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John Carmack Explains Why Blu-ray Makes Rage Better on PS3

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 8 comments
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Every year, QuakeCon is John Carmack’s celebration of his technology and the games that the entire id Software team creates within it.

Tom’s Games had the chance to sit down with Carmack for a brief chat regarding Rage, id Software’s upcoming game slated for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Console fanboys will undoubtedly find lots of firepower in what Carmack had to share, who made it clear that designing for the Xbox 360 was more of a joy than arduously optimizing for the more complicated PS3.

Developer friendliness aside, Carmack did acknowledge that the PS3 version will look slightly better due to more storage space for high-resolution textures, thanks to Blu-ray Disc’s 50GB capacity. “All of the key scenes, the things anyone is going to take a screenshot of are going to look exactly the same on both platforms. They’ll get the high quality compression,” said Carmack. “But if you go into some areas in the wasteland, like behind a fence where nobody will typically go and explore, this is where the 360 version may look a little blurry compared to the PS3.”

While spanning the game over multiple discs could solve the issue, id Software revealed that the associated royalties to Microsoft for more than two discs would become economically unfavourable. “We’re pretty much resigned to the fact that we’re going to make it fit onto two DVDs on the 360. Plus there would be a lot of disc switching if we went to three DVDs, and since the game is split between two different wasteland environments, two DVDs should work well,” he explained. “That’s the only thing the PS3 has going for it over the 360 - more gigs.”

Read the entire interview here at Tom’s Games.

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  • 1 Hide
    LePhuronn , 8 August 2008 20:10
    If the 360 and PS3 versions will look the same then id are doing something wrong.

    Yes, it's more complex to build for the PS3 but its technical abilities should leave the 360 in the dust. Of course blame Sony for waiting so long to make their games console actually used for gaming...
  • -1 Hide
    Mighty Monk , 8 August 2008 21:21
    Prove that the PS3 should, technically speaking, leave the XBox360 in the dust.

    The man himself says above, that the only thing the PS3 has over XBox is it's storage media.
  • 1 Hide
    LePhuronn , 8 August 2008 23:35
    I shall do some re-reading to refresh my memory so I'm sure I'm not talking out of my arse, but I believe the PS3's internal gubbings *on paper* are a lot more powerful than the 360's, especially when it comes to the GPU (although I don't want to get into a RSX vs Xenos debate without a lot of real information in front of me).

    The problem with the PS3 is its comparative complexity to develop for, which hampers developer's ability to get the most out of it. That's why I say "technically", but until developers can realise the PS3's potential you're not going to see superior results.

    The same was true of the PS2 - it took developers a lot longer to get to grips with it than other contemporary platforms, but when they got there the PS2 left everything else in the dust.

    It's not my intention to descend into a PS3 v 360 argument though. Now that *shock horror* there are actually some PS3 games coming out we'll see how things go over the next year - 360 games do look sweet as hell, but I feel that it's already running close to its maximum potential, whereas the PS3 has a lot more legroom to go.

    Also, were detailed specs of the RSX and Xenos ever actually released to the public? I know RSX is based on the NV47 and stuff in Xenos has made into the 2600XT but did we ever get in-depth stuff?
  • Display all 8 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    LePhuronn , 9 August 2008 00:07
    correction: HD2900XT
  • 0 Hide
    waxdart , 9 August 2008 00:17
    all version will look the same? - then whats the point of buying the best bit of hardware if the devs just limit things? Like buying the best graphics card just to play it on the lowest settings?!?!?1
  • 0 Hide
    Mighty Monk , 9 August 2008 02:40
    Well, it was said that PS3 owners will get more detailed behind-the-fence-wasteland. Yay? O_o

    I don't really see how that would benefit, or undercut the majority of people playing the game on either system. I'd personally be more focused on killing the next ugly funker infront of me.
  • 0 Hide
    LePhuronn , 9 August 2008 03:58
    I entirely concur, Mighty Monk, that I don't care what the other side of the fence looks like if I'm supposed to be mauling a guy within 5 feet of me, however waxdart does make the valid point in what's the point in buying superior hardware if the actual developers limit themselves to lowest common denominator.

    Source engine for example: when I first got Half Life 2 I had no end of problems running it on my 6800 Ultra at top bollocks settings, so I scaled everything down to minimum-ish and diagnosed from there. I was pretty impressed with how it looked even on minimum and was very excited to see what it would be like at top-quality.

    To my dismay when I did get it working and cranked it all up HL2 looked pretty much exactly the same! Now although I commend Valve for getting Source to reproduce high-end effects at the lower settings, it's only been recently that they've put in new stuff for the top-end kit. The point being if HL2 looked gorgeous at minimum settings, why spend £400 on the best card available at that time?

    The same applies here - if the PS3 is superior technologically to the 360, why aren't id making the most of it? I'm sure they can use the extra Blu-Ray capacity to ramp up texture quality, increase polygon counts or whatever as part of their PS3 development cycle instead of making the environment a little bit more detailed.

    Maybe it's just time pressure - they only have time to build everything once, so whether it's PC, 360 or PS3 everybody gets the same models, textures, effects, sounds, etc, with no time to then make platform-specific optimisations.
  • -1 Hide
    FlyinBrian , 12 August 2008 02:32
    LePhuronnI entirely concur, Mighty Monk, that I don't care what the other side of the fence looks like if I'm supposed to be mauling a guy within 5 feet of me, however waxdart does make the valid point in what's the point in buying superior hardware if the actual developers limit themselves to lowest common denominator.Source engine for example: when I first got Half Life 2 I had no end of problems running it on my 6800 Ultra at top bollocks settings, so I scaled everything down to minimum-ish and diagnosed from there. I was pretty impressed with how it looked even on minimum and was very excited to see what it would be like at top-quality.To my dismay when I did get it working and cranked it all up HL2 looked pretty much exactly the same! Now although I commend Valve for getting Source to reproduce high-end effects at the lower settings, it's only been recently that they've put in new stuff for the top-end kit. The point being if HL2 looked gorgeous at minimum settings, why spend £400 on the best card available at that time?The same applies here - if the PS3 is superior technologically to the 360, why aren't id making the most of it? I'm sure they can use the extra Blu-Ray capacity to ramp up texture quality, increase polygon counts or whatever as part of their PS3 development cycle instead of making the environment a little bit more detailed.Maybe it's just time pressure - they only have time to build everything once, so whether it's PC, 360 or PS3 everybody gets the same models, textures, effects, sounds, etc, with no time to then make platform-specific optimisations.


    @LePhuronn Contrary to the Hype. The PS3 does have more theoretical power. However its not USEABLE power. Think of as like a 6000 HP engine On a bicycle. Sure, it COULD do 1000 MPH but good luck getting that power to the ground. Carmack explained why the ps3 was the way it was a long time ago. It isnt JUST because the ps3 is hard to code for.. if anything John would love to learn something like that. It's because they have to program around the shortcomings of the System. Like not having enough cache among other things. Basically because of this the xbox is just as powerful(It has 3*3.2GH cores) and it is easy to take advantage of all of the power at that. The only big downside is the disk space and that is where sony has the advantage. Other than that.. there isnt one. He is taking advantage of each platforms strengths.. aka high quality texture compression on blu-ray so saying he isnt optimizing for ps3 is a false statement.