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XBOX ONE and STEAM BOX

profitius

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I'm fairly underwhelmed about the xbox one and having taking a little time to look at it I don't think I'll be getting one.

It looks to be a device that will appeal to many people but I think they might have messed it up big time because the people they should be focusing on are gamers! Microsofts stock price went down after the announcement while nintendos and Sonys went up.

I hoped it would be a powerful machine with great games but what we have is a machine that isn't anywhere near the power of the top PCs out today therefore in a few years time it will look very outdated. It does have lots of things like using voice command to change the channels, in game skype and Kinect 2 etc but they're just gimmicks as far as I'm concerned. Thats what you're paying for it seems.

The games won't be a massive leap for the last generation and the last generation is 8 years old now. When the xbox 360 and PS3 came out they were far ahead of the PCs at that time and it took PCs a few years to catch up. They're starting off now BEHIND PCs which is a slap in the face for gamers.

You also need an internet connect on constantly or a lot of the time or it doesn't work. That alienates a large section of the world and second hand games etc are no more it seems. So they're really screwing over consumers.

To sum it up what microsoft have created is a system designed to take on Apple and google etc. Its gone away from its roots and in my opinion the PS4 has been the big winner among gamers. I have an xbox 360 and liked it. Its my second one because the original crashed. I can get over that but I feel the new machine is ripping people off so I won't be buying it.




I'm also keeping an eye out for the steam box. Thats something valve are said to be working on and if it packs some serious hardware then it could give the xbox one and PS4 a run for their money. Its basically a PC thats shrunk and designed to fit onto the back of your TV.

It's also this future that should scare console manufacturers. PCs are able to remain further along the technological curve than consoles by virtue of a more prolific hardware release schedule.
If your Steam Box can run games at better resolutions, without restrictive proprietary networks, and for a cheaper price than a next-generation Xbox or Playstation, then the choice seems simple.
By divorcing it from the top of your desk and simplifying the game delivery mechanism through Steam, the Steam Box should also go some way to removing the remaining stigmas from PC gaming.

http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/valve-steam-box-release-date-news-and-features-1127072
 
Think the Xbox One is a big step up personally, just going to give it time for it to come down in price. Lot of rumors flying about this internet connection, I'm waiting till E3 until its finally confirmed.

Just think your being slightly negative towards lots of things, which you are entitled to be but E3 is around the corner, they did say a few times during the presentation that more would be revealed to the gaming side at E3.

Microsoft were far more professional in the manner they gave their presentation also, far better than that of Sony's effort.
 
I hoped it would be a powerful machine with great games but what we have is a machine that isn't anywhere near the power of the top PCs out today therefore in a few years time it will look very outdated. It does have lots of things like using voice command to change the channels, in game skype and Kinect 2 etc but they're just gimmicks as far as I'm concerned. Thats what you're paying for it seems.

It's pretty damn powerful if you ask me. 8 core CPU's are still rare in pc's, with the sweet spot still being 4 cores. 8GB of RAM is also a healthy amount, considering even high-end desktop GPU's only have 4GB. I have 16GB of system RAM in my main desktop PC, but none of that is of any use to gaming, it's the dedicated 1.5GB on my graphics card that's used.

The GPU inside the Xbox One is similar to that of a 7790, which is a decent way behind the current top end desktop GPU's, but it takes a considerable amount of time to develop a console, and they use what was top-end at the time the development starts. With AMD powering the PlayStation 4 as well, we're likely to see something very similar there. A quick google search suggests that the PS4 will have a GPU capable of 1.84 teraflops, the Xbox One's GPU provides 1.79 teraflops, a negligible difference really.

The Xbox 360 and PS3 were just as far behind the technology curve as this is. That's what happens when nvidia and AMD release new product lines every year, consoles get left behind, even during the development cycle. You also have to take into account that the very top gaming graphics card, the nVidia ***an costs over £700, consumes over 400W of power, requires a huge stack of cooling fins and a fan to cool, and is rather large. It simply isn't feasible to fit that sort of GPU inside a games console.

Finally, consoles are much more optimised that desktops are when it comes to games. There is only one hardware configuration as opposed to the thousands on desktop pc's. This means that games developers can get more from a console's hardware. Just look at the quality of Xbox 360 and PS3 ***les, they really aren't bad considering the hardware they are running on. This increase in performance should see a huge jump in games quality, both on the console and on the PC.
 
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Think the Xbox One is a big step up personally, just going to give it time for it to come down in price. Lot of rumors flying about this internet connection, I'm waiting till E3 until its finally confirmed.

Just think your being slightly negative towards lots of things, which you are entitled to be but E3 is around the corner, they did say a few times during the presentation that more would be revealed to the gaming side at E3.

Microsoft were far more professional in the manner they gave their presentation also, far better than that of Sony's effort.

Thats my big problem with it. Its basically made with mid range PC parts. The xbox 360 and PS3 were big step ups compared to the previous gen machines but after 7 or 8 years this is a poor step up.

I'd imagine it has many very good things that will appeal to many people but as a gamer I just want good games without having to pay for all the gimmicky extras. The opposite to whats happening here.
 
Thats my big problem with it. Its basically made with mid range PC parts. The xbox 360 and PS3 were big step ups compared to the previous gen machines but after 7 or 8 years this is a poor step up.

The Xbox 360 and PS3 were also made with mid-range PC parts at the time (well the GPU's were anyway, the PS3's processor was different, but not such an advantage). Maybe you weren't interested enough to realise at the time? It just moves so quickly, that two years ago top-end stuff is this years mid-range.
 
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I actually thought that a lot of the stuff they showed about the Xbox one look quite good/interesting. I was very impressed by the fast switching stuff, just because he showed it switching between T.V and movies dosen't mean I can't be playing say AC4 then just say Xbox COD Ghosts and be there as game will be installed. The snap stuff looked good too, would be helpful in finding stuff out for games like Skyrim if I'm lost or want a guide. Microsoft got the audience and conference wrong for sure but they've said this was their media side confrence E3 is games with 8 new IP's which cool, only worry is they might be arcade/kenict games. I think the PS4 will be more powerful but the PS3 is more powerful then the 360 but games look the same due to the way cross platform games are developed. Secondhand games I can't buy so it dosen't bug me, and it's not a persistent online connection it's more of online once every now and then.
 
TBH i have never been a fan of the xbox consoles. In south africa, there seem to be a negativity surrounding the microsoft products. One reason being the online passes, and the price range.

When the xbox 360 and the ps3 originally came out, the ps3 games were 20% more expensive than the xbox games. Everyone then went and bought the xbox. Then sony dropped the pricing of the games, and slowly but surely won over many new customers. Out of my own friendship group, i was the only guy out of 10 friends that bought the ps3 instead of the xbox. Now only 2 still have them.

The internet connection will play a major role for south african consumers, as our broadband isn't as strong or as cheap as in europe, USA and Australasia. our broadband service provider has constant connection problems and this is frustrating.

If the xbox one is going to need a constant internet connection, i can't see many sales in SA.
 
The Xbox One has pretty much ensured that I am done with that range. Sure 8 cores is great and all, but the GPU as Dull said, isn't outstanding. I could build a PC far superior in every aspect for only slightly more. Not to mention the greater variety of games available, and not having to fork out for Live every year. Can't see myself getting a PS4 immediately either, but probably more likely than getting the One. I'll just wait until next year and build a new PC. Can get some nice 6 core with hyperthreading to 12 for a decent price. RAM is also decently cheap depending on where you look.
 
I could build a PC far superior in every aspect for only slightly more. Not to mention the greater variety of games available, and not having to fork out for Live every year.

That's always been the case. For gaming, consoles and pc's are somewhat difficult to compare. Many games on the pc are somewhat crippled by the fact that they are console ports, so even though high-end gaming pc's have much more power than a 360 or PS3, there's little evidence of it. Then you've gotta take into account that not all games are released on the PC, e.g. I have yet to play red dead redemption because it was never released on the pc. How long will we have to wait to see GTA5 on the PC?

Consoles simply don't need to be as powerful as their PC counterparts, so I don't think it's a hugely valid criticism of the Xbox One, especially when the PS4 is going to be nearly identical in terms of graphical horse power.
 
That's always been the case. For gaming, consoles and pc's are somewhat difficult to compare. Many games on the pc are somewhat crippled by the fact that they are console ports, so even though high-end gaming pc's have much more power than a 360 or PS3, there's little evidence of it. Then you've gotta take into account that not all games are released on the PC, e.g. I have yet to play red dead redemption because it was never released on the pc. How long will we have to wait to see GTA5 on the PC?

Consoles simply don't need to be as powerful as their PC counterparts, so I don't think it's a hugely valid criticism of the Xbox One, especially when the PS4 is going to be nearly identical in terms of graphical horse power.
That's one thing that does bug me, the fact that many PC games are poor due to console requirements. If GTA V was designed solely for PC I bet it would be incredible.
 
The Xbox 360 and PS3 were also made with mid-range PC parts at the time (well the GPU's were anyway, the PS3's processor was different, but not such an advantage). Maybe you weren't interested enough to realise at the time? It just moves so quickly, that two years ago top-end stuff is this years mid-range.

They say the new gen consoles are about 6 times more powerful. Its going to result in better games etc but it won't be the dramatic leap I was hoping for.

Taking moores law into account I would have expected the new consoles to be between 10 and 15 times more powerful. The xbox 360 and PS3 are 7 or 8 years old now. Look at what has happened since then with smart phones, tablets etc.

When the last gen consoles came out they had the best looking games. Their hardware was specially made for the consoles. For their latest offering they've basically taken PC parts and stuck them in a console. Its very much like a PC under the hood and behaves like a PC in many ways although I do take your point that its still more optimised for games than PCs are.

Also the 8 processors and much of the RAM won't all be used on games. That'll be used for other operations too running in the background.
 
That's always been the case. For gaming, consoles and pc's are somewhat difficult to compare. Many games on the pc are somewhat crippled by the fact that they are console ports, so even though high-end gaming pc's have much more power than a 360 or PS3, there's little evidence of it. Then you've gotta take into account that not all games are released on the PC, e.g. I have yet to play red dead redemption because it was never released on the pc. How long will we have to wait to see GTA5 on the PC?

Consoles simply don't need to be as powerful as their PC counterparts, so I don't think it's a hugely valid criticism of the Xbox One, especially when the PS4 is going to be nearly identical in terms of graphical horse power.

Yeah. PC gaming is gaining in popularity though. This is where the steam box can be the real winner. It will be more optimised for gaming and can be more powerful than this generation of consoles. If it can make PC gaming a little bit simpler then it could be a winner.

The more powerful the machine the better the games. GTA could have better AI, more pedestrians, more detail, better physics not to mention just looking better etc etc. The list is endless.

BTW, with the new generation of consoles having PC hardware it means it'll be easier for companies to transfer the games to the PC.
 
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Taking moores law into account I would have expected the new consoles to be between 10 and 15 times more powerful. The xbox 360 and PS3 are 7 or 8 years old now. Look at what has happened since then with smart phones, tablets etc.

Moore's law is misinterpreted, or miss-quoted by a lot of people. The 'law' (just an observation really) doesn't really say anything about performance, instead it states that the amount of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles roughly every two years. Another Intel member stated that combining this with increased efficiency 'should' mean a doubling of performance every 18 months, but this certainly isn't always the case. Intel themselves are incredibly strict at enforcing this 'law', probably because Moore was one of Intel's co-founders, but other companies aren't so fixated with it.

To fit in line with the doubling every 18 months law, by my calculations the new consoles should be 32 times as powerful as the old ones (1x2(18months)x2(3yrs)x2(4.5yrs)x2(6yrs)x2(7.5yrs). So if they are only 6 times as powerful, they are far behind the performance curve. Then again, are today's desktop computers 32 times as powerful as machines 7 1/2 yrs ago?

When the last gen consoles came out they had the best looking games. Their hardware was specially made for the consoles.

This wasn't necessarily the case. The IBM processor in the PS3 was made specifically for it, but the graphics hardware in both the Xbox 360 and PS3 were developed by ATI and nVidia respectively, with the 360's based on the Radeon X1800 series of desktop GPU's, and the PS3's based on a cut down Geforce 7800.

The thing is, AMD have developed what they believe is the best way to render games in their desktop GPU's, so why start from scratch to develop a console GPU? Basing the console on a PC is sensible, because there is already the development tools available for coders, they already know the language required etc. Look at the problems Sony experienced the the PS3's proprietary hardware. It arguably had more potential performance than the Xbox 360, but it was/is apparently a pain in the arse foe developers, especially at the beginning when develops had to learn how to code for it.

The games won't be a massive leap for the last generation and the last generation is 8 years old now. When the xbox 360 and PS3 came out they were far ahead of the PCs at that time and it took PCs a few years to catch up. They're starting off now BEHIND PCs which is a slap in the face for gamers.

Missed this paragraph in your initial post. The Xbox 360 and PS3 weren't ahead of pc's at launch. The PS3 took a different take on it's Cell processor, but this wasn't necessarily better than the more straight forward processors found in PC's, backed up by the fact that the PS4 is powered by a more conventional AMD processor.

In terms of graphics though, the Xbox 360 and PS3 were kinda in-line with mid-high end GPU's of the time. They were based on graphics hardware also available in PC's of the time (the X1800 series and 7800 (at 7600 clocks). There were more powerful GPU's available for the PC at the time of launch of both consoles, and PC's quickly became much more powerful.

Also the 8 processors and much of the RAM won't all be used on games. That'll be used for other operations too running in the background.

Edit. Whilst some of the system resources will be required for background tasks etc, MS understands how to manage resources quickly and efficiently, it knows how to manage multitasking. Just look at Windows, XP's handling of resources was a bit rubbish tbh, but Vista, 7 and 8 are much improved in that regard. MS will take what it has learn't from Windows and apply it to the Xbox One, as such I'd be surprised if the majority of the 8Gb of RAM weren't available to the GPU when playing a game. Compare this to the 256MB available to the GPU in the PS3 and 512MB shared in the 360, and this is a big, big improvement. This will enable developers to use much more detailed, and much more expansive textures in their games, which should see a big improvement to graphics quality.

The 8 core processor may be used for things like Physics calculations as well.
 
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Prediction: 95+% of big games from big studios to be announced for Xbox One/PS4 will be:
a) just another sequel to just another franchise which plays like every other game in the franchise. CoD, Assassin's Creed, Gears of War, Mass Effect, Halo, Fifa, Guitar Hero etc.
b) crappy generic shooters
c) tedious-to-play JRPGs which are obvious Final Fantasy knock-offs
d) horror games without atmosphere but lots of guns
e) sports

There'll be like a couple of promising games from smaller studios, and most of these will have too little a support team to actually make a classic.

And there'll be that ONE game that actually makes you kind of want the console.
 
TBH i have never been a fan of the xbox consoles. In south africa, there seem to be a negativity surrounding the microsoft products. One reason being the online passes, and the price range.

When the xbox 360 and the ps3 originally came out, the ps3 games were 20% more expensive than the xbox games. Everyone then went and bought the xbox. Then sony dropped the pricing of the games, and slowly but surely won over many new customers. Out of my own friendship group, i was the only guy out of 10 friends that bought the ps3 instead of the xbox. Now only 2 still have them.

The internet connection will play a major role for south african consumers, as our broadband isn't as strong or as cheap as in europe, USA and Australasia. our broadband service provider has constant connection problems and this is frustrating.

If the xbox one is going to need a constant internet connection, i can't see many sales in SA.

Don't worry Heineken "always on" rumours has been shot down by Microsoft, I was deeply worried about this myself as well.

http://www.gamespot.com/features/xbox-one-microsoft-talks-used-games-always-on-6408725/?tag=Topslot;Slot1
.
 
Don't worry Heineken "always on" rumours has been shot down by Microsoft, I was deeply worried about this myself as well.

http://www.gamespot.com/features/xb...ed-games-always-on-6408725/?tag=Topslot;Slot1
.

The company claimed the Xbox One will be an all-in-one device, capable of streaming live television, powering next-generation games, and connecting users with friends and family across the world with new video services like integrated Skype calling.

If only I had one of those...
 
Edit. Whilst some of the system resources will be required for background tasks etc, MS understands how to manage resources quickly and efficiently, it knows how to manage multitasking. Just look at Windows, XP's handling of resources was a bit rubbish tbh, but Vista, 7 and 8 are much improved in that regard. MS will take what it has learn't from Windows and apply it to the Xbox One, as such I'd be surprised if the majority of the 8Gb of RAM weren't available to the GPU when playing a game. Compare this to the 256MB available to the GPU in the PS3 and 512MB shared in the 360, and this is a big, big improvement. This will enable developers to use much more detailed, and much more expansive textures in their games, which should see a big improvement to graphics quality.

The 8 core processor may be used for things like Physics calculations as well.

Reports are 5GB of RAM for Games for the 360 out of the 8 with the remaining 3 doing background stuff.. Doesn't sound too bad really and is in line with the "average" for Gaming PC (which is generally 4GB, however 8GB is alot more common.) But this RAM is shared where a PC only part is really with GPU's coming with 1-2GB stock then taking an additional 1.5GB or so from system RAM if required etc.. However comparing a Console to a PC despite running essentially PC parts now is pointless as the Games will be better optimized for the consoles simply down to not having a billion different specs to work with.

Edits - Also would like to add the 8 Core CPU is overkill really, if anything one of two things will happen.. Dev's use all 6 Cores or whatever they have to play with making PC ports less copy and paste kinda thing as most PC's these days are Quad cores to be fair as there is no real need unless rendering etc to go higher. Games generally use 3 cores max. Or Dev's will just use 4 cores to make porting across if they are planning to at least easier for them.

Regardless I'm not interested in the One for one major reason, having to have the Kinect plugged in 24/7.. If the system gets hacked having a HD webcam attached and in your front room is never a good idea..
 
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Reports are 5GB of RAM for Games for the 360 out of the 8 with the remaining 3 doing background stuff.. Doesn't sound too bad really and is in line with the "average" for Gaming PC (which is generally 4GB, however 8GB is alot more common.) But this RAM is shared where a PC only part is really with GPU's coming with 1-2GB stock then taking an additional 1.5GB or so from system RAM if required etc.. However comparing a Console to a PC despite running essentially PC parts now is pointless as the Games will be better optimized for the consoles simply down to not having a billion different specs to work with.

PC's with dedicated graphics don't use 'shared RAM', only pc's running integrated graphics use shared RAM. On a desktop, if the graphics card has 1GB of RAM it can only access 1GB of RAM, it cannot delve into system RAM for extra, because the bus speed isn't sufficient to transfer that data. So even the very latest high-end graphics card from nVidia, the GTX 780 only has access to 3GB or RAM.

I'd also expect the amount of that 8GB in the Xbox One to be accessible by the graphics hardware to be variable. I'm not sure I believe that a full 3GB would be held back at all times for background tasks, that's a lot for what exactly? Running skype in the background? I'd imagine that more than 5GB will be accessible by games.

As for the CPU, numerous small cores are more efficient than a couple of large ones because individual cores can be turned on and off when required. Just look at smartphones, four cores are becoming commonplace, and the S4 has 8 cores (over two CPU's).
 
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my bad on the RAM thing, total memory lapse on my behalf. With the 5GB thing It's just what I have heard so will have to wait and see to what turns out to be fact, with the running skype calls and games at the same time (and TV? cant remember if I saw TV running alongside something else in the mini conference thing) could use up a bit and for the menu systesm but I agree that 3 GB seems quite a bit when Windows 7 with a few other things running idles at 1.5GB (for me) . As for CPU cores as it stands above 4 cores are used for intensive CPU applications (rendering etc) which just won't be needed on consoles imo. phones are an exception as each core is nowhere near the core of a Desktop CPU for example so the extra cores can help for the purposes you've said but for a console in the current market 8 is a bit over the top really however it does leave some overhead for the future I suppose and cores can be dedicated to handle set processes etc.
 
Regarding the CPU, which will be identical in the PS4 as well, it's an AMD 'Jaguar' processor, which isn't one of their full desktop processors. It's a low power unit, which equates to lower performance, similar to Intel's Atom line. So we're not talking 8 comparable cores to that of recent desktop computers (Intel's i7, i5 or even i3 processors, or AMD's Phenom line), instead we're talking something in between mobile ARM CPU's such as those used in smartphones and tablets, and desktop CPU's. So having 8 low(ish) performance cores, which can each be individually assigned to certain tasks, or individually reduced in frequency, or switched off altogether makes a lot of sense imo. Heat can be an issue for consoles, especially in terms of the noise of the fans required to remove this heat, so being able to keep this to a minimum is important.
 

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