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Old 04-02-2012, 06:05 AM   #1
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[Rumor] Xbox's Turn In The Next Gen Rumor Mill

Oh joy, another comment bait next gen speculation thread! After last week's Sony stories, we get a return to Xbox speculation.

Lets begin with media the new Xbox - supposedly under the codename Durango at Microsoft - would be using. Last month's rumor had the Durango ditching optical media altogether for an unspecified solid state memory solution. Today's story says just the opposite: the Durango will come standard with a Blu-Ray drive.

As with the recent Playstation 4/Orbis story, the Durango will - supposedly - require an active internet connection as an anti-piracy/anti-used title scheme. The console would also come with a version of the Kinect sensor, possibly built right into the unit itself.

The CPU would have between 4 and 6 cores, with one dedicated to Kinect functionality, presumably making it more powerful and accurate. Most intriguing is the description of the graphics processing units.
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We’re waiting for final confirmation of specs, but the graphics cards are thought to be equivalent to AMD’s 7000 series GPUs, but “not CrossFire or SLI”. The GPUs aren’t structured as they are in a normal dual PC set-up, in which the two chips take it in turns to draw lines of the same object: Xbox 720′s graphics units will be able to work independently, drawing separate items simultaneously.
That would be a fairly unique setup from what I understand.

So to reiterate, all of this is unconfirmed at the moment, but most of it is in line with previous stories. We know that major developers and publishers have begin assembling teams to make next gen titles, so the changeover is coming. This rumor has the Durango set for a 2013 launch. Microsoft recently said they would not announce a new console at E3 this summer.

Source - VG247
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:13 AM   #2
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That all pretty much makes sense except the anti-piracy always online requirement.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:20 AM   #3
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Yeah, the cheapest easiest way to go would be BR. A lot easier too. I'd imagine consoles can go fully digital someday, but we are not there yet. I look forward to it though.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:34 AM   #4
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I really doubt that any console will have always on anti-piracy protection, ala Ubisoft. That is pretty much a death sentence for your console from the get-go. I can see having to register games to your account, like Steam, but anything more than that and you're basically done.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:41 AM   #5
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I'm still not sure how they will make binding disk based games to a console work. Unless they have key-codes imbedded into the disk?
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:43 AM   #6
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I'm still not sure how they will make binding disk based games to a console work. Unless they have key-codes imbedded into the disk?
They'd have a unique registration code, no code authorized on your account and you can't play the game. Hence the need to be online at all times.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:48 AM   #7
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They'd have a unique registration code, no code authorized on your account and you can't play the game. Hence the need to be online at all times.
If that were the case, then I agree with Heretic Machine. Ya might as well plan on the console failing massively if they did something like that. I mean, if my internet goes out I have to wait for it to come back on so I can play? Even SP games? Screw that noise.

Edit: and what about people with no internet? So they basically have to sit out an entire console generation?
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:51 AM   #8
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If that were the case, then I agree with Heretic Machine. Ya might as well plan on the console failing massively if they did something like that. I mean, if my internet goes out I have to wait for it to come back on so I can play? Even SP games? Screw that noise.

Edit: and what about people with no internet? So they basically have to sit out an entire console generation?
You've got it. This is why the online activation method for antipiracy/used game sales would be a horrible idea.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:59 AM   #9
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They'd be pushing a lot of people right out of the console market, really. It's less about having always-on internet, but to be honest there's a lot of gamers who rely on lending games for much of their playing.

I know that from the publisher point of view this is pretty much piracy, but what they're doing is trying to make their titles culturally less relevant. This seems like a really bad idea to me.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:29 AM   #10
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I'm not entirely against having a one time only online activation but any device that goes always online will just force me towards whatever devices don't have this "feature". Even if it means playing current gen and pc until the end of time.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:33 AM   #11
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I think the pieces of info that we can safely assume are true are that 1) the next Xbox will probably use disc-based media, and that if it does it will be a Bluray, and 2) that the next Xbox will ship for the 2013 holidays. Honestly, I don't remember if it used to be the case that a console would be announced more than a year before its launch, but it's certainly not the state of the industry now. That's too much lead time for a competitor to change their specs to one-up your machine, and it's too far out from your launch to have a reliable design for your machine ready. As much as possible, you want your reveal to the public to show off final, ready to ship hardware and software. If you announce too far out there's too much risk that you'll either underwhelm with initial machine designs/games or over promise with pre-rendered stuff.

As for the anti-piracy/used game stuff, I'm fairly confident that we're going to see some kind of features like this, but I very much doubt we're going to have to have an "always on" connection. I think a one time use activation code makes sense, with additional licenses able to be purchased through Live. We'll see, but I'm sure MS and Sony are both very cautious/sensitive to the possibility of a backlash, so I bet they'll try to soften the blow somehow.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:40 AM   #12
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So if I nab a 7970 or GTX 680, my PC should be set to play next gen ports?
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:42 AM   #13
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I can't see this always online/anit-piracy feature being implemented. I go right back to the argument of "what about those who do not always have internet?". It would be near commercial suicide if you ask me. In fact, I believe it would encourage piracy. I would give it maybe 6 months, if that, before someone finds out how to circumvent the feature allowing users to play games without a code or without always being connected.

Now, let us bring PC gaming into the picture. Many of the games require a one time internet connection during installation in order to play the game. For example, Mass Effect 2 and I believe 3 use this as an anti-piracy feature. After the one time connection, the game can be played offline with no worries. I know this because I am currently in Afghanistan and have been playing through the series on my laptop without an internet connection. Originally, Mass Effect 2 was going to use a DRM that required an internet connection every ten days in order to verify that you were not playing a pirated copy. This was quickly ditched due to a consumer outcry and replaced with the one time connection during installation.

I can see consoles going with a DRM of that nature. Something that requires a one time activation online when initially booting up the game. Again, that could cause a backlash from the consumer base and severely hurt sales. I just don't see it happening.

As I said previously, stricter DRM is just going to cause more piracy in the long run IMO. Where as allowing friends to lend games may encourage sales. There have been many times that I have borrowed games then said to myself "I want this game". Then I go out and buy it new or used and return said game to the owner. Sorry about going on and on. Just wanted to put in my two cents.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:44 AM   #14
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Another thing I think is a safe bet is that the generation after this next machine is going to be digital only, at least on the Xbox. As a big electronics company, Sony has an interest in physical media that MS doesn't. in another 6-7 years we'll have more high speed internet penetration, the caps people have for internet access will have to rise as streaming becomes a bigger source of entertainment, internet speeds will have increased, and if the next Xbox has a BD drive MS will have just finished a console generation where every machine made includes a fee to their rival for the disc drive.

I don't know exactly how they'll do it, but I think it's pretty likely that this coming generation is the last one in which all of the machines use physical media.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:57 AM   #15
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Something hardcore gamers tend to undervalue is that A) they're a relatively small part of the market these days, and, more importantly 2) the used market is a massive drain on profits for the console maker, the publisher, and the developer. Even if implementing some kind of anti-used game tech pisses off some hardcore gamers and sends them to PC gaming, they'll still come out ahead if they gain more from tapping into or eliminating the used game market.

As for PC gaming, something we don't talk about much when we have the PC v. Consoles discussion is marketing. One of the big ways that consumers learn about the various consoles, what they can do, and what games are available for them, is through marketing. MS has an interest in pushing customers to use their machine, so they spend money convincing people that it's worthwhile. There's no analogous entity for the PC. Some people may abandon consoles, but without some entity pushing them as a gaming platform I think it spreads essentially by word of mouth. That's part of the reason I was kind of excited by the rumored Steam console. It would give people a bridge into the PC gaming world and create an incentive for Valve to be the company that did similar sorts of promotion to MS or Sony.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:57 AM   #16
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Another thing I think is a safe bet is that the generation after this next machine is going to be digital only, at least on the Xbox. As a big electronics company, Sony has an interest in physical media that MS doesn't. in another 6-7 years we'll have more high speed internet penetration, the caps people have for internet access will have to rise as streaming becomes a bigger source of entertainment, internet speeds will have increased, and if the next Xbox has a BD drive MS will have just finished a console generation where every machine made includes a fee to their rival for the disc drive.

I don't know exactly how they'll do it, but I think it's pretty likely that this coming generation is the last one in which all of the machines use physical media.

At that point, I would not see the point in even buying a console. One, I have PC that can far surpass the performance of any console. By the next machine after the next, PCs will still be ahead in graphics and raw performance. I would just connect my PC to my 55" inch LED and use a wireless keyboard and mouse to play games that look better, run faster, and I can also preload prior to launch. I would like to see more developers/publishers offer titles on steam/origin. No more waiting in lines during midnight launches. As the consoles cannot be upgraded, I can always upgrade my PC to meet higher demands. I just order a part, replace drivers, configure and I am good to go.

Not to mention I can crossfire graphics cards and pump out resolutions that current GEN monitors/tv's are not even capable of displaying. And think of xbox live that you pay monthly/yearly for. With a PC, steam is free. So is origin. I do not pay for chat or friends lists. Hell, teamspeak is free and is also an excellent program that does not limit the amount of people I can talk to privately. Microsoft should focus more in this area if you ask me.

Games can be programmed with controller support for those who do not want to use a mouse and kb. Or, buy a good gaming mouse and it far surpasses the responsiveness and control of any gamepad. Ok, now I am ranting. I used to be a console advocate until I built my own PC and welcomed myself into the world of PC gaming. I still play my xbox, when I am home, but am finding myself on my PC or laptop more and more. Ok... I don't know where I am going with this so I will stop now. I think I made a point somewhere. And in no way am I trying to make this into a PC vs. console argument/thread. I enjoy both.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:39 AM   #17
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They'd be pushing a lot of people right out of the console market, really. It's less about having always-on internet, but to be honest there's a lot of gamers who rely on lending games for much of their playing.

I know that from the publisher point of view this is pretty much piracy, but what they're doing is trying to make their titles culturally less relevant. This seems like a really bad idea to me.
Lending games to your buddies is the same as stealing a car! You thief!



I remember the days when my buddies and I would lend games to each other all the time. It was nice. I'm sure the publishers hate it though. They seem to hate anything that doesn't involve them getting more $$$.

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Old 04-02-2012, 09:03 AM   #18
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I don't think MS or Sony will do anything to fight used game sales, aside from the current method of incentivising new game sales and being connected via special bonuses and MP modes. It seems like a whole bunch of effort for a minimal payoff, with so many ways for things to go wrong.

I do however expect them to try and start pushing digital copies on Day 1 with games, and hopefully running the prices at a rate that is fair to consumers instead of the current trend of being $20 higher than a retail copy in many cases.
Such as having cheaper prices at times than MRSP and daring retail stores to live up to their threats to pull the hardware.

I mean, that is just my preferred method of how MS/Sony can fight used game sales, by making the price/deal better on going digital download/lock in.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:06 AM   #19
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The problem is their view on these things doesn't really make that much sense. They see/think say 1 million people played their game, they want to be "monetized" for each one of these, if they're not, that's lost money. The alternate view, is to see that there's a pretty set market for entertainment, and their focus should be exclusively on getting as big a slice of that pie as they can.

It's why I reinforce the point of cultural relevance. I do think that music is much less culturally relevant than it was a decade or two ago, mostly due to changes to radio (I personally think that basically killing the infant webradio industry was game over) and that's a big reason why their sales dropped substantially.

Needless to say I think that these changes will do the same for console gaming, and move people towards PC and Phone-based gaming. Actually, I also see a big shift towards analog gaming as well.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:25 AM   #20
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I think we can all agree on one thing. More work/money/man-power will be put into the DRM machinery of the next-gen systems than anything having to do with actual gameplay.

We have seen the pinnacle of console gaming. It's all downhill from here, people.
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