Next Generation Hardware Speculation with a Technical Spin [2018]

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Tkumpathenurpahl, Jan 19, 2018.

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  1. mrcorbo

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    That bit was kind of important WRT the launch pricing.

    Why do you think the next Xbox will launch a year earlier?
     
  2. Wynix

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    2.5Ghz is extremely conservative for the CPU, I personally can not see them using under 3Ghz.
     
  3. eloyc

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    Do you expect fully backward-compatible systems? I do. I'm not saying that I'm sure they will be, though.
     
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  4. ultragpu

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    I feel like $499 is becoming more and more the perfect balance between price and performance, if it means we get 14 tf and 32gig ram over a $399 10-12tf 16gig ram console then the extra investment is well worth it and would pay off in dividends.
     
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  5. vipa899

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    $500 just seems too high for a mass market console. Sony learnt that such high prices didnt do that well.
     
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  6. eloyc

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    How? PS3 was a huge success, after all, and it launched more than 10 years ago. Yes, Sony struggled for quite a while, but the end result was good, and I think that a similar situation wouldn't be as bad in two years from now, being the new console a less exotic piece of tech, most likely, with more possibilities of a price drop in a near future, maybe.

    Even though it was a tough move for Sony, many players didn't mind the price and payed for what they perceived as a superpowerful console. I don't see why people can't do the same again if they have a clear idea that there's a decent generational leap instead of a "slightly more powerful" console than the previous iteration.
     
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  7. Gubbi

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    I think people should stop thinking in generations because I don't think Sony and MS do any more. There is a hardware reason for this and a software/userbase reason; Console vendors will want to lock you into their platform, much easier if their new console plays all your old games. If they break backwards compatibility they risk users switch to the competition. MS learned this the hard way with the 360->XB1 transition.

    The PS 4 Pro and Xbox 1 X are not traditional shrinks, but updates to an existing architecture. The Pro saw a big boost to graphics with double the CUs, further boosted by CBR and FP16. The 1X saw a huge boost to CUs. Both with modest boosts to CPU performance.

    The next revision will get 3x single thread CPU performance, a massive jump, and 4x throughput (assuming 8 cores with hyper threading). GPU is likely to be around 10-12TF32 (twice FP16) which is only 2-3 times 1X/PRO.

    I think both vendors will go with GDDR6. HBM2/3 will be too risky. It's a smaller, more volatile, market, and one that has significant upward price pressure because of strong demand for AI products. On top of that the Si interposer assembly adds $30 per unit; The interposer itself adds $1/cm², the rest of the cost is incurred by less than perfect assembly yield (when an assembly goes bad, you toss an APU and a lot of good DRAM dies).

    The demands from the GPU and CPU on the memory subsystem means we're likely to see a 256Gbit GDDR6 interface running at 14-15Gbit/s (448-480GB/s). Lower tier GDDR6, because $$$. The bus width dictates the memory amount to be either 16 or 32GB, the latter being highly unlikely, because $$$$.

    Console vendors used to be able to rely on Moore's law to reduce cost over time. Silicon costs would halve every other year. That meant you could plan 6-8 years ahead (a generation) and you could rely on your initially loss leading console to be profitable down the line. Today, nobody can predict how microelectronics will progress beyond the 7nm node (which is a mess in its own right). That means console vendors have to turn a profit on the hardware at launch. It also means instead of a lot of work cost reducing the current hardware, work is spent on an updated revision, that will launch 3-5 years later.

    Cheers
     
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  8. Entropy

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    This is a boringly sensible summary. We can’t allow common sense to kill discussions for the next year however! What about the competitive landscape? Won’t Microsoft have to come up with something compelling in an attempt to wrest market share away from Sony (and Nintendo)? And if so, won’t Sony try to anticipate that effort and preempt it by being surprisingly aggressive? ;-)
     
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  9. Gubbi

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    I apologize.

    Cheers
     
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  10. vipa899

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    PS3 was Sony's least successfull console, highest losses there too for Sony. Also the most expensive and on top of that underperforming. Dont think launches at 500 dollars do well, spec hungry people can opt for ps5 pro or pc.
     
  11. Shifty Geezer

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    You don't have to break compatibility to have a new generation.

    Yet they offer marginal improvements over the current generation and aren't enough to get people to upgrade in numbers.

    Let's say that with the next boxes, Sony and MS both do the same thing - SSD, 16 GBs RAM, 14 TF, 8 core Ryzen. Now let's say MS requires all games on this XBtoo to also be release on XB1X, whereas Sony don't require that. PS5 games (certainly the exclusives) end up being much better because devs are targeting the hardware optimally instead of targeting legacy hardware and letting the new machine just run it a bit faster. That would not be good for MS.

    So instead, MS won't mandate which platforms games run on, meaning the new machine gets exclusives that make the most of its hardware, meaning it's a new generation.

    Next generation is the next set of machines that get games which the previous set of machines aren't getting because they're outmoded. It can even be argued that BC makes a generation even more of a generation as it's the same DNA other than a different species entirely.
     
    #1911 Shifty Geezer, Jul 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
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  12. ultragpu

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    This sounds logical and all but I'm willing to bet the risk taker (taking a loss at launch with a decent increase in specs) will become the market leader in the long run. You might be profiting at launch but sooner or later customers will side the more powerful system that performs better in multiplatforms, better looking exclusives and perhaps more value for money than the weaker and cheaper one. Rest assured this will be the case. Again we shouldn't automatically apply PS4's launch strategy for next gen, what worked once might not work again if your competition outsmart you.
     
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  13. Shifty Geezer

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    True.
    That wasn't on account of it being expensive. It could have been $500 at launch and not lossy hardware had it been a different design.
    It sold 80 million units, placing it 5th (joint 4th realistically) in the all time top selling consoles chart.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_game_consoles#Home_game_consoles

    Relative to the other PlayStation's it underperformed, but relative to what consoles sell, it was a very solid machine. And despite being more expensive, didn't sell worse than the cheaper XB360.

    It's untested at this point. Due to inflation, $500 isn't far off other console prices.

    [​IMG]

    $500 may be a bit steep, but if I was designing the next console, I'd definitely consider $450 and see what that extra $50 could get me.
     
    #1913 Shifty Geezer, Jul 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
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  14. Shifty Geezer

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    It hasn't in previous generations, when the best selling console wasn't the most powerful.
     
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  15. ultragpu

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    If you can justify the stronger hardware with games and value then I don't see why not. Again we shouldn't reapply the older formulas, they only serve as a reference not a strategy. Both Sony and MS boast their console's power whenever they can and this power factor has clearly been abused as one of the major marketing pusher, fans love it, forums talk about it and it generates hype. As for the reason of not securing a victory in the war? Well they fucked up elsewhere aka timing, lack of games, difficult dev process etc.
     
  16. Pixel

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    Lookie at what I've discovered at Infinity Ward Hiring website:

    There is that Gamingbolt article showing the narrative scripter. They don't mention who they got this info from.
    https://gamingbolt.com/call-of-duty-2019-coming-to-multiple-next-gen-platforms-rumour
    https://activision.referrals.selectminds.com/infinityward/jobs/narrative-scripter-temporary-2609

    But I found if you go up or down numerically in the URL that you can access other job listings which mention nextgen consoles
    Looks like 3rd party publishers/developers have gotten or are getting somewhat finalized specs for the nextgen consoles in Fall 2018

    https://activision.referrals.selectminds.com/infinityward/jobs/narrative-scripter-temporary-2607

    Programming Intern (Fall 2018) - Central Technology - Sherman Oaks, CA
    Programming Intern – Central Technology
    Activision Blizzard is seeking talented engineers to join its Central Technology division on an internship or co-op basis for Fall 2018. This is a rare West Coast opportunity to develop cutting edge games technology, learn the next-gen consoles inside and out, and to work with top developers like Sledgehammer, Treyarch, Infinity Ward, and Vicarious Visions. In the past interns have worked on problems such as data analytics, recommendation engines, logging and network data optimization.

    Successful candidates will demonstrate superior programming and problem-solving skills, and will be self-motivated and reliable.
    Qualifications:

    https://activision.referrals.selectminds.com/infinityward/jobs/narrative-scripter-temporary-2608

    Senior Lighting Artist
    Infinity Ward, developer of numerous award winning games, is seeking a Senior Lighting Artist, preferably with experience in game development and an interest in working with next-generation technologies. If you are a Senior Lighting Artist and have experience shipping AAA titles with visually stunning lighting aesthetics, then we are looking for you!

    https://activision.referrals.selectminds.com/infinityward/jobs/narrative-scripter-temporary-2609
    • Work with Level Designers, Environment Artists, Visual Effects Artists, and Team Leads to provide lighting for game environments
    • Creation of static and dynamic lighting using our proprietary game engine software
    • Manage lighting solutions within our memory and performance guidelines
    • Create and manage textures and IES light profiles for modulating lighting effects
    • Solve technical issues that arise with new tools or game performance
    Requirements:
    • 5+ years of lighting experience on current console hardware
    • Solid understanding and experience with creating lighting within a pre-baked light map pipeline
    • Understanding of composition and the ability to enhance mood by lighting
    • Excellent working knowledge of Photoshop and 3ds Max or equivalent
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills
    • Ability to communicate effectively with both Artists and Programmers in a large team
    • Work samples must show excellent real-time lighting made for next generation console games
    • Knowledge of color theory and strong sense of contrast, light and shadow
    • Working knowledge of common industry rendering programs
    • Ability to follow design reference and Art Direction, and an ability to work within a wide range of styles
    • Experience with Radiant
    • Experience with one or more scripting/programming languages

    Here is that scripter position again from the Gamingbolt article:

    Narrative Scripter (Temporary)
    Come work with the game industry’s brightest on a new, exciting, unannounced title for multiple next gen platforms.
    In this hands-on role, you’ll collaborate with scripters, sound designers, writers, and directors to implement voice-over performances in-game across a wide variety of player experiences – from combat to set-pieces.

    Check out these webpages before they get locked. Hopefully someone at reset era doesn't take credit if this is a unique discovery
     
    #1916 Pixel, Jul 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
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  17. Shifty Geezer

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    Because of the other reasons to own a platform like exclusives, social presence (most popular console), brand strength, price, other aspects like quality of services. Just bringing out a more powerful box doesn't mean the market will move to its adoption over the existing product as you suggest.
     
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  18. Gubbi

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    True.

    It is a value proposition, and the theoretical gigabollocks of the machine is just a part of that.

    Cheers
     
  19. Gemüsepizza

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    So you think an APU with an 8-core Zen 2 and a 12TF GPU part will have lower memory bandwidth available than a single Vega 64? I doubt that. Vega 64 has a memory bandwidth of 484GB/s, and Zen can peak at 50GB/s. Then you have to also consider that memory bandwidth will drop when both CPU and GPU access memory at the same time, which means there will be much less than your 448-480GB/s available. That's simply not good enough.

    They could increase memory bandwidth to an acceptable 576 GB/s by using 18 Gb/s chips, but I don't think that's going happen. From what I have read, only Samsung had announced at one time that they have reached 18 Gbit/s for GDDR6 - but it's not even on their product page at this moment, so availability will probably be very limited.

    It's a whole different picture if they choose a 384bit bus, because even with just 14Gb/s chips, they can reach a very impressive 672GB/s, which is a good fit for such a powerful APU.
     
  20. ultragpu

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    Say if it's a 30-40% difference in power at launch I'll say it's gonna matter quite a bit, after all multiplatform titles are a good chunk of your console investment. 10-20% is a no issue though and I think that'll most likely be the difference if there's any if they launch in a similar time frame.
     
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