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Blu-ray or bust says Killzone producer

Killzone 2 producer Steven Ter Heide and Guerrilla Games managing director Herman Hulst would be out of jobs if it weren't for the PS3 and Blu-ray. In an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine UK, Heide and Hulst tag team to deliver major props for their system of choice, all while bashing a certain competing console.

We really need Blu-ray to make the game. I don't know how you could fit it on Xbox 360 without taking some shortcuts", producer Heide explains. And with graphics like those seen in this 25 minute video, there's little doubt that he isn't just speaking the company line.

Continuing on about Killzone 2's Blu-ray dependency, Hulst adds, "
Blu-ray isn't important for watching movies; we need it for making games". Something tells us that a few companies beg to differ.

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. I'm all for blu-ray winning the format war, and for the PS3 winning the console war, but so far the arguments for the merits of blu-ray in games have been weak at best.

One argument that devs keep making for Blu ray being necessary is that "This one level demo we showed at E3 was 3 gigs alone." - like Naughty Dog said of Uncharted. Sure, maybe the entire demo is 3 gigs, but that also includes the engine and sound library, which you only need to have once, so I find it hard to believe that you couldn't fit 10 more levels worth of textures and maps on a 9 gig DVD.

A similar statement was made by Guerrilla, who if I recall correctly stated that the demo they showed clock in at over 10 gigs, so even ONE level wouldn't fit on a DVD. I find this extremely hard to believe, since even if you had the drive spinning at MAX speed on the PS3, taking data off the disc as fast as possible, it'd probably take more than 40 minutes to pull 10 gigs off a BRD. Even with level streaming implemented, there's no way in hell you could "play" through 10 gigs of data in less than an hour. Also, in a game like killzone, it's likely that a HUGE amount of assets like textures, models and sounds in the first level would be re-used in later levels.

Some people argue that having 5.1 surround sound etc takes up a lot of space. It doesn't. You're still using the same mono or stereo samples at the same bitrate. The only thing that changes is that the PS3 has to do some processing to output in 5.1.

Anyone notice how Warhawk would fit on a single layer DVD?

Compression is an amazing thing. Windows XP Pro takes up about 600 megs on a CD. Installed, it extracts to over 2 gigs.

I don't think that Blu-ray will REALLY be necessary for games till developers decide to 1. Never repeat textures and 2. Have 1080p cinematics with uncompressed audio.

Posted at 3:53PM on Sep 4th 2007 by Stef Geiger

2. "there's little doubt that he is(n't) just speaking the company line."*

*Suggested change is dependent on fanboy system affiliations. Your opinions may vary, please see your respective console manufacturer of choice for preferred belief systems.

Posted at 3:56PM on Sep 4th 2007 by mccomber

3. I wish developers would stop the FANBOYISM and develop GREAT games. You can really tell SONY is paying these developers to say what they want to support Blu-Ray. I just want to play the darn game.

Posted at 3:57PM on Sep 4th 2007 by The1

4. OK so how much are they getting paid?

Or are that just that lazy to use some good ole compression?

I mean c'mon Warhawk looks great, & how many MB was the download 725mb or something...

Well hopefully with all that room they can fix the AI!!!

Sometimes you just have to wonder....

Posted at 4:32PM on Sep 4th 2007 by TRUTH

5. @ 1,2,& 3. How did you like buying the HD-Dvd add on for you 360's? Have fun swapping all those discs when you run out of space to store your games on your dvd's.

Posted at 4:46PM on Sep 4th 2007 by SimplyB

6. @2 Oops! Thanks for pointing that out. The gremlins momentarily took over the part of my brain that makes sense of double negatives and other things like that.

Posted at 4:46PM on Sep 4th 2007 by Jedwin Celestino

7. sony is doing what they need to do to ensure blu-ray wins the format war. stop getting so pissed. you are getting larger games due to blu-ray. they may not all be better, but they take up more memory.

Posted at 4:49PM on Sep 4th 2007 by GRANTED

8. I'm not sure if you need Blu-Ray for gameplay, but perhaps for all the extra media they'd like to include (sound and video) and not have to compress the content.

Posted at 5:00PM on Sep 4th 2007 by nick

9. most first party title don't have 5.1 dolby digital tracks they actually have 7.1 PCM uncompressed soundtracks like Resistance. That takes a lot of space...much more than 5.1 dolby digital.

Posted at 5:01PM on Sep 4th 2007 by David

10. Some games have things that do not need to be loaded every time you play. For example you are not going to load 500 cars every time you play Gran Turismo, your only going to load the ones in the race.

Its not just Sony studios that like Blu-Ray.

Posted at 5:16PM on Sep 4th 2007 by Andy

11. Who is this Jedwin Celestino? That is an even weirder name than Jem "Hologram" Alexander!

Posted at 5:21PM on Sep 4th 2007 by upz

12. Who knows if they are using compression or not? Besides, with textures you have to be careful with compression, a lot of the hardware-supported compression formats can have nasty artifacts.

And you really shouldn't make wild guesses about things that can be easily calculated, such as how long it would take to stream 10 GB worth of data. You're guessing 40 minutes to stream 10 GB. The numbers I've found says the ps3 has a 2x BD-ROM drive that can transfer 9MB/s sustained. 9*60 gives us 540 MB per minute of data streaming, so 10 minutes gives us 5,400 MB, then 20 minutes gives us a little over 10 GB. And yes, you can re-use assets all you want, helps make games cheaper. Wouldn't it be nice not to HAVE to? Ratchet and Clank takes place on a bunch of very different looking planets, they can't re-use a lot of assets there.

You should also understand the game engine takes up very little room, it's just executable code. Saying it took up even 50 MB would be outrageously high. Sound data does take up a lot of space though, I think Ninja Theory mentioned they used 10 GB of space for just audio (multiple languages included). I'm sure rpgs would use a ton of audio too, maybe someday we'll have Final Fantasy games with both English and Japanese audio tracks?

Posted at 5:33PM on Sep 4th 2007 by apease

13. As far as read speeds and pace of play are concerned you also need to take into account the fact that the PS3 thoughtfully comes with a built in HDD. So Using the HDD as a buffer read speeds from disk and load time become shorter. If only M$ had thought of this, oh wait, they did but you gotta pony up more cash to do it. That lower X-box price point doesnt mean much when you are going to need to buy 300 bucks worth of extras to play the newer games. But thats just my opinion.

Posted at 6:01PM on Sep 4th 2007 by Aaron

14. I'm sick of people from both sides of the argument talking about how it "could only be done on blu-ray" or "we don't need all that extra space", just make the game and leave the jackass comments to Gabe Newell.

Posted at 6:09PM on Sep 4th 2007 by BlackBeltJones

15. @5: Uh? Hello? The FIRST thing I said was that I support BRD and the PS3. And how many 360 games are there that require disc swapping?

@9: Not really. Yes, the SAMPLES themselves are at a significantly higher bitrate, and thus take up more space, but the number of channels that the game outputs doesn't make any difference. A gunshot sound sample takes up just as much space whether the game outputs in mono or 7.1, assuming the same compression. It's still a mono sound - it's just up to the CPU to determine which channel(s) to output it to.

Posted at 6:16PM on Sep 4th 2007 by Stef Geiger

16. @13: Try installing a game like Virtua Fighter. I believe it's a two gig install. I think it's safe to say that if you're EVER going to see the PS3's drive work it's fastest, it would be while installing. As I recall, it took at least ten minutes to copy two gigs onto the HDD. And that's with the disc spinning at full speed. In a game you'd never keep the disc spinning at full 2x, so you'd have to factor in spin-up time.

And check out that 25 minute Killzone 2 demo - they even say that there's no streaming implemented yet, so every so often it pauses to load, and the pauses are like 4 seconds long. There were probably around... five four second pauses during the demo. How much data do you really think could have been streamed in that time?

Posted at 6:22PM on Sep 4th 2007 by Stef Geiger

17. Yeah thats what I have been waiting for bigger crappier games on a blu-ray disc. I think they should just shut up and make the damn game then talk after it sells.

Posted at 6:56PM on Sep 4th 2007 by Shin Zearim

18. they can decompress that much on the 360 because of the lack of a guaranteed hard drive. with the ps3 it doesnt even matter because you could always expand the game on the hd

Posted at 8:00PM on Sep 4th 2007 by Anthony Pittarelli

19. Why are you still using a screenshot from the pre-rendered video? The game doesn't look like that(at least at this point).

Posted at 1:36AM on Sep 5th 2007 by Spartan 1308

20. @Stef Geiger

First you need to understand what true 5.1/6.1/7.1 sound channeling is. It isn't just mono/stereo.

First of all you can never upvert mono to stereo and you can never upvert stereo to surround sound. You can play mono over a stereo feed and stereo over a surround feed.

What surround sound is (5.1/6.1/7.1) is the number of channels + the bass.
So a true 5.1 uses five channels of audio and one bass. That isn't stereo, two channels with the bass tagged on. If you aren't hooking up your speakers through more than one wire you don't have a true surround (this excludes digital hook ups).

So having 5+ channels eats up space. Video games use a different method of using sounds then movies. Where movies use the five channels specifically for different things (such as you looking at a car scene as the car passes from left to right the sound is played on the front-left channel (stops) plays on the center channel (stops) then plays on the front-right channel (stops).

Games use sound points. When the camera/point of view looks at a sound point it channels through different channels (thus in a game with true surround sound, if a person is standing in front of you talking to you as you look at them it will only play on the center speaker, as you turn around in a 360 left to right, the sound will move from speaker ot speaker as the other channels (speakers) pick up ambient sound).

It isn't just mono/stereo. If anything its a sophisticated mono designed to play multiple singlular sounds over various channels per instance.

And as far as the textures go. You need to look at the games closely. Games with high details often have more textures. More textures in turn require more space. Because a level is say 10GB, it doesn't mean that all 10GBs are required upfront. That is why we buffer objects, or as its being called now stream.

In the Killzone 2 demo they said they had the raw data loaded which should have technically eliminated loading/lag but it didn't and that bugged me. Once they implement their "section sizes" and "streaming requirements" you'll come to see that probably 10% of the data per level is ever loaded at a given time.

And if they wanted to have more textures thus eliminate the need to reuse textures (I swear Halo did that waaaaaaaay too much) then they have the option with the extra space.

DVD9 restricts your space so you take "shortcuts" such as reusing textures and sound bytes. More space, more options simple as that. Utilize it or not.

Posted at 1:49AM on Sep 5th 2007 by railven

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