3DS got two ARM11s

Discussion in 'Mobile Devices and SoCs' started by thop, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. wco81

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    How typically are iPhones sold for the unsubsidized (and maybe unlocked price) in Europe?

    Don't people get on some contract to lower the upfront costs?

    In the US, everyone pays $200 or $300 upfront and sign a 2-year contract, the same as Android phones and probably the same as Windows 7 Phones will be.

    There's competition in the smart phone market but there really isn't competition in handhelds and maybe Nintendo is counting on the uniqueness of the 3D screen to charge a premium for awhile.

    Then again, who knows if this doesn't turn out to be another Virtua Boy.
     
  2. Teasy

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    You can't be serious :lol:
     
  3. Aeoniss

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    I'm not a huge apple fan either, trust me. :???:

    @Exophase:

    Whoops, yep sorry I misread you then if that is what you meant. I've found that Nintendo charges way too high with their products of late and people just gobble it up.
     
  4. brain_stew

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    An iPhone 4 is still a £600/800 Euro device whether you spread the cost over 24 months or pay it all upfront. That's a much bigger premium than Nintndo charge for any of their products, no matter how high end the hardware in the iPhone. The Ipod is a bit of an anomaly, it may be cost reduced in a lot of areas but its very aggressively priced.
     
  5. wco81

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    So do you pay more for iPhone service than for other phones?

    Over here, they charge the same for all smart phones, which require a data plan.

    If you buy the phone unlocked somewhere else, they will not reduce your monthly price. You won't be bound to a 2-year contract but you're paying the same price as if they're subsidizing the cost of the phone.
     
  6. Lazy8s

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    Epic saw that the greatest visual impact for their graphics engine came from a more detailed recreation and display of their assets, so they spent the balance of processing resources on rendering a higher definition.

    Rendering a super-sized back buffer for supersampling AA on an IMR or compositing a more detailed image over multiple renders in order to achieve that level of definition was probably prohibitive in performance for the 3DS games, so they had the balance of fillrate and processing resoucres to spend on the myriad of other effects.
     
  7. brain_stew

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    Yes, its consistently been just about the most expensive phone available since launch. On plans where a high end android phone will be free, you'll often have to cough up an extra £100+ upfront to secure an iPhone.

    Here in the UK you can get a really fantastic midrange android (2.1) smartphone with a 3.5" 800x480 capacitive touch AMOLED screen, ~440MB RAM and 600mhz ARM11 for just £100 without any contract tied to it all. With that you're free to use a SIM only plan which offer much, much better inclusive minutes/texts/data at the same pricepoints (£10 is about equivalent to a £30 contract plan, data and all) which you can cancel any time you want. So yes, the iPhone does come with a huge premium here.

    E.g. I can buy this midrange Android Smartphone for £100:

    http://shop.orange.co.uk/mobile-phones/San-Francisco-from-Orange-in-grey

    Then signup for one of these super cheap calls+text+ 1GB data packages from as little as £10 per month:

    http://threestore.three.co.uk/simonly.aspx

    And then I'm never tied to a lengthy contract and can upgrade/downgrade/cancel my call package whenever I like. I'd have to pay £30 a month for a minimum of 24 months (even if I can't afford it later on) with an iPhone and still pay roughly an extra £100 upfront. The iPhone would end up costing me at least £600 extra by the end of the contract and I'd be screwed if my circumstances changed mid contract, yeah, I'll stick with a PAYG Android handset, thanks.
     
    #87 brain_stew, Sep 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2010
  8. Aeoniss

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    Query: The parallax screen tech being used by the 3DS. Is this perhaps somehow driving up the cost of production? How advanced\expensive if this?
     
  9. brain_stew

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    I believe its the equivalent of including an extra low end LCD display from a manufacturing perspective.So definitely not a trivial cost considering the 3DS has two screens already, and the upper screen is a pretty high resolution panel (its likely a standard 800x480 panel, the parallax barrier is what cuts down the resolution) to boot.
     
  10. Aeoniss

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    Hrm..

    Well the top screen is 800x240
     
  11. brain_stew

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    With the parralax barrier on top it is. The actual LCD panel used is most likely just a standard 800x480 LCD panel and even if it isn't, an 800x240 screen is hardly low end for a ~3.5" inch screen and its sheer obscurity will make it more expensive. Regardless of its makeup, the screen setup on the 3DS is hardly a low cost option, its probably the most expensive part of the device.
     
  12. Aeoniss

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    But does the sum of its parts really warrant a 250-300$ price tag? Especially compared to similar products in the mobile market?
    (changed my wording here)

    I mean the cheaper iTouch Gen4's aside from 256MB of RAM and significantly better CPU\GPUs (iTouch's are apparently packing A8-Cortex @ 1Ghz right?) have 960×640 screens.
     
  13. DennisK4

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    Well, Nintendo likes to make good profit on hardware - no razor blade stategy from them - so I guess that depends on what you mean by 'warrant'. If Nintendo can get away with charging $250-300 and not lose a signifcant amount of early sales, why wouldn't they?
     
  14. brain_stew

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    I wouldn't say the iPod has a "significantly better GPU" the results speak for themselves and the PICA200 in the 3DS is no slouch, heck including dual ARM11s probably isn't any less expensive than a single cortexA8 (it isn't 1ghz in the iPod but clockspeeds are irrelevant to costing).

    The screen in in the iPod is a low end TN panel as well, the resolution is great but every other aspect is pretty dire. The screens setup in the 3DS is almost certainly more expensive to produce.

    The iPod probably does have a higher BOM than the 3DS (but not by the huge degree some seem to suggest, its a device that is cost reduced in damn near every area compared to the iPhone) and with that you could say its $230 pricepoint is a much better deal but at the end of the day all of this is academic anyway. Consumers don't just value by raw specs and how expensive the BOM of any given device is. If the 3DS can offer $250 worth of portable entertainment then it'll be successful. The perfect example of this is Apples other portable device, the iPhone. That thing has more than a 300% margin yet it sells by the bucketload because it offers something that consumers want.
     
  15. Aeoniss

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    Gotcha.

    By the way, I'm assuming software emulation isn't happening with the 3DS- so does is it include the DS hardware? ( would that be powering the lower screen?)
     
  16. Exophase

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    If it's 800x480 then Nintendo is ripping people off by not adding a mode to let games actually use the full resolution. I could see them doing that for a previous handheld where the GPU is closely coupled to scanline generation but not here.

    Nothing being used in the 3DS is obscure by virtue of it being in the 3DS. That's an expected order of at least tens of millions, that's probably more than enough to offset obscurity tax.

    It's going to be less expensive if they didn't include L2 cache. Not including L2 would be another good reason to go with 2x266MHz instead of one of something with a much higher clock, because mobile CPUs don't scale well into those ranges without L2, at least for typical mobile RAM latencies.

    The GPUs seem pretty different and hard to compare. Here Nintendo is getting an extreme benefit of having game developers trying much harder on it, and have less platform overhead going about.

    I too think that it's exaggerated how much they're saving vs Apple - Nintendo is likely paying premiums on the screen and is shaving smaller amounts in areas they could probably afford not to in (for their asking price). Namely CPU, RAM, and on-board flash.

    But I don't think Apple is pricing nearly as "aggressively" as you do either; why would they? The perceived cost of iPhone w/o contract is misleading. What is iPod Touch really competing against that forces low margins? It's making App Store revenue, but probably not nearly as much as Nintendo makes from software and otherwise it's just stealing iPhone sales. Apple has probably got this stuff down cheaper than we realize, but I imagine Nintendo does as well.

    Maybe. There's a threshold for how much people are willing to pay for gaming platforms. Correlate PS3 sales vs PS3 price. This is especially true for Nintendo handhelds which have a much lower average target audience age, meaning a lot of them are being bought by parents. If it costs too much the parents just aren't going to buy it, period, no matter how amazing it looks.

    The comparisons with iPhone's "price" seem totally unfair to me. Most people are buying it as subsidized through a carrier; we could argue what the equivalent value is here but the real point is that I don't think Apple is selling to carriers at prices nearly as high as they're being sold standalone. These prices are probably marked up artificially to get people to buy subsidized.

    It's possible, or it could be something in between. I imagine that it has to at least have the entire DS 2D and 3D hardware, maybe with some RAM blocks reused from somewhere else for the VRAM. That stuff can't be done very accurately on a GPU like PICA200 and the CPUs aren't powerful enough to do it in software.

    The DS ARM9 code could be running directly on one of the ARM11s, likely with some glue logic supplying the DS address space and ARM9 visible peripherals. ARM7 code could be ran on the other ARM11, possibly with some code modifications making less glue logic necessary. DS games only used a few different ARM7 binaries, which the 3DS could store modified versions of on its flash without taking up too much space.
     
  17. OICAspork

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    Actually I'm pretty sure developers do have this option. They can choose to make a full resolution 2D game. I read that on IGN, but I'm not sure if it was verified.
     
  18. Aeoniss

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    To my mind why not develop the games so that it can be switched on and off completely? Like you select a mode and it scales accordingly?

    I know that some of the smaller dev houses may not have time to implement such a feature but surely Konami\Capcom\etc would be able to add that.
     
  19. Exophase

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    If they can do anything "full resolution" it'd be 800x240, not 800x480. I have never heard anything about 800x480, and there'd be no reason why the 3D mode couldn't support 400x480 then.

    I doubt the display has 480 lines.
     
  20. brain_stew

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    All games have to be designed around working with the S3D mode switched both on and off. We have only seen one developer comment about performance in 2D mode so far but in that case (RE: Revelations), you're going to benefit from at least AA and motion blur if you disengage the S3D effect.


    My suspicion is that the parallax barrier is always in place. So enabling 2D mode simply sends the same image to both eyes. Requiring developers to target two separate resolutions is just an extra unnecessary headache.
     

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