Next Generation hardware release strategy *spawn

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Shifty Geezer, Apr 22, 2018.

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  1. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    The technical next-gen thread is for discussing hardware specs based on consideration of the viability of various technologies. Seeing as people want to discuss launch strategies, let's move that discussion here.
     
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  2. turkey

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    All this wild speculation, how about another take on the 2 tier model idea.

    Xbox is taking as many of the good bits of pc as Microsoft can cram in there. We have FreeSync making unlocked framerates viable, we have already got the S which is slightly more performant than the base console. This or a larger delta and FreeSync might make a nice pro combo.

    With that in mind, my two spec launch will be

    Base unit.
    Whatever CU on chip with 10% deactivated for yield as normal
    Memory
    Cpu
    Regular build
    Stuff

    Pro unit
    Cherry picked Apu with no CU deactivated, similar to Xbox One X Dev kits.
    Better cooler
    Slightly higher CPU clocks?
    Other nice marketing friendly changes

    The idea that is does not devalue the base until for thoes who want the traditional TV fixed framerate gaming experience, pro for thoes who want to try and eek out the max and happy with new tech like FreeSync. And keep it simple for Devs, the game will already be tested on device kits with more spec and simulated retail spec, this unit could also drop down to base performance where required
     
  3. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    In the multi-tier sku, what I wish would happen (but know it never will) is the following 2 tiers:

    1. Base Model SKU
    • Internal drive for game storage with easy accessible port
    • Game controller
    • Cheap headset with mic
    • Free trial of online gaming service
    2. Bare Bone Model SKU
    • No internal storage, but easily accessible port
    • No game controller
    • No headset
    • No free trial of online gaming service

    The draw to the bare bone model is for the enthusiast console gamers to provide a loweer cost of entry while getting rid of items unused, immediately discarded, or simply upgrafed or replaced.

    The trouble is how to ensure the bare bone doesnt make its way into unknowing parent shopping carts.
     
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  4. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    My solution to that was to have the bare bones only sold direct from the console company. They all have online stores you can buy hardware from, so it should be no hassle. Lack of a game controller is only good if the new controllers aren't improvements, but I guess if you already have an XB1 elite controller, you aren't in the market for anything else.

    Business wise, I think a two-tier approach would need a significantly better top product at a significantly higher price. A moderately better product at a marginally higher price is just muddying the market and not really wanted.
     
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  5. novcze

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    why not differentiate two SKU's not only by performance but also overall focus, e.g.:

    Media SKU
    - optical drive for BR/DVD/CD
    - audio output support for the latest DD, dts
    - large mechanical HDD included
    - base performance

    Gaming SKU
    - no optical drive
    - audio output only PCM
    - no HDD/SSD included
    - better performance

    What kind of performance increase can be obtained in "Gaming SKU" without optical drive plus required licensing for BR/DVD/CD/DD/dts and without HDD if same launch price is targeted?
     
  6. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    You don't want to reduce the gaming experience on the media-focussed SKU. That'd piss off gamers who want the all-in-one box, who'd have to choose between whether they want movies or better games. Give them the best of both worlds - the gaming SKU should just be cheaper.
     
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  7. BRiT

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    A console with only PCM audio output would be shunned so hard online by gamers and developers that even Average Joe Gamer wouldn't want to pick it up.
     
  8. novcze

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    Of course they could buy an add-on optical drive with software license, it can be cleverly integrated into the case in the same way as you can easily change HDD on PS4. :-D
    And performace difference between the two would be mainly in framerates, when media targeting 30 fps and gaming 60 fps/ VR headsets, so no eye-candy would be lost.

    Why, I quite enjoy gaming with my audio output in uncompressed 2.0(TV) / 7.1(AVR) PCM. Does anybody use DD as output for gaming audio?
     
  9. BRiT

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    Anecdotal, but around here everyone using a 4K TV also has the AVR or SoundBar setup that does far more than PCM, notable focus is on Dolby Atmos now.
     
  10. novcze

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    ahh ok, could be also added via licence into my idea of "gaming" SKU so no problem ...
     
  11. Shifty Geezer

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    But why gimp the media-capable device? What's the launch-day messaging there? "PS5 - the most powerful console ever. Or play your movies, on a slightly less capable console if you don't mind gaming with judder."

    Why not take the PS5 console and make it the best possible, trim the fat to keep the price as low as possible, and then have a media-loaded version of the same console at a higher price with added value?
     
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  12. Shortbread

    Shortbread Island Hopper
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    Personally, I don't believe we'll see the magical $399 entry point from Sony and Microsoft based systems for some time soon... or at least the upcoming new generation anyhow. Sure it's my personal opinion, but I figure if you can afford a $399 system, a $499 system isn't totally out of reach.

    Entry Model: $499
    CPU: 8c/16t @3GHz
    GPU: 11TF
    Memory: 16GB GDDR6
    Storage: 512GB SSD

    Premium Model: $599-649
    CPU: 8c/16t @3GHz
    GPU: 15TF
    Memory: 24GB GDDR6
    Storage: 1TB SSD
     
  13. McHuj

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    IMO, a premium/pro SKU has to have enough processing boost to make it noticeable for the consumer. I don't think 11 vs 15 TF will translate into that much of a noticeable difference. It needs to be closer a 100% difference in compute power to be a differentiator (PS4 vs PS4 Pro is over 2x and X1 vs X1X is over 4.5x). I guess that's why I don't see them launching two differently spec'ed models at the start of the generation. I think a Pro version will come when the technology nodes will allow the improvement in horsepower.
     
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  14. Shortbread

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    I agree to a certain extent, however, these systems will still be tied to the entry level models (i.e., PS4/Pro and XBO/X). Meaning; any additional CPU/GPU grunt afforded by the premium models will only serve towards frame-rate improvements, not geometry/shader/lighting complexity beyond the entry level models (games). So, things such as sampling levels (i.e., resolution and anti-aliasing) and frame-rate improvements will be those differences... along with improved texture sizes/quality alloted by the larger memory sizes within the premium models. So, a 11TF game on an entry level system, isn't going to look any better on a 20TF system, other than for frame-rate improvements and IQ sampling levels.
     
    #14 Shortbread, Apr 22, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
  15. Shifty Geezer

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    I think that's the difference between a mid-gen and a 'Pro/Elite'. You can't have twice the power at launch, unless the base unit is horribly under-specced or the Elite is pushing a grand. A Premium launch console could just be a magnesium alloy shell, few more ports, more storage, sort of thing, to count as premium. Think our favourite metaphor - the difference between a 1.2l car and its 1.5l model fancy is a bit more money for a bit more power and a plusher interior, rather than twice the price and twice the speed.

    Speccing a high model launch console shouldn't be a priority for this thread. It'll be the base spec plus something, if it exists.
     
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  16. Gubbi

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    Arcade SKU:
    12GB GDDR6
    240GB FLASH
    300mm² APU
    1 x controller
    no hdd
    no optical

    $379 Launch price

    Premium/Launch SKU:
    12GB GDDR6
    240GB FLASH
    300mm² APU
    2 TB HDD
    Optical drive
    1 x controller
    $449 Launch price

    Staggered launch, with Arcade SKU coming two quarters after launch SKU. Both SKUs at or above break even at launch.

    Cheers
     
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  17. iroboto

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    https://variety.com/2018/gaming/features/death-of-the-console-1202833926/

     
  18. DieH@rd

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    I don't think this will happen. Worldwide, it's impossibleto offer everyone low-lag access to the cloud. Those customers matter.
     
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  19. Shifty Geezer

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    Call me a cynic but I doubt the streaming issues will be solved within ten years. I can't be sure to get a clear Netflix/YouTube video without break up, nor game online without disconnects and interruptions. If console gaming requires a certain higher-tier standard of internet, a large portion of console gamers will probably be alienated. No-one as yet has even managed to create a financially viable streaming prototype AFAICS.

    It'll happen eventually, but I wouldn't bet on it happening one generation from now. Probably more likely to see a transition like XBox games either on a console or via a streaming service, and when enough people are using the streaming service, stop making console hardware.
     
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  20. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    Internet connections are more available to customers than consoles are worldwide. Looking st markets like Korea and China where console penetration is slim but connectivity high for instance.

    Low lag access might be a different story, there are technologies aiming to improve it, see beam/mixer.
     
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