×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Technology Of Current, Future Consoles Analyzed

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the technology-is-big-and-complicated dept.

Games 44

ban25 writes "There's an interesting article at Ace's Hardware with an in-depth analysis of the technology behind the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube, plus hints to the future. It covers the CPUs and GPUs of each of the systems, and also has an interesting discussion about embedded DRAM and its role in consoles compared to the high-speed discrete memories found on all of today's top PC graphics cards. The other part of the article covers the next generation of systems and, in particular, the Xbox 2 and PS3. The recent IBM/MS agreement is discussed, as well as the chances of the Xbox 2 having a PowerPC inside, or perhaps even a CELL derivative. On the PS3 side of things, the piece goes into some detail about the patent that turned up last year on CELL."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

44 comments

Mighty fresh story, mighty fresh frosty piss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7719511)

nt

Why can't console makers (4, Interesting)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 10 years ago | (#7719576)

Why can't console makers start making their high profile games for the PC? I'd love to be able to play Metroid Prime or Final Fantasy 10 on my computer and no matter how good those games are I'd never buy a game console. They're too limiting. I realize that I'm in the minority, but I think there'd be profit in this.

Re:Why can't console makers (4, Informative)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 10 years ago | (#7719689)

Because they sell a lot more to console gamers than PC gamers. It's just not worth changing all your code, except maybe for XBox games, which use DirectX.

Re:Why can't console makers (4, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#7721048)

..and that's where it's heading already quite fast, doing almost everything on high level languages and through libraries provided by hw maker, so there's less and less lowlevel freaking with newer consoles and going to be even less with the coming crop of new consoles. so basically what this ends up in if you're smart when doing the design decisions is that you don't lose anything by going with doing the game so that it will be very easy to port.

however, as artificial limitations on where you release the game have already shown up i don't think they'll ever release all the games on all the systems(even if porting it was just one day effort by one guy). many current games come now though with release for all ps2,xbox,gc and pc(with these games the marketing seems to be the biggest budget hurdle though, so it makes only sense to sell it for every system at the same time).

Re:Why can't console makers (5, Insightful)

GaimeGuy (679917) | more than 10 years ago | (#7719757)

Uh, because there'd be pretty much no point in buyinig consoles if all the great console games were on the PC. Plus, it's not worth it to change the code for the PC, and then release it, when games don't sell nearly as well on the PC as they do on consoles. A title selling 700,000 on the PC is like a title selling a couple million on a console. It just isn't worth it to spend the resources to port console games to PC and give the consoles less value.

Re:Why can't console makers (2, Interesting)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 10 years ago | (#7722465)

A title selling 700,000 on the PC is like a title selling a couple million on a console.

I don't understand. Are you saying margins are better on the PC? Or are you saying that, given equivalent marketing dollars, the PC sells less units?

And are the two circles really similar sets, or somewhat disjoint? I.e., if you release for both, might you sell a couple million on the console and 700,000 on the PC?

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

Alban (86010) | more than 10 years ago | (#7723631)

Yes, margins are better on the PC. On consoles, publishers pay royalties to the console maker (sony, nintendo, microsoft) on all their titles. This isn't the case on PC.

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

bconway (63464) | more than 10 years ago | (#7719863)

Are you kidding? Every PC game on the shelf at Best Buy has a PS2/X-Box counterpart. Halo, UT2003, Max Payne 1 and 2, KOTOR, etc. The list goes on and on.

Re:Why can't console makers (3, Insightful)

SuperMo0 (730560) | more than 10 years ago | (#7720958)

That's not what he was talking about. This is about a console game FIRST, such as Final Fantasy X or Metroid, being ported to PC. The ones you mentioned were PC games being ported to consoles, which happens all the time. Not EVERYONE has computers powerful enough to run all these neat new games, including myself, so there's a market in getting people to get them on a console when they couldn't otherwise play it.

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7721138)

Actually, on your list, they all have an XBOX counterpart.

This is not a coincidence.

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

onallama (515297) | more than 10 years ago | (#7719913)

...no matter how good those games are I'd never buy a game console. They're too limiting.

More limiting than not even being able to play those games at all?

Consoles may be limited compared to the latest and greatest PCs, but their beauty is that they're stable platforms for both developers and users. Developers don't have to worry about getting their games to run well on an impossibly-wide range of hardware combinations, users don't have to stuff in faster processors and extra memory and download week-old, barely-tested drivers just to be able to run the latest games. Put the disc in and It Just Works.

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

clu76 (620823) | more than 10 years ago | (#7719953)

Why do you consider game consoles to be too limiting? I used to prefer PC over the console, but that was 10 years ago.

Re:Why can't console makers (4, Insightful)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 10 years ago | (#7719970)

I'd love to be able to play Metroid Prime or Final Fantasy 10 on my computer and no matter how good those games are I'd never buy a game console. They're too limiting.

Sorry, but this makes absolutely no sense at all. In what way is a console limiting? It plays games as that is what it was designed for.

A TV is no different in that respect and neither is a chair or a cheese sandwich.

Re:Why can't console makers (2, Funny)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 10 years ago | (#7722474)

A TV is no different in that respect and neither is a chair or a cheese sandwich.

I find my cheese sandwiches very limiting. They take a lot of work to cook just right, and I can't have them and eat them too.

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

KBV (732207) | more than 10 years ago | (#7720054)

I would say that you, and the two other guys who think this might have a problem convincing the game developers of this. If you want to play games like Metroid Prime, Zelda, Ratchet & Clank etc. etc. You would have to buy a console. Besides, consoles in my book are becoming more and more like a PC. The PS2 has a broadband adapter and a harddrive, the gamecube has a broadban adapter for net play. And don't even get me started on the Xbox. Maybe this is what they want, move games more and more away from everyday PCs - which in the long run would make it less expensive for us mortals that don't have the cash to fork over 400$ for a new graphics card everytime someone decides that it's time to up the graphics on the PC *cough*Doom 3*cough* Just my humble opinion.

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

xgamer04 (248962) | more than 10 years ago | (#7720296)

The Gamecube has a total of 1 series that works with the broadband adapter (Phantasy Star Online)...unless you're talking about the Warp-pipe project...

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

womprat (154589) | more than 10 years ago | (#7720556)

The games that work with warpipe all work with the broadband adapter just fine on their own. They just are designed for LAN play only and not internet.
Besides the discussion was about current and future console hardware.

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

xgamer04 (248962) | more than 10 years ago | (#7720680)

You obviously don't understand what I was referring to. Please RTFP.

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7720812)

You said that Phantasy Star Online was the only game that made use of the broadband adapter, ignoring the Warp Pipe project. This is incorrect. Mario Kart also makes use of the broadband adapter for LAN play, without use of the Warp Pipe project. You see, you didn't say Phantasy Star Online was the only game to use the broadband adapter for Internet play. You said it was the only game to use the broadband adapter, end of statement. So, you were incorrect. The person who responded to you was correct. Your rudeness looks all the more silly when you are so obviously incorrect.

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

xgamer04 (248962) | more than 10 years ago | (#7731846)

I'm sorry I have to completely spell everything out for you, but many speakers of the English language apparently don't get implied meaning very well. PSO is the only series that is an "online" game. When I say "broadband adapter," what I mean is "broadband," not "lan," although it obviously means that as well, but that wording is obviously somewhat ambiguous.

The original reply to my post was at least as jackassish as you imply mine was, and yes, I get somewhat pissed when people extract some sort of strange meaning out of something that I say with a twisted logic that doesn't accurately reflect the fact that what I or anyone else posts may or may not be the extent of the knowledge of that subject on the poster's part.

I don't understand why you are defending this "womprat" character, since he/she obviously has more problems with grammar and spelling than I do. I also question your understanding of getting a point across. You state no less than three times in your post that I am "incorrect", two of which have added emphasis on them. You also say I am incorrect because I "ignored" the Warp Pipe project. I did not. Very clearly did I state in the original post my knowledge of this. It was also a somewhat ambiguous usage, but I was hoping for people with comprehension skills beyond that of picture-book readers. I am sorry for expecting so much.

Please do not take this very seriously, although I have my doubts that this point will get across. If you want to pick apart niggling issues of a post on a web forum, please do it with someone other than me, or I will do the same to you.

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7733839)

You sad little simpleton,
Look here: when I said "You said that Phantasy Star Online was the only game that made use of the broadband adapter, ignoring the Warp Pipe project." that last bit about the Warp Pipe project was referring to the fact that you were ignoring the Warp Pipe project for your summary of what games made use of the broadband adapter. This is quite obvious and cannot be taken any other way since I begin that statement very specifically by saying, "You said." Next up...

Your original post made it sound like you believed that the only way Mario Kart could be played on a network was through the use of the Warp Pipe project. There was no clear implication that you understood that Mario Kart could be played on a LAN with the broadband adapter. I think the person who replied to you was just trying to get that information out there - which it seemed you did not have. Your reply, rather than saying something like, "Yes, I know. I was implying that PSO was the only game playable through the Internet, without aid of the Warp Pipe project." you had to get rude.

Your insults of me don't really bother me. I know how educated I am and don't need to prove myself to someone on Slashdot. You say that with proper reading comprehension, it is possible to derive from this "The Gamecube has a total of 1 series that works with the broadband adapter (Phantasy Star Online)." 'that you meant works with the broadband adapter through the Internet.' This is just wrong. Don't try to tell me that everything one needs to derive that idea is already in that statement. It is not.

Do what you want "to me." I'm not intimidated by someone like you at all.

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

KBV (732207) | more than 10 years ago | (#7723157)

The only reason for the limit on net-games for the Game Cube is that Nintendo dosn't want to support net-play since they don't find the technology good enough yet.

Re:Why can't console makers (4, Insightful)

cgranade (702534) | more than 10 years ago | (#7720394)

I find consoles much less limiting, since game makers can make assuptions about what's going on and just focus on the game. On a PS1/2/X, for example, everyone has a controller with four triggers, four shoulder buttons, two analogs (excepting early PS1s) and four directions, plus a start-select pair. No need to detect if there's a joystick or keyboard or what. Furthermore, all PS2s are equally compatible, so the game makers don't have to "scale down" graphics for less capable systems.
The end result? Less time spent on interface details and hardware detection, and more time spent making good games.

Re:Why can't console makers (5, Interesting)

Alaric42 (50725) | more than 10 years ago | (#7720934)

"Furthermore, all PS2s are equally compatible. . . ."

Tell that to Enix and Namco and their Star Ocean 3 and Xenosaga, respectively, both of which ran into problems with some models of PS2s being incompatible because of changes Sony introduced into later runs.

Re:Why can't console makers (2, Insightful)

SuperMo0 (730560) | more than 10 years ago | (#7721046)

OK, maybe they're not all COMPATIBLE, but they all have the same processor speed and shit. Try running UT2003 on a Pentium II with 400 mHz of speed (which isn't all that old, really).

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

Gtz (18854) | more than 10 years ago | (#7745257)

Try running UT2003 on a Pentium II with 400 mHz of speed (which isn't all that old, really).
Hmm, a Pentium II CPU clocked at 0.4 Hz? I'd rather use an IBM PC with shiny 4.7 MHz.

Re:Why can't console makers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7721113)

On a PS1/2/X, for example, everyone has a controller with four triggers, four shoulder buttons, two analogs (excepting early PS1s) and four directions, plus a start-select pair. No need to detect if there's a joystick or keyboard or what.

On a PC, people have the freedom to choose whatever style of controller they want, instead of being limited to what the console designers liked. DirectInput abstracts away most hardware differences, so all game designers need to do is provide an interface for controller configuration.

Furthermore, all PS2s are equally compatible, so the game makers don't have to "scale down" graphics for less capable systems.

All PS2s are equally limited, so the game makers are unable to "scale up" graphics for more capable systems. It cuts both ways.

The only thing consoles have that PCs don't is a wide variety of games. Which takes us back to the original poster's point. PCs have FPSes that make most current console games look crap. But FPSes account for the vast majority of "good" PC games. Unreal this, Doom that, Deus Whatever. If only game publishers would release all their titles on the PC, they could experience the freedom of programming to the API instead of the hardware, and we could experience some really innovative gaming.

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

key45 (706152) | more than 10 years ago | (#7729517)

If only game publishers would release all their titles on the PC, they could experience the freedom of programming to the API instead of the hardware, and we could experience some really innovative gaming.

Nice theory, but all the PC game developers I've worked with end up spending the first part of the project programming to the API and the second part tracking down hardware incompatibilities. I know more than one game with code filled with stuff like:

#if (NVIDIA)
DoThisGraphicsTrick()
#elif (ATI)
DoThisOtherGraphicsTrick()
#else
DoTheBasicAPIThing()
#endif


It's just impossible to get code that runs well on a majority of todays Win32 PCs by simply "programming to the API."

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

CrystalChronicles (706620) | more than 10 years ago | (#7722651)

"No need to detect if there's a joystick or keyboard or what" A computer without a keyboard is like a console without a controller. "PS2s are equally compatible, so the game makers don't have to "scale down" graphics for less capable systems." Only problem here is that consoles are the less capable system when it comes to graphics. PC games can scale to much higher resolutions than consoles can even at the highest supported HDTV standard.

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

CNERD (121095) | more than 10 years ago | (#7720586)

If they ported all the games to PC, it would defeat the point of consoles.

Re:Why can't console makers (3, Informative)

KAMiKAZOW (455500) | more than 10 years ago | (#7720976)

I'd never buy a game console. They're too limiting.

What do you think a game console is for? Cleaning your dishes?
I find desktop computers too limiting. Yeah, I can surf the internet, write letters and so on, but in my opinion ALMOST ALL CURRENT PC GAMES SUCK. I don't need 374732 tactical ego shooters. I don't need as many sport games.
That's why I bought a GameCube. I want fun games - not the same crap over and over again. In this autumn/winter season more great games have been and will be released for GameCube than for PCs in a year. Soul Calibur 2, Viewtiful Joe, F-Zero GX, SSX 3, Tales of Symphonia, Metal Gear Solid - Twin Snakes, Baten Kaitos, Mario Kart - Double Dash, Sonic Heroes, Final Fantasy - Crystal Chronicles, Phantasy Star Online 3, Zelda - Four Swords Plus, True Crime, Prince of Persia - Sands of Time (also available on PC),...
And GB Player owners can even add lots of GBA games to the list.

Yeah right, tons of great games are very limiting....

Re:Why can't console makers (4, Interesting)

Jad LaFields (607990) | more than 10 years ago | (#7721801)

That's neat... you just entirely missed his point. Or angrily made it for him while insulting him. If he wanted to play "374732 tactical ego shooters" then he wouldn't be complaining about console game makers not porting their software like "Metroid Prime or Final Fantasy 10", would he? Dumbass.

And to throw my own two cents in about the "limitations" of consoles that some people have been complaining about: I remember eagerly awaiting the port of GTA: Vice City to the PC after playing it on a friend's PS2 -- I already have a decent computer (its over 3 years old, but runs modern PC games fine) so I wasn't about to run out and buy a PS2 (and hell, I guess I'd need a TV, too) just to play the game. Anyway, once I got it, I realized that it really feels like the game was meant to be played on a computer. I could crank the resolution to the max, up the texture detail, aim with a mouse which is so much better than the stupid aiming system on the PS2 (which takes absolutely no skill), no loading times.... I can't play the game on my friend's PS2 anymore, it's too painful. What's more, if I were so inclined I could go and download the multiplayer mod for the game (which may be only for GTA3, don't remember).

Yes, there are limitations to the PC, most notably the QA nightmare that so many different setups creates, but having "all current PC games" suck shouldn't be one of them. Sure, Soul Caliber 2 would be crap without a gamepad... but I'd immediately go out and buy one if they released the game for the PC.

Damn, imagine if they had designed that game like the best PC developers do and make it easily moddable (and maybe they did, I don't know). Imagine if they had a simple scripting engine you could use to make up new moves and combos... or if you could go to some site and download new skins, costumes, or even new fighters that enterprising players created?

Consoles are moving in this direction, with hard drives and internet access, but they are not there yet. And until they are, it would be nice if more developers took advantage of the strengths that the PC platform has.

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

cybergrue (696844) | more than 10 years ago | (#7724412)

Why can't console makers start making their high profile games for the PC? #snip# I'd never buy a game console. They're too limiting.
This is exactly the reason why these games are console only. There are too many varaitions between PC hardware for the developers to handle. The cost of testing a cutting edge game on all the combinations of hardware that it could be expected to run on was getting far too expensive. I recall a comment made by a manager at a large game developer (Activision iirc) saying that the profit margins in PC game development were so slim that a single call to tech support would wipe out the profit for that unit. I havn't even mentioned losses due to piracy either. Compare this with the mass market console with built in drm. Millions of (nearly) identical units with identical specs. Now which one would you like to develop for.
I use to be a PC gamer myself a few years back, then I saw the writing on the wall, and bought myself a console

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 10 years ago | (#7726589)

They're too limiting.

$100 for a console is limiting?

Think of it as an external self-contained special graphics card and a joystick; by that measure, even the X-Box at full price is a good deal.

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 10 years ago | (#7728086)

I'd love to be able to play Metroid Prime or Final Fantasy 10 on my computer and no matter how good those games are I'd never buy a game console. They're too limiting.

Sound's like your PC is the thing holding you back from playing the games you wanna play. Even if you think a console is limiting, they're cheaper than graphics cards, and they have a longer life-cycle. Maybe you should think of picking one up.

It's non-trivial to take a console game to PC (1)

grahamwest (30174) | more than 10 years ago | (#7730907)

Taking a console game and making it run on PC is usually very feasible from a purely technical point of view. There are, however, four things that stand in the way of turning a console game into a PC game.

Firstly, the art is designed for 640x480 on a TV. This means it usually looks bad at 1024x768 on a PC monitor and PC gamers react very negatively to bad art because they spend a bunch of money on their systems in order to have their games look as beautiful as possible.

Secondly, the game is designed to be played with a console gamepad. To sell a game on PC it needs to play well with keyboard and mouse - some people have gamepads but the vast majority do not. This can mean making changes to a lot of game systems.

Thirdly, PCs vary in their specifications. The game must be able to run at different frame rates, at different resolutions and so on. Loading and saving works differently. Data may be coming off CD or off the hard drive. Users can task switch away from the game. Basically, the environment is just different. Depending on how the game code is written these things may be easy to accomodate, or extremely hard.

Lastly, the business environment for PC games is different. You need a much bigger tech support department (all those users with their disparate configurations). The retail channel is somewhat different to work with (margins, major buyers, cost structure, packaging, promotional material).

The bottom line from all of this is that it takes a bunch of money and time to turn a console game into a PC game that anyone would actually want to pay for. Either you do it after the console version is done, or you do it along the way by keeping the game cross-platform. You also need a different set of business resources than you do for console games. It's unclear that, for most console games, the return on investment would exceed the costs of this. Perhaps more importantly the effort spent on PC versions can instead be spent making the console version better.

In my opinion the above are why you don't see many console games come to PC. That's not to say it never happens, of course. Most of the conversions that I'm aware of were done by relatively small developers well after the console version was known to be successful and in many cases the PC versions didn't sell well and were negatively perceived basically because of their console-ness.

Re:Why can't console makers (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#7732470)

I'd love to be able to play Metroid Prime or Final Fantasy 10 on my computer and no matter how good those games are I'd never buy a game console. They're too limiting.

Yeah, they're limitted to playing the games you really really want to play.. how sucky of them.

WARNING Post AC to /. Feds CAN show up @ your door (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7719696)

WARNING, SLASHDOT NOW TIES AC COMMENTS WITH USER
(Use a disposable account from a disposable IP before moderating this up. Editors generally watch and see who moderates controversial things like this up.)

When you are logged in, /. ties your user account to any Anonymous Coward postings you make... Thus they know who posted it. To demonstrate this:
  1. Get mod points.
  2. Post an AC comment while logged in
  3. Change your dynamic ip, clear all cookies
  4. Log back in and try to moderate your AC comment... you can't!!!

Please *log out* AND use another browser before making your AC comments.
Your UID is being tracked, it's not Anonymous. Lots of people post lots of things to Slashdot as AC only because they believe it is really anonymous - it isn't. They hunt "trolls" (non-karma whores and non-group thinking bots) down.

This is true. I used to be a bit more freestyle and witty AC and be a nice guy logged in [basically a karma whore]. After a short while, I could no longer moderate. Slashdot does brand AC posts with IP and then map them back to users. They lie about AC, AC doesn't exist if you re-use ip addresses.

Big brother is watching. So while I might be a "troll" a lot of the AC things I said were to protect myself from Slash-bot groupthink. They punished me for voicing my opinion freestyle.

They also revoke moderation FOREVER - $rtbl it is called, for any moderations of any post that have been secretly flagged annoying [Slashcode has hidden flags viewable by editors]. If you *EVER* mod up something an editor secretly marked annoying you NEVER moderate again, ever - ever even if your karma is capped.

Also, Slashdot uses the friends system to track "trolls." Mark a troll you find funny as a friend *bang* $rtbl never to moderate ever again. My real account had many many good friends who had good karma, and a few funny trolls later, no more moderation for that account. Again, Slashdot is spying on its users to make the people who find certain things funny uneligible to moderate. You will never moderate again if you are a friend of a "foe or freak" of an editor.

FACT: This is in Slashcode CVS

Revision 1.7.2.5 / (download) - annotate - [select for diffs] , Thu Feb 8 13:12:32 2001 UTC (2 years, 9 months ago) by pudge
Branch: bender
CVS Tags: v1_1_3_0
Changes since 1.7.2.4: +18 -7 lines
Diff to previous 1.7.2.4 to branchpoint 1.7

log more AC info


So AC is a scam here. Hitler-Malda screws AC posts in the caboose. So now all you can do is go 100% AC, or , as they expect you to, KARMA WHORE. And it is so lame and unfair and probably illegal as they lie about anonymity.

Also, sometimes when certain information becomes an active thread, they bitchslap the thread much later so that people think its "safe" to participate and the whole thing gets slapped.

There is a presumption anonymous means something. They lie like rugs to the posting public by using the word anonymous. It is not. They brazenly lie though and the un-assuming poster is having everything he says correlated with him and stored in a computer just waiting to be subpoenaed by the people that Slashdot claims to hate but works for. They work for the fascist forces and components of the US government. I like the US and other Western governments but they have good and bad components - there are things you need to do to protect yourself from the bad components. Basically "covering your ass" so to speak. At Slashdot, in lying about AC, un-protects its posting public (seeding a de-anonymizing privacy stripping pandemic in their own "little" way). This makes Slashdot a very dangerous target for you the posters to have your "anonymous" information subpoenaed and you to be chased down and persecuted for speaking your mind. I think that it is a joke Slashdot editors post about SCO, MSFT, RIAA, MPAA, TIA, FBI, etc. They do the same fascist big-brotherly things that those companies do the public at large as they do to the Slashdot posting public.

Protect yourself. Try and use proxies or a super good second browser with proxies that you never log into such as Opera (which makes it very easy to delete all private data). Thank you.

hell.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7720399)

I'd pay 20$ a pop for many of the great snes, dc, n64 or ps1 games or maybe some legal emulator on my pc. Till then I guess I'll legally dl them free from pirate sites while the big co's loose a chance to make some money

Re:hell.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7720725)

LOSE you fucking moron. It's not that hard.

Evolution? Nay! Revolution! (2, Insightful)

Peoii (611530) | more than 10 years ago | (#7723309)

There's the same ol' same ol' in most of those.... They point at "more power", well duh. Of course systems are going to get more and more powerful, otherwise I'd wait for things to come out still on my good ol' Atari 2600.

What we really need is a revolution in gaming technology for the console. Something that provides a new level of interactivity, be it from a 3D projection, to a Virtual Helmet set. ANYTHING would be an improvement over the joystick games of current. I mean look at it this way, we've had the same type of games coming out for years now, nothing new, nothing challenging as far as pushing the limits of what we can do. Why not give the home console gamer something they'll be addicted to? Perhaps an interactive environment where we're pumping sensations to them that they actually FEEL, SMELL or even TASTE. To long has the gaming world been in our rumble packs, ears, and eyes, something has to push forward, and I just wonder when the gaming companies will notice that.

Re:Evolution? Nay! Revolution! (1)

cr0sh (43134) | more than 10 years ago | (#7737423)

I doubt you will see (at least in the near future) 3D projection, and you will probably never see a VR HMD setup.

Back in 1995, when the Sega Genesis was all the rage, along with the hope (hype?) of VR, Sega actually had a prototype HMD system. Everyone in the homebrew and consumer VR realm was a-goggle, with the idea of a cheap and hackable VR HMD with full 3DOF mag-tracking capabilities. It never saw the light of day (though some people own the prototypes today). Why?

Mainly, one word: liability.

HMDs present one obstacle that has yet to be overcome, that of "simulator sickness". A large percentage of the population cannot deal with the images their eyes and brains are receiving (the movement, etc), and sounds - conflicting with the fact that they are sitting down. Some get nausea, some so bad they, ahem, puke. Then there are the morons who will try to stand up and walk around, then fall or trip...

All of this would eventually get the manufacturer (ie, in the old case, Sega) sued. Other manufactures tried (and continue to try) to sell HMDs to the masses (ie, Forte VFX-1, Phillips SCUBA, IO-Glasses, Victormaxx's Stuntmaster), but they all flop(ed) (either due to cost, lack of demand, simulator sickness, resolution/field-of-view issues).

Resolution and FOV issues aside, the issue of simulator sickness is always going to be there. There have been notable attempts to minimize or eliminate it. Two come to mind:

The Flogiston Flostation was a chair/projector unit devised by a guy in Texas using a grant from NASA to design a VR system for training astronauts. The main feature was the special chair which reproduced the feelings of weightlessness by reducing body pressure points in a special reclined position. This weightlessness feeling helped to divorce the head from the body, so that simulator sickness was reduced. This, coupled with a full wraparound screen (a high-resolution rear projected sphere that fitted over the users head), high-powered sound system, and on a few prototypes, a full-motion platform system - provided for a very nice (from what I have read) virtual experience.

The other system I remember about was a type of "helmet" that saw beta testing, that stimulated the vestibular system via electric currents. Using a patented technology based on earlier, less advanced medical systems used to treat vertigo patients - the device would sit on your head, electrodes place on the forehead and just behind each ear would contact the skin. Computer software (and the beta of it was to develop games using the SDK provided) could control how you "felt" in the game or simulation - whether you were tilted, moving, falling, etc - in effect, stimulating you (virtually) the same as the simulation did, removing one of the major component problems which causes simulator sickness. I can't remember the name of the company, it went under (one of the early VR/.COM busts) - and I don't know what happenned to the beta units. The patents should still be available, though. I also know that I posted on Slashdot around 1998-2000 when the company was still around regarding this tech, so you might look it up.

I think these two technologies, if they could be made cheaper, would go a long way to bring VR into the home. Unfortunately, right now probably the cheapest the whole system (HMD, chair, and stimulator) could be sold would be around $2000.00 - and you still haven't put in the cost of the reality simulator console and software...

Well... (2, Informative)

hookedup (630460) | more than 10 years ago | (#7725478)

The future of the xbox has many unknowns, latest rumor going around is the xbox2 will have a proprietary disc format, much like the GC's. Why you ask? To prevent piracy.

According to an ad on microsofts career website, the Microsoft's Xbox team is seeking an engineer "to manage the design and development of the Xbox Game Disc for the next generation Xbox console", with the job description going on to mention anti-piracy as the first in a list of key factors for the new game disc specification.

Article here [theregister.co.uk] about it
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...