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The Bit Wars: Was it all BS?

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to ask the question....has any 64bit games apeared on ANY current gen system (incl. mac or pc)

mac/pc are not really game systems

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All Blast Processing was was a buzzword for "WE GOT TEH FASTAR CPUZOR NAH NAH NAH". Though having a 7.16 MHz 68000 vs. a 3.58 MHz 65816 wasn't everything - some games were still better on the SNES (e.g., Mortal Kombat 2 and Samurai Shodown, which were more complete and accurate on the SNES).

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to ask the question....has any 64bit games apeared on ANY current gen system (incl. mac or pc)

mac/pc are not really game systems

The difference is only a matter of marketing, and a TV vs a monitor, nothing else. And if you got into the Maxis games of the early 90s, then Mac sure was a game machine. An iPhone is too, for that matter. It's purpose is only relevant to what it's used for.

 

But that's just my opinion:)

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But once we hit "32-bit" there was no obvious advantage to scaling up every aspect of the machine one more time. A "32-bit" machine can address only 4GB of memory, but no game system has ever had even half as much memory. A "32-bit" machine can do math on numbers that can have only four billion unique values, but in games we don't need more precision than that. Upping the whole system to "64-bits" would have provided no practical advantages and several disadvantages, such as wasting memory for big integers and pointers. So nobody made a wholly "64-bit" game system as of 2011.

 

 

Neither does a 32-bit have any practical advantage over a 16-bit CPU when it comes to 2D sidescrollers. Most 2D game physics rely on object coordinates. The average 2D game uses a resolution of 256x256 pixels. It takes 256 screens for a level to be more than 65536 pixels long. Has there ever been a 2D game with levels that are more than 256 screens long?

 

 

This is one of the reasons I always thought the 68000 was an highly overhyped and overrated CPU. Another being that 4-cycle memory accesses cancel out the performance advantage of having a 16-bit data bus.

 

The 68000 is easy to program, and can run at adequate speeds off of slower clocked memory chips, but just because it has 16 32-bit registers, doesn't mean it's (16 regs)*(32 bit)/(8 bit)= 64x more powerful than an 8-bit 6502 with 1 register, as some people like to believe.

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But once we hit "32-bit" there was no obvious advantage to scaling up every aspect of the machine one more time. A "32-bit" machine can address only 4GB of memory, but no game system has ever had even half as much memory. A "32-bit" machine can do math on numbers that can have only four billion unique values, but in games we don't need more precision than that. Upping the whole system to "64-bits" would have provided no practical advantages and several disadvantages, such as wasting memory for big integers and pointers. So nobody made a wholly "64-bit" game system as of 2011.

 

 

Neither does a 32-bit have any practical advantage over a 16-bit CPU when it comes to 2D sidescrollers. Most 2D game physics rely on object coordinates. The average 2D game uses a resolution of 256x256 pixels. It takes 256 screens for a level to be more than 65536 pixels long. Has there ever been a 2D game with levels that are more than 256 screens long?

 

 

This is one of the reasons I always thought the 68000 was an highly overhyped and overrated CPU. Another being that 4-cycle memory accesses cancel out the performance advantage of having a 16-bit data bus.

 

The 68000 is easy to program, and can run at adequate speeds off of slower clocked memory chips, but just because it has 16 32-bit registers, doesn't mean it's (16 regs)*(32 bit)/(8 bit)= 64x more powerful than an 8-bit 6502 with 1 register, as some people like to believe.

 

yeah, you're totally right about this one. a home computer fan would tell you that a 32-bit CPU can copy pixels faster than a 16-bit CPU, but why is the CPU copying pixels? because you're on a home computer that has no sprite chip, that's why. ;)

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I'd say that bits only really matter when it comes to video. An 8-bit video processor can't address nearly as much memory as a 16 or 32-bit one can.

 

I don't think the processor bits matter as much as the speed of it.

 

Frankly, I'd love to see someone design a totally 8-bit system (processor & video & sound) that kicks ass like say... a PS1. And I think it could be done if the chips were fast enough. That would end the whole bit debate.

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A good case in point for this though is when they put the 65816 SuperCPU in the Commodore 64, and they only made one game with it, Metal Dust.......

 

and it still looks pretty blah because the video chip is a gimp.

Edited by Arkhan

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