Gran Turismo at 4x HD Resolution, 240 Frames Per Second

November 19th, 2008 by Jordan

Attendees to last month’s Downshift Session 2008 were treated to a spectacular sight: Gran Turismo 5 Prologue running at 3840 x 2160 pixels (that’s 4 times normal HD resolution) via a Sony SRX-110 projector fed by 4 separate PlayStation 3 consoles!

Polyphony Digital and Sony also showed off a copy of GT5 Prologue running at 240 FPS (Frames Per Second) on a television powered by new FED (Field Emissions Display) display technology.  Considering that high-end video games (like GT5 Prologue) run at no more than 60 FPS, it is difficult to imagine what 240 frames per second actually looks like, but it must be pretty impressive:

The frame rate of a single PS3 is 60fps, or 1/60 of a second, but by having four PS3’s draw an image four times within this 1/60 of a second, a frame rate of 1/240 of a second is made possible.

You can see the shocking difference of this high frame rate Gran Turismo immediately when you see the screen. It is as though you are following a real world event happening right in front of your face with your own eyes. Any and all flickering in the movement of the vehicle, in the smoke from the tires, etc. are completely gone, and you are almost tricked into believing you are watching something in real life. The guests at the event were baffled by the quality of the image, and stared in amazement at the screen.

It would be interesting to learn more about the software modifications that allowed the PS3 systems to communicate and synchronize with each other, but this is the extent of the technical detail provided by Polyphony Digital.  Regardless, the event was a great success, with plenty of artists, musicians, and celebrities in attendance (the Gran Turismo Edition Lotus Exige that we saw a few weeks back was also there!).  Read all the details at Polyphony’s website, or check out more photos from the event below.

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  1. GTPlanet » Blog Archive » Gran Turismo Snubbed by Guiness World Records

    [...] to as the ultimate automotive “brand ambassador” by BusinessWeek magazine, pushed technical boundaries, increased sales of actual vehicles, turned a video gamer into a professional race car driver, and [...]

  2. Viper007Bond

    GT5P is definitely 1080p, it’s not upscaled. I play on my 24″ computer monitor (it’s 1920×1200) and trust me, you’d be able to tell if it was upscaled to 1080p by the PS3 before being sent to the screen.

  3. Kilrnohj,
    I don’t think your speculations hold ANY weight. since when does it take less effort to upscale from slightly lower resolution than to just use the higher resolution. it takes more power to do that. And weather it is CONSTANT 60 fps doesn’t really matter, it’s reaching it. As for your technical sentence, I don’t know if your assuming too much. We don’t know about the synchronization method they used.

  4. Kllrnohj

    I highly doubt that a single PS3 can render GT5 Prologue at 1920×1080. I bet that it is being upscaled to 1920×1080 (I’ve heard its actually 1440×1080, which results in 1.5 million pixels per PS3, not 2.1). Likewise, I highly doubt that it is running at a constant 60fps. Given the scaling of AFR with nvidia’s SLI and ATI’s Crossfire (which where actually designed and built to do AFR to begin with, and have high speed interconnects dedicated to the purpose and aren’t using Ethernet to stay synchronized), four PS3′s wouldn’t surpass ~160fps, much less hit 240fps.

    This entire presentation reeks of marketing bullshit.

  5. yeah, that’s why they add blur. It’s like looking at a fan versus looking at a digital fan. a real fan eventually sorta looks like its going backwards, but you can’t see the blades anymore (just approximate blade blurry areas). in a digital when when it starts to go backwards it just looks like its going backwards.

    There is a certain limit on when an increase in fps will stop making a difference for high speed objects, but we’re not their yet. @Jordan – calm down. a higher frame rate will not ALWAYS make an impact, and for slow moving objects right now it doesn’t make an impact at all. Notice the games where frame rates are advertised: racing, first person shooter, etc. not sim-city and spore (though tehy could use it if you moved the camera angle)…

    as a side note: house flies can register frames a lot faster than we can (small brain) – so a standard DVD would practically look like a slide show for them.

  6. in response to Nate: o so that’s why some games add a blur to moving objects, i guess it makes sense cause i have seen games where there is no blur to moving objects and they look weird and look like they are going too fast

  7. Seems no one does read.
    TWO expiraments. The title screws some people up, but the article is pretty clear.
    1 has each ps3 updating a quarter of the screen. add them together you get high resolution

    1 has each ps3 running a frame every 1/60th of a second. Compile together and you get 240 fps.
    as for what the human eye can see, we blur everything after 1/30th or so a second. We couldn’t detect a flaw if a frame was missing at 1/60th, but fast moving objects would come in more clearly, as the bluring is reinforced by what we’re actuallying seeing. So for most things, you wont notice, but for high speed it makes it much better and more realistic.

    ps on the fps – this is why many games add blur effects to swinging objects and such. Otherwise things appear strangely. This can be seen btw with a diode on an AC light. it looks plane when moving slowly or sitting still, but when you swing it you start seeing that it appears in some places and not in others, like a strobe light effect.

  8. Did nobody read Jordan’s comment?

  9. Well, it’s not super misleading. There is actually a bit of the screen updated every 240th of a second. It may not be the whole screen but there is new information there on the screen at that rate… impresses me. A nice little experiment…at least they’re bothering to mess around with this sort of stuff…like when they rigged up the f1 car with a HD screen and a pair of PSP’s for wing mirrors….it’s all interesting stuff!

  10. The whole 240 FPS thing is just a gimmick. Humans can only detect flaws in the frame rate when it dips below roughly 30 FPS. The human eye cannot tell the difference if something is running at 60 FPS or 240 FPS.

  11. too funny…it should say the frame rate is 4/240!!! See how many people it confuses then.

  12. From the article: “The frame rate of a single PS3 is 60fps, or 1/60 of a second, but by having four PS3’s draw an image four times within this 1/60 of a second, a frame rate of 1/240 of a second is made possible.”

    So, Max’s original post was right. It’s really only 60fps, and the 240fps is bunch of baloney. There’s 240 quater-frames each second, but only a total of 4 full frames every second. The individual PS3s are still just updating at 60fps.

  13. Thanx for the note, Heckler.

    This article has a very misleading headline.

  14. Heckler

    @Max: Try reading the article before you start talking about it… Read Jordan’s reply to 1800SSS to see where you went wrong.

  15. Sorry, but all that just doesn’t seem to be right.

    So they have 4 PS3s, each feeding one quarter (1920×1080) of that screen and each rendering in 60fps … that’s still 60fps

    I strongly disbelieve that each PS3 actually renders the full resolution and that they managed to synchronize four PS3 in something comparable to quad-SLI in alternate frame rendering (AFR).

    Last but not least the display would also be required to run in 240Hz

    To me, this is just marketing babble at its best.

  16. @James: As much as I would like to see it, I doubt a multi-screen feature would convince someone to purchase the game who otherwise would not. Still, it may bring in some PC sim-racing fans, and Polyphony have already gone to the trouble of implementing it for this event, so you never know…

    @1800SSS: Take another look – the 240 FPS is not running on the 3840 x 2160 display, but on a 19-inch FED prototype television. There are two different demonstrations going on here: one shows off high resolution, the other a high frame rate.

  17. The way that’s set up, it’s not really 240 FPS.
    The four quarters of the screen are refreshing by themselves.

  18. I wonder how many PS3 sales GT5 would push if they actually shipped the game with the option of using multiple PS3s for higher framerate and/or improved graphics.

  19. This looks like an awesome party – I wonder how people were able to get tickets?


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