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Default Sacred 2 - Differences between PC and XBox360 versions

March 12th, 2007, 22:10
German print mag Gamestar summarized the new infos on Sacred 2 revealed on Giga TV last Wednesday.
  • The PC version will have a typically complex interface. No dumbed down console controls.
  • Ascaron will modify the interface to fit to the XBox360 controller.
  • Additional MP-modes on the 360: arena fights PvP & PvC.
  • The 360 version may have slightly better graphic effects due to more CPU cores.
More information.
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March 12th, 2007, 22:11
Huzzah!

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March 12th, 2007, 23:07
Yeah, better to reserve the final judgement to when the product is out.
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March 13th, 2007, 02:03
Current high end computers are faster the the Xbox 360 so the last one shouldn't even apply.
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March 13th, 2007, 03:21
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
Current high end computers are faster the the Xbox 360 so the last one shouldn't even apply.
They actually detailed how they would isolate the cores via different threads to make use of them. I'm not sure I see it working as they say, but who knows …

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March 13th, 2007, 11:28
The PC version will have a typically complex interface. No dumbed down console controls.
If only more (or all, actually) developers were thinking in a similar fashion.

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March 13th, 2007, 11:52
Originally Posted by r3dshift View Post
If only more (or all, actually) developers were thinking in a similar fashion.
It seems counter-intuitive to praise 'complex' controls, but look at RTS - they have massive control sets that are part of what make the games great.

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March 13th, 2007, 12:36
It was a free translation. Gamestar said that the inventory of the PC version will remain complex while it will be modified for the console.

They have a follow-up interview today. Franz Stradal (Man.Dir. @Studio II) clarifies that the PC version is developed by Studio II in Aachen (near the French border) while the XBox360 port is being made at the Ascaron HQ in Gütersloh (~230 km to the NW). He is noncommittal on graphics, etc. Of course both versions will look great and they were only talking about average PCs looking worse than the XBox, etc.
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March 13th, 2007, 12:50
Originally Posted by r3dshift View Post
Of course both versions will look great and they were only talking about average PCs looking worse than the XBox, etc.
Ah - so that is like how they said that the XBOX360 version of Oblivion would look better than the PC for a while there.

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March 13th, 2007, 12:52
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
Current high end computers are faster the the Xbox 360 so the last one shouldn't even apply.
The X360 has 3 hyperthreaded cores of approx. 3Ghz each - so you'll need a seriously high-end PC to beat that. Add to that the unified memory architecture of the X360 which helps cut away most of the (very significant!!) overhead that the graphics driver introduces on a PC (especially in Dx9 and on WinXP). If taken to its full potential the X360 is certainly much more powerful than a current PC.
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March 13th, 2007, 12:57
Originally Posted by KasperFauerby View Post
If taken to its full potential the X360 is certainly much more powerful than a current PC.
Then I want an XBOX 360 for my word processing !

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March 13th, 2007, 13:34
Originally Posted by KasperFauerby View Post
The X360 has 3 hyperthreaded cores of approx. 3Ghz each - so you'll need a seriously high-end PC to beat that. Add to that the unified memory architecture of the X360 which helps cut away most of the (very significant!!) overhead that the graphics driver introduces on a PC (especially in Dx9 and on WinXP). If taken to its full potential the X360 is certainly much more powerful than a current PC.
But the developers will need another 2 years until they understand how to unlock the XB360´s full potential - and a year longer for the PS3. Then PCs will have surpassed the current consoles.
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March 13th, 2007, 13:55
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
But the developers will need another 2 years until they understand how to unlock the XB360´s full potential - and a year longer for the PS3. Then PCs will have surpassed the current consoles.
Yes, this is exactly right! And this is also why we now see games on X360 that tries to use the extra power of the multiple CPU-cores by "boosting" some fairly simple and "non game critical" effects like extra particles, extra physics etc. It's very very hard to make full and general use of the multiple cores in a game engine - but fairly simple to get *something* running on the extra cores. So to me it makes perfect sense what the "Sacred 2" devs are doing.. aim for an engine that runs the game OK on a single-core machine (most PCs are still single-core and this will probably be the case for some time) - and then implement some extra features for the X360 to make the Microsoft people happy. Because of the unified memory of the 360 and because it's a fairly contained problem streaming of assets makes sense, and because of simplicity it also makes sense to boost some of the graphics as well.
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March 13th, 2007, 14:49
Originally Posted by KasperFauerby View Post
(most PCs are still single-core and this will probably be the case for some time)
I think that might be the case now, but by mid or late 2008 most gaming PC's should have a dual core processor. Or, at least, they can at a pretty low cost. Aren't they targeting a little bit too much on the low end of the PC by targeting a single core?
Last edited by doctor_kaz; March 13th, 2007 at 15:11.
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March 13th, 2007, 16:42
Originally Posted by doctor_kaz View Post
I think that might be the case now, but by mid or late 2008 most gaming PC's should have a dual core processor. Or, at least, they can at a pretty low cost. Aren't they targeting a little bit too much on the low end of the PC by targeting a single core?
Yeah, you might be right - or at least, most hard-core gamers might have dual-core in late 2008. But that's always the problem when developing for PC.. it always comes down to statistics and what target groups the publishers want to hit with their titles. And currently I think there is a huge target group that does not have the latest hardware, but instead buy their finished PC package at some discount store. Then, because of fancy buzz-words they were fed at the store, they expect to be able to play all the new games with their onboard graphics cards, low amounts of ram etc. Here is a link to the ever ongoing hardware survey that Valve is doing for their steam customers:

http://www.steampowered.com/status/survey.html

Notice especially the graphics card section - see how the cheap discount cards are represented? We've had shader model 2.0 cards for ages now - at least 5 yeards - but it's only with recent titles that it is stated as minimum specs, because nVidia put out their crappy budget GeforceFX cards that didn't have shader 2.0, but a lot of people bought them!! And that has, in my opinion, held back the development in graphics for many years. I was involved in a title that shipped for PC in 2005 - and our publisher still demanded minimum specs around 1.4Ghz, 256mb ram and shader model 1.1!

So, to finally answer your question (sorry about the rant) - no, I don't really think they are aiming too low when they have single-core PCs in mind for Sacred 2.
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March 13th, 2007, 20:11
I´ve read more official bits of information on the Sacred board and in German interviews. They all seem tightly controlled though. Their news value isn´t really worth the effort for an exact translation.
Sacred 2 is a completely new development. Ascaron makes the move from 2D to 3D. The whole Sacred code base (inherited from the canned DSA title Armalion) has been thrown overboard to make sure all the skeletons are out of the closet. S2 will be focused on MultiCore use, but includes some technology to make it look decent on older PCs. Does the term "low quality renderer" make sense?
In the interview mentioned a few posts up it was hinted that high-end PCs might be the best choice for the graphics whores among us, while the XBox version will have more MP modes. Even the PC version will have vastly enhanced MP compared to S1 though.

Sounds logical to me. The masses demanded more MP, and creating a new engine for the next couple of games (I assume S2, S3 plus 1 add-on each and console conversions) without extensive use of MultiCore architecture wouldn´t make sense.


Official word on the current project status, after the 2 TV shows last week:
Pre-alpha, stability as shown on TV -> ~1 crash per hour. The animations shown on TV have been artificially slowed down for demo purposes.
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