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 Post subject: PlayStation 4
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:48 pm 
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An x86 PlayStation 4 could signal a sea-change in the console industry

By Peter Bright | Arstechnica.com


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The successor to the PlayStation 3, apparently codenamed "Orbis," will use an AMD x86 processor with an AMD "Southern Islands" GPU, according to rumours emerging last week. Xbox 360's replacement, purported to be named "Durango", is also rumored to use an AMD GPU—either a Southern Islands variant or an equivalent to a Radeon HD 6670 — this time paired with a PowerPC CPU.

Though these rumors are thoroughly unconfirmed at the moment, they're all well within the realm of plausibility. But if they prove true, the Orbis and Durango will be decidedly mid-range at launch when compared to top-of-the-line PC hardware. The Xbox 360, launched November 2005, and the PlayStation 3, launched November 2006, were both cutting-edge systems at their release. Their capabilities were unmatched by PCs of the time. If these rumors are to be believed, the eighth console generation won't be a repeat of the seventh.

The stupendous seventh generation

The Xbox 360's Xenon processor, a three-core six-thread PowerPC unit running at 3.2 GHz, had a theoretical peak number crunching throughput of 115 gigaflops (1 gigaflop is one billion floating-point operations per second). A contemporary Pentium 4 at 3 GHz had a theoretical peak of around 12 gigaflops when the system launched. The PlayStation 3 was in a similar situation; its Cell CPU, jointly developed by IBM, Toshiba, and Sony, had a theoretical throughput of 230 gigaflops. Contemporary Core 2 Duos were topping out at 24 gigaflops at the time—and cost many hundreds of dollars to boot.

The GPUs found in these systems were not quite so impressive compared to those available in desktop systems at launch, but they were still high-end. Xbox 360's Xenos was built by ATI, falling somewhere between the capabilities of its R520 (sold as the Radeon X1800 series, released in October 2005), and its R600 (retailed as the Radeon 2900 series, released in May 2007). The PlayStation 3's Reality Synthesizer was designed by NVIDIA, as a slightly cut-down G71 (marketed as the GeForce 7900 series, released in mid-2006).

In short, the (theoretical) CPU performance of the current generation consoles was out of this world when they launched. Their GPUs went toe-to-toe with discrete cards costing as much as the consoles themselves.

The (potentially) unexceptional eighth generation

The Southern Islands GPU, shipping in the HD 7970, has been on sale for three months already. With neither next-generation console likely to hit the market until 2013 (and probably late 2013 at that), Southern Islands will be the best part of two years old when those systems finally hit. Southern Islands is a fast and powerful GPU, but it's already lost the top performance spot, displaced by NVIDIA's brand new GTX 680. It'll be falling further behind with the launch next year of AMD's Sea Islands GPU architecture. If the next-generation Xbox really does use a Radeon HD 6670 part, it'll be even less impressive.

Estimates of CPU performance are harder to make, given the dearth of information about these consoles. Being realistic, we can't expect any great leaps for the CPU either. If AMD could produce processors that were competitive with or superior to current shipping x86 processors, it would be doing so. Unfortunately for AMD, its newest Bulldozer architecture hasn't reached the performance levels the company originally announced. The next-generation PlayStation CPU could be a Bulldozer derivative, or it might be based on the company's low-power Bobcat design. In either case, it's unlikely to boast the kind of remarkable theoretical performance that the Cell claimed relative to its contemporaries.

Seventh-generation consoles leapfrogged the top-level PC performance of the time. The systems were enormously powerful, and enormously expensive to build. Both Microsoft and Sony sold them at a considerable loss for their first few years on the market. Thanks to these subsidies, they offered phenomenal value for the gamers' dollar, affording gaming experiences that would be prohibitively expensive for PC gamers to mimic at launch. If the current architecture rumors prove to be true, eighth-generation consoles aren't going to pull off the same feat. They'll be a substantial step up from current console hardware, sure. But they likely won't be able to offer the same wow-factor the seventh generation did.

If Sony and Microsoft have indeed slowed down their console hardware arms race, building for more modest specifications instead, then this could be good news for everybody—except perhaps console gamers.

The cutting edge has lost its point

Cutting-edge hardware is expensive to produce. While Microsoft could probably stomach another round of massively subsidized gaming hardware, Sony probably can't. Subsidized hardware is a risky proposition. More modest systems, selling perhaps at break-even at launch, are much more palatable to shareholders and beancounters alike. Nintendo and Apple have both demonstrated that selling hardware profitably can be done successfully. This is certainly the more sustainable model for the long-term health of the industry.

Cutting-edge hardware is also, arguably, pointless for a new console. While PC gamers can always slap on a huge 2560×1600 or 2560×1440 monitor—something that taxes even dual high-end video cards these days—consoles are for the most part limited to the 1920×1080 at 60 Hz that HDTV sets allow for. 3D sets, which ideally need 120 frame per second inputs, do raise the bar somewhat, but speccing the GPU for this niche audience would be a foolhardy endeavor. It would make the GPU more expensive for 100 percent of customers, with benefits seen only by a handful.

Contemporary CPUs are already overkill for many games. Developers have struggled to exploit the large numbers of hardware threads that processor designs now support. Even a good-looking and moderately physics-rich game such as Battlefield 3 rarely demands more than three cores of a current Intel Sandy Bridge processor. There are games that can take more advantage of multiple cores, but they're the exception, not the rule. As long as the CPU is at least adequate, the GPU is probably the best place to invest money.

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In Battlefield 3 a modern multicore hyperthreaded processor will only need two or three cores, even with the GPU working hard.

With a 1080p60 graphical upper limit and recognition of the complexities of multithreaded programming, there isn't a compelling case for building hardware that's streets ahead of what we have today.

Media machines

Keeping the hardware inexpensive is also important for another reason. Modern consoles aren't just used for games. Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers spend more hours per month watching streaming TV than they do playing games. This is a burgeoning market that greatly expands the appeal of games consoles—console gaming is still a niche activity; watching TV isn't.

Streaming media has mainstream appeal in a way that games won't achieve for another decade or two. It's an audience worth going after, but it changes the economics of console hardware development substantially. The game consoles can be subsidized and sold at a loss because each game also includes a cut for Sony or Microsoft. As long as gamers buy a handful of games, the money can be recouped. Boxes used predominantly for streaming media don't provide access to that same revenue stream.

Microsoft does still make money from some streaming media users, since many services are locked behind its Xbox LIVE Gold paywall. But with competition from other set-top boxes with comparable streaming capabilities and no monthly cost, it's not clear if this is sustainable. To accommodate, selling the hardware can't incur losses—which means it can't include expensive, high-end components.

Good news for developers

The more conventional system architecture would be good news for developers. The current Cell architecture in the PlayStation 3 has proven difficult for developers to make the most of. Its design—a single PowerPC core with eight simple but fast vector cores (of which six are usable by third-party developers)—is quirky. The Xbox 360, with its three identical cores and six hardware threads, and the PC are both easier to use and understand.

This is not to say that the next generation PlayStation will necessarily be identical in design to a PC (though that has been tried before, with the original Xbox). Sony and AMD might have a few custom tricks up their respective sleeves. AMD's plan is to produce highly-integrated systems-on-chips, and the company has said that it's keen to include additional processing units in these designs. It's easy to envisage a custom-produced design that combines perhaps 2 or 4 CPU Bulldozer or Bobcat threads and a Southern Islands GPU—both "standard" AMD parts—with, for example, a high-speed memory unit, or a dedicated vector processing unit similar to those found in the Cell processor.

A conventional design means developers can take full advantage of the hardware much earlier in its lifecycle. As a rule of thumb, games released later in a console's life look better than those released earlier. Early in the console's life, developers don't yet know the best way to wring out every last bit of performance from the system. The more unusual and complex the architecture, the longer it takes to understand how best to use it.

While the hardware companies might not like it, developers like systems that aren't strange outliers. Most major games from major publishers are not exclusive to any one platform. Huge franchises like Call of Duty are cross-platform titles, released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. As a result, these games tend to be developed based on the lowest common denominator. A PlayStation 3 might be particularly good at a particular task (a fancy graphical effect, say), but if the Xbox 360 and PC aren't equally adept at that same task, cross-platform developers will have no option but to ignore the PlayStation 3's aptitude, or spend a lot of development time tuning a version specifically for the system.

This might mean platform exclusives don't have any special capabilities to take advantage of, but with platform exclusives normally negotiated according to studio ownership or cash payments—rather than the nature of the hardware in question—the impact of this is likely minimal.

An AMD victory

If AMD has scored the GPU design win for the next Xbox, and both the CPU and GPU designs for the next PlayStation, this is enormously good news for the company. It will provide a steady stream of income for many years to come.

It might also help the company undermine NVIDIA's attempts to court game developers. NVIDIA's "The Way It's Meant To Be Played" promotional program sees NVIDIA work with developers to some extent to help market or develop their games. In theory, TWIMTBP games are developed on and developed (or at least, optimized) for NVIDIA hardware. In practice, the extent varies; some games are developed on NVIDIA hardware with NVIDIA offering advice with performance tuning. For others, the branding is applied only after development has been completed, purely so that publishers can take advantage of NVIDIA's marketing and promotional dollars.

At a minimum the games should run reliably on the company's hardware; it may or may not contain additional tuning to ensure optimal performance on it.

With both next-generation consoles using Southern Islands, it's inevitable that games for these consoles will be developed on, and developed for, AMD GPUs as their first priority. NVIDIA will still have a role to play, as its GPUs will continue to be found in PCs. But with consoles taking the lion's share of the market for most games, optimization for NVIDIA is unlikely to ever rival that for AMD.

What about the gamers?

While bad news for NVIDIA, it's probably worse news still for another demographic: current PlayStation 3 owners. The radical shift in architecture, from Cell with NVIDIA graphics to x86 with AMD graphics, means that the next generation PlayStation is unlikely to offer backwards compatibility with existing titles (rumors are already pointing towards Sony removing this feature, in fact). Emulating Cell on the CPU will be impossible, as the CPU simply won't be fast enough.

Sony could potentially integrate a Cell processor into the new system. The company did a similar thing with the PlayStation 3; initial models included the PlayStation 2's Emotion Engine for backward compatibility. Then Sony dropped the chip as a cost-saving measure in 2007. Adding hardware purely for backwards compatibility is hard to justify on a cost basis: the older games have limited appeal to new buyers, and even existing PS3 owners could continue to use their old hardware. There's an outside chance the GPU could be roped in to allow Cell emulation, or that a vector co-processor could be integrated into the CPU. But in all likelihood, the next PlayStation will break from Sony's backwards compatibility trend.

Console gamers of all kinds may also be disappointed the new machines won't be as tremendous a leap over current systems as past systems have been. Consoles have already been eclipsed by PCs—with a result that games like Battlefield 3 offer PC players larger maps with more players than the consoles can cope with—and it looks like that will still be the case come the eighth generation.

If current rumors are to be believed, the next generation of Sony and Microsoft consoles will gain performance parity with PCs, but not much more. Consoles will still have their advantages—the range of peripherals, the plug-and-play simplicity, the reduced maintenance, the low up-front cost—but they won't be able to offer best-in-class gaming, even at their debut. For that, only a PC will do.

Photo illustration by Nathan Mattise


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 Post subject: Re: An x86 PlayStation 4 could signal a sea-change in industry
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:26 pm 
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Interesting stuff. :geek: And I agree that it would make a lot of sense using commodity x86 (that's PC-compatible) hardware for the next gen machines because besides a much lower price, the Cell processor cost Sony $400m in development costs alone, and the factories they built to make them cost over $500m each! :ohmy: , you will have expert developers who are fully savvy with the intricacies of the 'new' hardware/new console and able to push it to it's technological limits much quicker than if they had to learn a new architecture. Brand new systems are all different to program for and the delay in getting up to speed would be vastly reduced or eradicated completely if already familiar hardware was used. As well as decreasing development times and therefore increasing profits for publishers, gamers would benefit too as games would be higher quality than usual from the off rather than just towards the end of the traditional console life cycle when the programmers had got the hang of ever-more-complicated multi-processor systems. Difficulty with complex hardware has been the sole cause of a system failing before, a lesson SEGA learned with the Saturn and Sony only just escaped disaster imo with the PS3 with the lead that these delays gave to the 360.

I also agree the technological arms race in consoles is probably over. Games just don't need the current power available to average gaming PCs, mainly due to coding for the lowest common denominator and lazily/economically converting it to run on the other current systems :rolleyes: , but also in these financial hard times I can't see people wanting to invest massively up-front for a console bursting with very expensive parts that don't really offer much more than the current gaming options available on a modern PC... which leaves them looking for gimmicks like the tedious gestures, motion sensing and the touch screen crap as their USP (unique selling point). :rolleyes: How popular that will be after the newness wears off *cough* Nintendo Wii *cough* remains to be seen.

You can certainly see why Sony and MS have delayed replacing the current generation tbh. I'd imagine there must be little desire for your average consumer to upgrade their hardware and also their games collection at great expense when the current systems do what they want them to and still look good etc. - a position games console manufacturers haven't really been in before as there was always a welcome technological leap to be made that was usually visually stunning enough (besides other things) to compel people to part with the cash to upgrade.

And I think that if these new consoles are not going to be jaw-droppingly impressive technological marvels under the hood, then low price might be good way to market these, making them cheap enough to seriously undercut PCs would help, but PC themselves have never been cheaper than today so this could be problematic if as the article says, the new generation are to launch with the proposed hardware's (by then) two year old specs. which will no doubt have been surpassed by newer PC tech that makes it look decidedly mid-range or even low end depending on the pace of advancement. I don't think keeping the price high and marketing them as all-in-one home entertainment and media devices will be enough to drive uptake on it's own, especially if there's no backwards compatibility to add value to your current gen customers' new hardware purchase.

Some people even think this may open the door to new entrants, and there are rumours of Valve launching a Steam-branded PC-based console... but I've no idea how true these rumours are btw. But I can see the logic behind it, especially if Sony and/or MS do decide to go the (for once) decidedly risky high-end route... and they obviously already have the distribution and relationships to the gaming industry already sorted. The likes of Nintendo and Apple have proved that 'just good enough' hardware can sell like crazy and make you a fortune without your stuff having to be highly advanced, so who knows?

It'll certainly be a very different generation from previously is all I know. Until then, I'll continue to experience the best games on PC. :p

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 Post subject: Re: An x86 PlayStation 4 could signal a sea-change in industry
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:10 am 
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Why are murmuring alone :p

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 Post subject: Re: An x86 PlayStation 4 could signal a sea-change in industry
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:51 am 
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pakrooney wrote:
Why are murmuring alone :p


Just starting a thread for those interested in gaming and the future console rumours/news. The murmuring I always do... it's a technical genius thing. :geek: :p :D

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 Post subject: Re: An x86 PlayStation 4 could signal a sea-change in industry
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:12 pm 
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pakrooney wrote:
Why are murmuring alone :p

:yay:

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 Post subject: Re: An x86 PlayStation 4 could signal a sea-change in industry
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:38 am 
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Resurrection Joe wrote:
pakrooney wrote:
Why are murmuring alone :p

:yay:


Charming. :rolleyes:

I'd have thought you lot were dead keen on the latest console chatter... unless it gets technical. :doh:

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 Post subject: Re: An x86 PlayStation 4 could signal a sea-change in industry
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:18 am 
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I'm interested... just not enough to read all that text :lol:

There is talk of the next gen requiring constant internet connections, and requiring games to be registered to one console. IMO those would both be stupid, and would in fact cost them business.

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 Post subject: Re: An x86 PlayStation 4 could signal a sea-change in industry
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:46 am 
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Spawny wrote:
I'm interested... just not enough to read all that text :lol:

There is talk of the next gen requiring constant internet connections, and requiring games to be registered to one console. IMO those would both be stupid, and would in fact cost them business.


There's barely two screen's full... s'up is your scroll wheel broken? :p

Nutshell version: There's a strong rumour that the next consoles will be based around PC-compatible x86 processors for price, programmer familiarity and the avoidance and large development costs for custom hardware like Cell. And of course, developers could make multiple versions much more easily and save cash supporting multiple formats. And it does make a lot of sense imho.

As for the constantly connected to the net DRM stuff - I'd be surprised if that were the case. That's something that will only benefit the games publishers, it won't help the console manufacturer as it'll limit happy customers to those with a reliable net connection, and cast out anyone without a connection at all of which there must be many. And what happens when your happy connected customers hit their download limit and can't play anymore? It'd be a disaster which is why I can't see it happening... despite how much the publishers might like to see it.

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By dictating when and how a game should be played, the always-online restriction is a reminder that consumers are increasingly losing control over the products they own. If the rumours about the next PlayStation prove true, by locking games to a single PSN account and forcing users to remain connected to boot them up, Sony will be the one dictating how games on the console are played. The same applies to rumours that both Sony and Microsoft are investigating the possibility of blocking used games on both next-gen consoles: it's hard for consumers to control, or even enjoy, the products they own when faced with such an elaborate series of restrictions, penalties, and limitations.

It's hard to gauge what kind of success publishers have had in the past when implementing always-on Internet connection measures; whatever the benefits for the companies, these measures have traditionally been poorly received by consumers. Last month, EA announced that players would need to remain online via Origin to play the new SimCity, a move that, according to the publisher, would serve to emphasise the game's focus on multiplayer and worldwide economies. Clarifying its position a short time later, EA announced that while players must have an Internet connection to launch SimCity, they would not be kicked out should their Internet connection go down. The concession, albeit a small one, did not stop some gamers from asking: what about those who want a single-player offline experience?

In August last year, Blizzard revealed that Diablo III would also require a constant Internet connection, even in single-player mode. At the time, the company said the decision wasn't as much to do with piracy as it was to do with offering persistent characters, enhanced security, and the ability to play multiplayer with in-game characters that can be stored online forever. When asked to justify Blizzard's decision, Diablo III producer Jay Wilson said that 99.9 percent of gamers have an Internet connection; the developer also added that while a player could die in-game if their connection drops out, the penalties for this would not be "harsh" (specifically a 10 percent decrease in durability for equipped weapons and items) unless the player is on hardcore mode, in which case he or she would lose the character permanently.

Even if Blizzard's decision for an always-on Internet connection in Diablo III came from a desire to enhance the player experience through features like Battle.net, online ranking, and the auction house, some gamers found it baffling that a publisher would require constant Internet access for a game that is as much a multiplayer experience as a single-player one. The Diablo III beta produced a lot of criticism in this regard: some called the game out for not allowing players to pause during play, leading to lost progress and removal from the server after an extended period of idleness.

Ubisoft also found itself in trouble with consumers last year, when it revealed that the PC version of Driver: San Francisco would feature its always-on DRM restriction, requiring a constant Internet connection to play even in single-player mode. A month later, the publisher reneged on that decision due to "disapproving feedback," deciding against implementing the always-on DRM measure. (They later made the same mistake with the PC version of From Dust).

But some publishers have proven that it's possible to implement effective DRM measures without alienating consumers. Steam allows users to authenticate a game prior to play in both online and offline modes, as well as allowing for offline play after the initial setup process; digital episodic content publisher Telltale Games also offers its users several avenues for authenticating first-time purchases, either via a login with a username and password, or offline with a serial key provided at the time of purchase. (Both Steam and Telltale have unlimited downloads for games.) Just last month, Witcher 2 developer CD Projekt Red denounced DRM after learning that the DRM-free Good Old Games version of the game was pirated fewer times than the SecuROM retail version. Speaking at the 2012 Game Developers Conference, company CEO Marcin Iwinski said DRM was overcomplicating things for the company and creating problems for legitimate users.

Combating piracy should be a continuing conversation between publishers and consumers, not a self-serving decree that drives a rift between the two. The dissatisfaction shown in the gaming community towards games and services that require a constant Internet connection should come as a warning to publishers that now, more than ever, consumers will fight for their right to be in the driving seat.


The bad will it would generate would be enormous, and you'd no doubt see people boycotting the system rather than the game... and it'd be much harder to undo such a system that was built into the hardware rather than tagged onto the software. And Blizzard aren't the only ones to have changed their minds over DRM... Spore anyone? And many others.

Even Steam I find too restrictive, 'cause who ever remembers to set it in offline mode, not to mention it negatively interfering with many PCs causing crashes and slowdown etc. and you're screwed if you lose your net connection. Killing off characters off when you go offline is even worse than jumping back to the pause/main menu! :doh: Sod that.

It'd just encourage piracy and reduce sales imo, so it'd take balls of steel to actually pull it off.

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 Post subject: Re: An x86 PlayStation 4 could signal a sea-change in industry
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:54 am 
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No, I'm just lazy.

Having your character die if you internet connection drops out is mental :lol: WHoever thought up that idea needs to take a long think about it, and realise that while 99.9% of gamers may have an internet connection approximately 0% have an internet connection which is flawless, and what happens in the even of a power cut? Would that alos lead to the character dying?

I agree that constant net and 1 use games would be a terrible thing for Sony and MS, but that's not making the rumours go away. Not doubt the likes of Electronic Arts would be delighted with it, as they already try and combat used games sales by requiring online activation codes to use multi-player, so in effect a used game becomes single player only... which is fine if that's all you want.

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But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: An x86 PlayStation 4 could signal a sea-change in industry
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:44 am 
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Spawny wrote:
Having your character die if you internet connection drops out is mental :lol: WHoever thought up that idea needs to take a long think about it, and realise that while 99.9% of gamers may have an internet connection approximately 0% have an internet connection which is flawless...


I agree that constant net and 1 use games would be a terrible thing for Sony and MS, but that's not making the rumours go away. Not doubt the likes of Electronic Arts would be delighted with it, as they already try and combat used games sales by requiring online activation codes to use multi-player, so in effect a used game becomes single player only... which is fine if that's all you want.


You're right, it's mental.

I don't think the publishers could offer the console manufacturers anything of equal value in order to convince them to sabotage their consoles by restricting them further like this.

Which leaves publishers like EA doing what they do... further reducing the attractiveness of their games. Personally I've not bought EA for years, and various DRM/always online schemes have lost sales from myself, such as the new Settlers game (always online), Spore (too much wrong to mention!), and the up-coming new Civ game.

I've said it a million times, greedy publishers like EA will only listen if you vote with your wallet by not buying the software they inflict their petty meanness on. It's insane to expect a cut of second hand sales and everybody can see that except their accountants. :rolleyes:

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 Post subject: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:06 am 
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Sony are doing their announcement for it now, it's been on for a couple of hours but the whole thing should be watchable again on

http://www.gametrailers.com/netstorage/ ... /live.html

... somewhere.

Bit underwhelmed so far, didn't have the PS3 and unless the new XBox is something special then I will probably just stick to PC gaming. I hope the new GTA (September) comes out before these new consoles are released.

They just signed off with "Coming Holiday 2013" So I assume that's Christmas?

Some of the games look visually brilliant, but it's just more of the same fps stuff.

It has a hell of a lot more social activities too, like being able to stream your gaming to your friends, and have them join in with your own games, and even have them help from their own home like they basically take over your tv... not sure I like the idea of that, unless you were REALLY stuck on something.

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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
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Seems to have gone down well...

... apart from most of the world thinking it looks sh*t. :lol:

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idontfeardeath wrote: Nevermind. It's not like he's going to make the Juve starting 11. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
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PS4 release date, news and features

Updated The PlayStation 4 has been officially revealed in New York!


By James Rivington - Techradar.com



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The Sony PS4 has been announced by Sony! At long last we've had our first look at the new console and so far it looks... next-geny.

With TechRadar AGR in attendance, Sony revealed some tantalising details about the hardware specs, along with some amazing software features that the new console will have.

But sadly, and almost unbelievably, we STILL don't know what the PlayStation 4 looks like. Sony has, however, revealed some fundamental details about the PS4 hardware, announced during the event and revealed in a post-conference spec sheet just what we'll see when the console launches during the holidays this year.

PS4: Hardware specs

AMD, as we guessed all along, is coursing through this new system's veins.

Post-event, Sony revealed the system runs on a single-chip custom processor and utilizes eight x86-64 AMD Jaguar CPU cores, with a next-gen AMD Radeon based graphics engine powering the way.

The "highly enhanced PC GPU" packs 18 GCN units - that may sound a like a lot of techy mumbo jumbo but what it essentially means is that the GPU packs 18 processing clusters, each packing up to 64 cores. That provides a lot of parallel processing power, and will thus handle the majority of the PS4's grunt work. It hits 1.84 TFLOPS of processing mojo.

Sony announced at the NYC event that the console will use GPU compute features to take advantage of this components raw power - it'll be used for general computation tasks as well as building graphics.

Memory

The PS4 will ship packing 8GB of GDDR5 memory. That's some super-fast stuff right there and should enable lightning fast performance.

Indeed, Sony has revealed that you will be able to power down the PS4 mid-game and then switch it on again in seconds and pick up right where you left off. That's the sort of loading power that this memory enables.

Other specs

We're also looking at Blu-ray disk support plus good ol' DVD, plus HDMI output support as well as Analog-AV out and an optical digital output.

PlayStation 4 Eye

What's really grabbing though is the development of the PlayStation 4 Eye, a newly developed camera system that utilizes two high-sensitivity camera equipped with wide-angle lenses and 85-degree diagonal angle views.

Sony said the cameras (amounting to 1280 x 800 pixels) can cut out the image of a player from the background or differentiate between players in the background and foreground, enhancing game play handily. There's also mention of logging in using facial recognition and using voice and body movements to play games "more intuitively."


Will the PS4 be 4K capable?

This we don't know yet - it hasn't been mentioned by Sony at the event.

However, we reckon the PS4 will almost certainly be able to exude some kind of Ultra HD output. It's unlikely to be capable of native 4K gaming, but there will certainly be enough graphics grunt to upscale Full HD content to 4K resolution. And with Sony heavily invested in 4K from a content and hardware perspective, it would be a huge surprise if PS4 failed to join the 4K bandwagon.

Backwards compatibility

The PS4 will definitely not offer native support for PS3 games. However, there will at some point be a service on the Sony Entertainment Network that offers server-side emulation and streaming of games from PS One classics right through to PS3 Platinum Editions.


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PS4 controller revealed: introducing the DualShock 4


The PS4 controller comes in the form of the DualShock 4 pad. Very much a classic design, the DualShock 4 nevertheless offers upgraded vibrations, enhanced motion sensors and a Vita-like touchpad on the front.

PS4 release date

The PS4 release date is "Holiday 2013". That's the only detail Sony revealed at the launch and it's unclear which territories it applies to. Certainly the U.S., almost certainly Japan. We have a feeling the U.K. and Europe may have to wait a little longer, maybe even until early 2014.

This is pretty much what happened with Sony's previous consoles - the PS3 came out in the EU in March - and is backed up by various leaks and rumours. At least you'll have plenty of time to save up if you live outside of Japan or the USA.

PlayStation Move

Sony has confirmed that PlayStation Move will play a big part in the PS4 ecosystem. However, it has not yet been revealed whether the PS4 will launch alongside a new PS Eye camera and new Move controllers or whether the peripherals are staying the same with all the enhancements made console-side.

Synergy with PlayStation Vita

Sony has revealed that the PS4 will launch with the ability to stream games directly to your PS Vita. In exactly the same way as the Wii U allows you to switch off your TV and continue playing on the tablet controller, the PS4 will wirelessly send your games to the Vita.

There will be similar synergy between "all Sony devices" which means Xperia handsets and tablets, Bravia TVs and BD players.

Sony hinted that there will be more announcements in this area, too. We think the obvious next reveal in this area is the ability to play PS4 games on your Vita from any location using a wireless connection.

PS4 Instant On

The PS4 will be one nippy device if Sony is to be believed. It will have an instant on/off feature allowing your to shut down during a game and then boot up from scratch in seconds and resume where you left off. The days of waiting 60 seconds as your console loads up are about to end.

PS4 price: how much will it cost?

No pricing details were revealed at the event, so all we've got to go on are various rumours from before the launch - but it might be that Sony has a price point of around $400 in mind for the US release. That translates to around £255 so you could extrapolate that to around £299.

This is further backed up by a recent report in The Times which states that Sony is aiming for a price of under £300 in the U.K. Many people think it'll be more than that though - we'll just have to wait and see.

Second-hand games on the way out?

Sony has yet to discuss this area of the PS4, but you'd think it would dispel the rumours if they're not true.

The rumours suggest that Sony is going in the same direction as Microsoft in that it wants to kill off the second-hand games market. Current industry wisdom suggests that future PS4 games might be tied to your Sony Entertainment Network account and will thus have no resale value. That's a similar approach as used by PC developers using Steam so we reckon this is a likely development. Doesn't mean we're happy about it, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:27 am 
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Sony's Yoshida: PlayStation 4 won't block used games

Statement puts months of rumors to rest. Now it's Microsoft's turn.


by Kyle Orland - Arstechnica


It's been a tense time for gamers who happen to be fans of both Sony and being able to take part in the pre-owned game market, with rampant rumors (and even patent filings) suggesting the PlayStation 4 might include a method to let it block play on used game discs. Sony didn't directly address the matter during its lengthy PlayStation Meeting Wednesday night, but Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida has now publicly put the whole thing to rest: The PlayStation 4 will not block used game discs from being played.

Eurogamer got a chance to sit down with Yoshida after the public presentation, and asked him about the issue directly. "Do you want us to do that?" he reportedly answered, coyly, before noting that the "general expectation" among consumers is that they be able to use their discs everywhere. After conferring with his Japanese PR advisor, he answered a bit more directly:

"So, used games can play on PS4. How is that?"

Eurogamer's reporter said it was fine, and we have to agree.

Eurogamer also cites an unnamed Sony source in saying that the previously reported disc-blocking patent "had nothing to do with PlayStation 4 at all."

The focus now turns to Microsoft, which has seen more rumors that it will used forced installs and a required Internet connection as a method to stop used game sales on its next Xbox (even earning a pre-emptive public warning from GameStop on the matter). Making such a move independently of Sony would seem to be extremely risky, given that consumers could easily change their system purchase decisions based on this important factor. Still, a determined Microsoft could power through the consequences anyway, in an attempt to cater to the many big publishers that absolutely hate the used game market, which they see as a drain on their profit-generating new game sales.

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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:56 am 
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That interview in full:

Quote:
Sony tells Eurogamer: PlayStation 4 will not block used games

Shuhei Yoshida confirms it. Plus: source tells EG patent wasn't PS4-related.



By Tom Bramwell - Eurogamer


Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida has told Eurogamer that PlayStation 4 will not block the use of second-hand games, contrary to various reports, speculation and even a Sony patent unearthed last month.

I sat down with Yoshida a few hours after the PS4 reveal tonight and one of the first things I asked was whether used games would be blocked.

"Do you want us to do that?" he asked.

No, I said. I think, if you buy something on a disc, that you have a kind of moral contract with the person you've bought it from that you retain some of that value and you can pass it on.

Do you agree, I asked?

"Yes. That's the general expectation by consumers," said Yoshida. "They purchase physical form, they want to use it everywhere, right? So that's my expectation."

So if someone buys a PlayStation 4 game, I asked, you're not going to stop them reselling it?

"Aaaah," was Yoshida's initial answer, but seemingly only because he'd forgotten his line. "So what was our official answer to our internal question?" he asked his Japanese PR advisor. The advisor stepped in but didn't seem to answer clearly, at least to my ears. Yoshida then took control again firmly:

"So, used games can play on PS4. How is that?"

I said I thought that was fine.

Interestingly, I also spoke to a Sony source elsewhere at the event this evening who told me that the anti used-game patent discovered last month was actually nothing to do with PlayStation 4 at all.

The patent suggested that discs would come branded with a contactless tag that could be recognised and read by your console, which would then bind it to you and prevent you from selling it on.

But whatever reason Sony did have for patenting it, it sounds like it wasn't for its next-generation console. Hopefully Microsoft will also avoid this ludicrous technology with its next-generation Xbox as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:17 am 
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I hope this doesn't mean all new titles will go to PS4 only


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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:12 am 
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I think there's something wrong with me, cos I couldn't give a stuff about the next generation of consoles. Maybe it's all the rumours that've been floating about of always online, and games being tied to one console as soon as you play them...

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But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


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You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:54 pm 
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Certainly didn't grab my attention..there seems to have been too much focus on social media type stuff as well. Boring.

I'm sure the graphics will be great and the games will be great..but there's loads of great games ive yet to play on the PS3 to even bother looking into a PS4.

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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Spawny wrote:
I think there's something wrong with me, cos I couldn't give a stuff about the next generation of consoles. Maybe it's all the rumours that've been floating about of always online, and games being tied to one console as soon as you play them...


Thats part of the cycle.....see, its happening already..... :ninja:

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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:19 pm 
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Sheasy's Bum Hamster wrote:
Spawny wrote:
I think there's something wrong with me, cos I couldn't give a stuff about the next generation of consoles. Maybe it's all the rumours that've been floating about of always online, and games being tied to one console as soon as you play them...


Thats part of the cycle.....see, its happening already..... :ninja:


Fine... what I meant to say was that I can't wait for a PS4!! :p

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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