Published on March 11, 2014
Task 1 Handheld Consoles Console Specs Comparison PS Vita - CPU – ARM Cortex A9 core (4 core) 800MHz – 1GHz -GPU – SGX543MP4+, 33 million polygons -RAM 512MB -Stereo speakers, built in microphone - 960 x 544 resolution, screen is 5 inches wide diagonally -No internal storage media and PS vita card is not included. You have to pay more if you want to store things on your device. -Battery life 3-5 hours - Front and rear 0.3MP cameras -Digital only backwards compatibility -7.17 inches wide -PS Vita OS This is the second most powerful of the three. It can easily play console-quality games, plus it has the internet and apps such as facebook, aswell as music and video features. However, despite having the best looking games, it can be argued that these games are not as good as Nintendos games for the 3DS. It can also be very expensive as it does not come with any storage, so you will have to buy a memory card for it too. NVidia Shield -Screen resolution 1280 x 720, screen is 5 inches wide - Internal storage 16GB -Stereo speakers with built in microphone -Rechargeable Li-polymer battery -CPU – NVIDIA Tegra 4 Quad Core Mobile Processor with 2GB or RAM -GPU - 72 GeForce graphics cores(24 vertex shaders + 48 pixel shaders ) -OS – Android 4.2.1 - 4 – 5 hours of battery life playing top games but up to 10 hours playing android titles. - - This handheld beats all others hardware wise. It can play console-quality games faster than the PS vita and it also supports a 1280x720 LCD, so will make games look even better. The majority of games on the android store are also cheap. Due to it being the most powerful, it is also the most expensive of the three. It is also targeted to more casual gamers as there are tons of games on the google play store for use on the system. Nintendo 3DS XL - 3D Display - 800 x 240 Resolution on top screen and 320x240 on bottom screen - Uses SD card as portable memory - Stereo Speakers, built in This console is the least powerful of the three. Its major advantage is that it has two screens and the top screen, which is the main viewing screen, supports glasses-less 3D.
microphone - Screen size – 4.88 inches - ARM11 dual core 268Mhz CPU - Digital media professionals pica 200 single core 15.3 million polygons – GPU -RAM 128MB - 2GB internal storage + 2GB SD card for external storage. - Battery life 3-5 hours -Front and rear 0.3MP cameras - Full support towards backwards compatibility -5.3 inches wide -3DS OS However, it cannot produce graphics as good as the other consoles but it is said that it has the best games due to Nintendo having many popular franchises such as Zelda or Mario. This can be debateable however as most games designed for the 3DS are said to be designed for children whilst games on the Vita or Shield have a range between all ages.
Consoles Feature Xbox One Wii U Play Station 4 GPU 853 MHz AMD Radeon GCN architecture 550 MHz AMD Radeon Latte GPU Semi-Custom AMD Radeon GPU CPU Custom 1.75 GHz AMD 8 Core APU 1.24 GHz Tri-core IBM PowerPC Espresso Semi-Custom 8- core AMD x86-64 CPU RAM 8GB DDR3 ( 5GB is available for games) 2GB DDR3 8GB GDDR5 Video Display 4K, 1080p and 720p resolution 480p – 1080p from console 158ppi from gamepad HDMI supports 480p – 4K Audio 7.1 Surround sound 5.1 Linear PCM, analogue stereo 7.1 Surround sound Software Kernel Xbox OS, Windows custom Kernel Wii U OS Orbis OS Power Supply Fan assisted PSU External Power Supply 100 – 240 V AC Power supply unit DC12V 3.7A External Power supply Fan assisted PSU Internal power supply. Storage Media 500 GB internal hard drive Allows USBs 8GB for basic set and 32GB for deluxe 500 GB internal Hard Drive Allows USBs Comparison The Second most powerful, beaten by the PS4 which is a bit more powerful. Both the Xbox One and PS4 have a lot of similar hardware though such as 500 GB of memory and the video display. The Xbox one and Wii Uuse an external power supply which The Wii U is the least powerful of the three. It is focused more towards family games, therefore does not need top graphics, but it is strongly beaten by the others in power. All interfaces can be seen as very similar. This is because the Wii U, The PS4 is said to be the most powerful, but only slightly compared to the Xbox One. The PS4 uses a much better ram than the Xbox one and Wii U. Most other elements are the same except the GPU and CPU which have been semi-custom built
means the actual power supply unit is outside of the main box and can be noted at the large block that comes attached to the power cable. The advantage is that the an external PSU can have more control over its temperature as it does not have to endure the rest of the consoles heat. The advantage of an internal PSU, which the PS4 has, is that there is not giant block PSU attached to a cable which can get in the way PS4 and XB1 all display the players various options in ordered rows and columns. The Wii U and Xbox one are very similar as they display their options, such as ‘play game’ or ‘open web browser’ in blocks. The PS4 uses a row which expands into a column to show more options in the selected area. These interfaces are seen as much more friendly as the user can easily select what they want quickly and all their options are in front of them. for the PS4 Both CPUs on the Xbox One and PS4 are quite similar, however, the PS4 uses GDDR5 RAM which is much faster than the Xbox Ones DDR3 RAM and it can achieve faster frame rates. Task 2 Item Piece of Hardware/Tech Price (Roughly) Why RAM 8 GB DDR3-1600 £70 I would like the console to have a lot of RAM so that the player can perform multiple actions such as playing a game whilst having a movie or video playing on the side of the screen. I would also like games to be able to run faster by allowing a lot of RAM storage space for the games to use, so that it doesn’t get clogged an slow the games down. CPU AMD FX-8120 £111.80 This CPU is quite good and is not over the top in terms of power. I also need a quick CPU so that processes can be carried out quicker and the player will have to wait less and experience no
stuttering in games. GPU AMD Radeon R7 260X £139 This GPU Is able to perform at 1080p, which is good as I want the graphics to be able to reach high standards, but the price tag can be quite expensive. Video display TV £50 – 500 This is an external cost and I will not include it in the total cost for the console. 1080p – 720p would be the best resolutions I would like my console to work at Sound/audio Startech 7.1 Channel PCI digital surround sound card 24 £30 I believe 7.1 surround sound it best for the console as sound is great for immersion in games and should be at its best. Internal storage WD AV-GP 250GB Internal hard drive £20 I believe that 250GB is reasonable and quite large as I have never taken up that much space on my Xbox 360 I have had for 5+ years. This is the standard storage space, but I think it would be best if we could add a second option with a 500GB however that might be too expensive. Portable storage media Custom USB memory sticks can be bought and they will be able to store 30 GB. £16 I believe that 30 GB is enough for a memory stick to hold. It could hold a lot of information and if you are using a memory stick, most of the time you never really use the full amount of space especially if yours has 30GB of it. Power supply Fan assisted PSU External £10 A fan assisted PSU is best as I do not want it to over heat. Also, I would rather have an external PSU as the console may over heat if there are more hot components inside it. Connectivity Wifi adapter included inside machine £5 Wifi is a must for consoles and devices nowadays, so a built in wifi connector should be added so users can browse the internet, you tube or stream videos. Software Kernel Custom kernel The kernel I would use would have to be a custom made one. I would make it to be similar to the Xbox ones kernel in the sense that it uses tiles to display programs. Estimated Total = £408.80 This price tag can be expensive but it would be roughly in the middle of the PS4 and Xbox ones prices.
Task 3 Item Description Uses in game technology RAM Random Access Memory is the most known form of computer memory. This type of memory can be accessed randomly by the user without touching any preceding bytes, so say a user wanted to open a certain byte of memory ( For example a word document ) on their system, RAM allows them to do that and open or use any other programs whilst keeping any other programs open if the user needs them to be. There are 2 main different types of RAM, DRAM and SRAM DRAM – Dynamic Random access memory is the most common and needs to be refreshed thousands of times per second. This means that the data in the RAM needs to be refreshed so that it doesn’t contain old data of programs that the user is not using any more for example. SRAM – Static random access memory does not need to be refreshed which makes it faster, but is more expensive. They can come with different sizes of memory to, such as 8MB, an you will usually need to install 2 in your system, so you would get a total of 16MB from 2 RAMs. The size of the RAM is important however because take the 8MB RAM for example, 8MB means that approximately 8 million bytes of memory can be used by programs from that RAM. Carrying on from the RAM description box, this means that if you are a games designer and are currently making a game, it is vital to make sure you have a lot of RAM as this enables you to keep a range of programs open at the same time. I have 2 x 4096MB RAMs, which means I am able to use a lot of programs fluently and efficiently, but if you had 1GB of RAM in total and were creating game models in one program, rendering them in another and adding them to a 3D world in another, your computer might struggle at performing all these tasks as the programs might need to use too much memory. CPU The Central Processing Unit can be referred to the ‘main brain’ of the computer as the majority of calculations and decisions are made here. It sits in the mother board and all other programs or hard ware components must go through the CPU before they can function. When a function, piece of data or program is called, the CPU pulls it from the RAM in order to process it. It reads any instructions it finds and sends it back to the RAM. Then the ‘system bus’ is carried out where the CPU uses the instructions to transport data or calculations around the system to where they are needed. The CPU is then tasked to guide the data as it flows through the system and then the CPU makes sure that at every ‘stop’, the right piece of data All gaming computers usually have top end CPUs as well as GPUs and RAM. They require such an expensive CPU as they need the computer to be able to process and transport data or functions as fast as it possibly can so in games, the game will move as quick as possible, having a high FPS and reducing any stuttering whilst improving game loading times and overall speed. Also, for game developers, a top CPU enables them to be able to use programs quicker, load them much faster and perform
leaves at the right area and every piece of data gets where it needs to be in the correct order. actions such as rendering much quicker. GPU The images on a screen are made up of millions of very small pixels, and a part of the computer much dictate and calculate what colour these pixels should be to show the images on-screen. It needs the Graphics Processing Unit to ‘translate’ binary data ( ‘1001011’ for example) and turn it into a picture on the screen for us to see.The GPU is known as the main brain of the card it sits on, the graphics card. A better GPU means better graphics as usually they are more powerful and faster. On the graphics card, a RAM is also present usually as the GPU will need a place to store any just-made data as it builds the image. When the CPU sends information to the GPU telling it that an image needs to be made, the GPU decides how to use the pixels on the screen to construct the image. It uses binary data that is received by the CPU and translates it into a colour, before placing it on the right pixel. Once created, the GPU sends the info to the monitor for display to the user. Graphics cards are very important when it comes to gaming. Without one, you couldn’t play any games at all as there is nothing to process the pixels and create images. The GPU is used to create images out of pixels. The better the GPU, the more powerful and faster it is at creating these images, therefore, in game elements such as buildings can be constructed faster and full textures and materials will appear much quicker in the game world. Video display/output LCD – Liquid Crystal display is a flat panel, electronic visual display that use light modulating properties of these ‘liquid crystals’, meaning they are used to light up the screen. TFT-LCD is the most common and advanced type of display and is usually given the nickname ‘flatscreen’ due to its common appearance. LCD technology is now used in the vast majority of TVs, monitors or phone screens that are manufactured and uses the following items to display any images: Monitors are used in game technology to display the game world for example or programs to make it. Without a monitor, you would see nothing, therefore could not be able to make or play games. In game development, TFT-LCD monitors are used most commonly as they are more advanced that CRT monitors. CRT monitors were said to cause eye strain too which will not help developers. Monitors use the information given from the GPU to display the images the GPU has created to the viewer or user.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid- crystal_display Monochrome – This is a type of Cathode Ray Tube display that is very old and only used nowadays in cash register systems mainly. Old monitors used a green phosphor screen to turn any text on them into a green colour. The background colour was usually black, but phosphor screens could also be red or blue. Each monochrome monitor could only have one. Non colour CRTs had white text. Colour monitor –There are two colour displays which are the CRT and LCD versions. CRT monitors are big and blocky, whilst LCDs are thin and have less flickering. LCD monitors consume less power and take up less space, so became more popular than CRTs. Sound/audio The sound from a computer is produced in the sound card and the card can make 3d audio for games or surround sound play back for DVDs. It can also be used to capture sound. In the past, computers without sound cards could Sound is used in game tech to create immersion. 3D games such as Grand Theft Auto 5 will need a lot of sounds to be created to simulate a real city.
only produce a beep. This is why many retro games create these beeping noises as this could only be achieved at that time. Sounds and computer data are different, so sounds are ‘analogue’ which means they are made of waves that can travel through matter. Computers are ‘digital’ though, so communicate to other parts using impulses representing 1 or no impulse which means 0. A sound card translates between a computers digital info and the outside world’s analogue information. ADC (Analogue to Digital) and DAC (Digital to Analogue) converters are used here. The DAC converter is used to translate and convert the digital code created into analogue. ADC is uses to turn analogue sounds recorded from external sources into digital codes for the computer to read The sound card will have to be used in an Xbox for example, to turn the digital code from the game into the appropriate analogue sound when needed. Storage media A storage media can be an internal or external component of a computer. The most common types of storage media are internal and external hard drives. An internal hard drive should come with every computer and is the computers main storage device, where all its data is stored. On mid-high end PCs, there can be a varying number of hard drives each with varying capacities. For example, I have 2 internal hard drives in my pc, one can store 250GB whilst the other can store Almost 2 TB (Terra bytes). An external hard drive is the same as an internal, except it is on the exterior of the machine and must be plugged into the PC. There are also USB and disc forms of storage media which are portable. Storage media is used in game technology to actually store the game, for example, if it has been downloaded from Steam. This is usually stored on a hard drive as games can be quite large in size nowadays. They can also be used to store creations made in modelling software for example. Another thing people do is use USB sticks to transport data from the office to home, so they can continue any work at their own home. Power supply The power supply, of course, supplies the PC with power so that you are able to use it. It converts Alternating current AC to direct current which in needed by the PC. An internal PSU is one that is situated inside the actual console. An example of a console that uses this is the PS4. This means there is no large clunky PSU attached to the power cable which can take up a lot of space. An external PSU is the opposite and is attached to the power cable. This gives the PSU more area and it is usually found to be cooler as the rest of the console isn’t constantly heating it up even more. There is also more space for the fans. The Wii U and XB1 use this. This is used in gaming technology to power the PCs and the power supply might need to be larger and deliver a higher wattage in order to deliver enough power to high end PCs. Software kernel This is the main operating system of the PC. The most common one is Windows, but MAC Many people use Windows as they believe it is the best
OS is also used too, just not as much. The kernel is a computer program that manages input or output requests from software and converts them into data processing instructions for the CPU and other hardware components. The kernel connects applications to the CPU, memory and other devices as the user, for instance, might want to open word and save a document. The kernel will connect the Word application to the memory in order to save it. kernel so far, however, people have their opinions and many believe that other kernels such as MAC and Linux are better. These kernels will help with game technology as some might be able to connect applications to specific devices faster, meaning saving creations for example could be quicker and easier on some. HCI Human computer interaction is the planning, design and uses of the interaction between humans and computers, and to what extent are or are not created for successful interaction with the users. This is where user friendliness comes in and HCI seemed to be ignored for a while, but is now stepping in. Take windows 8 for example. In windows 7, they kept the OS pretty much the same as it have always been, but in Windows 8 they have added a tiles feature where all programs are displayed on tiles and it is believed that this makes navigating and finding easier and more likeable by humans when they interact with it. Microsoft wanted to make it more user friendly. The kinect which is an add-on for the Xbox One and 360 was designed to give audiences another way to experience a console. It allowed them to control actions using their body and voice. This is another way of HCI which was successful with some and a number of people would refer playing games or controlling their console with actions or words. In game technology, some OS might not be very user friendly and if you are stuck with one you don’t like, it might make development of a game much harder as finding applications might be a pain. LAN Local Area Network gives a networking capability to all computers within close proximity of each other. They are used in schools so each computer can be connected and on the same network. Here, you can easily share files with other users in the same building instead of having to send them via email or USBs. A wired LAN is faster that a wireless as it has direct access to the console or PC, as with Wifi. LAN is much faster than a Wifi internet connection as it does not have to connect and wait for other consoles around the world. When two players on a LAN connect, this is called a system link and it is much faster as all LAN could be used to test games by creating a ‘LAN party’. In a game studio, a LAN would be important if you added a multiplayer aspect to the game as you would be able to test your product FULLY before selling it to the public. Also, the studio could easily share its files. For example, if one user saves a sound to the network, every other user can access it easily from their computer
PCs of a LAN are usually connected, therefore do not have to send signals across all over the world and can usually start when everyone is ready with some reduced loading times depending on the game and the number of players who need to connect. GPRS General packet radio service is a service for phones in which enables users to send information and receive it across a telephone network anywhere in the world. This means I could send a friend some important data if, for example, we are working for the same company. This could be used to allow game developers to receive information or items built from somebody far away. WAP Wireless application protocol is a web browser application that is present in mobile devices that use the protocol and it allows users to access information on these devices It is used on mobile phones to allow users to look up information about games and they can even download them Cache The Cache transparently stores data for that processes in the future can be finished faster. Its like making a batch of cakes, but only needing 5, so the cache keeps the others in a safe place until you need the cakes again. It also works on the internet where it saves your email addresses when signing in to sites, so that you do not need to type them out every time you come back. Cache can be used in gaming technology to save certain preferences for example. The cache can store information like Field of view or store login details. MCP Media communications program is a program which educates other about different type’s media and is the process of human communication. The games designers could be taught how to use certain programs or elements on a computer 2D vs 3D Graphics 2D graphics were mainly used in the past and consist of the game being played on a flat screen. This could be used to create board games or platformers like Super Mario and pieces or characters could only move up, down, left, right or diagonally. 3D graphics allow real world movement in first or third person games and the player is able to move around a full 3D world if one is made. 3D graphics are said to look more realistic if that’s what the game wants to achieve and examples of games that use it are Fallout 3 and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Some games companies prefer 2D graphics to 3D, and other companies prefer it vice versa. It mainly depends on the games you are trying to make and which one suits it best, and I believe both 2D and 3D games are great. Subscription TV This is where people would pay to have even more TV channels. A lot of people pay monthly for extended TV services such as Sky+ where you get lots more channels with more interesting content. A subscription TV services could be used for TV games that users can play on their TVs. The people could pay a monthly fee for tons of free games. ETV Enhanced TV is where a TV can not only just be used to watch TV programs, but look at up to Games developers could create games for ETV users to
date news, browse the internet, play games and more. These smart TVs are becoming more common and can do far more than regular TVs play. API Application Programming interface specifies how software components interact and work with each other. They are also tools for building software apps. A good API makes it easier to develop a program by providing all the building blocks and tools. This could be used to make special soft wares which could either advertise the game in development or help it Interpreted programming languages for games This language executes instructions directly without compiling a program into machine language instructions This language allows for platform independence such as javas byte code. Compiled programming languages This programming language requires a compiler program to turn source code into an executable machine language binary program. Usually, when compiled, this type is quicker than most. Object- orientated programming This language is used to also define the types of operations that can be applied to the data structure, as well as defining the data type of a structure. People say that this type of programming language is easier to use and is more structured. Scripting languages for games A scripting language is a high level language that is interpreted by another program at runtime rather than being compiled. C++, ALGOL and Cobra are all scripting languages A scripting language is a similar to a language such as English, however it is filled with codes such as the ones seen on the image below. Lines of code such as ‘bFirstTest’ are assembled depending on what you want something to do in a game. These scripts are then read by the game engine which can then assemble an action. This is great for games as it allows many things to be coded such as random events. This is vital for games as not a lot would be able to be added without scripting.
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