What Does "Next Gen" Mean for Your Backlog?

Discussion in 'Multi-Platform' started by GaemzDood, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. GaemzDood

    GaemzDood Well-Known Member

    I am admittedly paranoid about how bad the cross gen situation will be once the PS5 and "Nextbox" launch. There's six platforms to optimize for this time around, and since the standard Xbox One and PS4 Pro haven't had the adopters Microsoft and Sony were expecting, you can expect those to get the chopping block optimization wise first. In other words, don't expect the quality seen in games like Forza, Gears 4 or Sony's first party titles since neither company enforces any quality control despite claiming otherwise (otherwise, we wouldn't have games like Hellblade, Fortnite, Nioh, and Ark running at sub-1080p on the Pro for a variety of ridiculous reasons). However, given that I'm probably going to be an early adopter (provided that they use high end Ryzen CPUs), here's what I'm expecting.

    For one thing, about those CPUs. The Xbox One X in particular has a power differential between the memory/GPU and CPU so huge it's absurd. The system competes with $600+ GPUs (thank crypto) GPUs bandwidth wise, and eases its way into 1070 levels of power, excluding ROPs (which don't mean much when using 64-bit RTs and Async Compute). However, man, that CPU is something else. Even with the baked in boost mode, Just Cause 3 still chugs and the Conquest modes in the Battlefields still can drop frames. The reason is that these games rely heavily on simulation. As goes with a lot of titles that have offered unlocked framerate options, yet fail to deliver 60 FPS consistently, on the mid gen consoles. Rise of the Tomb Raider, for example, actually manages to hit 60 FPS pretty often, but then you get to the Geothermal Valley: the combination of friendly AI and wildlife with dynamic routines, a LOD 0 character, little in the way of pop-in, and much more tanks the framerate down to the mid 30s and low 40s, and bearing in mind the Xbox version uses an adaptive v-sync, it can be bad. Final Fantasy XV basically never hits 60 FPS outside of a couple of CPU lite cutscenes. God of War, a game that goes heavy on real time physics calculations and LODs, has a similar problem, though nowhere near as severe as Final Fantasy. Dark Souls III on PS4 Pro: same situation, rarely actually at 60 FPS. The Witcher 3 actually averages not too far off in most scenes, and actually runs between 50 and 60 FPS in the Crookback Bog (not perfect, but bearing in mind that this same area capped the standard PS4 at 20 FPS at launch, we've come a long way), but when you get to Novigrad...yeah, and that's with the NPC count set to below the PC's lowest setting.

    This is where Ryzen comes to the rescue. AMD is going all out, with Zen 2 rumored to be incoming this year and Zen 3 hitting around 2020, which is when many predict the new consoles will merely be announced. I believe Phil Spencer also said that one of their goals for their next console is to balance out the CPU and GPU load, and considering their GPU baseline has already been set by the One X, they'll have a pretty high end GPU to balance for their next console. So, if they make the right decision and use a high end Zen 3 (presumably of the Ryzen 7 variety), what does that entail? Well, for one thing, this absolute mess will become a solid 60 FPS, same situation with the other games mentioned above. Oh, and get this: Assassin's Creed: Unity has an uncapped framerate without the day 1 patch I believe, and actually managed to come close to around 60 FPS in interiors without a lot of NPCs on Xbox One X, so provided that the new consoles use Ryzen, the most demanding Assassin's Creed game to this day will run at a solid 60 FPS on consoles, which is pretty insane to think about bearing in mind how the game still runs on base hardware. Given that CPU imbalances will virtually disappear, expect CPU bound games to target 60 FPS more, or push simulation that surpasses titles like the original Crysis' CPU benchmark. Maybe Crackdown 3 will actually be realized with all of the simulation they're targeting (lets be honest, it's not possible on current gen systems, even with the "Cloud"). There's a ton of possibilities and I'm excited.

    Second, Vega. Most games have adopted dynamic resolution this generation, which I personally hate but can see the merits of in rare cases (see my thread on it), and as we have already seen with unpatched Xbox games being loaded up on the One X, these resolution drops are eliminated. Halo 5 was 1080p out of the box, same with Infinite Warfare, DOOM, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and many others. That's on top of forcing 16x anisotropic filtering too, which I imagine next gen consoles will do for back compat support.

    For Xbox One X users, a Vega/Zen 3 console is salivating for a variety of reasons. DOOM, Gears of War 4 multiplayer, Halo 5, Assassin's Creed: Origins, Wolfenstein II, The Witcher 3, Call of Duty: WWII, all of these games are a few examples of titles that use resolution scaling and can fall short of their 4k target, rather significantly if VG Tech is anything to go by. Here's the kicker: according to CD Projekt RED, The Witcher 3's 60 FPS mode is actually capped at 4k in order to future proof it, despite only being 1080p-1440pish on the One X. Meaning that when you load up The Witcher 3 out of the box, it will run at 4k *and* 60 FPS. Smart.

    If you have a big backlog like me, there's a lot of reasons to be excited for next gen consoles.
  2. Odo

    Odo Well-Known Member

    I'm not going to be an early adopter, but I intend to adopt PS5 much sooner than later this time, mind u. If Microsoft later on comes out with an Xbox that runs Xbox One games, I'll certainly pick it up asap. Having said that, I don't see the industry giving a damm about frame rate this generation and I don't see they changing this next one. I guess better visual graphics will be the thing again.

    Btw, Gaemz, do you think next generation graphics will hit what the Book of the Dead Unity demo showed? I mean, in a standardised level.
  3. GaemzDood

    GaemzDood Well-Known Member

    Definitely. Bear in mind that they had that demo running on a 4.2 TFLOP GPU [PS4 Pro] and everything was rasterized. Next gen is probably going to be the start of a push for a hybrid of ray tracing + rasterized visuals. We kind of saw what that looked like with The Tomorrow Children on PS4, which used screen space AO as well as voxel cone tracing for GI and reflections. Games using Nvidia VXAO and HFTS technically sort of count too.

    If all goes well next generation, I imagine developers will attempt to find cheap ways to ray trace certain elements (mainly audio, path-finding, AO, reflections, and GI), maybe using voxels (John Carmack hinted that as one of his big wishes for id Tech years ago), and we're already seeing that with Brilliant Game Studios, who developed a real time GI and world space AO solution that only causes a 1-2 FPS difference at best. I'm super, super excited to see how that dev did that.

    Also, on average, game performance has been much better this generation compared to the last. In fact, I'd reckon that sub-30 FPS games have been the exception and not the norm this generation, which I think is due to developers attempting much less in the way of simulation due to these limited CPUs, as those that have saw the results [Just Cause 3, Assassin's Creed: Unity]. A lot of people have rose tinted glasses about this, but I can't even think of 10 AAA games last generation that targeted 30 FPS and actually stuck to it without loads of screen tearing.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
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