Carmack sez Doom III on Xbox... How?

Carmack is reported to have committed Doom III to Xbox.

How is this possible if:

  • His work is OpenGL based
  • Xbox is anything-but-OpenGL (i.e. Direct3D)

Anyone speculate on this? Has JC changed his tune?

Baffled in Beantown

Its all about the benjamins baby…

If the original Quake III engine is anything to go by, there aren’t many actual OpenGL calls in the application at all. This makes it possible to write a D3D version fairly easily (with a little effort). Carmack still does his R&D and main development with OpenGL, for obvious reasons (ports to Linux for example).

Baffled, do you think all the previous Quake console ports used OpenGL? If not, then what would be remarkable about a DOOM III console port not using OpenGL?

I’m more curious about how it’s going to run on the XBox’s 700MHZ processor, when everything they’ve demo’d on so far has been like 2GHz beasts with bucket loads of RAM.
I mean, I know there will be massive optimisation happening between now and release, but I’m not sure I’m convinced it could bring the system requirements down that low… I dunno, maybe I’m just underestimating the id coders skills (there should be an apostraphe somewhere there I’m sure).


Simple, Xbox Hardware is NOT PC hardware.
The Xbox was designed to do 1 thing, play games, so it dosnt have to worry about all the other crap a computer might have to worry about. So it runs it much faster. And as for the ram and such, the Xbox has like 5gigs per second worth of graphical through put. I think it will cope just fine with Doom 3.

dabeav, I’m not sure I agree. The background tasks on a PC (when you’re not doing anything with it are very little (< 1 % of total CPU time according to the System Monitor). And operating system calls make up very little of the game code. The memory speed is important, but how fast can it be with a pentium III?

Carmack: “If you supply OpenGL on XBox I’ll port Doom3”

M$: “Here you go.”

There is no way they could even tone it down enough without removing bumpmapping, volumetrix shadowing, and all that stuff that makes it look great in the first place.

Result: It’s gonna look butt fugly, i guarantee it. Multiplayer will be impossible.

Carmack has already said its graphics fidelity will be exactly the same as that on the PC. DOOM III on XBox isn’t an impossible task. Remember, a PC has to do a whole lot more than run the game. The Direct3D-like layer is thinner on XBox too, i.e. it lets the application operate closer to the metal.

The answer for all of your questions… whether the hardware of the xBox ist fast enough or the xBox supports OpenGL or not is at this link here:

Okay, so the 2 year old article indicates nVidia will provide OpenGL on Xbox.

Does anyone know if that’s true?

Search the advanced board and you’ll see comments from a NVIDIA software engineer that is contrary to notion that they would supply an OpenGL implementation for XBox.

It’s a Geforce3 on steroids rendering at TV resolution, of course it can handle Doom3. Memory footprint is probably a bigger issue than raw performance.

I think the XBox will cope fine with Doom 3. Look how long the playstation kept up with pc games despite its amazingly slow processor. The optimisations made to make a games playing machine must be immense but they work very well


I was really asking after the API (OpenGL .vs. Direct3D) on Xbox, rather than the h/w capabilities.

I understand how previous Carmack engines have been ported to consoles, through the efforts of 3rd parties, but something about JC’s statements sounded like a paradigm shift towards D3D.

Or maybe his plan is to abstract his work to a higher level, and leave the API scene behind altogether.

Dunno… s’why I remain,

I don’t think that he is leaning towards d3d in anyway. I think he has worked with nvidia before with stuff and that is more likely the reason. I mean isn’t he basically testing opengl 2.0 in doom3?

So, I don’t understand the whole question now…
Q1: Does XBOX support OpenGL

Q2: Runs DirectX on the XBOX too?
A: Probably yes, just different

Q3: How is that possible?
A: There is a lot more than only the source code of C++ in OpenGL or DirectX on the XBOX. Assembly is a big part of the hardware conntroling and is not really that hard to do in comparsion to Windows because there is ONE hardware for the sound, the graphic, the input etc. so the people exactly know what to write it for. DirectX’s main task was it to use a bunch of different hardware together and use it as one unit. So… now that is not really necesarry anymore and programmers have open access to the harware such as a geForce… no matter if with OpenGL or DirectX

Q4: What about the Nintendo GameCube?
A: YES, i definately supports OpenGL as well!

Follow DFreys suggestion and search the Advanced forum (that’s a switch… being referred from Beginners to Advanced).

The point is that OGL is not available on the Xbox, so DoomIII will need to have its guts overhauled to use D3D.

Carmack won’t do it fer shure. When he talks about DoomIII being ‘totally committed’ to Xbox, he means id is totally committed to having some poor schmoe at a 3rd party console development house do the translation.