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

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

  1. damienw

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    I remember a lot of the bigger (sizewize) SNES and N64 cartridges selling for $75-$80 here in the US.
     
  2. -tkf-

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    Exactly wrong, i sold these systems, the N64 games was often priced according to size and it was not uncommon that PS1 games were cheaper and better looking than N64 games.

    The pattern is repeating itself with the PSP Vita and the 3DS?
     
  3. -tkf-

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    Well they survived, you got that part right. But the N64 was Cartridge based and lost them the lead they had built up. It was beaten by 3:1 by a CD-Rom based PS1 that took away Final Fantasy from them. Nintendo completely missed the chance to go CD-Rom when there was a alternative to cartridge, until then i think your numbers are pretty much useless.

    So 224.97 million cartridges produced at greater costs when there was a alternative that was better only proves that the best in the business weren't able to beat optical media.

    And the PS1 sales.. 962 million.. produced cheaper than the 224.97 million cartridges :)
     
  4. TheWretched

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    Yeah, I remember getting Street Fighter 2 for the Mega Drive back when it was newly released. It was 130DM (65€), when the other games at the time were around 100DM in that store.
     
  5. MrFox

    MrFox Deludedly Fantastic
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    An ironic twist in the history of storage media, if Nintendo hadn't screwed Sony over and went to Philips, the Playstation division would probably never have existed, Sony only wanted to continue to develop and license the CD technology, not making actual consoles themselves:
    http://www.consoledatabase.com/consoleinfo/snescdrom/
    http://www.consoledatabase.com/consoleinfo/sonyplaystation/

    If I remember correctly, despite both Sony and Nintendo charging around $10 licensing to publishers, the cost of carts for the N64 averaged $10 versus 50 cents for the PS1 CD. The capacity was also 10 times less. Publishers had to pay for those carts, making it much more expensive to make games for N64, so many important ones defected Nintendo. The N64 losing against PS1 had everything to do with both the cost and capacity of the storage media. It was logically impossible for Nintendo to compete, as the licensing cost of Sony was less than the production cost for Nintendo, they'd have to give the license for free to compete.

    PS1 games were around $50, while N64 were between $60 to $80, my wild guess would be that it was based on capacity, but I have not data.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_%28console%29#Legacy
     
    #1685 MrFox, Apr 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2012
  6. itsmydamnation

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    theres a saying particularly in music, less is more(ie games relied on things other then graphics which i think made a lot of the heaps better then most of todays games) . but lets just remember i was only addressing one point :wink:

    as i said not in Australia, new release games were always $100 AUD regardless of cart size/number of cds/etc ( unless it also came with the memory expansion/etc).


    first read within context, let me give you a a hand :razz:
    So lets watch the first console maker to miss the next boat? With everyone screaming for more Ram 4/6/8 gig, wheres this data going to come from, are we going to return to C64 tape load times and all the other fun with random reads on optical media.

    enjoy managing installs in your way to small vendor locked in hard drive :lol: . now thats an interesting question, manufacturing costs for some consoles

    1. with smallish hdd/flash/whatever and uses flash for game media and no bluray drive
    2. with a larger hdd and uses blurry for game media

    at what point does the first cost more then the second, whats ratio of game purchased to console sold and how does the cost model change over the live time of the console.
     
  7. -tkf-

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    The comparison to Load "GTA6",8 is funny but to extreme.

    Unless we see 4GB consoles it should not be problem to keep up with the load times of today. And as this generation has already proven, if you need more speed you put the data that needs to be fast on the hard drive and with 4GB it will just be more data on the hard drive.

    And maybe you are totally ignorant or just trolling? But the PS3 hard drive can be replaced by the user that is not really a problem, the 360 cost model is different, a repeat of that is not unlikely but then the console cost will reflect this.

    But even Microsoft will have a tough time explaining why they put a small hard drive in the next XBOX, the PS3 starts at 160GB, today, i don't see why a 320GB wouldn't be standard for the next gen.

    We already had a lengthy discussion about the various pro/cons with the cost model of flash vs optical, make your bid :)
     
  8. Shifty Geezer

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    Except nostalgia provides some very rosy glasses, IMO. All too often we revist old games or TV programmes or similar, we find it's a bit rubbish. If those old games were better, surely we'd see mammoth sales of retro titles exceeding contemporary titles? I know this isn't really a discussion on the value of old games and yours was a tongue in cheek reply, but let's not start believing that atificially capping games to 1 or 2 GBs will result in fabulous new games that make gaming better because they force devs to think differently. Small games are supported on DD platforms. Major console games are bought for their masses of content and variety and gorgeous visuals etc., and a data cap on those will be a limiting factor (assuming no workarounds like procedural generation). How much is very debateable, but it cannot be dismissed out of hand with a jovial "small games are better anyhow" quip. ;)
     
  9. BoardBonobo

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    How about if the only thing the coders had to worry about was the code and if there was a central repository of textures and models that could be downloaded on demand?
     
  10. Shifty Geezer

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    That's so hypothetical it hasn't application to the argument. Next-gen games won't be released on small SD cards with a massive repository of generic resources already installed on the console. ;) And if you're downloading the majority of content, may as well just add the code and go download only.
     
  11. TheWretched

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    For all we know, they could release a cheaper "PS4 GO" later on without an optical drive with download only (maybe with added cards)... The "distribution method" doesn't need to be set in stone anymore, as it's only data anyways (well, as long as the loading times don't get slower).
     
  12. Blazkowicz

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    I've had an idea. was putting up a putative PC together in a virtual basket, my storage of choice was a Seagate 1TB, 7200 rpm HDD. (memory was 2x8GB, motherboard an Asrock A75 and CPU an AMD A4. SSD can be added any time, I can use dd).

    with 7mm HDDs available for laptops, Intel pushing for 5mm : we could also make a smart 3.5" HDD. a single-platter one of 1TB, with 7mm thickness, if they can make it.

    best bang of the buck in term of HDD (the same one in 2.5" would cost approximately the same, be smaller but with less capacity)
     
  13. MrFox

    MrFox Deludedly Fantastic
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    The low end model could start with a single platter 2.5 (320GB?), while the high end sku could be either SSD or 1TB. The flexibility of user-replaceable and standard HDD on the PS3 was a bold move. It satisfies the hard core gamers without any impact on the baseline retail price of the console. Of course, they lose the profit they could get from selling proprietary drives (microsoft), or the planned obsolescence forcing users to upgrade their phone/tablet to get more storage (apple/android).

    Two trays for 2.5" drives would be my wish. High end models could come with one SSD and one high capacity drive. Or maybe even a RAID-0. An additional empty tray wouldn't cost much, it's just plastic, a few screws and a sata connector. Then again, the best would be to allow anything and everything to be installable on an external USB3 drive, lot's of extreme overkill possibilities once it's external.. and still no impact on price of the console.
     
  14. Blazkowicz

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    what if it allows NAS or even iscsi to be used. you get way more overkill that way, professional SAN array, ramdisk or SSD in your PC, Amazon cloud storage :D.
     
  15. MrFox

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    The problem I can see is how can they establish a minimum performance, and guarantee it to developers?
    Devs need to know the worst case figures for bandwidth and latency, both for the local HDD and the Optical Drive. They need clear design limits for the critical stuff like texture and geometry streaming (which we should see a lot more next gen).
     
  16. manux

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    This is something I would like to see in next gen consoles instead of regular mechanical hdd's. http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/20/fusion-io-sdk/ Ofcourse the regular hdd would still be useful for slow mass storage but keep the performance requiring data on ssd and have really good API to access the said data.
     
  17. upnorthsox

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    We just finished up a 60 day eval of that for one of our database servers. Performance wise, very good with a 2x or higher increase depending on operation. However, on one reboot it wiped clean all data with no explanation, thus it was sent back.
     
  18. RudeCurve

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    PC Engine used CD-ROMs long before PS1 but the CD-ROM attachment was too expensive for mass adoption at the time. SONY really changed the landscape by going full CD-ROM only and increased the standard console price to $299 instead of the previous generation of $199.
     
  19. TheWretched

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    The MegaCD and the Amiga CD32 were also earlier CD based system (the latter being also CD only). But the Amiga was also pretty expensive, if I remember correctly, just as the 3DO was.

    Plus, all three weren't really equipped to take advantage of the additional space available. It was nearly exclusively used for FMV and music... some voice acting, too. But the games themselves simply weren't much more than slightly upgraded SNES and Mega Drive or Amiga games. They did look a bit better, as there was no real need to lower resolution of sprites or anything, but it wasn't really 3D or anything (some games were, but... ugh they were ugly), which the PS1 really pioneered. Even PCs in that era didn't show THAT much 3D back then (I remember my first PC game in 94, though... Nascar Racing by Papyrus... I was blown away! And Wing Commander 3 after that was just insane!)

    The crux is sort of what the PS3 faced. It had the massive medium but couldn't really take advantage of it. Some games did very well do that (say GOW3, FFXIII, MGS4), but this could've easily been done with a DVD based system and multiple discs. It wouldn't have resulted in ANYTHING gamebreaking. And PS3 was quite expensive for a console, too.

    Question is for next gen, from my perspective. If 25 to 50GB of data (ie. bluray) will be the norm for all three devices, will the drives be fast enough to not result in massive load times... is compression, streaming and the drive speed enough to feed the data? Current games already have (at least some) quite long load times on consoles... just starting up some games can take forever (ignoring some games for "licensing info crap" though). If they aren't fast enough to at least keep the current "state of the art" in loading times, what's there available to make it faster? Putting in HDDs or even SDDs will result in quite a have BOM which might never be removed (at least for HDDs as they carry quite a big "minimum cost"). Does additional slow ram make sense? I mean, ram is rather cheap, especially slow one. And you don't need THAT much either. Just a scratch pad for streaming data, about the size of the consoles "fast ram" should easily remedy this problem... does it?
     
  20. Blazkowicz

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    those many failed consoles were funny. worst offender was the Jaguar, cartridge based, it had a lot of special, impossible to program for hardware with no documentation, but a nice little 68000 CPU intended as the "orchestra conductor".
    end result was developers just ported Amiga 500 games :lol:, as with the CD32.

    there was the Jaguar CD then, which was amazingly bad. I read about it, for a few years there was a small magazine in France that dealt with the old crap. it was actually a CD Audio drive with up to 99 tracks, 1x speed playback of course, and had some reliability problems.

    the sony playstation made all those "pioneer" system look embarassing, overnight.
    I'm still pissed for not getting the SNES CD-ROM drive (which would have turned it into a different console actually)

    there were seriously awesome CD-ROM DOS games back then, in fact a DX/2 66 with 4MB or 8MB memory and a VLB graphics card was not too shabby next to a playstation, this is the threshold where I think of the PC being powerful. though then you needed a good pentium or cyrix to keep up later on.

    one great DOS game, on four CDs, was Under a Kiling Moon. about the only one game that used FMV for a good reason, and it had excellent 3D graphics. I had Wing Commander IV too, with the mandatory joystick, it was very immersive and story-driven, with a "grown up Luke Skywalker" as the lead cast.
     

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