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The Next-Gen Consoles - Sort Fact From Fiction 66

Posted by Zonk
from the even-the-lies-are-true dept.
1up.com continues its trend of topical features by delving into Generation Next: Separating the Facts from the Fiction of the Next-Gen Consoles. From the article: "Photorealistic graphics, streaming multimedia content, complete Internet integration and revolutionary new kinds of gameplay are all promises of next generation gaming. Right now, it's all executives blowing hot air and technobabble, but in just a short few weeks, the battle for the living room starts again, as Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony take the wraps off their new babies and show the world their visions of the industry's future."
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The Next-Gen Consoles - Sort Fact From Fiction

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  • I've been looking forward to the next big thing from Morgan Stanley, and it looks like they're entering the gaming market! Article says that they've co-developed the Cell with Sony and Toshiba, sounds fascinating.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17, 2005 @03:54PM (#12263636)
    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx? i=2379

    Cell will either make the PS3 much more powerful then the XBox360 or an impossible mess to program for. A lot of it will come down to how well Sony's early generation dev kits are.

    The Cell gets it's speed by assuming it is passed in order instructions, unlike almost any other type of CPU. It will choke on anything out of order. Sony better make a kick ass compiler, as I don't see game developers to keen on making assembly langauge level tweaks on something they are unfamilliar with.

    My money is on XBox360. The Cell chip is better suited for video cards then a general purpose CPU. Having to tweak code for it will be a disaster.
    • The PowerPC cores on XBox 360 are also rumored to be in-order.

      Cell will pose some interesting design challenges to programmers, no doubt about it, but Sony's talking about directly supporting a shader-enhanced version of OpenGL, which should be much easier to program for than PS2 was.

      Really, it'll come down to market share. If PS3 dominates market share the way PS2 did, it won't matter all that much how hard or easy it is to program for.

      • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Sunday April 17, 2005 @07:02PM (#12264750) Homepage
        If Sony had released a half-decent API for PS2 back when it was launched, it would have kicked ass.

        Xbox uses a DirectX-flavored API, and I can tell you from experience that it's so much easier to work on something familiar like DirectX, even though it is a mess in itself, at least it's a mess I already figured out long ago. Sure beats learning tricky bare-metal graphics programming on a one-off architecture like PS2's Emotion Engine.

        If they release the PS3 with an OpenGL-style interface it would be a pleasure to code for.
      • The PowerPC cores on XBox 360 are also rumored to be in-order.

        Quite ironic since the IBM 360 was the system that introduced out-of-order execution...
    • It could also raise the cost of making things cross-platform. So if you have a decent game but not the money to do the biggest seller for you(PS3??) AND another system.

      Still, I think MS will win the next round.

    • The Cell gets it's speed by assuming it is passed in order instructions, unlike almost any other type of CPU. It will choke on anything out of order. Sony better make a kick ass compiler, as I don't see game developers to keen on making assembly langauge level tweaks on something they are unfamilliar with.

      First of all, your description of in-order execution is basically nonsense. All processors are passed instructions in-order. The difference with out-of-order processors is that they can reorder the
  • Jive Article (Score:3, Informative)

    by tprime (673835) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @03:57PM (#12263651)
    Everyone seems be coming out with a fact/fiction article these days on the newest consoles. Check out this article [jivemagazine.com] [http://www.jivemagazine.com/column.php?pid=3235] for a little more humorous view of some of the same ideas at Jive Magazine.
  • That time again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vain gloria (831093) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @04:04PM (#12263698) Homepage
    Guess we can look forward to nothing but basic fighting and driving games for a couple of years until programmers figure the new systems out. Rehashed Tekken and Gran Turismo with slightly better graphics anyone?
  • by soniCron88 (870042) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @04:05PM (#12263702) Homepage
    FTA: "Imagine players slapping down $.99 to buy a one-of-a-kind, fully tricked-out racing car to be the envy of their buddies," says Microsoft

    What would be even more "tricked-out" would be not having to pay for it. Ladies and gents: In game customizations will now cost you a buck a pop.

    I know "The Sims" would be so much more fun if I had to spend my money on their furniture, rather than Simoleans.
    • Well aparently enough people share this thought, so finally forza motorsports went gold WITHOUT the dreaded "sale" component. (I mean you can buy, sell stuff but you use pretend money)

      We will have to wait and see if they change their mind on "xbox next" release. (and yes the name is "xbox next", check the "ourcolony" faqs, xbox 360 is a smoke screen)
  • I don't think so (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cow_licker (172474) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @04:13PM (#12263743)
    Fact from fiction? Not quite. Basically an article that collects the hype from all three console camps.

    "the next generation PlayStation "orders of magnitude" more powerful than the next Xbox"

    Sure it will. The Playstation 2 will also be able to render Toy Story real time. Nothing to see here folks.
    • Re:I don't think so (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Sony NEVER said it would render Toy Story 2 graphics. They said it would render CG quality graphics in real time and proved it with a real time rendered tech demo of the FMV from FF8. I wish fucktards like you would drop the whole Toy Story MYTH
      • Sony NEVER said it would render Toy Story 2 graphics. They said it would render CG quality graphics in real time and proved it with a real time rendered tech demo of the FMV from FF8. I wish fucktards like you would drop the whole Toy Story MYTH

        Ah, it's the 12 year old Sony fanboy troll again. You're the same guy that claimed to have programmed a B-Spline based game engine for the PS2 because that's the only architecture that could handle it aren't you?

        You need to stop the bullshitting, stop the complet
    • Maybe it won't be able to do Pixar quality work in RT, but the GS Cube did manage to pump out 1:10 resolution version of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and the GS Cube is, at heart, just 16 PS2s.

      Besides, most of Microsoft's saving grace on the XBox was NVidia's work, not M$'s. Nvidia lost market position to focus on the XBox, and M$ screwed them over. You think ATI will lose market place for M$'s sake when they're also supplying the competition (Nintendo has already commited to them for their next gen
  • by miyako (632510)
    Historically, I've always found console launches to be pretty exciting. Saving my money up for a year in advance so I can get the consoles on launch date along with a couple of launch titles. Rallying behind your favorite console (even though I really know it's all about the games, and I generally have all the consoles anyway).
    But, this round of console launches seems to be a little disconcerting to me. First and foremost, I'm worried about nintend (seems like someone needs to worry on their behalf) - w
  • Casualties (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tprime (673835) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @04:55PM (#12263971)
    RIP Nintendo. I really wish I understood what they have been trying to do for the last 8 or so years. Ever since they decided reneg on their agreement with Sony to make the Nintendo64 CD thing (or whatever it was supposed to be called) they have been trying to catch up. I really can't imagine a console gaming world without Nintendo, but 10 years out we might be remembering back to the times when we had Nintendo's like we do now with Atari games.

    As for Sony and Microsoft, I am going to enjoy this battle and am, in a lot of ways, rooting for Microsoft to do well. Where Sony has followed their traditional arrogance (lack of support, proprietary hardware, proprietary accessories) with most of their consumer electronics (cameras, CLIE, etc.) Microsoft has really done a good job distancing the xbox from the mothership that we all complain about.
    Who would have thought that it would be Microsoft trying to force game companies to support older titles (EA's sports titles to be exact) for longer than the game publisher had intended.

    Honestly, I think that the reason that the next iteration of Microsoft's console will include the name xbox in the title is to continue the separation between xbox and the Microsoft name. Sony uses Sony in all of the titles as does Nintendo, where MS is only listed in small print.

    Regardless of how things turn out, it will be fun to watch
    • Re:Casualties (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Thrakkerzog (7580)
      RIP Nintendo. I really wish I understood what they have been trying to do for the last 8 or so years.

      They have actually been quite profitable.

    • Re:Casualties (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Your perception of history and reality is fascinating. I like how facts never enter the equation with you at all, just flat out inaccurate bits & pieces you've picked up by being a casual non-interested bystander while things were going on around you, like a dung beetle rolling a shitball back to its mate in the middle of a burning forest.

      Now go back and tell the other retards in the loony bin about the time you've wasted here today while the "norms" were discussing something serious.
    • by Cadallin (863437) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @05:27PM (#12264138)
      I don't know why you think Nintendo is dying. That's exactly like saying apple is dying. Apparently they're "dying" while raking in moderate to large profits each quarter while their competitors struggle to break even. Nintendo isn't going anywhere. And secondly, the joint Nintendo/Sony Venture was an SNES expansion, that gave rise to the PS1.
      • by cgenman (325138) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @10:55PM (#12265983) Homepage
        It should be pointed out, though, that the bedrock of Nintendo's large profits have been thanks to GameBoy-related sales. With the PSP looking stronger than the DS currently, it is questionable whether or not this will continue, or whether the significantly cheaper and more durable GBA will continue to rule the market.

        Not that the 64 or the 'Cube lost money over it's lifetime, but the GBA has really been key to Nintendo's profits for a while. I'm not saying Nintendo is dying. Nintendo has been a master of making money as the second (or third) console platform, with profit-based payouts to suppliers and the like. I'm just saying their position isn't as assured as before. At some point they may have to start dipping into their bags and bags of money to reinvent themselves.

        • Too bad the PSP was a complete and utter failure. The DS isn't so hot either, but Nintendo at least has GBA. Don't look for Nintendo slipping out of the #1 spot in handhelds anytime in your lifetime.
          • Was a complete and utter failure? While it didn't sell out in the first 10 minutes, it still sold quite respectably. 150 million dollars in sales in the first weeks is not a failure. It hit the 500,000 mark in 2 days, which is a bit ahead of the GBA and DS's launch week to hit that mark.

            Plus, it's already engendering certain emotions [redassedbaboon.com] not otherwise seen in the gaming community. (not since Rez [gamegirladvance.com], anyway). Of course, GGA has a good writeup [gamegirladvance.com]. Anything that can make gaming not dorky is a success in my book,
        • With the PSP looking stronger than the DS currently, it is questionable whether or not this will continue, or whether the significantly cheaper and more durable GBA will continue to rule the market.

          I'm not sure about this. The DS is also significantly cheaper and durable than the PSP. And the PSP's strength in the mass-market boils down to (in my opinion) MP3 playback and better graphics, but comes at the expense of much greater price.

          The future is cloudy in this area. Neither system has what I consid
        • The GBA is going away soon.
          The DS is a placeholder.
          The PSP is going to die a swift death.
          The "Revolution" is a Gamecube-compatible portable, and the true successor to the GBA.

          Nintendo is still king of the handheld. They're quite assured of making still more bags of money. And Sony is quite assured of being sent home with their tail between their legs, much in the same way they've been put in their place by Apple in the portable music player market in recent years.

          As a side note, since Nintendo has no plan
    • Re:Casualties (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Spleener12 (587422) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @07:57PM (#12265016)
      Christ, people. BEING IN THIRD PLACE != BEING DEAD! If that were the case, Microsoft would be dying too (they're a distant third in the Japanese market.) Yes, their past couple of home consoles have had problems (ie lack of more than a couple of worthwile third-party games.) But they've been dominating the portable market for over 15 years, which has been more than compensating for their losses elsewhere. Yes, the PSP might change this- hopefully it will change this, because monopolies are a bad, bad thing.

      Point is, Nintendo isn't dead yet. Do I expect them to make a massive comeback and smash their competitors? Hell no. Nobody expects that save the rabid fanboys. They'll be the Apple of the home console industry- the portion of the market that likes what they make will continue to keep them alive (at least until Miyamoto retires/croaks.)

      • Re:Casualties (Score:4, Insightful)

        by superpulpsicle (533373) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @09:50PM (#12265574)
        You have a very optimistic view. The pesimistic view saids...

        Japan is the only country left on the planet where Nintendo is NOT last place. It is 3rd place in US, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Canada etc etc. And 3rd place = last place. There is no other console after Nintendo.

        • Re:Casualties (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Zangief (461457) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @11:42PM (#12266261) Homepage Journal
          The real view says:

          Nintendo posted HUGE profits last quarter. After a initial good sales, PSP sales are slowing down DESPITE the increased availability. Nintendo has huge reserves in the bank, and its major actionist is the Yamauchi Family, so is unlikely to be sold.

          Nintendo in on solid ground. Just because Sega had to leave the hardware market, doesn't mean Nintendo has to too. That is just an stupid and shortsighted analysis.
        • Re:Casualties (Score:3, Insightful)

          by C0rinthian (770164)
          Okay, they're in last place. If they are still turning a profit and their stockholders are happy, who cares?

      • You're right! Third place is not the same as being dead in the console industry. Just look at, for example, the...
        TurboGrafx-16
        3D0
        Atari Jaguar
        Sega 32x
    • Ever since they decided reneg on their agreement with Sony to make the Nintendo64 CD thing (or whatever it was supposed to be called)

      That was called Play Station.

      The subsequent split left Sony to go on to make the Play Station X, or PSX as it was commonly known back in 1995. The X was dropped and then it was PSone, etc.,

    • As for Sony and Microsoft, I am going to enjoy this battle and am, in a lot of ways, rooting for Microsoft to do well. Where Sony has followed their traditional arrogance (lack of support, proprietary hardware, proprietary accessories) with most of their consumer electronics (cameras, CLIE, etc.) Microsoft has really done a good job distancing the xbox from the mothership that we all complain about.

      Like proprietary hardware, lack of support ...

      If you want to separate Xbox from MS, you must do the same fo
  • by Filiks (578065) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @05:36PM (#12264214)
    Remember when Sony said the PS2 could do Toy Story in real time? They did. Turns out they meant the PS3 will be able to do it. So just keep in mind that whatever they say about the visual quality of the PS3, actually refers to the PS4.

    • Remember when Sony said the PS2 could do Toy Story in real time?

      Links please? I've heard this loads, but nobody ever provides links!

      I'm not saying they never said it, I remember it being said, but I can't find any links to press releases, or briefing notes where the quote is directly attributed to a Sony exec.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        They never said it. Though Beyond Good and Evil did look better than Toy Story

        Toy story [joelrennie.com]

        BG&E [www.gon.se]
        BG&E [netvor.sk]
        BG&E [netvor.sk]

        All in all, Toy story looked like crap. MAny games on PS2 look better than Toy Story

        • All in all, Toy story looked like crap. MAny games on PS2 look better than Toy Story

          Didn't I just tell you to go out, get laid and stop posting this shit?

          I'll keep on reminding you anyway. Posting anonymously or not, you're not exactly difficult to spot. Everything you write just screams "virgin".
    • Remember when Sony said the PS2 could do Toy Story in real time? They did.

      No, and truth told, neither do you. Know how I know? They didn't claim it. A puff peice written by a so-called journalist said that. Not Sony.

      The power of the PS2 will allow for real time manipulation of Toy Story-quality graphics, as well as digital surround sound audio. Full orchestras, rock, techno, hip hop, and punk rock bands have already begun chipping in to make these games sonically as well as visually an art form of thei

  • What about software developers? Yu Suzuki seems to be in no hurry to even confirm or deny Shenmue 3's existance, and Rare has done what since the Ghoulies?

    As for platform familarity, I cry BS. Shenmue 2 was the triumph of putting a lot of bitmaps on a disc, and seeing as all Rare games look basically the same, the reason why we haven't seen Banjoe Threeie is what exactly?

    I know I'm over simplifying things (especially Shenmue 2 which I thought was awesome), but we're not talking about developers trying to

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