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Microsoft and the Xbox One. Thoughts?


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#21 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 21331

Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:21 PM

They named it 'Xbox One'? What?

 

Yeah we joked about that a lot in the studio today.  Don't confuse the XBox One with the XBox 1.  

 

720 was such a better number than One.  They can still change it back.


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#22 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 7409

Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:41 PM

Of all the rumored names, I thought 'Infinity' was the strongest, frankly, and caries the same connotation as "One", more or less in this (non-mathematical) context.

 

The name is lackluster, the industrial design is lackluster, hardware is good, but the platform will succeed on the back of its software stack and services.



#23 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3888

Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:01 PM

They named it 'Xbox One'? What?

I assmue they chose this name, so people would call it "The one", probably wanting to capitalize off people that like saying "The 360"


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#24 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4354

Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:01 PM

Xbox One... Does it uses Android? :P


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#25 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:17 PM

I'm not sure how I feel. They didn't say anything that upset me, but they didn't really say anything great either. Force feedback triggers will be cool. I like that kinect is now integrated so people can design games with the expectation everyone will have one. It will be cool to see it as a supporting peripheral rather than needing to design your game exclusively around it.

 

I am really curious if they're going to at some point try to make a play to cut out cable companies with their interface and start supplying something over the internet. That would be cool to have in a couple years. Would probably come from some other service through xbox, but having the easy interface they showed off would be cool. If the NFL partnership works internationally that will pay off huge; it's such a pain in the ass to watch NFL games anywhere outside the US. People inside the US probably don't give half a poop, but it's a big selling point elsewhere. Wonder if they'll do something similar for Fifa.

 

Definitely have to say though it was such a non-announcement. It was like an announcement for their E3 show rather than an announcement for the console.

 

Had they not have said they were publishing 15 exclusives in year 1 I would have definitely felt more uneasy because they showed no great games.

 

I do wish more companies pulled the, "AND IT'S OUT TODAY!" press conferences, though I'm sure that would piss off a lot of game publishers who would lose a lot of marketing buildup.



#26 ISDCaptain01   Members   -  Reputation: 1395

Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:28 PM

No used games unless you pay a fee = major failure



#27 Promit   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7195

Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:35 PM

One word: fail.

I spent 28 minutes of presentation listening to idiots prattle about live TV and Skype. Do not care. Don't have or want cable TV.

 

Well, keep in mind that everything they showed with cable TV will likely work just the same with Video on Demand, Netflix, Hulu, HBO-Go, or whatever other non-cable subscription services you might have. In fact, a better way to look at it is that they're extending all the goodness they've already started with those services to your cable TV subscription, not the other way around.

 

And maybe that would have been an interesting argument if Sony didn't already have similar services lined up. I use Netflix all the time on my PS or Xbox. That doesn't mean I'm in the market for a brand new Netflix box. 



#28 snowmanZOMG   Members   -  Reputation: 868

Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:03 PM

The thing that worries me as someone who is making a game is that Microsoft made no effort to reassure me that their platform is one that I want to be on.  Sure, looks like a fine general consumer entertainment device, but it doesn't look particularly inviting to me as a game maker.  Sony, on the other hand, seemed to have invested a lot of time and energy into sending a message during their event to tell game players and specifically game makers that they want to make their platform the best platform for games.

 

Especially since I'm part of a small team, it looked like Sony was more willing (and given their history, I think it's been proven) that they want more interesting and risky games from smaller teams.  If they're willing to make the barriers to entry on their platform way lower and allow smaller teams to put their games on their system, that puts them way ahead of the Xbox since Microsoft hasn't even said anything about development on their system.  If on the other hand, Microsoft decides to open their system up way more than Sony on the PS4 or even just more open than the Xbox 360 currently is, that may be enough for me to switch my current opinion on Xbox One from a "Pass" to a "Sign me up".

 

I'm still not that convinced as a consumer, since I really don't care about live television or "interactive television".



#29 Promit   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7195

Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:10 PM

The thing that worries me as someone who is making a game is that Microsoft made no effort to reassure me that their platform is one that I want to be on.  Sure, looks like a fine general consumer entertainment device, but it doesn't look particularly inviting to me as a game maker.  

They don't need to. The big boys will play ball regardless, particularly with the architecture being so close to the PS4. And if you're not one of the big boys, it doesn't appear that you're invited to the party at all. Don't hold your breath for an XNA followup.



#30 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:03 PM

The thing that worries me as someone who is making a game is that Microsoft made no effort to reassure me that their platform is one that I want to be on.  Sure, looks like a fine general consumer entertainment device, but it doesn't look particularly inviting to me as a game maker.  Sony, on the other hand, seemed to have invested a lot of time and energy into sending a message during their event to tell game players and specifically game makers that they want to make their platform the best platform for games.

That's because Sony has historically been a worse manufacturer to develop for. Microsoft, if nothing else, is historically pretty good to develop for. They didn't need to send that message because it's expected of them.

Especially since I'm part of a small team, it looked like Sony was more willing (and given their history, I think it's been proven) that they want more interesting and risky games from smaller teams.

Though I don't disagree, I am in a 'I'll believe it when I see it' mood about it. Microsoft created the most open platform for game development on home consoles, and it wasn't worth doing anything for. Sometimes being more open isn't better.

You should be aware that XBLA releases a crap load of games from smaller developers too. I'd say it's about even with PSN from a quantity standpoint. PSN has had some good ones in the past couple years though.

#31 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 30388

Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:39 PM

gD0XyOe.gif

Developers developers developers developers, right?

 

Seriously though: yeah, Xbox has always been developer friendly, due to MS already having a lot of practice making development environments for Windows. They already had Visual Studio, teams working on compilers, teams working on Windows, teams working on D3D, etc. That's a pretty good position to be in to jump into the console game. BTW, every 360 devkit comes with a free professional VS license.

 

Both Nintendo and Sony have traditionally had really, really, really crappy development environments in comparison. Rough SDKs, rough tools, rough compilers, rough IDEs, etc... Post-PS3, Sony has been putting a lot of effort into improving things in this area.

 

 If they're willing to make the barriers to entry on their platform way lower and allow smaller teams to put their games on their system

Neither MS or Sony have said anything about XBLIG-type open development environments for the new consoles. Aside from homebrew hacks, XBLIG on the 360 is the only platform of this type still for home consoles.

Sony has made a lot of announcements about supporting independent developers, but you have to be aware that this is entirely different from XBLIG. This is about PSN/XBLA, which are not open platforms; these are only available to licensed developers. These gestures of "indie friendliness" are actually aimed at licensed development studios that are not publisher owned, not "indies" (people in garages).



#32 skytiger   Members   -  Reputation: 258

Posted 22 May 2013 - 05:52 AM

I think "One" is designed to keep the focus on "XBox"

 

MS is leading in console video games due to:

comparitively easy and cheap software dev + xbox live + kinect + pixel shader horsepower + strong revenue protection

those elements are in-place and strengthened for XBox One

 

In the UK Sky TV charge about £50 per month for a PVR and TV service

 

XBox One sold on subscription will cost about the same, but you get an amazing game console,not just a PVR

 

So the XBox One allows MS to leverage the XBox to become a major Cloud TV company

 

Companies like Sky are trying to reinvent themselves (because Cloud has to replace Satellite) but MS has all the cards:

 

- better hardware

- better software

- years of experience

- in both cloud and devices

- MUCH more money

 

XBox Entertainment Studios will probably outbid rivals for the major sports, such as soccer and formula 1, in as many countries as possible

 

so the XBox One is a single device targetting 2 markets

 

and anybody can afford one on subscription, so price is not so important ...


Edited by skytiger, 22 May 2013 - 05:53 AM.


#33 kryotech   Members   -  Reputation: 882

Posted 22 May 2013 - 06:25 AM

I feel like that this is something that Dish should be selling (ie, a PVR box), not a game console maker. Don't get me wrong, the tech is really cool, but it is missing new features in terms of gaming. Remember, the Wii offered innovative gaming when it first launched, and therefore managed to take a huge share of the market. The PS3 launched along similar lines, and while I really like the PS3, it did suffer for the first few years. In this case, the PS4 is already offering more to gamers in terms of streaming, cloud services, and social functions. I was really impressed with the ability to let a friend remotely play your game. There are many applications for that sort of functionality, depending on how developers implement it. The Xbox One is not offering many gaming specific features so far. That may just be bad press, but even then, just judging by what they announced, it seems like Microsoft did not add many gaming features. The Wii U and the PS4 are already looking more attractive, by comparison. Moreover, the ridiculous fee for used games is just a dumb idea on top of that.

 

As far as developer support goes, I'm not really an expert, so I defer to others. 

 

EDIT:

Also, the PS4, and the Xbox One, are both providing their own camera system. Granted, we don't know if they are matched, but I really doubt that they aren't at this point...


Edited by kryotech, 22 May 2013 - 06:31 AM.

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#34 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3338

Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:01 AM

Based partly on what I read last night, and partly what I've heard from people who've actually used the hardware, my opinion is basically this: Microsoft realised too late in the game that Sony have beaten them on performance and that, unlike with the previous generation, it's not just about learning to code to the platform. You have 2 systems that are similar in almost every way except one is significantly slower. This means they need to focus in areas that don't involve going head-to-head with PS4, ie. TV, home entertainment, Kinect, Skype, etc, but also on first party games and platform exclusives. The latter is why they don't have many games to show right now - anything that's not exclusive is likely to look better on PS4 any any given stage of its development, and they may just not have many exclusives yet.

 

In theory, this should be great because ultimately it's all about the games, not the hardware. In practice, Microsoft don't have a clue how to support interesting games or the people who make them, so it's a marriage made in hell.



#35 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:42 AM

You have 2 systems that are similar in almost every way except one is significantly slower.

Neither is that significantly different from the other on released specs alone. The largest different is that Sony's seems to have the GPU and CPU on the same chip using the same cache, which could be interesting. Both are still quite a step up from what we have.

This means they need to focus in areas that don't involve going head-to-head with PS4, ie. TV, home entertainment, Kinect, Skype, etc, but also on first party games and platform exclusives.

Microsoft's strategy has been to be your living room's media center for quite some time, not just with this product. They want to build an ecosystem of microsoft devices for the largest aspects of your life. The living room is a key part of Microsoft's connected strategy. They don't want just hardcore gamers; they want everybody. Each product, Windows Phone, Windows Tablets, Windows Desktops, and now Xbox One, is designed to get people (not just gamers) inside the ecosystem because being in the ecosystem makes all the other products more appealing.

 

The strategy is much more about having your life connected by Microsoft devices and services than about trying to recover from finding out the competitor has an advantage in one area. This is more obvious if you watch Microsoft press conferences outside of their game specific stuff. They've been pushing this for a couple years now.



#36 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3338

Posted 22 May 2013 - 08:16 AM

Neither is that significantly different from the other on released specs alone. The largest different is that Sony's seems to have the GPU and CPU on the same chip using the same cache, which could be interesting. Both are still quite a step up from what we have.

 

Released specs can be deceiving, and memory speed is very important. At least on the PS3 there you had the possibility to code things differently to make the most of it. Now, you just get one code path and approach for both systems, except it will run slower on one machine than the other. It'll be like when PC games have their assets reduced for the consoles, except the PS4 game might get cut down for the Xbox One as well. MS won't mind that, of course; it's when some devs say "we can only achieve what we need to on the PS4" that will concern them.

 

As for 'quite a step up from what we have', sure, a step up from current consoles. Not really a step up from a mid-range PC.

 

If I was being really cynical I might think this was an attempt to drive people back to Windows gaming on the PC, but then MS seem to want to drive desktop users away from Windows too if Win8 was anything to go by. They have an army of developers aiming shotguns at each others' feet right now. They court 'bro-dude' gamer IPs and then ship the hardware least suited to run it, and shut out the indies who won't care about RAM speed or a few extra compute units.

 

Microsoft's strategy has been to be your living room's media center for quite some time, not just with this product.

 

I know, but it's only with this product that they can't drag in hardcore gamers as well. So they absolutely have to bet the farm on everything else.



#37 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 22 May 2013 - 08:40 AM

Kylotan, on 22 May 2013 - 11:19, said:
Released specs can be deceiving, and memory speed is very important.

The memory speeds aren't outright worse. One uses DDR3 and one uses GDDR5. GDDR5 has worse latency, but higher bandwidth. Sony is making a big bet on using their GPU for computing imo (edit: at least it seems this way if they are focussing so much on bandwidth over latency). It's not a super risky bet, but if we start leaning back towards more CPU intensive tasks it could be hurt by the latency vs the One. GDDR5 is based off of DDR3. GDDR5 is not an upgrade from DDR3, it is an upgrade from GDDR4, which is also based off DDR3 iirc. Their version numbers do not correlate to the same type of thing.

Quote
As for 'quite a step up from what we have', sure, a step up from current consoles. Not really a step up from a mid-range PC.

That's deceptive. PCs have a lot of overhead that consoles, in theory, shouldn't. They have worse specs, but they have more access to the full specs of the hardware than a PC game would. PC games also have to cover a huge swath of hardware, and usually are worse for it. Don't underestimate being able to optimize for standardized hardware.


Edited by way2lazy2care, 22 May 2013 - 08:41 AM.


#38 Promit   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7195

Posted 22 May 2013 - 09:29 AM

That's deceptive. PCs have a lot of overhead that consoles, in theory, shouldn't. They have worse specs, but they have more access to the full specs of the hardware than a PC game would. PC games also have to cover a huge swath of hardware, and usually are worse for it. Don't underestimate being able to optimize for standardized hardware.

Not just standardized, but specially tweaked hardware. Sony at least mentioned that they've done some serious tuning work on how compute tasks are dispatched, for example. Then you'll have stuff like raw GPU command buffers too. The console hardware is probably comparable to a fairly high end PC, all told.

 

It's worth noting that the Xbox will be running three kernels on top of a hypervisor. That's what I'd be worried about for performance, not the raw hardware.



#39 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3338

Posted 22 May 2013 - 09:44 AM

The memory speeds aren't outright worse. One uses DDR3 and one uses GDDR5. GDDR5 has worse latency, but higher bandwidth.

 
I must admit I am not as knowledgeable about memory hardware as many people here are, but I do know that there are people who have first hand experience of both consoles and some are saying that memory accesses on the Xbox One are a bottleneck in practice. And I will suggest that in a game context you're more likely to be bandwidth limited than latency limited these days - much of the time is spent pushing large textures or meshes around.


 

PCs have a lot of overhead that consoles, in theory, shouldn't. They have worse specs, but they have more access to the full specs of the hardware than a PC game would. PC games also have to cover a huge swath of hardware, and usually are worse for it. Don't underestimate being able to optimize for standardized hardware.

 

I'm not convinced. You're going to have broadly the same sort of APIs and access to the hardware as PC developers have and will have in future, because AMD don't want to make overly specialised hardware and MS/Sony don't want to make it difficult for developers. And the fact that the hardware is specialised means less and less these days, because most of the games that are going to really push the hardware are using off-the-shelf engines that are already heavily optimised for quite individual specs.



#40 Promit   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7195

Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:21 AM

Interesting: http://kotaku.com/mainstream-media-reacts-to-the-xbox-one-509243303






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