Nextbox rumors..

You think most homes won't have high speed Internet until 2030? That seems way high to me. And the real question is what percentage of homes will purchase Xboxes but not have high speed Internet. The kind of people who buy Xboxes are more likely to have Internet.

2030? Erm...rewind the clock 17 years back and see how far we have come. Also glass half empty theory. But one could say 66% online is very impressive for the second real "connected" console. At this rate with the next Xbox that number could be closer to 90%

Blind_Evil wrote:
philucifer wrote:

I wonder if Microsoft would consider having two versions of the Xbox: one that plays discs and a cheaper one that's download only. Retail stores could then sell both discs and code cards. Admittedly that seems like a stretch, but there were two versions of the 360 at launch...

That came up earlier in the thread, and it's a possibility, but I doubt it would be cheaper.

Agreed. I can see two versions of a future Xbox being one with no optical drive and a large hard drive (500+ GB), and one with a blu-ray drive and a medium hard drive (150 GB), with both being the same price.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

You think most homes won't have high speed Internet until 2030? That seems way high to me. And the real question is what percentage of homes will purchase Xboxes but not have high speed Internet. The kind of people who buy Xboxes are more likely to have Internet.

I didn't say that, just taking Microsoft's numbers and making the logical conclusion. They said at CES that they had 40 million Xbox Live members, and there are 66 million 360s in the wild, so that's WELL over a third of their customers that would have spent $0 on games if they'd been download only. There will be growth over the next generation in that area, of course. Just not enough to warrant abandoning physical media.

You can already have a mostly-functional 360 experience without physical media. Most games are available on the XBLM within 6 months of release, and THAT is what will likely change with the next console. You'll be able to get full games digitally closer to launch, but likely not day-and-date because they rely on B+M to get the consoles into homes.

The harbingers of the digital future are hell-bent on the destruction of the physical media, but all any consumer wants is choice. Until 95% of people have no interest in physical media for their games, the platform holders will support both.

My 2030 prediction also hinges on the idea that generations will be getting longer and longer. Specifically, I'd be expecting the fifth Xbox around 2029-2031. The next two will have physical media in some capacity.

Well, what you said is that you think we won't see 95% of consoles going online until 2030. I'm assuming you believe that the ones that aren't going online are so because they don't have the connection, because people who have the connection but are choosing not to go online could easily (imho would easily) go online if that was what needed to happen to get games. A gamer is going to get his games, one way or another. That leaves us with the folks who own an Xbox but no means of getting it online.

Now, one big point in your favor is that they still sell boxed copies of PC games, even when there are a zillion download services. They only do that because they believe there are sales they wouldn't get otherwise. The download ecosystem and culture is more mature on PCs, and yet they still sell Starcraft on discs. That suggests that console games will continue to be sold on discs for a good while.

I'd at least like to see a next gen where (and I think this is similar to the current PSP or Vita market) you can get most games on either disc or digital, your choice. Give me all the convenience of Steam, including pre-loading, but continue to sell discs as long as you need.

Blind_Evil wrote:
Fedaykin98 wrote:

You think most homes won't have high speed Internet until 2030? That seems way high to me. And the real question is what percentage of homes will purchase Xboxes but not have high speed Internet. The kind of people who buy Xboxes are more likely to have Internet.

I didn't say that, just taking Microsoft's numbers and making the logical conclusion. They said at CES that they had 40 million Xbox Live members, and there are 66 million 360s in the wild, so that's WELL over a third of their customers that would have spent $0 on games if they'd been download only. There will be growth over the next generation in that area, of course. Just not enough to warrant abandoning physical media.

Not to mention that "Xbox live members" does not equal xboxes or individual people. (It also includes silver accounts) How many people have multiple accounts? How many people have multiple accounts on one box for the whole family or even over two boxes in the same house.

I'd guess that the number of "live" enabled 360s is below 60% and i remember some comments from Epic games along those lines with regards to Gears or Gears 2 and online connection vs copies sold.

Duoae wrote:

Not to mention that "Xbox live members" does not equal xboxes or individual people. (It also includes silver accounts) How many people have multiple accounts? How many people have multiple accounts on one box for the whole family or even over two boxes in the same house.

How many people share the same gamertag in a household? That exists, too.

MannishBoy wrote:
Duoae wrote:

Not to mention that "Xbox live members" does not equal xboxes or individual people. (It also includes silver accounts) How many people have multiple accounts? How many people have multiple accounts on one box for the whole family or even over two boxes in the same house.

How many people share the same gamertag in a household? That exists, too.

Yeah, hence why i also said about having multiple xboxes. I was pointing out the uselessness of that number.

Going back some pages to what people were saying about the graphics technology, I think the real limit for the next gen consoles will be TVs, not the systems themselves. HDMI 1.4 currently can't do more than 720/60p in 3D, or 1080/60p in 2D. So there's no need for super powerful GPUs.

Chairman_Mao wrote:

So there's no need for super powerful GPUs.

I've been pondering on this point. It might be true now, but how much that will be true in 5+ years (if you exclude things like a moving target, nextbox revised models with increasing specs, etc). It's a tough question and might involve sour medicine for a lot of companies and gamers as it involves changing the path 'mainstream gaming' is on. I can definitely see a case for bringing them up to modern designs, but the horsepower available can be varied.

The other thing that's related to that is if the console manufacturers have a bit of a responsibility to keep the industry on a safe path, such as not giving an inexperienced driver the keys to a supercar, and not just for the graphics/cost issue.

GPU's are no longer just graphics. DirectX11, OpenCL, and PhysX are all allowing GPUs to do more than just push pretty pixels these days.

So even if you believed the you didn't need as much overhead for graphics, these processors will allow that headroom to be used to do other cool stuff.

The 360 already bogs down on some titles. Give me a console that can handle 1080p/60 consistently with high levels of AA, while increasing poly counts.

Scratched wrote:
Chairman_Mao wrote:

So there's no need for super powerful GPUs.

I've been pondering on this point. It might be true now, but how much that will be true in 5+ years. It's a tough question and might involve sour medicine for a lot of companies and gamers as it involves changing the path 'mainstream gaming' is on. The other thing that's related to that is if the console manufacturers have a bit of a responsibility to keep the industry on a safe path, such as not giving an inexperienced driver the keys to a supercar, and not just for the graphics/cost issue.

I can't see all those people who've adopted TV's in the last 10 years suddenly going out, in the middle of a recession and buying the latest and greatest OLED tech that has higher resolution when all probability says that tech companies are just going to change the goalposts again by 2020.

Seriously, my (split) family has had 5 or 6 TVs since i was born. That's one when i was growing up, one each when they split (don't remember what happened to the family one) and one flatscreen upgrade each (though my dad has had several hand-me-downs through friends). I'm 30. What world do other people live in?

MannishBoy wrote:

GPU's are no longer just graphics. DirectX11, OpenCL, and PhysX are all allowing GPUs to do more than just push pretty pixels these days.

So even if you believed the you didn't need as much overhead for graphics, these processors will allow that headroom to be used to do other cool stuff.

Yep. Now, all that shared RAM and cache work pretty well in console architectures for this sort of thing.

Chairman_Mao wrote:

Going back some pages to what people were saying about the graphics technology, I think the real limit for the next gen consoles will be TVs, not the systems themselves. HDMI 1.4 currently can't do more than 720/60p in 3D, or 1080/60p in 2D. So there's no need for super powerful GPUs.

Eh, a black and white TV showing the Andy Griffith show still looks more realistic than the best 3D gaming has to offer, at any resolution. It's not all about how many pixels can be put on the screen.

MannishBoy wrote:

So even if you believed the you didn't need as much overhead for graphics, these processors will allow that headroom to be used to do other cool stuff.

Right, but there's nothing really cool going on in the PC space with this stuff yet. Maybe consoles will change that, but currently there's very little reason to grab a second GPU for PhysX. Unless you want to bump your [email protected] score a bunch.

shoptroll wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:

So even if you believed the you didn't need as much overhead for graphics, these processors will allow that headroom to be used to do other cool stuff.

Right, but there's nothing really cool going on in the PC space with this stuff yet. Maybe consoles will change that, but currently there's very little reason to grab a second GPU for PhysX. Unless you want to bump your [email protected] score a bunch.

Because why code for this on PC if you're console version of the game is not going to support it? And why code on PC if there are two competing standards tied to which card you own?

If a console supported a single API, it might actually help get it supported more frequently on PC as well.

Chairman_Mao wrote:

Going back some pages to what people were saying about the graphics technology, I think the real limit for the next gen consoles will be TVs, not the systems themselves. HDMI 1.4 currently can't do more than 720/60p in 3D, or 1080/60p in 2D. So there's no need for super powerful GPUs.

You still need a significant upgrade from what is in there today.. 1080P 60FPS isnt really achievable with significant details unless you increase the GPU speed.. I agree you won't need a 7970 class GPU but you need a step above what is in there today.. todays midrange tech should be more than sufficient for the nextbox to hit those numbers.

But yes.. 1080P/60FPS will be the hard limit for some time to come.. I don't see any significant TV upgrades hitting mainstream until the next generation after this..

Staats wrote:

Eh, a black and white TV showing the Andy Griffith show still looks more realistic than the best 3D gaming has to offer, at any resolution. It's not all about how many pixels can be put on the screen.

Quoted for being a wonderful point.

MannishBoy wrote:

If a console supported a single API, it might actually help get it supported more frequently on PC as well.

Well if they're using an AMD solution that would be a good win for them. There is supposed to be a cross-platform API spec at some point in the near future if it already isn't complete. OpenCL I think?

Another part of the problem is that Nvidia has agreements with a large swath of devs/publishers to push PhysX in their games while AMD doesn't really have the same sort of program. This is why you see a lot of PhysX enabled games on the PC but very little for the AMD cards.

You know what? I'm fine with poly-counts, but maybe it's just Unreal Engine 3 or something, but face textures are looking more and more like someone just scrubbed a bunch of different skin tone markers on a piece of paper, scanned it in and called it "high-res texture".

I dunno. I just feel like if graphics are going to improve, it should be with textures and lighting effects, if that. In truth, I'd just like a lot more variants of A.I. or improved drawing distance, or whatever would happen to improve whatever type of game we're talking about.

Texture improvements would come with more RAM, so I think that's to be expected given how RAM is incredibly cheap these days. Lighting effects will come with the move to DirectX 11 judging by the Samaritan demo Epic was showing off last year.

The way I see the graphics and general processing horsepower issue is the phrase "power is nothing without control", there's lots of other factors in the mix that are needed to make a pretty game.

shoptroll wrote:

Texture improvements would come with more RAM, so I think that's to be expected given how RAM is incredibly cheap these days. Lighting effects will come with the move to DirectX 11 judging by the Samaritan demo Epic was showing off last year.

That demo had huge hardware behind it. Not something like this rumor (which I don't really believe anyway).

MannishBoy wrote:

That demo had huge hardware behind it.

I'd be surprised if a number of the lighting effects they were using aren't possible with DX11 on a less powerful system.

ccesarano wrote:

I dunno. I just feel like if graphics are going to improve, it should be with textures and lighting effects, if that.

I feel like if graphics are going to improve, it's going to have to be with actual art direction and creativity.

(Although yes, a lot of modern games could benefit from improved textures and lighting.)

Apologies if this has already been covered. Any news on continuation of current Live services (for example, migration of profiles / Gamerscore to the next gen)?

Gonna be honest, I know it would piss a lot of people off, but I'd actually like GamerScore to start over again from 0. It would be like creating a new D&D character versus playing an old one. Sure, there's so many medals and such tacked onto the old experienced character, but the new one has so many possibilities!

As for the art direction, that's in my "not so hopeful but God it would be great" list of gaming wants. Right next to "real f*cking writers God dammit".

Since gamerscore is shared amoung Xbox, GFWL (xbox games for windows or whatever the new name is), and Win Phone, I don't think you'll get a reset.

MannishBoy wrote:

Since gamerscore is shared amoung Xbox, GFWL (xbox games for windows or whatever the new name is), and Win Phone, I don't think you'll get a reset.

Would be interesting if they broke the score down into a single score for each platform.

shoptroll wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:

Since gamerscore is shared amoung Xbox, GFWL (xbox games for windows or whatever the new name is), and Win Phone, I don't think you'll get a reset.

Would be interesting if they broke the score down into a single score for each platform.

You're breaking Jonman's heart.