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Albert Penello's Posts

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Thread PlayStation 5 uncovered: the Mark Cerny tech deep dive [Digital Foundry]
Well the article clearly disproved the idea that the CPU and GPU would have to tradeoff performance to run at the higher clocks which was something that seemed to be the case from the presentation. I also thought the test between the two GPU's normalizing the TFLOPS with a 36cu and 40cu GPU was pretty interesting. I would not have thought you would see any material performance change when the FLOPS were the same but that was an interesting result. Also nice to clear-up what appeared to be conflicting information where both sides turned out to be right (hearing from developers the need to "lock" clocks being a feature of the Devkit vs. final HW) It looks like they have done something super interesting here which I admit I'm still wrapping my head around. Nice to get a little more detail and clarity on some of these points from DF.
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Thread PlayStation 5 System Architecture Deep Dive |OT| Secret Agent Cerny
a 1tb SSD is actually ~930 usable based on how storage sizes are reported. I'm going to assume (although I don't know) that 825 will have some amount of of reserve as well, but since I don't know if they are expressing total capacity or actual I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt. Neither case counts for OS overhead, which we don't know yet for either system. All else equal, I think it's safe to assume you'll have at least 100 gb more accessible space on the Series X.
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Thread PlayStation 5 System Architecture Deep Dive |OT| Secret Agent Cerny
I think this is a very good view assuming we believe what's been rumored about a low-end SKU. This is why price makes such a difference. There are some other variables that may affect consumer perception one way or the other (e.g. you also get a bit more storage in the X, and while it's really only 931 vs. 825 that's still roughly 1 game install and we don't know the costs of adding external storage yet). But fundamentally I think this is sort of how it plays out even though you could make a case there are 1 or 2 more scenarios in here.
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Thread AMD: Statement about the theft of some test files related to a subset of current and future GPUs
I'm not 100% sure what is being implied here, so forgive if the comment is a non-sequitur. I think I've posted this before, but in my time with Xbox I was never exposed to a direct leak from either a developer or AMD about the competitions plans. People in a position to know things at this level of detail are all professionals and have business relationships with both companies that have persisted, at this point, for decades. Nobody with influence is interested in being the giver, or receiver, of this type of information. A big part of the reason these consoles are getting more homogeneous is because developers give similar feedback. And when one platform deviates too far, developers tend to push back to get things more inline. Obviously, both companies talk with Developers and suppliers, understand what's available from a SOC perspective and what are bottlenecks for games. Some things (like SSD's) were basically inevitable for both consoles given that data transfer speeds were gating CPU and GPU even late in the current gen. There is nothing that required "leaks" to assume SSD would be a big player (you probably saw tweets from several prominent Xbox employees talking about SSD testing back in like 2014/2015) Therefore - it's not hard to speculate or have some sort of theory about what the competition might do when you've been doing this for a while. Not due to leaks but simply by understanding what technology is available and at what price points. When you go through a process to decide your plan, you also put together game theory on what the competition might do based on their history, what they might see as success factors, and the company's strengths/weaknesses. Anyone with a strategy background understands a SWOT analysis. My personal SWOT for Sony when I was there was 8.4 +/- 10% at $399 and actually went as far back as 2016. It's highly likely that the current team adjusted their plans over time as they understood more about the development of Series X. I can't of course speculate what Sony's SWOT was for Xbox. I'm sure they assumed based on comments from Phil that performance was a big factor in their console plans, and I have every reason to believe that Sony had the same amount of knowledge about the Xbox plan as Xbox Point being - the Github stuff was really interesting to the community, and likely frustrating for Sony, but came far too late for either company to affect their plans and hold a 2020 ship. Again, sorry if this wasn't the point you were making.
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Thread Side-by-side official next gen flagship specs: Xbox Series X and PS5 spec sheets
But that delivery will come from your internet bandwidth, not from the disc. Sony appears to have a tradeoff of assets on a disc vs. cross-gen licenses. Not sure which is the better call.
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Thread Side-by-side official next gen flagship specs: Xbox Series X and PS5 spec sheets
What about disc support for games? This is interesting to me. Cerny made it seem like PS5 discs come on UHD which is great for data caps and bandwidth, but won't work on the older machines. Alternatively, if Xbox sticks with BD then you get one disc on all consoles but a lot of updates.
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Thread Side-by-side official next gen flagship specs: Xbox Series X and PS5 spec sheets
You're probably right. I think what will matter is if Sony allows the licensing across both to work. And I don't understand how that would happen if the disc can't be read.
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Thread Side-by-side official next gen flagship specs: Xbox Series X and PS5 spec sheets
Right, but if PS5 games come on UHD then you will need separate discs for PS4/Pro. If XSX games come on BD, then you won't have enough space for assets on all three consoles and will have big updates.
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Thread PS5 Speculation |OT12| - Aw hell, Transistor's running this again?
I think the are making a couple very smart moves, actually. Remember, I never thought it was going to be much over 9tflops so I'm not disappointed. If this thing is actually $399 I think it's a great deal.
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Thread PlayStation 5 Specs Revealed by EuroGamer (See Threadmarks)
We clearly know there is some sort of tradeoff, otherwise it wouldn't be worth mentioning. If you really thought that 99% of the time both CPU and GPU would be running full speed, it wouldn't even be a bullet point. Clearly, there is a tradeoff between CPU and GPU to get to 2.3 since there was an entire section dedicated to it. The question is around things like "how often" and "how much" these tradeoffs create. In the end, Sony can claim 10.2 TFLOPS, which is a good marketing bullet for them. The last piece of the puzzle is price, really.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation |OT11| All Hell Has Broken Loose. CONTEST INSIDE!
I would not be surprised to see the outbreak have an affect on many holiday products, including consoles. I would imagine contingency plans are in place but this is happening at a time with potentially a lot of impact to manufacturing timelines. If it subsides soon then things should move forward. If this continues on, I think it's going to be a big problem for a bunch of companies.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation |OT11| All Hell Has Broken Loose. CONTEST INSIDE!
I can't say for sure what folks there know or don't. I'm sure they have an *idea* at this point, but from my experience they wouldn't know for sure until Sony actually announces.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation |OT11| All Hell Has Broken Loose. CONTEST INSIDE!
What I said was in my time at Xbox, I was never aware of, nor did I personally participate in, any 'controlled leaks'. I never said they didn't happen, but I think people assume this is some sort of standard procedure in the industry. I don't think it is. I didn't say it never happened but I'd be pretty confident it happens a lot less than people think.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation |OT11| All Hell Has Broken Loose. CONTEST INSIDE!
It happened at Xbox One launch with the Hynix fire, and in that case you just eat it. As for contracts, it depends on why there is a shortage. It's a good call out. Sony usually does a good job locking in component prices over long periods of time, which is something I hadn't thought about until you brought it up.
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Thread Bloomberg: PlayStation 5's Bill of Materials have been pushed up to $450 due to scarce NAND and DRAM components
Some of the smaller details in the article don't make sense to me, although I can agree with the overall conclusions. I sort of said the same thing after their earnings call based on the comments from the CFO - things appear to be trending more expensive and $399 isn't a slam dunk. They would like to wait until Xbox announces price to make the call. I agree with this sentiment. The actual dollars don't make sense to me because a $450 launch BOM wouldn't be a super hard pill to swallow to launch at $399 assuming they have line-of-sight for that to come down. I think it would need to be much higher for them to waiver like this. Second, I don't recall cooling solutions being that cheap - even single components within the system. Still it seems hard to believe that cooling (even an exotic solution) would be something that drives up the price. I also don't believe they couldn't design around this issue. It's all memory, silicon yields, storage and spinning media. Those are the big areas. So a significant increase in memory pricing absolutely could be a driver. My guess is that costs have gone up enough to put them in a weird spot. Depending on what you want to believe about performance - but if they are actually in a 9-10 vs. 12 situation, being at the same price isn't super fun. And if costs have gone up more than they expect, it could be very hard to get to a $100 delta. That's my take anyway. I don't think it's a revelatory article, more just adding some texture to things that seem to be known.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
This is a good solid question that unfortunately I can't thoroughly answer without disclosing more than I should. I'm also not up to speed on the latest BOM for the current consoles (for obvious reasons). I will say, generally speaking, that people place a lot more emphasis on console loss then they should, primarily because they focus on launch pricing vs. overall pricing.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
Thanks! Ah... people would get pretty frustrated. There absolutely would be someone trying to figure out what happened, and often times there would be repercussions of some sort. Most of the stories that I can recall, the actual way the leaks happened have so many twists-and-turns it's never quite as straightforward as it seems. Some really crazy stories that i could never share. But yeah generally they were taken pretty seriously. It's funny because if I could get details on just about anything regarding the next-gen consoles, the story behind the back of the XSX photo would be the one question I could ask. I have not seen a takehome kit in person so I don't know if that was real or not - but it looked real to me and I'd love to hear the story. I have to believe someone got busted for that one if it was real. NDA's are easier to keep then you would think for the people who actually have access to the information. Most of the time people just aren't interested in losing their job for a few minutes of internet fame.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
I can't speak for "the game industry" but I can tell you that in my time at EA and at Xbox in Marketing, it never happened. It honestly makes no sense from a PR perspective, because any information you have would be much more valuable to use as an exclusive story with an outlet. Maybe it happens at other companies, I can't say. But not on anything I've ever worked with. And the real story with ntkrnl is quite unbelievable.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
OK well this would be my personal take on what he's saying. Actually, I think he's being super straightforward in these answers. They seem like they have some PR filters on them but I read them pretty honestly. I think what's going on here is - launch consoles are more expensive but usually cost reductions come quickly. They have to balance tooling costs and how many they want to supply initially vs. waiting for cost reductions to come in. A unit sold 6 months to 1 year later may be more profitable than a lunch unit. So having a fast transition may be possible, but it may make sense to slow demand a bit to be more profitable (this was an earnings call, after all)This says to me the box is tracking more expensive, but clearly they don't want to be out of position. It's a pretty honest statement IMO. Why be first to declare price in this space if you don't have to? If MS comes in at $599 on Series X for example, that's a much different scenario then if they come in at $399. It's super interesting related to the above statement. If they have to sell cheaper then they would like, you may adjust the launch quantities to try and wait for the cost reduction to come in. If you're going at a higher price, you may try to get more installed base more quickly. It's a very delicate dance. I don't read this as they are "reacting" to Xbox as much as holding more option value to get the right mix of units and pricepoint. Funny thing is, I'm betting MS is thinking very similarly so this could be an interesting game of chicken.Yeah see above. Sounds like they want to wait on a price announce unitil they have more information, because the pricing strategy will directly impact launch quantities and how long you wait for cost reductions to come in. This does suggest to me that $399 wasn't the slam dunk I was expecting. If they were targeting $399 I would not expect some of these statements. Equally however, this could all be posture to not spook Microsoft into doing anything aggressive either. So who knows.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
Quite a few. This article details a bunch of them with the architects.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
I wouldn't know that LOD. By the time that was happening, I would be knee-deep in PR and Marketing plans. Thinking about launch events, packaging, copy, etc. Or I would be thinking about the next update/form factor changes (e.g. "slim" versions), etc. I would be in meetings where the team would discuss bringup, but I wasn't directly involved, so I don't want to speculate. This is why I have a good sense of where the overall process is, but for this question I can't give you a detailed answer.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
I really don't want to get argumentative on this point, so I'll close with this and we can just continue to respectfully disagree. First I think you may be conflating Develop with Design. You can absolutely design multiple chips for multiple years. That's not a very costly process and happens all the time. In fact, fleshing out multiple chip options to validate some assumptions isn't all that unusual. To develop two different chips is a much different idea. This means you have parallel teams actually working towards creating multiple designs that are all viable for production. And you are correct, this is technically possible. The reason it doesn't happen is that you are designing two completely different consoles, and the costs of doing so are going to be absorbed into only one production unit. That means all the costs for BOTH designs are burdened into one design. This could be hundreds of millions of dollars of NRE (depending on how far along you get) that need to be amortized into a single shipping unit. That's much different than amortizing those costs into two different, shipping units. So the platforms expect that when they sell that unit, they are making the money back on development. That's the difference between seeing these companies creating multiple consoles which all actually ship, vs. having multiple developments and only shipping one. You're talking about throwing millions of dollars in silicon development and absorbing all those losses into a single sku. It's just not financially viable, even though it would technically be possible.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
It is entirely possible that Sony has been developing, in parallel, two completely different SOC's. I've said before it would be costly to do it, but you seem very convinced about it and I will concede that while I've never heard of such a thing happening since the Dreamcast days, it not impossible and therefore becomes simply a difference of opinion. I will give you two reasons why I reject it, which of course you may disagree. First, if there are meaningful difference in performance between the two chips, there will be meaningful differences in cooling and other support components. At a minimum this is an entirely different motherboard layout and cooling design. Therefore Sony would have to engineer two different *consoles*, not just two different chips, to support both scenarios. Otherwise you would have to believe that Sony is over-designing a bigger box (which comes with cost) to have the headroom to support two different SOC designs. So they would be willing to eat both the upfront costs of two silicon programs but also risk over-building a form-factor to support these different outcomes? The elegant HW designs Sony has produced so far don't suggest to me they do anything other than build a holistic system that's highly integrated between the silicon and system design. It's just far too inelegant and expensive. The second reason (which I'll admit is more subjective) is that this idea also implies Sony isn't confident in their own strategy. That somehow they feel compelled to pay for option value just in case Microsoft does something that scares them. I just find it hard to believe they don't know exactly what they want to build, and what they want it to cost, and have already considered what the competition might do. I just don't believe Sony is so worried about Xbox that they are going to be the ones holding option value and taking this kind of risk and cost. I think the most likely scenario that we have here is that Sony planned on a Jaguar-based console in 2019, be that PS5 or a PS4 Pro Plus, rejected that idea and moved to a Zen-based console for 2020 which is the PS5. That change seemed to have happened in 2017. If that's true (and I believe it is) then it would be further hard to believe they went and decided to spin up two different 2020 SOC's, both going through a full validation phase, only to wait to see what Xbox does then decide which one to put into production. And even if you believed - I can say with a high degree of certainty that they would have needed to abandon one of them at least 6 months ago to launch this holiday. Just my $.02.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
This is the Phil quote, right? There were two different *plans* - a 2016 version and a 2017 version. Two chip designs. But two completely different chips were never developed. I was actually on IGN and talked a bit more about this too. The team started thinking about the idea of Scorpio back before the original Xbox One launched in 2013. I think I presented the first plan in either late 2012 or early 2013. There were different options for different years, starting with a 2016 version, and as Phil said he pushed the team and we came up with a 2017 version. But there was never a 2016 chip created.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
In some territories they had advertising calling the Pro “The Worlds Most Powerful Console”. I’m on mobile but if you image search you will find it. I don’t think they ever did that for base PS4 that I can recall.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
I know. The poster was asking about those specific words and I was just saying that was only used with Pro that I remember.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
Thanks! 2017 for changes to a 2020 launch are very plausible. Again, I know nothing but that timing would work.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
Yeah worth mentioning this post isn't supposed to advocate for a specific leak or that I think one is right or the other is wrong. I'm in the dark as much as the next person. What I do know is that nothing is changing right now :)
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
Totally depends. Trying to be specific enough to make my point without disclosing anything I shouldn't. It's a collaboration is the best thing to say.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
Do a search on my post history I cover this one specifically a couple times. tl:dr - there was headroom in the case design and it didn't cost much in terms of yields. Some luck involved :)
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
The SOC's that AMD are building for Microsoft and Sony are *highly* customized specifically for the vendors based on specs, cost, and performance requirements that each platform defines for AMD. There is no off-the-shelf equivalent of anything that goes inside an Xbox or PlayStation, and the idea they are "pre-made" really misunderstands what's happening and sort of diminishes the role of Cerny or the architects at Microsoft in terms of how much custom work goes into the chip. AMD has IP and Processes. Sony and Microsoft work with AMD's list of available IP and Processes, add in some of their own requirements, and have an entirely new SOC created specifically for them. This process takes years. Everyone is aware that the PS4 Pro GPU had unique HW instructions for temporal reconstruction, as well as support for FP16 that did not exist together in other part of the AMD portfolio. The ability to decode Xbox 360 textures and much of the native DX12 instructions in the Xbox SOC's only appear in the versions that ship on Xbox (the DX stuff I believe ended up in later AMD GPU's.) This is the 'secret sauce' that is so often talked about, and it absolutely can work for (or against) a specific console. I don't think Sony got much mileage out of FP16, and Xbox One's implementation of ESRAM didn't help them as much as expected either. While the Checkerboard techniques helped PS4 Pro a lot, and the ability to decode X360 textures is why you have such a good back compat story on Xbox. Here's the best way I can think of to describe it. Think of AMD as a Caterer. They have a list of (e.g. Zen, RDNA, HW RT, etc. etc.) and they also have a set based on their ingredients. (RX5000 series, RX Vega series, RX 500 series). Most people think that Xbox and Sony choose from the Menu. But what actually happens is they choose from the ingredients, add in some of their own specific ingredients (DX instructions, Back Compat Code, Checkerboard, etc.) and have an entirely new dish created My point is that even though AMD's R&D efforts provide the groundwork, the SOC found in PlayStation and Xbox consoles are completely bespoke designs in collaboration with AMD and the platform makers, and are designed years in advance. This is why anyone speculating that wholesale performance changes can happen at any time don't seem to realize how far in advance these decisions are made. Yes small changes can happen throughout the process and plans evolve from the initial spec to the final production silicon. But you can't grow the performance of the chips this late in the game without restarting some pretty critical, long-pole parts of the process. I'm only speaking from one side of this, but I'm pretty sure it's similar on the PlayStation side. EDIT: Upon a re-read, I'm not giving enough credit to AMD's engineers either. It really is a collaboration between the companies. But the performance, cost and business aspects are defined by the consoles. The real silicon engineering is a collaboration.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
It would be impossible. You'd either delay the program, try and see what you could get done within the chip you had (enable redundant CU's or upclock) or ship what you have. I'm not a silicon engineer. Someone who is may be able to speak in more depth. My experience would say that "adding CU's" to a chip that doesn't have them is no longer that chip, it's a new program. What I can tell you is that 12 months before release, you're actually manufacturing consoles. Not final consoles, but you have production lines going and are manufacturing units for validation and testing. Phil tweeted in December that the team had takeome units. Those are pre-production units but "pre-production" is still made on a production line. It may not be using all the final parts, but the process is designed to work out manufacturing kinks. To ship for the end of the year, manufacturing is likely starting in late summer which at this point is only 4 - 5 months away.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT10| - We aim to transition those from OT9 at a pace never seen before.
If I understand the question posed, the idea is if it's cheaper to run an existing chip at a higher spec (therefore having less usable parts) to hit a performance target (say 10 TFLOPS) vs. building a new chip from scratch that has overhead to disable CU's to also get to 10 TFLOPS? Is that the gist? This is a super interesting question I'll have to think about it. There are a lot of variables at play, not the least of which is - In general, the answer would doubtless be to build the right chip. Getting good yields and having overhead is going to be the most cost effective in the long run. That said, the sunk costs for a whole new chip development are, like, A LOT. So you don't want to do that twice. But really it's sort of unanswerable without a lot more information. I think it really comes down to how much the yields are impacted and how the longevity of the good chips are affected. I've said before that +/- 10% is a good rule of thumb where you could consider the performance increases vs. the yield implications to be tolerable. At the risk of beating a dead horse (since I've said this often), I also need to point out the case and cooling design limitations. You can can crank the silicon all the way up until you only have 1 good chip off the wafer, but if you can't cool it once it's in the console, it's no good. So that's a limiting factor in this as well. (QUICK EDIT: Remember that the cost of throwing away bad chips goes up at a faster rate then the number of bad chips. So if you were expecting 90% yields, removing 20% more chips is ~30% more expensive per chip. Removing 30% more chips makes each chip 50% more expensive, and so on)
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
I assume "case" to mean the external ID of the box? When a something is considered *done* (as in completely 100% final) is a bit of a tough thing to track down exactly, and may depend on who you ask. Minor revisions can be done throughout the process so when someone says "the final design was done very close to the end" this is probably a technically true statement. Conversely, the basic size and form is decided early in the process, and evolves throughout. Because case design goes hand-in-hand with cooling, which is done hand-in-hand with chip development, you have to think about all these parts in tandem. This is why I've mentioned in the past that Sony's flexibility to increase clock speeds or enable CU's is directly related to how much headroom was built in the cooling design. I can't speak to Sony's process obviously, but if you look at the PS3 unveil in May 2005 (18 months before launch) the external ID form is nearly identical to the product that shipped, even though the final color and port configuration are very different. I think this is the best illustration of my point - even from the earliest stages the overall formfactor is well known, but lots of details can still be changed through launch. To address the question that I think is implied - any meaningful changes to the overall case design to help improve cooling or support more performance I would guess are well, well past the deadline for a ship this holiday. That doesn't mean that small tweaks can't be happening up until final production. But from the standpoint of adding horsepower, I would imagine it's way too late for either platform. Is that helpful?
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Thread I feel like Microsoft should be releasing Xbox Series X in like ... September ... The latest.
I have don't have to currently work there to remember dates. :) Phil tweeted in January 2017 (the same year of launch) that he played his first Scorpio games. Phil tweeted in December 2019 (a month earlier relative to launch) that he had Scarlett take home units. Based on when I know we had Scorpio takehome units (because I was there) and assuming Phil is telling the truth (which I know he is), that would suggest the project is a little ahead of the *Scorpio* schedule in relative terms. Or as I actually said, I have no idea if they are ahead of schedule and almost they certainly aren't going to ship earlier in the year. My comment was merely to suggest that I doubt things are coming in either, since the Scorpio HW program went pretty smoothly.
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
You're making a slightly different, but equally interesting point, IMO. What you are cluing into is that we are reaching a point of diminishing returns on Moore's Law, whereby to extract a significant (or worthy) advance in performance, you're not going to rely on silicon improvements alone anymore. From the "modern age" of gaming between PS1 Gen and PS4 Gen, the silicon advancements alone were astronomical. The PS1 CPU was on a process. The PS4 Pro is on a 16nm process. Next gen looks to be targeting 7nm. Combine that with an amazing run on improvements in rendering techniques, plus all the integrated "secret sauce" rendering that was being built natively into the silicon. There were also other market factors (desktop rendering, growth of CD/DVD/BD, massive advancements in storage density), all combined to create a golden age of graphics computing. It was enough to rely on process improvements between generational shifts that you could mostly count on those advancements to not only bring down costs (reducing price over time) but have a significant performance bump without the need to really increase die area. The run on console improvements (as a percentage of growth) on $200-$300 boxes from 1995 - 2013 may never be seen again. Going forward, we have a slowing of Moore's First Law, the application of Moore's Second Law (or Rock's Law) becomes more apparent. It's going to get more costly to produce these upcoming nodes. And the market dynamics around storage and media are no longer in play. So not only are the things we come to associate with consoles fixed in cost, in some cases they are getting either stagnant or more expensive. So you are completely right - one of 3 things has to happen. 1. You're going to see smaller and smaller % leaps in performance between generations if you want low cost and price drops. 2. The price of consoles are going to have to go up in order to provide meaningful differentiation. You will see less price drops over time. This is your "advancement tax" 3. Console manufacturers will have to eat more loss on HW to offset #1 and #2. So your point is super valid. Inflation has nothing to do with it. If you're paying attention to technology, the console business is going to come under tremendous pressure as it becomes harder and harder to deliver huge leaps in performance every few years at price points that were seen has historically successful. I don't paint this as doom-and-gloom for consoles. Only that the traditional boundaries are going to have to be broken and accepted at some point. Fun times ahead!
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
But it looks different if you add the Pro. PS4PRO - 415$ The inflation adjusted difference between the consoles in this scenario is $83. The actual non adjusted prices for the consoles is about the same - $100 PS1 - 299$ PS2 - 299$ PS4 - 399$ PS4PRO - 399$ I'm not saying consoles won't go up with inflation - they clearly did and they will again. However, there was a 13 year gap (in your example) between PS2 and PS4 when the price went up. It didn't in the 5 years between the PS1 and PS2. And it didn't in the 3 years between PS4 and PS4 Pro. (and there are plenty of successful consoles that make the argument against inflation - Nintendo consoles are well below the inflation rate) Given that the PS4 Pro launched in 2016, and the inflation adjusted price for that only varies by $15, I don't think that's a case that there is room to move up in Gen 9. Inflation will matter for consoles at some point, but I don't think it's 2020. Doing quick math: The average inflation rate for the last decade (throwing out the highest and lowest) is 1.8%. Projecting forward, the time where a 2016 $399 console = $500 (assuming 2% inflation) is 2027
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
Thanks for asking. I'm at Amazon, working in the FireTV team. If you remember when Amazon and Alexa worked to get Alexa devices working on Xbox, I was part of that program on the Amazon side. So I'm gaming-adjacent. :)
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
Yeah. I was the marketing lead for that program. I try not to judge the team too harshly. Huge technical hurdles to overcome, a small team, and due to the primarily physical nature of the Xbox discs it was a program that had diminishing returns pretty quickly (meaning people stopped using it). With Xbox One there were silicon decisions made to make BC with 360 easier, plus the state-of-the art in profiling tools and emulation had advanced. The current teams are much more robustly staffed and are some of the smartest and dedicated folks I had worked with. And lots of business tailwinds as well. So times (and tech) have changed. Thanks to the pioneers on the OG compat for 360 for getting things started, although in hindsight things could have been better.
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
I've been in this business for a LONG time and there is an emotional aspect of Back Compat that is often overlooked, and it's around customer trust and good faith with the brand and the technology. When was the last time you played a DVD (assuming you have a DVD library), yet you would be completely turned off by a DVD-like format that didn't play the older discs. It shows that companies respect the investment that customers have made, and are willing to not try and think past their needs. Maybe they won't actually play the games but they might LIKE to play the games at some point. Or, maybe during the launch period when new release are slow (or maybe they have friends who haven't upgraded their consoles) it doesn't isolate people from playing with their friends. And absolutely true that digital libraries change the dynamic hugely. So it's true that there is a lack of BC uses as the generation goes on, but I have always believed that it's critical to building a long-term platform. I think it was really smart of Xbox to invest heavily there, and I think it's smart of Sony to start investing here too. I absolutely think that a robust PS4 back-compat strategy will get people to buy a PS5 faster. Christmas and Birthdays come every year, and if all I need to enjoy my old games AND my new games is a single HW purchase, that's an easy choice.
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
Yeah bad choice. I would say that PS2 had good compat but eventually it was taken out, correct? And PS3 IIRC was pretty spotty then also taken out after the 2nd year. PS4 had none at all. Seems like PS5 will be built to have much better compat with PS4, and less likely to be taken out in later revisions. So yeah "first" is bad. Probably should word differently so I edited above.
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
I think there is an even more obvious 3rd scenario: 3. Sony doesn't care much about what Xbox does. They are going to provide a huge next-generation performance upgrade from the PS4PRO in visuals and performance, at a $399 price that has brought them global share success. They will be the most powerful , and more importantly it will have a strong cross-generation Back Compat story with PS4, which locks in their existing audience and moves them quickly to their new console with a suite of killer first party exclusives. I think this is the best of all the options :) It's not like they are going to have a weak story around specs (SSD, RT, RDNA, Zen, etc.) so the question is if they care about 2.8 tflops. This of course assumes that Series X isn't also $399. I think in *that* case Sony may have something to worry about.
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
I don't comment directly on Microsoft's plans or strategies, simply because I had in-depth knowledge before I left. So I either risk leaking something that I shouldn't, or I say something that's no longer correct because the plan has changed in the 1.5 years since I've left (which I'm sure it has in some ways). Neither one is a great place to be (that's why I stick to only commenting on Sony's stuff because I really don't know) So I'll sound more cagey than I would like - but the rumors around a Lockhart-like device are true, then I think it's something that would have to ship at the same time as Series X, simply to make sure that games work on it. I don't see how you could launch something like that later and have games guaranteed to work without a huge lift on the internal teams.
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
This is a fair counter-point, for sure. There are *also* good reasons Sony may be targeting a higher price and I think this is a logical thought process. I would simply be surprised if they they thought this way. The volume difference of the Pro vs. the X would suggest the better bet is $399 than matching a TFLOPS battle. I assume that would be Sony's takeaway from what's happening in the market. Of course Sony cares about performance. But do they care more about volume is the key question in my mind.
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
Great question. Theoretically I would first ask if I could have more success by flanking them than going head-on against them, while simultaneously shifting my business focus to services, subscriptions, and cloud. I would also say the PlayStation analogy is more apples-to-apples than your Xbox one. The $500 play was with a less performing box and a bad bet on a mass-appeal device. Conversely, the $500 powerful box that just launched has been very successful vs. expectations and has done a lot to change the narrative around your brand. So do you want to be Porsche or do you want to be Toyota? Both successful in their own right, targeting different audiences. I've never suggested that the Xbox plan will beat the PlayStation plan. But it's possible (and Phil has said) maybe they are playing a different game, so to speak.
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
I made nearly the same argument here in April. I totally agree.Except console prices haven't nearly kept up with inflation. The intellivision was $299 in 1978, the 2600 was $199 in 1977. This is a great chart - If consoles kept up with inflation we'd have $700 - $800 consoles today depending on what you wanted to use as a benchmark. Even still at 2% year inflation growth, $299 in 2016 (when the Pro launched) is only ~ $312 today.
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
Nothing specifically, and it's also hard to say given that I don't know what's happening internally and what information they have from partners or other external factors. Which is to say - I don't have the details they have to judge why they are doing things a certain way. The only thing that strikes me as different from previous Xbox launches is the way they are dolling out small bits of information over a period of time, and starting much earlier. It's different and would not have been the expected way of doing it, but it seems to be working really well. So that's been an interesting takeaway for me vs. doing a huge unveil event and be able to go deeper on questions. Otherwise I'll have to armchair quarterback what they do just like everyone else. And Tom I hope it's OK to ask you don't report on things I say here. If I make the *news* then I stop posting. I'm trying to be a helpful commenter in this forum not an insider generating more heat on this console war. Appreciate that if you could :)
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
Lots went wrong with that launch, but I like to take the long view and remember OG Xbox and Xbox 360 which went pretty well, as did Scorpio. So X1 is still the anomaly for Xbox console launch failures. It would be like saying Sony botches launches just because of the PS3. Sure, one bad one but it largely recovered, and still had 3 huge successes.
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
That was a long time ago, so pulling from memory. Nothing official in terms of knowing what they were doing of course but I do remember that we knew they were going to have more TFLOPS, and they were using GDDR5 vs DDR3. However (and I've posted this before so it's well known) we were planning to have more system memory, and there was a debate about ESRAM (and the success that EDRAM saw on 360) and how much real-world difference there would be. I think the only surprise was them going to 8gb.
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
I wasn't comparing 7nm to 16nm. You are right that as nodes shrink, manufacturing goes up (IIRC 16nm was the last time it was projected to be cheaper). That said, the point still stands that what you are paying for is the number of usable chips you get from a sheet, regardless of what actual technology is inside that chip. That development effort was paid for separately.
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
From the perspective of the BOM, yes. I don't want to get into the business relationships and how these things are funded, but if you're focused on how the console manufactures look at pricing and profitability, you pay for a giant sheet of wafers. Some of them are good, some of them are bad. How many working wafers you get off that sheet is how you price the chip. Bigger chip = less wafers = more cost. Smaller chip = more wafers (also better yields) = less cost. The technology that's actually inside the chip is largely irrelevant to the costs at the scale of consoles. That's why PC price parts analogies don't work.
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
Very true. However, that's what's fun about watching from the outside - see new approaches and how the industry responds. I think they are doing a really good job so far, even if I may have done it differently.
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Thread PS5 and Xbox Series speculation launch thread |OT9| - For flops sake!
I disagree, but that's just me. You are paying for surface area. If the chip is the same size as chips in existing boxes, then it doesn't matter what's inside the chip. And the size determines many other factors (case, cooling, etc). And we still don't know how much memory is on these machines, or the size of the SSD. If these have 12-16GB of GDDR6 and 1tb SSD or less, then you have a very manageable launch BOM with a roadmap to get to $0 loss. IMO too much analysis is done on what PC parts costs. My speculation that Sony would be 8-9TFLOPS was derived from hitting a $399 price. But that's just my experience. Lots of things could have changed.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT8| - The Dark Tower (See Staff Post)
I have yet to be surprised by anything so far :) Since I know the plan (Xbox plan), and nothing official has been stated yet, I won't comment.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT8| - The Dark Tower (See Staff Post)
Yes, at this point it's all about final testing of silicon and any fine-tuning around thermals. Most likely there are early DVT units out there on both side. As I said, very little left can be changed unless my previous conditions are met.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT8| - The Dark Tower (See Staff Post)
My belief has been that they would be double the Pro +/- 10%. So 8.4 - 9.2 at $399. Anything over 10 requires a different thermal solution and higher cost. What's funny is I first presented my estimations for console SKU's back in the beginning of 2017. So I've had this prediction going for much longer than 3 months :) I"m not doing any victory laps yet however. Still a long time left for final specs to be released.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT8| - The Dark Tower (See Staff Post)
I would define "tapeout" as the ready-to-manufacture silicon. This would be final production ready silicon that is ready to mass-produce in volumes. That generally happens very shortly before launch - typically less than a year. In fact, Scorpio tapeout IIRC happened in March 2017. Bringup (or the first piece of manufactured silicon that can be put in prototype boxes) came in December 2016 (so about a little less than a year before launch). Phil has tweeted that they had takehome units shortly before Christmas, which by my estimation would mean they are past bringup, but prior to tapeout, but actually ahead of schedule relative to Scorpio which was a pretty smooth process. So I would say things seem to be going well. Highly unlikely that any changes would be able to be done with either console at this point, unless two things are true. 1. The exterior case and cooling design can handle whatever increases they would like to implement (could be CU's, could be clock speed but either way it's more heat) 2. They are seeing much better yields than anticipated and can meet their launch volume targets and long-term cost reduction goals. Basically, at this point the consoles that are shipping are the ones that both companies have been planning to ship for at least a year, unless they delay the launch (and eat a ton of sunk costs) or had build in the ability to react to any bumps in performance in advance.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT8| - The Dark Tower (See Staff Post)
I'm not a storage or data-transfer expert so hard to give any good insight beyond what's been posted before. Historically most drives (even SSD I believe) had some onboard memory to help with data transfer. I'm not sure however if it's as necessary with NVME drives. Seems like interesting tech and surely Sony is investing here.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT8| - The Dark Tower (See Staff Post)
Wanted to get something straight. So what Cerny is saying here is that if you have a large amount of memory but it's running at slower bandwidth, and you have a smaller amount of very fast memory, you can add those two numbers together to represent the total memory bandwidth. Got it. Just wanted to make sure because I remember hearing from a lot of posters that wasn't possible... once upon a time. /s
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT8| - The Dark Tower (See Staff Post)
This is a good post. I do think it's Sony's game to lose, and that the prices and value-per-tflop will be an issue moreso than the absolute TFLOP number.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
I was wondering they adjust the numbers at launch given how casual folks will compare them to the Gen8 numbers without understanding the generational improvements. I've seen this posted a few times, so please let's clear this up.
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Thread Rumour: WindowsCentral - Inside the target specs of the next Xbox 'Project Scarlett,' 'Anaconda', and 'Lockhart'
Don't read anything into it. If I was trying to tip anyone off, I wouldn't say anything (remember my rule about not commenting on Xbox plans) This is 100% speculative on how folks on the forum would deal with the confusion at the mass market.
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Thread Rumour: WindowsCentral - Inside the target specs of the next Xbox 'Project Scarlett,' 'Anaconda', and 'Lockhart'
No not at all. I didn't even do the math - I was just suggesting that if you were releasing an 8tflop Gen 9 console, would you change the tflops to be higher in order to account for the incremental performance?
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Thread Rumour: WindowsCentral - Inside the target specs of the next Xbox 'Project Scarlett,' 'Anaconda', and 'Lockhart'
If this is confusing for people in this thread, I can only imagine what the mass market will think. Given the truth that a Gen 9 tflop is better than a Gen 8 tflop, how do you message that in a simple, easy to understand way that's also technically credible? Option 1 - Adjust the number to be relative to Gen 8 (e.g 4tflops becomes 5, 8tflops becomes 10, and 12 becomes 14) Option 2 - Leave the same and try and explain in videos, demos, etc. Option 2 - Do nothing and let the games speak for themselves. This is tricky proposition. Each has pros/cons. But unless you do option 1, there are going to be a lot of casual gamers that will think the low-end is less powerful than the outgoing model. Interested in thoughts on this.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
I think the point he's making is a convoluted way of saying something we all know inherently. Devs can break anything. :) It's a circular argument, but let's use Xbox One X or PS4 Pro as an example. Both machines are capable of 4K native resolution if that's what the developers intended to do. Even the Xbox One S and Base PS4 could output native 4K games if the developers want. But it comes at a compromise somewhere else. So in next gen, the console manufactures are putting in technology to enable 120fps and Native 4K resolutions and super fast loading times via SSD. That assumes that developers choose to build games with the constraints of the HW in mind. However, they could decide to make 30FPS games on Next Gen and really blow-out graphics density. Or build worlds that break the fast loading times of SSD by pushing beyond what was intended. That's why it's nearly impossible for the Platform holders to make firm claims around these features, because it's up to the game itself on how it chooses to use compute. At least, that's how I interpret that article...
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
I think you're asking "why Jaguar"? It was simple industry consolidation. IBM (PowerPC) and all the other bespoke chip manufacturers were gone. AMD was the only company left that had GPU and CPU and was willing to build an APU. And the only CPU they had was Jaguar. It wasn't much more complicated than that. If AMD didn't develop Zen, then consoles would either still be on Jaguar, or your consoles would be getting WAY more expensive. You also have to remember (and I've said this before) there are a lot of headwinds for game consoles. In Gen7, consoles were not the largest consumers for components like DVD drives, spinning hard drives, or memory. Now, they are basically the *only* consumers of spinning Hard Drives and DVD drives at scale. So costs are flat (or going up) on a lot of components, as well as Moore's Law slowing down.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
Hm! I wasn't aware of that. My only reason for thinking it's not HBM is not only cost but I recall there being some other architecture challenges, but I don't recall the specifics enough to want to make a statement about it. So it may not be off the table. It would certainly be a game changer but if that's the case I would revise my $399 speculation :)
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
Precisely. What else could have been done? It's 2010/11. You're making your chip selection for your next consoles launching in 2013. You Power PC, and you know that PowerPC is not going to exist anymore so it's a jump ball. You know that an APU is critical to the business to sell 100M consoles since you can't integrate or cost-reduce when you use discrete components. Where do you go? What else was available? You maybe could have gone to Intel and used their integrated graphics. In which case you get a killer CPU but a so-so GPU (esp. in 2010). You go to Nvidia but then you are ARM which would give awesome GPU but have some pretty big challenges for your existing development pipeline (much different than the situation Switch is dealing with) It was an attrition and business problem.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
Memory was expensive at the time - can't remember the circumstances but X360 memory was dirt cheap by the end, so there was a big shock to the system in the cost for DD3. GDDR5 was CRAZY expensive (like 2x the cost). So for MS at least it was always DDR3. The team believed that 8gb of DDR3 would be the same cost as 4gb of GDDR5 so it was a risk but felt it would provide better games and all the media stuff would not come at a cost to the developers. Of course, it didn't pan out that way. A Hynix fire right before launch drove the cost of DDR3 through the roof (eroding the cost advantage), and all the major graphics cards moved quickly to GDDR5 so prices dropped faster than expected. Worked out great for Sony, not so great for Xbox. I can only speculate what Sony's original plan was for RAM, but my guess is it was always GDDR5.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
yeah that makes sense. I don't want to suggest Sony was targeting half capacity - both consoles were targeting 4gb in the early days. I think what's more interesting is how there is certain information that gets around (like Xbox had 8 and Sony had 4), but the context around it was missing; I'm not sure they knew we were GDDR3 and that Xbox were allocating much of the extra memory to non-gaming applications.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
Out of my element on this - I can tell you that I was it was a natural evolution of the eDRAM which developers liked on X360. People seem to mischaracterize it as a response or a band-aid to using DDR3 but that wasn't the case - it was always in the plan as an evolution of how X360 worked. My understanding is that, when used, it really helped. As to the architecture differences between eSRAM and eDRAM, talk to the Technical Fellows :)
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
Sony made a fundamentally better decision to start with GDDR5 so I don't want to discount that. All things equal, that was a smarter call. Some luck played into it (good and bad) for both parties which has happened in every console cycle.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
Haven't they already confirmed GDDR6? I thought they had. HBM came with a host of other constraints beyond just cost, from what I recall. I'm not going to claim a lot of expertise here.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
I'm sure there have been lots of interviews about the X1 rollout that cover anything I could say. Regarding RAM, It's most likely I'm going to take a ton of guff for this, but the RAM story is interesting so here goes (it's very similar to what happened on X360 but reverse). The Gen 8 spec was going to be 4GB. That would have been 4x the amount of memory from Gen7 so that was the target for both consoles based on what we knew. With all the Kinect and Media stuff the team knew that would eat too much memory for games and proposed 8gb - 2-3 for media, and 5-6 for games. Once the xbox team had knowledge there was a gap in GPU with PS4, the feeling was that the incremental 1-2 gb for games, while slower, would make up some of the difference. So having say 5-6gb for games in DDR3 could offset having only 3.5gb of GDDR5 (having half the memory would have meant half the memory bandwidth, too). Once word got out X1 had 8gb (and of course Sony would not have known the type of RAM we were using or for what), we heard that matched to 8. I think that part is pretty undisputed at this point. So that was a bummer for X1 but was a super smart call on Sony's part. Of course, the exact opposite happened on X360. It would be interesting to think what a 4gb PS4 vs. an 8GB X1 battle would have looked like in games, given their advantage in GPU.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
It's a different scenario with a full generation change than with Scorpio. There was really no downside to sharing because they knew the numbers (specs) were good and the price was going to be controversial but it was never the intent for Scorpio to be anything other than a premium console. I'm not sure either side (MS or Sony) has a clear idea what the other are doing, so I think both will be more cautious on what they share this time. That's my guess.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
Thanks! I do want to add for posterity: I'm completely open to being wrong. I'm not "digging my heels" in, I'm just weighing the leaks with my knowledge of console development. I've also caveated that I think that $399 means a lower spec.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
I've said this before, but perhaps it's worth repeating: for the specifications that people are about, I can see where $499 makes sense. However, I believe some of these to be optimistic. And there is actually nothing that has been disclosed officially by either Sony or Microsoft that precludes $399. We do not know the TFLOPS. We don't know the RAM (amount) and we don't know the size of the SSD. Each of these would contribute greatly to the overall BOM of the console. So just simply based on the official statements from both Sony and Microsoft, $399 is not out of the question. As for the Xbox One X - I happen to know a little about that. Part of what drove $499 for the X was simply the knowledge that it would be a smaller part of the overall mix. Meaning, what drove the cost was that it wasn't going to be the volume leader. Knowing that, it allowed MS to spend more on increasing the amount of memory, better cooling solution, etc. So the extra $100 was used to make the device even more premium. It would have been possible to do a version of the X at $399, but it would have meant compromises in other ways. So you could have gotten something close to the X for $399 if you were willing to give up a few things. This is what Sony decided to do and how they landed the Pro at $399. I'm not saying that I know anything about what Sony is doing for sure. If they launch at $499 I would be surprised but I'm not suggesting it's impossible or crazy or bad or the rumors are wrong. It's just my guess that they will make some tradeoffs in order to get to a $399 sales price because it's been very successful for them and I happen to know it's not out of the question. So to answer your question directly: Yes I do. It's certainly possible. I guess we will have to wait and see.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
Your point is fair that it's not always going to be that way. But it's not clear when that change will happen. And Sony made a huge blunder in price on PS3, and Xbox followed with a huge blunder on price in 2013. Remember that games were $39.99 in 1978 and held until 1985 when they were $49.99. That held until 2004 when they went to $59.99 (and yes, there have been outliners through the years, but those were the mainstream prices). So gaming seems to fight inflation (and is a killer deal today relative to gaming back in the 80's and 90's.) (link to one of my favorite graphics: ) There is also the global problem where different currencies and duties make consoles even more in other nations. So that extra $100 could have a big multiplier when it comes to tariffs and taxes around the world. My guess is that by the time consoles are "mainstream" at $499 is when consoles don't sell as high volumes anymore. Despite what all want in a console, price generally beats performance at scale. If it didn't, you'd see both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X being the volume leaders. But last time I looked they were both hovering around 25% of the total mix per platform.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
What's not true? This is exactly what I have said - consoles for the most part fought inflation and have stayed pretty similar throughout the years. If you were to adjust to say, the value of an NES in today's dollars, a console should cost about $475 today.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
So, you chose to leave out some context on this quote, which included my opening line: Which might suggest to readers that the source of my shade may have been at the poster, not at Cerny. But looking only at that quote, and not any of the other posts surrounding the conversation, I can see where it might be read that way. So to set the record straight, I wasn't throwing shade or calling him a liar. I was pointing out that Cerny is very smart, and very careful with his words, and he chose not to be specific in this case. That was simply a matter of fact which I found interesting. Regardless, thanks for your apology, no hard feelings, back to your regularly scheduled program.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
Not much less likely - virtually impossible. There could be a decision to enable redundant CU's if yields are good (very costly and risky) or you could increase clock speeds which mean you would have to have designed the cooling/case/thermals to handle that incremental draw. Even a 10% increase in clock can have a dramatic effect on reliability and costs.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
That's a pretty serious mischaracterization so let's be clear. What I said was, Cerny was not specific in how he described Ray Tracing support for PS5. I claimed, multiple times, that I thought they had HW ray tracing but it was notable that he was not specific. And until he actually said it himself, I was going to consider it a rumor. That's all I said. No shade, no implication of lying. In fact, it the follow-up interview Cerny agreed he wasn't clear.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
Yes, exactly. I have said for a while I think thought Sony would target mid-8 tflops (+/- 10% which could put them in the low 9's) but that was based on my belief around $399. I also knew (now known by others post AMD disclosures) that the effectiveness of a next-gen TFLOP was higher than the current gen. I don't want to stirr anything up again because I know this is not a popular POV, and a lot can change in the 2.5 years between when I left and when they launch. If I'm wrong, that's fine. But that's my guess. If they go $499 there is a lot of room on TFLOPS, cooling, etc.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
Which is why I'm in the minority. However, I will say there are other parts of they system that could come in lower to keep TFLOPs up. For instance, less overall system memory - given SSD's you could use some of that flash as RAM, or smaller SSD's. Both have challenges and risks. But again, I'm the outlier and will admit I'm not keeping up on the latest rumors.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT7| - nm
I can't comment on this as I've said in the past give my knowledge of MS plans (which very well could be outdated at this point). What I've said is that I think Sony is going to target $399 simply given how successful that has been for them with PS4 and Pro. I'm aware I'm the outlier on this thinking.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT6| - Mostly Fan Noise and Hot Air
PrimeSence, the company that developed the V1 Kinect tech (from 360) was acquired by Apple in 2013.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT6| - Mostly Fan Noise and Hot Air
Yeah this is gonna be hard to prove mathematically, given the leaps between Gen6 and Gen7.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT6| - Mostly Fan Noise and Hot Air
The camera stuff makes me super dubious about this, TBH. And FWIW (maybe I've said this in the past) - although the dates and filings seem very legit, I think it's surprising that Sony would put this much effort and cost into a devkit this early. The silicon is probably close by now, but man that's a lot of tooling effort and cost for a devkit at this point in the generational switch. I'm not saying it's fake, but it sure is surprising.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT6| - Mostly Fan Noise and Hot Air
I was aware there were going to be inherent performance benefits over the existing chips so that the TFLOPS would not be 1:1 with current gen. I was not aware of the details, but it was expected. However, I'm dubious of these 40% performance increase numbers that are being mentioned, on fundamentally compatible architecture. Seems like something that maybe happens in a benchmark, but these systems need to be silicon compatible with the past generations so it seems a stretch we're going to see that level of performance increase unless you're including Ray Tracing in the calculation. That said, I feel like I've always trended towards pessimistic in these threads, so I'll be happy to be wrong.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT6| - Mostly Fan Noise and Hot Air
Awesome. I'll be curious to see how this manifests itself when devs start coding specifically for it. Good references to see these benchmarks? I'm interested to readup.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT6| - Mostly Fan Noise and Hot Air
Performance - Not really. Although, the Butterfly Effect is now fully engaged, and with both systems about a year out, I imagine there is some last-minute adjustments going on so who knows where everyone lands now. Similar to the 4gb/8gb upgrade in Gen 8, and the 256/512 upgrade in Gen7, I'm guessing developer feedback to both platforms will generate some kinds of change. My information is now well over a year old and I have no pulse on how development is going. So I'll be as surprised as anyone else is - even more surprised if it stays the same! Tariffs - Absolutely assuming they stick. Political landscape is so strange right now, and even if there was an administration change in 2020 I doubt that anything will get fixed in time for the launches. So let's see what happens once the Tariffs take effect that will be a better gauge on how the platform holders will react. My bet is everything gets a lot more expensive.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT6| - Mostly Fan Noise and Hot Air
Without context, this quote won't age well. :) I want to emphasize my words "on the whole" which should be taken to mean "considering the different aspects of the consoles". What I didn't mean to suggest is that I thought they would be technically divergent. I think it's true (and known) they will share a lot of the internal silicon and probably look more similar in that way. But I believe that when you look at the whole package (including customizations by each of the platforms) they will be different in interesting ways. That's all I can really say at this point, but worth clarifying.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT6| - Mostly Fan Noise and Hot Air
Can you point to where I specified it was GCN? Because I never did. I simply said I thought it would be in the mid-8 range +/- 10% if they are targeting $399.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT5| - It's in RDNA
I feel like I’m arguing against myself here LOL. It’s strange to watch (what I tried to make) was a well thought-out post, get condensed into an argument about HW ray-tracing and what Sony has said. Look, I believe that the PS5 will have HW RT. If you’re going to quote this post, please include this part! However, it appears that beyond insiders (who seem to be quite reliable), nothing I have seen (from Sony directly) is clear on this point. Here is an example. The Xbox One X GPU supports Checkerboard and other reconstruction techniques. This is a true statement because there are games running this way today. The PS4 Pro has hardware acceleration for Checkerboard rendering. So it’s not a false claim to say that both consoles GPU’s support checkerboard, despite one console having HW cores and the other doesn’t. In fact, I think if Microsoft were to issue a statement like that, nobody would question it. So a quote that says “the GPU supports Ray Tracing” is not the same as saying “The GPU has hardware accelerated Ray Tracing”. Of any place on the internet, this forum generally respects precision in how things are talked about. So again, . .. I have yet to see anything from Sony directly that confirms this, so in my opinion this topic is still considered a rumor no matter how good the insider is. A highly reliable rumor, but still a rumor.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT5| - It's in RDNA
I'm gonna bow out until things cool down. Earlier in the thread, it felt like there was a good discussion but it's starting to feel a lot more heated right now, with lines being drawn and things taken out of context which is not something I want to get in the middle of again. You and I are actually making the same points. There are plenty of reasons Cerny may not have been clear, and at no point did I accuse him of anything untoward. I'm not being naive or disingenuous. You're totally right - maybe he assumed it would be taken the way he meant it, maybe he was intending to set expectations, maybe he wanted to encourage the speculation. I dunno, but I totally agree with you. I'm not questioning his integrity. I believe the PS5 will have HW RT.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT5| - It's in RDNA
That's possible, totally agree. Has the author weighed in on this then? Because if he did say it, and it just wasn't reported, then it would be easy to figure out. if that's who "Matt" is and I missed it then totally take back what I said. I had not seen or read anything revised where Cerny clarified. But I miss things like anyone else.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT5| - It's in RDNA
Notwithstanding the aggressive wording in your question, I would answer this way: Cerny, more than anyone who is posting in this thread or anyone who speaks publicly about consoles in the industry, knows the difference between hardware accelerated ray-tracing, and software ray-tracing. As the architect of the system, he would know himself precisely the amount of area and type of hardware accelerated Ray Tracing they support. So I found the *absence* of clarity on this point, particularly coming from him directly, to be extremely telling. Or to put it bluntly: Cerny chose not to be clear on this point and he would know the answer first hand. Unlike, say, a "junior" (your term) on a marketing team who may not really understand those technical differences and thinks that "ray tracing" is just a buzzword so unintentionally puts it in a headline without the intent to be misleading. Seems to me that, like 4K before it, both companies will claim they have "Ray Tracing" whether it's supported in silicon or not. For better or worse, the Scarlett video was clear on this point. Cerny was not. Therefore, if we're being honest we do not know if Sony's implementation is HW accelerated or not. Lastly, the very next sentence I say that I personally think it's likely they have it.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT5| - It's in RDNA
I don't know. What I can say is that when you're talking about storge, there is a huge difference in cost between the various levels of storage you can get with SSD. For an HDD, the difference in price between 1tb, 2tb, etc. isn't nearly as big today. In fact, it's a lot more like the early PS360 days when storage sizes were really different and really expensive. So playing with storage size will play a bigger role in the BOM then it has in the past generation.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT5| - It's in RDNA
Oh that's a great question! I'm ONLY speculating here. I think c) is probably out of the question unless they get really clear right now. Probably late to scale back. Generally, when dealing with currency fluctuations, it's imbedded into the BOM and there are economists in the company that help smooth that out. So currency fluctuations are a combination of a) and b). If some massive tariffs are passed - like massive - then I would expect it would be a) and the consoles would just get more expensive. This is sort of what happens in countries like Brazil with high duties on imported goods. But please don't quote me on that - it's super speculative and there are a TON of "it depends". I'm sure both companies are thinking hard about this now.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT5| - It's in RDNA
I agree with everything you say here except the last part, if I'm being pedantic. Too many people are using the word "know" when they mean "rumored" or “likely”. The only thing we *know* is what MS and Sony have said specifically, and TBH we basically *know* the same things about both consoles. We don't *know* that Sony has HW RT, because they haven't said it. We don't *know* Sony is using GDDR6, because they haven’t said it (I don’t think). So we do know more about Scarlett then we know about the PS5. However, I would agree that both of those assumptions are pretty good ones, and are therefore likely. I've said this before, so perhaps worth repeating, but you absolutely cannot determine the price of these consoles based on the specs that have been announced. The SOC is the single biggest BOM cost in a console. However storage type, storage size (esp. with SSD) and amount and type of memory are equally expensive. And the CU count (and by extension the overall size of the silicon) has cost at the system level in terms of cooling, and copper is expensive these days too, so the ultimate silicon area has cost implications in a bunch of different places. So there is still a ton of variability, beyond TFLOPS, that could affect the price of each of these consoles. You could envision scenarios that are plausible at $299, $399, and $499 that would all allow the existing known claims to be true. You can certainly say some of these scenarios are a stretch, no pricepoint is out of the question based on what’s been publicly said IMO. BTW – it’s totally plausible that PS5 is more powerful, and people are right to say that is an option based on what we know, and we should hold equal weight to these rumors. I’m not of fan of the Ad Homenim arguments against people who are posting what they are hearing, although that’s an emotionally charged issue (as I well know even with my own post history) So there are many other variables in this equation beyond raw power. Sony could have more TFLOPS, but less memory and less storage. MS could choose the opposite direction. What I think we should all be able to agree on (and if we can’t I’m happy to explain why), is that if both consoles have the exact same feature-set, the prices will be very similar. Otherwise, the price will be different, or there will be difference in some other part of the console OR one company is willing to take a huge loss.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT5| - It's in RDNA
Excellent point. Would require a pretty huge CAPEX investment, but given MS and Sony produce a lot in China, could payoff vs. the loss of share. Also big question in how long the administration stays in place. This is a super interesting area.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT5| - It's in RDNA
Including me. As I said in my post - the specs are most likely final by now. Dev Kits almost certainly are not, which is the only point I was making. Even the articles posted show Sony Dev kits also going out later than 17 months before launch. It's entirely possible the PS5 *is* more powerful. But we still don't know price (and my bet is based on Sony hitting a price). The only point I made is you cannot extrapolate final console performance from the state of a Dev Kit today, IMO.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread |OT5| - It's in RDNA
They are in NO state, based on history. For Scorpio, which was a pretty simple bring-up that went very well, the first chips booted on a board in December 2016. The first real dev kit (that looked like a final console) didn't go out until March 2017. Historically, for a FULL next-gen launch final Dev Kits aren't usually even out until Summer the year of launch. Although prototype boards get better monthly starting the holiday before. Hell, back in Xbox 360 they famously sent out Mac's as Dev Kits. My point is that I'm ignoring any comments about Dev Kits. Without more detail, that information is sort of meaningless. Dev Kits nearly always have more power than the final console (necessary for PC ports) and probably have to be SUPER beefy now since they have to use current PC parts to try and allow development of next-gen features. In my opinion (for what that's worth) you must separate two statements that could mean different things. - "I've heard the final specs for XYZ console is more powerful" - "I've heard the Dev Kit for XYZ console is more powerful" Not trying to say what I think is true (my bet has already been stated) but just saying I personally place no weight on a dev kit spec 17 months before launch.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread - MY ANACONDA DON'T WANT NONE
CPU, agree. But the GPU was 500mhz. I should have been more specific, because it's the 1.8ghz GPU that's being debated as it relates to TFLOPS...
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread - MY ANACONDA DON'T WANT NONE
Yeah I'm curious to understand what people think the cooling requirements would be from a chip of the same size (roughly 360mm2) running at 2x the frequency. I get there are some efficiencies in 7nm but I don't think cooling at that frequency scales at the same rate.
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Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread - MY ANACONDA DON'T WANT NONE
What is the highest clock speed a console has ever run? Because unless people think the form factor of a console will change dramatically, I think there is a bit of wishful thinking on these clock speeds when you take into consideration a thin, small console form factor. It's not always a question of what the chip is capable of - sometimes it's a question of what can be run at nearly 100% for 5 years with very low defect rates. Not saying it's impossible - but seems very unlikely.
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(20165150)

Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread - MY ANACONDA DON'T WANT NONE
Thank you for the kind words. It's just fun for me to be able to chime in with no risk of people thinking I'm shilling for someone. I've never actually been able to openly engage in a discussion around any of the other companies because of my role at Xbox. So it's fun to speculate and share some insights for a change. This may be the only console transition where I know enough to be helpful, but not enough to still have fun in the speculation. I will say in every post first - I will never comment on the Xbox plans. I won't even hint. I'm careful in my word choice, so don't assume that anything I think Sony might do is trying to speculate as to what Xbox is going to do. With that out of the way... I think Sony is going for $399 because it worked, pure and simple. It worked for base, it worked for Pro. Sony historically has not taken a huge leap in pricing - except once. I don't think Sony feels pressured by the X. I mean - I'm sure they don't like it. I'm sure they aren't pleased when DF comparisons favor the X. But if you look at sales it's not something they are probably overly focused on. I look at it this way. You run Sony, and you are faced with two choices. One, you can build a very capable next-gen console with ~8tflops, Zen CPU, ~ 12-16gb of RAM and a 1tb SSD with PS4 back compat. It will be a bigger leap from Pro then Pro was from Base. It will have ~4.5x the GPU, ~4x the CPU, ~2x the RAM with much higher bandwidth, and I/O that's a generational leap in load times. I can do that at the same pricepoint that handed me 100m customers. Oh by the way you've had a mixed bag with BC in the past but you landed it this time. OR You can launch at the same price as the PS3 launched, in hopes of winning a horsepower battle with Microsoft that you have no way of knowing if they are even trying to fight. It's just a no-brainier for me that Sony thinks $399 is the winning play. And I'm also in the minority thinking that it would be a pretty good box, and certainly a huge step-up from PS4 base which is the console owned by the bulk of my customers. Now, the reason I get to chime in is that I don't know. This is what I base my assumption on, and it's been my assumption for many years. I stared with $399 and worked backwards to what could be built. And I should also clarify that, historically, we've seen at least +/- 10% variability in final clocks even post announce. Near production silicon gives you an opportunity to play around with variables and if you remember the Xbox One launch they were able to increase the clock speed even after they announced specs. Same with Scorpio - that bring-up went really well and they discovered that there were a reasonable amount of SOC's that were stable at 6.6tflops so those went in devkits. Conversely PS3 had to disable one of the SPU's near announce because yields were a challenge. So when I say ~8tflops, the reason I'm not making a firm stake in the ground is that if bring-up goes well, if Sony was targeting say 8.4tlfops, a 10% bump would get them to 9.2. Something like that is in the realm of possibility. Conversely, if they were targeting 10tflops, and were having yield issues, a 10% reduction would land them at 9tflops. So you can see two completely different paths to 9tflops, and nobody outside the walls of Sony would know whether they exceeded their targets or missed them. All of these rumors of reported clock speeds don't have any idea of the nature of the test. Maybe they are testing the chip to see what the outer boundaries of failure are. I have no idea if the chip melted down shortly after running the benchmark. But I digress. I think at $399 you're going to see something between the mid 8's and mid 9's. Nothing in that range would shock me. Anything in the 10's or higher would surprise me at $399. Above $399 there are a lot more things you can do.
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(20158785)

Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread - MY ANACONDA DON'T WANT NONE
It's not a misunderstanding on my part. I don't believe those rumors - HBM, the split, or the amount. I believe you're going to see < / =16gb of traditional GDDR6. I feel like I'm being a super bummer. Feel free to ignore me or maybe I should stop posting. EDIT - Will continue to say I also believe $399.
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(20156951)

Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread - MY ANACONDA DON'T WANT NONE
it's possible with these super fast SSD's that some slower-memory functions could be handed off to the SSD (like some OS features for example) Since even today Total RAM =/= Game Available RAM, the apples to apples comparison for Gen9 is to focus on game available memory. PS4 base offers 5.5gb to games (is that right?) so even 12gb of system ram would be over 2x for games if some OS functions are running off the SSD Just to complicate things :)
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(20130643)

Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread - MY ANACONDA DON'T WANT NONE
Historically, I have found your analysis to be the most rational I've seen, factoring both technology and business limitations. Which is to say, generally speaking what I see you put together is "kind of possible" :)
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(20129776)

Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread - MY ANACONDA DON'T WANT NONE
I suppose you can get whatever tflops you pay AMD to create.
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(20129670)

Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread - MY ANACONDA DON'T WANT NONE
That 6tflop console cost $499, and had a Jaguar CPU clocked to the max, and a standard 1tb HDD with 12gb of GDDR5 RAM. For sure we know that PS5 is Zen, and for sure we know it has an SSD. We can safely assume it will have at least the same amount of RAM as an X, and possibly more. We can safely assume it will use faster RAM, either GDDR6 or HBM. All of that needs to come in a box that's $100 less. 8tflop is not out of equation at this point, IMO. These components all cost money, so I'm not sure why 8tflops is such a joke. If you believe they are going to $499 I can understand your position. But $399? Let's look at a Pro: 4.2 tflops, jaguar, 8gb and 1tb HDD. 8tlfops is double a Pro, with a CPU at what - 4x or more the perf? With double-ish the ram and a much faster storage solution at the same price? That's a huge upgrade any way you look at it.
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(20129196)

Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread - MY ANACONDA DON'T WANT NONE
I did not mean to kick up a hornets nest with my 8tflop comment. I didn’t realize it was so controversial or regressive to the common thinking. I’ll stand behind the 8tflop camp (to be fair in the mid-8tflop camp) with the caveat of assuming I also think Sony believes $399 is a winning target price for them. So I didn’t really feel this was a console warrior comment but it appears some took it that way. It’s not meant to put any dampener on Sony fans. I have no skin in this game. As far as the old GAF quote – I rarely address it but here goes. It’s certainly not a post I’m proud of, it’s laughable in hindsight, and not my best moment in terms of word choices. But I posted it and I own it. One of the lessons I took away was to be more thoughtful and less hyperbolic in my language as people took the tone and words more seriously then I expected. I also learned that words live on, but context doesn’t. All the things I said before that post, and all the clarifications after, get lost to time. I own what I said in that post, but I don’t like the idea that it was part of some intentional misinformation campaign. I was a poster on that forum for years, under my own name, before the launch. I posted for years after. I also was the same person who put an end to all the MrX “Stacked GPU” rumors, and the majority of my posts were about pretty mundane questions about how the system worked. That post was not my best moment, but it was not some coordinated attack on the truth or representative of my engagement overall. So there is my $02. I appreciate those with supportive comments. If people want to bring up the post to engage in an ad-hominem attack, that fine. It’s a different time, and I’m happy to just be able to participate with the community.
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(20125682)

Thread Xbox Game Studios |OT4| When everyone plays, we all win
I would ask to not make any assumptions about what my thoughts on PlayStation might mean for Xbox. I'm trying to be very careful to not connect the dots. I don't have any knowledge into what Sony is doing. I *maybe* have a little bit better diagnostics on how these costs and tradeoffs work. But I have no inside info. If i *did* there is no way I would feel comfortable chiming in. As for PS4 Pro - I didn't mean to say it should be the PS5 Base. There is question (in my mind anyway) that once PS5 launches, should Sony also keep the PS4 Base AND PS4 Pro active. We know they will sell the PS4 for a few years. I was just saying that *I* thought it would be smarter for them to only sell the PS4 Pro. Sounds like not everyone agrees which is totally cool.
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(20116513)

Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread - MY ANACONDA DON'T WANT NONE
Hey! I get a vote, don't I? I'm not going to make a huge "stake in the ground" claim on any number. But I have my reasons for believing that's where they will land. I'm voting in the 8 range. But I'm not claiming there is "no way" its more or less. That's just my vote. There are some people speaking in absolutes, which is more what I'm referring to. I think there may be a misunderstanding - Sony in particular, historically, has carried their previous gen into the next for at least 3 years. I would be surprised if they broke that model this time around. Therefore my point is, if they moved 100% of their production to the Pro, it would raise the overall bar for development and drive costs down. Basically - they are going to do it anyway IMO, so might as well be the pro.I won't really comment directly on Microsoft stuff, since I know the plan. I'm not avoiding the questions I'm just actively not answering them :)See above. I think they would hold the consoles for a few years *anyway* - so moving from a mix of Base/Pro to all Pro *would* raise the bar somewhat is the point.
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(20113871)

Thread Next-gen PS5 and next Xbox speculation launch thread - MY ANACONDA DON'T WANT NONE
Man I am bookmarking so many posts right now :) I wonder if the smart move for Sony is to ditch the PS4 base and make the Pro the new low-end. 4tflop Pro for $299, 8tflop PS5 for $399 would be super compelling, if BC works as well as everyone hopes and even moreso if they sort out cross-buy.
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(19973591)

Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
Just my $.02 but I don't agree that certain prices are not possible based on what's been announced. Navi + SSD + Zen2 iself do not preclude $399 or even $299 or $199. Nothing about what was revealed should indicate what price point Sony is going to hit. Until we know TFLOPS (CU's affect die area = heat = price), storage size (big difference between 256, 500, 1tb and 2tb - much bigger than platter drives), and amount of memory, I don't think any price is off the table. I certainly have an option on how they will balance those things (and my opinion isn't worth much) but I don't think you can take a hard stance on this issue based on what has been disclosed.
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(19910130)

Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
Don't confuse investment with "willing to take a loss" The Xbox advantage is that it can leverage Microsoft capital for "big bets". This could be headcount, acquisitions, or infrastructure (like Xcloud) But the bet needs to pay off. Unlike say Nintendo, Microsoft's size means that it's also diversified, and therefore a single business unit like Xbox can't bring down the whole company. It's not correct to draw a line between the size and profitability of , and the willingness or ability for to take a loss on HW. They are completely independent things.
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(19874730)

Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
Not really going to comment lest someone pick it up as "news" in terms of speculation on price. I will say that I'm guessing the next-gen consoles are more divergent from each other than convergent, on the whole. Meaning the choice (and tradeoffs) between the two brands will be more complicated than the simple power controversy between XBO and PS4. I think we're gearing up for different machines in more interesting ways. Of course, last time I predicted something it didn't go so well for me so hopefully this post ages better than that one.
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(19873422)

Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
There are a lot of reasons why this doesn't work but I'll give a simple example. For binning to make sense, first the performance increase has to be enough more for people to care. So debate #1 (using Scorpio) is 6.6tflops enough more power to charge more money than 6? Your mileage may vary on this answer. Second, you now have to build a case that can reliably handle 6.6tflops. This will not be the same case that can handle 6. So question #2 is - do you build a different case, power supply, etc. for this version, or do you make every version of the console capable of handling the higher-performing chips? Both solutions are expensive - you either pay for an entirely new design, or you over-pay on every single one. So right there the concept sort of fails. In the case of the Scorpio dev-kit, that was already going to be a much different design, it's a small-run product with a lot of changes and is very, very expensive to build which is typical for bespoke development kits. So it was a no-brainer for those consoles but would make for bad economics at mass scale.
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(19872742)

Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
Thanks I'm here lurking all the time. Just haven't been following this thread as much :)
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(19871935)

Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
Haven't been in this thread for a bit - was looking back but is there a post you're referencing you're asking about or just generally how E3 works?
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(19872715)

Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
No. But that exact strategy that was used for the Project Scorpio Dev Kits which is why they have 6.6tflops. They were binned with the better parts. For a large-scale console release, no way that would make sense as it's far too unreliable at scale. Hm. There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to this because there haven't been that many E3's where next-gen consoles have been presented, and the debate on what was shown, and when, differed greatly each time. I guess I can say this. First, there are probably less than 25 people within Xbox that know the exact plan. Phil and his directs as well as a small handful of others. People are brought in for their individual sections, but exactly what is being shown in what order is very, very tightly controlled and many things are code-named so if someone sees a list they don't know what the titles are. I always question when anyone says they "know" or "have heard" what someone is doing at E3 because the people that know aren't talking. But it's not super hard to reverse-engineer what might be shown if you're following the industry, looking at all the different developers and triangulating what they are working on. It's why E3 bingo is so much fun. As for consoles and what might be shown? It has a lot to do with balancing what action you want people to take, what you think you get strategically vs. waiting, and what you think the competition is doing. Since I'm not there, I don't know what the current team is thinking in this regards. So your guess is as good as mine on this one. Scorpio reveal was pretty far out so they could do that level of unveil easily. I'm not holding out for much in the way of a console news. There simply isn't enough reason to do it, and there are only downsides. If you're Sony, numbers are great, you're not at E3 anyway, and your next event is later in the year so why risk stalling any holiday sales. For Xbox, because Sony isn't at E3 there is literally 0 risk of them taking any news cycles away, and like Sony, Xbox sales are good, people already know they are doing something since Phil said it last year, so I think they focus on games and xCloud. If there is anything I'm guessing it will be something teaser-y like Scorpio. And they can make the call to do something like that pretty late in the game. Like I said - I have ZERO knowledge of the plan. They may have other reasons to do more so I'm not taking a hard stance they won't do more, but it would surprise me.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
To be *pedantic* the BOM is actually one of the last things you know. When all is said and done, after testing is complete and you have a full picture of your yields, capacity and tooling, 1st and 2nd sources of components (and the final mix), shipping and palette sizing, current shipping costs and exchange rates THEN you know the BOM. But I'm just giving you a hard time. Your point is correct. The BOM is the target the team is actually working towards. That's the cost of the device which in turns is huge lever in the overall business. The actual *price* is a business decision and may (or may not) be directly related to the BOM. I would agree almost no chance price is discussed at GDC because it's not a business event. Destination PlayStation, E3... that's where retailers are and that's when price is discussed. Rarely is price discussed beyond the top executives at this point in time.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
I can see how both interpretations would seem in conflict. To be clear (and I have no insight into Sony's plans) I did say it's unlikely they would delay from 2019 to 2020 and ship the same product. The only reason to delay a year and ship the same thing would be for better yields/costs - but in reality if they thought they could get a head-start on Xbox that would FAR outweigh the benefits of the cost improvements. And I did say you could make some changes last minute - the PS4 upgrade to 8gb was pretty late in the game (less than a year before launch IIRC) and that's very plausible to me. You also have to assume some level of delay between when Sony planned to do something, and when rumors start to spread publicly. So it's conceivable to me that, by pushing out a full year (if that's even true), you could make changes. Also - why do people assume the change was to upgrade? Maybe they intended to do ALL the Tflops, figured out it was going to be much too expensive, and downgraded. Point is, we don't know when, or if, they decided to delay. So the changes could be major, they could be minor. They could plan to upgrade, they could plan to downgrade. Only they know. My bet is that if it's even true they did delay a year, it's like to mean a change of some sort.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
Regarding "contingency plans" or multiple development paths: No. At least not in the way I assume you mean (which is to actively parallel-path different options). That's simply not economically feasible because in essence you're developing multiple different consoles and incurring all the costs and risks associated with both. The chip itself is only one part of the program, and the entire system is usually built around the chip. So doing more than one is really not possible. You do have multiple options for achieving your goals which is discussed with the vendors (e.g. AMD), but assuming I'm interpreting the question correctly - you chart one course and go. As I've said, adjustments can be made during development but I would not consider that "contingency plans" in the way I think you mean it. There is a lot of risk involved. It's scary - but remember AMD is a partner long-term for both Sony and Microsoft, so by the time work is being done, and contracts are in place, there is a high degree of confidence from all involved that the plan can happen. On Cerny's comment on the final form. Obviously I can't speak to Sony's timing and I don't know how much he is involved in system design vs. just chip design. The simplest answer (based on what I know) is that the entire system design is done in Japan so it's simply possible that he was not involved in the console ID. He's not a Sony employee AFAIK, he's a consultant I thought, so that could be more of an organizational decision then a timing one. I do know that "seeing the final" and "seeing work in progress" are also not the same thing. So it's very likely he had some idea of the overall form, but simply wasn't privy to the final ID until after the system integration was done. Again, I don't know but I don't think it is counter to any of the timelines I've talked about. Finally - I'm not intending to suggest that Brad is lying, or being fed bad information (on purpose). I think people who are leaking may be credible sources and just don't know the whole plan. He is likely likely getting small snippets of information then extrapolating that into a spec, or the people giving him the information only have part of the story and are doing the same thing. The only thing I was reacting to was the impression that these console specs are fluid, they haven't been decided, and so everything is still up-in-the-air. That's likely not the case. Someone knows exactly what the plan is. I have yet to see anything that is accurate to what I was aware of before I left. The infinite monkey theorem suggests that maybe someone, somewhere has figured it out exactly. But so far nothing I have seen is 100% right. Of course, things could have changed as it's been 9 months since I left so it's possible the plan has changed slightly. And if someone did have it right, I would never say.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
Well that assumes someone is planning to actually do something like this. But if someone WERE planning to do this, I think the question is how much does it cost? If it's cheap enough, 1080p may not matter if it plays the newest games.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
Well if that's true, and they pushed out a year, then they either changed their mind about the spec, or something they wanted to do could not be done in time or on cost. I doubt a 1 year slip means they are going to ship the same thing as they had planned a year earlier.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
To this forum? No way. LOL. That said, I think 1080p is totally a viable target resolution in 2020. TV manufacturers will probably stop shipping 1080p sets in the next few years except for the very smallest sizes. I don't generally like this "Screen size vs. Viewing Distance" argument for the most part, but I do believe it's true that if you look at where the mass market is buying sets (usually between 42in - 50in), these non-HDR 4K sets make it pretty tough to tell the difference between 4K and 1080p at any sort of reasonable room size. So a very well designed 1080p game, with all the lighting and post-processing turned to 11, may look pretty damn good. The hard part is actually explaining all that to someone with the required nuance.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
This seems to be something I've seen posted lately - someone suggested there were rumors of a Pro shortly after the PS4 console launch. I never heard or saw this. My first recollection of hearing about the Pro was the Kotaku leak in March 2016. We announced Scorpio 3 months later, with board layouts, specs, and even a console ID (shadowed) that even DF will remind people were remarkably similar to the shipping product. If there was something earlier than that - can you link it? I'd love to see it.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
I don't like the word "locked" because they really aren't "locked" until mass production. That's usually (and man this one I'll have to think about) not until about maybe ~6 months before release. Units that are near-production quality for testing and validation are more like ~9 months from street date. At that point, small tweaks may be happening so there could be very minor differences. So I take the word "locked" very seriously. But, you can make very small changes right about a year before launch. The variables for a full-next generation console are MUCH different then what we were dealing with on Scorpio, which we were pretty confident in early on (and which allowed us to announce so early), in not the same situation. This is the nuance of my early post. The specs for these machines are largely targeted very early, and any changes that do happen that late in the game are usually pretty small. Does that make sense?
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
Thank you! It's nice to be able to talk about stuff like this. I'm just as curious what's going to actually ship as everyone else!
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
Hm. It's hard to say. Moore's Law is slowing - the '90's and early '00's were an amazing period for silicon development - the rate of change from Gen 6 to Gen 8 was pretty remarkable. But Moore's Law talks about density, not about cost. At this point, with 16nm in market and 7nm on the way - while you do have a rough doubling of the density it's not that much more cost effective. And rumors about 5nm and lower will likely be more expensive to produce than 7nm or even 16nm. So there will be a slowing in how much more performance you can squeeze into that 350mm2 space in a console, not just from a raw compute perspective but also due to cost. This doesn't really affect the PC because they just have so much more area to play with on the cards - and they can charge a lot more $$. And I mentioned this earlier - there are a lot of market forces that used to benefit consoles (like Hard Disc drives and spinning physical media) where game machines were just a small fraction of production, but today consoles are the largest (and maybe soon the only) recipient. It's totally conceivable that during the next generation of consoles, standalone Blu-Ray and DVD players fade nearly away. Really if you step back, you can sort of observe this yourself. There were many who suggested the early XBO and PS4 games didn't look that much better than late gen 360 or PS3 games. And further you hear this between the Pro/X and PS4/S versions of games. Depending on TV, viewing environment, and frankly the viewer themselves, it can sometimes be hard to tell the differences when you're not looking side-by-side. The flipside is that I think there are some good rendering techniques that are "cheaper" from a compute perspective directly in the new HW, and developers are clearly taking advantage of different reconstruction techniques. So it's possible that developers who decide to give up native resolutions for really good reconstruction techniques + innate speed improvements + improved HW techniques could give games a pretty good visual leap. It also depends on where you are coming from. If you're on the base consoles then probably. Do I think it will be as big as the PS1 -> PS2, or Xbox -> Xbox 360? That I'm less sure of. But game developers are amazing. Metro, RDR2, GoW - these games on the premium systems are pretty outstanding and unleashing them on the new stuff may surprise me. Without a doubt, consoles as we know them today are going to . Not because Sony, Microsoft of Nintendo are bad companies who don't like consumers or want to get out of the console business, but simply because the industry that supplies consoles is changing and the factors that go into making these machines is not the same.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
I'm not going to comment on the specs of course. But there are couple things in here that I felt Brad took a pretty hard stance on which would be counter to my experience. First, Sony and Microsoft know exactly the prices and specs they intend to launch, and they know it before a contract with AMD is ever signed. An enormous amount of diligence is done on a process like this internally - and figuring out the pricing and specifications of what you can build are, like, fundamental to the whole process. It's literally Step 1. The reason is they have modeled the entire architecture and are building system components in parallel - not in series. So they have to know roughly where everything will land so that the motherboard, cooling system, case design, fan speeds, radio antennas, and countless other components all land to support the intended price and performance targets. Margins on console are super thin so there is not a ton of room to make major changes late in the program. Now - things change. But those changes are almost always in the margins. In the case of the Xbox One for instance, the entire case and cooling system was way overdesigned (obviously given the size!) which allowed the team to increase the clock speeds after the initial parts were tested. This was not part of the plan, and had the case been designed to precisely hit the target there would not have been the headroom to change the clock speed. And on top of that, there was a huge amount of time spent calculating the cost of that change - because even something as small as a 10% clock increase could have more than a 10% yield implication both at launch, and over the long term. So these things are not taken lightly. So I think it's important to know that specs and prices are set pretty early in the process. Yes, things can change and evolve, but it's generally small tweaks because the implications of doing a major change late in the process are very risky. This is why any idea that Xbox One X made any change or reaction based on the Pro shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the timelines HW works on.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
Pretty typical. Consoles at holiday are generally heavily discounted. All those PS4 $199 Spiderman bundles drove a lot of volume (revenue) but not much profit (may have actually been a loss). Not unusual to see console profits down at the end of the generation since any $CM left in the console is being eaten up by bundles and price drops.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
I suspect they would. However, companies are valued on growth and declining operating profits would be something an investor would consider, even if they understand the reason why. Also profits from services like PSN, Xbox Live, etc. are not counted the same way as a games, accessory or console sale - they have to be amortized over a determined period. So profits from subscriptions will trail losses from consoles which are taken in the year of sale.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
What's the status on the PS2 and PS3 emulation scene? Honest question. PS1 is pretty mature AFAIK (Sony using it on PS Classic). PS4 you can see assuming they stick with AMD. PS1 should be easy but with that library that is a LOT of testing (and licensing nightmare). PS2 and PS3 would have to be SW, and considering the sizes of those libraries that would be a development and testing undertaking of insane proportions. Large enough that I would have to believe we'd have heard something by now. So I'm betting PS4 B/C is a slam dunk. PS1 is a stretch but do-able. PS2/3 would definitely be a mic drop.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
Is 7nm for Radeon/Jaguar on AMD's roadmap? I don't think it is. Colbert?
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
You mean for a Pro cost reduction or am I misunderstanding? What would stop them is that at that point, it's literally a different console. It would require a wholesale system redesign on top of creating a brand new SOC. An 'underclocked' Zen still costs you the same $$/chip as one running at the intended speed. Unless you are meaning to create a specific low-powered Zen chip that only runs at the speed necessary to run Pro games. But now you're talking about a second SOC, and if you were going to do that, you'd be better off doing a two-tier strategy as Xbox is rumored to be doing and just create two Gen9 consoles. It would be barely feasible to justify 7nm on the existing platform if it was only being used by the Pro. It would be much less feasible to create a new SOC that runs 1:1 speed for the PRO, when for the exact same development and parts cost you could create one that was better and just replace the console at the same pricepoint. The simplest case at this point, IMO, is just to lose a little more money per console if you want to bring the price down, even with 25M+ units left.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
Your logic is sound. I would point out that the costs of AMD porting Jaguar to 16nm was spread across 2 corporations and 4 consoles. So unless both MS and Sony are doing it, that raises the costs for just one of them. And if they are only doing it for PS4 Pro, and not for the base, that raises the costs even further. Your point is valid, and I agree on your forecasting. But the costs would not pan out unless it was being used in more than one console.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
Last time my 5 minutes of internet fame didn't work out so well. I can be excited by what the upgrades in Next Gen consoles will bring from a graphics standpoint and still say that the realities of the business might not allow for the crazy raw numbers or HW upgrades some people are thinking. But there there are folks on here who are thinking about this the right way IMHO. And I think Richard made some great points around how consoles tend to punch above their weight in graphics, so I'm still really bullish on what will come with the new machines.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
This is a truly excellent point. Currency can get you in multiple ways - since parts are sourced globally, currency fluctuations can change not only the price you pay for parts, but the price you sell the device. It can get complicated fast. This is a whole 'nuther topic but a huge one.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
I think they already are smart with these things. But there can be market factors that change the variables despite well-laid plans. Fires in Memory Factories, for instance.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
It's probably worth pointing out that calculating the amount of "loss" on a console is a bit more complex than simply the component cost. It has a lot to do with accounting actually. Since companies tend to look at their financials based on Fiscal Years, there is a lot of costs that get burdened in launch years that reduce pretty quickly as volumes go up. So for instance, if you're ramping up to produce 15m consoles/year you're going to be buying a lot of tooling, parts, and paying a lot of employees which is divided by a small number of consoles sold. And also, chip yields improve pretty rapidly so your costs for the first run of components is significantly higher. This is why you sometimes get two different data points that appear to be in conflict, but really aren't. Launch consoles are VERY expensive in those first few months. But by the middle of the next year, and into the following holiday, prices come down drastically even though it was exactly the same console being made. It's sort of a pedantic point. But in reality the pricing of consoles is a yield/production calculation, so most manufacturers are going to take a blended 12 month view (or 18 month to get through the 2nd holiday) which tends to smooth things out. Then you are simply asking if your overall business (Games + Accessories + Subscriptions) makes more money than you console loss. If so, you're OK. Then the second question is - how quickly does the console get to $0 loss or very close. Where things get tricky is since cost reductions and cost amortization is based on volumes - when you don't hit those volumes things start to go awry pretty fast.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
Ha. There is 0 chance I'm gonna comment on any of this speculation. First, I don't work there so it's not my place to talk about their plans, and second I know what the plan is (or was) so it would be really unfair to my friends and colleagues over there to give hints. So sorry, not going to get anything from me. :) On your first question - not necessarily. It really does depend on what all you put in the console. Lots and lots of things don't really cost reduce anymore, and what's interesting is the stuff that's in a console (like disc drives, hard drives, etc.) don't have the benefit of a big industry behind them like they used to. BluRay drives for instance - guarantee game consoles are the #1 global consumer for BluRay disc drives. Contrast that to DVD drives, where consoles were probably not even in the Top 5. More and more, consoles are becoming the destination for a lot of parts where in the past they were the beneficiary of larger industry trends. This keeps costs flat. Other thing to understand is there are two different ways of looking at the "cost" of a console. Both are very valid but very different numbers. The first is strictly component costs. This is literally the bill for all the parts in the console. The second is fully burdened costs. This would include amortization, transfer costs, people costs, marketing costs, etc. Think about it this way - if I asked you what your "living expenses" are, there are two different numbers you could give me. You could give me the cost of your "bills" - things that you are committed to every month. Rent/Mortgage, Car payment, car insurance, utilities. Your committed bills would be a fair view of your living expenses (your fixed costs). Or you could include things like groceries, eating out, video games, toys, charity donations - things that change from month/month (your variable costs) Same with consoles. Fixed costs (your BOM) vs. Fixed + Variable are different ways to describe the cost of a console (or any piece of HW) and you use one or the other view depending on what business decision you are trying to make. As to your second question - they do a fine job. Again, console costs aren't a "point in time" output like you get from a firm like IHS. So when I see those numbers they are generally pretty rational, but exclude a lot of critical details they can't possibly know that are equally (or more) important.
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Thread Next gen PS5 and next Xbox launch speculation - Secret sauces spicing 2019
It's not meaningless, it's just complicated. I think people tend to view the "console loss" as an indicator of how far in the future technology the consoles "bought" - so the more "loss" on the console, the more future proof. At least, that's how I've always interpreted the debate when I see it, and there is a certain truth to that argument. The closer to $0 loss the launch console is, the more likely the components are mature (e.g. current-day). So there is logic to it. HOWEVER that's not always the case, and really it's nearly impossible to understand what the true "loss" is anyway since there are ton of factors beyond component costs that can impact the "loss" that is quoted online. And yields, volumes, and production ramp impact the numbers more than anything. So for instance - when people say the PS3 cost $900 or whatever (I don't have any knowledge of their costs) that was probably more due to the fact that they were expecting to sell more at launch, than it was due to them buying more "future tech" than the 360. I hope I'm being clear.