Red Faction dev claims to have pushed Xbox 360 to its limit

January 3, 2009

Red Faction dev claims to have pushed Xbox 360 to its limitWe’re now three years into this generation of consoles, and both the sales battle and quality and quantity of games are increasing. But each of the three home consoles has its limitations, and the developer of the new Red Faction game thinks it has reached the Xbox 360′s.

Every console ever released had a natural lifespan. While some, such as the Dreamcast and original Xbox were killed off prematurely, others, such as the PS2 and Gameboy carried on well past pension age. Many different factors conspire to determine a console’s age at time of death, from sales (obviously), through a manufacturer’s commitment, to the capabilities of the hardware.

All three current gen console’s can tick the first two boxes, having sold enough to justify their existence and having a company behind it wholly committed to the games industry. But could the Xbox 360 be about to fail in the third objective? That of having room for developers to increase the size, scope, look, and feel of the system’s games?

Gameplayer recently spoke to Rick White, the producer of the forthcoming Red Faction: Guerrilla at Volition. The game is the third in the popular series, and is set to be released on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC on Jan. 30, 2009. White mainly talks about how the game has changed from the last generation to this, but there is one particularly interesting section of the interview.

Gameplayer: So you’re saying that RFG is pushing the hardware as far as it can go? Squeezing every drop of juice out of the Xbox 360?

Rick White: Yeah, we’ve got it to the point where we can’t even put an extra vehicle into a world, because it’ll blow the memory. Every little change we make we have to be hyper-critical about it because it could just bring the whole system down. We evaluate every little change in the game, and then we run our tools on it to make sure it isn’t going to break the game and then we move forward, so it really is about pushing the engine as far as we can, and pushing the hardware as far as we can, and then looking at what is the next set of hardware that’s going to come out. Where can we take it then? You know we’re already thinking about if we had XYZ X number of years from now, what would we do with our engine?

Could this really be the first sign that the Xbox 360 has reached its pinnacle? If so, it’s a worrying trend for Microsoft and Xbox 360 players because neither the Wii or PS3 seem to have reached their tipping points in terms of technology at this point.

The PS3 is an obvious one, with most developers having taken this long to even get to grips with the hardware and development tools. And none of them are suggesting they’re anywhere close to pushing the system to its limits.Although Killzone 2 may change all that. And the Wii? Well, most games don’t use the technology at all well and games such as Madworld and The Conduit show the Nintendo machine is actually capable of much more.

Obviously, Volition are going to talk its game up to the hilt, and suggesting that Red Faction: Guerrilla pushes the hardware is a great way of doing that. But there was no mention of the PS3 in the same answer so there’s obviously some truth to it.

So the question is: how long until we see talk of an Xbox 720, which White mentions by name? Could Microsoft be forced to be first out of the next-gen gate simply because the current hardware stops being able to compete with the Playstation 3?

48 Responses to “Red Faction dev claims to have pushed Xbox 360 to its limit”

  1. Bourne:

    Flamesuit is on, get ready for the xbots crying over how it can’t be so.

  2. lock_down:

    I too think this thread could get heated…

  3. lock_down:

    …heated to the point of RRoD.

  4. hysonmb:

    Why is this surprising? The 360 has been out for a while and devs are good at what they do. Based on the last couple of generations, I would expect talk of the next-gen to start late this year and new consoles to launch in 2 -3 years. Either way, it’s good news when developers get to this point.

  5. to_me:

    im just waititng for the xbox 360 fans to start crying how this is all wrong. just like how they all cry and say how much GOD OF WAR 3 IS GONNA SUCK and how they all want to go to to the 360 at the same time.

    anyways im sure these devs are right, hopefully they’ll turn to the ps3 later to show a much MUCH bigger game with more pgameplay and stuff :)

  6. CON:

    You made this whole article out of………”Yeah, we’ve got it to the point where we can’t even put an extra vehicle into a world, because it’ll blow the memory.”

    This just a developer boosting about the work theyve put into the game.

    If I’m not mistaken it is the 360 who have the superior RAM (memory to the lesser minds, ie article writers)

    This is why 360 owners enjoy games such as command and conquer which are not possible on the ps3 with their so called 512RAM which just isn’t so.

    Poor poor article

  7. SW:

    Surprising this piece of flame bait hasn’t scored more replies yet :)

    CON the article was put out the way it was to pull in the most people possible. Pulled you in didn’t it?

    Still, not as many replies as usual but it is the weekend :)

    “RAM (memory to the lesser minds)” – made me roll my eyes over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

  8. Ivan_PSP:

    Killzone 2 is gonna be a perfect game with mind blowing jaw dropping graphics no game stands a chance. But it won’t push the PS3 to its limits PS3 is beast. And as far as Red Faction goes it looks like crap to me but almost every Xbox 360 game coming out since 2008 is using about %90 or more of the Xbox 360 processing power while PS3 maybe %20. I’m %100 sure Microsoft if they last until the next gaming generation they will not call the next Xbox console Xbox 720. Do you even know what 360 means… PS3 is gonna obliterate the Xbox 360.

  9. DavidB:

    Does Blorge have any articles in Gamer that AREN’T flame war bait any more? I guess its a good living if you can get it, eh Dave? Toss out flame bait posts, ignore the comments (especially about your inaccuracies or your blatant ripping off what’s been posted elsewhere), collect your check.

    And you PRETEND to be a journalist. Sigh.

  10. Happyhockum:

    The answer is as simple as it is obvious.


    Of course it’s (like all PR) dosed with truth…..but it depends what you mean by ‘truth’.

    The key factor here is that
    *with their current dev tools*
    these guys say they’re near or at the limit.

    But, and it’s a huge ‘but’, that doesn’t mean there will not be better & more efficient tools for devs coming later.

    It’s also true that that’s some boast.
    I just hope that when the game itself shows up it lives up to their hype & this bragging & that they haven’t made fools of themselves.

    Mind you, looking at current PC games and XBox games (which seem remarkably similar despite the age of the ATi 1900 in each XBox 360) if this really is, more or less, ‘it’
    then I say a resounding ‘big deal’.

    Were we supposed to get worked up about this or something?

  11. darkwhitehair:

    well fanboys are the new customers nowadays… just like TV ads market to teens with wads of their mommys cash… the net markets to the fanboys with “Graphics Comparison Between PS3 and 360″ (in gamespot) and awards like “Best Software Liveup”

    and always ask questions to celebrities like… what console do YOU play in???

    its sad but its the new wave… nothing we can do…
    I wanna talk about games… but all you guys want to do is talk sales figures and company policies…

  12. Kradie:

    Don’t forget Uncharted 2

    Do not be fooled! It is rendered in real time.

    Behold! The screenshots–Among-Thieves-News–a5774-p0.php

    I wonder if the 360 can do better, in the graphics department.

    It’s not all about the graphics for me anyway, I spend more time on older games >.>

  13. harry sachz:

    @ DWH – ‘I wanna talk about games… but all you guys want to do is talk sales figures and company policies…’ – Are your pants on fire right now? You’re as guilty as the rest of us.

    Happyhockum, apparently we’re meant to be really upset. If this game ends up looking better than Gears 2, then I will believe him. If it does not look as good as Gears 2, then the finger pointing would have to go to his programming techniques and engine. Easy!

  14. darkwhitehair:

    hey guys… during the Raiden and Gekko fights… did anyone else think they should make a “Ninja Gaiden Raiden”??? that would be so great…

    perhaps the next Kojima game should be a slash em up… it looked so great…

  15. CAD:

    Harry that’s what I thought. Red Faction. was that not a shooter back on the old consoles? Well like Harry said if that games comes out not even looking anything like Gears then I will call BS. Epic even said they will push it even further with Gears 3. But really the games look amazing already and Gears just makes everything look stupid no matter what system or game you want to bring up. Nothing is as graphically as good as Gears. Just another developer talking smack until MS comes along and pats them on the back and say “Let me show you how to build a game”.

  16. CAD:


    Just remember to blam Dave and Mike for the flambaiting.

  17. CarlB:

    “But there was no mention of the PS3 in the same answer so there’s obviously some truth to it.”

    There was no mention of the PS3 simply because the interviewer, GamePlayer, never asked about it. Instead they jumped from the statement in response to the question:

    GAMEPLAYER: “how long do you think it’ll take for the industry to catch up with RFG?”

    which was:

    RICK WHITE: “My guess would be two years, but I think part of it is making that time investment and being willing to make the compromises. We’ve had to make compromises on the visual side of it as well as just design. We’re pushing so many polys with the destruction system it’s not going to look like your Gears of War 2.”


    GAMEPLAYER: “So you’re saying that RFG is pushing the hardware as far as it can go? Squeezing every drop of juice out of the Xbox 360?”

    Notice the GamePlayer interviewer jumped to the 360 in response to a statement about the industry, and completely left the PS3 out of that question, and there was no mention of the PS3 anywhere in the interview. I may be mistaken, but I believe this could be referred to as “flamebaiting”.

  18. Bourne:

    Lol don’t try to make this about the PS3 (directed at anyone willing to bring the PS3 into this) because the PS3 is not in the topic here

  19. CarlB:


    That is the point, the 360 was never the point in the source interview either, it was the game, until the interviewer decided to go from asking about the industry to only the 360, oddly not asking about the PS3.

    “we can’t even put an extra vehicle into a world, because it’ll blow the memory” he could also be talking about the PS3, but he was only asked about the 360, mysteriously. The fact that the PS3 has less RAM, which he seems to pointing out as a factor, only heightens suspicion as to why the PS3 was never mentioned.

  20. to_me:


    CAD, sorry but Gears 1 or 2 are no match for God of War III graphics, if you download the first trailer on psn, you’ll SEE why. and the game isnt even near complete yet. the director davide jaffe even said himself that gears is no match for the graphics in god of war 3. yeah sure gears 2 mite have the best graphics on the 360, but doesnt beat ALL the games on the ps3. oh and dont forget gran turismo 5 graphics, killzone ingame graphics which are extremely good and unbeatable. and kz2 will be dam good. one source already gave it a 5/5, i think that was OPM, but its just one source, wait for a few more weeks.

    and if the guy was talking about the ps3 version, wouldnt that mean he would have used 50gb of space? im sure he never even meant the ps3 in his answer.

    “Gameplayer: So you’re saying that RFG is pushing the hardware as far as it can go? Squeezing every drop of juice ****out of the Xbox 360?****”

    h even he never talked about the ps3, i dont care if it doesnt go to the ps3, cuse we got tons others.

    oh and for those other 360 fanboys, stop saying how stupid gow3 is (even graphic wise), and then saying you want it for the 360 just like for mgs4, its pretty sad.

  21. to_me:

    heres a more indepth interview, and the dev claims they can have better graphics on the game using the ps3.

    “A developer at Volition, group behind the upcoming Red Faction: Guerrilla, joins the camp of developers who attest the PS3 has unbridled power beneath a rather complicated shell. Jeff Carroll, associate producer for the game, said other developers will struggle at first with the PS3, but when they figure it out, there’s a very powerful system there.

    As for the needless comparison between 360 and PS3 versions, Carroll said “We’ve got the PS3 running at a similar frame rate to the 360. We’re finding some of the challenges of the PS3 beneficial. We feel like we’re doing rather well with the PS3.” He goes into some specific benefits the PS3 brings to the table, like the increase in running speed once they moved animations and physics from the CPUs onto the SPUs. Potentially, Carroll said, the PS3 will push out better graphics than the 360. Since he says this game is pushing the PS3, maybe we’ll see results that support his claim!”

  22. to_me:

    carlB, the ps3 was mentioned in the invterview, but it was cut off. heres the rest of it.

  23. Happyhockum:


    Kid yourself all you like but I have seen nothing on PS3 that the XBox 360 can’t do.

    …..and the truth is that the PS3 (and XBox 360 for that matter) are absolutely left far behind by the very best a PC can manage today.

    The only surprise in any of this is that game devs have yet to do very much with the 4 or 5 gen gap between the GPUs in both the PS3 & the XBox 360
    (nevermind the vast & growing gulf between CPU & RAM).

  24. lock_down:

    But be fair happyhockum, you can’t package a high end PC as a mainstream console as it would cost billions.

    The general consensus seems to be that the PS3 is more capable.

    Though it will probably be some time before we see what, if anything, devs can do to make the PS3 do what the 360 can’t.

  25. harry sachz:

    @ to_me,

    “the director davide jaffe even said himself that gears is no match for the graphics in god of war 3.”

    You mean the guy who created God Of War is talking the third game up as something huge? No bias there, nope, none at all!

  26. darkwhitehair:

    thats so funny harry… perhaps you should watch the kotaku video podcast with jaffe and then make your hilarious witty remarks…

    ha ha… so funny

  27. Happyhockum:


    Come on, really be fair.

    There is no consensus.

    PS3 fans keep claiming the PR is true.
    Everyone else (not buying into that) says
    “so where is it then, show us?”

    …..and still we’re all waiting and waiting.

    I suspect we’ll all still be waiting at this time next year and still the line will be ‘just you wait and see’.

    So far it’s all empty claim and not a single shred of substance.
    That’s being really fair about the facts my friend.

  28. lock_down:

    “this time next year” will still only be three years into a ten year system.

    And before you say the PS3 will not be around for ten years, the PS1 was manufactured for eleven years; the PS2 is going into its ninth year in March, so evidence suggests the PS3 will be a ten year system.

    Some of the PS2′s best games came 5+ years after it was released.

    The fact that the 360 is already beginning to creak after only three years, and with Sam Houser of Rockstar already questioning the disc space limitations of the 360 ( I know I would rather have system on the PS3 that has potential.

    It looks like the 360 has no more potential left.

  29. darkwhitehair:

    yeah its nice to see articles which say “this game using this gigawats powah and is better on so and so console”
    it doesnt really matter… Psychonauts didnt use billions of pixels… street fighter doesnt use 20 million sim units… they are still fun and my favourite games…

    just stick to the games and lets the company PR battle it out… its much more fun to watch them from the sidelines… hehe

  30. harry sachz:

    DWH, why should I bother watching that? If you think that he has no bias whatsoever regarding God Of War then you’re kidding yourself.

  31. CarlB:


    (CarlB looks up from playing Sony PSP, and thinking how much better the same game would be on Sony PS2, let alone a PS3)

    Hmm? Oh yes, were you saying something about me being a fanboy? Nevermind… he could have been talking about storage memory, but then it still hasn’t been stated whether it was RAM or storage memory. If it is a factor of storage memory, then perhaps they could release it on multiple discs… who knows.

    I would like to play every good game if I had the time and money to purchase multiple systems, unfortunately I do not.

    And thanks for finding the “rest of the interview” on the PS3FANBOY site. All I was really looking for is that last part: “Since he says this game is pushing the PS3″, thank you. But in fact, this is a different interview that you are quoting, one with Jeff Carrol (Jeff Carroll, associate producer in charge of multiplayer and PS3 on upcoming third-person action game Red Faction: Guerrilla -Not Rick White) back in May of 2008 and the THQ Gamers Day. When he stated: “”We’ve got the PS3 running at a similar frame rate to the 360. We’re finding some of the challenges of the PS3 beneficial. We feel like we’re doing rather well with the PS3″ it seems they are managing to get it up to 360′s existing specs.

    When he stated, “We have been getting the physics system, the Havok system and our own proprietary destruction system running on the SPUs, as well as our animations. We’re seeing quite a decent speed improvement now that we’ve effectively got that running on the SPUs instead of the CPUs” he doesn’t mention whether this is in direct comparison to the 360, or simply in comparison to previous work done on the PS3. In both interviews the site goes on to ad lib to the original quotes. Notice also that both of these interviews are from producers, not developers.

    The site goes on though, “Carroll agreed, however, that many developers have found the PS3 to be a challenging platform, and admitted that Volition shared that struggle, at first. ‘We were like that at the beginning. But I think mainly because we had to get our destruction system running on the SPUs, we had to get it running well in order to succeed, we felt a tremendous pressure right at the beginning to learn as much as we could about the PS3. And our programmers have done a wonderful job.’”

    This could also indicate they had more trouble getting it to run on the PS3 vice the 360.

    The site goes on, “When asked whether it is possible to achieve better graphics on the PS3 compared with the Xbox 360, Carroll said: ‘I think potentially you will. I think early on people are going to be struggling to figure out exactly how to make the PS3 work. But I think once they do they will see it’s a very powerful system underneath. They both have their advantages. The Xbox 360 pushes polygons rather well, which for us, because everything is destructible, that means that we have a tremendous number of polygons in our game compared to regular games, we see a great benefit with the Xbox 360, but we just learn to optimise in different ways for the PS3.’”

    This would indicate the PS3 “potentially” has more power, but they have not found it yet, simply minor ways to optimize.

    I hope the PS3 has much more “potential” power, as it did come out a year after the 360 and is more expensive. It needs this to help justify it’s price as a games console (unless of course you are a Blu-Ray fanatic). I really cannot remember the last technically (spec wise) superior console than won it’s generation though (Jaguar?, Dreamcast?, XBox?). I am not saying the PS3 will wind up like these consoles, just that I agree with darkwhitehair when he says “it really doesn’t matter” at this point when it comes to gameplay specifically. Maybe in another couple of years.

    Here is the original source, not PS3FANBOY:

  32. darkwhitehair:


    thats like the equivalent of you cupping your ears and screaming “NAH NAH NAH NOT LISTENING”

    then again you never did have credibility harry

  33. darkwhitehair:

    well carl… remember it took devs a long time to get the most out of the original xbox and the ps2… some of the best looking games on those consoles (chronicles of riddick, black, gow 2) came out a coupla years before this generation…

    we shouldnt be so impatient and ask for the good looking games right now… then for the next 4 years we’ll get the same graphics… no improvement… give me some good games even if the graphics are average… but once a while… gimme a game like Gears or MGS 4 that blows my frikkin mind away…

    also… carl you should really blog that thing… I suggest destructoid… they are really fun people…

  34. CarlB:


    my point exactly, hence my last sentence, “Maybe in another couple years.”

    I write here and there when I have time, but try not to leave out the whole story. So you prefer destructoid, do you?

  35. Bourne:

    Lol DWH you hit the nail on the head!
    “thats like the equivalent of you cupping your ears and screaming “NAH NAH NAH NOT LISTENING””

  36. CarlB:


    “thats like the equivalent of you cupping your ears and screaming ‘NAH NAH NAH NOT LISTENING’”

    You are right, I do not generally listen to what fanboy sites have to say, but rather I find the source interview, it’s context, and what specifically the person being interviewed is quoted as saying and pay attention to the specific question it is in response to.

    You may be surprised that fanboy sites generally pick and choose quotes from other sites to support their console of choice, but maybe someday, with more experience, you will not be.

    And I also do “not listen” to only one side of the interview, while taking other quotes from a fanboy website to make my argument. I listen to both sides.

    The “devs” never claimed anything. A couple of producers (one for PS3 production specifically) did talk about the game, and one of their difficulties with both systems. One stated there were advantages to both systems.

    “Potentially”, the PS3 could be more powerful than the 360. Agreed.

    A quote you mysteriously forgot to mention from the interview you cited here:

    “Carroll added that the game is “very much” pushing the PS3, “both in terms of memory and processing power”.

  37. Wylie77:


    Bourne wasn’t directing that towards you. It was at Harry for refusing to watch the GOW3 link. We know what blorge is about, and I think I speak for most of us when I say we are fine with it. It’s all in good fun. Let them throw out their flamebaits if they want. What would we argue about if they didn’t?

  38. CarlB:


    Very well, case closed, my points still stand to t_m, and apologies to Bourne.

  39. harry sachz:


    What does not bothering watching an interview have to do with credibility?

    Anyway, you never answered my question in another thread, which was, have you actually played Too Human?

  40. darkwhitehair:

    yeah carl… you write well… I like destructoid.. real fun community… they take the SERIOUS business of Video Games BERY BERY seriously….

    I suggest listening to the Podcastle… really fucking funny…

    carl… beware… bourne is british… he’s gonna through a meat pie at you… dont piss him off…

    also… does anyone else feel that Eidos should have spent more money on making a good tomb raider game than on that model???

    people who have grown up with tomb raider… do they still care about an attractive woman “playing” archeologist??

  41. SW:

    You underestimate the taste of meat pies…

  42. harry sachz:

    I wouldn’t mind a meat pie right about now…

  43. CarlB:

    Hopefully he doesn’t fling any Yorkshire Pudding either.

  44. kev:

    wow..what a flamebait article…. keep up the good work.

  45. Barnabe Jones:

    Wasn’t Epic already quoted as saying Gears 2 pushed the 360 to its absolute limits? Most games moving forward probably will. Unfortunately multiplatform PS3 titles will end up being held back as a result.

    They should just port down inferior multiplatform titles to the Wii and 360, but they won’t because it’s cheaper to cater to the lowest common denominator.

  46. CarlB:

    Barnabe Jones,

    Really? He said “absolute limits”? I don’t think so… but maybe you could link that one for us. Cliffy B’s comments alluded this to meaning console’s RAM or processors would not change or improve, and programming would have to improve in order to improve graphics. I.e. like the “optimization” of the PS3 above in “different ways” in order to get it to the same framerates as the 360.

    “it’s cheaper to cater to the lowest common denominator.”

    Yes this is why the man specifically getting paid to make sure this title works well on PS3 is quoted as follows:

    “Carroll added that the game is “very much” pushing the PS3, “both in terms of memory and processing power”

  47. Barnabe Jones:

    I’m at work, so most game related sites are blocked. Cliffy B was quoted as saying Gears 2 pushed the 360 to its graphical limits. If you google it… and are not blocked from everything, you’ll see…. he then recanted his statement to “RAM or processors would not change or improve”… which means M$ probably threatened him.

    The first Uncharted used about 30% of the PS3s processing power… Uncharted 2 will use nearly all of the PS3s power. Game Informer actually had a pretty good write up on it.

  48. CarlB:

    Yes, just as Carroll is quoted as saying RFG is pushing the PS3 to it’s “graphical limits” “both in terms of memory and processing power”. This does not mean there will be no improvement in terms of graphics through programming on either console.

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