Nextbox rumors..

At this point, don't we have more solid information that Sony's trying to get the next generation out the door first, putting dev kits out? I don't know that that's always a guarantee of success. They do need to compete going forward, something they've failed on every level when it comes to the PS3's performance in the marketplace. I don't think that trying to rush a new system to market is the way to pick the company up by the bootstraps at this point.

AnimeJ wrote:

At this point, don't we have more solid information that Sony's trying to get the next generation out the door first, putting dev kits out?

I thought the whole reason this thread was created was because MS started shipping out prototypes and dev kits earlier this year. If Sony is only now shipping out kits, it's looking like WiiU in Nov, MS Fall 2013, Sony Fall 2014.

AnimeJ wrote:

At this point, don't we have more solid information that Sony's trying to get the next generation out the door first, putting dev kits out? I don't know that that's always a guarantee of success. They do need to compete going forward, something they've failed on every level when it comes to the PS3's performance in the marketplace. I don't think that trying to rush a new system to market is the way to pick the company up by the bootstraps at this point.

In what way are they rushing? Nintendo has a new system coming out this month and Sony hasn't even announced their system exists. You're making a lot of assumptions about how and why they are doing things.

Edit: Plus what shoptroll said. MS was doing this first. They are LAST to the game and you're saying they're rushing? This sounds more like you have a bone to pick with Sony than anything else.

Nintendo's the outlier and gets ignored. Go read some older news releases from Sony and Microsoft, they don't even consider them a current generation console maker, despite the fact that the Wii stomped them both in sales. And yes, I am making assumptions, that's at least half the point of this thread, for crying out loud.

As for having a bone to pick with Sony, no I don't. Keep your assumptions to consoles, not my motives.

shoptroll wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:

At this point, don't we have more solid information that Sony's trying to get the next generation out the door first, putting dev kits out?

I thought the whole reason this thread was created was because MS started shipping out prototypes and dev kits earlier this year. If Sony is only now shipping out kits, it's looking like WiiU in Nov, MS Fall 2013, Sony Fall 2014.

Thread started because of system specs and rumors of system specs. There were rumors of the dev kit being ebay'd back in July/August, but I'm in the camp that it's a hoax. News about it died completely by mid August, and there's nothing else out there more recent.

So, yes, WiiU is coming up, but again, Sony and MS don't consider Nintendo to be a "proper" competitor, and thus, not a threat to their marketshare. Probably a good move on their part, although that hasn't kept Nintendo from trying to grab some of their market demographic with some of the exclusives there. Sony and MS consoles, as mentioned, are a ways down the line(year plus?). The thing about all of this is that Wii U isn't a huge leap ahead of where they are now though. It's newer hardware to be sure, but capability wise it's not exactly a generational leap ahead of where we are now, at least not that I'm aware of; there's a couple articles out there saying that it's not at where the current gen is still.

AnimeJ wrote:

So instead of continuing to produce PS3s, which are doing better in the market and starting to turn a profit, they're going to dump money, which they don't have into a system which won't be to market for another year at least, which will cannabilze sales of the system making them money, because it probably won't? I don't know that that sounds like a good idea at all.

Sony Computer Entertainment has been profitable a number of times in the last several years and were last year. The reason that division slipped into a loss (though the rest of the company is starting to turn around) is the same reason Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division is: AAA sales are going down, way down. The PS3 has made Sony money foro a while if I recall but like all the consoles, sales are falling off a cliff because they've largely sold them to everyone who wants one at the price they're offering and the rest are just waiting for the next systems before buying in, if they buy in at all. And I hate to say this as someone who can't stand mobile gaming but at the rate tablet hardware is evolving, if these guys don't get something new out there soon, there are going to be tablets that can best the technical prowess of the current consoles before long. The idea of the "10 year cycle" that Sony was hyping for the PS3 was made in a different world and I don't think they can afford to wait that long.

I think the rumours of both consoles relying on more PC-like hardware makes sense. The PS3's a nightmare to code for and very expensive to produce and their vision for Cell never panned out. Heck, the PS3 architecture still causes problems with some games that make them run worse than 360. With more PC-like hardware, the consoles will be dirt cheap to produce and code for and that will hopefully make costs not only lower for the manufacturers but more importantly, for their development partners who all are bleeding money and desperate to find a way to make AAA development profitable.

I think this next generation is going to be less about finding a new envelope to push technology in but in finding ways to keep quality up while cutting costs. I love AAA games but the business model of that industry is broken and no one can make money at it consistently anymore. If that type of gaming is to continue to survive and grow, they've got to make the process simpler and cost less. I think the 720 and the PS4 are both trying to cater to that. Mobile is grabbing a lot of the mainstream gaming hype right now and even if it costs Sony and Microsoft more money in the short term, they need to get something out soon to take the spotlight back.

Another interesting bit from the dev kit article: If the storage drive is 256GB, it's very likely an SSD. Mechanical hard drives come as 250GB, SSDs come as 256GB. That's a very bold move and could make for insanely quick load times if true. I would have once said that would have been murder cost wise but I just prices a Samsung 840 256GB SSD yesterday and was stunned how cheap they've gotten in the last few months.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

Another interesting bit from the dev kit article: If the storage drive is 256GB, it's very likely an SSD. Mechanical hard drives come as 250GB, SSDs come as 256GB. That's a very bold move and could make for insanely quick load times if true. I would have once said that would have been murder cost wise but I just prices a Samsung 840 256GB SSD yesterday and was stunned how cheap they've gotten in the last few months.

256 SSD would be awesome but I would hope that Sony would force developers to make games capable of running off the disc (no mandatory installs). Otherwise we would spend allot of time juggling installs. 2 years from now a 256 SSD will be significantly cheaper barring any major shortages.

Possibly worth remembering that it's a dev kit, not a general use or possibly even close to final hardware. Presumably a dev kit only needs to handle a one or small amount of games at a time, and even if they get a 100+GB disc support in there, that's loads for that. Hopefully it'll be upgradeable like the PS3 is too.

Something that occurred to me that's interesting about the x86 choice is it would be the first time a Sony console uses reasonably standard hardware instead of custom chips. What I think will be interesting is exactly how easy it is to develop for, as remembering the xbox1 even though it was close to standard stuff (celeron 700, Geforce 3.5ish) because of the differences that make it a console it's not the same as PC with a fixed target and a different OS.

Part of me wonders if developing for PC-like hardware without windows could make multiplatform titles from PS4 games more likely, so Mac and perhaps linux gaming gets a shot in the arm.

Possibly worth remembering that it's a dev kit, not a general use or possibly even close to final hardware. Presumably a dev kit only needs to handle a one or small amount of games at a time, and even if they get a 100+GB disc support in there, that's loads for that. Hopefully it'll be upgradeable like the PS3 is too.

This... I do think an APU based system is likely though.. for both Sony and Microsoft.. the price points are right and in theory they still can provide enough power to drive 1080p/60fps. I think both camps will de-emphasize 3D this generation.. seems like the whole thing was a non-starter. I do expect a better push the next go around when 4K UHD TV's are generally available for current HDTV prices.. (say 2016-17)..and I would expect new console launches around 2018 with a renewed push for 3D gaming..

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

Another interesting bit from the dev kit article: If the storage drive is 256GB, it's very likely an SSD. Mechanical hard drives come as 250GB, SSDs come as 256GB. That's a very bold move and could make for insanely quick load times if true. I would have once said that would have been murder cost wise but I just prices a Samsung 840 256GB SSD yesterday and was stunned how cheap they've gotten in the last few months.

Yeah, SSD has finally hit the $1/GB threshold which is going to encourage wider adoption. Now they just need to get capacity up.

I wouldn't rule out an SSD in the system, at least in a "premium" model.

TheGameguru wrote:

This... I do think an APU based system is likely though.. for both Sony and Microsoft.. the price points are right and in theory they still can provide enough power to drive 1080p/60fps. I think both camps will de-emphasize 3D this generation.. seems like the whole thing was a non-starter. I do expect a better push the next go around when 4K UHD TV's are generally available for current HDTV prices.. (say 2016-17)..and I would expect new console launches around 2018 with a renewed push for 3D gaming..

*nods in agreement*

There really won't be a huge bump in console GPU power until 4K TV. The main increases are going to be in areas like RAM, because system RAM is cheap (plus it's what devs want right now) and with a fixed resolution of 1080p for another generation there isn't much need to improve the GPUs tremendously.

3D is definitely a non-starter. Nintendo has been de-emphasizing it for the last 6-12 months on the 3DS, and I think Hollywood/home theatre companies are slowly coming around to the fact that people aren't that interested in it.

Side note: You can put an ssd in your PS3. I did a long time ago and it helps with load times a lot, obviously.

TheGameguru wrote:

I do expect a better push the next go around when 4K UHD TV's are generally available for current HDTV prices.. (say 2016-17)..and I would expect new console launches around 2018 with a renewed push for 3D gaming..

That's something, I've seen a lot of people geeking out about 4K, but as you say I don't think it'll happen soon. I'd be more happy if developers master master 1080 rather than push (or be pushed) beyond what the hardware is capable of. Heck, even now both current consoles can output 1080, but a load of games sub-sample below 720.

Also taking that spec at face value, the 7660 is a mid-range chip, I'm not so sure how well it would cope at roughly 4x the resolution as 1080 while trying to draw something spectacular at a nice framerate, with an addition few years of new graphics tech they want to use.

Scratched wrote:

I'd be more happy if developers master master 1080 rather than push (or be pushed) beyond what the hardware is capable of. Heck, even now both current consoles can output 1080, but a load of games sub-sample below 720.

And PCs have been capable of 1080p since the 90's or earlier (if you ignore the fact it was on a 15" CRT display).

IMAGE(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/hdtv.png)

shoptroll wrote:

And PCs have been capable of 1080p since the 90's or earlier (if you ignore the fact it was on a 15" CRT display).

Displaying, yes, at least further into the 90s. Gaming, no. I remember hating that most games were at best 800x600 being blown up to fill my 1600x1200-capable 21" CRT.

Not sure about 3D being de-emphasized, at least for Sony. Sony also makes a lot of 3D TVs they need to move (different divisions within Sony, but still: synergy!).

tboon wrote:

Not sure about 3D being de-emphasized, at least for Sony. Sony also makes a lot of 3D TVs they need to move (different divisions within Sony, but still: synergy!).

No every TV will still be 3D its just on the content side.. I wouldnt expect any new push on the console side to push 3D in a meaningful way.. the fact is that current HDTV limitations as well as HDMI spec limitations make ANY 3D content on todays TV's Dark..blurry and generally a mess..

4K UHD should clean up 3D considerably and make it far more enjoying to watch.. but we will need all the other spec's to advance.. right now HDMI spec on the current shipping 4K UHD's means that everyone buying a $20K 4K set from Sony and LG is sitting on a non upgradable dead end TV... When/If the Broadcast standard is announced along with the interface standard for 4K we will see a bigger push.

7" Xbox Tablet?

Seems to fit in that model of the Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle, and Nook tablets. Probably reasonably priced but tightly tied to a branded ecosystem. Apparently not running full Win 8/RT, but some specialized version, along with possible custom ARM SOC or even an Intel SOC.

MannishBoy wrote:

7" Xbox Tablet?

Seems to fit in that model of the Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle, and Nook tablets. Probably reasonably priced but tightly tied to a branded ecosystem. Apparently not running full Win 8/RT, but some specialized version, along with possible custom ARM SOC or even an Intel SOC.

Innnnnnnteresting. I'll assume they'll provide built-in easy sync with a 360 controller, access to the XBLA library . . . I assume I'd have to re-buy games for it that I own for the 360, but, given access to the kinds of games I like on XBLA, I'm really, really intrigued by the notion.

That is pretty crazy. My first reaction is to pretty much cancel any thought of replacing our stolen Vita. This looks like it could be far more interesting, and loaded with Smartglass, possible the first handheld that could actually be good tether to a home console. Of course, it also puts off consideration for a Surface tablet any time soon, as we don't need to replace out iPad that badly.

Who knows when it would actually come to market, and how well a 7-inch table really would be for mobile gaming. But the Vita already jumped that shark, as its size already vaulted it out of my pockets for travel. But it could really be the kind of product that takes some of the steam out of WiiU if the next Xbox adopts this in a major way.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Innnnnnnteresting. I'll assume they'll provide built-in easy sync with a 360 controller, access to the XBLA library . . . I assume I'd have to re-buy games for it that I own for the 360, but, given access to the kinds of games I like on XBLA, I'm really, really intrigued by the notion.

As a WP7 user, and soon to be WP8 user, I can see it taking on those purchases. It really will be interesting to see how it fits into the ecosystem.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Innnnnnnteresting. I'll assume they'll provide built-in easy sync with a 360 controller, access to the XBLA library . . . I assume I'd have to re-buy games for it that I own for the 360, but, given access to the kinds of games I like on XBLA, I'm really, really intrigued by the notion.

360 controller? Maybe, although I'd imagine it would need a 2.4GHz radio in there to talk to it, and that's assuming they're not moving to a new, incompatible controller for the 'full-fat' xbox3.

As for 'old' 360 XBLA stuff, I'd be checking your enthusiasm a bit, as those would have all the perils of doing backwards compatibility for any console. It seems more like they're interested in selling you new metro games.

It's interesting anyway, in a tablet gaming future kind of way, although I'm finding it hard to put my finger on how to get enthusiastic about an official microsoft gaming tablet as opposed to a tablet by any other brand, unless they hold something back exclusively for themselves. I would have thought that if MS had gone to the trouble of setting up a store that's used by many tablets, you would want to sell as much as possible from as many categories as possible on as many tablets as you can, seeing as I don't think hardware is that lucrative a business. I'm also pondering if it has a role to play as part of a bigger whole in console/tablet/PC gaming, or is just by itself.

Given how well Xbox-branded gaming has gone on Windows Phone (i.e., some neat games, mostly iOS clone junk; virtually zero integration with the Xbox itself), I'm not getting my hopes up about an Xbox-branded tablet.

I think Microsoft would like to emulate Apple and their profits on hardware in the long run. There is profit in hardware if you create a device people crave. That is not as easy to accomplish, though. But one way is to create an ecosystem people feel more comfortable staying within.

Jayhawker wrote:

I think Microsoft would like to emulate Apple and their profits on hardware in the long run. There is profit in hardware if you create a device people crave. That is not as easy to accomplish, though. But one way is to create an ecosystem people feel more comfortable staying within.

True enough, but Apple have been at that game for a much longer time.

Yeah, I think it would be foolish to believe that Microsoft can just step in and accomplish what Apple has done. But statements from Ballmer and these kinds of rumors make me believe Microsoft is ready to invest resources to try.

Scratched wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Innnnnnnteresting. I'll assume they'll provide built-in easy sync with a 360 controller, access to the XBLA library . . . I assume I'd have to re-buy games for it that I own for the 360, but, given access to the kinds of games I like on XBLA, I'm really, really intrigued by the notion.

360 controller? Maybe, although I'd imagine it would need a 2.4GHz radio in there to talk to it, and that's assuming they're not moving to a new, incompatible controller for the 'full-fat' xbox3.

As for 'old' 360 XBLA stuff, I'd be checking your enthusiasm a bit, as those would have all the perils of doing backwards compatibility for any console. It seems more like they're interested in selling you new metro games.

It's interesting anyway, in a tablet gaming future kind of way, although I'm finding it hard to put my finger on how to get enthusiastic about an official microsoft gaming tablet as opposed to a tablet by any other brand, unless they hold something back exclusively for themselves. I would have thought that if MS had gone to the trouble of setting up a store that's used by many tablets, you would want to sell as much as possible from as many categories as possible on as many tablets as you can, seeing as I don't think hardware is that lucrative a business. I'm also pondering if it has a role to play as part of a bigger whole in console/tablet/PC gaming, or is just by itself.

I realize I'm being overly optimistic, but hey, optimism is fun and easy, right? I guess if they're trying to actually tie it into the Xbox name, I'd like to believe they're going to try to specifically tie it into some of the things that have made the 360 so successful this generation. Multiplayer gaming and voice chat seem pretty unlikely, so the next man up for "good stuff about the 360" to me is all those great XBLA titles.

Yes, I realize it could just be name-branding trying to hop on the coattails of the 360's success, but I'm going to remain optimistic and look forward to all the good things I probably won't get from this thing.

What I'm wondering is what they'd put in an Xbox that would be excluded from Surfaces or other OEM Win 8/RT tablets that could be made down the road. Yes, initially it might be ahead on hardware based on some memory bandwidth optimizations, but that might not hold long. So MS would be putting itself in a position of walling off another garden outside of the one it just made? What Xbox games would not be in the regular store, and what would decide where things go?

Maybe it would bring things like Gold based music or video subscriptions to differentiate the services, but then, why wouldn't that stuff also work on the other devices?

Just kind of odd. I'll be interested to see what sets it apart other than possibly format. And the format could be matched by an OEM pretty easily with RT or Win 8 if that's all it is.

The other thing with tablets, which I think would work against MS doing something exclusive and proprietary, is that tablets move much faster than consoles. You couldn't just make one and be done for 5 years, but would need to make a new model yearly or by-yearly.

If MS aren't sharing the xbox games with their OEM friends then it'll be a small party, and without a big catalogue to get people invested in the platform, people are likely to stray to platforms that advance further.

The only thing that makes sense is if this 7" Tablet is essentially an Xbox 360 in tablet form... accessing your 360 Library to play full games via a 360 controller connected wirelessly... and then on the go with new XBLA and 360 apps that are designed for a touch interface.

If its just a 7" Tablet running Surface RT (which it more than likely is) then its just that... a 7" Tablet running Surface RT.. hurrah?

Maybe they won't build anything exclusive, they'll just have an optimized platform for whatever they see is the Xbox platform. Similar to how they think Surface is the best marriage of hardware and software for Windows, and are trying to use it as an example device for OEMs that it didn't trust to build hardware of that quality.

But if it's not a Windows Xbox tablet, then it's kind of in it's own space, which was what lead me to post about my confusion above.

MannishBoy wrote:

Maybe they won't build anything exclusive, they'll just have an optimized platform for whatever they see is the Xbox platform. Similar to how they think Surface is the best marriage of hardware and software for Windows, and are trying to use it as an example device for OEMs that it didn't trust to build hardware of that quality.

I can see that. Tablets can have a variety of specs, so having some brand to say "this has got a GPU worth a damn" would be good. I think they've got a similar problem to trying to sell a windows gaming PC, to a certain extent OEMs can make what they want and sell them how they want. The opposing example (outside of gaming) is Apple with their macs and iDevices, apple can control the hardware so it runs OSX/iOS well enough.

They are slapping the xbox brand on pretty much everything, including renaming GFWL to xbox for windows now.