E3 2016 - Microsoft confirmed the new Xbox One S console, as well as the next-gen Xbox Scorpio console which is 4K-capable, and is ready for VR gaming, too. There were some new Xbox controllers teased, but now we have a deeper look at them with some high-res shots.
The new Xbox wireless controller that sits with the impressive Xbox One S console.
The new Xbox Scorpio should be powered by a 14nm design, while it packs 6 TFlops of performance, ready for 4K/VR gaming - and aimed at a 2017 release. AMD has confirmed that it has its semi-custom SoC in the new Xbox, but we don't know what exactly powers Xbox Scorpio, but I'd say it's a Zen/Polaris-based design.
The new Xbox One controller will be included in the package for the Xbox One S console, and here's the front of it.
E3 2016 - Microsoft announced their next-gen Xbox Scorpio console, which is capable of both 4K and VR gaming, and due out next year. But what powers Microsoft's new Xbox Scorpio? AMD tweeted earlier today that they are powering it, which is what we knew - but they tweeted some more details. We think it'll be powered by the new 14nm-based Zen APU with some Polaris GPU cores, which will make it quite the powerful console from Microsoft, which is great to see.
The official AMD Twitter account tweeted: "We're proud that @Microsoft has expanded their @Xbox One family with 2 new consoles featuring AMD's semi-custom SoCs". So now we have total 100% clarification that AMD has their technology inside of the Xbox once again, as the company powered the recent Xbox One console with its technology. With the Xbox Scorpio capable of 4K/VR gaming, I'd dare say this is a semi-custom design based on the Polaris architecture, on the 14nm FinFET process.
I personally asked AMD if they were going to have a console-based chip ready for next-gen consoles when they briefed the media on Polaris last year in Sonoma, but they were very quiet about the entire thing obviously. We've reached out to AMD for more clarification on the chip, as they've tweeted "SoC" which is a system-on-chip, not an APU which is a CPU with GPU cores. Very different things, and very different power envelopes, cooling, and more. We'll update this post when we know more.
E3 2016 - We all know that there is a new PlayStation and a new Xbox on the way, but how do game developers feel about having to make their games for yet another console? Well, according to an interview with the developers of Dead Effect 2, it's "a lot easier than attempting to provide enough settings for a wild variety of PCs in the world".
The full quote from BadFly Interactive is even more interesting, where they said: "Every developer likes to get his product on as many platforms as reasonably possible, with the best possible quality. The enhanced console versions might provide enough power to support the 4K resolution and that would be definitely great. If all we had to do was to create two performance profiles, for standard and enhanced console, we're definitely interested. It would be still a lot easier than attempting to provide enough settings for a wild variety of PCs in the world".
WCCFTech also asked them if the target framerate for Dead Effect 2 on the Xbox One and PS4 would be at 60FPS, which was confirmed, with the PS4 version of the game being equal to the PC on high quality settings, while the Xbox One version will be akin to medium settings. BadFly Interactive added: "The versions we're right now tuning and testing are graphically comparable with PC high quality on PS4 and medium for Xbox One, but we're still working and looking for a ways to improve the quality. We want to keep the game at stable 60FPS on both platforms. We were considering the idea of 30fps lock while using a better quality graphics, but we've decided that smooth action play is more important, even if the visuals will have to suffer a bit".
With E3 2016 literally right around the corner, the rumors of a next-gen Xbox console are being teased once again. According to sources of The Verge, the refreshed Xbox One console will be 40% smaller than the current model, and will reportedly include 4K support of some kind.
Now, I think a refreshed Xbox One makes sense, but I don't think it'll be enough to fight off the purported PlayStation 4.5/4K, which is a faster console. If the refreshed PlayStation arrives and can handle 1080p 60FPS (or 4K 30FPS) gaming alongside PlayStation VR... Microsoft's Xbox One console, and this new, thinner Xbox console, would be finished. But, if the refreshed Xbox is a more capable device, sporting a next-gen Polaris-based design, then Sony could find itself with improved competition from Microsoft. If we consider the upcoming Radeon RX 480 is capable of some serious horsepower with its 150W TDP and $199 price, so maybe we'll see a lower-end Polaris that would power the next-gen Xbox.
Remember that Microsoft has its Windows side of business, and it could potentially partner with Oculus and include Rift support - which will be a huge contender against the PlayStation VR that is launching later this year.
In their announcement trailer to Rise: Race the Future, developer VD-Dev teased the Nintendo NX logo at the bottom of the screen as one of the consoles it would launch on. Rise: Race the Future is a new driving game that will hit the PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, Nintendo NX, Nintendo 3DS, on the PC through Steam, Android, and iOS - yeah, that's a lot of devices and consoles.
The logo has since been removed, and we can't be too surprised at this fact, but Rise: Race the Future is dropping in the winter, so VD-Dev seems to be using a placeholder Nintendo NX logo for now, or is this the real deal? As for the game, the developer explains it as: "'RISE: Race The Future' is the upcoming racing game from the studio VD-DEV renown for their technical skills. They decided to broaden their vision through the art of a professional automotive designer, Anthony Jannarelly, famous for having penned the exclusive supercars of W Motors and for having co-funded Jannarelly Automotive".
As you can see, the Nintendo NX logo was there, and then it was blurred out. Damn.
The Xbox One isn't useful for much, as it's only capable of playing games at resolutions we used to play at back in the 90s, but hey - you can install Windows 95 to your Xbox One now.
YouTuber 'vcfan' had 'Dosbox', a virtual DOS machine app running on his Xbox, where you can run Windows 95 and other software. Not everyone can do this, as you'll need an Xbox One developer unit, but Microsoft is allowing the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) later this year, where more fun might begin.
Wake me up when I can install Windows 10 on an Xbox One, and I be excited - would you want to install a desktop OS with a working mouse and keyboard as a media machine, or something similar?
Microsoft is reportedly preparing for new hardware to be unveiled during E3 2016 next month, as well as a "new standard controller that ships with the Xbox One", reports Thurrott.
The new standard controller will have a similar physical look to the current design, but it will arrive in a new color. Microsoft currently ships a black controller with the Xbox One, but will reportedly change it up with a mid-cycle refresh to help sagging sales. The big news here is that Microsoft is wanting to continue its work on interactions between the Xbox One and PC thanks to Windows 10, where the company wants to make Windows 10 on the desktop and Xbox One a "killer combination". The company is hoping to really squeeze the ecosystem to create completely unique experiences for games, that happen to be on other platforms.
But the even bigger news is that Microsoft has "something else up its sleeve", but it's a "much bigger deal" than the new controller reports Thurrott. I'm expecting for the company to pounce down hard at E3 2016 and announce a new Xbox with a VR headset, working directly with AMD and this is what AMD also has up its sleeve. The PS4K and PSVR are going to seriously chomp into Microsoft's sales, and the news of Nintendo leveraging a Pascal-based Tegra processor from NVIDIA for their Nintendo NX console is super exciting - but right now, what does Microsoft have to fight it? Nothing... and that's why a huge next-gen reveal at E3 2016 makes perfect sense.
Exclusive: Up until now, everything we've heard on the next-gen consoles is that AMD will have APUs inside all of them. The Nintendo NX was meant to be powered by an AMD design, but according to our sources, Nintendo is working with NVIDIA and will use a Pascal-based Tegra chip inside of their next-gen Nintendo NX console.
I've been sitting on this story for a little while now, but it has been backed up by another source - who has said that NVIDIA will be providing a Pascal-based Tegra processor for Nintendo's next-gen console. First, Nintendo working with NVIDIA is a big, big deal. The GameCube was powered by the Flipper GPU provided by ATI at the time, after which the insanely popular Wii console was powered by another ATI design: "Hollywood". Hollywood was a 90nm chip, with two dies powering it.
Moving onto the Wii U, where Nintendo used a custom multi-chip module (MCM) developed by AMD, IBM and Renesas (as well as Nintendo IRD and Nintendo Technology Development). The GPU itself is the GX2, which was designed by AMD, and is based on the older R600/R700 architecture and clocked at 550MHz. It's older in the tooth now, so the use of a Pascal-based Tegra processor is interesting, and exciting. NVIDIA's current Maxwell-powered Tegra X1 processor can handle 4K output, and 1080p 60FPS gaming without a problem.
If you're familiar with my personal opinion on consoles, you'll know that I think they've had a negative impact on PC gaming and technology in general - so to hear EA's Chief Competition Officer, Peter Moore, ringing in the death of consoles. Hell. Yes.
Moore told The Daily Orange: "I'm not sure there will be consoles, as we know them anymore. Games will be accessed by streaming technology, so we don't need hardware intermediaries in between the two. If you and I want to play Battlefield 12 against each other, we'll just jump into a game via whatever monitor we happen to have in our homes. It'll be on a chip, rather than in a box".
Moore added that the PS4 and Xbox One are "well set up to advance as technologies does", simply blowing my mind. I don't know how they can advance, when they can barely handle 720p at 30FPS, but hey - what do I know. I think we'll see consoles begin to disappear, as games can be streamed online or from your smartphone - especially if we begin thinking, 5-10-20 years from now.
We all know how ridiculously successful the Wii was for Nintendo, but what about its successor? The Wii U was a console that didn't find its place in the market, but now GameStop CEO Paul Raines has come in and really slammed Nintendo.
Raines said that the Wii U was "disappointing to everybody, including them [Nintendo]". He said that Nintendo still has the power to "break records", and that each time a new Pokemon event takes place, GameStop sees a huge surge in business.
Raines has big hopes for NX, adding: "Nintendo is interesting in that they really are able to keep things as quiet as they can for a while. NX sounds exciting. We're looking forward to it. They're very innovative in everything that they do. I hope that they come out with something exciting and innovative".