Criterion: Nobody’s maxed out PS3/360, they’re just out of ideas

Saturday, 13th June 2009 14:36 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Criterion rolls the eyes a bit, apparently, when it hears people say that the PS3 or Xbox 360 have been maxed out.

“That’s proof that you’re not the best,” the firm’s technical director Richard Parr told Eurogamer. “It means you’re out of ideas.”

“You always find new ways to do things, the constraints lift. Not just with a new console generation but with every game you do,” added senior engineer Alex Fry. “Whether it’s a sequel or whether it’s a new game, you learn to do things differently… better.

“The constraints go away because you learn. While it’s nice to say you’ve maxed something out, there’s not really any point.”

Good to hear.



  1. endgame

    yes infinity ward is not the best. i respect criterion but that’s a load of beep. very low. especially coming from them.

    #1 6 years ago
  2. crackdude

    Soooo right.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. Robo_1

    I don’t see how that comment is directly aimed at Infinity Ward? Plenty of developers from Naughty Dog to Volition have claimed to have maxed out the hardware, so it’s just a general comment.

    Given that Burnout still stands out today as one of the best looking and performing next gen titles, I’m inclined to believe them too.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Quiiick

    The PS3 or Xbox 360 have not been maxed out, that’s a save bet.
    But squeezing out the additional power left will be very very hard work and thus for some developers not worth the money this extra costs.

    #4 6 years ago
  5. deftangel

    Plenty of devs felt there was more in the PS2 towards the end of it’s life and the original Xbox was certainly never fully pushed. Good to see someone talking sense. This maxed out stuff is marketing fluff, whoever’s said it over the last two years.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. NiceFellow

    Makes sense to me. I roll my eyes whenever I see a ‘maxed out’ comment so I heartily agree with them.

    #6 6 years ago
  7. Esha

    That’s all very good and rather true, however…

    Isn’t there a hardware roof to consider? By this, I mean that one can only push so many polygons with each iteration of hardware, the limitations are imposed sometimes by an artificial roof and bad practices, but is it really unreasonable to say that the hardware roof of a console couldn’t be reached?

    That seems rather… silly. As a PC user, I’ve seen every last polygon wrung out of older cards on times with scalable games until the card simply can’t keep up any more because there are other forms of hardware that have the roof set just a little bit higher.

    I think the problem is that the statement “maxed out” is amazingly vague, were someone to say that they’ve reached the upper limits of the hardware’s capabilities, if not now then some time in the future, would that be unreasonable?

    Hardware can only be pushed so much before slowdown set in, and at the end of the PS2′s life (just to make a point) I remember slowdown being a problem in quite a number of games because developers were trying to do more with the PS2 than it was physically capable of.

    In other words, they were trying to “raise the roof”.


    That was fun.

    But the point stands, if you do hit that roof, then pushing the consoles further will inevitably lead to slowdowns and the need for better hardware.

    #7 6 years ago
  8. Ingenu

    Esha you are missing fundamental aspects of programming. The ‘slowdown’ you are talking about is not because the hardware can’t push it, but because the programmers are sub-par. Go play Lost Planet on PS3 and edit your post. There is no ‘roof’ when it comes to hardware. It is dynamic based on the skill of the developer.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. endgame

    that statement is aimed at infinity as well because of what they said about the xbox360 at e3 robo. but i have to admit that maybe in some other cases they might be right. some developers don’t optimise as well as they should.

    ingenu, in your case “There is no ‘roof’ when it comes to hardware.” that is a lot of c**p. Esha’s misses what? he just posted the smartest, most intelligent comment on the page and then u disagree with him and put up that remark? wow i feel pitty for u man. u’r just what most console gamers r, unintelligent and uneducated. it really shows that not only that u don’t know anything about programming, but about hardware in general either. smartass, if that would be the case, they wouldn’t create new hardware, they would just use the available. but what if u’r right!? OMG!what if they r all lying to us and we could just play crysis maxed out on one of my older pcs!? i’m pretty sure a riva tnt or a voodoo could handle it. all they have to do is optimise it, right? jeez. go learn at least something about hardware and programming and then try to match pc users newbie. until then, just stay in your cave!

    #9 6 years ago
  10. Ingenu

    I assume points routinely go over your head, so I won’t take offense, endgame :)

    To elucidate, there is no set ‘roof’, it is dynamic based on the skill of the programmer.

    I’m a console gamer? My 42″ monitor hooked up to my computer and pumping out Crysis Warhead at max settings is wondering where you got that baseless assumption ;)

    #10 6 years ago
  11. dirigiblebill

    “There is no ‘roof’ when it comes to hardware. It is dynamic based on the skill of the developer.”

    In your view then Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune could be replicated entirely on PS2…?

    #11 6 years ago
  12. OrphanageExplosion

    Criterion is just stating the bloody obvious.

    As of Infinity Ward, they never said they were “maxing out” the consoles. They said they were pushing the upper limits – big difference – they’re not saying that they can’t improve, as I’m sure Modern Warfare 3 will demonstrate.

    #12 6 years ago
  13. Ingenu

    “In your view then Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune could be replicated entirely on PS2…?”

    That has nothing to do with my view.

    #13 6 years ago
  14. dirigiblebill

    So when you claimed that anything is possible for a talented developer, no matter the hardware, you meant to add “except for the PS2 and Naughty Dog”?

    At the risk of sounding like I know what I’m talking about, the limits of hardware are always going to dictate the limits of your game to some extent. This doesn’t mean that hardware can be “emptied” as though it were a battery: creative programmers will be able to extort better performance out of “obsolete” tech – e.g. by being selective about which textures they display in high resolution, or using motion blur (as in Shadow of the Colossus) to hide/glamorise frame rate dips – and insisting that you’ve “maxed out” a console says as much about your own lack of ingenuity (or, to be fair, time and resources) as it does the console itself.

    But past a certain point, you’re going to hit a brick wall. However you fine-tune the game code, a PS2 is never going to be able to handle as many polygons, physics calculations, etc as a PS3.

    #14 6 years ago
  15. endgame

    oh ffs. Ingenu i really wanted to hurt u. i fail.. ;p
    u’r still wrong though. every hardware can not run every software as u say. or like dirigiblebill says “a PS2 is never going to be able to handle as many polygons, physics calculations, etc as a PS3″.

    #15 6 years ago
  16. Ingenu

    I never said every hardware can run every software. All I said is there isn’t a fixed roof like was claimed. That’s a fact. The roof is dynamic based on the developer’s skill. Fact. As for Uncharted being able to run on PS2, I don’t know where you got anything like that from what I said, but let’s just clear the air– it can’t.

    #16 6 years ago
  17. Ingenu

    Apology accepted.

    #17 6 years ago

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