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AbsolutSurgen

Microsoft Sources: Microsoft Is Still Planning A Cheaper, Disc-Less Next-Gen Xbox

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25 minutes ago, Dodger said:

The one thing for publishers doing their own thing though is they better have a big catalog to throw up, and will need to have a significant catalog of older favorites in order to compete. You're going to need more than a handful of releases every year to carry a subscription service. 

 

I don’t think most major AAA publishers will have a problem with a suitable backlog.

 

Or they could just strike some deals with THQ Nordic, lol.

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2 minutes ago, crispy4000 said:

 

I don’t think most major AAA publishers will have a problem with that.

 

Or they could just strike some deals with THQ Nordic, lol.

 

 

We'll see. I think the one thing overlooked with the movie industry and comparisons to Netflix is that the movie industry is much more consolidated, so fewer players have access to a much bigger catalog for their service. Especially now that Disney owns what feels like half the movie industry now. Disney is basically EA and Activision and Ubisoft all in one damn company. 

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1 hour ago, Dodger said:

 

 

Well, we'll see. MS also now has 15 first party studios, some with multiple teams making games for it now too. EA is a bunch of dick bags who could probably rival that if they wanted too, but they don't and force studios to do GAAS bullshit and fuck up the Star Wars Franchise before they could be bothered to release a decent game for it. EA's program could have been a lot of better if you were going to get a good Bioware Mass Effect game for it, A good dead Space game, A good Need For Speed instead of shitty Forza Horizon knock offs the last 2 games apparently are, and whatever other IPs they could be making good games for. Instead they fucked all that up and EA Access is now kind of shit. But you might be tempted to have it if they were producing the kind of games they could have been producing given the studios and IP's they have had. 

 

Or look at this way. What if Sony had Games Pass and you were getting GoW, Spiderman, TLOU2, next Uncharted game, next Gran Turismo, Horizon 2, Death Stranding, ETC ETC for "free", plus a bunch of other 3rd party games for 9.99/14.99 with PS+ a month. . Would you be interested? MS has a long way to go to match Sony's first party output, but if they can start getting close, Games Pass will be fine. 

The only recent MS published games that I have had real interest in are the Forza games.

I buy most of Sony's exclusives, but that price is more than what I pay for them.

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47 minutes ago, Dodger said:

We'll see. I think the one thing overlooked with the movie industry and comparisons to Netflix is that the movie industry is much more consolidated, so fewer players have access to a much bigger catalog for their service. Especially now that Disney owns what feels like half the movie industry now. Disney is basically EA and Activision and Ubisoft all in one damn company. 


There's no Disney Plus sized behemoth or inevitability.  I take that to mean there's more room for any major publisher get in there and compete.  Ironically, Activision is the only one of those companies you mentioned that hasn't already entered the ring.

Also think about how long Disney held out on launching a subscription.  Most of the AAA games industry won't be that slow, save for Nintendo perhaps.  Nintendo's also not likely to push anyone out of the space.

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24 minutes ago, crispy4000 said:

Also think about how long Disney held out on launching a subscription.

Disney didn’t really hold out, they had previously signed long term deals with other providers and launched as those deals began to expire.

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6 hours ago, sblfilms said:

Disney didn’t really hold out, they had previously signed long term deals with other providers and launched as those deals began to expire.

 

True.  Perhaps those are the types of content deals Microsoft should pursue while they still can.  If it’s not already too late.

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1 hour ago, Duderino said:

This sounds like another curve ball for developers, especially those with rendering tech riding on the GPU bump.

 

It reads to me like MS expects devs to throw most of their GPU overhead over this gimped SKU at Raytracing, resolution and/or framerate.

 

I agree, not every dev will go that route.  Nor should they.  The GPU could be pushed in other ways that could be a better trade off for many titles.

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9 minutes ago, crispy4000 said:

 

True.  Perhaps those are the types of content deals Microsoft should pursue while they still can.  If it’s not already too late.

That’s really what they should have done a couple years ago, lock up back catalogs of a bunch of publishers for some extended period of time. Now everybody knows what MS wants to do and they aren’t going to hand that content over for as little as they might have before GP became such a focus for MS.

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If MS is going to release a machine at the PS4 Pro level of power, I'd almost guarantee it's not going to be billed as a "next gen" machine. I'd say it's more likely a new current gen SKU and the reporting is getting botched. 

 

They've spent an entire generation playing catch up and re-branding as the company that actually cares about power and all that jazz. This would piss off the same audience that sunk them with the XBO. 

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14 minutes ago, sblfilms said:

That’s really what they should have done a couple years ago, lock up back catalogs of a bunch of publishers for some extended period of time. Now everybody knows what MS wants to do and they aren’t going to hand that content over for as little as they might have before GP became such a focus for MS.

 

Agreed.  But imagine the backlash if they did that before fleshing their internal studios out.  Seems like they prioritized that over locking up another publisher’s catalog for a time.

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9 hours ago, crispy4000 said:

 

Agreed.  But imagine the backlash if they did that before fleshing their internal studios out.  Seems like they prioritized that over locking up another publisher’s catalog for a time.

They need to prove they can deliver enough new content to justify that.  So far, they haven't.  Most of the studios they purchased that weren't already defacto second party do not have a track record to suggest anything will change (other than Oblivion).

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Their original plan was to do a hybrid streaming console, iirc. It would have enough horsepower to handle some things locally to cut down on latency, while xCloud did the heavy lifting.

 

I can see them coming out with a Anaconda-lite that's just a GamePass/xCloud box.

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Anyone, forget Games Pass, I don't want some lower end gimped console holding back the entire generation so I hope this isn't true, or it has the same exact system specs as the "Anaconda" and it just discless and maybe a couple other things like a smaller hard drive to shave $100 off the price and they can offer a console at $399 and a second sku with the same specs at $499. Or this is just a project xcloud box or something. It would be giving Sony an immense advantage in first party games, and they already got some wizards who make their PS4 games look amazing. 

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54 minutes ago, Dodger said:

Anyone, forget Games Pass, I don't want some lower end gimped console holding back the entire generation so I hope this isn't true, or it has the same exact system specs as the "Anaconda" and it just discless and maybe a couple other things like a smaller hard drive to shave $100 off the price and they can offer a console at $399 and a second sku with the same specs at $499. Or this is just a project xcloud box or something. It would be giving Sony an immense advantage in first party games, and they already got some wizards who make their PS4 games look amazing. 

 

This rumored Lockhart could affect PS5 development too, unless the SKU utterly fails.

Microsoft would be telling developers to design next-gen games with current gen GPU limitations in mind, and to make the actual next-gen machine about bells and whistles layered on top.  It's up to interpretation how much that holds things back, but I'm not an optimist either.

Part of me thinks the plan is just to axe Lockhart once the current gen consoles stop selling and a mid-cycle refresh is introduced.  That way it would serve its purpose as a transitional SKU, then die (/become an xCloud box) when its no longer practical to sustain.

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30 minutes ago, Dodger said:

Anyone, forget Games Pass, I don't want some lower end gimped console holding back the entire generation so I hope this isn't true, or it has the same exact system specs as the "Anaconda" and it just discless and maybe a couple other things like a smaller hard drive to shave $100 off the price and they can offer a console at $399 and a second sku with the same specs at $499. Or this is just a project xcloud box or something. It would be giving Sony an immense advantage in first party games, and they already got some wizards who make their PS4 games look amazing. 


Concessions like a smaller HDD and/or no disc would be the ideal scenario here.

 

Unfortunately these rumors are describing something quite different.  Sounds more like MS is considering a lower spec SKU at launch.  Regardless of which route they go, sales in that first year or two are going to be bottlenecked more by manufacturing than price point.  If they do launch with a cheaper, lesser spec sku, it’ll clearly be to mandate developers to support the weaker hardware out the gate.

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1 hour ago, Dodger said:

Anyone, forget Games Pass, I don't want some lower end gimped console holding back the entire generation so I hope this isn't true, or it has the same exact system specs as the "Anaconda" and it just discless and maybe a couple other things like a smaller hard drive to shave $100 off the price and they can offer a console at $399 and a second sku with the same specs at $499. Or this is just a project xcloud box or something. It would be giving Sony an immense advantage in first party games, and they already got some wizards who make their PS4 games look amazing. 

Developers have shown they won't gimp their games, particularly if a platform has low sales.

 

Just look at performance of Jedi and Control on launch Xbox/PS4 consoles.

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1 hour ago, AbsolutSurgen said:

Developers have shown they won't gimp their games, particularly if a platform has low sales.

 

Just look at performance of Jedi and Control on launch Xbox/PS4 consoles.

 

Not sure what you’re trying to say?  I’m pretty sure Control in particular runs poorly on base hardware.

 

I’d expect the problem here to be even worse.  Because there may come a point mid-cycle where MS asks developers to support 3 ‘current-gen’ SKUs with wildly different specs.  No way that works out well for the lowest end.

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32 minutes ago, crispy4000 said:

 

Not sure what you’re trying to say?  I’m pretty sure Control in particular runs poorly on base hardware.

 

I’d expect the problem here to be even worse.  Because there may come a point mid-cycle where MS asks developers to support 3 ‘current-gen’ SKUs with wildly different specs.  No way that works out well for the lowest end.

That’s his point, those games are targeted to the specs of the highest end model. You seemed to be arguing they would target the low end if there were two different models at launch.

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I don't really know much about development or graphics engines, but can't you have basically the same bells and whistles graphically, just with different resolutions to bring down demand pretty substantially from a hardware standpoint.  Like running a game at 4k60 vs 1080p60 would mean the hardware needs to be 4x more powerful?   

 

If you don't care at all about 4k, or 1440p, , can't you play even some of the most demanding PC games out today at 1080p 60 on a mid to low range graphics card? Aren't the higher end cards primarily to push higher resolutions.

 

If their focus this time around is on Frame-rates over Resolutions, would the 4 to 10 terraflop or whatever difference make a huge difference?

 

These are questions cause I am clueless on all this, and am genuinely curious.

 

 

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1 hour ago, sblfilms said:

That’s his point, those games are targeted to the specs of the highest end model. You seemed to be arguing they would target the low end if there were two different models at launch.

 

That is what the rumor suggests: Microsoft wants devs to design their next-gen games to run fine with a Pro/X level GPU.  (at 1440p60 even!)

I don't think it would mean the end of games overshooting lower spec consoles.  But I do think it could limit which envelopes devs will want to push.  And odds are, turn the gimped SKU into a liability by mid-gen.

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12 minutes ago, crispy4000 said:

 

That is what the rumor suggests: Microsoft wants devs to design their next-gen games to run fine with a Pro/X level GPU.  (at 1440p60 even!)

I think you’re misinterpreting that, but we are fully in the realm of conjecture :p 

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1 hour ago, JPDunks4 said:

I don't really know much about development or graphics engines, but can't you have basically the same bells and whistles graphically, just with different resolutions to bring down demand pretty substantially from a hardware standpoint.  Like running a game at 4k60 vs 1080p60 would mean the hardware needs to be 4x more powerful?   

 

If you don't care at all about 4k, or 1440p, , can't you play even some of the most demanding PC games out today at 1080p 60 on a mid to low range graphics card? Aren't the higher end cards primarily to push higher resolutions.

 

If their focus this time around is on Frame-rates over Resolutions, would the 4 to 10 terraflop or whatever difference make a huge difference?

 

These are questions cause I am clueless on all this, and am genuinely curious.

 

 

Someone like @Spork3245 or @Reputator can answer this way better than I can but it doesn’t work that way. Dropping resolution does allow lower end cards to run games , often times you have drop effects like shadow quality , water quality and others.

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5 hours ago, Dodger said:

I don't want some lower end gimped console holding back the entire generation 

Welcome to the world of PC gamers.

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1 hour ago, JPDunks4 said:

I don't really know much about development or graphics engines, but can't you have basically the same bells and whistles graphically, just with different resolutions to bring down demand pretty substantially from a hardware standpoint.  Like running a game at 4k60 vs 1080p60 would mean the hardware needs to be 4x more powerful?   

 

If you don't care at all about 4k, or 1440p, , can't you play even some of the most demanding PC games out today at 1080p 60 on a mid to low range graphics card? Aren't the higher end cards primarily to push higher resolutions.

 

If their focus this time around is on Frame-rates over Resolutions, would the 4 to 10 terraflop or whatever difference make a huge difference?

 

These are questions cause I am clueless on all this, and am genuinely curious.

 

 

 

32 minutes ago, SimpleG said:

Someone like @Spork3245 or @Reputator can answer this way better than I can but it doesn’t work that way. Dropping resolution does allow lower end cards to run games , often times you have drop effects like shadow quality , water quality and others.

 

It honestly is all about resolution. That was the primary focus of the base consoles this gen versus their Pro/X counterparts.

 

My first thoughts about this is that it's a smart move. What you guys have to understand is that we are balls-deep in the diminishing returns era of the graphics race. Most of the gains in GPU horsepower get thrown at drawing more pixels, whereas the underlying effects remain largely the same. Even the addition of ray-tracing has so far shown to be a marginal gain over advanced screenspace and sparse voxel octree lighting techniques that have their roots going back to the 6th gen. It's not like the old days where doubling your GPU FLOPS meant you could suddenly turn on HDR lighting and screen-based ambient occlusion (this would have been around the 2006 timeframe). The next, let's say 20% of realism going forward will require another 4x hardware improvement, and it honestly isn't worth the manufacturing costs or associated heat/power consumption to warrant it in the console business.

 

This upcoming console gen is probably the first one that is NOT emphasizing graphics as much as it is the immense gains that can be had with SSD storage and a good, proper CPU. If this report is to be believed, the Lockhart variant will still support the massive worlds, AI and world simulation that those two innovations allow. The difference between that and Anaconda will be, quite literally, resolution. It will still appear many times more advanced than a PS4 Pro even with similar GPU horsepower as long as developers use those other, arguably more important features to great effect.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Reputator said:

 

 

It honestly is all about resolution. That was the primary focus of the base consoles this gen versus their Pro/X counterparts.

 

My first thoughts about this is that it's a smart move. What you guys have to understand is that we are balls-deep in the diminishing returns era of the graphics race. Most of the gains in GPU horsepower get thrown at drawing more pixels, whereas the underlying effects remain largely the same. Even the addition of ray-tracing has so far shown to be a marginal gain over advanced screenspace and sparse voxel octree lighting techniques that have their roots going back to the 6th gen. It's not like the old days where doubling your GPU FLOPS meant you could suddenly turn on HDR lighting and screen-based ambient occlusion (this would have been around the 2006 timeframe). The next, let's say 20% of realism going forward will require another 4x hardware improvement, and it honestly isn't worth the manufacturing costs or associated heat/power consumption to warrant it in the console business.

 

This upcoming console gen is probably the first one that is NOT emphasizing graphics as much as it is the immense gains that can be had with SSD storage and a good, proper CPU. If this report is to be believed, the Lockhart variant will still support the massive worlds, AI and world simulation that those two innovations allow. The difference between that and Anaconda will be, quite literally, resolution. It will still appear many times more advanced than a PS4 Pro even with similar GPU horsepower as long as developers use those other, arguably more important features to great effect.

 

 

Learn something new today

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9 minutes ago, Reputator said:

This upcoming console gen is probably the first one that is NOT emphasizing graphics as much as it is the immense gains that can be had with SSD storage and a good, proper CPU. If this report is to be believed, the Lockhart variant will still support the massive worlds, AI and world simulation that those two innovations allow. The difference between that and Anaconda will be, quite literally, resolution. It will still appear many times more advanced than a PS4 Pro even with similar GPU horsepower as long as developers use those other, arguably more important features to great effect.

But I think this is the concern being expressed here. If you're building a game for the next gen consoles and you want to take advantage of the SSD and high end CPU for seamless worlds and AI simulation and whatever, you can't really do that if you also have to support the One X or even One S. With graphics, it's somewhat straightforward to just scale things down for a lower spec. You really can't build something reliant upon SSD speed and scale that back to a spinning disc.

 

Sony talked about how the swing speed in Spider-man was limited to how fast they could stream the world from the HDD. Put in an SSD and all the sudden you can stream it much faster and now you can change the gameplay; put more stuff in the world, allow faster travel speeds, etc. Or let's say you're building a game with a lot of real time deformation, and you need the power of these new CPUs to do it. I'm not sure how a developer would scale those kinds of things down.

 

If it's just "make it less pretty" or "the loading screens are 10x shorter on SSD consoles" then yeah, it's easy to see how you build a game that scales with the hardware. But if MS expects devs to build for the whole range I don't see how they can also build in gameplay leaps that require the new hardware.

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We are in the diminishing era of graphics.  However, ray-tracing DOES make a noticeable difference -- and I expect the second gen of Nvidia RTX cards to finally be able to show it off.  Hopefully, AMD can design chips for these consoles that will deliver decent ray tracing capability.

 

I anticipate this next gen WILL partially focus on graphical improvements -- as well as the other improvements.  (Just like 2 gens ago focused on graphical improvements, PLUS Blu-Ray, PLUS HD, PLUS built in HDs, PLUS downloadable games, etc.)

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1 minute ago, TwinIon said:

But I think this is the concern being expressed here. If you're building a game for the next gen consoles and you want to take advantage of the SSD and high end CPU for seamless worlds and AI simulation and whatever, you can't really do that if you also have to support the One X or even One S. With graphics, it's somewhat straightforward to just scale things down for a lower spec. You really can't build something reliant upon SSD speed and scale that back to a spinning disc.

 

Sony talked about how the swing speed in Spider-man was limited to how fast they could stream the world from the HDD. Put in an SSD and all the sudden you can stream it much faster and now you can change the gameplay; put more stuff in the world, allow faster travel speeds, etc. Or let's say you're building a game with a lot of real time deformation, and you need the power of these new CPUs to do it. I'm not sure how a developer would scale those kinds of things down.

 

If it's just "make it less pretty" or "the loading screens are 10x shorter on SSD consoles" then yeah, it's easy to see how you build a game that scales with the hardware. But if MS expects devs to build for the whole range I don't see how they can also build in gameplay leaps that require the new hardware.

I dont think Project Scarlett games are going to be compatible to the Xbox One skus.  Xbox One games will play on Xbox Scarlett, but I have never seen them claim Xbox Scarlett is going to play on Xbox One.

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5 minutes ago, TwinIon said:

But I think this is the concern being expressed here. If you're building a game for the next gen consoles and you want to take advantage of the SSD and high end CPU for seamless worlds and AI simulation and whatever, you can't really do that if you also have to support the One X or even One S. With graphics, it's somewhat straightforward to just scale things down for a lower spec. You really can't build something reliant upon SSD speed and scale that back to a spinning disc.

 

Sony talked about how the swing speed in Spider-man was limited to how fast they could stream the world from the HDD. Put in an SSD and all the sudden you can stream it much faster and now you can change the gameplay; put more stuff in the world, allow faster travel speeds, etc. Or let's say you're building a game with a lot of real time deformation, and you need the power of these new CPUs to do it. I'm not sure how a developer would scale those kinds of things down.

 

If it's just "make it less pretty" or "the loading screens are 10x shorter on SSD consoles" then yeah, it's easy to see how you build a game that scales with the hardware. But if MS expects devs to build for the whole range I don't see how they can also build in gameplay leaps that require the new hardware.

 

Well I didn't see a mention of that but every console launch is laden with cross-gen titles that don't fully utilize next-gen hardware. That's a very old problem, and very temporary.

 

5 minutes ago, AbsolutSurgen said:

We are in the diminishing era of graphics.  However, ray-tracing DOES make a noticeable difference -- and I expect the second gen of Nvidia RTX cards to finally be able to show it off.  Hopefully, AMD can design chips for these consoles that will deliver decent ray tracing capability.

 

I anticipate this next gen WILL partially focus on graphical improvements -- as well as the other improvements.  (Just like 2 gens ago focused on graphical improvements, PLUS Blu-Ray, PLUS HD, PLUS built in HDs, PLUS downloadable games, etc.)

 

I remain unconvinced that current or near-term hardware really has what it takes to show the potential of ray-tracing. As it stands, robust RT features mean half your framerate, or worse. So they either need some crazy hardware innovations that don't require too many more transistors, or we're stuck with slight improvements in shadows and overly reflective surfaces with "loose" 30 fps targets.

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2 minutes ago, Reputator said:

 

Well I didn't see a mention of that but every console launch is laden with cross-gen titles that don't fully utilize next-gen hardware. That's a very old problem, and very temporary.

 

 

I remain unconvinced that current or near-term hardware really has what it takes to show the potential of ray-tracing. As it stands, robust RT features mean half your framerate, or worse. So they either need some crazy hardware innovations that don't require too many more transistors, or we're stuck with slight improvements in shadows and overly reflective surfaces with "loose" 30 fps targets.

The majority of games will be 30fps on the next gen consoles, not matter what MS or Sony ask developers to target.  From what I have seen (watching online videos, I don't yet have an RTX card) -- ray tracing in games like Control is transformational.  I'll take the higher IQ from ray tracing over resolution every day, and twice on Sunday.

 

Of course, the AMD console implementation could suck, and it won't matter.

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I have to agree with @Reputator.  
 

I do think a few tittles will have some form of ray tracing, but not to the degree we are seeing with Control + RTX.  At least not without some new technical advancement that can compensate for even lower ray counts on console hardware.
 

I expect more tittles will target 60fps as opposed to pushing rayracing next gen.  But for devs with plans to utilize raytracing, this half step console probably isn’t the best news.

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For Anaconda, I am expecting  rasterization performance compared with a RTX-2080, but with somewhat better Ray Tracing capabilities (or about equivalent of my expectation of how an RTX-2170 will perform).  If AMD achieves this, it should be able to have pretty decent Ray Tracing (but, not at 4k, nor 60 fps).  This console wouldn't be "a beast", but would be a worthy upgrade over a PS4 Pro, and a generational upgrade over a base PS4.

 

Based on these rumours, I am expecting Lockhart to play the same games by lowering resolution, lowering texture quality, dropping ray tracing and other graphical effects.  In a similar way that you can drop the graphical settings on a PC game.  Latter in the gen, I expect that not all games will be playable on this device, but will need to be streamed via X-Cloud.

 

5 hours ago, Duderino said:

I expect more tittles will target 60fps as opposed to pushing rayracing next gen.  But for devs with plans to utilize raytracing, this half step console probably isn’t the best news.

Then they should save the money and not put the ray tracing cores on their SOCs.

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people always make this stuff sound harder then it is. I said a long time ago MS would come out with two skus this generation.  I said they could easily take the GPU in the 1x add a ryzen2 core cpu and make that the lower sku xbox. major blunder in last gen was the Jaguar cpu's  they held the whole system back. get rid of them and you have a competent gaming machine.

 

Should I pat my self on the back now or later. I said that with the Ryzen2 cpu games would target 60fps as the standard. I was laughed at. Guess what MS appears to be using a gpu that is not even as powerful at the 1x gpu and doing exactly what I said. Execept going for 1080p-1440p instead of 4k since most people havent upgraded to 4k yet.

 

consoles are basically pc's now. especially the MS console.  Pc's have millions of combinations of hardware that dev. have to program for.  Why would making games for 4skus be so difficult? It wont and the lower skus wont hold the top games back.  I can play the same games on my 970 that people are playing on their 2080ti's   just at a lower resolution and some effects lowered or canceled.  the dev kit will do most of the scaling work for dev.  It has a button for each sku so dev can test performance

 

MS will come out swinging for the fences next gen so get ready gaming is about to be hella fun

 

and as far as raytracing goes its a fluid technique  the hardware is capable they are just refiniing the techniques on how to use the hardware more efficiently the effects on framerate will get alot better once they perfect the software tricks.  Look at the gains and improvements theyve already done with the few games that are released. it will only get better.

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2 hours ago, AbsolutSurgen said:

For Anaconda, I am expecting  rasterization performance compared with a RTX-2080, but with somewhat better Ray Tracing capabilities (or about equivalent of my expectation of how an RTX-2170 will perform).  If AMD achieves this, it should be able to have pretty decent Ray Tracing (but, not at 4k, nor 60 fps).  This console wouldn't be "a beast", but would be a worthy upgrade over a PS4 Pro, and a generational upgrade over a base PS4.

 

Based on these rumours, I am expecting Lockhart to play the same games by lowering resolution, lowering texture quality, dropping ray tracing and other graphical effects.  In a similar way that you can drop the graphical settings on a PC game.  Latter in the gen, I expect that not all games will be playable on this device, but will need to be streamed via X-Cloud.

 

Then they should save the money and not put the ray tracing cores on their SOCs.

 

Now those are some high expectations.

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