AwayGoalsRule Football Forum

The Internet's Finest Football Forum

Get moneyback specials on your football betting at PaddyPower


It is currently Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:59 am

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 125 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 7  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Microsoft Xbox One
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:21 pm 
Offline
General
General
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 17205
Location: Over there.
Highscores: 2
Leaked document points to $299 "Xbox 720" for 2013 (updated)

Microsoft takedown request suggests leak could be genuine.


by Kyle Orland - arstechnica.com




Image
A sketch shows how the 'Xbox 720's Kinect Glasses will purportedly allow for more immersive gaming and entertainment experiences.

UPDATE: The original document, which had been posted to sharing site scribd, was taken down over the weekend "at the request of Covington & Burling LLP," a major IP law firm that represents Microsoft. While the move doesn't positively confirm that the document is genuine, it does heavily suggest that Microsoft is taking action to suppress confidential internal information.

ORIGINAL STORY: Some fans and observers have expressed disappointment that Microsoft didn't even bother to mention the follow-up to the Xbox 360 at this year's E3. Those people should be much less disappointed by a newly leaked planning document, which details an "Xbox 720" that will include an improved Kinect, a head-mounted "glasses" display, and a major investment in cloud gaming.

The 56-page document, which started circulating widely this morning (and has since been taken down, see update above), purportedly represents a road map for the future of the Xbox platform through 2015. The document seems to date back to a mid-2010 internal planning meeting, and is focused on how Microsoft will sell the next Xbox's new features to consumers, developers and other relevant parties. Microsoft is supposedly targeting a 2013 holiday season launch for the system in a $299 bundle with new Kinect hardware (more on that below), and plans to sell 100 million units during the console's ten-year lifecycle.

(It's important to note that we haven't been able to prove the authenticity of this document, or source it directly to anyone inside Microsoft. We discuss whether the information in this document can be trusted further below.)

The "Xbox 720" described in the planning document will be six to eight times more powerful than the Xbox 360 (depending on where you look in the document). A vague "snapshot" of the Yukon architecture for the system shows a core application architecture featuring six to eight 2Ghz ARM/x86 cores, with two additional ARM/x86 cores powering the system OS and three PowerPC cores handling backward-compatibility functions. The document strongly suggests that this base hardware will be available in multiple configurations with different feature sets, with the architecture "designed to be scalable in frequency/number of cores," and a "modular design to facilitate SKU updates later in lifecycle."

Image
Enlarge - Purported system architecture for the "Xbox 720," according to the leaked document.

The improved hardware will allow for "true 1080p and full 3D" output, along with flexible resizing and compositing, according to the document. The new hardware will also allow for low-powered "always on" mode, which will enable features such as a "whole home DVR" that can record shows in the background and then stream them to other devices. For game storage, the "Xbox 720" will reportedly include a Blu-ray disc drive as well as both internal Flash storage and a hard disk drive, the document says. For Internet connectivity, both WiMax and HSDPA (3G) coverage are included.

Kinect V2, "Fortaleza" glasses and cloud gaming

The document describes Microsoft rolling out the full feature set of the new Xbox 720 slowly, starting with the 2013 launch of the system and Kinect version 2. The new Kinect is referred to as an "incremental" improvement over the current hardware, and will reportedly be able to process gameplay from up to four players concurrently using dedicated hardware processing for more detailed skeletal tracking. Other improvements to the hardware include a higher quality RGB camera, improved voice recognition, and recognition of a 3D playspace that is "closer, wider, deeper" than the existing Kinect. Gamers will be able to play seated or standing without rearranging their living rooms, according to the marketing pitch.

By 2014, the planning document sees Microsoft following Google into the hands-free, head-mounted display space with a product that is referred to as both "Kinect Glasses" and "Fortaleza Glasses" at different points. The "breakthrough heads-up, hands-free" devices will "deliver ambient experiences" and provide "seamless integration of the digital world with the physical world." Through Xbox Live, the glasses will be able to provide "real time information on people, places and objects." A sketch of the concept shows a holographic cowboy hovering in front of the TV screen as glasses-equipped players view it from all angles.

Image
A sketch from the document showing four players using the improved, second-generation Kinect hardware.

By 2015, the Xbox 720 experience will evolve yet again, according to the roadmap, with Microsoft embracing cloud gaming in a big way. Using a cloud rendering platform and microconsole, the document stresses that consumers will "never need to upgrade hardware again" to always have access to the "latest and greatest" gaming and Xbox Live entertainment experiences "any time, any where, any screen." A sketch shows a woman bringing up content from a rack of cloud servers on her tablet with a snap of her fingers.

The document also features some early speculation on Microsoft's hardware competition, predicting that Sony will release its PlayStation 4 in the 2013 holiday season for around $399, while the "Wii2" (which had yet to be officially named in mid-2010) will release in holiday 2012 at a $249 price point.

Can it be real?

As with any anonymously leaked document on the Internet, there are major questions about whether this planning document can be trusted as genuine. Yes, it does seem rather elaborate for someone to go to the trouble of faking, but other systems have seen hoaxes at least as elaborate; remember the infamous Nintendo ON video that preceded the official unveiling of the Wii?

There's some circumstantial evidence suggesting this is more than a hoax, however. First off, the document does seem to predict some Xbox 360 features that Microsoft has already announced including "SmartGlass" integration with phones and tablets, downloadable Xbox TV apps, and a Metro-inspired dashboard.

Image
Cloud features will supposedly stream "Xbox 720" content to multiple devices by 2015.

Of course, these predictions are only prescient if the document actually comes from an internal discussion that dates back to mid-2010, as it suggests. There is some evidence that the information dates back at least a month or so: Scribd lists an upload date of May 8 for the document, before Microsoft's E3 SmartGlass announcement. Gaming news site Nukezilla posted three stories containing excerpts and descriptions from the same document earlier in May, crediting the information to a "trusted source," but still treating it as a rumor.

That said, there's a lot to suggest that the system being described in this document is a little too good to be true. The feature list reads like the fevered hopes of every Microsoft fanboy, taking a kitchen-sink approach that includes every feature you could want in a home console and some you probably wouldn't (what is HSDPA doing in a console that lives in your living room?). Then there's the price: a $299 bundle with new Kinect hardware sounds crazy, even if Microsoft is willing to take a substantial loss on the hardware (which seems a bit unlikely, given that the document says the system should be profitable "every year of the lifecycle"). The technical wizards at Digital Foundry also point out that there are some questions about the feasibility of some of the low-power hardware being discussed.

And even if this document is the real deal, there's some question about how useful it is for predicting the future. There's a good chance Microsoft used this document as a sort of "wishlist" for the ideal "Xbox 720," with features hitting the cutting room floor as practicalities rear their ugly head during development. A lot can change in the nearly two years that have passed since mid-2010, as well, so some features discussed here may already be a thing of the past. Regardless, it's an incredible vision of what could be, and a great jumping off point for discussion of where the next generation of gaming hardware can and should go.

_________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Image
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Leaked document points to $299 "Xbox 720" for 2013
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:46 am 
Offline
General
General
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 17205
Location: Over there.
Highscores: 2
Like the man said, if MS are using legal means to remove this information, the chances are there's some truth in it. And I have to say it's very ambitious too, look at all those processor cores for a start!

And does this talk of future upgrades remind anyone of the SEGA MegaCD fiasco? Or the 32X addon? :geek:

Microsoft will have to be careful, SEGA proved just how difficult upgrading a console during it's lifecycle can be. In fact they killed their reputation offering upgrades that didn't catch on, so there was no developer support, and many upgraders felt betrayed at having wasted their money.

As a concept, the idea is sound though... IF it's done right, the price has got to be right, and the majority will need to upgrade or there won't be enough software to run on them. But that's far in the future, there's another battle with Sony before they get that far so it may not even matter by then.

_________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Image
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Leaked document points to $299 "Xbox 720" for 2013
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:49 am 
Offline
General
General
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 17205
Location: Over there.
Highscores: 2
Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?

"Scalable" architecture patent points to systems with variable hardware power.


by Kyle Orland - Arstechnica.com


Image
One of many possible processor-sharing configurations discussed in a Microsoft patent for a more flexible game system architecture Pic: USPTO

For better or worse, one thing you can generally count on in the console gaming market is that a system you buy on launch day will have the same basic capabilities as the same system bought six years down the line. Even though numerous internal hardware revisions in that time might reduce the component size and lower the production costs, anything designed to work on one configuration of the console would have to work on all the earlier ones as well. But a patent application filed by Microsoft suggests that the company may be looking to release its next Xbox in multiple configurations, each with varying hardware power and capabilities. A patent like this usually wouldn't be so interesting on its own; Microsoft files patents all the time, and most never see the light of day. But this one includes details that are intriguingly similar to those included in the now famous "Xbox 720" leak that came to light last month.

Microsoft's patent for a "Scalable Multimedia Computer System Architecture With QOS [Quality Of Service] Guarantees" describes a design for a game system that is capable of "allowing platform services to scale over time." Those "platform services" include pretty much everything the hardware does besides directly running games—everything from maintaining the basic operating system, handling network traffic, and interpreting inputs to potentially streaming content to nearby tablets or recording TV shows.

A standard console configuration might explicitly devote one entire CPU/GPU combo to handling those basic platform functions, while other processors are dedicated to the game-playing "application" functions. But Microsoft's patent describes a new "communication fabric" framework that would let the system allocate computing resources more flexibly between platform and application tasks concurrently, while also ensuring that the game-playing portion doesn't dip below a certain quality threshold. So the operating system would be able to use as much processing power as it wants, as long as it doesn't interfere with the performance of a game that's running at the same time.

That's important, because it would also let Microsoft design multiple hardware configurations of the same basic game system, all of which run the same games, but some of which allow for additional "platform" features that use the extra hardware power. The patent even hints at this kind of configuration diversity. While "lower cost embodiments" of the system might be forced to share a single GPU between the platform and application systems (theoretically limiting the power of the platform aspects), the patent suggests that subsequent versions of the hardware could provide "more platform services... due to hardware improvements." In other words, as computing standards increase, newer versions of the system would be equipped to provide additional functions, while still running games designed for earlier versions of the hardware.

What might those extra "platform services" entail? How about converting your game console into a general purpose computer? The patent describes one "embodiment" of the design that could be equipped to run "a different general purpose operating system (e.g. Windows)" including "Internet access via a browser, word processing, productivity, content generation and audiovisual applications." In this configuration, the hardware would be able to easily switch between a game-playing mode and "general purpose computer mode," without requiring separate processors for each distinct part.

But the added services don't have to be that elaborate. Other configurations discussed in the patent could be designed to "be operated as a participant in a larger network community" (read: act as a home server), handle basic audio/visual functions (like persistent on-screen chat or streaming music), or make use of a third CPU to speed up storage access times and process complex inputs (read: Kinect) faster and more accurately. Theoretically, the more advanced hardware could even improve the graphical rendering on games designed for earlier configurations.

The "Xbox 720" document that we reported on last month discussed a potential system architecture that was "designed to be scalable in frequency/number of cores," and have a "modular design to facilitate SKU updates later in lifecycle." And while the leak was labeled as "for discussion purposes only," it's dated just a few months before the December 2010 patent filing (the patent application was only published online by the US Patent and Trademark Office late last month, and found by Internet sleuths earlier this week).

Taken together, these documents present an interesting middle way to combine the PC world of constantly upgradeable hardware with the console world of standardized design. While developers would still have a set baseline "quality of service" configuration to aim for with their designs, the console would also be able to evolve to make use of new standards in computing power as time goes on. Combined with some sort of subsidized monthly fee model, which includes regular, cell-phone style upgrades, Microsoft could ensure that its players aren't using obsolete hardware even years after the system launches. With average console lifecycles continuing to increase, it might not be such a bad idea.

_________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Image
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:53 am 
Offline
General
General
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 17205
Location: Over there.
Highscores: 2
Subsidized Xbox 360: bad deal for consumers, missed opportunity for Microsoft


The subsidized $99 Xbox 360 is a missed opportunity for Redmond.


by Kyle Orland - Arstechnica.com


Image

Artist's conception of what it's like signing up to pay $15/month for Xbox Live for at least two years.

Photograph by Steven Depolo


When we first heard rumors last week that Microsoft was planning to offer a cheap Xbox 360 and Kinect bundle to customers who committed to two years of a new monthly online service, we thought it had the potential to revolutionize the way game consoles are sold and positioned as full-service living room entertainment centers. Now that Microsoft has confirmed the details of its subsidy plan, however, we can't help but see it as a bad deal and a missed opportunity.

Despite initial rumors that those paying $15 per month and committing to two years of online service would get "possibly some additional streaming content from cable providers or sports package providers," it turns out that the service is the exact same Xbox Live Gold plan that you can buy à la carte for $60/year (or less, if you shop for deals online). So while those who commit get to pay $200 less for the Xbox 360 and Kinect hardware up front, those savings will end up going towards at least $240 more in monthly payments for what amounts to the same exact online service, over two years.

True, the $40 or so extra you end up paying over the long haul isn't as bad as that offered by dicey rent-to-own outlets, but you still end up paying more later for the benefit of paying less now. That might be useful if you just got your first job and don't want to wait to scrape together the full up-front cost, but if you have the money to spare, you're probably better off shelling out less cash sooner rather than more cash later.

It's a shame, because Microsoft had a real opportunity here to use heavily subsidized hardware as a way to lock players into a truly higher tier of online service. These customers are agreeing to pay three times as much as normal for that online service, after all, so it seems like Microsoft would want to offer them some incentive to keep paying that fee over the long term, to make back that initial $200 hardware subsidy.

Sony's PlayStation Plus is one obvious model, with its regular offerings of free and reduced-price game downloads and full-game trials, but some sort of integrated premium video package would also be a good way for Microsoft to add value. A certain subset of customers would be eager to continue paying extra for the improved service in this situation, and with the two-year commitment they would be less likely to transition to a competing system a few months down the line as well. On the other hand, Microsoft may simply be counting on customers to forget about that $15 fee being billed to their credit card every month, letting the company rake in larger-than-normal Xbox Live fees for years into the future without having to improve the service.

Microsoft is currently offering this subsidy deal at its 26 Microsoft Store locations, and the offer page notes that the offer may terminate at any time, suggesting that this "deal" is more of a tentative test of the new sales model rather than a major marketing push. Still, the company probably needs to think a bit more expansively if its going to convince a large number of people to buy game consoles in the same way they buy cell phones.

_________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Image
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:04 am 
Offline
General
General
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 17205
Location: Over there.
Highscores: 2
Now there's an interesting idea - mobile-style contracts for a monthly fee with regular upgrade cycles included.

Would that kinda deal be of interest to anyone on here?

It seems to be proving more expensive to customers so far -as always with these 'subsidised' deals in my experience - but selling consoles on a mobile-style contract could provide Microsoft with a great deal of consumer 'lock in', the sorta deal where their new MS console is offered with a heavy subsidy and the contract vs a large outlay for a new Sony console. It sorta makes sense if they get the fee and the deal right, but they'll need some decent incentives to get the ball rolling. If it goes so far as offering consumers a better deal, once MS are done trialling it, it might even take off.

Until then, looks like shelling out up front remains the better option - but the future looks to be a little different to the usual console cycles.

_________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Image
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:47 am 
Offline
Major General
Major General

Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:55 pm
Posts: 11695
Highscores: 1
It's not a bad idea, but realistically it's just a scheme to buy the thing on installments. If you can't afford to buy one out right then it gives you an option, but then if you can't afford to buy one you probably have other priorities to worry about anyway.

If they were to start offering some unique content or offers to monthly subscribers then it might take off, but then you're alienating people who buy the console up front and then pay for XBL.

Only see it working if it became the industry standard, and this was the only way to get the consoles, otherwise I would imagine people would just go elsewhere and get a Sony or Nintendo machine instead.

_________________
idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:36 am 
Offline
General
General
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 17205
Location: Over there.
Highscores: 2
Spawny wrote:
It's not a bad idea, but realistically it's just a scheme to buy the thing on installments. If you can't afford to buy one out right then it gives you an option, but then if you can't afford to buy one you probably have other priorities to worry about anyway.

If they were to start offering some unique content or offers to monthly subscribers then it might take off, but then you're alienating people who buy the console up front and then pay for XBL.

Only see it working if it became the industry standard, and this was the only way to get the consoles, otherwise I would imagine people would just go elsewhere and get a Sony or Nintendo machine instead.


That's exactly what it is, but you could say exactly the same about mobile phone contracts. I wonder how many people on here have a phone on a exactly the same pay monthly contract terms? It appears very popular tbh, with most people doing it that way vs paying the retail price for the phone, which can be often bought for much less than the RRP the operators tell you it costs anyway. :shrug:

That's the key point, it'd have to be some kinda XBL+ a few extras that XBL upgraders and outright purchasers could upgrade to from the ordinary XBL if they wanted to. It might be more popular than you think too, especially if there's to be a few different console hardware upgrades included in that - and very clever when you consider that's probably the only way to make such periodic upgrades is to ensure that the majority of users have the upgrade and this would take care of that. There's absolutely no point making upgraded games for a system that only 10% of the installed userbase can run and therefore buy.

Doubt it'll become the only way to own an Xbox, I expect there'll probs a version you can just buy like you can now but that version won't likely include any upgrades so you'd be looking at shelling out more if you didn't have the contract. That'd have to be the killer app for me - 'free' hardware upgrades. Works a treat for phones, and I've seen many people pay out to upgrade or continue the contract just because it was due for renewal, not always a lot of thought goes into it once you're used to the monthly outlay.

Sony (I doubt Nintendo will get involved) would be looking at very costly and faster upgrade cycles to compete with such a system or face being out of date within just a couple of years and that'd be a disaster for the marketing departments and no doubt for sales. It's a very bold idea, but MS lately have wasted more good ideas than they've capitalised on so we'll have to see what happens.

_________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Image
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:51 am 
Offline
Major General
Major General

Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:55 pm
Posts: 11695
Highscores: 1
conscience wrote:
That's exactly what it is, but you could say exactly the same about mobile phone contracts. I wonder how many people on here have a phone on a exactly the same pay monthly contract terms? It appears very popular tbh, with most people doing it that way vs paying the retail price for the phone, which can be often bought for much less than the RRP the operators tell you it costs anyway. :shrug:

That's the key point, it'd have to be some kinda XBL+ a few extras that XBL upgraders and outright purchasers could upgrade to from the ordinary XBL if they wanted to. It might be more popular than you think too, especially if there's to be a few different console hardware upgrades included in that - and very clever when you consider that's probably the only way to make such periodic upgrades is to ensure that the majority of users have the upgrade and this would take care of that. There's absolutely no point making upgraded games for a system that only 10% of the installed userbase can run and therefore buy.

Doubt it'll become the only way to own an Xbox, I expect there'll probs a version you can just buy like you can now but that version won't likely include any upgrades so you'd be looking at shelling out more if you didn't have the contract. That'd have to be the killer app for me - 'free' hardware upgrades. Works a treat for phones, and I've seen many people pay out to upgrade or continue the contract just because it was due for renewal, not always a lot of thought goes into it once you're used to the monthly outlay.

Sony (I doubt Nintendo will get involved) would be looking at very costly and faster upgrade cycles to compete with such a system or face being out of date within just a couple of years and that'd be a disaster for the marketing departments and no doubt for sales. It's a very bold idea, but MS lately have wasted more good ideas than they've capitalised on so we'll have to see what happens.


Well this is where the extra content comes in. Because when you get a mobile phone on contract you're paying for the minutes, the texts, and the data... there's no way to get that stuff free (though yes you can buy the phone on it's own, then get it unlocked, and put whatever SIM you want in it if you're so inclined).

Personally it's not a route that I'd like to see them going along, I think that it's much simpler to just buy the thing and then you just have it and use it. No upgrades, because it's a games console not a PC.

_________________
idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:27 am 
Offline
General
General
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 17205
Location: Over there.
Highscores: 2
Spawny wrote:
Well this is where the extra content comes in. Because when you get a mobile phone on contract you're paying for the minutes, the texts, and the data... there's no way to get that stuff free (though yes you can buy the phone on it's own, then get it unlocked, and put whatever SIM you want in it if you're so inclined).

Personally it's not a route that I'd like to see them going along, I think that it's much simpler to just buy the thing and then you just have it and use it. No upgrades, because it's a games console not a PC.


Well they've certainly got the connections and the money to provide such content, so I suppose it all depends how their trials go. The price of 360 hardware was never too big an issue with consumers anyway (AFAIK) because there already was a budget drive-less version, so the offering will need more sweeteners as you say. EG If it comes with half price game offers, a few movies monthly, plus XBL, plus new hardware so that you always have the latest graphics - which I think could be quite an attractive proposition to some gamers tbh - etc. then it'll be a similar bundle offer to the mobile phones.

You've already been upgrading your consoles for years, just you've been starting from scratch every time instead of just plugging in a bigger/faster CPU, more memory or graphics processor etc., which would be much cheaper (in theory) to make and to buy than the old upgrade model of just binning the old one or saving it for your old probably now incompatible and redundant games collection. You could see situations like the jump from some AAA title from the xbox version to the 360 version equivalent, that type of jump in quality between traditional console generations, with just some DLC and a plug in module/replacement provided free from MS all inclusive on your contract.

Of course, that could mean you'd need your games on a monthly contract too... - unless you get an unusually generous publisher or a paid-for DLC upgrade - so everybody gets more money except the poor gamer who's paying much more for the same game experiences. :rolleyes:

All that said, it'll still probably be cheaper to just go out and buy one. It nearly always is unless you're a heavy user and the package includes a lot of what you'd have bought anyway.

_________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Image
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:08 pm 
Offline
Major General
Major General

Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:55 pm
Posts: 11695
Highscores: 1
I just see it as basically taking the console down the PC road, whereby you'll have people starting to wonder what settings their console can play a certain game on, which has always been something negated by consoles cos if the box says PS3 or XBOX360 then it'll work on your PS3 or XBOX360 right off the bat, whereas with PC gaming you have to check specs and the like.

I don't think that removing that ease of use would be a long term benefit, at least not to the consumer, and if they start to go down this route which puts them more into direct competition with PCs then surely there is only one winner as the PC is a much more versatile tool.

_________________
idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:33 pm 
Offline
General
General
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 17205
Location: Over there.
Highscores: 2
Spawny wrote:
I just see it as basically taking the console down the PC road, whereby you'll have people starting to wonder what settings their console can play a certain game on, which has always been something negated by consoles cos if the box says PS3 or XBOX360 then it'll work on your PS3 or XBOX360 right off the bat, whereas with PC gaming you have to check specs and the like.

I don't think that removing that ease of use would be a long term benefit, at least not to the consumer, and if they start to go down this route which puts them more into direct competition with PCs then surely there is only one winner as the PC is a much more versatile tool.


That's essentially it, yes. More PC-like hardware saves multi-billions of dollars on R&D, equipping specialist factories, etc. and it makes no financial sense to fund both console and PC development when one could do both. And these guys will do anything for a saving, right..? :rolleyes:

It'd also remove conversion costs for developers who currently have to maintain multiple versions of their code across multiple platforms each requiring specialist knowledge.

As for ease of use and configuring any settings etc., a gap that's significantly narrowed due to some console games requiring a certain BIOS version etc., and that's going to be one of the most crucial things imho. But let's remember it was Microsoft that made PCs accessible to the general masses with it's graphical user interface shell that sat on top of the otherwise much harder to use DOS. That was goose laying a golden egg time, and meant your average man on the street could be shown how to do previously complex tasks with ease... so if they could do it again....

It'd revolutionise console gaming, for better or worse.

And what's betting the console's features keep expanding to match those of a PC anyway,with plug in keyboards and mice etc., albeit a very, very locked down and tightly controlled PC if previous consoles are anything to judge by... and it's the way smartphones are going too as they all try to become the one multi-function device that we all 'must have'.

I completely agree about versatility of a PC vs a locked down console environment, but people seem surprisingly willing to give up their freedom, you see it a lot from iPhones to Facebook's, with many (normally) intelligent people running/being hoodwinked into the walled garden policies of control, data collection, monopolising on 'lock in' and segregating all their users away from the rest of the net for commercial gain.

_________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Image
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:02 pm 
Offline
Major General
Major General

Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:55 pm
Posts: 11695
Highscores: 1
It wouldn't remove the conversion costs completely if the new consoles were to have different operating systems, can't imagine Sony, MS, and Nintendo all using the same OS on their consoles, as it would effectively make them all the same.

In terms of ease of use, it's still far easier for a novice to get gaming on a console than a PC. Hardware is standard, and if the console tells you to install an update you install the update. The OS on a console is built for gaming, while Windows is built for multifunction which means it's a more complex thing for the user.

Revolutionising the console is a tall order, I agree that introducing a GUI to PCs was a fantastic move, but it's a different thing trying to revolutionise console gaming with upgradeable hardware and service plans.

Essentially if MS want to start manufacturing PCs then they might as well just do it, rather than trying to make a different product into a PC-Lite.

_________________
idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:09 am 
Offline
General
General
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 17205
Location: Over there.
Highscores: 2
OK, well it'd remove one of the systems you'd have to port code over to then. :p Theoretically, devs would have the MS PC-like console/PC as one version plus the rest. You're right about that, differentiation is king when they are all formidable gaming rigs in their own right.

They'd no doubt remove some of the functions they deemed unnecessary to the gaming box version of MS' rumoured PC-based console, a sorta Windows Lite (just like the Dreamcast used a stripped down version of WindowsCE, MS' old name for their Windows for Embedded Systems) but tbh what can a PC do these days that a console can't? With a plug in keyboard and on board hard drive, USB ports, etc. the main limitation of the consoles is the hardware once it ages. The main advantage to PCs these days is choice; I am free to install any software I like and that choice is not limited to anybody's (usually crap) app store rules.

Doesn't mean I think it's a good idea, I'll always prefer a full-blown PC without any imposed limitations, but for somebody who just wanted to play games I can see the sense in it - you can give users access to cheap PC upgrades (if they move behind the cutting edge curve a little) - and I can see it working... IF the OS is attractive and simple, updates etc. are fully automated and/or simple enough eg click here and it's done, and of course the price is right... and the prices are getting closer and closer as well.

Plus if MS go down this route first, it effectively blocks Sony/Valve/whoever from becoming copycats, there's no differentiation in it unless they go the mobile route and compete on GUIs, so (MS would hope) their rivals will be left with excessive research and development costs while MS take advantages of the economies of scales of cheap PC commodity hardware and make a fortune from launch day.

Whether they pull it off is another thing entirely though. There's no money in ordinary PC sales, the margins are tiny but if this is successful it could even be their 'new device' a la Jobs and the iPad, the gaming console/PC hybrid that put more PCs (albeit in different boxes) in every living room as well as a PC on every desk - and be it Dashboard or full-blown Windows - it's all running Microsoft software so it'd be mission accomplished for them as the hardware cash is just a nice bonus on top of the software sales to them.

Anyway, all just speculation for now.

_________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Image
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:21 am 
Offline
Major General
Major General

Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:55 pm
Posts: 11695
Highscores: 1
I can see the benefits from a business perspective for MS, but I also think that they could potentially lose a % of their sales base at the same time.

It'd be interesting to see what happened if they went for this, but at the same time I hope they don't.

What I'd love them to do is to try and get some focus back on couch co-op, because less and less games are supporting it these days, instead supporting only online co-cop which is no good when you've got a couple of mates round.

_________________
idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:17 pm 
Offline
General
General
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 17205
Location: Over there.
Highscores: 2
How would they lose sales if you could also go out and buy one outright? And who'd buy a rival machine knowing MS' effort would be upgraded for 'free'?

I suspect they'd hoover up most gamers tbh, consumers are suckers for deals now that they're conditioned into monthly payments for everything (vs older generations who were taught to avoid such things as it's debt therefore bad). The 360 is killing the PS3 sales wise and has been for some time, so MS do have the most popular, biggest selling console atm and if that is converted to PC-lite sales Sony etc. are still screwed. Though don't forget the Sony x86 hardware rumours too... seems like they're all rumoured to be doing it. :rolleyes:

Couch co-op? Ahh I love LAN games, but like you say most titles don't have anything except online play which they switch off in a couple of years (if you're lucky). That's a major oversight imo, but at least some PC games still have the option.

_________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Image
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:43 pm 
Offline
Major General
Major General

Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:55 pm
Posts: 11695
Highscores: 1
conscience wrote:
How would they lose sales if you could also go out and buy one outright? And who'd buy a rival machine knowing MS' effort would be upgraded for 'free'?

I suspect they'd hoover up most gamers tbh, consumers are suckers for deals now that they're conditioned into monthly payments for everything (vs older generations who were taught to avoid such things as it's debt therefore bad). The 360 is killing the PS3 sales wise and has been for some time, so MS do have the most popular, biggest selling console atm and if that is converted to PC-lite sales Sony etc. are still screwed. Though don't forget the Sony x86 hardware rumours too... seems like they're all rumoured to be doing it. :rolleyes:

Couch co-op? Ahh I love LAN games, but like you say most titles don't have anything except online play which they switch off in a couple of years (if you're lucky). That's a major oversight imo, but at least some PC games still have the option.


Because some people will buy have a PC and a console, the closer the console gets to being a PC-Lite the less likely people are to have both.

Although is MS could come up with this PC-Lite that did everything the everyday PC user wants and price it competitively then who knows, they might actually take sales away from PCs rather than vice versa.

Absolutely, online co-op is all well and good but it's no substitute for sitting in the same room and playing, that's a much more social thing.

_________________
idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:24 pm 
Offline
General
General
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 17205
Location: Over there.
Highscores: 2
Next-Gen: Xbox 720 Will Be More Powerful Than PS4 - Report

Adam Barnes - nowgamer.com


The next-gen console wars kicks off early as insider claims the Xbox 720 will outperform the PS4 quite considerably.


As part of an insider reveal - with numerous technical details on the Xbox 720 and PS4 spotted - a developer has claimed that the Xbox Next will be considerably more powerful than the PS4.

The tech specs of both the PS4 and the Xbox 720 are quite telling of where next-gen might take us, and the insider claims that Sony is looking to target 4K resolutions for its TV market while Microsoft is intending to target complex ray tracing lighting technology.

Next-gen Espionage

As part of the reveal, the insider confirmed that both consoles will be "a big jump" on what we have now, and that quite a lot of next-gen espionage has gone on as both console manufacturers try to compete with one another.

Sony caught wind of Microsoft's dual SOC (System On Chip) technology, and countered it by increasing the RAM to 8GB as well as improving the GPU.

However, Microsoft has since reacted to that by adding in a third SOC into the Xbox 720 - resulting in what the developer refers to as "three computers in one".
The Differences Between PS4 & Xbox 720

The insider was asked about whether this three SOC system will cause issues for developers, questioning whether it could prove as difficult as the PS3's Cell chip to develop for.

On paper both systems are capable of 3.2TFlops of data, however the Oban blitter inside the Xbox 720 increases the speed at which data is transferred, meaning the Xbox Next is actually capable of 4.2TFlops.

The inclusion of EDRAM, too, means that a lot of data is shared between the three chips.

"We all feel Omni is more of a pc in it design," claims the insider, "Or more off the shelf than Durango."

He adds that Durango - or Xbox 720, or Xbox Next - has a more "modded design" which includes a better bus, higher memory speeds and extra rendering tech.

"I'd look at Durango as high level-PC and Omni as a medium setting PC," says the insider.

PS4 Vs Xbox 720: Image Quality

Though Sony is targeting 4K resolution capabilities, it seems the PS4 won't actually be able to generate the resolution native and will instead upscale.

"The thing about Omni," says the insider, "is it will upscale to 4K but the IQ [Image Quality] is very low in regards to Durango."

He adds that a higher resolution doesn't equate to a better image quality. He does claim that third-party games will be able to scale easily across the Wii U, Xbox 720 and Omni, however adds that "first party games and some third party will look amazing on Durango no doubt.

"You will see a big difference."

Later on the insider is quizzed on the ability to port games from the PC to each of the consoles, to which he replies that the Xbox 720 is no different "to developing for 360. The tools are highly-developed to handle the system."

He then adds, "And the first time you see xbox IQ you will know... The winner."

Microsoft Has Spent More Developing The Xbox 720

According to the insider, Microsoft has a "massive budget" for developing the Kryptos project and the result is the Oban blitter, a microprocessor that increases the speed at which data is transferred through the system.

Discussing the Oban and CPU setup, the insider claims "It's 384bit and has 550gb/s it was designed to enhance the system for ray tracing and other memory heavy rendering engines.

"Oban is the game changer for MS. You all will see very soon with your own eyes and ears."

The insider is the posed the question on whether the three SOCs will cause trouble for Microsoft, and in fact make it harder to develop for than Sony's single SOC system.

"It would be hard to achieve if it was not for Oban design," he says, adding "I have heard Starsha kits have very bad heating problems due to the GPU and SOC not being specialised enough.

"I think that has come down to sony not having enough money to invest in R&D."

The insider then claims that the Oban/Venus blitter and SOC setup has been in development for two years by Microsoft, IBM and AMD.

"And also a lot of people are comparing Starsha and Kryptos by saying that Starsha is more powerful, well it's because you are comparing them to early SDK. Sony Starsha has been in final SDK since December."

Xbox 720 Will Have Better Multiplatform Games Than PS4

Though in many ways the two systems are comparable, the insider is adamant that the Xbox 720 will be better overall than the PS4.

"Every multiplatform or third party game will look better on Xbox Next," claims the insider, adding that even first party games on the Xbox 720 "will look better then other company's offerings."

Because of the Oban parts inside the console, the insider says the Xbox Next will stay current.

He then answers the question over memory. The PS4 has 8GB of memory, as does the Xbox 720 - however 1GB of that Xbox Next's RAM will be used only for the operating system to power features such as in-game video Skype chat.

The insider is the questioned again on the limitations of having three SOCs inside the Xbox 720, and how it could pose an issue for multiplatform games on the console.

"The 2xVenus and 1xMars are designed with Oban controllers. These SOC can work together. But they do not need crossfire.

"Porting is not a problem. Porting pc games would be a lot easIer this time. Any part of the engine code can be sent to any CPU core or GPU DSP [digital signal processor], it's very open due to the blitter."

[Source]

UPDATE: VG247 has just revealed a report of a source that has revealed to the site that the PS4 is in fact more powerful than the Xbox 720. Here the source claims the PS4 will be capable of 1.82TFlops while the Xbox 720 is capable of only 1.23 TFlops.

It's a world away from the details we've posted here, but we urge you to have a read and judge for yourself.

As always it's worth remember that this is all early conjecture - how true any of this is hard to gauge until we see final confirmation of the hardware.

_________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Image
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:30 pm 
Offline
General
General
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 17205
Location: Over there.
Highscores: 2
Microsoft Xbox gaffe reveals cloudy arrogance

No, we're not all online all the time


By Iain Thomson • The Register



Comment On Thursday afternoon a Twitter conversation between Adam Orth, creative director at Microsoft Studios, and a developer friend about the contentious issue of server-connected gaming sparked something of a storm after being posted on Reddit.

"Sorry, I don't get the drama around having an always-on console," Orth tweeted. "Every device is 'always on'. That's the world we live in. #dealwithit."

When it was pointed out to him that not everyone lives in a world where internet access is guaranteed – such as Janesville, Wisconsin or Blacksberg, Virginia – Orth's response was tactless, although one suspects accurate from his point of view.

"Why on earth would I live there?"

Orth has made it clear that the conversation was not Microsoft policy, just some joshing between friends. But in the opinion of this El Reg hack it's a little too close to the truth, in that is shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the timescale and scope of cloud computing for the masses.

His comments struck a chord because they come at a time when the mind of the gaming community is very focused on the shift to the cloud. The utter fiasco of SimCity's online launch showed that while software houses might love the idea of games that need an internet connection, users are less enamored – and crackers have shown there's no logical reason for the practice.

But despite user antipathy, "always on" gaming is set to become the norm. Orth's comments are merely a private statement about what the big gaming companies are presenting in an almost united front: gaming will be an online thing from now on.

That's good news for software providers, but not for users – and there seems to be a fundamental disconnect between those in gilded ivory internet bubbles and the real world. It's easy to see why.

Life in the fat-pipe lane

Every day large, white coaches sit briefly outside San Francisco Bay Area rapid-transit stops to pick up Googlers for their commute to the office. Despite tales of croissant and coffee services, these busses are simply conveyances with Wi-Fi so that Mountain View staffer can be online and ready to work when stuck in traffic.

Such services are not confined to Google, but for the people designing the next generation of computer systems, this is the world in which they live. You'll see the same thing in New York, Seattle, and Austin.

For the rest of us, life online is something of a harder slog. This hack used to think that the near-monopoly handed to British Telecom by the Thatcher government was bad, but in comparison, the cooperative oligarchy US telcos have stitched together makes me dream of internet speeds and prices European.

Much of the US is covered by shockingly low-speed wired internet connections obtained at a very high cost. Internet access has been carved up, and the nation that invented the internet is now lagging behind such comparative broadband paradises as Romania and Latvia in speed and cost.

On the mobile front, the situation is even worse. The US has overcome its mobile technology deficit behind Europe in the last decade and is now getting LTE installed with the best of them, but service is expensive and patchy. Tethering mobiles as Wi-Fi hotspots costs another pound of flesh, and unless you're well-off or corporate-sponsored, the bills can be ruinous.

Intermittent clouds, with signs of discouragement

This might sound like an anti-cloud rant, but it's not. Cloud computing looks to be a large part of the future of how we use technology, but we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are worrying signs that the industry isn't getting this.

For the gaming community that Orth's comments concerned, the issue is a critical one. If your game relies on you being logged in online, then the slightest break in connection can lose the benefits of some desperately skilled play. Even the most hardened atheist will pray to a god they don't believe in to recover from such a situation and save their progress.

But there's a wider issue at stake. Microsoft, Adobe, and others are actively pushing users onto the cloud in their business models. This makes sense from a corporate point of view, where a hardwired connection comes with a 99 per cent contract guarantee, and that market is being addressed.

In February, Google launched a $1,500 Chrome Pixel that without internet access is basically a stonkingly well-designed slim doorstop. Sure, you can use a few installed apps and a limited amount of mobile access is built in, but unless you've got a connection, the thing is less useful than a $300 netbook.

First-world problems

The software overlords of Silicon Valley and elsewhere seem to have forgotten however that the rest of us live in a world where internet connections can be spotty and expensive. Many of us would prefer to have code that they own and control without an internet connection.

Orth's comments show that the industry still isn't getting it, and what can be dismissed as acceptable downtime is a very real problem for many users. He might not see it from where he's standing, but for the rest of us it's a serious issue.

_________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Image
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Will there be multiple versions of the next Xbox?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:07 am 
Offline
General
General
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 17205
Location: Over there.
Highscores: 2
Any company who enforces an online connection to enable gaming won't be getting any self respecting geek's money... and what happens when they turn off the game servers just like E.A. do to enforce purchase of the latest sequel? Or even from enforcing a whole new system purchase/upgrade by turning off the latest instalment?

And that's not to mention the lost hours of gameplay if or more likely when your net connection gets dropped even momentarily!

And even if they do a u-turn there's nothing to stop them (or Sony for that matter) implementing requiring a permanent net connection via a future firmware update. People who've bought one will have far less resistance to these changes once they have invested £100s in the system and first gen games.

I wouldn't trust anyone with views like that about requiring a connection, especially after reading about Kinect being used to read branding on clothing etc. in order to target ads better at you from brands you already like.

Just sell me the box and the code on a disk... so it can be mine all mine... or don't try to sell me anything. :hmm:


Trouble is twofold, for a start they're obviously out of touch, EG the life of a Microsoft or whoever engineer probably IS always connected to a network, unlike most folk in real life so there's a disconnect there, and also there'll always be the uneducated masses who are still buying the likes of Sim City despite it being a right mess of DRM entirely reliant on EA's generosity about how long they think you should be able to play it for which make the likes of EA and Microsoft's DRM and other behaviour justified... at least in their eyes.

Fingers crossed this is the generation where people vote with their wallets then and only buy the products that they agree what they're doing with.

On the plus side, video gaming is wide open to a new entrant who will put the wishes of the gamers, their potential customers, before their own greed. I'm personally still hoping if not Ouya then something like Ouya can get a little traction among gamers as I think it's the way forward.

_________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Image
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Xbox gaffe reveals cloudy arrogance
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:50 am 
Offline
General
General
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 17205
Location: Over there.
Highscores: 2
What about you guys, would you be happy to buy an 'always on' games console that only worked when connected to the internet?

And we've always had the option of continuing to play our purchased games for as long as we wanted to, or return to them years later for another go... would you accept giving this up? Because [insert company here] are simply not going to leave the servers on forever... EA barely give you a year or two with their online game servers and newer titles won't work without them. Effectively, your games collection could become a temporary thing.


And of course, the second hand market will disappear which doesn't impress me either, as I do buy games second hand fairly often... no choice with older titles, EG I recently got two copies of SimCity3000 so I can play LAN with Mrs C. Cost about £4 including P&P. My original CD was scratched years ago, worn out probs, so without the second hand market a lot of people in my position would simply have downloaded it instead. In fact, I think the piracy scene will explode in size if it's the only way legit game buyers can actually take control of the software they paid for, EG by removing DRM and other unfriendly features like needing to be always online.

_________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Image
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 125 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 7  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
cron