, imo but an overview of the capabilities of each platform is possible as they have different strengths in different areas. I think that some conclusions are possible, yes, for example, it is the case of the main car in textured Hi-octane because we see the same deficit in thundeforce 5 in the polygonal parts, this information agrees with the specs, where the divisions of 1,5mb of vram delivers less texture than the unified 1mb of the ps1. in polygonal count they are very close in real games, in Die Hard there are cuts of particles but it was to keep the fps at 30fps, if the company wanted to add those particles there would be no limitation on that.

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    Battle Arena Toshinden looks to be about 1500-1600 Polygons per frame. So it's closer to 45,000-50,000 polygons per second. That sounds more accurate, especially if the character models are truly around 800 Polygons.

    As for Saturn performance, it really boils down to what you're trying to do. Yes, PS1 wins in fill rate, transparencies, and blending. The GTE vs the 2nd SH2 is sometimes up for debate, but the GTE usually edges it out just a bit. As for the SH2 vs the PS1's main CPU, the SH2 generally performs a bit better (especially in things like Multiplication and Division). If you can make use of VDP2 well enough, Saturn can also pull ahead.

    But generally with a lot of these ports being compared, there's not really a good reason why the Saturn shouldn't be able to match PS1 performance for some of those. Toshinden is a good example of that. The Saturn should be able to pull that off easily enough.

    Honestly it sounds like you're trying to make general kinds of declarations across the board when it's really not that simple. Basically PS1 is more efficient and better at 3D, but the Saturn isn't really a slouch in the area and can pull off some very good 3D performance in the right hands:




    This one is just using 1 SH2 and VDP1. No VDP2, No 2nd SH2, no DSP, etc.:

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