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PS3 Firmware v1.80 Smoothing Examples 
25th-May-2007 04:04 pm
RoushiMSX, Madman

(Note: if you're viewing this on my WordPress blog, you might want to jump over to my LiveJournal blog to see everything in normal resolution)

I've been playing around with the PS3's new "smoothing" option for PS1/PS2 games and decided to snap a few shots showing some of the differences. Some games look pretty damn impressive (as you can see below) while others have very little difference (Marvel vs Capcom 2 looked pretty much identical with smoothing on and off).

Sadly, I couldn't do any comparisons between upscaled and normal size because I don't have a grand or two sitting around begging to be blown on low cost, high-end capturing hardware, but there's still a nice, noticeable difference in a lot of games using just svideo.

Shadow of the Colossus (Original):

Shadow of the Colossus (Smooth):

Take a gander at the hair and edges of the arms here. The whole game actually looks better, but trying to pick out frames that were close enough together off of my interlaced captures was a pain in the ass. Apparently the US version isn't using as much software emulation as the Euro version still, so we're stuck with the limitations of the Emotion Engine while apparently the most recent update has smoothed the framerate out for them. Lucky jerks.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (Original):

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (Smooth):

Notice the light post and door frame on the left and the general outline of the car. Not much else to say... Rise FM still rocks and the framerate still doesn't.

Killzone (Original):

Killzone (Smooth):

I had to stare a while to see this, but the lines on the lower receiver of the rifle are smoother with the smoothing option turned on. Other than that, the game looked pretty much identical.
Gun (Original):

Gun (Smooth):

Sadly, not a whole lot going on here. The game seems to lose some detail by going with the smoothing option (which just tells me that the texture artists did a pretty good job in the first place). You're going to have to squint, but the rails on the left side of the image look a bit better with the smoothing option.

Sky Odyssey (Original):

Sky Odyssey (Smooth):

Night and day, here. The plane looks substantionally better with the smoothing option turned on. I screwed up and changed the HUD while fumbling with the controller (oops), but the real money is on the plane, anyway. Now I want to test out Ridge Racer V and see if it looks any better. I've only got the japanese version, which I bought on release and was promptly disappointed in because of the absurdly low resolution/high number of jaggies. You couldn't even see turns until you were right up on them in that game.

So yea, does anyone know of anyplace that's done some decent comparisons of the upscaling? The only one I've seen is the one on Game.Watch :(

Edit - Here's some PS1 examples now, too! Sadly, these don't benefit all that much from the new smoothing option.

Bushido Blade (Original):

Bushido Blade (Smooth):

I bet if I ran the intro a third time, some of those polygons would wind up in different positions yet again. That's not some awesomely detailed physics simulation, that's just a quirk of the PS1's 3d hardware. The smoothing does fix the texturing in the clothing and hair, but the rest of the picture's brightness noticeably drops.

Colony Wars (Original):

Colony Wars (Smooth):

The edges of the cockpit and the spaceport smooth out, but again, the whole image gets noticeably darker. The star field in particular gets drained of a bulk of its lighting.

Final Fantasy Tactics (Original):

Final Fantasy Tactics (Smooth):

Brightness nosedives and it looks like someone rubbed an eraser over the image. Seeing a trend here? I've heard that the game looks pretty damn nice when upscaled, but I haven't gotten a chance to test it out (I was too busy farting around with the capture card). I'm looking forward to seeing how much it improves it (and other sprite-heavy games), because with just smoothness, the game takes a pretty heavy hit.

So far, I'm digging the smoothness for PS2 games but not PS1 games. The only games I've played upscaled thus far are Monster Hunter (nice!) and Shadow of the Colossus (real nice!). Anyone know for sure how well a Black Magic Intensity Pro works with the PS3? I'd LOVE to be able to snap screenshots at 1080i and 720p
25th-May-2007 11:46 pm (UTC)
this post is hot.
(Deleted comment)
5th-Jan-2011 03:58 pm (UTC)
I am astounded at the difference with Sky Odyssey
Yes, this is the most noticeable improvement in this test; maybe that's because the Sky Odyssey has a lot more movement in the background (which is especially favored by smoothing edges).
Data Center Security
22nd-Aug-2007 09:43 pm (UTC)
What kind of TV do you have? It looks like the PS3 is just trying to dumb down the level of detail because these 480i games were never meant to be played on a 720p+ TV. They will look just like the PS3 screens if you play those games on a regular old 480i CRT TV.

On the FF Tactics, I experienced a similar thing. I got FFVII to play on my PC but my monitor is so high resolution that the whole thing had way too many jaggies. Play it on my regular old 20" TV and the graphics look nice and smooth (although still outdated acoording to next gen standards).
22nd-Aug-2007 10:00 pm (UTC)
These were all snapped at 480i; I haven't got the cash to buy a new motherboard and a Black Magic Intensity Pro. The PS1 games look pretty nice on an HDTV with the upscaler on and the smoothing turned off, especially since an HDMI connection is so much cleaner than the composite and svideo connections most people were stuck with on the original hardware.

Finding a TV that handles LDTV over HDMI/Component is a bit of a pain as well, so I'm equally happy that the PS3 at least scales everything. When I tried to play Ico (or any PS1 games) on my PS2, I had to swap in the svideo connector and change the channel of my TV every time :(

We really need to get that software PS2 emulation out in the US post-haste, though. I'm anxiously awaiting the chance to play through SotC with a smooth framerate like those lucky Euros.
29th-Sep-2010 12:20 pm (UTC)
So, it seems Sony has finally heard of anisotropic filtering and anti-aliasing technology supported by its GPU's from the very beginning. For the newer games the difference is unnoticeable since the default resolution is greater than the old ones.
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