What if the Xbox 720 was just a "windows box"

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by joesiv, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. ramr

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    This is my assumption as well. It is the only thing that meets the available data, rumors, and news articles with sources from MS. Here is what I posted earlier in the tech thread.

    This is all quite fascinating, so I thought I would chime in and try to add a little strategic analysis to the discussion. Fair warning, I am not a technical person. However, I am a strategy professional.

    I will take Orbis first.

    The latest information and rumors lines up fairly well with Sony’s vision, capabilities, and limitations. The only questionable item is the cost of the memory, which I do believe was raised due to competitive pressure from MS and developer requests.

    Durango is far more interesting since there are such wildly divergent rumors/information out there. I will first layout “facts” and assumptions and follow that with analysis/predictions.

    Facts:
    Powerpoint Leak
    MS has publicly discussed the idea of forward compatibility
    MS wants/needs to dominate the living room
    Apple and Google are the true competitors
    Gaming will drive early adoption and provide a differentiator to above competitors
    Multiple media outlets have written articles about xbox surface tablets supported by multiple MS sources, see verge article http://www.theverge.com/2012/11/6/3608432/xbox-surface-xbox-tablet-7-inch.
    The same sources indicated that the June surface leaks did have the correct specs.


    Assumptions:
    Initial plans called for at least 680 level performance
    Many, if not most, of the rumors with concrete numbers are true, for certain values of true.
    Lots of others that I don’t have time to reference.

    Analysis/prediction:
    1. all software for next box is scalable through forward compatibility
    2. There are at least 4 SKUs being prepared
    a. Set-top xbox
    b. Xbox surface (if the 24th meeting confirms this, then the probability of the rest of this shoots through the roof)
    c. Xbox next
    d. Xbox Pro/server
    3. The leaked powerpoint has most of the major initiatives in it

    Description of SKUs
    Set-top box – either super-slim 360 soc at 28 nm or some jaguar APU. This is the basic cable box alternative.

    Xbox surface – 7 in tablet that plays windows mobile games and can act as a terminal for streamed content / games from xbox next and server. Has jaguar APU

    Xbox next – base games machine. Has most of the leaked specs – 1.2 TF GPU, jaguar apu, 8 gb, secret sauce created something roughly equal to Orbis. Target 1080P 30 FPS, high image quality. Can play games and handle multimedia simultaneously, including streaming to 1 surface. May have HW BC initially.

    Xbox pro – enhanced xbox with more memory, hardware BC to 360, and 2 GPU units, can play graphically enhanced version of next box games 1080+, 60 FPS, enhanced IQ, and stream to multiple surfaces.

    This structure best fits the available data and provides a framework to achieve MS goals for living room dominance. Could they go in another direction? Absolutely, but given the available information, this seems to be the best observation. The meeting the 24th should be very telling.
     
  2. DJ12

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    Why is there lots of new posters posting exactly the same thing over and over again. If one account gets banned don't make another to post the same drivel.
     
  3. Arwin

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    If you use Windows 8 a lot, you can clearly see Windows 8 RT basically running 'inside' Windows 8. They could do a very similar thing for the 360, even if they stick to the main Jaguar cores for running things (which is not a given).
     
  4. Silent_Buddha

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    The thing is, there is no benefit to running WinRT unless you are using ARM cores. It's not any faster or any more secure. Take Windows 8, remove the ability to install desktop applications and you now have Win8 basically doing only what WinRT does.

    For a console, however, even that would be more functionality than you'd need on console. Hence, take Win8 and just remove the desktop entirely. Everything would then be done through the Modern UI perhaps reskinned to be more Xbox/console-ish.

    Basically if it's using x86 cores it'll run Win8. If it's running ARM cores then it'll run WinRT. It isn't the level of supported features that determine whether it's using one or the other, it's the underlying CPU code.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  5. eastmen

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    If this isn't communicated correctly why as a gamer would I wait a whole year most likely not knowing there is an xbox pro to buy a console ? I'd go with the ps4 or the xbox next. If the ps4 is better than the xbox next then I will buy that and skip the xbox pro .

    At the same time if you announce both Xbox's at once people will skip buying the cheaper xbox and wait for the pro. Which puts everyone in a holding patern as ms releases a still born product
     
  6. Arwin

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    That's not how I understood it. I thought Win RT was completely virtualised, like the .NET Framework, and that for ARM support they then only had to write an ARM implementation of the framework. Being completely virtualised, it is much easier to embed in a secury hardware layer and prevent it from reaching native games and such, let alone OS, in any way.
     
  7. dobwal

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    Isn't the Xbox basically a windows box. Its just a modified windows OS running on custom hardware and locked down to play games and apps approved by Microsoft.

    My question. Isn't your typical windows 8 PC just an unlocked xbox 360 with off the shelf parts. Metro seems more derived from the original 360 ui then it does from windows.
     
  8. ERP

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    Wow.... That's an interesting interpretation.
    Does the XBox run a windows based kernel yes, to a point, but it doesn't have an even remotely similar driver model, and many components are radically different than the desktop counterpart.

    At the shell level, from a code standpoint I doubt there is anything even remotely common between any current XBox version and and any version of windows.
     
  9. dobwal

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    It was said tongue in cheek. But it should be noted that hints of Metro design all showed up in products that are or were in the EDD division. Also, Windows Surface is a EDD product and is a RISC based arch.
     
  10. Silent_Buddha

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    Convergence. Even if the next Xbox isn't based on Windows 8, it'll be skinned with an eye towards the Modern UI interface design.

    Phone, tablet, PC, gaming device, etc. all sharing the same user interface makes things "comforting" for consumers.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  11. dagamer

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    There's likely to be the NT kernel running around in the next Xbox, but we aren't going to know it, much like how Windows Phone 8 has the NT kernel, but you'd never be able to tell it apart from Windows Phone 7 if you didn't know what to look for.

    Also, it's not that the OS needs 3GB, it's that the system has 3GB reserved for itself that games can't use. I expect the OS to use that 3GB space to do background tasks and cache hard drive writes so it doesn't interfere with gameplay performance.
     
  12. arijoytunir

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    how about microsoft is making a spec for xbox3 as a blueprint which will be licensed and used just like windows ? it can make a platform similar to windows phone and steam box . i think i saw in that leaked presentation of 2010 that oem's can build xbox "boxes" . like windows rt running on surface but also available for oems to make thier own tablets with win rt . this can do what pc's couldnt do with graphics card - say microsoft brings out every new evolved xbox specs at the very time when they are updating " DIRECT X " - with full backward compatibility as the pcs.
     
  13. DJ12

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    Didn't they already try that with the msx, didn't really work out then and it just means they will have taken the loss designing it and someone else gets pure profit
     
  14. Shifty Geezer

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    MSX worked out very well in Asia. Also, just because you fail once at something, doesn't make it impossible and mean you should never try again. How many attempts were made at tablet computing before it finally took off?
     
  15. patsu

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    Yeah I was thinking they may swing a deal with local manufacturers. It may help sell in Japan, but MS need to compensate these partners somehow. It wouldn't quite work if the h/w is sold at a loss with no/late upside. Perhaps they will bundle the base unit with Kinect and potentially other goodies to raise the margin ?
     
  16. arijoytunir

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    How about Microsoft licensing their Xbox tech to television oems to integrate in their TVs just like android on phone or tablet !
     
  17. alexsizz

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    I`ve read in a magazine that the new xbox will have blueray drive and will not play the old 360 games is that true?
     
  18. dagamer

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    Hmm, I think he meant to say Windows RT (the OS), not WinRT (the framework) in reference to ARM CPUs.
     
  19. SanGreal

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    They talked about doing this with the 360 but it never really came to fruition. Maybe with the move to digital downloads they will give it another shot
     
  20. Silent_Buddha

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    Something like that is certainly possible if people start making lots of noise about how much they like the set top box functionality in Durango.

    As I speculated somewhere else. Once that is established in the gaming console, if it is done well it has the potential to create demand for that same experience in the living room without the game playing aspect (not everyone needs to or wants to play games on a console).

    Once that is established, then it becomes much easier for Microsoft to extend that to low cost (50-100 USD) dedicated set top box units (only casual smartphone/tablet type games). Integration into TVs also becomes an option.

    It's basically the opposite approach that other set top box makers are doing. Apple and Google are both going set top box with smartphone/tablet type game apps as a checkbox attraction. Microsoft is approaching that market with a game console focused on games with set top box functionality.

    I didn't think Apple or Google would have much better luck than the other vendors that have tried to get a set top box into the living room (Web TV anyone?), and in fact they still haven't been able to get as much market penetration as Web TV did back when it was being advertised. And Web TV never was all that big to begin with.

    Microsoft's approach of "side loading" itself into the set top box discussion via a gaming dedicated game console has a much better chance of eventually leading to large set top box market penetration above and beyond the Xbox console itself.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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