New Xbox 360 Info

Discussion in 'Games' started by kuyu, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. kuyu macrumors 6502a

    kuyu

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    #1
    XNA architect and Xbox 360 big-wig J Allard told Game Informer that there will be multiple Xbox360's that ship over the next five years. He stated that developers shouldn't rely on the HDD for their games. This seems like a step back to me. One of the best parts of the xbox was the HDD. I'm thinking that M$ figured out that the only way to ship the 360 under $300 was to not include a HDD.

    This also means that they will likely re-release the 360 with either a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD drive in the future. Unless there is some sort of upgrade program, the fully functional Xbox 360 is quickly becoming as expensive as the PS3 (if not more so).

    At QuakeCon this weekend FPS Overlord John Carmack (Quake, Doom, Wolfenstein) gave his support to the Xbox 360 instead of the PS3. He cited the 360's "thin API" and ease of development as his primary reasons for opting out of Sony's upcoming PS3. However, he criticized both systems for their reliance on parallel-single hardware threads as opposed to multi-threaded computer processors. Basically Carmack feels that the choice of hardware will hamper development until coders can fully understand the most efficient means of using the next-gen hardware.

    To me, it seems like we won't see the full power of these new systems unleashed until 2-3 years after they ship. With the Xbox 360's 9-12 month headstart, the more powerful PS3 may not outperform the 360 for quite some time.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Mavimao macrumors 6502a

    Mavimao

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    #2
    Nintendo's Revolution will DOMINATE! :)

    OK, 'fanboy-ness' aside, the Revolution is supposed to be an incredibly easy machine to program for, which will give it a lot of edge compared to the other machines who like to toot their processors in an almost phallic nature. I personally see the Revolution pouncing the others in terms of graphics for the early stages of the next-gen consoles. Let's just hope that they have better 3rd party support. I mean, c'mon Nintendo!
     
  3. kuyu thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kuyu

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    #3
    Yeah, I've heard the Revolution is going to be easy to code for. Unfortunately I don't think Nintendo's non-core developers even have alpha kits yet, so Carmack's comments didn't include the Revolution.

    With Zelda pushed back to March 06 I'm thinking we might not get the Revolution stateside until Holiday 06 at the earliest.
     
  4. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #4
    lets not turn this into another which console is best thread.

    personally the lack of a HDD is fine so long as its backed up with something like an SD card (NOT the rip-off memory stick pro 2 plus ex alpha). maybe its just me but i never used the soundtrack feature on the Xbox. i figured a game designer probably spent a while getting the music perfect, so why add Britney Spears or Linkin Park to it?

    if you have a drive fast enough (ie. GC) then you dont really need to cache to a HDD. they need to make that faster, drop the soundtrack feature, and just use the SD card for save files. which then would make for easy backup too :D
     
  5. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #5
    Hm, I thought I posted this here, ah well:
    http://biz.gamedaily.com/features.asp?article_id=10265


    Seems there will be two models of the XBox 360.
     
  6. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #6
    Remember that there's a slot for the HDD; you can buy one and add it to your X360 at any time.


    One interesting scenario would be that if the Revolution is vastly easier to code for, then it might become the base system. Everyone codes the game for the Revolution first, as a base sstem, then ports it to the other systems.

    We can always hope.

    Anyway, the PS3 and XBox 360 are going to be RIDICULOUSLY hard to code for. Let's take a look.

    XBox 360: 6 threads (as opposed to one or two on 99% of PC's), no out of order processing (something that PC games will use, making PC ports harder), 512 MB of RAM, but a seperate 10 MB of 10x-faster DRAM on the GPU. So you have to write the code to use that 10 MB of super-fast DRAM correctly. You need a ton of hardware threads. The GPU has a unified shader architecture, something every PC AND console on the planet lacks, making porting XBox 360 games hard.


    PS3: 2 normal threads, plus 7 threads which cannot use branching or access the cache or do integer calculations. Meaning you have to specificly use the SPE's for certain types of work, while using the 2 normal threads for the leftovers. XBox 360 ports will have to be seriously re-coded to use the SPE's. The GPU is more normal GPU, making that easier to port games to the PS3, but the Cell is harder.


    Developers are used to using a single thread, now they have 6 on the XBox 360, 9 on the PS3 (with 7 only doing certain types of work). They're used to normal GPU's, now they've got DRAM and a unified shader architecture on the XBox 360.

    IMHO, we're going to see a lot more exclusives as porting will be hard.
     
  7. Mavimao macrumors 6502a

    Mavimao

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    #7
    What's funny though, I find, is that Microsoft is doing to the XBox 360 what they're doing to Longhorn/Vista. They're rushing a product to get it out the door as fast as possible, even excluding prominent features to meet that deadline. WinFS? Out. Harddrive? Out. "But we'll add it in later renditions!"

    Who would want to buy a half-baked product?

    What's even more ironic is that Microsoft was wanting this console to be a Media Center-like hub. A centralized area for your photos, music, movies, etc. But how is this going to be possible with the exclusion of a Harddrive?

    I guess it may link up to your computer, but why? Just so Microsoft can salvage that whole Home Media Center concept I see advertised in Best Buy but I see no one buying?

    My 2 cents.
     
  8. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #8


    Good point. There's also;
    HD-DVD; out. "But we'll add it in later renditions!"
    Wi-Fi; out. "But you can buy an addon!"

    Being the only console without WiFi built in is significant.

    You know, I actually wouldn't mind. People who want just a console, can just buy the console. People who want a media center, can buy the hard drive. Both win. No complaints about wasting money for media gimmicks from people like me.

    EXCEPT...

    That the hard drive has the 'emulation profiles' on it and is required to download more.

    MEANING...it's impossible to play XBox games without the hard drive.

    MEANING...the hard drive-less XBox 360, has no backwards compatability.

    And that's a big problem right there.
     
  9. Mavimao macrumors 6502a

    Mavimao

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    #9
    Good point. I guess that means more money for Microsoft....

    Your talk about the different architectures makes me wonder: whose smart idea was it to use these weird processors?! Was it really all about the hype, the numbers and the hypothetical power?

    This brings me back to the days of hte N64 when no developers would touch it due to its incredibly difficult progammability. Are we going to see the same things on the PS3 and the 360? Time will tell.
     
  10. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #10
    Anandtech had some theories about that.

    http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.games.video.sony-playstation2/msg/62ff83d96ea78ea9?hl=en




    That last point is a very good one; Microsoft doesn't want a repeat of what happened before. They used almost off the shelf Geforce 3 and Intel Pentium 3 (well, with slightly less cache), plus an NForce motherboard that uses an Intel processor instead of AMD, and as a result, don't have a right to keep using that stuff in their new console without paying more money in licensing fees to NVidia. So they want to own the design.

    Anyway, it's an interesting read, I just quoted one part.
     
  11. rockthecasbah macrumors 68020

    rockthecasbah

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    #11
    I doubt it. Im sure by now Sony and Microsoft would understand how to make a system that can be programmed at a moderate difficulty. I'm sure it won't be easy by any means, and certainly more difficult than The Revolution (if speculation is true), but I would be stunned if either system became an 'N64'.
     
  12. persianpunisher macrumors regular

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    #12
    What people dont understand is that the PS3 WILL NOT be more powerful than the Xbox 360. It is actually the opposite. The 360s GPU SLAUGHTERS the PS3s.
     
  13. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #13
    That's not exactly true. They're about equivilant overall. The PS3's GPU has a higher clock speed, while the X360 has DRAM. The PS3's processor will give it an added boost with rendering, as well. Overall the graphics are about the same; the 360 might have a slight advantage with 4x AA @ 1080i resolution because the DRAM makes AA not have an effect on performance, but the PS3 will be better at physics, so that makes up for it. The XBox 360 has a unified shader architecture, the PS3 has TurboCache. The PS3's GPU hasn't been fully unveiled, anyway.


    There's no "slaughtering" involved anywhere. Power-wise, the systems are about the same. The only difference is that the PS3 is more expensive, has Bluetooth (wireless peripherals), WiFi (not standard on X360), 1080p output, dual screen support, 7 players instead of 4, slots for standard CF/SD/MS/xD cards (verse proprietary memory cards on XBox 360, and only one type), and a Blu-ray drive that fits 12x the data.


    So power-wise and RAM-wise they're equal, and the PS3 trounces the XBox 360 in all other aspects BUT costs more.


    Besides, this isn't a debate thread. In fact, you're the first person in the thread to try to say which is better. We were talking about pricing and development difficulty.
     
  14. persianpunisher macrumors regular

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    #14
    I apologize, I shouldnt have done that. BUT, the 360s GPU does slaughter. Check out cnet.com if you wish.
     
  15. EvilDoc macrumors 6502a

    EvilDoc

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    #15
    have they started to presale xbox 360's yet??
     
  16. reberto macrumors 65816

    reberto

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    #16
  17. wrxguy macrumors 6502a

    wrxguy

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    #17
    same situtation with PS though, the new slimmer PS's kick the old ones asses!! Either way i will be gettin an Xbox 360...anyone know when we can preorder?
     
  18. EvilDoc macrumors 6502a

    EvilDoc

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    #18
  19. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #19
    I never saw that, so true. M$ dropping features left right and centre. i suppose if it reduces cost then its good, but its like a compromise. and going off how much pre-orders are going for the consumer is seeing little benefit.

    Wouldn't online stuff be saved to the HDD too? like rankings, personal bests etc... the big database stuff. what about downloaded maps for Halo-like games?
    I always thought they were using SD cards but if its propriety... oh dear.
     
  20. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #20
    Microsoft mentioned that you could save your Live profile to the memory card.


    Yeah, they showed off 64 MB memory cards. They're proprietary; not sure if they're the same as the first XBox.
     

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