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You know what would be really interesting? And I had this idea a few times, but since the PC side has it's SLi and crossfire bits, why not, in a move to make the new Xbox even more longer lasting than the 360 work out a way to add SLI type support using a custom expansion slot for a future ~5 years or so, upgrade/add-on module of sorts? Price it right and have newer games being able to work with or without it and it'd be pretty interesting.

That would be a really interesting option. The problem is that for SLI I believe you need to use the same cards? So adding en expansion 5 years down the road with hardware that old might have issues. Plus, developers would still have to code for configurations which don't have the add on module so would add extra time and expense.

I'd like to see them standardize on having a larger amount of inbuilt storage/hard drive as that has become an issue this gen. I'd like to still see them keep installs optional though, it's not playstation afterall :)

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Next Xbox Codenamed "Loop", Runs On Modified Windows 9

Insider blog MS nerd, which has been right on a few things coming out of Microsoft HQ from time to time, reckons it has some info on the next Xbox console.

Currently codenamed "Loop", the site says the console will have a single main processor that's joined by "assistive cores" for "graphics, AI, physics, sound, networking, encryption and sensors".

To be both smaller and cheaper than the Xbox 360 (it's not specified whether it'll be cheaper than the 360 is now or cheaper than it was at launch), it will also apparently run on a modified version of Windows 9. The console will, according to the site, be designed as a joint venture between Microsoft and "two partners based on the ARM architecture".

All of which sounds interesting. And, with the next Xbox not due for at least another year or three, completely unverified and liable to change (if it's true in the first place!).

We've contacted Microsoft for comment, and will update if we hear back.

Source: Kotaku

A bit like the Cell processor and its SPU's then.

Like others though I am calling a big bit of BS on this story as it would make backwards compatibility a PITA. Unless Microsoft plan on dropping that and not bothering with it.

You know what would be really interesting? And I had this idea a few times, but since the PC side has it's SLi and crossfire bits, why not, in a move to make the new Xbox even more longer lasting than the 360 work out a way to add SLI type support using a custom expansion slot for a future ~5 years or so, upgrade/add-on module of sorts? Price it right and have newer games being able to work with or without it and it'd be pretty interesting.

Didn't Nintendo kind of do that a few years back with the N64 and it's memory pack. That allowed better graphics and such like? Don't know too much just remember there being something. Not sure if games that used it also worked without it though.

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Those talking about backwards compatibility - the original Xbox had an i386 CPU in it. For backwards compatibility, I believe they recompiled games from i386 to PPC and had you download them, using the original discs for art assets and so on.

They could do that again if they change architectures, for sure.

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I can't see them going back to a 32 bit - architecture, seeing as ARM 64 isn't going to be ready for a quite awhiles, and Microsoft are apparently building this CPU now. I'm also not aware of any existing ARM chips or reference designs that come anywhere near close to the performance of current Intel & AMD chips, so it seems like an unrealistically daft choice.

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I think Microsoft need to do backwards compatability, i think the PS3 would have had greater penetration the ability to run PS2 games was set as standard and not an option for some launch consoles and then taken away completely. The idea is that the Xbox is a platform you invest in, no longer a simple games console, therefore people need to know that their investment (i.e. games) is protected to a degree. I don't think it will be much of a challenge as im sure they can get an emulator if they decide to switch CPU architectures, the main killer will be the GPU and how much this can emulate the current 360. One option might be to use nVidia and use CUDA to perform some of the emulation, they can get a lot of horsepower out of the GPU in this respect. However i think Microsoft should put a lot of effort and do this as without it i think a lot of people might hold off buying the next Xbox as they will consider the games they already have and are going to buy for the 360.

I don't know really if ARM is the right choice, they have centred on low powered designs for so long that they are having to play a quick game of catch up for performance and things like 64bit.

http://www.osnews.com/story/25271/ARM_To_Move_to_64bit_with_ARMv8

Personally i think they should stick to PPC or move to Intel, however the intel CPU's could be a little more annoying to implement due to the core's reliance on it's own GPU, perhaps they can work that out.

Personally i don't think the CPU is as important as three other aspects,

Primarily the GPU, this is going to be key, with the right GPU Microsoft could offload the physics, AI as well as providing graphical punch, thus rendering the CPU choice a little moot. This is the key for the consoles now as the GPU will have to be powerful enough to last the 5/10 years that will be the lifetime of the console.

The next is RAM, i think Microsoft really need to expand this greatly. Obviously the archtecture of the console is different to standard PC's, that data is "streamed" rather than "loaded/store". However i believe that Microsoft and other console makers shouldn't skimp this area and go for the least possible as the RAM is a useful resource for larger games. For example GTA IV would have really benefitted from the extra RAM instead of really thrashing the DVD and losing draw distance. Microsoft needs to consider the RAM as a useful Cache system as well as standard RAM allowing the console to not be so dependant on slower storage devices such as DVD-ROM and HDD's. I believe with a larger RAM size games will benefit tremendously with larger maps, more complex environments.

Storage, the one thing i really love about the Playstation is how they got the storage system right. To upgrade the hard disk, backup, buy bog standard hard disk, install with one screw and restore. Simple system that allows the system to grow with the years. (my PS3 started as a 40GB and is now a 320GB with a ?40 upgrade). Microsoft will need to adopt a system that allows users to replace the hard disk with a standard hard disk. If they want the platform to be the centre of the livingroom/the digitial hub then they need to scrap the current proprietry hard disk system. The costs are far to high and the rate of adopting new technology is far too slow. I can easily buy a 640GB HDD or even a 1TB shortly for my PS3 however with the xbox the limit is 320GB which was recently introduced, it's expensive and really annoying. After owning an Xbox for 5 years ive only recently upgraded from my 20GB to a 120GB, but that was because it was second hand and cost ?30, i don't want to pay ?100 for storage. The reason i don't is that im buying the games, movies DLC which Microsoft already get a cut from, i don't want to pay extra for the privilage of storing this. Microsoft need to understand to break even on the storage, to drop barriers from purchasing digital media of any kind which is where the real money is.

I would also love to see a reduction in the cost of Xbox Live or perhaps even open a free one which was suplimented with adverts to cover the costs.

Although the storage sounds like a rant, i love my Xbox and it's the first console since the SNES which i regularly play, replacing most of my PC gaming, ive owned all consoles since the snes (expect the N64 and Sega Saturn) and i got bored with them all after three months (The PS3 i mainly use for Bluray and media not so much for games). I love the achievement system, i like the UI, controller and the games that are on the platform, i think it's a really great console. Im looking forward to the next, but at no time when playing GOW3 or RAGE have i thought, this console looks 5 years old, the graphics and the games are still really great. I just want to the Xbox to continue to be a successful brand.

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The issues surrounding BC next gen are far more complicated than our last generation leap where BC meant putting a physical disc in a new console. Look at all the XBLA downloads/DLC/account tie-ins/game patches & updates. Then there's the DRM factor.

Personally I'm pretty worried about how much of our content we will actually be able to see on the new consoles and how much is going to be stuck on our current consoles.

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Those talking about backwards compatibility - the original Xbox had an i386 CPU in it. For backwards compatibility, I believe they recompiled games from i386 to PPC and had you download them, using the original discs for art assets and so on.

They could do that again if they change architectures, for sure.

That would make sense since the binaries are such a small portion of the game anyway

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The issues surrounding BC next gen are far more complicated than our last generation leap where BC meant putting a physical disc in a new console. Look at all the XBLA downloads/DLC/account tie-ins/game patches & updates. Then there's the DRM factor.

Personally I'm pretty worried about how much of our content we will actually be able to see on the new consoles and how much is going to be stuck on our current consoles.

should be ok with things like license transfer tools etc (or whatever Microsoft calls it)

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should be ok with things like license transfer tools etc (or whatever Microsoft calls it)

Yeah they've been good with that.

I'm don't think there will be a problem like last time with BC. People have invested far too much in digital content, they would get slammed even harder.

While I would disappointed if they didn't do BC well or at all, it wouldn't really bother me.in the long run. I've played so many games that I've enjoyed but have no interest in playing ever again. DLC even more. Are we really going to care about COD map packs, avatar clothes, in the years to come.That's just me of course.

Still, I don't think MS will forget about BC or half arse it this time around.

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Would make some sense perhaps being Windows 9, heck, it'd give them a good base for a long life cycle anyway.

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Smaller XBLA games shouldn't have a problem and at the most would just need a small recompile and redownload over to the new system etc. Besides I expect a ~2 year or so overlap with the 360 and the next Xbox this time around.

The only up front benefit to MS out of this would be, other than the cooler and quieter hardware with ARM is that they could instantly support future XBLA games that will more or less run on both the new xbox console and future windows phones thus being another plus to game devs working on the platform and also more integration on that side of things. But I don't think they'll change off of PPC, but who knows? If we're talking 2013 then lots of things can change.

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I don't even see the need for backward compatibility. They stopped updating the Xbox 1 emulator on the 360; why would they put backward compatibility in the next Xbox?

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I'd like a nice launch price of $250, please.

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I'd like a nice launch price of $250, please.

I'd like a nice launch price of $1, please.

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They'll probably aim for the same old $299-$399 depending on what they put in it, so until we actually know official hardware specs it could be priced at anything over $200.

Going with ARM would cut the price down though, I think, so that's one way to look at it. The only ones using the custom PPC in the 360 is the 360, don't have the same sorta volume being made that ends up effecting price.

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Its not the expensive throw a disc drive in the system for you to transfer your disc data to the HDD and be done with it. As long as MS makes it only doable on their console then I don't see a reason why spending an extra $20 on a generic dvd drive in the system would put anyone off. The only downside to the drive is the system will have to be larger.

On the other hand they can simply give the option of a disc reader peripheral which will allow you to run your games on an external disc drive (that way trade ins are possible). The only thing I hope the new xbox supports is the current 360 HDD. That way I can trade my console and controllers in, get the new one and just slap in my hard drive and be ready to go minus a few updates.

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Please not another 3-4yrs of Xbox 360... How stunted do you want to make PC games? Its already held us back enuff.

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Please not another 3-4yrs of Xbox 360... How stunted do you want to make PC games? Its already held us back enuff.

There's an argument to be made that PC gamers have held back PC gaming enough on their own with lack of sales. The hard truth is that console bring in more money for a dev but regardless nothing stops them from putting more in the PC version if they want, the fact they don't and just make the PC version the same as the console version is cost savings. You might want to call it being lazy but then you're not the one spending millions to make a game are you? Look at BF3, nothing stopped DICE from taking full advantage of the PC hardware and DX11 to make the PC version the best while still offering a good console version of the game as well. Of course they do this because they know the target market for this game is the PC MP people and not so much the console FPS fan who's already jumped over to the new CoD game.

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Remember that they had tablets running Windows 8 with Office, etc. running on an ARM processor at Build.

That build of Office was coded specifically for ARM processors though.

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Given the proposed Launch date I would expect to see download only games and no drive at all to compete with services like onlive.

:rolleyes: you're so silly it's like you think Microsoft is dumb enough to think everybody will be okay with that. I'm pretty sure some surveys and research would show that people and gamers (just going off comments throughout the recent years here) do like to have physical discs, not all, but people do. Also, yeah do this would completely destroy retailers... great for business and business relations.

Whole article is BS. ARM = no backward compatibility; Windows 9? lulz

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I am guessing the ARM part of the post won't be true, hard for backwards compatibility.

And if Loop is indeed running some form of Win 9, 2014 is the year it will come out.

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I don't see how it is technically possible.

ARM will have 2.5ghz quad core processors in 2013. Even a 2.5ghz would be slow for a console i bet, would be slower than a core i3. How could such a slow speed be used in an Xbox, i just don't believe it.

As for graphics that is believable as nvidia are bringing have their tegra processors and there are quite a few gpu makers for ARM, i'm sure they could create some very good dx11.1 capable cores which would be adequate for a new console but cpu-wise i can't see it happening.

My guess is that AMD will sell MS an APU (CPU/GPU) chip that would be 6/8 cores with the fastest graphics they can make on it. It the only logical choice as intel's graphics sucks and nvidia don't have an x86 license.

Its possible that they could have an intel cpu + nvidia/ati gpu but i would assume that they want want to keep costs down seeing as though the economy is bad.

I'm sure ms/sony will announce their consoles by the end of 2012 as Nintendo could sell quite alot of wii2 consoles.

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Loop? As in when it gets the blue screen of death, it writes a dumpfile and reboots?

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Rumours stated that there would be a cheap Xbox for media services, that could easily be the source of the ARM speculation - no chance of backwards compatability.

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Rumours stated that there would be a cheap Xbox for media services, that could easily be the source of the ARM speculation - no chance of backwards compatability.

If true I think the cheaper version could have a different name as well, this way people who buy the cheaper one who might not be able to play full games won't get mixed up by it.

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