Top 7 Features Of Next-Gen Game Consoles

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Th-z

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Tuan Nguyen: ...with a theoretical raw processing power of up to 2.36 TFlops.
Sony PR arrived that number in funny ways to fool the uninformed in the midst of console "FLOPS War" with Xbox 360. They aren't to take seriously. For example, Sony claimed RSX has 1.8 TFLOPS of performance, consider 5 years later, GTX 580 has only 1.5 TFLOPS in sp, and 580 has 10 times more transistors than RSX.
 

nottheking

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Tom's BADLY needs to incorporate some more formatting tags into the comments section. Namely, they need to fix the broken list tags that don't work outside the forums. Would make all these huge responses I write infinitely more readable.

I think the authors are WAY too bullish on all that "cloud computing" nonesense. Also, there's a glaring error: The "2 teraflop" numbers for the PS3 are utter BS. Its actual potential FP capability measures 567.6 GIGAflops. It's broken down as follows:

- CPU: 211.2 GFLOPS (((1xFPU + 4xSIMD)+(4xSIMD x 7SPEs)) x 2 Ops/instruction x 3.2 GHz)
- GPU: 356.4 GFLOPS (24 pipelines x 27 ops/pipline x 0.55 GHz)

And of course, the Xbox 360 isn't a teraflop either; it's 336.0 Gigaflops. (96 CPU, 240 GPU) It might be prudent for the editors at Tom's to edit the article, removing the erroneous "teraflop" figure and replacing it with the more correct "gigaflop" one.

Anyway, now that's out of the way, I still feel that this whole "cloud computing" stuff is mostly nonesense. It makes sense for some things, but not for consoles. as OnLive has shown us already, there's some problems involved: lag makes playing multiplayer FPSes impossible, for instance. Sure, I can imagine some cases where a thin client with a heavy backend would work: some things, for instance, would drain a cell phone's battery too much, and it'd be better to process and stream. However, for our MAJOR computing uses... We'll want the power immediate. Anyone remember how cloud computing meant that dumb terminals attached to mainframes became the main way of computing? Didn't think so.

As for storage... I can see a shift away from a hard drive to a solid-state drive. The Wii already SORTA did it, but massively skimped on capacity, offering a paltry 512MB. While Nintendo has been forever paranoid over memory chip prices, Sony and Microsoft aren't, and likely wouldn't skimp so. So I'd expect the Xbox 720 to, say, pack a 128GB SSD, at least as an option. It might be that they'll offer both SSDs and HDDs, if they opt to keep the "detachable drive" option they had with the 360. Sony may follow a similar path as well. While profit, not performance, is the main incentive of a manufacturer, if the SSD is instead included right on the board, it MIGHT be cheaper than a HDD, which requires an airtight case and expensive materials. Alternatively, a SSD could be the choice for

I don't see discs going away during this 8th generation of consoles. A major selling point makers always harp upon is the simplicity of the system: buy a disc, pop it in, and play. It's why Netflix still is in the business of shipping DVDs, instead of a pure-download system. And stores (like GameStop) have a vested interest in the disc, as well as consumers that like to physically OWN their property. So sure, the all-download evangelists can say what they want, but digital distribution has a limit to how many will adopt it all the way. So I can see an expansion of online download games, but not replacing the disc.

As for price, I can agree with the authors on this one: the PS3's design and price was a mistake Sony won't make again. One must remember that with the exception of the Xbox, 360, and PS3, all consoles have launched and sold at a profit. Those Microsoft/Sony consoles were the EXCEPTION, NOT the rule. And they had their reasons: Microsoft hoped to "buy market share" with the Xbox, and capitalize later. Similarly, the 360 only sold at a SLIGHT loss, and quickly became a profit, and was so to keep pricing competitive. And the PS3... Sony assumed that it'd take the same 80% market share the PS2 had, and that it'd make the money back through games.

Instead, The PS3 got a measly 25.7% market share; slowly growing, but they've already had to concede this round: 4 years out, and they've shrunk the gap to the 360 from only 6 to 3 million units, and remain >34 million behind Nintendo's 48.6% dominance. This bet Sony made turned out to be a loss, and they won't make the same assumption again. As a result, I don't expect as huge a leap as we saw with the PS3 and even 360; we'll see more modest gains, with perhaps very similar CPUs, with instead a more beefed-up GPU and chiefly more RAM. Some rumors I heard is that the PS4's successor would only have "doubled" Cell; 2 PPEs and 12-16 SPEs, vs the 1/7 setup of the PS3. This lower cost-of-production will also mean a lower initial MSRP; $400US will likely be the ceiling, with $300US being more of the target.

Lastly, on motion-sensing stuff like the Kinect, I'm kinda dubious as to where it will go. The Wii has shown us what's happened after four whole years: that shows where Kinect/Kinect 2 will be in 2014. For now, Kinect's library (including announced games) is 95% a mix of fitness, snowboarding, dancing, and minigame shovelware: this won't sell a flagship product. As the Wii's history has shown us, unless Microsoft decides to commit Halo to Kinect, expect it to take years before any SERIOUS gamer would want it. Ditto goes for Sony's Move.

[citation][nom]Th-z[/nom]Sony PR arrived that number in funny ways to fool the uninformed in the midst of console "FLOPS War" with Xbox 360. They aren't to take seriously.[/citation]
Exactly right. I've included the CORRECT numbers up at the top of this comment. And even the number I provide for the RSX is STILL likely higher than normal: I just gave the benefit of the doubt to the claim that supposedly, a single one of the 24 pipelines can process 27 operations per clock cycle; more reasonable would be to expect perhaps 8 tops, (since on a G71, each pixel shader pipe is basically a 4-wide SIMD) which drags the power down to only 105.6 gigaflops for the GPU, (30% as potent) or 316.8 gigaflops total.
 

demonhorde665

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I agree with nottheking , the enxt gen consoles will very likely be only incremental jumps in cpu power , with amin focus beign on beefier gpu's adn ram . i reason for this thinking is the only major graphical advancment since the ps2 and xbox 360 hit , is tesselation/displasment mapping done in dx 11 and since this is a purely GPU bound task (its a texture that tells the hardware to render extra polys to a model). the only thing required to get there hardware wise is a gpu chip that supports it. Now i know a lot of people are smoking that ray tracing pipe dream , but lets face it ray tracing has been around for about 10 years or more really and to date no video chip has been able to render ray tracing in real time, i highly doubt this will change over night,especially since classic rasterization techniques have been puling off acceptible alternatives that render in real time much faster (and those techniques look better every year even if still under the level of ray tracing).

so i dont see where a new console will require super unheard of hardware, in that regard i'll retract waht i said about poiunt 7 in my earlier post , perhas the enxt gen consoels will use older hardware that the altest dx 11 offering , and perhaps ms and sony wil pass those savings on to the consumer i could see the next gen consoels using a mid level readon 7800 HD seris or a mid level gf 680 series , and either product would provide console gamers a drastic leap in performance over current consoles. if if those parts are ageneration behind at the time.
 

4th floor

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The reason I believe they will stick with the Cell processor is because they have spent a lot of time and money hyping and developing it. They are only now starting to show it's potential. Also by keeping with the Cell arch they will ensure PS3 backward compatibility, which was a big sticking point with the current gen. With a newer slightly beefed up version and a much more powerful gfx they would be able to also run all old PS2 and PS1 games via software emulation. I think built in browsing/skype/htpc like features will go along way in the next gen. I don't think we'll see the next gen until 2012 holiday season. I do think PS5 sometime 2017ish is where we will see a a switch to ray-tracing.
 

73110

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I personally think next gen of consoles, as being clouded, will be more upgradeable than ever before and be on pair with PC systems. I do not see 5 years old hardware running on those consoles hholding back PC games instead fully upgradeable system, graphics, directx versions, etc.

My 2 cents.
 

nottheking

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The main reason we'll be seeing continued use of the Cell is because all three consoles now use IBM's "PowerPC" architecture. The 360's CPU is little different from 3 Cell PPEs lashed together with an extra 1MB of L2 cache thrown on top. As for the Wii, no one knows for sure what it is, though it very well could be of a compatible design.
 
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one thing i have a problem with is that what you described is pritty much a computer as well as if you have a service thats on demand then you need to have a way to keep people connected to the internet at all times as well what about the people that cant afford the internet so you are still going to need a disc based system so the onlive model wont work at all for a gaming console
 

BeCoolBro

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If all consoles are to be replaced by onlive-like services,then discrete hardware gaming on the pc will end too and then I don't see why people will need new gpus or cpus.That doesn't mean it isn't possible,it just means that,unfortunately,building custom gaming pcs will be a thing of the past.And it isn't that much fun to build office pcs,workstations and servers.You can't overclock them or water cool them as you can't risk the hardware.It will completely suck if that statement of the article is the way of the future...
 

hoofhearted

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I wouldn't mind seeing the subsidized model more in place. Similar to how the cellphone companies do it, but not so much as to screw the gamer. You get a $600 console for $200 with a "game" contract. You need to buy 1 game a month for the next two years to fulfill the contract. Not the crap where you buy online time, but something where you feel like you are actually getting something to keep, a game.
 

gorillateets

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"Since we are already talking about the next Xbox, and the new console generation should arrive in the 2013 time frame, we felt it is a good idea to take a closer look at the current generation of devices and their future outlook."

We welt it was a good idea? I FELT it was a good idea to change 'welt' to 'felt'.
 

Misdissident

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Ugh, more of this. Game consoles should solely for PLAYING GAMES, not go halfway into what PCs are designed for. While I realize I'm easily in the dissenting population by stating this, I preferred the Wii this generation since it was more of a (wimpy) "game console" as opposed to "locked down multimedia device that can also play games"; turning on my 360 and seeing all of that annoying bloatware irks me. Online gaming on the Dreamcast was good enough beyond early adaptation flaws, but Live is just kinda annoying (although friends are useful here, I admit - I like Steam for similar reasons).
At the same time, while I DO realize that these new pseudo-computers are the way of the future and one would have to be an idiot to think otherwise, I would like to think that maybe even just one of the next-gen consoles is a pure gaming machine... funnily enough, it seems like OnLive might be the only device that's truly targeted at being a *game* console, even if it is on a controlled cloud and is online only.
I'm not particularly against cloud computing, honestly, especially on something as "non-confidential" as playing games, so I honestly would like to see how that would work out. I am, however, against company manipulation of "your" data... I guess I kinda contradict myself there. In that vein, I feel like OnLive is the honest real future for (pure) gaming consoles, since you can easily create such "consoles" for really cheap for the masses who have the bandwidth; I feel like locked down multimedia devices that play games might start getting a bit less popular, since you will either be able to A) get a cheap cloud game console for your common gaming needs or B) get a 400 dollar desktop PC that can honestly outpace current consoles in games while doing sooo much more, all without the magical barriers experienced on game consoles that end up costing nearly 75% of that price just for the setup alone.
 

truerock

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I've watched "HD" movies from NetFlix over the internet. The quality sucks. I've watched "HD" TV shows from NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox. The quality sucks.
When we can get 35-mbps bandwidth and sub 1-ms response over the internet - only then will cloud gaming be viable for HD games such as first-person-shooters.
Perhaps some HD role-playing-games could be done at some not too distant point in the future - but, the quality will be less than that available on a leading edge gamming PC.
There are people who really don't care what the quality of the graphics are - so I assume thin-client is going to be OK for them.
 

quotas47

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[citation][nom]Anonymous[/nom]btw check your spelling, a lot of these articles have errors. here's yours: "we welt it is a good idea [...]"should be felt[/citation]

He is Rrrusssssian. He welt it was a wery good idea to bring wodka.
 

quotas47

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[citation][nom]f-14[/nom]next gen consoles should have an upgradeable parts path so they aren't obsolete every other year and can play the games that were made after the console was debuted.[/citation]
That sounds like a traditional computer. There's a reason they're not like this.
You realize the complexity of designing after-market items to fit INSIDE an already defined space? These things are designed to be small now, not with ample room like a desktop tower.
It would have to allow moderate to heavy accessibility to the inside, while still being modular, but also not accessible enough to allow modding without voiding the warranty.

Not saying it won't happen eventually, but computers are already like that, but much simpler in a number of ways.
IMO microsoft should sell an xbox software package for Windows 7-X that lets you use your computer like a console. Just as difficult, but you don't have to worry about factory production and physical design hurdles.

Just have to worry about the code monkeys messing with the system ; )
 
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