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Microsoft XBox (Games) Games

Microsoft Recruiting For Next-Gen Console Development 134

Posted by Soulskill
from the keeping-up-with-the-miyamotos dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Eurogamer: "Microsoft is ramping up development of its next generation Xbox console according to job positions being advertised on business networking site LinkedIn, brought to light on the Beyond 3D Forum. The first position advertised is for a Graphics Hardware Architect, working with the team that is 'responsible for defining and delivering next-generation console architectures from conception through implementation.' 'The responsibilities include architecture analysis, key technology selection, architecture specification, communication and collaboration with extended Microsoft teams and partner companies,' according to the advert. ... the most intriguing element of the story is just how early on in production we appear to be — far earlier than many had suspected. Unless Microsoft is actually planning pre-production of the next next-gen console, the evidence seems to suggest that the system is so early in development that the graphics hardware at the very least hasn't been locked down."
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Microsoft Recruiting For Next-Gen Console Development

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  • by Shikaku (1129753) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @04:49AM (#35416514)

    The PS2 was released March 2000. The PS3 November 2006. If the XBOX team hasn't started yet, I'm surprised.

    • by Pottsynz (756353)

      The PS2 was released March 2000. The PS3 November 2006. If the XBOX team hasn't started yet, I'm surprised.

      Kinect is seen as a generation extension for the Xbox and given Sony have finally turned the finances around on the PS3 they're not going to start pumping out PS4s. Then again, they are releasing a PSP sucessor - so who knows!

      • by Goffee71 (628501)
        New handhelds are cheaper to create, make and market than a full home console (but its not without risk as Nintendo just found out - http://bit.ly/eW7nOC [bit.ly]) . I'll be surprised if Xbox3 doesn't turn up in late 2013 - or later - but am starting to think it'll be the last true home console because by the time Xbox4 is due, your TV set will have all the hardware (and more importantly - the connectivity) in it for whatever level of gaming we're at... of course Microsoft will be making its own TVs by then anyhow.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          To be fair to the content of that link, the PSP has a *much* wider install base than the just-released 3DS. Getting that kind of sales on a 3DS title would have meant a full half of the then-current install base buying a single title in the same week - which is unheard of for any platform.

          The sales numbers are actually pretty solid, especially given the backwards compatibility means that a good chunk of buyers may not even be buying new games yet.

          • by Goffee71 (628501)
            But, you have to ask, why did Nintendo launch without the one golden game that everyone would buy? My guess is, it launched early to avoid clashing with the next bunch of Androids, iPads and the NGP - even after all these decades of launching hardware, companies still find it impossible to get a launch "right".
      • Unlike Microsoft, Sony continues marketing and shipping previous products after releasing new ones. They see multiple distinct consumer groups. That's why the PS2 was still sold (very profitably) well into the life of the PS3. The PSONE was still on the shelves for a long time too.

        Sony may have only recently made the PS3 profitable, but their plans for the PS4 have surfaced from time to time already in the last year or two. I would expect it to release sometime in late 2012 keeping with their previous t

    • The Ps2 was early and the ps3 was late. We might as well compare to MS's own consoles, the XBox in Nov 2001 and the 360 in Nov 2005 which means we are about a year and a half behind. They have been releasing a lot of versions for the 360 console itself, the controller, the XBL service and of course the Kinect. Considering they are hiring now for this, it looks like its going to be a while before we see it.

      • When you hear reports of developers receiving the first dev kits, you'll know you're 12 to 18 months from the consoles launch. Afaik, no dev kits in the wild so far...
      • by PhrstBrn (751463) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @09:00AM (#35417684)

        The Ps2 was early and the ps3 was late. We might as well compare to MS's own consoles, the XBox in Nov 2001 and the 360 in Nov 2005 which means we are about a year and a half behind. They have been releasing a lot of versions for the 360 console itself, the controller, the XBL service and of course the Kinect. Considering they are hiring now for this, it looks like its going to be a while before we see it.

        Or you can compare Nintendo as a ruler, who has been making consoles longer than both of them. All of their major consoles (NA launch, starting at the NES)

        • NES - 1985
        • SNES - 1991 ( 6 years )
        • N64 - 1996 ( 5 years )
        • GC - 2001 ( 5 years )
        • Wii - 2006 ( 5 years )

        If the trend were to continue, the next generation of consoles would be releasing this or next year. Since there hasn't been any buzz, the earliest I would expect to see anything new would be late 2012, which would put them on schedule for the trend, a bit on the later side.

    • by RogueyWon (735973) *

      There's been quite an explicit aspiration, on the part of all 3 console developers, that the current console generation would run for 10 years, rather than the usual 5-6. With development costs going ever upwards and a big economic downturn right in the middle of the cycle, you can see why this is a desirable prospect.

      The early part of a console cycle is a rough time for console developers. Even if you make a profit off each unit sold, the low volume of games available limits your income from the new genera

      • 1) Some are still stupid and dont look right on Widescreen TVs. Noone uses 4:3 any more for games, period. Get a clue.

        2) Most games are not gamepad friendly. ie, I have a ps2 controller -> usb adaptor. Work out of the box detection and works great? no chance. (my sample of games isnt large, correct me if they put more effort into this now or still think we like to use a kb in the lounge? )

        • Of course this is party by design, Microsoft could easily have pushed for more standardization of UI/display/control ... but they kind of stopped caring about the consumer experience ojn windows after they launched the xbox, they only care about business users now really. Which has cost them untold amounts of money and made Apple very happy.

          Valve is finally waking up to the power it has though ... so we are getting Steam Big Picture mode to handle exactly what you want, correct display on TVs and consistent

          • by Svartalf (2997)

            Heh... Is that any different than X-Box at that point? Not really. And, more to the point, if you think that Microsoft's going to allow it to be licensed out that way or if they do, not find ways to cripple it down the line, you're kidding yourself.

            If they're going to do something along those lines, you're going to get something that can at least mostly run the titles they want to run, or have them move the titles to an alternate OS if you're talking a locked down box with Steam as the console platform.

            • Microsoft can't discriminate between OEMs for pricing (anti-trust laws) and all the necessary mechanisms to lock down Windows are already present in the OS ... as for crippling it, I don't really see how they could do that (apart from crippling windows for gaming altogether).

              • PS. the difference with the XBOX is that it's still just running Windows games. You don't have to persuade developers to develop specifically for your system, all they need to do is be able to handle HDTV output and controller input. It wouldn't needlessly split up user bases for Steam and cause them to compete with itself (like the XBOX did for Microsoft). Whether their customer buys and plays a steam game on a normal windows or on a locked down windows doesn't matter to them ... that they might be able to

                • This is also one of the reasons the games aren't very high quality graphically IMHO. Once a PC game developer looks at the limitations of a console, they just start tearing down quality until it works it would seem. Bear in mind that even Call of Duty still renders at well under 720p with upscaling.

                  Sure it means there's more games to play, but the vast majority of them are better to play on a PC. I prefer a platform with games that are better to play on that platform, personally. Both Sony and Nintendo'

        • 1. You should definitely learn to configure your graphics card. You can force 4:3 for games that demand it. Yes you get black bars, but it's better than stretched screen. I haven't run into a computer game that required 4:3 though in years, widescreen monitors have been the norm for longer than widescreen HD screens.

          2. You should buy an Xbox360 controller then. I have tons of games right now that all use it and play just like their console counterparts.

          Computers now are converging to be their own cons

      • by BenoitRen (998927)

        the Wii is completely obsolete and is losing relevance with every day that passes

        What are you talking about?

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      The PS2 was released March 2000. The PS3 November 2006. If the XBOX team hasn't started yet, I'm surprised.

      They probably have, but are still debating what it should do. Each console generation usually brings forth some major thing - vastly increased processing power, better graphics, etc. Xbox360/PS3 brought high-def to the market, PS2/Xbox brought better SD graphics.

      What will the next-gen do? Even better graphics? There are dimishing returns here, and Nintendo has also shown there's a huge untapped market

      • by harl (84412)

        I agree. Everything you say also applies to the PS to PS2 transition. Yet both sold in record amounts.

        Better graphics and better processing power have sold consoles for decades and will continue to for decades more.

    • My personal intention is to do as much as possible to undermine the next console generation from both Microsoft and Sony, who have proved themselves beyond any shadow of a doubt to be the Tweedledee and Tweedledum of evil proprietary content platform abuse.

      And if you think I'm just blowing smoke, have another think.

  • Expiring mind wants to know

    • Short answer: No.
      • by Kokuyo (549451)

        Long answer: Hell no!

      • by ls671 (1122017) *

        While reading the title, I thought that MS was going to develop a next-gen console to beat the Linux console, usually bash based ;-)

    • by blarkon (1712194)
      Sony taught all the console manufacturers a lesson - Never ship with the ability to run Linux - if you take it away at some point in future a small group of angry geeks will make it their life's mission to destroy your business.
      • by aiht (1017790)

        Sony taught all the console manufacturers a lesson - Never ship with the ability to run Linux - if you take it away at some point in future a small group of angry geeks will make it their life's mission to destroy your business.

        Didn't something like that already happen to MS with the first Xbox back in 2003, even though they didn't have the ability built in to start with?
        Why yes [zdnet.co.uk], I believe it did.
        You can't escape the small group of angry geeks!

        • by SeaFox (739806)

          I was going to say that the "small group of angry geeks" on Microsoft's back weren't Linux users, but HDDVD fanatics. :-P

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Indeed. But on the other hand, up until Sony decided to take away OtherOS in an act of rampant, knee-jerk paranoia there was very little attempt to actually hack the console at all. The hackers so to speak were placated, and likely would have continued to be.

    • Ha, ha.. "funny". But not very. No, it will not. So what to do? Don't buy it if this bothers you? Or is someone holding a gun to your head?
  • and to think everyone who apologises for Microsoft's bungling on XBox will always say "but they're making a profit now"

    Well, they were, now get your shareholders ready for another $10bn down the pan! Good job they can rely on the old monopoly to fund the new toy.

    • I am by no means an MS fanboy, but you're talking bullshit. Xbox division is one of the few areas MS is making money. The 360 made money not long after it was released. Revenue for the Xbox division has been a steady US$8bn for a few years and profits have been far from abysmal (approx US$500m).

      I am always amazed at what fanboys come up with, and I'd suspect you are a Sony fanboy.

      • Actually, I think you'll find that MOST divisions in MS make serious profits, it's just that there's a few big investments which are still in the early growth stage (where they consume more capital than they produce).
      • Re:profits? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by citizenr (871508) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @08:06AM (#35417424) Homepage

        I am by no means an MS fanboy, but you're talking bullshit. Xbox division is one of the few areas MS is making money. The 360 made money not long after it was released. Revenue for the Xbox division has been a steady US$8bn for a few years and profits have been far from abysmal (approx US$500m).

        I am always amazed at what fanboys come up with, and I'd suspect you are a Sony fanboy.

        500mil per year? on a >8B investment 11 years ago? and you think its great?
        Not to mention Games division started making profit only in 2007, so BEST case scenario is 2B return for >8B investment.
        Its not even a profit, They just started earning back the investment, 12 more years and they will be in the green.
          And its time to invest another 8-10B ....

        • by Bengie (1121981)
          Yeah, I thought it took 2-3 years before MS finally had a year that "broke even" instead of having a loss. But after all the recalls/etc are added in, how much did this set them behind?

          I know the 360 cost them a lot.
        • Lets not forget the opportunity cost of the lost focus on Windows. PC gaming keeps Windows in the home, maintaining the health of the bread and butter business.

          There is clear political tension within Microsoft between the XBOX division on one side (allied with the business division, which just wants their schedules to be unaffected by the consumer side) and the consumer Windows division on the other ... they have literally said they will not bring out games on the PC because every sale is a lost XBOX sale,

          • by dskzero (960168)

            >

            Microsoft is serving up the next generation of PC users to Apple on a silver platter, thanks to the XBOX.

            Apple? Are you sure? I'd think they would move out to Linux in any case.

          • I dunno, when I look at the Xbox360 controller in my hands on a Windows 7 PC playing Borderlands on my bigscreen HDTV in my living room, I kind of think Microsoft might have actually pulled off the one thing we never imagined, convergence.

            • The problem is that the usage model for a Windows 7 PC is still far too complex for living room use for most people. They want to press a single button, get launched into a clean dashboard, they don't want to worry about updates/AV/anything, they don't want an app/game they get to be able to affect the stability of the system or the operation of any other part etc. etc.

              Windows doesn't do that and Windows in general can't do that ... Windows running on a specific hardware configuration, with the original man

            • "When I look at the PS3 controller in my hands on a PS3 playing Borderlands on my bigscreen HDTV in my living room, enjoying uncompressed 7.1 audio, web browsing, Netflix and Blu-ray movies at the touch of a button, I kind of think Sony has achieved convergence."

              Sorry, the PC's behind on this one.

          • by 0123456 (636235)

            they browbeat quintessential PC developers to bring out games later on the PC (Mass Effect)

            I wish they'd managed to convince them not to bring out Mass Effect on the PC. Worst 'RPG' I've played in years, I'm glad I only paid $5 for it..

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Problem with your post is this: The entire point of the Xbox was NOT to make money which if you'll watch the early talks about the system they made quite clear what the main focus was: To get MSFT out of the Office Den and into the living room. And I'd argue on that front they succeeded beautifully.

          Now with the X360 not only do they have a front row seat in millions of living rooms, they also get money from every game sold thanks to licensing and have a way to sell entertainment and other devices, such as h

      • But... MS doesn't have an "Xbox" division... you are thinking of the Entertainment and Devices Division. And one of the few areas making money in MS... oh i guess Windows, Office, Exchange and all the serve tools don't count.
        • by Svartalf (2997)

          The thing still remains that they hemorraged money into the Entertainment and Devices Division because of the X-Box and X-Box 360 and only started showing a profit some 3-ish years ago. After how long? Same story with Windows Mobile/Phone. They've been really burning money on that product line since it's beginnings because it didn't sell remotely as well as they'd hoped it would and it keeps morphing to the next market attempt and they've poured a Billion to try to kick-start it...again.

          More to the point

      • by gbjbaanb (229885)

        me, a fanboy? no, I'm a Microsoft developer, have been for donkeys' years. However, I like to consider myself wise and sensible enough to look beyond the petty politics and tribalism of the members of the IT industry and see a slightly wider picture.

        I don't have a console at all, and Sony are in my bad books after that rootkit stuff, but their little mp3 players are the dog's danglies, and their new internet-connected TVs are very good indeed.

        I do take issue with Microsoft using their cash generative busine

        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          So, anyway, Microsoft invested $10bn into XBox development, and is now making a relatively small profit. They have never made a return on their investment. Any other company would have gone bust by now.

          In all the honesty, that just shows how much it takes to get a modern gaming console out and it's ecosystem running nowadays. Remember how sega went out of business after having a very strong presence in the market for a long time? Now you know why. Even one flop for a company only making gaming consoles is enough to put it under.

          • by Svartalf (2997)

            Nintendo makes a $6 profit on every new Wii sold and cleared 220 million US dollars in just 2008 alone- and mostly made that shortly after launch. I can assure you that it didn't take them nearly as much money to get to profitability as Sony or Microsoft spent on it for this generation alone- and the last generation as well. The reality is not the one you mention- it's just that Microsoft SPENT that much to try to overtake the competition. If you are frugal like Nintendo tends to be, you could start out

            • by Luckyo (1726890)

              You're missing the point. I'm talking about "starting from the scratch", which is what microsoft had to do. This involves costs of setting up, hiring, establishing working system of creation and so on. Nintendo rolled on the existing base, which is much, much cheaper in addition to choosing to use vastly subpar hardware even at launch and ride on its brand name and an idea of selling simple games to average people. In retrospect, Wii didn't really compete in the same market as PS3 and Xbox360 - it created a

        • by svendsen (1029716)
          If MS is using the game consoles (XBOX, 360, and what's next) as a beach head strategy then taking losses or very small profits might be acceptable. The next wave IMHO of technology/home entertainment is seamless integration. If the 360 is already in millions of homes and people need to buy new tech (TVs, computers, phones, etc) they might buy things that can integrate into the 360 (or next console) over things that can't.

          Has worked for apple in the PC world very well.
  • Whatever Microsoft does, my mind wanders off to Nintendo and what they might have up their sleeves. Unless Microsoft pulls out something groundbreaking beyond better graphics this will be just another iteration of Xbox. I haven't seen any interesting acquisitions of gaming technology companies of late so i hardly anticipate anything new.

    The trouble for Microsoft is that as soon as they develop a way of commanding FPS games that is on par with a mouse and a keyboard, their PC-Gaming business is soon cannibal

    • I predict MS will become Sheen. They're winning over here with the controller (Kinect). They'll be winning over there with the graphics (xbox3.) Hello, BI-WINNING!
    • I imagine Nintendo is just going to roll with what they have for a few more years yet. I can't see them pulling off "Kinect 2.0" or "Move 2.0" and being able to make it cheep. Maybe 4-5 years down the road when hardware actually gets powerful enough to power a true "Kinect" style device that doesn't have nearly as much lag and can precisely detect small stuff in adverse conditions. That would be the kind of stuff that would be console-defining. But I don't imagine it would be exactly cheep enough to fit th
    • by WATist (902972)
      I'm unsure that any one has tapped into the full potential the Kinect. This is probably the first time Ms has been serious about developing a Xbox. As opposed to the original hack job or the farmed out 360. Hopefully their corporate culture won't kill the projects honest effort.
      • by miffo.swe (547642)

        Kinect wont ever work for more serious gaming since its frankly pretty crude at detecting motion and also updates far to slow for an FPS game. It would need a very large breakthrough in motion detection and become better than anything on the market right now, at a hundredth of the price. The potential for Kinect arent much better than it was for eye-toy, its just hyped better.

        What im talking about is something that can suppleant the mouse and keyboard combo in accuracy and speed. The toad arent on the same

      • by jimicus (737525)

        I'm unsure that any one has tapped into the full potential the Kinect. This is probably the first time Ms has been serious about developing a Xbox. As opposed to the original hack job or the farmed out 360. Hopefully their corporate culture won't kill the projects honest effort.

        I'm unsure anyone ever will. History is rife with examples of optional extras that console manufacturers released only to find no decent games were ever made for them.

        Probably because - well, let's say 10% of the userbase buys the optional controller. (Note I have no idea how realistic that number is - I suspect that if anything, it's hopelessly optimistic).

        Okay, so that means a developer who writes a game which requires - or, for that matter, doesn't require but works a hell of a lot better with that opt

    • by Xest (935314)

      "Whatever Microsoft does, my mind wanders off to Nintendo and what they might have up their sleeves."

      Why? They rarely innovate.

      Look at the gameboy, the original was a great innovation, followed by over a decade of lacklustre new iterations, they finally got to the DS, and now seem to be repeating what they did with the gameboy- lacklustre new versions.

      I'm not sure the Wii is even any different- just another of Nintendo's infrequent innovations, with a lacklustre followup in recent years hence their plummeti

    • by Mopatop (690958)

      What's wrong with another iteration? I like consoles just the way they are. More power means more capabilities, bigger worlds, more detail... better.

    • by BenoitRen (998927)

      Wii also sucks for serious FPS gaming

      Have you actually tried any Wii games with FPS controls? Metroid Prime 3 shows how it's done.

    • by The Moof (859402)
      There's plenty of room for improvement with the Xbox given today's standard cpu/gpu capabilities. It's still extremely rare to find a console game that runs in native 1080p. The cpu and gpu are woefully underpowered when compared to anything gaming-wise for the PC, and the system itself only has 512mb of ram.

      As for innovating, I could see them trying to tie the hardware for Kinect directly into the system opposed to trying to supply it as a $150 add-on. My brief experience with Kinect is that it does n
    • I would have to disagree. Non-standard controller types, by and large, are nothing more than gimmicks. The success of a gimmick can vary -- The various guitar/music games have mostly held a fair degree of success, but they're also dying off from public view into a niche genre, and the Wii, while massively successful from a sales standpoint, is not utilized to the same degree as the more traditional consoles.

      The jury is still out on Kinect and PlayStation Move, but I would wager that, much like the Wii, th

  • Will the pictures of your half-dressed kids and nude SO uploaded to Microsoft be higher resolution than the current XBox360/Kinect uploads?

    http://chriselbert.com/2011/01/04/microsoft-kinect-are-ps3-move-are-watching-you/ [chriselbert.com]

    http://www.thecortex.info/2010/11/via-newsfactor-microsoft-vice-president.html [thecortex.info]

    etc.

    • by Com2Kid (142006)

      If you dance in front of a camera naked, check the "please upload pictures of me to the web" button, don't be surprised when the camera takes naked pictures of you and uploads them to the web.

      Durp.

      • by Pieroxy (222434)

        The question is: Are you allowed to get naked in your living room. If so, how can you prevent a silly XBox virus to upload pics of your naked self on your internet?

        My answer: A piece of fabric on top the kinect. I'll trademark the KinHat and off I go to the USPTO.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Yup. That's what the new XBox will be like.
      Slightly better graphics, slightly better Kinect and 4x more processor power.
      Sadly, 75% of that processor power will be spent analyzing the Kinect footage and deciding which advertising to push.

  • I'm game

    which is it going to be ?

    I would guess powerpc again
    if IBM give Microsoft a powerpc license (they wont use it... it just makes lawyers feel good)

    your guess and why ?

    regards

    John Jones

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      PowerPC or x86_64. Probably PowerPC to prevent an Xbox 720 PC emulator.

      • by Narishma (822073)

        x86 is too expensive, so probably PPC again.

      • by jgtg32a (1173373)
        I don't think Xbox 3 emulation will be a problem. There isn't even an Xbox1 emulator and that thing ran off of an x86 CPU
      • You do realize that cpu architecture doesn't stop emulators.

        There are PowerPC emulators out there. More than that, how do you think all of those old school game system emulators run on x86?

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          You do realize that cpu architecture doesn't stop emulators.

          You do realize that CPU architecture delays emulators until the platform is dead from the manufacturer's standpoint. Xbox emulators are at least possible and some demo-quality software has been released on occasion. Saturn emulators are only recently worth half a crap and it's v-e-r-y slow by modern standards. Playstation emulators weren't worth much until the PS2 was out either, and even now that they are people still buy used PS1s.

          To be fair, some retrogames are being sold with emulation by the original p

    • by JamesP (688957)

      Are there chances of a Cell 2 or only Sony can get that?!

    • by Junta (36770)

      if IBM give Microsoft a powerpc license (they wont use it... it just makes lawyers feel good)

      You do know that IBM designed and manufacture the processors for all the game consoles? If MS went PPC again, they'd continue the relationship with IBM.

      I could see ARM or PPC. ARM to ease 'synergy' between their gaming consoles and their phone endeavors.

      PPC to have backwards compatibility and least new development costs required. That and I think IBM has some patents they employ in their PPC designs that could make things very hard to jailbreak.

    • I'd bet x64. IBM doesn't have any good high-end embedded core right now - there's the 440/460, which has decent floating-point and is very low-power but won't cut it as a general-purpose CPU, and then there's the Power7, which is the fastest general-purpose processor in the world, but is thirsty and obscenely expensive.

      People keep talking about ARM in the next-gen consoles, but I think the chances of that are slim to none. As far as I know, no currently-existing or roadmapped ARM core is even fast enoug
  • So basically what this means for Linux, is we're about to lose our nice run of game compatibility. Smart money says .NET support on Linux will become crucial to support next gen games in wine. Also DirectX 11, 12 or 13 support in wine will be needed to support the graphics. The free ride of the Xbox 360 locking all the PC games into DirectX 9 support is about to end.
  • Given the assumed 3D capabilities (everything is better in 3d, right?), will the new console be called XBox 4PI or just XSphere?
  • is it just me or does that description sound an awful lot like "pick a graphics card to put in our box" ?

  • Real-time raytracing please.

  • M$ should make on line play free like the PS3 and PC!

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