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The forthcoming next-generation Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation video game consoles are going to, without any doubts, set up performance records among game systems. However, they what they are not going to do is to set up new price records, like Sony Corp’s PlayStation 3 did over six years ago, according to an analyst.

Colin Sebastian, an analyst with Baird Equity Research, said in a note to investors, that keeping in mind slow economy in developed countries in general and weak game console market in particular (which became evident with the launch of Nintendo Wii U), it is unlikely to expect Sony and Microsoft to sell their next-generation PlayStation and Xbox consoles at prices higher than $350 - $400, which is considerably lower than the launch price of premium PlayStation 3 model six years ago ($599).

Both game consoles will likely see the light of the day at the E3 trade-show this summer and hit the market in October-November timeframe.

"Given the fragile state of the console game market, we expect the E3 trade show in June will take on added significance, most likely providing the industry with the first public opportunity to examine next-generation hardware," wrote Colin Sebastian in a note to clients, reports GamesIndustry web-site.

It has been widely reportedly that both Microsoft Xbox Next as well as Sony PlayStation 4 (Orbis, Omni, Odin, etc.) will be powered by microprocessors and graphics processors developed by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). The financial analyst considers this as a benefit for both platforms since it will take game developers relatively short time to learn everything about the hardware inside new consoles and will make it easy to develop competitive titles for the forthcoming devices. Thanks to extensive usage of PC-derived technologies, it will also be relatively easy for software designers to create online services and implement modern things like free-to-play or subscriptions.

"Our checks suggest that next-generation console hardware will be largely built from 'off the shelf' high-end PC components, along with hybrid physical/digital distribution models, enhanced voice controls and motion sensing (Kinect integration with every Xbox), and broad multi-media capabilities. […] A PC-based architecture […] should have a number of advantages over custom-developed silicon: for one, the learning curve for software developers will be shorter than completely new technology. Second, the cost of production and retail price points should be lower than prior console launches,” explained Mr. Sebastian.

Tags: Microsoft, Xbox, Sony, Playstation, Loop, Durango, Odin, Omni, Orbis, AMD, Radeon, Xbox Next

Discussion

Comments currently: 8
Discussion started: 01/15/13 03:51:18 AM
Latest comment: 01/16/13 03:05:21 PM
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1. 
This is good news for the gaming consumor and i'm sure game stop will have a deal like they normally do if you trade in your xbox 360 of ps3 they will give you 50 dollars off towards the purchase of a ps4 or xbox next which would knock the price down even lower.

if these reports are true that both Sony and Microsoft are using AMD APU's then A) thats good news for AMD's profits and B i suspect an A10-5800k or an A10-5700 Quad-Core Trinity APU with a Radeon 6670 or 6770 crossfire config, Which would be good enough to handle graphical games.
1 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 01/15/13 03:51:18 AM]
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How is this good news? The difference over 7-8 year of ownership between a $400 and a $500 console is meaningless in the context of the cost of the expected software library a gamer accumulates. That $100 extra could be fully used on the GPU and make the console truly next gen. However, a console with an A10-5800K and HD6670 would be a total failure in terms of next generation graphics capabilities. I am not sure how you even came up with HD6770 CF as you cannot do A10-5800K with HD6770 in Hybrid CF.

The top CF configuration for an A10-5800K is a 384 VLIW4 APU, paired with an HD6670. The aggregate performance is only at a single HD6770 level.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/a...ity-graphics_9.html#sect0

~HD6770 level would be severely underpowered for DX11 games because it lacks proper geometry/tessellation performance of GCN parts. You would also have terrible cross-fire micro-stutter at low fps too, which is where micro-stutter rears its ugly head the most.

RV7xx is in the Wii U and it barely made a dent. Wii U is not a next generation console in tech/graphics. This is because next generation graphics require exponential increases in GPU power.

To get UE Samaritan demo to run, the GPU needs to be 10x the power of Xbox 360's.
http://www.shacknews.com/...ngine-4-and-console-power

To run Samaritan which is the bare minimum for next gen graphics from today's levels (because Samaritan is not even UE4), Epic games estimates a GPU would need 2.5 Tflops of processing power. That's approximately an HD7870 2GB:
http://www.gpureview.com/....php?card1=677&card2=

If they are going to release a console with anything less than an HD7850 2GB, it will be a complete failure for advancing next generation graphics. You said A10-5800K + low end GPUs would be good enough for graphically demanding games? There are additional hidden synergies that can be found in off-the-shelf CPU hardware unlike custom parts that PS3/360 had. A10-5800K + HD6770 has no hidden untapped power potential and is slow for today's games already, nevermind 2017-2020 games.

For example, if you wanted to run Far Cry 3 at low graphical settings at the same crappy quality of current consoles, you can do so in a 610M:
Without Fraps 34fps(low settings 1280x720)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=843Uio0fG6c

Now realize that to run FC3 with just 2AA at 1080P requires at least a GTX660Ti/HD7950 V2:
http://www.hardocp.com/ar...d_performance_iq_review/5

So yes, you can run next generation games on the setup you listed but they won't look like next generation games.

Finaly, I hope you realized that these consoles would need to be around for 7-8 years. It's not even about running FC3 at 1080P next year, but about games in 5-8 years from now. HD7850 is only a $150 GPU in retail and by Q4 2013, not only will its performance be low-end on the desktop, but its price will likely be just $100. It would be a complete disaster if the next gen consoles have anything less than at least this GPU for main graphics.
2 1 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 01/15/13 08:11:33 AM]
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You are aware that these consoles don't use the x86 instruction set? It makes no sense attempting direct comparisons based on specs with a typical PC system, x86 uses the most resources for the same task out of all others from IBM PPC (in Xbox360, Wii & Wii U) to MIPS (PS2 & PS3) and even ARM-based systems.

If a non-x86 AMD Radeon HD7660G of equal specs was inside any of next gen consoles, then it would perform much faster than the x86 versions we all know. But that doesn't mean higher frame rates, I'll bet there is a 30fps cap per NTSC/ATSC standards; leaving only an increase in details and resolution support.

That said, I'm not sold on upcoming next gen consoles actually having an AMD CPU, even if non-x86; it just comes off as rumors spread by an AMD hopeful. For instance, I think MS will do what works and use IBM again.
1 0 [Posted by: lehpron  | Date: 01/15/13 02:59:08 PM]
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You make a good point that because developers code directly to the metal for consoles, they realize much higher efficiencies. I do not disagree with that. However, rumors indicate that at least PS4 will have an x86-based CPU. There are certain advantages for going with an x86 CPU such as ease of making games, porting PC games directly to the console and reducing development costs because you do not have to learn custom hardware and spend more time optimizing for it. This strategy worked pretty well for Xbox 1 in regard to PC ports to that console.

As far as the GPU goes, even with those additional optimization benefits of coding directly to the metal and lack of OS overhead that PCs are subjected to, the GPU in HD7660G/7670 is just too weak for next generation graphics. This is regardless whether you code directly to it and surpass some of the PC inefficiencies/bottlenecks.

I'll show you another way why it's too weak. The GPUs in PS3 is essentially a 7950GT with half the ROPs and half the memory controllers (i.e., half the memory bandwidth):
http://www.gpureview.com/....php?card1=445&card2=

Look up the specs of RSX in the PS3. It's a 550mhz 7950GT with 8 ROPs and 128-bit bus.

Now the GPU in the Xbox 360 is a bit more complicated, since it's actually an R500, based on a unified shader tech that debuted later in HD2000 series. AMD however estimated the performance of that GPU at at or slightly faster than X1800XT level:
http://forum.teamxbox.com/showthread.php?t=381205

Because RSX is slower than a full-fledged 7950GT 512MB, its performance is likely at best at 7900GT 256mb level. Now let's see how these stack up compared to HD7660G (A10-5800K):

HD7660G = 31
X1800XT 256-512MB = 16.2-16.7
7900GT 256MB = 16.1

http://alienbabeltech.com/abt/viewtopic.php?p=41174

So why would MS and Sony release a console with a GPU performance less than double that of PS3/360's? It makes no sense. Such a console would not be powerful enough for next gen games.

Regarding your comment for MS choosing IBM over AMD, that's certainly viable although it would be a worse decision no doubt. While AMD is slower than Intel for games, compared to IBM, they are still miles faster.

FX8300 95W would be a way better choice than something like an 8-core PowerPC-derivative. For us PC gamers who might spend $100 extra for 8-10% more performance to go from a GTX670 to a 680 or where we might spend $800-1000 for GTX680 SLI/HD7970 CF, extra 15-20% CPU gaming performance is huge. However, you are mistaken if you think AMD's CPUs are inferior to IBM's in games.

FX8000 series is actually not a bottleneck in modern games at 1920x1080 4AA if you have anything less than a GTX680:
http://pctuning.tyden.cz/...enomu-po-core-i7?start=16

So unless you think a next gen console will have a GPU as powerful as a GTX680, then going with an AMD CPU is still better than an IBM one for performance reasons a the bottleneck will largely reside with the GPU at 1080P 4AA gaming.

The performance in CPUs for games is more like this:
Intel >> AMD >>>>>>>> everyone else.
0 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 01/16/13 03:05:21 PM]
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2. 
Hows is this good news? it's good news for the consumor. The price is in a relitive affordable range were it will sale right off the bat.

and minus the apu and the crossfire setup if you used say 6770 gpu then you would still be getting the same performance for 100 dollars more anyhow.

The thing to consider is if these consoles were set at a 650 dollar level they wouldn't sell nearly as good as a 350 dollar level. Remember Neogeo it was really highend for its day, problem was it was also really exspensive like 800 dollars and no one bought it because it was way out of the price range for the avg consumor at the time. So it died almost as fast as it debuted. Then you have to factor in the research in developement fees, so the longer a console sits there not being sold the longer it takes for console companies to turn a profit it's about supply and demand.

Well consoles don't use DX, they uses something equivalent to DX but they don't use DX.

The R7xx in the Wii U is roughly based on the Radeon 4670 gpu series and is also only running at 549mhz. it has 320 steaming porcess untis and comes with DDR3. The 6670 comes in at 800mhz, has 480 shader untis and comes with GDDR5 memory. So there are nice prerformance diff there between the two and that's not even mentioning crossfiring the 7660 into, it which will boost even greater performance. So obv there will be a diff in gpu performance between the two consoles.

And if you wanted a console to run with that amount of graphics and cpu power etcc you will be prob paying around a thousand dollars due to all the research and development fees, for the next 3 to 4 years. Not to mention taxes and labor cost. Just because the hardware prices go down in the market doesn't mean it gets cheaper for these console companies to produce due to the fact that the prices in which they finilized the hardware specs for mass production at that time, is tetherd into the research and developement fees in which the hardware sold for during that time. So the cost of a 7970 or a ivy bridge core i5 or i7 in a console as an example now will cost console makers the same price for the next 3 to 4 years to put into their consoles until they pay those fees off. Its only then will you start to see console prices drop as the hardware is no longer tetherd in to any fixed price from the fees it once had that went along with the developement cost. Which is why consoles stay roughly the same price 3 to 4 years after they come out on the market until those fees are paid off.

This is not a comparsion between a pc gaming rig and a console gaming rig. You want to compare highend pc config to consoles configs and what you need to run everything in high detail. Comparing a console to a pc gaming rig is comparing apples to oranges. These next gen consoles aren't made to be produced at a highend gaming level, because like i said no one is going to pay such a high premuim to buy it. people want good gameplay and decent graphics at an affordable price that uses modest power consumption and that's what these consoles will do. Also keep in mind that these next gen consoles are going to be based alot more on multimedia and socialmedia aswell and because of that games aren't going to be the center focus of consoles anymore like they used to, so it's going to appeal to a larger consumor base more so then ever before, because that's were the market is now, so console companies are just following where the market trend is on their next gen consoles.

Yes it will be good for graphical games on a console level. But what you think is a failure because of the lack of highend hardware is a sucess, because microsoft sony and nintendo have sold millions of their 360's ps3's wii's with modest hardware configs. So obv they know what they are doing. The Wii sold soo well because of its game play, it's unique remote and the fact that it was affordable. This is what the console market is all about. Consoles appeal to whole diff demograhpic then pc gaming does, which is why comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges.

Most console gamers will be perfectly happy with the gaming graphics on their next gen consoles, it will be a lot better then the last gens obv and it doesn't seem to have botherd a lot of console gamers, because the 360 had a record sale on black firday. So that tells you it isn't about graphics graphics graphics on a console like it is for pc's, which is why i said consoles appeal to a whole diff demographic then pc gaming.

1 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 01/15/13 09:11:22 AM]
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You touched an important point there about the demographic factors at play.
0 0 [Posted by: vanakkuty  | Date: 01/15/13 09:43:14 PM]
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3. 
I like the price as a consumer, but I think like BestJinjo that this will stall the apparition of games with better graphics, even when the hardware is available. The PS3 and the xbox360 did a good job to push the graphics standards (though the lifespan was too long).
2 0 [Posted by: Seikent  | Date: 01/15/13 11:59:40 AM]
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4. 
Good to see some nice long discussions are going on in here, just how this site was supposed to be. Keep 'em coming boys and gals.
1 0 [Posted by: vanakkuty  | Date: 01/15/13 09:28:02 PM]
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