Alternative distribution to optical disks : SSD, cards, and download*

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Cheezdoodles, May 26, 2008.

  1. corduroygt

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    Show me where you can get flash for $0.50GB, wholesale, today. You're extremely optimistic in flash pricing. I have Dramexchange to support my argument, you have nothing, just articles full of empty promises.
     
  2. eastmen

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    Go back and read the links. I'm not going to keep posting the same things over and over again because you don't care to read them the first time.

    Dramexchange has nothing of value to add because we have no idea what the minimum and maximum purchase prices are , what company is making the nand and what process the nand is on. We have no idea how many hands are in the pie before those prices are established.
     
  3. corduroygt

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    Your links are worthless because they do not detail on what's happening today. Unless you see flash ram priced lower, there's no reason to believe this. Dramexchange provides prices which can be matched with newegg. Just like SSD's, flash is not going down in price quickly at all.

    Here's an article from a flash vendor that lists the troubles with 25nm flash over 34nm. You just don't get geometric scaling anymore and have to provision more cells for error correction. So while you can produce 20 cells in the same area as 10 cells in the older method, you have to use 5 of them for error correction since the new cells aren't very reliable due to their small size.
    http://www.corsair.com/blog/force25nm/
     
  4. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    You're delusional. 2 years ago 16GB of flash would have cost me $60, today I can buy that for $20.
     
  5. corduroygt

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    My X25M cost $370 a year ago. It still costs the same today.
     
  6. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    Who fucking cares what the price of one SSD was and is? Do you think they are going to use them as a media delivery system?

    The price of flash has dropped steadily, the maximum capacity has gone up steadily.
     
  7. eastmen

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    I dunno in 2009 i bought a vertex 60 gig for $220 bucks. In 2010 I bought a vertex 2 120 gig for $200 .

    The vertex is not only twice the size but also performs much better than the vertex.


    All nand prices are falling and constantly fall year in and year out . I don't really understand what part your having difficulty with
     
  8. Shifty Geezer

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    All of which had optical drives...

    Your arguments are valid observations, but no-one in this debate is offering real numbers or evidence; only positions. Without any measurable impact of how size of console without optical drive will improve sales versus with, or how much real money will be lost in producing carts versus pressing disks, or how much distribution of a small console will save, or what hardware failure rates really cost to fix, there isn't any way to identify the right choice for discs versus flash.

    That much should be obvious, yet there are people pushing their viewpoint as if it's patently The Truth and anyone not agreeing with them is stupid. without access to real points of reference, everyone is left resorting to anecdotal evidence and whatever they take as historical precedent or parallels, or even a count of listed issues ("I count five costs with DVD versus four with flash, making flash better even though we don't have a means to measure these costs"), which is very hazy thinking.

    This thread should have gone along the lines of:
    "Flash has x, y, z benefits."
    "Yes, but it also has x, y, z costs."
    "True, but then optical disks also have to contend with x, y, z."
    "Indeed. It's a bit of a conundrum which to pick."

    Yet in classical human style the ending never came, instead everyone repeating their personal take in the hopes without any real supportive, empirical evidence, they'll still manage to change other people's minds just through power of repetition.
     
  9. eastmen

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    And like i showed with the wii as the console shrinks the optical drive takes up more and more of the system. how small could the psone have been with a flash reader or the pstwo with a falsh reader ?


    As for the rest your are correct. Its the same arguement over and over again. I tried to break it down to its basics for pro flash , however we will never have acess to the prices these companys would pay for these things. How much weight savings would there be going from an optical drive to a flash reader ? How much would that affect shipping from china ? If MS ordered 20m 8GB flash carts for 2013 how much would it be vs looking at dramexchange for 8GB flash cards in 2011 ?

    How would we even come up with these data points.
     
  10. -tkf-

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    There is plenty of empirical evidence to work with, but since we are talking about the future it´s just being used to bend it in to whatever "we" need to support our personal belief.
     
  11. -tkf-

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    Can we agree that when the next round of consoles hit the street we will know who was right about this?

    And the "bluray" supporter comment is kind a funny and maybe it shows the real issue you have here, as i pointed out in maybe 3 or 4 posts i personally will not have a problem with flash, i got cash for flash.

    I don´t have to explain you the real price of flash, because unlike you i don´t claim to know anything about the future. I look at the past and conclude that my belief of the future isn´t the same as yours is.

    But as i said 5 times before, i would not necessarily have a problem with your future :)

    I did post an example on cost though, based on a flawed comparison you made yourselves. And it was pretty clear that flash was expensive by a factor of "holy shit".

    Finally, as have been mentioned many times. Who will buy a console where you have to pay more for the same games. And while those games will load fast they will most likely look worse as well... because there is no rule that promises neither you nor me that games will fit on a 8GB cart even at launch. What we know is that some games will use very little space. But again, these games will be those that load the least, so the benefit is actually smaller for those compared to optical. Then we have the everlasting discussion about storage space vs quality. I think we can both agree that limited space will in some games result in a compromise on quality, content, lenght etc. The amount differs but there is a real issue here. And again with flash you simply have a cost that goes up as your content, quality etc goes up.

    And here we have the perfect match for flash based games, big games that uses lots of data and that really benefit from the superior speed of flash compared to anything. But these games will have an associated extra cost just because they are big. No problem for me, cash for flash :), but for those that make these games it´s a real issue where they have to balance cost over content with sales.

    They may be having a hit on their hands, but if they produce 1 million cards and take the chance with a bigger size and end up with a flop they loose more money than if they played it "safe".

    Final Fantasy went to the PSX because of storage and i have no doubt you will see examples of the same if you have competing systems where one uses flash and another does not.

    So the pefect games for a flash based media are gonna be the most expensive and those with the biggest risk associated, imho and from what we learned with the NES,SNES,SEGA,Nintendo 64 consoles.
     
    #971 -tkf-, Mar 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2011
  12. Shifty Geezer

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    Without any way to measure how that would affect appeal or shipping, it's just a rhetorical question with nothing to contribute to the decision of optical or flash. DS games come in boxes far larger than they need be, so clearly space saving isn't everything. If you're going to include a printed manual, you are adding more weight and volume than etiher cart or DVD. Likewise typically a box a device comes in is several times the volume really needed - we've all seen enormous boxes with little DVD players and the like inside. We can only say saving space is an advantage, but can't quantify it. Nor can we quantitfy if a smaller console would sell more. Without any means to quantify any of this, there can't really be an argument. There can only be a presentation of factors that others may not have considered, but which we all know now. Until someone can present a calculated argument listing figures that measure all these sales factors and costs, the discussion has hit a dead end (and did several pages ago).
     
  13. Squilliam

    Squilliam Beyond3d isn't defined yet
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    Space isn't everything beyond a point and its not everything over and above other considerations. Theres a point where going smaller is of no benefit and theres a point where going larger is counter-productive. Overall the size of media packages has shrunk over time when considering boxed PC titles, Blu Ray vs DVD and PS3 games vs PS2 games. Whilst it is good to get smaller packing, it can come at the expense of viewability if your retail media box is the outlier.

    I would say that for a console overall fittability within a home entertainment unit is important as well as noise and aesthetic requirements in order for the box to be both good looking and at the same time muted relative to the rest of the equipment. Whilst we don't have direct figures from Nintendo, the fact that they took pains to release a small, quiet and unobtrusive box for the target market they wanted not once with the Wii but twice with the Gamecube as well implies something. The other consoles haven't been made to directly target the mass market from the start, however the first one to do so was the Wii so that certainly means something. When the Xbox 360 and PS3 did get revisions their design choices created a more muted and refined console which didn't stand out and make itself noticed quite like the original launch units.

    We can't ignore the factors which guided Nintendo in creating the Wii for the mass market even if they never got quantified. We know that all 3 consoles in the next generation will be built with the mass market in mind from the start which will guide aesthetic choices as well as noise and the overall shape of the next generation consoles because all 3 consoles will be guided somewhat by the choices Nintendo made to target the market they did and there subsequent success.

    I don't think we'll see a 12x BR player in the next generation simply because it would be too noisy, so if we're going to see > 36MB/s transfer available to a developer it will be due to HDD/Flash caching and or HDD installs with faster spindle speeds only being available when the game is installing to a HDD in order to speed the process up. The expectation will have to be that consoles will either come with relatively fast cache internally or a HDD if it is going for outright high performance. I don't think they could truly get away with something like the Xbox 360 Arcade in the next generation which has a small quantity of cheap flash and a DVD drive. Both the PS4 or Xbox next will have to come with a HDD if they also have an optical drive of this I am very certain.

    Nintendo actually has Microsoft EDD and Sony NDD in a bit of a twist over the next generation consoles. Nintendo's implementation is cheaper and they can come out yet again with a smaller and cheaper console because they don't have to better the current generation consoles by a huge margin in order to entice their own userbase to upgrade. They can likely also get away again without a mechanical HDD and without using a fast and noisy BRD when a 4x player could do nicely attached to a less powerful machine. Between faster BRDs, HDDs, Kinect/Move (2nd gen) and the need to not create expensive machines that noone will buy, something may have to give. These powerful machines have to be price competitive with Nintendo, at least break even on the production front whilst packing in quite a few non performant accessories which won't directly improve the performance of the machines and won't all positivily impact the new media streaming/consumption market which has developed during this generation.

    The next generation at the moment makes it seem like Microsoft and Sony are caught between a rock and a hard place. The rock is simple hardware with high margins from Nintendo coming in at a lower price and the hard place is the quantity of expensive hardware they both have to implement now in order to compete. They can't drop the next generation interface as that needs to be standard over all consoles, however they can drop the ODD and HDD so long as they implement flash based media. They can reduce the bill of materials by $60-70 by removing features which not every part of the market even appreciates and that translates to $100 off the base price of the console, which needs to be within striking distance of Nintendo or even the same whilst offering much better performance than their previous generation console and at a lower decibel level than the current PS3 and Xbox 360 started at.

    Add it up: Fast Blu Ray drive, HDD, Kinect 2/ Move 2 and higher performance hardware and then try to make that competitive with yet another small/cheap machine like the Wii AND the Wii ate their lunch the first time these two design parameters came into conflict when they didn't also have to implement next generation interfaces from the very start of the console generation!
     
  14. eastmen

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    I'm not so sure , we can look at trends. take hd-dvd and bluray cases . They were smaller than DvD cases . Why ?

    Nintendo DS cases are smaller than the other products and even psp cases are smaller than bluray cases. if you look at the 3DS cases they are the same size of the DS cases except they use alot less packaging by stamping holes into the packaging.

    Each step may only save a few cents but when your shipping millions of copies of something or 100s of millions of pieces of software the costs will add up even if its cents.

    We can't really quanitfy the prices and the affects but there are effects for it. Famously one of the issues with the original xbox in japan was the size of the console.

    I guess we are just stuck at where we are. No one can really post a diffrence one way or another.

    Perhaps in the coming months we will get some information regarding flash on the next micron process , see how large of a die size drop there is and see how costs at retail are affected.
     
  15. tongue_of_colicab

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    Would full disk installs be a option? 1tb disks are 45 euro's and 2tb drives are 65 euro's so 1 or 2 years from now that must be like ~30 euro's when sony/ms/nintendo buys them? Than save a few bucks by putting in the cheapest optical drive possible and you solve the problem of slow loading times. Current loading times can already drive me nuts so if they would double or more I'd go crazy. Hdd's will probably be needed anyway next gen so a few bucks more for a large hdd might solve a problem or two.

    Though it might be hard explaining to customers why they might have to delete games if they want to play a new game because of lack of space. Than again if a game would be around 50gb next gen than you could still fit 20 of them on a 1gb disk and current attach rates arn't even 10 so it should be fine for the majority of customers.
     
  16. Squilliam

    Squilliam Beyond3d isn't defined yet
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    Well to sum up what I said before:

    1. Nintendo has simple motion controls and low requirements for console performance and optical disc performance so long as they target only a small multiple of current generation performance, say 1.5-3* more performance.

    2. All consoles are going to either break even or have positive margins right from the start of the current generation so theres no way the console manufacturers are going to be able to squeeze in technical behemoths at reasonable prices.

    3. Both the Xbox Next and PS4 are likely to need a HDD, High speed optical drive and motion controls as well as internal componentry which is faster than the current generation consoles by a reasonable margin whilst at the same time be reasonably price competitive with the NES 6 which doesn't need such componentry.

    4. Console makers need to balance the needs of the streaming/media box/casual market with the needs of the core gamer. They also must keep the absolute noise that the consoles produce as a primary consideration.

    5. By the time you've added $35 worth of motion controls, $30 worth of optical drive, $30 worth of HDD on top of the base components and slapped a margin on top of that for the retailer as well as the manufacturer, will they be able to release a console for under $399 next generation? Will they be able to get the base system down to $199?

    How are the console manufactures going to be competitive against the small Apple TV/Boxees of the world as well as Nintendo who will go with with a simple cheaper box with high performance machines which are packed to the gils with features which cost a lot of money to implement and don't neccessarily give better gaming or media functionality? Its no longer good enough to just make the best gaming machine possible regardless of margin and regardless of the other functions the console must perform too. The best gaming machine can easily concede the other parts of the market to consoles which are more flexible.

    They can't easily drop the motion controllers from the next generation of hardware as that needs to be standard with every console. They can drop the HDD and they can drop the optical drive. If they do this they get a more flexible machine which can be priced appropriately for various media streaming and game functionalities and most importantly it brings the fixed floor cost down significantly. This does sacrafice some of the gaming capibilities of the baseline machine but I believe increased competitiveness overall and especially in the soon to be crowded internet media player market would make this move well worth the effort/risk.

    Whilst the cost of the media will be greater, they'll have the opportunity to sell the baseline console significantly lower. For many people it is the entry cost which matters more than the running cost as we have seen with many people having paid more for their Xbox 360s with Live than they would have if they had bought a launch PS3. If say the Xbox next for instance is mass produced and comes in at a baseline price of $249-$299 with optional accessories like HDDs being extra, they may get a significant competitive advantage against a more expensive system, especially if they can get a $100-$149 price differential going vs the PS4 whilst being justifiably close enough in cost to standalone media players and having a competitive price against the NES 6 right from the start.
     
  17. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    Why can't the ps4 or NextBox be loss leaders?
     
  18. corduroygt

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    I foresee optional optical drive (DD is always an option) and full disk installs. The disc is just a medium of delivery just like internet. Since the optical would be an addon, included in the top tier console, there would be no problems with profitability. $399 for hard disk only and $499 with optical should allow for top tier performance. Don't forget the higher profit margins for DD games for the platform holder, so assuming 20% of distribution moves to downloads, that's a nice boost in profits.
     
  19. tongue_of_colicab

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    Problem is that as this generation shows people are not interrested in a 400+ console.
     
  20. Xenus

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    I don't think they can't be loss leaders I just think they will be less off loss leaders. I don't foresee Sony be willing to take a $200 hit again but I could see them be perfectly willing to take a $50 hit or less.
     
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