The Last of Us "Squeezes Every Last Drop of Power" From PS3

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The Last of Us "Squeezes Every Last Drop of Power" From PS3

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Naughty Dog claims to have maxed out the PlayStation 3.

As we approach what could be our first glimpse at Sony's next system, PlayStation 3 developers should know the middle-aged console pretty well by now. Naughty Dog is one of those developers and in a recent interview, The Last of Us Lead Designer Jacob Minkoff claims that not only does his team know the console inside and out, they've officially maxed out its available power.

"I think Uncharted 1 used maybe 30 percent efficiency. Uncharted 2 we were finally using 100 percent, but it wasn't as efficient as it could be. Then, Uncharted 3 we got way more efficient," Minkoff explains. "With The Last of Us, we are as efficient as we can possibly be. It's just squeezing every last drop of power out of the system. And it's a system we know really, really well. We know its constraints, so we can push it to the edges and play it really fast and loose because we know what the system can handle."

Now, being the seasoned developer that Naughty Dog is, we'd never expect the company to boast about anything other than having a perfect handle on its hot new title. You'll never hear a project lead claim that their newest, unreleased work is 97% as good as it could be, and as new engines are built, new things are always possible.

Still, it's interesting to hear how the experience of creating a trio of high-profile titles has honed the team's skills, and if The Last of Us is indeed more technically impressive than the latest Uncharted effort, it'll certainly be a sight to behold.

Source: GameZone

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The system is not middle aged. It is old. It is still pretty damn good, (so is the gamecube)but when you've over stayed your welcome by about a year, you are not middle aged. It was middle aged about 2.5 years ago. It hit its stride around 2010.

It is still very good, but you look at what can be done on a good PC, and you see that, even with every last bit of power, it is hard to believe graphics on this system are going to impress.

I think the game will still look fine and likely be excellent. But this isn't the kind of announcement that makes me go, "Oh! I must have this!" I'll wait for critics to tell me it is a one of a kind gaming experience. I'll leave the eye candy to a PS4.

Apart from the seriously dodgy maths going on there, Uncharted 1 looked stunning and they said they would do better in Uncharted 2 and it was another level up. And then Uncharted 3 stepped it up again. And the trailer for this looked really good so that seems to be a pretty good claim

I hope they put half as much effort into making Ellie a compelling character.

Hmm...

I'm now really curious to know what they mean by that, and now I'm really excited about this game.

I like Naughty Dog so I have no doubt in my mind that this game will be great.

Let's hope that most of this juice was spent creating an highly interactive gameworld, instead of the usual scripted spectacle ride.

Heh, kinda reminds me of an interview that Naughty Dog had with some magazine, claiming that Crash Bandicoot 3 had almost doubled the polygon count compared to the first one and that Jak & Daxter had quadrupled that polygon count of CB3. I'd may exaggerate a bit, but it was in that context.

It only shows that Naughty Dog really knows what they're doing, seriously, I respect a lot what they're capable of doing, even rivalizing what's currently capable with PC gaming and that's with an 7 years old console.

Meh. Mike Singleton truly maxed out the ZX Spectrum for Lords Of Midnight nearly thirty years ago, and that was to create an immersive game world. Allegedly maxing out a PS3 to get slightly more realistic facial textures isn't the wow it used to be.

MikeWehner:
Naughty Dog claims to have maxed out the PlayStation 3.

I read that as:
Naughty Dog will release a game with slowdown and framerate issues.

Too bad it doesn't squeeze even a drop of creativity out of Naughty Dog! Oh boy, more thirty-something white dudes shooting zombies! AWESOME! Oh but let's try to tell a story too, because they're just so good at that. Just ask all those random fucking pirates in Uncharted 3.

SupahGamuh:
I respect a lot what they're capable of doing, even rivalizing what's currently capable with PC gaming and that's with an 7 years old console.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

mjc0961:
Too bad it doesn't squeeze even a drop of creativity out of Naughty Dog! Oh boy, more thirty-something white dudes shooting zombies! AWESOME! Oh but let's try to tell a story too, because they're just so good at that. Just ask all those random fucking pirates in Uncharted 3.

SupahGamuh:
I respect a lot what they're capable of doing, even rivalizing what's currently capable with PC gaming and that's with an 7 years old console.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Hater's gonna hate.

OT: Wow, they maxed out the ps3 with uncharted 3, and now they're doing it again! Can't wait, gotta love everything Naughty Dog gets up to. They make some fantastic games.

imagine what they could do if it was on PC and they wouldn't have to inject the hardware cocain and redbull...slap it on the ass and say "RUN! run old man! or I'll blow your head off with a shotgun!"

was that elitist?...I dont know

mjc0961:
Too bad it doesn't squeeze even a drop of creativity out of Naughty Dog! Oh boy, more thirty-something white dudes shooting zombies! AWESOME!

come on..lets be fair, its called "marketability" plus theres a girl in it....you dont play as the girl but we gotta take what we can get right!?

Oh but let's try to tell a story too, because they're just so good at that. Just ask all those random fucking pirates in Uncharted 3.

lack of nathan drake improves their prospects in that area, I'd say trying for an emotionally compelling story is always a good thing

You mean like how Halo 4 pushed the 360 to it's limits? Sounds interesting.

They said the same thing about Uncharted 1. And Uncharted 2. And Uncharted 3.

Not say that's a bad thing, in fact it makes sense. The longer you develop for a console, the more you learn about its ins-and-outs and the more you can do.

This is just more nonsensical marketing talk, playing off of nonsense about untapped power that was sold hard to people earlier in the generation. There's no meaningful way to measure "100% efficiency" in graphics. Even if every clock cycle is being used, the difference between a game that's clever about where it's compromising and where it's spending its resources and one that isn't is huge. It's as much an art as it is a science, and you can't be very objectively precise when talking about how efficient "art" is.

From a purely technical perspective, I can't see any improvement between the screenshots for this game and the last one. Hell, Far Cry 3 looks better and that's a multi-platform game.

FallenTraveler:

mjc0961:
Too bad it doesn't squeeze even a drop of creativity out of Naughty Dog! Oh boy, more thirty-something white dudes shooting zombies! AWESOME! Oh but let's try to tell a story too, because they're just so good at that. Just ask all those random fucking pirates in Uncharted 3.

SupahGamuh:
I respect a lot what they're capable of doing, even rivalizing what's currently capable with PC gaming and that's with an 7 years old console.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Hater's gonna hate.

The average to low end pcs of today bend this 7 year old system over its knee and give it a spanking. Don't be ignorant.

Unfortunately these ancient systems have been holding back gaming from truly advancing its graphics to the point where PCS are pushed to their limits.

Let's just hope they use most of this "power maximization" to make an engrossing world with a good story and interesting characters... oh wait this is Naughty Dog.

._____.

Well... at least it'll look nice and play a'ight.

/cue the chorus of "we needed a new generation 6 years ag.... oh wait... too late. Sorry.

Heres the thing. Development wise... THIS is the point where developers LEARN. If you have pushed a system to its conceivable limits, you then have to come up with innovation that allows you to work around those limitations in hardware. Thats where true innovation will originate.

Dont get me wrong, I am no longer supporting the side of holding off on a new generation. By the time it hits US shelves it will be DUE. Not long overdue, not incredibly early. DUE.

But yanno, at least as far as Sony goes with how they treat their customers, simply having another Sony console will be one that is too soon for such a repugnant repository of self righteous rejects.

PS3 is only about 7 years old, its meant to last atleast 10 going by Sonys failed boast about it life cycle. I think the 360 is around 8 or 9 years old.

This game looks interesting though, although im betting it will be released on the PS4. Actually i think a few PS3 games will be moved onto the PS4 to make their day one lineup awesome.

viranimus:
Heres the thing. Development wise... THIS is the point where developers LEARN. If you have pushed a system to its conceivable limits, you then have to come up with innovation that allows you to work around those limitations in hardware. Thats where true innovation will originate.

You don't really work around hardware limitations. They're hard caps; you can't get around them without new hardware.
What you CAN do is use 'tricks' to lower the hardware power necessary to render shit by not actually rendering the real thing. Such as not rendering off-screen objects more aggressively and avoid reflective surfaces, cleverly replacing objects with very low poly count LOD models, or even 2D sprites, and vice versa, cutting shaders and relying on clever lighting and texture work to hide it, etc. What they mean is that they've mastered using all these tricks to the utmost. There's nothing else they can do to make it look any better.

MikeWehner:
Naughty Dog claims to have maxed out the PlayStation 3.

Really? Wake me when they come close to remotely disturbing my PC. Using tricks to not render textures (which is all this is) isn't a good thing, it's a sign of how long this console generation has dragged on to the detriment of everyone.

You seem to misunderstand. All of those things you suggested, 2d sprites, Low poly , lighting hiding, ect were all developed as trickery to work around such limitations, and those innovations came from the desire to work around hardware limits in the past. By trying to use horsepower to jump to new capacity, they are not being forced to come up with new and similarly innovative techniques. That is the entire point.

As you put it, they have mastered all THESE tricks. Now is the time to learn new ones. By rushing forward they wont. Its sort of like the vehicle horespower wars. Increasing the engine horsepower is all well and good but does not mean a thing if you can push it to 200 mphs if you can only travel in a straight line because of lack of attention for other factors like banking, breaking, shimmy, and other things related to stabilization that allow that horsepower to be usable.

FallenTraveler:
Hater's gonna hate.

Its true though. Those graphics are nowhere near rivalling today's PC graphic greats, which don't use 100% of a PCs rendering power nor use the shortcuts this will use to stop it from having to work too hard to render things, which does come at the cost of worse looks as well, though they are somewhat covered for by having corridors with corners so you can't see far away and other such tricks that hide the effects of the losses.
The game doesn't even look to be at the Crysis 1 level IMO, which is 5 years old, with better looking games existing these days. Additionally, it'll render at less than 1/4 of the resolution that a lot of PC games these days render at - 2560*1440 or 2560*1600, as opposed to the sub 720p [Generally 708p or so] this'll likely be rendering at.

It looks good for a console game, but its nowhere near PC level graphics of this day, let alone rivalling them. The fact that this is supposedly all the PS3 can handle indicates it really is a time for an upgrade, if for no other reason than so that developers don't have to work so hard to get a playable framerate with semi-modern graphics. I swear that's where a lot of the graphics budget for these games goes, and a lot of the work.

Graphics graphics graphics. I want less rooms and corridors please, no loading screens and no texture pop up... Ah actually I have a PC so those things are possible, I just want better designed games to play on it. I still have BF3 and Planetside 2 for multi, Civ and Xcom for turn based and Indies for atmosphere I guess. I just wish the consoles would catch up. It isn't about graphics it is the obsession with getting great graphics on mediocre hardware that restricts game design.

Well, at this point PS3 is already an old console but I have to say yes - some games, Uncharted 2, God of War 3 - this is pretty comparable with today's PC quality graphics. Aside from the fact that it's 720p - it's a very, very impressive thing.
Also, anyone who knows Sony well will know that they release great stuff on old console to boost sales near the end. Like God of War 1-2 on PS2. Right now every sold PS3 is a profit for Sony and they will take advantage of that.
@Joccaren Ahem, sorry but I have Crysis on PC (and actually on PS3, although right now I've deleted them both). It has amazing textures, but a lot of models are really, really low-polygon. Chickens, turtles, misc objects, even Korean soldiers in places are pretty ugly. Even Uncharted 2 uses way better models. Although, of course, this is achieved by Uncharted 2 using a ton of LOD models, but it's the end result is what counts.

viranimus:
/cue the chorus of "we needed a new generation 6 years ag.... oh wait... too late. Sorry.

Heres the thing. Development wise... THIS is the point where developers LEARN. If you have pushed a system to its conceivable limits, you then have to come up with innovation that allows you to work around those limitations in hardware. Thats where true innovation will originate.

Dont get me wrong, I am no longer supporting the side of holding off on a new generation. By the time it hits US shelves it will be DUE. Not long overdue, not incredibly early. DUE.

But yanno, at least as far as Sony goes with how they treat their customers, simply having another Sony console will be one that is too soon for such a repugnant repository of self righteous rejects.

you dont need limitations for innovation. unless you call mario number 28 innovation. the new generation of consoles are LONG overdue, they were LONG overdue 2 years ago. it is amazing that people still make games for them. would you code a game for 2000s PC?

octafish:
Graphics graphics graphics. I want less rooms and corridors please, no loading screens and no texture pop up... Ah actually I have a PC so those things are possible, I just want better designed games to play on it. I still have BF3 and Planetside 2 for multi, Civ and Xcom for turn based and Indies for atmosphere I guess. I just wish the consoles would catch up. It isn't about graphics it is the obsession with getting great graphics on mediocre hardware that restricts game design.

thats the thing - its impossible on PS3. its too weak. you can only have big open spaces with A LOT of ram and powerful GPU. PS3 fails at both (it has good CPU but thats it and games have long since moved to GPU instead of CPU, bastards, sicne i got better CPU than GPU as well). i talked with some peopel developing games for PS3 and they said they cant do around 75% of what they wanted with the game enviroment simply because PS3 cant handle the ram.
PC can do all that and be easily upgradable, and therefore it will always stay ahead.

viranimus:
You seem to misunderstand. All of those things you suggested, 2d sprites, Low poly , lighting hiding, ect were all developed as trickery to work around such limitations, and those innovations came from the desire to work around hardware limits in the past. By trying to use horsepower to jump to new capacity, they are not being forced to come up with new and similarly innovative techniques. That is the entire point.

As you put it, they have mastered all THESE tricks. Now is the time to learn new ones. By rushing forward they wont. Its sort of like the vehicle horespower wars. Increasing the engine horsepower is all well and good but does not mean a thing if you can push it to 200 mphs if you can only travel in a straight line because of lack of attention for other factors like banking, breaking, shimmy, and other things related to stabilization that allow that horsepower to be usable.

they mastered all these tricks, tricks that shoulnt be needed in the first place if the console could run things properly.... we dont need them inventing new tricks, we need them making better games. whne you have 1 year to develop a game and isntead of developing it half the time you spend trying to find ways to render less on screen your doing it wrong.
and it does not matter what kind of breaks or other parts of car you have if your engine is a prius. you still wont move fast enough.

@ shunning the "tricks" ^

does it really matter what they do if the end result is good? if anything, i want developers to be able to utilize every bit of power efficiently. i feel like they've been relying too much on the hardware and as a result the bloating has sucked up resources and doesn't deliver. if you can make something look good on a toothpick budget, then your game is way ahead in terms of design compared to everybody else. if you're like skyrim, and throw money at voice acting and forests but have to trade it for the depth and charm of some of the earlier games because there's not enough time to finish it (except for the face modeling, for the love of the nines do whatever you must to make them bearable), then the game ends up that much poorer for it.

So...

It Uncharted 1 was at 30% efficiency, nr 2 was at 100% but not as efficient as it could be (wait, what?)... and Uncharted 3 was much more efficient than that?...

So it's higher than 100%?

...that's pretty efficient ;)

MikeWehner:
"I think Uncharted 1 used maybe 30 percent efficiency. Uncharted 2 we were finally using 100 percent, but it wasn't as efficient as it could be. Then, Uncharted 3 we got way more efficient," Minkoff explains.

Look. I'm excited for The Last of Us, especially when they said they weren't going to decrease to violence in response to media backlash, but this quote warrants the following;

This is one of those days where I wish PC only gamers didn't react so badly to trigger words and instead put their effort into I don't know help NASA and other technologies with their advancements into "pushing them to their limits"?.

I don't even own a PS3 any more and I'm happy for Sony doing this and hope my friends enjoy this game.

Casual Shinji:
Let's hope that most of this juice was spent creating an highly interactive gameworld, instead of the usual scripted spectacle ride.

with the capacity of the ps3? and with "up to date" standards?

i think not.

erttheking:
You mean like how Halo 4 pushed the 360 to it's limits? Sounds interesting.

I'll concede, that was the best looking console game I ever saw, but it cheated. I only saw it, did not play it, but I understand backgrounds were static, as was the weather. It was like having great looking characters walk through a painted stage background.

I doubt this title will be the same.

Gorfias:

erttheking:
You mean like how Halo 4 pushed the 360 to it's limits? Sounds interesting.

I'll concede, that was the best looking console game I ever saw, but it cheated. I only saw it, did not play it, but I understand backgrounds were static, as was the weather. It was like having great looking characters walk through a painted stage background.

I doubt this title will be the same.

Only the backgrounds in the extreme distance, to the point where they would look static even if they were actually being rendered at that distance. There's plenty of real geometry being rendered, to the point where most game's real geometry could comfortably fit inside of it.

Also, the game actually makes backgrounds look *distant*, which is not something most games really do a good job of.

MikeWehner:
"I think Uncharted 1 used maybe 30 percent efficiency. Uncharted 2 we were finally using 100 percent, but it wasn't as efficient as it could be. Then, Uncharted 3 we got way more efficient,"

I don't think they've quite grasped what "100%" means.

It'd be nice if we could get a console related thread that didn't have PC fans coming along harping on about how their PC's were doing such and such X number of years ago....

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