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PS2 and DTS 4.0??

2880 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  scasmflop
Real-time DTS with the PS2 is old news but i have a question that continues to nag me. I thought that companies had forgotten or just given up on DTS for the PS2 (including EA who once claimed after NHL 2002 that all of their future games would support DTS), but now that NBA Street Vol 3 is out and supports DTS I have to ask: does anyone know exactly why all the DTS games released on the PS2 has only been 4.0?? I know there has to be some technical limitation and not just laziness on the part of the developers. The gap between Xbox's real-time DD 5.1 decoding and PS2's current PLII 5.1 decoding would have been all but gone if developers would just take advantage of PS2's ability to decode DTS real-time. The few games that do feature it sound amazing, just as good if not better than many Xbox DD 5.1 games (The best is SSX 3 I think). So what's the real reason why developers are not using it and the few that do, do so with only 4.0 channels? (BTW: I know that once PLII came out, many developers felt that it was a much easier and efficient solution to get surround sound, but...it doesn't sound better than DTS!!)
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Originally posted by idealty
(BTW: I know that once PLII came out, many developers felt that it was a much easier and efficient solution to get surround sound, but...it doesn't sound better than DTS!!)
I think you just answered your own question.

I don't think the electronic entertainment industry has gotten to the point yet where they can focus on maximizing the experience with 5.1 across the board. The few games that support it also have some of the largest budgets. Most game developers just want simple surround sound that can be developed for as little cost in time and money as possible. The PS2, as the largest market percentage holder, also inherits the title of the home to most budget titles. The two go hand in hand.
Thanks for your repsonse. I think that the point I made explains why for example, EA did not use DTS in all of their games since NHL 2002. DPLII was a better solution. However, i think your point about people not getting on the 5.1 bandwagon across the board is mute for one reason: 95% of Xbox games take advantage of that console's ability to decode 5.1 sound in real-time and that has proven to be very popular among consumers and is an asset that many tout as an advantage to owning that system. A developer can have just as easily encoded those games using DPLII instead of DD 5.1, but DD 5.1 yielded much better performance. Now, DTS may not be quite as easy to implement on the PS2 as DD is on the Xbox and you're right that there are a large amount of games on the system. I would not expect every developer to take advantage of it as they do not all have the resources to do so. But currently, including NBA Street Vol 3, there are only 8 or 9 games TOTAL over a nearly 5 year period out of over 1000 released games! That's not even 1%. Why wouldn't some high profile games like Metal Gear Solid, Jak II & III, Final Fantasy, Gran Turismo use DTS?? I just don't get it. There must be a concrete reason why companies are not even trying to use it. And DTS had even released the SDK back in 2003 for FREE!!! No financial hit to the developer. Also, my main question is that even for the 9 games that do, why can they not do 5.1 DTS? What's the technical reason behind that?
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The DTS in NHL 2002, SSX, etc. was a software implemented DTS developed by EA and coded for a few of their games. It seems to be a solution that requires a bit of coding in order to integrate rather than just a sound engine type plug like PLII.

It is a 4.0 solution rather than a 5.1 because that's what they were able to accomplish with a real-time solution without causing gameplay slowdown. There isn't specialized hardware handling the dts encoding like there is with DD inside of an xbox. It is the game software itself, which means that the ps2 processor is handling the gameplay and audio processing.

My speculation...

I haven't heard of any non-EA games carrying the same engine, so I imagine it is code that EA is holding onto for themselves. Doesn't seem to be on their priority list to include it in their games either, I'm guessing that most of their studios either aren't prepared to sacrifice the processor hit to their engine that they know they'll have accomodate if they try to implement it or they have no desire to take the time to code for the integration in comparison to the PLII interface they are familiar with.
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Gran Theft Auto Vice City uses the 4.0 DTS. To me it sounded worse than the Pro-Logic 2 in that game. I can't stand not hearing a center channel and subwoofers always add impact as well.

Also idealty, I think you mean "encode" every time you used the word "decode".

That is all.
Good point about the "encode" Joe. Thanks for the explanation. You guys are right, EA did create their own software method for implementing DTS. I remember Sony was touting how powerful the VPU's are on the PS2 b/c apparently EA used one of the VPUs to just do the DTS encoding. BUt there's still one problem. DTS (the company) created a special version of the DTS coherent acoustics algorithm called DTS interactive just for the PS2. They released an SDK that featured all the software tools one would need to implement real-time DTS. So any developer could have implemented their own methods for doing this (some have: Rockstar, Activision....i think that's it). Oh well, i guess i'm just going to have to enjoy the few games that do support it. PS3 and Xbox 2 will be here in a blink.
You also have to factor that actually developing for meaningful in-game surround sound vs. stereo sound out of 5.1 speakers requires yet another development time investment. The thought is probably that its not worth the investment time because only a small percentage of ps2 owners are even hooked up for 5.1 vs. xbox which was designed for it with hardware. There are a few PS2 games that feature 5.1 in cutscenes though.
Just an FYI: PS2 only supports a stereo discrete pair and matrixed other stuff (its all the hardware does, nothing more). The reason you see PLII most of the time is because you get discrete L and discrete R and the matrixed rears. DTS 4.0 is a bit of a lie... its DTS 2.something or another if you want to be anal about it.

On the other hand, as everyone knows, Xbox is discrete 5.1. If you play Halo, you'll notice the sound from the rear will move left and right as you move. Much more life like and appealing IMO.
Here's the dts yes list from hdgames.net - these could be 2.0 or 4.0 dts.

ESPN NFL Football 2K4

FIFA 2003

Gran Turismo 4

Gran Turismo 4 NTSC-JAPAN

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Jak II

Madden NFL 2002


NHL 2002

NHL 2003

NHL 2004

Pirates - Legend of Black Kat

Sled Storm


SSX Tricky

Way of the Samurai
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strike Gran Turismo 3 from that, that was just some fricking moron, it would seem that Mercenaries is the same case.
Yeah that list is horribly wrong (not that it's your fault GKMAD). The only games on there that actually support DTS are Gran Theft Auto VC, NHL 2002/3, Pirates, Sled Storm, and SSX trciky/3. Add Activision's Street Hoops and NBA Street Vol 3 to that and you have the 9 games I was talking about earlier. BTW, all of these games are DTS 4.0 and the four channels are discrete. What bknauss is discribing is both correct and incorrect. He is referring to the decoding apsect of the PS2. The PS2 hardware can only "decode" 2 ch stereo sound, which is what you will hear through analog audio cables. However, what we are talking about is the encoding of the DTS bitstream, not the decoding. PS2 hardware does not have a DTS decoder built in and for that reason, you would not hear any DTS sound through analog audio cables. Companies program the encoding algorithm through software, the PS2 hardware encodes it, and simply passes the bitstream through a fiber optic cable. You need an external DTS decoder to actually hear the sound, which will play in however many channels the PS2 encoded it in. In that regard, the Xbox is the same since it does not decode the DD 5.1 bitstream in hardware, but only encodes it to be sent out to an decoder.
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Originally posted by idealty

You need an external DTS decoder to actually hear the sound, which will play in however many channels the PS2 encoded it in. In that regard, the Xbox is the same since it does not decode the DD 5.1 bitstream in hardware, but only encodes it to be sent out to an decoder. [/b]
It wouldn't make any sense for the PS2 or the Xbox to decode a DD or DTS stream, unless they were the devices connecting directly to the speakers.

The basic audio difference is that the Xbox has special hardware support for the encoding of DD 5.1 in games. The PS2 doesn't, but has achieved DTS 4.0 by encoding it through a software engine built into those games specifically. You'll need to be connected digitally in either case to stream the digital audio.
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