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    Rumors: Xbox 3 / 720 / Durango is in disarray.

    Annnnd here we goooooo!





    I am being very careful with what I say here for obvious reasons.

    Xbox 3 / 720 / Durango is in disarray.

    Microsoft were taken completely by surprise by the power of PS4 and the elegance of the design. Their relationship with AMD is also under extreme duress as they feel AMD have given Sony preferential hardware development support (the truth is that Sony's own engineers supported the process)

    Durango was engineered to be 'affordable' not just for the end consumer, but for MS to break even on day one - while including kinect in the box with every system. The apparent complexity of the hardware diagrams is due to lots of choices that are designed to make up for the components used. Microsoft assumed Sony would create a system based on low end hardware and arrogantly (that word aptly describes the exec team following the success of kinect - they think they are strategically untouchable) assumed they would have the same difficulties internally as last gen. To see the ducks in a row is disturbing. Microsoft are very much aware that World Wide Studios represents a force to be reckoned with now Sony has sorted out the cross regional culture.

    Developers can't write to the metal on the system, but rather have to use an API - the reason for this is MS are planning regular Apple-style revisions. They have calculated that having lower performance on day one wont matter if over several years they can upgrade the system. A second calculation is that both console's first games will not fully tap into the power of the system. That means that by the time PS4 is hitting its stride, MS will have a new revision on the market. DO NOT EXPECT TO HEAR A WHISPER OF THAT AT LAUNCH. They know people might wait.

    It is not all bad news though. The reason they weren't at GDC is that they don't want any leaks and did not want to disclose much more than they already have. They have had very positive focus group tests for their plans with both gamers and casual type customers. There is one problem with that. The comments do not take into account how those same people will react after seeing Durango games next to PlayStaion 4.

    That said EVERYTHING is running late, there's heating issues and the system OS (which is built around windows 8 to eventually allow unified apps across Xbox, Winphone and PC), isn't ready.

    The system is indeed 'coming in hot' in more ways than one.

    Developers are frustrated with the complexity of the memory set up and an apparent change in focus by MS (Xbox was their trogan horse to beat Sony in the living room, now they are more concerned about google and Apple).

    To confirm / deny rumours:

    Must have kinect to work (true, kinect is integrated across the system, but hand tracking means it can offer a touch screen-like experience on your TV)

    Always online. (false, the system is ALWAYS CONNECTED, just like PS4 it does a lot of stuff in the background - if you don't connect to the net you can play game but the console isn't worthwhile - a lot of the experience will be about being connected)

    Tiered pricing and subscription based subsidy (True)

    The system will now come with 12GB of GDDR3 memory (True - this won't make a huge difference to performance in the short term, but it is cheap and gives microsoft one of the few areas where Durango can claim a victory of sorts. The logic is that the average joe will believe more memory is better. Why not? The PC market has been teaching him this for years)

    Anti Used Games. (True. They have a system and it works. Time will tell if they decide to implement it though.)


    Windows 8 (True. The dashboard is Metro in style, but closer to Windows Phone 8 than the desltop version in style and function. All games will have a live tile tracking stats, friends, etc)

    Xbox 360 SOC (True. MS will be pushing this HEAVILY as Sony dont have it. One of the key messages on May 21 will be that your entire library is coming with you to next gen. The kicker though? Durango upscales 360 games to 1080p output. Again this is one of the few areas MS can claim a lead over Sony and they will push this a lot)

    Chief will be in attendance at Launch. Possibly saved for E3, but Microsofts biggest games will not miss launch when they are going head to head with Sony. While not quite an original story, you'll play various missions from the Chief's career before Halo 1 in a squad based co op shooter. Think Halo x Borderlands in many ways - the character creation and upgrade system from Halo 4 is being carried over but will be pat of the campaign). Think spartan ops on steroids.

    At this point it could go either way - MS are down to the wire on everything. The system and key games could slip - there's some very tired engineers at Xbox Campus. Pay very close attention on the 21st - the slight of hand could be just as big as Sony in 2005 if things not gelled).

    http://pastebin.com/WYBaRtE3
    "We don't provide the 'easy to program for' console that (developers) want, because 'easy to program for' means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is, what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years?"
    --Kaz Hirai, CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment

  2. #2
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    So the 720 will have a memory advantage. The OS is likely 3GB in size, so that's 9GB of RAM usable for games.. PS4's OS is 512-1GB so that's 7.-7.5GB usable.

    The issue here, though, is that this bump up to 12GB won't mean anything at all if the rest of the machine can't really use it. There's some reasonable debate being had right now if the PS4 can even reasonably utilize the amount of memory it's been given from a CPU\GPU standpoint, and many think excess RAM will be used for caching game data.

    So the Durango will likely be more of the same in that department.. Especially if, as the initial specs and this rumor certainly imply, it is considerably weaker than PS4 out the gate.

    Microsoft is having some serious problems in that they are seeking desperately to emulate Apple, and this can be seen clear as day in their 'walled garden' approach with Windows 8. This won't work for them.

    They're not Apple.

    Mobile devices are very, very different than stand alone entertainment units.

    How many people want to bother with the hassle of swapping out an Xbox device every 1.5-2years? Will there be a very reliable and fast service for swapping all of your hard drive's content to and from these new units? Will that be free or an extra cost? This will result in severely crippled game performance and a fragmented user base, which is why they're going to focus on an API like this alleged leak professes.

    Still, there's only so much you can do with that. Eventually it will reach a point where an older Xbox unit just cannot play a game like a newer one can. So what will they do there? Have a 'graceful degradation' policy where certain features are omitted in order to make it run- that sounds like a massive head ache for game developers. Sounds a little bit too much like PC development with none of the perks (like not having to pay the console manufacturer a steep licensing fee on each title sold. Usually around the 10$ mark. This is why there is a price discrepancy between PC and console titles).

    This sounds like a terrible, terrible idea to me..
    Last edited by Vulgotha; 05-03-2013 at 23:46.


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    3gb of RAM for the OS? Windows 8 doesn't use that and you think this will? **Removed by staff, warning received**
    Last edited by Lethal; 05-04-2013 at 14:53.

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    Not sure I'm believing this

    Destiny and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is all I need for the rest of the year.

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    17 days people.

  6. #6
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    @ trying to follow the mobile device model.

    Destiny and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is all I need for the rest of the year.

  7. #7
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    Dont know what to think anymore with all these rumors. lol But if there are indeed heating issues and we see another RROD fiasco that could be it. Most of the other rumors in that article sound like bs to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Typical guy View Post
    3gb of RAM for the OS? Windows 8 doesn't use that and you think this will? That's some fanboy $#@! right there.
    The rumors, which were highly accurate for Orbis (PS4) indicate that the Durango OS will be very, very big. Likely in order to facilitate all the crazy stuff Kinect 2.0 will be doing.

    @Two4DaMoney

    Exactly. I really, really hope MS doesn't try and do this. This has "apocalypse" written all over it. They're not Apple, no other company is. They're a statistical anomaly.


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    Last edited by mistercrow; 05-04-2013 at 01:28.

  10. #10
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    Someone had some free time.... Though I still expect something that's at least eye blow raising from ol' MS


  11. #11
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    I can't wait till the 21st when we can finally figure out the truth. All these rumors are crazy!, but they will keep the discussion going til then.
    "We don't provide the 'easy to program for' console that (developers) want, because 'easy to program for' means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is, what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years?"
    --Kaz Hirai, CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment

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    Isn't 8Gbit DDR chips a bit expensive and used mainly in servers and commercial settings? It would take twenty-four 4Gbit chips. If it uses 4Gbit chips the Durango is starting to get very crowded with move engines, eSRAM, 360 SOC, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryunosuke View Post
    Isn't 8Gbit DDR chips a bit expensive and used mainly in servers and commercial settings? It would take twenty-four 4Gbit chips. If it uses 4Gbit chips the Durango is starting to get very crowded with move engines, eSRAM, 360 SOC, etc.
    The link I posted talks about no eSRAM and split memory of 8GB of DDR3 and 6GB of GDDR5. So who knows? lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryunosuke View Post
    Isn't 8Gbit DDR chips a bit expensive and used mainly in servers and commercial settings? It would take twenty-four 4Gbit chips. If it uses 4Gbit chips the Durango is starting to get very crowded with move engines, eSRAM, 360 SOC, etc.
    Not really. The computer I put together right now has some fast Corsair Vengeance DDR3 RAM- and 12GB of it. Not that it was dirt cheap mind you, but they wouldn't need to pay consumer prices.

    But no I just really doubt the specs in that pastebin are legit. I saw this over at B3D (I imagine you did too) and just lol'd at it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by radgamer420 View Post
    The link I posted talks about no eSRAM and split memory of 8GB of DDR3 and 6GB of GDDR5. So who knows? lol
    I doubt whoever made either pastepin has any inside knowledge.

    AMD has very recently stated that multiple gaming systems are using a APU setup with a Jaguar CPU. We known one of them is the PS4 and unless some other console is getting into the gaming market we know the other one is the next Xbox.

    The pastebin article states that Microsoft went from a APU setup to a discrete CPU and GPU setup, but later states that MS went from a ~2.7 TFlop GPU to a ~2.3 TFlop GPU. If they switched to a discrete setup you would think they would switch to a better GPU, not a worse one.

    What about all of the games that would have been built around a ~2.7 TFlop GPU or a APU setup or a unified memory setup or a eSRAM setup?

    This setup wouldn't do much as far as making the console less crowded. A discrete CPU and GPU would take up more room and you would need twelve 4Gbit chips for the 6GB DDR5 and sixteen 4Gbit chips for the 8GB DDR3.

    Does the 360 SoC contain eDRAM? If so straight BC for 360 games won't be possible unless they include eSRAM/eDRAM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vulgotha View Post
    Not really. The computer I put together right now has some fast Corsair Vengeance DDR3 RAM- and 12GB of it. Not that it was dirt cheap mind you, but they wouldn't need to pay consumer prices.

    But no I just really doubt the specs in that pastebin are legit. I saw this over at B3D (I imagine you did too) and just lol'd at it.
    That 12GB would be using 4Gbit chips (3x 4GB for 24 total Gbit chips) or 2Gbit chips (6x 2GB for 48 total Gbit chips).

    Not saying that 4Gbit chips would be too expensive, but that they would make it crowded. The 8Gbit chips is what I believe is expensive; which would likely be used if they switched to 12GB.


    You can check the price for a single stick of 16GB DDR3 RAM to get an idea of price for 8Gbit chips, since a 16GB stick would have to use 8Gbit chips. They would cost a lot more than four sticks of 4GB DDR3 RAM or two sticks of 8GB DDR3; which would both be using 4Gbit chips.

    Edit: Sorry, should have been 16GB DDR3 not 8GB DDR3 since sixteen 8Gbit chips would come out to 16GB. Kept forgetting to change to 1GB from 512MB for each chip.
    Last edited by Ryunosuke; 05-04-2013 at 03:21.

  16. #16
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    We're on the same page with this I think, we both agree that the "pastebin rumor" is full of crap. I'll quote myself from the other thread:

    Guys' cmon let's be real here. No, there will not be a 2.7TF GPU, no there will not be DDR4 or 8GB of DDR3 + 6GB of GDDR5 or whatever.. This is all absurd, just listen to it. What would the thermals be on this box? It would be complete insanity. Not to mention its power draw.

    That kind of flop count is closing in on GTX680 territory. It's not happening, especially not for a box that will have to cost under $600 USD.

    I think the reality is much closer to:

    1.2TF GPU (maybe slightly higher), 8core Jaguar CPU, special silicon (DME's, custom audio block, etc) 8-12GB of DDR3. That's it.


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    Anyone can go over to pastebin and post make believe stuff. I doubt at thy would waste all the money and time invested in AMD APU. I would take this rumour with the smallest grain of slt.

    uuummmmm...Fried Beer iis a reality.

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    the reason for this is MS are planning regular Apple-style revisions. They have calculated that having lower performance on day one wont matter if over several years they can upgrade the system. A second calculation is that both console's first games will not fully tap into the power of the system. That means that by the time PS4 is hitting its stride, MS will have a new revision on the market.
    No chance

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    Another reason not to believe this story because he guy doesn't elaborate on thr GPU at all.

    uuummmmm...Fried Beer iis a reality.

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    So now the DDR4 ram is no longer in it? Wow this stuff changes daily lol. Next thing you know it will have negative RAM and run a stripped down version of Windows ME.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vulgotha View Post
    The rumors, which were highly accurate for Orbis (PS4) indicate that the Durango OS will be very, very big. Likely in order to facilitate all the crazy stuff Kinect 2.0 will be doing.

    @Two4DaMoney

    Exactly. I really, really hope MS doesn't try and do this. This has "apocalypse" written all over it. They're not Apple, no other company is. They're a statistical anomaly.
    You're aware that a windows 8 PC has a lot of functionality correct? You're aware that a kinect is available for PC correct? There is no way this console's OS is 3gb. At most it will be 1gb. Yes the new Kinect will require more memory but come on, this thing is NOT going to use more than Windows 8 considering this will be a customized version of he OS. Don't worry, Kibect 2.0 will be out for PC as well and people aren't going to need like 8 gigs of ram to use it.
    Last edited by Typical guy; 05-04-2013 at 14:21.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Two4DaMoney View Post
    Not sure I'm believing this
    Dude anyone believing this is an idiot. You sir, are not an idiot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mynd View Post
    Dude anyone believing this is an idiot. You sir, are not an idiot.
    I could believe they're making last minute changes but to claim its in disarray is absolutely stupid. They wouldn't be able to announce it next month if it was in actual "disarray".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Typical guy View Post
    I could believe they're making last minute changes but to claim its in disarray is absolutely stupid. They wouldn't be able to announce it next month if it was in actual "disarray".
    Believe what you want, it wont change the final outcome. The end result will be the end result and all these rumours that are made up by people trying
    to ursurp each other and make you "believe" MS are in disarray etc wont
    matter jack Diddley. True or not they make no difference, only in the eyes of idiots who somehow will feel they know
    "A story" behind the results.
    Last edited by mynd; 05-04-2013 at 14:51.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mynd View Post
    Believe what you want, it wont change the final outcome. The end result will be the end result and all these rumours that are made up by people trying
    to ursurp each other and make you "believe" MS are in disarray etc wont
    matter jack Diddley. True or not they make no difference, only in the eyes of idiots who somehow will feel they know
    "A story" behind the results.
    I don't think they care if you believe it or not. They do it for clicks/advertising.

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