Middle Generation Console Upgrade Discussion [Scorpio, 4Pro]

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by mpg1, May 25, 2016.

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  1. RancidLunchmeat

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    I agree, with the major differentiator right now VR and that's because Sony has its in-house VR solution to sell. MS isn't going to tell VR developers their games have to run on an XB1, because then they'd have no VR solution at all.

    Otherwise, sure. I fully expect PS4Pro games in the future that won't run on the PS4.
     
  2. RancidLunchmeat

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    I don't see the mess or chaos, because all we'll be talking about is backwards compatibility - not forwards compatibility like the current issue with PS4Pro and Scorpio. Let's face it, this is a one-off situation because both the PS4 and the XB1 were horrifically unpowered when they launched.

    The difference that I see is that Sony has specifically mentioned 'future generations' with the implication that there should not be an expectation that your current games play on those future systems. So no backwards compatibility. Most likely because Sony wants to keep their hardware options open (of course, there's a profit motive as well). I see all XB1 games playing on all future versions of a MS console until MS terminates the Xbox brand.
     
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  3. dobwal

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    Halo was a big buying factor for a userbase of 25 million. Halo and other exclusives weren't enough for the Xbox OG to compete with Sony on an even level. Exclusive console titles that held sway with the most gamers was an advantage held by Sony not by MS.

    "Cell" was the big buzz word during the beginning of that gen. Many believed that Sony tech would be more powerful (KZ vid) and it wasn't until Gears , the PS3 price tag and subsequent sales slump that the 360 seem to perceived as a serious competitor.
     
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  4. Jay

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    I'm not sure why its believed that gamers are that stupid?
    maybe back in the day when your mum or dad couldn't work out how to set the time on the vcr, or work out how to txt someone.
    but seriously, how many people who would buy a console wouldn't understand if a game said gen 4 and up, and they had a gen 3 Xbox wouldn't be able to get their heads around that it wouldn't be compatible for them.

    people seem to be able to work it out in the mobile phone market, and that's hugely more convoluted.

    or are people seeing it as a steam type machine?
    where each machine can be a totally different configuration.
    that could be why I'm not seeing the mess or problems as I'm not seeing it that way?
     
  5. dobwal

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    By the time the Xbox 1 loses compatibility with new releases most will be on DD and the others still buying physical discs will probably see new packaging discerning the difference. Unless the internet is totally unavailable to you (which already eliminates a ton of current games), you can simply visit your online store and determine compatibility.
     
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  6. Silent_Buddha

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    Unless they plan to allow user upgradeable MB, CPU, GPU, memory, etc., it's never going to be like that. Ever.

    There are thousands, hundreds of thousands of possible PC configurations. There will at most be like 2-3 officially supported "generations." Each "generation" may have up to 2 devices (launch device and slim device) which will be functionally identical.

    In addition to that key difference in terms of hardware, there isn't going to different combinations of OS and device drivers. Again I don't see any console maker allowing user upgradable device drivers for say the GPU or the audio or the network stack, etc.

    Xbox OS as it is currently designed allows the game to run on the exact same game OS no matter what version of the console OS exists due to the nature of the hypervisor and separate virtual environments for the game OS and non-game OS. So even updating the console OS with future hardware potentially doesn't change the OS the game runs in.

    All of this means that variability is extremely limited. The closest thing to this in modern devices would be Apple's iOS devices. Hardware is strictly controlled and not user upgradeable. Drivers for hardware components are strictly controlled and not user upgradable. Even Microsoft's own Surface line of hardware isn't as strictly controlled as iOS devices or Xbox devices.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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  7. iroboto

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    When I look at the lay of the land for Sony, the market penetration and user base is at an all time high steadily climbing higher. Sony makes a ton of profits off it's licensing fees that would be severely jeopardized by introducing a clean cut new generation. I guess my question is, what's in it for Sony to clean cut? They own the whole market, likely going to 2:1 right now likely higher within a year -- if those numbers continue to rise, why clean cut?

    You'll segment your user base, your user base isn't bored with your product, they might not upgrade, and now developers have to work with even more profiles because they'll naturally target games for the larger user base, which will ultimately choke your next gen console in terms of its ability. The user base has got to be bored with PS4 in order for them to introduce a PS5 and have everyone migrate, it may take a long time for that to happen I think.

    If you want clean cut, I fear you'd have to wait a very long time. I think if you for see a new console in 2-3 years, I don't think you'll see a clean cut.
     
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  8. goonergaz

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    I've worked in retail so I know how it works - people just don't understand...don't forget a lot of people who buy are parents who are unlikely to be 'up to speed'...hell, I heard some people thought the XBOs was the Scorpio (MS mention Scorpio and release new console in the same time frame). Obviously a large chunk will not be so easily confused, but it does happen...hell even my son (hardcore PC gamer who is quite up on tech) thought Scorpio would be more powerful than a PC!

    Good point, I think physical will be around for a bit longer but yes - this would help, all I was trying to say is that (let's say) when Scorpio 3 is out, some new games will only play on Scorpio and some will play on the whole XBO family - whereas now we have a clear 'migration' which is clearly understood.

    And this is part of my thought and why....

    ...making a clean cut means you can take full advantage of advances in technology. Holding your platform back too much will restrict it. It's the way consoles have always been so why change it? (that was just to answer your question 'why have a clean break, I understand why you might want to not have a clean break)
     
  9. DSoup

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    And this is the biggest barrier to rapid adoption of new consoles in a generationless ecosystem. Can you imagine if Xbox One and PS4 were generational advances over 360 and PS3, with those consoles having to have been supported upto the release of PS4 Pro and Scorpio? How games released since late 2013 would be? No Witcher 3, that'd be PC only. Horizon Zero Dawn would have been very different. No first person in GTA V.

    Sure, they'd look better but fundamentally games wold have to work on 512mb machines because manufacturers mandate that games must run on both tiers. Only now (PS4 Pro) or lager this year (Scorpio) could larger games be possible. Every game released only on this gen of consoles would have been massively paired back in terms of features and only now, years after release, would games actually be able to make use of the hardware.
     
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  10. iroboto

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    lol, i knew you'd follow up!
    I can't. But PC was a rolling generational upgrade, from witcher 1 to 3, and it managed on PC as did every game ever on the PC platform.
    I fully understand the need to have a break from legacy technology, but it is feasible to do and be successful when the most successful console today by epic proportions is only 4 years old? Let me rephrase, was technology the driver for where developers targeted their games? Or did developers target the user base and in turn looked at the features from that user base and designed a game around that?

    In 2 years time, is the 51%+ marketshare going to just transition to PS5? PS4 definitely has legs. PS3 only decommissioned itself after 11 years of service. So if people aren't willing to give up their PS4 what would make developers create games specifically for PS5 only (clean cut). Wouldn't it just be paired back features on PS5 until that user base fully transitions?
     
    #3390 iroboto, Mar 18, 2017
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  11. goonergaz

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    I'm not so sure, PS3 showed that BC didn't really matter - like Scorpio it will launch at a very high price and offer BC...and prettier graphics...and...erm? PS3 had new exclusive games and Bluray to help it survive, Sony then cut out BC and did it affect sales negatively? No. PS4 launched with no BC, none at all (not even PS1), it even removed the ability to play audio CDs and has sold quite well.

    Yep, PS4 will be around for a while - Sony have historically supported their consoles for some time after launch. I can see a scenario where PS5 comes out and whilst at some point PS4 support may drop I can imagine Pro might continue to be supported.

    I think we may see a scenario when PS5 Pro comes out then PS4 Pro support may be dropped...almost like there will always be at least 2 PlayStation consoles supported (with the 3rd being phased out over the period of ~a year)
     
  12. Jay

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    People who want uhd blu ray are the people that understand what it offers (same as Scorpio, once it's out). It's not overly complicated the market, people buy DVD, Blu-ray still and it's not imploded due to uhd.
    Scorpio is more powerful than a pc, also same power, and less powerful all at the same time.
    but I suspect for the same price it will be more powerful/give same fidelity for cheaper even.
    are you comparing consoles that was 10years older, to ones that are 3-4 years older?
    sorry that just doesn't compare, the longer the time between consoles the bigger the difference in capabilities will be.
    how much better would hzd be if was made only for 4pro, I suspect not much.
     
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  13. mosen

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    This is developers decision, not Sony. Sony can release PS5 as a new generation but developers may decide (as they did this generation) to support last gen hardware again (PS4/Pro/XB1/XB1S and many low-end PCs) and then that restriction that you think Sony is trying to avoid will remain unchanged (at least for the first 2-3 years). If Xbox and PC are going the same route and being successful on that, then It won't be Sony decision anymore.
     
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  14. DSoup

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    And it's funny how when people think of PC they tend to gravitate towards PCs that are fairly apt at gaming and not those people gaming on cheaper hardware already running at low graphics settings that is already struggling then BAM! Sorry, your hardware is no longer good enough.

    Have a look at the Steam Hardware Survey, a third of people have 4Gb or less main RAM.

    Nobody is looking to replace consoles after 4 years. Well Sony aren't. We know what PS4 Pro is, we know what Sony development policies are.

    To illustrate how having to support older generation hardware can constrain developers and their gaming ambitions. Will the differences between hardware iterations in a truly generationless ecosystem be as big between 360 and Xbox One? Who knows. Recent advances says no but every so often technology jumps ahead in leap and bounds. Stacked RAM for instance. The 9Tf Geforce 1080 felt insanely powerful about nine months ago, but now? Not so much.

    With more and more processing tasks moving to GPUs from CPUs it's advances in GPUs that are most likely going to impact (or limit, given their absence) complex gameplay systems. Scorpio could throw 1.8Tf (the entirely of PS4's theoretical maximum GPU performance) of physics calculations and still throw more than a PS4 Pro's worth of performance at graphics. But that game would never run on Xbox One. So that won't happen until Xbox One is mothballed. 4-5 Years time, even though the hardware will be capable of it at launch? As a gamer, that sounds a shitty scenario.
     
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  15. goonergaz

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    Still a small market, digital is taking over and if you want UHD BR there's much cheaper options

    For new builds maybe, I on the other hand can upgrade my PC at the fraction of the cost of Scorpio. And (of course) I already have loads of PC games that will get an instant upgrade as well as price advantage on software that PC offers (not to mention cost of live - you should include that if you're going to compare to PC 'bang for buck'). Or I could just leave my PC as is for free and enjoy Scorpio games at a bit less detail - you know, much like all those buying XBO's today because they are not fussed about 'highest quality pixels evah'. I'm fairly certain more people are paying ~£200 for a console that's 1/3rd the power of a £350 console so how do you think the market will react to a ~£450 console that's 50% more powerful than a £350 (and likely £300) console?
     
  16. Cyan

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    those points are interesting to note, because XBO had actual exclusive, moreso than the competition.

    In order to compensate for an allegedly healthy ecosystem and for Scorpio to actually be competitive, since exclusives are lost, there must be a solid reason for that.

    My bet is that Scorpio will run as a console or as a PC. For 500$ or heck, even 550$, I'd happily paid for that!

    An easy to set up PC / Console hybrid with decent specs, is a no brainer, if I can also play my Steam and GoG library or use it as a computer. They are in an unique position in that regard.

    If that doesn't happen, I am seriously considering to buy a capable PC with Ryzen and play Xbox classic exclusives there.
     
  17. goonergaz

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    Well exclusives are just one factor (and let's face it, it soon fell behind), price too high, forced to buy kinect, etc etc. MS have just steadied the ship - I'm still struggling to see how it will sell unless...

    Yes, I am thinking (mentioned to my son) that MS are potentially going for a full steambox/PC alternative...that would certainly make it a much better proposition - hell even I might migrate from PC to Scorpio if that were the case (along with VR)...rather than my current expectation of an expensive Xbox console.
     
  18. dobwal

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    If the Xbox one and PS4 were generationless releases of the Xbox 360 and PS3, they would of been released around 2009 with the Scorpio and the Pro releasing around 2013. We would all talking about the imminent release of the pro's and scorpio's predecessor right now.

    The reason for generationless hardware is the ability to iterate faster without breaking compatibility at that quicker pace. MS and Sony would enjoy a reality where everyone wants to buy consoles every three or four years but not where that reality literally forces every gamers to buy hardware at that pace to stay current with software.

    And given that games like MGS 5 and GTA 5 were released on both current and last gen, I find it hard to believe that witcher 3 would be an impossible endeavor where the generational gap would have been less drastic than the one that currently exist between the PS3/PS4 and 360/XB1.
     
  19. Silent_Buddha

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    The problem with that analogy is that the PS3/X360 generation was ~7-8 years. What if it had only been 3-4 years? The "next generation" comes out and they have to be supported for another 3-4 years. And so PS3/X360 would have gotten game support for 6-8 years. A new "generation" would have come out at roughly the same time as PS4/XBO with the same performance.

    Witcher 3 would have ended up the same regardless of which path you take. Horizon Zero Dawn would have ended up exactly the same. GTA V would have looked the same on the PS3/X360 generation (it'd still have to be supported), better on the generation after it, and the same as on PS4/XBO on the generation after that one.

    To expand. TLOU would have looked the same on PS3, but likely would have looked better on the generation after and the same as PS4 with the current generation.

    This all, of course, assumes that each console had been using hardware that could have advanced rapidly, which means a switch to x86 (ARM was far too slow at the time) and PC GPU tech (at least the PC GPU part had already happened) such that you could have rapid (3-4 year) iterations in hardware.

    The jump in quality between each iteration of PS3/X360 -> next "generation" -> current generation would be smaller than the one between PS3/X360 and the current generation. But the jump in quality between PS3/X360 and the generation after that would have been the same.

    Speaking of the Steam survey, we can look at it in terms of how this would work in 3-4 year "chunks" representing each introduction of a new console "generation"

    Unfortunately, it's tough to do that with CPUs. And we can't just look at core count to determine if a CPU has been upgraded as 2 core CPUs are still sold.

    We can, however, look at GPUs. To make this simpler we'll look at GPUs released in 3-4 year chunks starting with 2005 (X360 release) and attempting to match console launches. I'm going to regret doing this as it's going to be a bit time consuming.

    GPUs, series (not listing mobile variants but including them in percentages when possible) and rough percentages in current Steam survey released in
    • 2005 - 2009: unknown%*
      • AMD: unknown%* - X700, X800, X1k, X2k, X3k, X4k, X5k
      • NVidia: unknown%* - 7xxx, 8xxx, 9xxx, 1xx, 2xx
    • 2010 - mid 2013: >33.17%
      • AMD: >3.05% - 5xxx, 6xxx, 7xxx
      • NVidia: >30.12% - 3xx, 4xx, 5xx, 6xx, 7xx
    • late 2013 - 2017: >45.63%
      • AMD: >12.48%
      • NVidia: >33.15%
    * - Unknown means it shares a pool of 12.7%. Can't show a % number as some members are only listed as having a share of Dx[9/10/11] but too small to register on overall share.

    So, for the PC analogue, virtually everyone that was gaming on Steam when the PS3/X360 was launched have upgraded their graphics card in some way. Whether by buying a new computer or buying a replacement for their graphics card.

    DIving deeper into the statistics provided by Steam Survey we also see that PC gamers that are analogous to console gamers (EG - "core" gamers represented by part of midrange GPUs and up) upgrade far more frequently. For example, while there are plenty of NVidia 7xx and 6xx cards in the survey, the GTX 780 has just 0.45% (nearly every owner has upgraded to a 980, 980ti or 1080 at almost 4.5% combined) and virtually all owners of GTX 680, 580, and 480 have upgraded. The AMD side is similar up until you hit the Rx generation as there is no viable upgrade for AMD in the performance and enthusiast segments.

    So, if the PC is to be a role model of a rolling generation of hardware and whether people would buy it?
    • PS3/X360 owners would be a negligible number.
    • The generation after would represent a sizeable but still lower number of owners.
    • The current generation would hold the majority of owners.
    Or to think of it another way. Each console would enjoy support for a reasonable amount of time (6-8 years). Most people would move to the newest "generation" of consoles. When looking at PC users that are analogous to console users, that demographic shifts dramatically in favor of people upgrading to the latest generation of consoles.

    In fact, looking at Steam, PC users upgrade their hardware far more often than console users despite "rolling generations". As X360/PS3 generation hardware is less represented than X360/PS3 consoles. IE - not nearly as many people (as a percentage) upgraded from X360/PS3 to the current generation. And that includes casual gamers buying budget cards that can't match console graphics.

    But I hear people say, game developers won't optimize for the latest generation of consoles. What?

    Let's use a recent example, Crysis 2 was far beyond the capabilities of non-high end current generation graphics cards, much less consoles at the time, but that didn't prevent the developer from making it and then scaling back the graphics in order to run on much older PC hardware as well as consoles. Additionally, that was complicated by the fact that they also had to port the engine to 2 vastly different architectures.

    If the console hardware had remained similar (as with PC) it would have required significantly less effort to support it on console similar to prior generations of PC hardware.

    PC is considered by most developers and publishers as secondary to the console market, yet even then you see some developers rush to try to take advantage of new advances in technology. Imagine if it was considered the primary market?

    Yes, but you still have to support older hardware and that hampers the ability to take advantage of newer hardware. OK, but then what excuse do console developers have for doing the same thing? Yakuza 0 while a great game doesn't exactly do much to take advantage of modern tech (character models are quite good though). Berserk The Band of the Hawk doesn't exactly do much either with a very dated look. There's plenty of cases where developers on consoles don't have the ability to take advantage of the latest rendering technology. Same as PC.

    But just like Crysis, or a more modern example, Star Citizen. PC developers that are analogous to something like ND have been known to push the technology as far as it can go, while at the same time supporting older generations of hardware.

    In other words, games for PS4-P and Project Scorpio would have to support at least 1 generation prior, but that doesn't mean you can't push the hardware and still have those games run on the previous generation hardware at lower graphical settings.

    Regards,
    SB
     
    #3399 Silent_Buddha, Mar 18, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  20. one

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    To me the main point of these mid-gen consoles is just a matter of simple cost calculation. So far, in the later years of the console cycle it was a cost-cutting war where nobody wins. With these new attempts better graphics fidelity is an added premium just like a DLC with relatively better cost margin for manufacturers. New console buyers had the only option of buying the cheapest, leanest console before, now they can buy the latest and the greatest version of hardware (with fatter, more loose revenue margin), which will lead to better hardware revenue, it’s very natural that most of new buyers tend to want the latest version they can obtain unless it’s prohibitively expensive. Hardware manufacturers wanted it to happen before this generation but it was not possible, now it’s possible with x86 and the fastest selling hardware. It’s a natural conclusion derived from economic reasons.
     
    #3400 one, Mar 19, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
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