EGM Rumor Mill

This month’s EGM features the following in the rumor mill: “The Q hates being the bearer of bad news, but it comes with the territory (at least that’s what the rumor monger handbook says). During a recent pow-wow with a few game makers, some discussed their hands-on time with early Revolution development kits. OK here it goes: According to those fellas, the graphics that Nintendo’s next-gen system can produce are barely better than those on Gamecube. Hey sounds a lot like Xbox-Xbox 360.”

And the DS graphics look really good?… Do you care?

[Thanks, Rick]


  1. Its called “Dollar Vote”

    The PSP looks interesting for UMD and upcoming FFVII spinoff, but I refuse to buy it.

    The PS3 looks interesting for Blu-Ray and Final Fantay 13 but I refuse to buy it.

    Nintendo is giving us everything we have begged for, and in doing so had to sacrifice graphics. Am I upset with this decision? God no, we dont need graphics.

    NES, SNES, best 2 damn generations in video gaming history! Were graphics amazing? Christ no… we used to point out glitches in the origional Double Dragon, but we loved the game so much anyhow.

    What people need to look at is physics, the Revolution will hopefully have a great deal more L2 Cache than the other 2 companies, which means more responsive controls and better gameplay. How come games that can run on the PS2 are being even PORTED to the Xbox 360, that is ridiculous, that is just showing that the system runs 433ish mhz with a fancier graphics card.

    As I said, it is dollar vote, I am voting on Nintendo how about you?

    On another note *starts to cheer* Play the best, Screw the rest!

    What..? Cant I be a fanboy with pride >> << >>

  2. Meh, I don’t buy it. I can’t see Nintendo putting a gfx chip that is only barely better than the Gumecube in the revolution. 5 years of progress in the gfx field has brought about huge changes and increased efficiency, roughly doubling speed year over year. Transistor sizes have also decreased, reducing costs and heat disipation. Unified shader architecture also brings a big boost although I’m not sure if the hollywood chip includes this(all new ATI chips do though), and Video RAM is alot cheaper and faster as well. So if what these guys are saying is true, the chip would only be using 1 year or so newer technology.

    We also already know the system processor will be at least 4 times faster(probably more), and there will be alot more system RAM, not to mention gauranteed improvments in system architecture. Nintendo always has been good at maximizing performance from slow processors(look at the DS). If the console comes out at $200, double the price of he cube, you can realistically expect 4 times the performance, and that is around where I see it sitting. So, in summary . . .I call bullshit.

  3. If that’s the case then Ati is losing it, since thye just finished the chip a few days ago and if it works the same as a 5 year old chip they developed for the Gamecube, then how can they continue to win over nvidia in development is very strange. I guess they must be aiming at $99 price if this is true. Now this rumour needs some fact checking because many “relaible sources” never mentioned just how different the controller was going to be, so I’ll take this with a grain of salt until I see it for myself and judge. But considering that the xbox360 has been on sale for just a week and a Sony executive just mentioned the price of the PS3 at around $300 – $400, to start kicking Nintendo sounds right about now. I’m still waiting for seeing those PS3 graphics to show up and judge also if they are next gen, since the Xbox360 is not.

  4. I can believe because to me the graphics the Xbox 360 can produce are barely better than the GameCube.

    Anyway, weren’t early developers just getting GameCube dev kits since it was supposed to be real easy to move from it to the Rev’s dev kit?

    I remember having many an argument with friends on which was more powerful, the SNES or the Genisis. I can’t remember which one was the declared power-winner, but I DO remember which one was more fun. 😉

  5. I agree with vakerorokero, if they just finished the chips a few days ago, how can this news really be that acurate. I make games for a living, and we did a DS project, and for the first 3 months of the dev. the game looked like crap, cause we had no idea what we were doing. But then I picked up the launch title, Mario…and DANG they know how to pack a great looking game into the specs. Perhaps that is what Ninty is gearing up for, the final display of good looking games. BTW, I have always thought the Cube looks better than any of the existing consols anyway. 🙂

    It is all about what the developers do with the hardware (ex: RE:4)

  6. I doubt this is true. I don’t think the graphics are going to be photorealistic by any means, but I mean- it’s EGM. Same guys who publish this publish the official Playstation Magazine, and it’s a rumour column, do the math…Propaganda. The worse they make the rev look, the more the PS3 sells, the more money Sony can give to them. But hey, thats buisiness, we’re just going to have to wait for e3 to see how the graphics really compare.

    And for the record. I think Resident Evil 4 looks just as good as Perfect Dark Zero.

  7. “barely better than those on the gamecube” is extremely vauge, if your talking about RE4 or what we’ve seen of Zelda: TP then that’d be about the level of the 360 at this point. Anyways Nintendo’s not pushing for fancy graphics or trying to directly compete with Sony and MS.
    However given the amount timr ATI’s put into the GPU and the need to be somewhat competitive with graphics I think we’ll be pleasantly suprised when we finally see some games.

  8. Nintendo has always brought innovation to us, and they have never overlooked graphics. I couldn’t believe there was ever any debate about psx looking better than n64. Looking back the textures were muddy on n64 but that was better than looking at giant squares in the environment. Nintendo always manages to compete graphically with their competitors. Granted this time they are not technically in direct competition, they still know they’ll have to be about par with ps3, since xbox isn’t even a consideration and the 360’s looks isn’t very next gen. Graphics will be a big part in immersing a player, along with the controller. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo went out of its way to match Sony, and trump xbox 360 in the extra year microsoft has allowed.

  9. This news takes the cake for funniest of the day. Just LOOK at the comments! Hahaha! *falls*

  10. Nic my man, u sed pretty much everything i was gonna say. Well done. 😀

    For the record, it was Broadway, the CPU, that was rumored to be finished the other day. Not the GPU, which is Hollywood. Rev SDKs r still enhanced GameCubes. And think about it: If it looks better than a Cube game now, say RE4, that means it looks ALOT better in the end. Cause RE4 is a product of 4 years of work. If it looks like that before the final hardware is there, and in this short amount of time it’s been in development, imagine what the remaining 6 months with final hardware will do.

    It’s nothing guys, don’t sweat it. If anything, it’s right on track. Now don’t make me come back in here and slap some sense into u.

  11. Actually, I’m amazed of how well the GameCube performs. Have you paid any attention to the graphics in games like Mario Kart: Double Dash, Metroid, FF: Crystal Chronicle and Resident Evil 4? It looks amazing. We haven’t really seen much of the upcoming Zelda (sure, a few trailers and so on – but we haven’t seen the final game).

    The GameCube can make some amazing pictures and I love every minute I get to spend with it. In addition to the graphics itself you get quality games that the players enjoys and don’t just put away the next day.

    I’m not buying the Revolution because of the graphics but rather because of the new controller, a different “focus” on games and because you can download games. Being able to play GC games is a huge plus.

    Btw, I wonder why people think the GameCube looks weird? I think it looks great and really suits the console. The only thing I hate is the system menus.. but you don’t really spend much time there anyway.

  12. It’s just the same old demos that everybody saw at the TGS, I guarantee you that. Those were made on Gamecube hardware, so, yeah, I guess it makes sense that they look the same.

    This is just stupid anit-Nintendo garbage from EGM again, and this is only more fuel for the Microsoft and Sony fanboys fire. They will take this and start spreading it online and soon people will think it has like PS1 graphics or something, that’s how the internet works. I hate EGM, they used to be a good magazine, it’s a good thing Nintendo Power improved themselves, there’s still one good gaming mag.

  13. I want to see the product FINISHED
    I don’t care about dev kit
    I’m a final user
    And I play the finished game
    1) why no one ever make notice of how good are graphics of NGC compared to ps2?
    2) why if Revo would not have the same graphic of other next gen it became ALREADY clear?
    3) I hate graphical bitches
    they are blind, and would evaluete a game only if it has certain standards

    4) why with the Ds this strategy from detractors has not worked?

    I don’t care how good will be revo graphcs. i want to try the new feeling of gaming
    nothing else

  14. EGM makes it a point to fall all over themselves championing Microsoft and Sony. If you read closely, even the best-reviewed Nintendo games have some thinly-veiled criticism about how it’s a “kiddy-looking” game or some such nonsense.

    I was actually pretty surprised at the Xbox comment at the end of the Q’s article. It’s so out of character for the magazine.

    (Also fun: Count how many times they say the world has changed every time a new Halo or GTA comes out! It’s a hoot!)

  15. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but EGM blows.

    Ok, now that that’s out of my system…

    Isn’t the chipset rumored to be used (specs aren’t being released by Nintendo) a new one developed by IBM called ‘Broadway’? That alone implies it will be better that GameCube, which is all I ask. I never said I wanted realistic human faces staring back at me with those dead eyes that all video photo realistic game characters have.

    This article betrays the ugly underbelly that ‘video game journalism’ has acquired over the past 5 years. It’s all specs and graphics while gameplay has tanked. EGM, which I can honestly say I haven’t read since Nintendo 64 was a ‘new’ system, can barely contain it’s little PS3 O-face — as can a number of other publications that “neglected” to include anything Nintendo in the bevy of ‘next gen’ articles that surfaced over the summer.

    But I’m not bitter. Not after seeing Xbox 360 in the wild this weekend. I whole-heartedly agree with “The Q” in that the thing didn’t impress.

    Medal of Honor 2… while all the gaming sites bust a nut and give it 9’s, I found myself asking: “Didn’t my friend play this on his PC 6 months ago?” I hate to be so negative, but when the hell is something ‘new’ really going to appear on our game systems? And when are free advertising outlets like EGM going to go the hell away?

    That’s the thing about having “objective” gaming mags give away freebies to powerful gaming companies and call them fact when they reach the user — eventually no on has to try anymore and all we get are watered down sequels that allegedly can handle 12 gazillion polygons with shading a second. Oh, but it also crashes twice a gaming session and the controls are like driving a tank with no treads in quicksand. In the dark. With no lights. Upside down.

    For all I know the Revolution could have the graphics of the SNES. But you know what? It’ll still be 10 times more fun than the ‘hardcore’ crap that got pumped out in the past year.

  16. Sure, EGM has a source for the rumor – but they are really publishing this bollocks to coax Nintendo into coming out and saying more to the public about the guts of codename ‘revolution.’

    Don’t let silly comments like this from EGM discourage your confidence in the N. Of course, I’m biased, and I’d blindly follow Reggie into the fires or Mohrdor – But we really can’t say very much until the new toy is unveiled.

    Play some Animal Crossing while you wait…

  17. @ Cougar
    “Oh, but it also crashes twice a gaming session and the controls are like driving a tank with no treads in quicksand. In the dark. With no lights. Upside down.”

    Lol!!!! You had me relling on the floor…

    I lost fate in EGM when I saw all GTA sequels get 10’s. Come on, it’s the same game over and over and over… Get over it. What about loading times?

    Anyhow, thanks again Cougar for the laugh.

  18. ZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!

    After the stupendous MK:DS (at 60 FPS) and the Final Fantasy DS screenshots, I can’t believe people even care about the graphics being GC “standard”. Many people hold Mario Kart DS to be even better than Double Dash on the GC.

    Specs don’t matter – and without meaningful benchmarks, comparisons are almost totally worthless.

    Oh, and as far as I’m aware, Rev will display graphics in Enhanced Definition (ie EDTV) NOT Standard Definition. Enhanced Definition displays at 852×480 pixel resolution (ie Widescreen) in Progressive Scan.

    That, to me, sounds like the right balance between Standard Definition on the one hand and High Definition on the other.

  19. This rumor here is based just on the modified Gamecube SDKs and I bet they only modified them because of the controller and not because of the graphics. So the finalized ”proper” Revolution SDKs have the whole deal: the controller, the graphics and so on..

  20. All I have to say is Resident Evil 4. That game is beautiful. The people who have seen the PS2 version said it didn’t hold a candle.

    Gameplay is the most important. Then for graphics: it doesn’t have to be realistic; it just needs to be breathtaking like RE4.

  21. Actually, the GameCube already has a pretty decent graphics engine, much better than PS2 and slightly behind the Xbox, although in my opinion the graphics look “prettier” in the ‘Cube. We already knew the graphics engine in the Revolution would be not as powerful as either the Xbox 360 or the PS3 (no HD output to begin with). But that’s not why I’m getting the Revolution before the 360. Like most people here, I’m getting the Revolution because of the games! And if the graphics look better than the GameCube’s, that’s just icing on the cake for me…
    Any rumors on whether the GameCube games will look better on the Revolution? Or even better yet, will the Revolution support using the new controller on GameCube games? That alone would be reason enough to buy that console!

  22. In NP one article said that they had prorted Metroid Prime 2 to work with the new controller.

    I belive the kit was just to show what the controller will do. The graphics will be much better than gamecubes, ps2 and Xbox. In fact didn’t ps2 out sell every one and they had the weakest graphics.


  23. Nintendo barely has completed, stable Revolution hardware to begin with. So far, developers are only having the impression that it’s the weakest horse in the race simply because they’re using kits that are slightly better than GameCube tailored to use the new controller. Or at least one can assume.

    Anyway, unless the secrecy is about the lack of power or incomplete hardware, I’d say E3 seems to be the right time to show off the power of the system. Not because we need to be hyped up for E3 but because ATi and IBM may need a little more time for some tweaking as well as the developers’ time to utilize that power to show us the Revolution difference.

    Oh and for the record, ATi didn’t develop the Flipper. ArtX did and then ATi bought the team, the blueprints and the rights to mass produce the chips.

  24. Either way the Revolution will be the best of the systems top be released. No matter what other people say, the GC was the best out of the other 3. I was not a failure whatsoever, maybe thats just me and the stats, but I was an amazing system.

  25. We have actually seen what revolution graphics will look like and I still can’t believe people keep overlooking this:

    Metroid Prime 3

    the 20 second or so clip reveals some very interesting information if you look closely enough.

    For instance, it supports
    Advanced Volumetric Particle effects
    Bloom Lighting
    Soft shadowing
    Self Shadowing
    Depth of Field
    Normal Maps (in certain areas it appears)
    Phong lighting where there aren’t normal maps
    Environment Mapping
    other basic stuff

    Interestngly this doesn’t necessarily imply it supports pixel or vertex shaders (the most significant development in graphics hardware in the last 5 years – introduced with the Xbox). However, the effects it is boasting are those that make the most observable difference to games (Normal mapping is probably the biggest single software advance in gaming graphics in the last 5 years). If there’s some kind of hardware acceleration that provides developers with the really important tools without the difficulties of shader language (though that’s not soo bad) then this should really be sufficient for making decent and even pretty graphics.

    More importantly consider the capacities of what’s seen in the Metroid video. While the scene is devoid of content (I would put this down to early build and intended mystery) and the polygon counts aren’t mega-ginormous (in-line with 360) we can establish that texture resolutions are very detailed and the vistas are huge. Taking into account the amount of stuff going on in any given scene in the previous Prime games, and applying this to the environment scales depicted in the clip, we can rest assured that revolution games have the technology and capacity to keep up with the more expensive competition.

    Much more importantly I’d like to highlight the fact that no amount of graphical effects can replace good artistry. Heck, even sections of Mario 64 are still beautiful beacause of the ambiance it creates, and we all know the maestros at Nintendo and Retro etc. are some of the best in the biz at this. I read an interview with Retro and some 3rd party programmer asked a retro programmer how they achieved some cool bump mapping effect, and he answered (to paraphrase) “we didn’t, we just made the textures really well”.

    Finally I’d like to point out that even if the Revolution is marginaly more powerful than Gamecube, a good 80% of the populace won’t be able to tell the difference from the competition anyway. Basically a couple of genres look photoreal, but most stuff simply gets the main idea of what it should look like in reality, and consumers will see this as equal on all platforms.

    Though shaders are nice for graphics whores.

  26. First of all Anon, you have some fantastic vision. What is it, like 20/-100? Cause seriously, that video was blurred to death when it was released onto the net, due to a shakycam. And nevermind that, u noticed this in mere seconds. Kinda stretching it, pal.

    All they showed was the new ship, some phazon bubbling, and Samus standing there. I don’t remember any huge vistas. And it was all GameCube visuals, NOA said so. The enhanced Cube SDKs for Rev don’t have any graphics upgrades. It’s RAM and cache from what i understand. What i do agree with is artistry. That’s of no concern cause Nintendo cuts no corners there.

    Honestly though, did u really notice all that? I find it hard to believe, but what do i know. Ur prob a visual artist.

  27. On his behalf – if you check out IGN and look for Metriod Prime 3, they have the video there and you can look at it as much times as you’d like. However, I am not certain about the specs of the video or what was said about it really – I just know something exists…

  28. Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

  29. I am a visual artist and ..well…it looks like a Gamecube cutsceen. I wouldn’t question it being lagit game engine cutsceen (for GNC), but I was let down initally.

    I am just going to wait and see actual Rev engine cutsceens at E3, because all we have seen at this point is not worth breaking down frame by frame.

    If your going to break down anything frame by frame, I sudgest Zelda TP. Its more worthy than the 10 second Metroid thing…and I love Metroid.

    I like Rollin’s break down.

  30. Seriously, I took a couple of screen grabs from the highest quality footage I could find on the net (looked at a couple of them) and checked them out carefully. One of them is (admittedly low res and tightly compressed) direct feed.

    Shadowing is obvious (soft and self – check out the gun’s shadow cast accross the leg and on the ledge – there’s also about 6 frames in one of the vids where the ship clearly casts a shadow on the ground so at least it’s on more than just our protagonist)

    Specularity is obvious and all over the place.

    Polygons don’t look off the scale (visible on the edges of the models) and yet curves are perfect (no gourded shading artifacts), at least implying Phong lighting and therefore per-pixel lighting.

    Certain parts of the armour (I think it was especially evident on the top of the helmet) appear to have far more nuanced geometry than the underlying polygons provide, implying Normal Mapping at work (also the ground looks suspiciously bumpy).

    Lighting bloom all over the place (everywhere there’s something blue – fairly certain it’s not just the compression bleeding the colours).

    Dust Plumes from impact of the feet appear to have real translucent volumes (made evident by the camera rotation) implying particle effects. Also the vapour trails of the missiles and debris, and the fire plume itself look suspiciously 3 dimensional, support this observation.

    Reflective effects say Environament mapping (not full on reflections – that’s difficult) or at least clever use of specularity, but this is standard fair.

    Slight Blur of the ground at distance and more visible blur of the swaying blue things especially against the foreground of Samus’s head imply depth of field effects at work.

    Obvious things like textures and lighting are working (duh).

    As for the scale, I simply said to myself look at the detail of the close objects (yes there’s not much going on and it’s all in the textures) and look at the size of the basin behind the ledge – it’s huge. Segments at least are certainly 3d, so i’d wager that there isn’t much billboard cut-out stuff going on and much of that area is the type of space we can expect to play in. Extend this detail to this scale and we have fairly nice capacities being used.

    Now hear me out. These effects aren’t actually a million miles off of what GC can do. Retro must have been tinkering with most of this tech for some time, with the gamecube just a little ways off from doing some of this stuff. Assuming the footage wasn’t necassarily rendered in real time given the fact they knew final Revolution hardware would have a certain amount more power, then even GC development hardware should be able to cope. I mean, it certainly doesn’t seem to be doing anything like proper motion blur, genuine reflections, complex procedural stuff etc that would require realy clever shader hardware (that the GC lacks). To be honest, i was dissapointed too because it didn’t look like MGS4, Gears of War etc which i was sorta hoping for pre-controller. But I really thought about it and it is doing stuff that makes things look nifty, and once we see the content behind it fleshed out, it should really make games look distinct from GC.

    Of course I could be falling for the same mistakes as that programmer I heard about; seeing things that aren’t there to be seen, but I think the clues are present and I will shakily stand by my observations (while remaining anonymous).

    As for Zelda stuff I haven’t looked at it as closely (partly because I want absolutely everything to be a suprise) but it does appear to be doing very cool stuff, especially with the water, some nifty depth of field, hazes, flares, light blooms around lamps, beams falling through trees, “black dot” particles, cell shading etc. But check out the shadows; they’re present, but conserved (at least on the older trailers – I refuse to watch E3 footage lest I learn something I want to discover for myself). There’s certainly a difference between what the two do if you look.

    But there is of course the perfect example, because Zelda is undoubtedly the prettier demo – heck, it’s the prettiest looking thing i’ve seen since OOT.

    P.S. For the record, I personally believe the yet to be revealed feature of the rev (this morning’s news) is gonna be a writable layer on the discs, opening up the path for creative gaming. Care to take bets?

  31. Alright, u’ve won my heart. Shame u wanna keep anonymous. Why is that anyway? You a dev?

    That’s a good idea, writable layer on the disc. Now i’m pondering if the secret could be the ability to play some form of next-gen DVD format with writable capabilities. I’m not sure if it’s cause of HD, but rumor has it that 360 RPGs r being held back by disc size. That would be a sweet surprise, having a new media drive in Rev.

    Hey, it would be cool if u uploaded the screen grabs u took with detailed impressions for everyone else to see. I believe ya, but that would be a cool thing to do.

  32. For anyone that wants to cehck out the MP3 teaser in crisp detail, find it on IGN’s Revolution channel. It’s clear as day.

  33. I suppose it’s been far too long since this page was made for anyone to check it out anymore (lost the thread when infendo moved to its own domain), but I thought I’d say the reason I never posted my name was because I don’t like creating accounts and logging into stuff – this is just easier(lazy I know). As for my comments about the systems graphics capabilities, I wanted to say a few things:

    1) I found a higher res video finally (weird 60 fps):

    2) My observations of volumetric particle effects may be off. Don’t know about the dust plumes around Samus’s feet, but there are a couple of frames at the end where the ship passes through the flames where there is clear polygonal occlusion of the smoke. This should not happen if it was truly volumetric and can be explained if it’s a 2D effect.

    3) Knowing what we now know about the hardware (and what Retro must have been privey to at the time) it seems certain that Nintendo and ATI have forgone programmable shaders to save silicon, but may have included fixed hardware modules to perform the most usefull new effects (most likely hardware Normal mapping).

    4) I’m just a reader like most people here. I’m actually doing degree in protein related work of all things, I just like to read about all this graphics stuff.

    5) Most important to bear in mind: Graphics techniques are there to be seen! If they weren’t there’s not much point in waisting the clock cycles and silicon. Nintendo knows this as well as anyone. Importantly, many effects produce little visualy appreciable impact but take lots of power (in my opinion this includes most anti-aliasing, texture blending techniques more advanced than tri-linear mip-mapping, and things like full-on displacement mapping: all of which are common fair on 360). There are other techniques that take little extra power, and perform virtual miracles (Basic Bi-linear texture blending, Normal mapping, and if they figured out a clever way to do it in hardware, sub-surface scattering). So long as the bases are covered, most lay people can tell there’s a difference in graphics, but not much. And as we were saying before, artistry goes so…so much further than something as banal as pixel resolution.

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar