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Revolution Horsepower Revealed 774

Posted by samzenpus
from the look-inside dept.
Revo writes "IGN.com unveiled leaked specs for Nintendo's upcoming Revolution console today. The system really is about twice as powerful as a GameCube and a far cry from the Xbox 360 and PS3. Of course, the focus is on the innovative controller and the affordable price."
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Revolution Horsepower Revealed

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  • by GeorgeMcBay (106610) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:23AM (#15023608)
    Of course, at the end of the day its all about the games and how fun they are, but even if you DO focus on the graphics, consider:

    The original Xbox is, on paper, much more powerful than the GameCube and yet for my money (and I own many games on both of these systems), nothing on the original Xbox looks nearly as good as Resident Evil 4 on the GameCube.



    I'm a lot more excited about the Revolution than either of the other next-gen systems (though I'll probably buy an Xbox360 when more good games come out for it)... in the meantime I'll keep trying to boost my online ranking in Tetris DS.

    • MHZ myth (Score:5, Informative)

      by cgenman (325138) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @08:57AM (#15025350) Homepage
      I've worked on all three platforms. And while I haven't didn't do the coding myself, I have worked with the coders who did.

      The rule of thumb was that if you could do it on the Xbox, you could do it on the GameCube and you would probably have to shave it down to get it to work on the PS2. The problem child you have to worry about in a cross-platform title is always PS2.

      I don't know where Casamassina is getting his assertion that GC polygon peaks were less than the PS2. Does he mean untextured polys? Again the PS2 is generally the platform that you have to optimize for.

      Using MHz numbers to compare the speed of different processors is like comparing the speed of cars by looking at how much gas they consume. There is a relationship there, but it isn't the primary one. And it isn't the one you care about.

      There are all sorts of reasons for performance numbers, such as the PS2's surprisingly fast cache but low ram, etc. I hope someone will do a detailed technical breakdown, because I really should remember this stuff. And also financial pressures play a part: you add optimization time for the Xbox if you think you will sell in North America, and optimization time for the GameCube if you have the possibility of Japan sales. But in general, the Xbox and Game Cube are similar in power, and the PS2 runs to catch up.

      I can't really talk about the Revolution, partially because I don't have one, but I've heard other developers use the "2x more powerful than the GC" figure. That puts it somewhere between the Xbox 1 and the Xbox 360.

      • Re:MHZ myth (Score:5, Interesting)

        by SirSlud (67381) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @10:44AM (#15025885) Homepage
        Speaking as a production game developer (ie, I work on game logic, not engine code) you're pretty much dead on. We've got a game in the pipeline that we're releasing at 30 FPS on the PS2 .. runs on GC at 60 FPS, no problem. The main issue with the GC is that the ram is split between ram and aram, which leads to the requirement of micromanagement of ram use to ensure you're not wasting potential space. On cross-platform engines, its abit of a pain.

        I agree with everything else tho. The GC was a shade less powerful than the Xbox, but as we've been shown again and again, its 20% hardware, and 80% how you use it. The Rev is plenty stronger than the Xbox.
    • by danpsmith (922127) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:23AM (#15025447)
      People constantly look at hardware specs to figure out what a good system will be anymore. It's meaningless. If you want examples just look in the past or the present. How about the PSP, has better graphics capabilities, support for movies, and all other kinds of stuff, how does it fare? Not as well as the DS for other reasons. A lot of the console has to do with the way it is designed and how games play on it, not exactly what they look like.
      • by harrkev (623093) <<kfmsd> <at> <harrelsonfamily.org>> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @10:32AM (#15025807) Homepage
        A lot of the console has to do with the way it is designed and how games play on it, not exactly what they look like.
        ... and how much it costs.

        Let's face facts here. There are a lot of gaming fans who work tech during the day and play games at night. They have money to burn. Or perhaps the children of such people.

        But there is a LOT more people out there where the family is struggling to make ends meet. Christmas comes around, and junior wants a game system. What do the parents buy:

        1) Game system which costs $400 or more and $60 games.
        2) Game system which costs $200 and games are around $40.

        In a case like this, specs don't matter. You buy what you can afford. For this reason and this reason alone, Revolution will sell well.
    • by a_nonamiss (743253) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @10:42AM (#15025870)
      I know this article was featured on Slashdot, but for a really good explanation of why hardware specs aren't going to mean much anymore, I highly recommend reading Life After the Crash [pointlesswasteoftime.com] by David Wong

      The essence of the article is that the direction that video games are moving in can't hold up much longer. Sure, Call of Duty 2 [xbox.com] on the Xbox360 looks beautiful. You can see slightly better fog effects than previous generation consoles, and you can see beads of sweat dripping down the enemy soldiers' faces, but does this really make it a better game? For about 10 minutes your jaw hangs open at the realism of the game, but then you get used to it and realize it's exactly like every other first person shooter ever made. OK, instead of shooting demon possessed aliens from another dimension, you are shooting nazis, but does that really make the game any different once you adjust to your surroundings? Or, even more to the point, does it make it better than the last CoD title that you played?

      The bottom line is that Nintendo is trying to do something that's actually different. They're betting the farm on the fact that gamers like myself are getting tired of shelling out more and more money for consoles that are less and less innovative. It's a gamble, and it's possible that they could be doing this too early, but they have proven in the past that they have a pretty good sense about the industry. I, for one, will stand in line to buy my Revolution, even if the fog effects aren't quite as good as the significantly more expensive Xbox360.
  • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:24AM (#15023611) Homepage
    Matt Casamassina hates Nintendo and takes every opportunity to talk about how weak and worthless their hardware is. Every three months for awhile now he's posted "leaked" specs about the Revolution. Every one of these "leak" stories takes care to talk about how much more powerful the XBox 1 is than the Revolution. In all cases the source is "sources".

    Frankly I think it's most likely the Revolution will be the weakest of the three next gen consoles, but I'll believe this when I see , and after the rabid and rapidly decaying lack of journalistic integrity shown by Matt Casamassina in the last couple of years, I personally refuse to believe anything I read on revolution.ign.com at all.

    You can feel free to believe what you want of course.
    • by SetupWeasel (54062) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:33AM (#15023678) Homepage
      IGN works with Nintendo on some of the aspects of their online service. Someone at that company knows the truth.

      If there specs are real, Matt Cassissippi is endangering people in his company bound by NDAs. It doesn't matter if they told him or not. If the specs aren't real, he appears to be misleading his readers, because someone at his company knows.

      I think it is irresponsible for him to report this either way.
      • IGN works with Nintendo on some of the aspects of their online service. Someone at that company knows the truth.

        IGN works with Nintendo on some of the aspects of the DS online service. As you may recall, the online infrastructure of N's consoles closely resembles two cans connected by a string.
    • by zealot (14660) <xzealot54x AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:44AM (#15023733)
      I agree. The "performance" number he's quoting are complete crap.

      "IBM's "Broadway" CPU is clocked at 729MHz, according to updated Nintendo documentation. By comparison, GameCube's Gekko CPU ran at 485MHz. The original Xbox's CPU was clocked at 733MHz. Meanwhile, Xbox 360 runs three symmetrical cores at 3.2GHz."

      and

      "Revolution's ATI-provided "Hollywood" GPU clocks in at 243MHz. By comparison, GameCube's GPU ran at 162MHz, while the GPU on the original Xbox was clocked at 233MHz."

      and

      "Clearly, numbers don't mean everything, but on paper Revolution's CPU falls performance-wise somewhere well beyond GameCube and just shy of the original Xbox."

      THE MAJORITY OF HIS COMPARISON IS BASED ON CLOCK SPEED. Yet he's comparing completely different architectures. Gamecube had an IBM flipper chip (some sort of Power-based core), Xbox had an x86, X360 has 3 simplified Power-based cores running at high clock speeds. Gamecube had an ATI graphics, XBox had NVIDIA graphics. You can't just throw random MHz numbers out there and draw any type of conclusion. Ok, I suppose there's one type: an invalid one.
      • Gamecube actually didn't really have ATI graphics. ATI was just on the business end of things. The GPU was designed by Art-X which is an SGI spin-off. This gave Gamecube a lot of unique graphics capabilities. Anything related to SGI is a step up from ATI in my book.
        • Actually that's partially incorrect. Yes, it was developed by ArtX, a company that was bought out by ATI approximately a month after the Gamecube was originally released.
        • by kerrle (810808) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @03:16AM (#15024377) Journal
          Yes, but the Art-X team behind the gamecube's graphics chip went on to be heavily involved in modern ATI GPUs. There's definitely a relationship between the two.

          This isn't a case where ATI bought a team just to slap a sticker on the cube; they bought a team and actually integrated it into their development process, and actually used their tech.
      • by lysergic.acid (845423) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @03:31AM (#15024442) Homepage

        I don't see what's wrong with what he reported. I don't find it hard to believe that a writer for IGN might be close enough with a few revolution developers to be able to get some basic info such as clockspeeds on the revolution.

        Besides, if you read the article, he isn't trying to make the point that revolution is likely a POS that can't compete with the other next gen consoles. He's simply making a point about their strategy, which clearly isn't trying to design the most powerful console of the three. Even if the architectures are drastically different, the difference in clockspeeds and available memory is very significant.

        I know some of you fanboys might feel emasculated by these specs, but your own assumptions and criticisms of the article are totally off base. I mean, why are those numbers complete crap? How do you know they're crap? Are you a close acquaintance with someone who's working on the revolution? And did the author suggest that the architectures were the same for all the platforms, or that the hardware performance of the system can be perfectly and accurately extrapolated from the clockspeeds? No, he simply gave information that he had, which were the clockspeeds in this case. He leaves it up to the reader to extrapolate what they will by comparing them with the numbers for gamecube, and other consoles, and the author in fact states "numbers don't mean everything."

        So don't rip on the author for simply reporting the information that he has. If hearing the specs for the revolution pisses you off, then just don't read articles reporting on them.

        • by G-funk (22712) <josh@gfunk007.com> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @08:56AM (#15025347) Homepage Journal
          They're complete crap because the xbox is only a gnat's dick faster than the cube (the difference is just about nil if you compare the two of them to the PS2). It can't be both twice as powerful as the cube and almost as powerful as an xbox.
  • Just like old times (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Infidel666 (207903) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:27AM (#15023633) Homepage
    The company has ALWAYS been about revolutionizing controllers - from the NES, to SNES up through the 64 & Gamecube.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:27AM (#15023642)
    nintendo has alyways made sure that their games are better.

    i think it will hold true to this console. i still like pokemon and zelda. call me childish all you will, but they were good games, regardless of the system it was run on.

    Seriously, i look at the xbox 360 games, and theres nothing there that excites me. just all this stupid crap that tries to emulate real life. thats not why i play video games, i play them to excape from real life. at least nintendo has an art style.
  • Nobody cares (Score:5, Interesting)

    by globalar (669767) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:30AM (#15023656) Homepage
    I am not a gamer (no real time for that), but sometimes I want to play a not-to-involved game. There were only two reasons I bought a gamecube:

    1) It was cheap (only $100 with controller and a game, if I recall correctly)
    2) It had some fun games (Metroid, Zelda, Mario, the usual)

    I knew next to nothing else about the thing. I think more about ordering a meal at a resturant than I did about this purchase. Now, my PC is a different story, but consoles are for recreation. Keep it simple, cheap, and fun please.
  • Innovation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xamomike (831092) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:31AM (#15023662) Homepage
    I welcome Nintendo's new console, it's not just about the fine detail or how many poly's the gpu can process per second... it's about game innovation, and Nintendo has always had well branded games that kids like. I've been impressed with some of the games on the Gamecube, even if it is slower than hell by spec. The fact is they have good selection of games kids love to play, and even some of us older folks. I currently own an XBox 360, PS2, and a Gamecube. My kids play the gamecube more than the others because they enjoy the games more.
  • SFW? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WasterDave (20047) <davep@zeTEAdkep.com minus caffeine> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:31AM (#15023665)
    I thought this was one of the few things we "knew" about the revolution? Nintendo have been quite open about not joining the 360/PS3 horsepower bandwagon, and also quite open about not giving a toss about HD. Between that, the prospect of downloadable titles, significant efforts to make it friendlier to non gamers (hey, I *like* the controller) and Nintendo's history of being the best at producing cheaply it looks like they may be going to make really quite a bit of coin this time around.

    Coin? Ha! B'ding! B'ding! B'ding!

    Dave
    • Re:SFW? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by westlake (615356)
      not giving a toss about HD

      The problem is, HD isn't going away. It is in ten to fifteen per cent of households now.

      When Walmart positions the X-Box 360 as the natural compliment to the big screen home theater experience it's just possible that the console market is changing.

  • by thinmac (98095) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:37AM (#15023699) Homepage
    Reading the article, it seems like most of their "horsepower" statements were just backed up with the clock rate of each systems CPU and GPU. That, really, doesn't mean anything at all. Who cares if the Revolution's CPU is clocked twice as fast as the GameCube's? That doesn't really mean anything at all, unless they're both running exactly the same chip just clocked at different rates. The same thing is true of comparing the XBox 360's 3.2 GHz chip to the Revolution's 750-ish MHz CPU. Does that really tell us anything at all? Not really.

    The article is mostly crap. It's just telling us that the clock speed of Nintendo's apples isn't as fast as Microsoft's oranges.
    • by DigitlDud (443365) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @01:06AM (#15023838)
      Nintendo systems have always had underpowered main processors, going back to the NES. Then they throw loads of custom chips on top of everything.

      The SNES had its unique "color math" capabilities and the famous Mode7 affine matrix transformation mode.

      I believe the N64 let you re-write the microcode in the GPU for custom needs.

      The Gamecube, had lots of unique graphical capabilities like an indirect texture unit. SGI workstations are about the only machines that had indirect texturing. You can do lots of cool effects like fake light refraction and psuedo-3D geometry.
  • by ameoba (173803) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:38AM (#15023703)
    I love the author's impliciaction that The revolution's 729MHz PPC is somehow going to be slower than the 733MHz Celeron that runs the original XBox (and the silent implication that the 3-way 3.2GHz chip in the 360 is meaninffully comparable to either of these on clock-speed alone) .

    We're dealing with a real technical powerhouse here and he's giving us some insighful hardware analysis.
  • Different processors (Score:5, Informative)

    by ggareau (948631) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:42AM (#15023720)
    Is it just me, or are they completely ignoring that the Gamecube had a PPC chip, and Xbox had an x86 chip?

    On paper clock speed doesn't put the Revolution between the Gamecube and Xbox. It easily puts it above.

    Also, if I recall correctly, the 360 and PS3's processors need to be passed data sequentially, and because of that it makes it much harder to avoid bottlenecks and lag in code, whereas the Revolution's does not.

    It could just be me, but looking at stats on paper mean nothing when you're comapring different architectures and chipsets.
  • Pixels to push (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Adelph (814984) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:42AM (#15023726)
    Nintendo has made clear their intent _not_ to support hi-def formats on the Revolution, whereas MS and Sony are heavily marketing the 1080i capabilities of their respective consoles. One theory for the viability of this relatively small increase in graphics power: with much fewer pixels to push, the Revolution's hardware will be able to produce framerates similar to what the Xbox360 and PS3 can do in hi-def. And on a non-HDTV, a game on all three consoles may end up looking the same.
  • this is crap. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SetupWeasel (54062) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:44AM (#15023731) Homepage
    From the article:

    Whether or not Revolution is, in fact, a vehicle for the new freestyle controller or not, systems specs rarely tell the whole story. We would remind readers that during an era when polygon numbers meant everything, GameCube's polygon peaks were lower than PlayStation 2 and Xbox. However, few would disagree with the assertion that Resident Evil 4 - a title developed from the ground-up for Nintendo's system -- was one of the prettiest games of the generation.

    That is blatantly untrue. GameCube's published specs were lower, but they weren't the same theoretical specs that MS and Sony spewed out. Reportedly Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike had the highest polygon count of the current generation at something like 18 million/sec.
  • by straterpatrick (594954) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:45AM (#15023737) Homepage
    This is exactly the same story that came out when DS and PSP specs were announced. PSP is so much more powerful and DS is for kids, etc... But look at how well the DS is doing. Not that it is blowing away the competition but I don't think anyone expects the Revolution to "beat" 360/PS3. Nintendo just needs to recover from Gamecube's failure and grow it's user base. If Revolution is anything like the DS then I think they will do quite well.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:48AM (#15023752)
  • Ergonomics? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by adolfojp (730818) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:51AM (#15023763)
    With traditional controllers players can rest their hands on the table, their laps, their stomachs, lying down with their hands on the floor or above their heads. I cannot imagine having to hold my hands in the air in front of me for more than 10 minutes with the new device. Then again, perhaps I am just lazy.
  • by thatguywhoiam (524290) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:52AM (#15023765)
    How many GigaFuns does it do?

    I am of course referring to the completely objective discreet units of fun, per billion.

    I know a guy who was roommates with one of the head girlfriends of the 2nd assistant director of ALL OF NINTENDO and they said its a lot. Like, at least ... 9Gf. And it is scientifically proven that the original Xbox only rated a 2.3 Gf (and only with Halo), so this is, like, way better.

    Plus, the console itself sort of reminds me of those power crystals that Superman used to control his arctic fortress of solitude, and that's about all the reason I really need to buy one. If I'm being perfectly honest with myself.

  • lack of imagination (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bein (935850) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @12:58AM (#15023793)
    All the nay-sayers have a serious lack of imagination as to what the revolution controller is capable of. Imagine a sonic-like game where you are controlling the speed of your character by the angle you tilt the controller, as he cascades over hills and obstacles and through turns (--also, tony hawk/snowboarding games). Imagine a soul calibur game which is fully 3d, you control the direction of your attack by "whips" of the axis of the controller, and moves derive from complex curvilinear shapes, but are intutively similar to the motions performed on screen. Imagine any flight simulator/racing/dogfight/war game, all you do is point the direction you want to go. Imagine madden but you pump fake with a whip of the hand, and throw the same way but holding a button. Not to mention whatever Nintendo has in store for mario and such (the revo controller was designed for a new mario concept originally...) So many more things are possible with this controller than were before. (oh yea, of course, FPS's)
  • by YU Nicks NE Way (129084) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @01:01AM (#15023813)
    Why would you care about hardware stats? Do they guarantee "better games"?

    News, MS and Sony fanbois...the answer is "no". Better games come out of better design which are sensitive to the kinds of passtimes people want to pursue.

    But, um, Nintendo fanbois? There's another side to that. Hardware horsepower makes it far easier to build games with a wider scope for play. Remember the Halo grenade hacks? Those were damned fun, and, from talking to the dev manager on the product, I can assure you that nobody expected them or planned for them. They made heavy use of the fact that there was physics in the game -- and that depended on the hardware horsepower of the XBox.

    So game design isn't
    • Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks had another interesting CPU restriction pop up. It was designed to work on the PS2, and they used ragdoll for death/pop-up attacks. If you get more than 2 people in the air at a time, the game will slow to a crawl. Thus they made it nearly impossible. This is because the PS2 version of Havok could not handle more than 2 ragdoll simulations at a time. Pretty pathetic.
    • by be-fan (61476) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @01:57AM (#15024077)
      There are lots of classes of games for which graphics are important. Take for example sports games which are very popular in the US. Graphics are critical for such games to reproduce the realism of a real sports event. Since the actual game rules are fixed by the sport, there isn't a whole lot of room to innovate in the gameplay department, so going in the realism direction is the best option.

      Also consider the genre of first-person shooters (which are also popular in the US). Graphics are important not just for creating atmosphere, but HD graphics are going to be great for multiplayer maps (you can see farther with more detail). CPU power is going to be critical to feed the advanced physics and AI engines that modern games are sporting. Take a game like F.E.A.R, whose great animation, physics, and AI really add to the experience, and shoe-horn it into the revolution, and you lose a lot of the specialness of the game.

      Or consider RPGs. Console RPGs depend on a great degree on the ability to tell a story. Good graphics and animation are critical in conveying the epic feel of an interactive story. I mean, what would LOTR be without the sweeping views of the New Zealand countryside, or the huge, detailed shots of giant armies?

      It seems very clear to me that the Revolution is destined to be another Gamecube: basically, a console only good for playing Nintendo's first-party titles. Sure, most of those are very good games, but how much is really in that library for a sports, RPG, or FPS fanatic? Because between the tastes of Japan and the United States, these are the genres that are really important to gamers. Of course, you could argue that Nintendo is aiming at a completely different market with the Revolution (eg: "The Sims" market), which could very well be true, but in that case, Nintendo isn't really competing in the same sphere as Microsoft and Sony.
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @01:34AM (#15023972)
    First of all: those numbers of course don't make sense, what's next, comparing CPU weights and color?
    Anyways.

    Will Revolution be as powerful as XBOX360 and PS3, no, it can't handle highdef and this should tell a lot.

    Thing is, once you remove high-def support, you suddenly have a lot horsepower left to render great imagery on a 480p / 480i device. So we can't say that Revolution games will look worse than XBOX360 games on an NTSC/PAL TV which most people have out there.

    But scrap even that.

    Do you think Nintendo accidentally missed the fact their console is slower? And what means this for a game anyway? Does it mean worse gameplay or experience? Nintendo apparently is confident in their vision, enough so not to get into the dick length comparison game Sony and Microsoft are doing with their machine specs.

    I mean, they support NES/SNES/Genesis titles for Christ's sake, were those games crappy? They look GREAT on a TV screen, and some titles have gameplay unparalled in modern titles.

    Also it has enough power and innovation for great new content, what could a gamer want? Value and entertainment or silly spec numbers?
  • by eddeye (85134) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @01:40AM (#15024002)
    As Lisa Simpson would say, I know what those words mean, but that headline makes no sense.
  • by superultra (670002) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @01:46AM (#15024024) Homepage
    The fact is that the people who really care about mhz and clock speed have either a) already bought an xbox360 and will not buy a Revolution, or, b) will buy all three consoles anyway. Talking about speed and graphic capabilities is useless. It all boils down to: is it fun?
  • by earthbound kid (859282) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @02:20AM (#15024162) Homepage
    Nintendo has repeatedly said that they weren't going to release the specs to their next console, because it's irrelevant and misleading. IGN just proved their point. Everyone who knows anything about CPUs knows that PPC chips perform better on a per-megahertz basis than x86 chips, yet IGN acts like Xbox's higher clockrate means it was necessarily better than the Gamecube. (Maybe, maybe not, but the MHz tells you exactly nothing about the question.) Similarly, he's comparing the Xbox 360 to the Revolution without noting that they have completely different architectures. It's like saying, "this Japanese guy's phallus is 10cm and this American guy's is only 6", therefore, 10 being larger than 6, the Japanese are more fun in the sack for the ladies."

    This article is completely misleading, and further illustrates why Nintendo didn't care to publish their specs. None of these specs have anything to do with whether the Revolution is fun or looks good. For that, we have to wait until E3 when Nintendo shows off the console to the public. Until then, it's all just meaningless dick measuring.
  • Bzzzt (Score:4, Informative)

    by GarfBond (565331) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @03:12AM (#15024363)
    However, it's important to remember that there is no way to accurately gauge the performance difference between GCN's PowerPC-based architecture and the the Intel-based CPU of Xbox 360.
    Very wrong. Both GCN/Revolution and X360 make use of PPC-derived cores. Xbox original made use of a Celeron/P3 proc. Somewhere in here there's a major typo.
  • DS vs. PSP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Belgand (14099) <belgand AT planetfortress DOT com> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @03:16AM (#15024378) Homepage
    This argument, while still speculation at this point since the Revolution hasn't been released, seems to mirror the current predicament of the DS and the PSP.

    On paper the PSP is vastly more powerful. It has a 333MHz CPU with 32 MBs of main memory. The DS, in comparison, has an ARM 9 running at 67 MHz and an ARM 7 running at 33 MHz. On the RAM side it has 4 MBs of system memory as well as 32K of processor RAM for both ARM 7 and ARM 9, and 656K of VRAM. This should totally blow the DS out of the water and admittedly the PSP looks very, very nice.

    Yet, the DS is well on it's way to making the PSP little more than a portable video player that offers a few games. While there are endless areas of speculation (e.g. the much higher cost of the PSP, the unique controls of the DS) I feel it really comes down to the games. Quite simply the DS has much, much better games and a pretty good library of them. The PSP has... uh... Lumines, GTA:LCS, Mega Man Powered Up and I've heard good things about Daxter. Even among the games available most of them haven't really seemed to inspire people to talk about them nearly as much as the DS's library.

    Sure a few games work because they use the unique aspects of the DS (e.g. Kirby: Canvas Curse, Nintendogs) but the vast majority don't. A few (e.g. Castlevania, Phoenix Wright) aren't even first-party titles... though admittedly almost all of the top titles are.

    It's just that when it comes down to it the system that people tend to prefer is the one with better games. Not flashier graphics, not more raw power on paper. I can't say that sales figures will necessarily back this up because, honestly, Sony and Microsoft both have their fans and a good enough stranglehold on the market at this point that they aren't likely to be upset very easily. But in the end this battle of specs over games has already more or less been won and the victor clearly seems to be the less-powerful, but more enjoyable machine from Nintendo.
  • Funny, isn't it? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @04:35AM (#15024645)
    I always found the Slashdot attitude about graphics to be strange - more of a reaction against the common wisdom than anything really thought out. Every time a new NVIDIA card comes out, there are 200 comments about how it's unnecessary. About how the old card was just fine.

    Let me say this - graphics are important. Of course gameplay is more important, but there's no reason that we can't have both. I want a system that can push an HDTV. I want a system that can push loads of special effects and maintain a constant 60fps. I want more realistic characters, larger environments, and smarter AI.

    The Gamecube is a fine system. I one one myself. When the Revolution ships, I'll probably get one - I like the idea of playing 20 years of games on a system. I think that the controller will be cool, and while I'm not sure if it will be practical, I'm willing to bet taht the Big-N will come up with some cool applications. But I do not for a second believe that the Revolution is a replacement for the XBOX 360 or the PS3. I'm glad that Microsoft and Sony are pushing graphics forward. And I'm disappointed that Nintendo isn't doing the same. Having an affordable system is important, but why is the Revolution limited to 83MB of memory? How much does 256M of DRAM really cost? And why can't it output at least 480p? Even my Gamecube could output 480p.

    It's looking more and more like the Revolution is just an updated Gamecube. But by the time the Revolution ships, the 'Cube will be more than 5 years old. Can't Nintendo do a little better?
    • Re:Funny, isn't it? (Score:3, Informative)

      by NekoXP (67564)
      It will output 480p according to Nintendo.

      But 480p isn't dual 1080p at 120Hz like the PS3 can do, so it must be complete shit!!!!1

      I have an HDTV and seriously just having the big screen and the higher dot pitch makes
      it worthwhile playing PS2 and Gamecube games compared to a standard TV. The better color
      definition from the component output gives a new lease of life to Metroid Prime, and even We 3 Katamari.

      People forget that most people are running the older consoles through Composite or S-Video to their TV a
    • Re:Funny, isn't it? (Score:3, Informative)

      by not-admin (943926)
      why is the Revolution limited to 83MB of memory? How much does 256M of DRAM really cost?

      You have to remember, this is 1T-SRAM.
      A.K.A. Static RAM.
      Which is faster than DRAM.
  • by otterpop378 (254386) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @05:04AM (#15024732)
    A few reasons why I don't give a crap about the specs:
    Pikmin
    Monkey Ball
    Legend of Zelda
    Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

    Just because the graphics aren't the most optomized to play the latest disposable first-person-shooter, doesn't mean it's inferior.
  • Developers? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Britz (170620) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:18AM (#15025088) Homepage
    Are we on Slashdot or what?

    Why is no one talking about developement tools for the Revolution, or for any of the other consoles for that matter? I heard that it was/is very difficult to develope for the PS2 for example. That (among licensing issues) forced out smaller developers. Maybe Revolution will have a very good, fast and easy developement platform and we will see many inovative titles from independent shops? Or they took a turn at Sony, or Microsoft ported Visual Basic?

    Anyone got a clue? I clicked on comments to get some.

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