If the SNES can do raytracing, how can the PS4 and Xbox One not?

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Ronian53
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If the SNES can do raytracing, how can the PS4 and Xbox One not?

Post by Ronian53 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:08 am

Someone added raytracing into a SNES chip. The SNES is from 1990 and uses mainly sprite graphics with 3d software rendering sometimes. But the PS4 and Xbox One, which are from 2013 can't do raytracing? Why? Someone explain this to me?

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aa-dav
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Re: If the SNES can do raytracing, how can the PS4 and Xbox One not?

Post by aa-dav » Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:41 am

Ronian53 wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:08 am
Someone added raytracing into a SNES chip.
Did you see this video? It has some clues.

calima
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Re: If the SNES can do raytracing, how can the PS4 and Xbox One not?

Post by calima » Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:33 am

If other members can use a forum to discuss topics instead of just dumping questions, how can Ronian53 not?

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Quietust
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Re: If the SNES can do raytracing, how can the PS4 and Xbox One not?

Post by Quietust » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:15 pm

Ronian53 wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:08 am
Someone added raytracing into a SNES chip. The SNES is from 1990 and uses mainly sprite graphics with 3d software rendering sometimes. But the PS4 and Xbox One, which are from 2013 can't do raytracing? Why? Someone explain this to me?
Had you bothered to read the thread (and watch the linked videos), you would've seen that the SNES itself is not doing raytracing - instead, a brand new custom chip (similar to the SuperFX) was designed which does all of the raytracing itself and just copies the resulting graphics to the SNES PPU as quickly as it can.
calima wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:33 am
If other members can use a forum to discuss topics instead of just dumping questions, how can Ronian53 not?
Congratulations, you win 1 Internet™ for actually asking a reasonable question.
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Nikku4211
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Re: If the SNES can do raytracing, how can the PS4 and Xbox One not?

Post by Nikku4211 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:40 pm

Quietust wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:15 pm
Had you bothered to read the thread (and watch the linked videos), you would've seen that the SNES itself is not doing raytracing - instead, a brand new custom chip (similar to the SuperFX) was designed which does all of the raytracing itself and just copies the resulting graphics to the SNES PPU as quickly as it can.
bro it ain't anythin' like a superfx bro shironeko be puttin' fpgas up in there ain't nothin' like a 16-bit risc boi
calima wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:33 am
If other members can use a forum to discuss topics instead of just dumping questions, how can Ronian53 not?
Sick burn, heyyo!

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Re: If the SNES can do raytracing, how can the PS4 and Xbox One not?

Post by rainwarrior » Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:49 pm

Ronian53 wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:08 am
But the PS4 and Xbox One, which are from 2013 can't do raytracing?
I don't know where you've got your information, probably you just made it up without doing any research, but there are definitely PS4 and Xbone games that raytrace.

Claybook is one example that easily comes to mind: GPU based clay simulation and ray tracing tech in Claybook

If you look harder you'll probably find examples of raytracing on a lot of platforms going back a very long way. Demoscene stuff has been doing it for years and years on almost every hardware imaginable.

The relevant question is not "can it raytrace", because every platform can do it. The question is "can raytraced graphics compete with other methods for games", which for most of history the answer has mostly been no. If it has to be commercially viable it's a hard sell. Usually people are interested in raytracing more for the programming challenge (e.g. Demoscene) than something that will improve a game.

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Nikku4211
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Re: If the SNES can do raytracing, how can the PS4 and Xbox One not?

Post by Nikku4211 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:42 pm

rainwarrior wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:49 pm
If you look harder you'll probably find examples of raytracing on a lot of platforms going back a very long way. Demoscene stuff has been doing it for years and years on almost every hardware imaginable.

The relevant question is not "can it raytrace", because every platform can do it. The question is "can raytraced graphics compete with other methods for games", which for most of history the answer has mostly been no. If it has to be commercially viable it's a hard sell. Usually people are interested in raytracing more for the programming challenge (e.g. Demoscene) than something that will improve a game.
I've heard that what the demoscene is doing is just using precalculated lookup tables and other pre-done stuff that isn't real-time.
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Re: If the SNES can do raytracing, how can the PS4 and Xbox One not?

Post by rainwarrior » Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:48 pm

Nikku4211 wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:42 pm
I've heard that what the demoscene is doing is just using precalculated lookup tables and other pre-done stuff that isn't real-time.
That's a ridiculously general statement that only applies to specific cases. Some yes. Some no. The Demoscene isn't one person or one demo.

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Re: If the SNES can do raytracing, how can the PS4 and Xbox One not?

Post by Nikku4211 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 4:30 pm

rainwarrior wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:48 pm
Nikku4211 wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:42 pm
I've heard that what the demoscene is doing is just using precalculated lookup tables and other pre-done stuff that isn't real-time.
That's a ridiculously general statement that only applies to specific cases. Some yes. Some no. The Demoscene isn't one person or one demo.
I meant 'most demoscenes' but okay.

I've heard it was that way for the raytracing on Second Reality on DOS, at least.
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Re: If the SNES can do raytracing, how can the PS4 and Xbox One not?

Post by lidnariq » Thu Dec 17, 2020 4:43 pm

They released the source code for Second Reality: https://github.com/mtuomi/SecondReality

The sword out of the background doesn't even look like raytracing; it only looks like a polygon engine capable of drawing a couple quads.

The writeup here calls that effect "Peilipalloscroll" or ... "mirror ball scroll" and it's not that complicated.

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Re: If the SNES can do raytracing, how can the PS4 and Xbox One not?

Post by rainwarrior » Thu Dec 17, 2020 4:58 pm

Since about 2007 (i.e. Shader Model 3) it's been fairly easy to write forms of raytracing in GPU shaders. There's like a billion realtime raytracing demos out there, of varying degrees of complexity.

Valleyball Demo 2009, PC - This is just an example I remember. The demo wasn't even trying to impress anyone with raytracing AFAIK, it's a 4k demo, the impressive part was supposed to be the size. The point it illustrates is that by 2009 having realtime GPU shader raytracing in a demo was just kinda casual.

There's lots PS3 raytracing experiments out there if you want to search for them. Intel for years was publishing papers about their realtime raytracing experiments, often using Quake games as a demo, and some of that was done on versions of the Cell processor that the PS3 used.

raytracement killers 2005, Dreamcast - a not very complex scene demonstrated on Dreamcast, but it's just an example of things people were doing. Older systems still have a lot of power to throw at this stuff.

I played a demo of a 3D real-time raytraced bowling game around about 2000 for DOS. I can't remember the name of it, but it was playable. It was low resolution 320x200 VGA. I didn't think it was impressive as a game, but at the time I thought it was neat that it was raytraced, and that seemed to be their whole marketing angle for it.

There's a bunch of demos from the late 90s here: The Realtime Raytracing Realm

The difference between realtime and not has a lot of grey area. Depending on what framerate you demand, and how complex the scene has to be, eventually there is a value where any platform is meeting it.

This was just a quick couple of examples of things that I remembered offhand, there is tons more on this if you just look for it. People have been working on this forever, and I really don't want to spend all day digging up examples or debating whether some particular demo is or is not raytracing, but the OP's entire premise is false, in my opinion.

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Re: If the SNES can do raytracing, how can the PS4 and Xbox One not?

Post by Nikku4211 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:41 pm

As for the thread thing, Ronian's constant thread making makes me think we should have a single thread where you ask the questions you have about consoles and computers there.
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Re: If the SNES can do raytracing, how can the PS4 and Xbox One not?

Post by rainwarrior » Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:54 pm

I'm definitely not commenting for Ronian53's benefit. ;P

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Re: If the SNES can do raytracing, how can the PS4 and Xbox One not?

Post by Nikku4211 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:34 pm

rainwarrior wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:54 pm
I'm definitely not commenting for Ronian53's benefit. ;P
Think about it. If there's already a thread for asking these kinds of questions, he would have no need to make entire new threads for his.
I have an ASD, so empathy is not natural for me. If I hurt you, I apologise.

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aa-dav
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Re: If the SNES can do raytracing, how can the PS4 and Xbox One not?

Post by aa-dav » Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:50 pm

Nikku4211 wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:41 pm
As for the thread thing, Ronian's constant thread making makes me think we should have a single thread where you ask the questions you have about consoles and computers there.
...named 'Bots can ask here'.

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