Middle Generation Console Upgrade Discussion [Scorpio, 4Pro]

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

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  1. Jay

    Jay
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    That's definitely one way to interpret the situation.
    The other is that the only ones who could fully take advantage of a new generation the way your talking is 1p.
    3p wouldn't do it as the install base just wouldn't be there at the start so they would wait a couple years in.
    Generationless, could actually mean that they could actually make a start on those types of engines sooner, knowing that by the time a game comes out there's a big enough install base. If they wanted to they could even aim for the newest console knowing that it would have a small amount out at the time.
    With generations, they have to make a generation last long enough to make it financially viable. So let's say 6+ years before another gen? So you would be stuck with that level of performance a lot longer than with generationless where a studio could aim for the 'mid gen' hardware.
    This isn't possible right now, but that's because it's the start, it would take affect when the next console is on the horizon.
     
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  2. DSoup

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    Ubisoft launched Assassin's Creed Unity just under a year after One and PS4 launched. There was other games that dumped 360 and PS3 as well but Unity was by far the biggest.

    This is really no different to a conventional clean generation break. The majority of game engines handle scaleability well and it doesn't solve the problem of not being able to use all that extra power on the new hardware for pretty much anything other than visuals. You can't do anything fundamental with gameplay mechanics unless it works on the lower tier platform.

    Same point as above. And the economics are going to get worse, not better. Shorter prime generations means less time before your new device becomes the bargain basement device and as I said above, the economics and profits of consoles are in licensing from game sales. New hardware required new games to be purchased which drove profit for both publishers and console makers. If gamers buy a new console, many will be content to replay their existing games. If the hardware is sold at a loss or cost, this is not good for the platform holder. Even Nintendo have got wise to this.
     
  3. BRiT

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    Just like it was their opinion for exclusitivies.

    There is nothing other than opinions when it comes to exclusives, so to have a meaningful conversation we need to move on from that item.
     
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  4. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    Okay. I only brought it up because MS looks to tie the platforms together. If they headed this direction it would appear that the requirements could be more strict on PC, or they just wouldn't head into this direction. At least not until a good solution presented itself.

    Edit: let me expand on that: if PC wasn't capable, generationless or hard cut, this would be a situation to deal with and could slow transition to these types of techniques if they intend to put their titles on PC
     
    #3504 iroboto, Mar 23, 2017
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  5. Silent_Buddha

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    I'd have to disagree, it is extremely relevant. The evolving state of PC hardware and the fact that older hardware is still supported is an excellent demonstration of why evolving hardware for consoles would not in any way restrict the development of titles that push the technology of the newest consoles.

    This is true when looking at exclusives. I've shown that exclusives on PC can push the newest hardware WRT to CPU speed, GPU speed, GPU tech (fixed function vs programmable shaders, compute or no compute, CUDA or no CUDA, tessellation or no tesselation etc), CPU tech (vector instructions or no vector instructions, which vector instructions?), VRAM or system RAM. Despite hardware capabilities changing drastically it doesn't prevent developers taking advantage of the latest and greatest advances in CPU and GPU technology. This was especially evident in the late 90's and early 2000's when technology was advancing at a far faster rate than it is currently and when PC exclusive AAA development was far more prevalent.

    I've shown that multiplatform titles developed for the current generation of consoles when ported to PC not only increase in rendering capabilities scaling to higher end hardware, but are also capable of running on hardware that could have driven a console released around 2009/2010 (when a hypothetical rolling generation release could have happened). In other words, virtually all multiplatform releases that exist on the current generation consoles would have absolutely no problems scaling to that hypothetical console. And that support for older hardware doesn't not in any way impact how games are developed (since most games are developed for consoles first). IE - current generation console titles developed specifically for the current generation of hardware, already scale to a hypothetical 2009/2010 console.

    I've also shown that unlike the fractured console landscape, PC users upgrade their hardware more frequently and at a faster pace than console users. IE more PC gamers (as a percentage of total PC platform install base as tracked by Steam) that have been gaming since 2005/2006 have upgraded to current generation hardware than console users from 2005/2006 (as a percentage of total console install base). In other words, it'd be even more beneficial for console game developer's to follow a PC-like paradigm of hardware generations (just on a slower 3-4 year scale, versus the much faster iteration on PC).

    I also understand that console gamers are used to seeing large graphical advances after an extended period of time. That's fine, they can continue to do that. You have the same situation in the PC landscape. Some gamers don't upgrade until there's an appreciable (to them) increase in the speed or capabilities of the hardware. Some users on this forum still game on GTX 670s (5 generations old). Not everyone wants or needs to have the latest. There are still plenty of console gamers gaming on X360/PS3 and don't own a XBO/PS4. Just like there are plenty of PC gamers who don't have hardware released since late 2013.

    Regards,
    SB
     
    #3505 Silent_Buddha, Mar 23, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
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  6. Silent_Buddha

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    And yet there is no style of gameplay (I'm assuming this is what you mean by games doing something interesting) on current generation of consoles that wasn't done on previous generations of consoles. The only things that have changed is how things look. Whether that be increased graphics, increased physics or world density. All of which is easily scaled or enabled/disabled.

    Large crowds have been done since the PS2 (Dynasty Warriors), open worlds have been done for ages, etc. AI has improved very little since the PS2 and almost imperceptibly since the X360/PS3.

    What would be a revelation is if we had significant improvements in AI. Yet AI remains mostly as dumb as ever. Horizon while great looking (except little to no splashes or waves in water reacting to the player?) but still features AI that goes bone dead at times (plenty of examples in Strippin's Twitch streams of his full playthrough of HZD). Using HZD as an example, graphically HZD couldn't have been done on a 2009/2010 console without scaling the graphics in some way (which would have had little to no impact on the current gen graphics), however, the gameplay itself would have scaled without change.

    Regards,
    SB
     
    #3506 Silent_Buddha, Mar 23, 2017
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  7. goonergaz

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    I know what you mean, but I suppose a point has to come where there's not much else left to do - ie games went 2D to 3D then open world...this gen has ushered in VR, next gen maybe full blown open world VR games - who knows.
     
    #3507 goonergaz, Mar 23, 2017
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  8. DSoup

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    Push graphics technology that isn't key to gameplay mechanics that can't be done on older, slower hardware. Right.

    Advanced to drive graphics. Gameplay mandates certain hardware, graphics scale readily up and down.

    We'll never know. :???:

    I've not been shown this. How are you even measuring this? And how is the console landscape more fractured than the PC landscape? And why is it even relevant to what consoles are doing? You cant upgrade a console other than boosting storage. If you want better performance you have to buy a new console. :???:

    New gameplay mechanics are infrequent in the same way new discoveries in scientific fields are infrequent. Once areas of research are mature, you get evolution rather than revolution. It probably doesn't help that controllers have largely been the same for three generations but increasing the power lets developers remove barriers. Like how AC Unity has a seamless game world where you can roam from outside to inside to outside again. With insane amounts of detail. Skyrim had loading zones for cities but on a decent PC you can mod (Open Cities) those out and have all the NPCs interacting at once. Does that change gameplay? Yeah, because now things that happen outside the city create a reaction inside the city. It's dynamics that were not possible before.

    Is anybody doing anything really groundbreaking? I don't know, sometimes it's really hard to tell what is going on under the hood. Shadow of Mordor has the Nemesis system which just couldn't be done on the 360 and PS3. More NPCs, more physics, better animation, more dynamics, less canned stuff. Some of things that I see in GTA V still surprise me and it happens because Rockstar build a complimentary suite of game mechanic systems that are logical, environmentally adapting but not predictable.

    Increasing the performance means being able to solve problems that create immersion breaking issues. Crackdown 3 may run offline (and better) on Scorpio compared to their promised cloud-solution for Xbox One. Lacking performance means compromising somewhere.

    Let's check back later this year and compare RDR to RDR2 because based on what they did with GTA V, I expect amazing things that could not have worked on previous gen consoles.
     
    #3508 DSoup, Mar 23, 2017
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  9. iroboto

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    @DSoup only game in mind is probably Star Citizen. And no game coming out in my
    Mind will likely compare to what they have done accomplished already.

    That's probably your best argument imo. It's basically a full Eve Online without any separation between FPS, space sim, docking, and other.
     
  10. Silent_Buddha

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    Skyrim is officially supported on 2008 era hardware. Shadow of Mordor is officially supported on 2010 era hardware. Both will run on lower hardware than is actually supported. Those are both examples that boost the viability of a rolling generation of hardware.

    Your Skyrim example enhances the gameplay experience, much like graphics, but it doesn't change the gameplay in anyway. All it does is remove the loading between some parts of the game. You could likely achieve the same results with a better stream solution as other open world games games which run on previous generations of hardware could do.

    The current generation version of GTA V is officially supported on 2008 era hardware. While the graphics change, the gameplay doesn't. GTA V would likely run even on 2004/2005 era hardware by further scaling down the graphics. Oh wait, it does run on 2004/2005 hardware with exactly the same gameplay when you scale down the graphics.

    From a non-graphical or convenience (loading zones) POV, you could run pretty much every title released on current gen consoles on 2008 era hardware. And with very rare exceptions you could likely run every game released for current gen consoles on 2004/2005 era hardware (like the consoles) by reducing graphics settings.

    And convenience (loading between zones) can be masked with semi-interactive loading areas (like Gears of War 4 which has zone loading but it's handled seamlessly with enemy free travel loading zones where you still control your character) or advanced streaming technology. Not a solution for all games, however, as some games want to have dramatic differences between areas (levels) of the game.

    Again, however, I can't think of a single multiplatform game that doesn't run on 2009/2010 era hardware. It may not run well as no effort was put into scaling graphics beyond the minimum supported hardware configuration, but sometimes it does. Even AC: Unity will run, albeit not well. But AC: Syndicate using the same engine will run much better on that older hardware.

    In fact thinking about in terms of launch titles. We saw many examples of developers over-estimating the capabilities of the current generation of consoles and then having to scale things back graphically or live with uneven or poor performance if they refused to scale things back too far. IMO, that would situation could have been avoided had there been a 2009/2010 consoles to provide a more gradual increase 3/4 year hardware iteration (the 6-8 year dramatic differences would still exist).

    And while no examples can be provided for 1st party exclusive releases, I'm not seeing anything there that wouldn't run on a hypothetical 2009/2010 console by scaling the graphics down. Uncharted 4 is just a more graphically impressive Uncharted. HZD is just an extremely well executed UBIsoft formula open world game and the lowest console hardware it'd have to support would be the PS4, anyway. KZ: SF doesn't do anything noteworthy other than graphics. Same applies for the XBO exclusives.

    [edit[

    Whoops, I forgot to address

    I showed this with a brief example of some lines of core gamer oriented graphics products (for example, 480-580-680-980-1080), and how they have a far higher upgrade rate than do non core gamer oriented graphics products (for example 450-550-650-750-950-1050 which are targeted towards more casual or budget oriented gamers). The lower you go down the scale the higher the percentage of users holding onto their hardware, much like we still have X360/PS3 owners who still haven't upgraded.

    Regards,
    SB
     
    #3510 Silent_Buddha, Mar 23, 2017
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  11. mosen

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    We already have next-gen games with new mechanics (like Titanfall, Destiny, MGS V, Watch_Dogs, Middle-earth: SoM, etc.) at lower graphical setting and similar gameplay on both 360/XB1. Big publishers have already freely chosen to release their new games/IPs with new game mechanics on a 10 years old console, so saying that a 6 years old console will restrict usage of newer game mechanics (on newer hardware) isn't really acceptable to me.

    Crackdown massive destructions is a game mechanic that is possible because of new tech which again might be possible on 360, too (just like Titanfall). Even in term of newer graphical effects a few years later we may experience hybrid solutions like Kahawai which may let developers to think differently about console/HW install base:



    http://www.geek.com/games/microsoft-cuts-cloud-game-streaming-bandwidth-by-over-80-1623534/?origref
    https://www.extremetech.com/gaming/...ing-better-visuals-to-xbox-one-mobile-devices
     
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  12. DSoup

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    I don't even understand what you mean by '2008 era hardware" ? Xbox 360 and PS3 launched before 2008.

    Of course it changes the gameplay. Enemies too tough for you but which wander near cities can be lured into towns. And guards into the wild. This gives you many more options for dealing with NPCs/enemies and completing a whole bunch of quests. It literally opens up more opportunities.

    And no, streaming doesn't solve anything. Skyrim's map and environments are broken up and the assets like NPC AI cannot cross between zones except when scripted. Where zones meet other zones, the mod merges two zones into a larger common zone between which any assets can freely pass and the immediate impact is a much greater load on all the games systems but particularly AI and physics.

    I didn't follow your 'hardware era' statement about GTA V. Same comment about 360 and PS3 launch dates applies. Ditto the remainder of your post whenever you talk about hardware eras. I have no idea what you're trying to say.

    Right, and Mass Effects ludicrous lifts. I'm not fooled by this, I doubt many gamers are.

    I can't remember any games that launched on PS4 along these lines. What were the many titles?
     
  13. DSoup

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    These were not next gen games. These were titles always intended to run on 360 and PS3 and thrown onto next generation consoles. And yeah, the differences were mostly graphics apart from Shadow of Mordor for which there was dev presentation explaining why they had to cut the Nemesis system on previous gen.

    Next gen games were Second Son (again Sucker Punch did presentation on why that couldn't run on PS3) and Uncharted 4 (likewise - lots of dev material). And Unity. Everybody likes to dismiss Unity. Generally animations, environmental interaction and physics have been much better in games designed for consoles with more power.

    Not sure what new mechanics were in Titanfall, MGS V, Destiny or Watch_Dogs.
     
  14. mosen

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    I'm not sure about new game mechanics in games that you mentioned, either. Better animations more environmental interaction etc. are game mechanic? Your definition of "game mechanics" is unknown to me.

    Titanfall is an online FPS game with a large number of synced AI enemies on every match. This game runs on 360, too.
     
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  15. Jay

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    It would be a hypothetical mid gen machine. Between 360 -> x1.

    Wouldn't be trying to scale a game back all the way to 360/ps3 level machines
    (unless the studio wants it to run on them, and it didn't compromise the experience too much.)

    My view is very few games wouldn't be able to scale back to hardware that was 3 years older. Especially if it was coded with that in mind. It may make it harder to phrase by talking backwards instead of forwards....?
    Anyway, it also gives the studios a performance bump quicker. Yet allows users to either upgrade at 3-6 year time frame depending on their requirements.

    I also don't think ms will mandate the lowest platform that they will have to support either, but that's just my view.
    So the 0.5% of games that couldn't scale and the studio doesn't mind it not having a big audience to sell to can still be made. Can choose base performance level based on say a 3-4 year cycle instead of 6-8.
    Benefit of generation, with flexibility of generationless.
     
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  16. iroboto

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    Hard to define a next gen game without seeing one.
    This is about the only game I would define as next gen. Our current consoles couldn't play this, and I don't think it's a graphical barrier, they're move to 64 bit coordinate system is probably a little too taxing for the current gen CPUs. Some form of AVX/2 is probably needed. A lot of 64 bit vector math happening here.
     
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  17. Rodéric

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    I don't know what you call next gen game, is it graphics quality ? innovative gameplay ?
    I have no idea why you assume that games at that scale need heavy FP64 to work properly, or why they wouldn't run fine on a XB1/PS4...
     
  18. Cyan

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  19. iroboto

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    I guess it's the idea that's we've not yet experienced this scale of game, I don't think FP64 is required to be next gen, it's just that this one specifically is.
    I don't think current consoles have the power to drive Star Citizen to the developers goals.
    It's difficult to describe what next gen is, but if the idea is to define it as 'not possible on current hardware', then Star Citizen seems to fit that bill.
     
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  20. Globalisateur

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    MGS5 often runs at 20fps on PS360 though. And the game runs at sub-720p on PS360 too.

    Compared to the PS3 game, the PS4 game felt like a next gen game IMO. The difference was significant.
     
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