Next-Gen Games Likely To Have Current Gen Frame Rate

Giant Bombcast Animated : My Farm

UPDATE: After reading your responses, it occurs to me that I failed to define "current generation frame rate." In general, PS3 and Xbox 360 games run in the neighbourhood of 30 fps. There are a handful of exceptions such as Rage, MW and many racing games. As a rule, games where the player is engaged in a high average speed are candidates for fluid 60 fps target. This article is in response to the notion that we can expect fluid frame rates across the board on the next generation of consoles.

With next-gen consoles on the horizon, expectations are starting to solidify. On more than one occasion the Giantbomb crew has suggested that these future consoles should guarantee 60 fps. Given that the theme of the last gen was the guarantee of HD, the guarantee of 60 fps would be a good marketing theme for the next-gen, at least to the core demographic. However, even without specs to go on, I sincerely doubt that this will become a priority.

It can be assumed that the next-generation hardware is several times more powerful than the current hardware on the market. Assuming also, for discussion purposes, that all game programming is completely parallelizable, we can claim that targeting twice as many frames would be an easy advantage of this speedup. We’ll even have cycles left over to do additional visual treatments and more complex physics simulations.

That’s not how its going to pan out for two reasons: Greed and budget. By greed, I mean that developers will fill that extra time with more expensive techniques and additional features which will have a larger impact on the wow-factor. By budget, I mean that code optimization doesn’t come cheap; it takes a significant man-hours to achieve. If the target machine is twice as fast as the previous target, I don’t need to budget the time to find an optimization which will half the execution time. Better hardware could actually lead to lower-budget games, since the time needed to achieve a real-time frame rate will have decreased significantly. The main issue is that a game’s performance is only as good as what the project dedicates, and overall high/consistent frame rates are not in high demand from the general public. As Mike Acton, Engine Director for Insomniac Games, pointed out in a blog post two years ago, 60 fps is not a major selling point [http://goo.gl/aeyFb]. I believe this fact will not change, regardless of hardware improvements. Certainly there will be exceptions, but I wouldn't bet on 60 fps becoming a standard anytime soon.

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Posted by Lokno
Giant Bombcast Animated : My Farm

UPDATE: After reading your responses, it occurs to me that I failed to define "current generation frame rate." In general, PS3 and Xbox 360 games run in the neighbourhood of 30 fps. There are a handful of exceptions such as Rage, MW and many racing games. As a rule, games where the player is engaged in a high average speed are candidates for fluid 60 fps target. This article is in response to the notion that we can expect fluid frame rates across the board on the next generation of consoles.

With next-gen consoles on the horizon, expectations are starting to solidify. On more than one occasion the Giantbomb crew has suggested that these future consoles should guarantee 60 fps. Given that the theme of the last gen was the guarantee of HD, the guarantee of 60 fps would be a good marketing theme for the next-gen, at least to the core demographic. However, even without specs to go on, I sincerely doubt that this will become a priority.

It can be assumed that the next-generation hardware is several times more powerful than the current hardware on the market. Assuming also, for discussion purposes, that all game programming is completely parallelizable, we can claim that targeting twice as many frames would be an easy advantage of this speedup. We’ll even have cycles left over to do additional visual treatments and more complex physics simulations.

That’s not how its going to pan out for two reasons: Greed and budget. By greed, I mean that developers will fill that extra time with more expensive techniques and additional features which will have a larger impact on the wow-factor. By budget, I mean that code optimization doesn’t come cheap; it takes a significant man-hours to achieve. If the target machine is twice as fast as the previous target, I don’t need to budget the time to find an optimization which will half the execution time. Better hardware could actually lead to lower-budget games, since the time needed to achieve a real-time frame rate will have decreased significantly. The main issue is that a game’s performance is only as good as what the project dedicates, and overall high/consistent frame rates are not in high demand from the general public. As Mike Acton, Engine Director for Insomniac Games, pointed out in a blog post two years ago, 60 fps is not a major selling point [http://goo.gl/aeyFb]. I believe this fact will not change, regardless of hardware improvements. Certainly there will be exceptions, but I wouldn't bet on 60 fps becoming a standard anytime soon.

Posted by benpicko

I think that if they guaranteed 1080p 60 fps on every single game on next gen systems, the step up of graphical quality wouldn't be as significant as people are expecting, as the best looking games this gen are only 720p 30fps.

Posted by Guided_By_Tigers

Maybe worse.

Posted by Claude

I'm good with a solid 30 if it needs it. I just want better A.I. and shit.

Edited by Oddface

It should be up to the developer because not all games benefit from 60 frames. Look at something like Heavy Rain. Would you want detail removed from those beautiful locales and character models just to make the game fulfill some arbitrary requirement that doesn't improve the game at all?

Edited by Kosayn

I started to appreciate frame rate from emulators. The early console emulators struggled around 15-20 FPS on first generation Pentiums. It was playable, but noticeable. Often you'd have to resort to frame skipping. Less than 10 FPS was a slideshow.

I don't think most gamers know what 30 FPS is, or can recognize it at a glance. Especially those whose vision is less than perfect. It took me quite a while to form an opinion that the framerate of Mass Effect 2 on a console was a shortcoming, but I knew right away that I was playing in a lower resolution and without a mouse and keyboard.

Couch-friendly mousing is the real problem the consoles need to solve, IMO. Motion controllers just aren't cutting it. Tablet controllers might, though I still think touch gaming is working best when the primary display is the touch screen. And I'm not touching my TV.

Posted by ADAMWD

@Claude: A.I. won't benefit much from improved hardware. A lot of that just comes from good programming and intelligent algorithms.

Edited by Claude
@ADAMWD said:

@Claude: A.I. won't benefit much from improved hardware. A lot of that just comes from good programming and intelligent algorithms.

Well that sucks. Most go with the more cost effective, that means A.I. is out.
Posted by JasonR86

I just want a consistent frame rate.

Posted by Vexxan

60 fps feels almost mandatory, what else would they improve? Telling people "It has more RAM and a better CPU" etc. won't cut it, people will want to put a number on things and going from 30 to 60 fps sounds like a great selling point.

Posted by w00ties

@Claude: Aren't they striving to be more cost effective?

Overall the frame rate doesn't bother me as long as it's consistent, though I suppose that's said within reason. After all, I don't want to watch a slide show. Whether a game is 30 or 60 fps doesn't really matter, as long as it runs smoothly and doesn't constantly hang or hiccup because of hardware restrictions. Lets just avoid a recurring drop from 30 to 12 and back.

Posted by kingzetta

then don't bother

Posted by Dany

I'd say it is extremely early when all we are dealing with are rumored specs of consoles. I'd hope that 60fps is standard.

Edited by Claude
@w00ties: Whoops, I did fuck that up. *more.
Posted by SexualBubblegumX

Games being prettyful is nice, but them being fun might matter more to most gamers though.

Posted by Brendan

I agree with the notion that due to consumer expectations, next gen games won`t be locked at 60 fps. Consistent 1080p, maybe, but the graphical update won`t be enough of a selling point to the larger consumer base if every game is forced to run so smoothly. Oh well.

Posted by AnimalFather

isnt all MW games 60fps?

Posted by MrRoboto

The first games on next gen consoles will likely just be ports of games on current gen consoles. Expect good frame-rates and resolutions, but current polygon counts, texture resolution etc.

Over time this will shift to lower frame-rates and higher polygon counts as game companies have to "wow" us with screen-shots.

Posted by Brodehouse

I don't even need them to have higher poly counts, I just want clean textures and 60 frames.

Online
Posted by phish09

Who cares? So long as the games continue to be fun, that should please the core market. The only people who concern themselves with fps or polygon counts or whatever are people who don't know how to truly enjoy games.

Edited by Maelstrom

@phish09 said:

Who cares? So long as the games continue to be fun, that should please the core market. The only people who concern themselves with fps or polygon counts or whatever are people who don't know how to truly enjoy games.

Spoken like someone who hasn't experienced the awfulness of the PS3 version of Skyrim. I'm lucky to be getting double digit framerates after an hour or so of playtime. You say I "don't

know how to truly enjoy games" but I counter that with "your standards are way, way too low".

Posted by selbie

Games will only remain at 60FPS if the console manufacturer demands it as a requirement. Developers will always try to push the console's limits to get maximum bang for buck.

Posted by AlexW00d

@AnimalFather said:

isnt all MW games 60fps?

Yes and they also look like shite, so it's not really much to go by.

Edited by MrKlorox

You're right. We swallowed 15 and lower FPS for so long, they're going to get away with it without the bat of an eye (wouldn't miss any frames during a blink at that sludgy rate).

Edited by ProfessorEss

Pretty big blanket being thrown with that statement.

Like every generation different developers will focus on different things and create games that cover the entire spectrum of quality.

And hey, who knows maybe over the next few years awareness of frame-rates will grow to the point that it does become a high-level marketing bullet point.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

If the choice is between 60fps and fewer explosions and 30 fps and more explosions, I will take 30 fps and more explosions EVERY TIME. All I care about is if the framerate is solid (and obviously high enough that the game isn't a slideshow).

Posted by Starfishhunter9

If you want framerates go pc. As the console ages and the graphics try to keep up the frame rates will be locked in the lowest acceptable 30 fps.

Posted by MikkaQ

I don't think they will spend any more development time and money that they need to add extra effects or nicer assets when they could just lock the game at 60 and have it look really good through that process. It's easier and cheaper, and in the world of expensive HD asset creation, they'll embrace the hell out of it.

Posted by JauntyHat

It all just depends on the studio I guess. And at first I wouldn't be surprised if the first few rounds of games did have some "shoddy" FPS issues in them.

Posted by AnimalFather

@AlexW00d said:

@AnimalFather said:

isnt all MW games 60fps?

Yes and they also look like shite, so it's not really much to go by.

i disagree i think they look really good especially the last one.

Posted by Makoto_Mizuhara_Sakamoto

@benpicko said:

I think that if they guaranteed 1080p 60 fps on every single game on next gen systems, the step up of graphical quality wouldn't be as significant as people are expecting, as the best looking games this gen are only 720p 30fps.

Personally, I think all the game of this current generation were upstaged by the graphical capabilities of Gran Turismo 4 on the PS2 w/ its 1080i output (one of only 2 games on the PS2 capable of that, the other being Tourist Trophy).

Posted by Ravenlight

What does "current-gen framerate" mean? <60 FPS?

Seems like a pretty inexact term to use but I understand the sentiment you're expressing.

I'd like to see next-gen consoles be more comparable with current PC hardware in the hope that PC ports of console games will be less shit overall. I'm looking at you, Ubisoft. Assmunchers.

Posted by MideonNViscera

Apparently MK7 runs at 60fps. Know how I know? I read it. I sure as fuck didn't notice it. Why would they increase framerate? It's hard as hell to show that off anyway, and like .01% of gamers actually give a shit.

Posted by countinhallways

While I would love to see 60FPS as standard I am not all that bothered as long as the frame-rate is consistent. 30FPS is fine for plenty of games, but dropped frames do my head in. As does the awful motion blur put in place to try to hide this fact.

I am looking at you Fable games on the 360. Unplayable for me because of the awful blurry, inconsistent visuals.

Posted by MideonNViscera

@Maelstrom said:

@phish09 said:

Who cares? So long as the games continue to be fun, that should please the core market. The only people who concern themselves with fps or polygon counts or whatever are people who don't know how to truly enjoy games.

Spoken like someone who hasn't experienced the awfulness of the PS3 version of Skyrim. I'm lucky to be getting double digit framerates after an hour or so of playtime. You say I "don't

know how to truly enjoy games" but I counter that with "your standards are way, way too low".

Dude, that game is broken. Of course it's shitty. Do you have any examples of games you can't enjoy that are actually working properly?

Posted by Afroman269

No way 60 fps will become standard. If you want better framerates go play on PC.

Posted by Tebbit

Guys, most Wii games run at 60 frames per second.

Eventually consoles will have no problem rendering 1080p at 60 fps, but not next generation. No Way. It's too big a step. The Wii manages 60 easily and regularly because it only has to output at 480p. If the PS3 and 360 were locked at 480p -the same resolution the PS1 output at - I guarantee most of their games would be at 60 (or hell, 120) too.

Edited by Sooty

@MideonNViscera said:

Apparently MK7 runs at 60fps. Know how I know? I read it. I sure as fuck didn't notice it. Why would they increase framerate? It's hard as hell to show that off anyway, and like .01% of gamers actually give a shit.

The difference between 30 and 60 FPS is night and day. I have no idea how somebody can not notice the difference.

Play MW2 then play Bad Company 2, if you don't notice the increased framerate and smoothness on MW2 then it's probably time for glasses.

Posted by AlexW00d

@AnimalFather said:

@AlexW00d said:

@AnimalFather said:

isnt all MW games 60fps?

Yes and they also look like shite, so it's not really much to go by.

i disagree i think they look really good especially the last one.

No, it looks shitty. The engine it runs on is basic as shit (being a 10 year old engine) and it doesn't push the consoles at all graphically, hence the 60fps.

Posted by Makoto_Mizuhara_Sakamoto

@rebgav said:

@MideonNViscera said:

@Maelstrom said:

@phish09 said:

Who cares? So long as the games continue to be fun, that should please the core market. The only people who concern themselves with fps or polygon counts or whatever are people who don't know how to truly enjoy games.

Spoken like someone who hasn't experienced the awfulness of the PS3 version of Skyrim. I'm lucky to be getting double digit framerates after an hour or so of playtime. You say I "don't

know how to truly enjoy games" but I counter that with "your standards are way, way too low".

Dude, that game is broken. Of course it's shitty. Do you have any examples of games you can't enjoy that are actually working properly?

The original Shadow of the Colossus, Dark Souls, PS3 Bayonetta, and GTA4 are just a small example of games which are "working" but much less enjoyable due to inconsistent or low framerates.

To counter all that (and as an unintentional nod to Sony), here's an interesting link I came across.

Edited by MideonNViscera

@Sooty said:

@MideonNViscera said:

Apparently MK7 runs at 60fps. Know how I know? I read it. I sure as fuck didn't notice it. Why would they increase framerate? It's hard as hell to show that off anyway, and like .01% of gamers actually give a shit.

The difference between 30 and 60 FPS is night and day. I have no idea how somebody can not notice the difference.

Play MW2 then play Bad Company 2, if you don't notice the increased framerate and smoothness on MW2 then it's probably time for glasses.

haha You could put 100 gamers in front of 200 TVs with MW and BF on them and give them 20 hours to pick out every difference between the 2 games they can find, and FPS wouldn't come up once. You forget, people in real life aren't nearly as anal and obsessed as people on boards are.

EDIT: There were framerate issues with GTA4? Surprise surprise, nobody I know noticed! haha

Posted by wickedsc3

Doubt it, developers will continue to push the limits with there game graphically, because you know everyone loves to say a game has the best graphics and in order to get that they are going to have to drop to 30 fps. Its a never ending cycle so the only way you are going to see 60 fps is if a dev makes the commitment like the COD franchise did and decides that fps is more important than graphics.

Posted by Vonocourt

@MideonNViscera said:

EDIT: There were framerate issues with GTA4? Surprise surprise, nobody I know noticed! haha

Anecdotal evidence trumps all.

Posted by AhmadMetallic
@Claude said:
I'm good with a solid 30 if it needs it. I just want better A.I. and shit.
lol
Posted by Claude
@AhmadMetallic said:
@Claude said:
I'm good with a solid 30 if it needs it. I just want better A.I. and shit.
lol
Are you laughing at me?
Posted by AhmadMetallic
@Claude said:
@AhmadMetallic said:
@Claude said:
I'm good with a solid 30 if it needs it. I just want better A.I. and shit.
lol
Are you laughing at me?
No I'm amused by your post. 
 
I would never laugh at you, Claude!
Posted by Haoshiro

It's just a matter of time, really, initially new hardware is just that, "new", and less optimized code is likely to make its way into launch titles, etc.

But with the advances in tech already made the next generation should start with more mature game libraries/engines and achieving better frame rates at 1080p will be less expensive then to push the graphical effects enough to cause a serious dive in performance.

That said, the tradeoff of framerate vs visual effects will always exist, mitigated only by perception (how noticeable the the improvements are). Will the game look 2X as good as current gen @60fps, or 4X @30fps.

Will platform holders force >30fps though? IMHO, nope.

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