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What I wish the PS4 were

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Posted

With the ramping up of rumors about the impending announcements of the PS4 and Xbox720 I thought it would be fun to define what I wish the PS4 would have been. NOTE this is NOT a guess as to what it is, I know the rumors are that it's a AMD based x86 design and such this is just a fun little post about the direction I wish they had gone. It does however maintain the assumption that the Cell architecture died and thus making a PS4 with hardware compatibility with the PS3 was not doable. So here goes:

CPU:

4+ core 64bit ARMv8 SoC

Why? Full hardware compatibility with the 32bit 4 Core ARMv7 CPU in the PS Vita. Great power to performance ratio.

GPU 1 (on same SoC as CPU above):

4+ core PowerVR Series 6 "Rogue" GPU (6+ if they can emulate SPEs -- see below)

Why? Full hardware compatibility with the 4 Core PowerVR Series 5 GPU in the PS Vita.

GPU 2

AMD "Southern Islands" or nVidia "Kepler" based

Why? Traditionally Consoles have matched the current state of the art for graphics AT LAUNCH, this maintains that.

Memory

8GB Unified Memory

Why? With a 64bit CPU the console can break the 4GB limit. This gives them an advantage over off the shelf PC games that will remain 32bit for the foreseeable future because of the large 32bit OS install base. The memory is also unified so the GPUs use this as well so you can think of it as 6GB System RAM and 2 GB of Video RAM or any other combination adding up to 8.

Storage

240GB SSD Drive (user replaceable) supplemented by Cloud Storage

Why? Hard drives are going out and SSD prices are falling. They are already under $1/GB in many cases.

Media

128GB BDXL Drive (compatible with CD's, DVD's, and Blu-Ray discs)

Why? Storage and speed improvement while still backwards compatible.

Network

Gigabit Ethernet Port

Integrated WiFi 802.11bgn (ac/ad?)

Bluetooth 4.0 (compatible with PS3 controllers, remote, etc.)

Ports

USB 3.0 x2

Concept:

The system has a 64bit Hypervisor and when on runs with the SoC running in lower power mode matching the PS Vita and the AMD/nVidia GPU disabled. PS Vista, PS2, and PSOne downloadable games all play in this mode, as does playing CD's, DVD's, and Blu-Ray movies, he default OS (messaging, tropheys, etc) runs in this mode as well. Insert a PS4 (BDXL) game disc though and the SoC ramps up to full power and the AMD/nVidia GPU enables. Game developers have the full 8GB of memory to use and can use the SoC GPU for OpenCL such as a physics engine while the AMD/nVidia GPU handles the graphics. Limited cloud storage is provided with the console with storage upgrades available for a small fee. This storage is for games, movies, music, etc. Cloud saves don't count against your total nor does your saved system settings or non-free DLC for disc based PS4 games (storage fee included in DLC cost).

Pie in the sky:

No idea but it would be really cool if they could figure out a way to emulate the dual threaded PPE of the PS3 with 2 cores of the ARMv8 CPU (other two reserved for Hypervisor and OS) and if they can get a 6 core PowerVR Series 6+ Rogue GPU where each of the cores is able to emulate one of the SPEs from the PS3. Not knowing these architecures very well at all that may be totally unrealistic but it sure would be nice, rofl.

Again, this is just some fun dreaming... keep in mind though that SoC CPU/GPU (or something very similar) will likely be in tablets/cell phones by 2014/2015 so this isn't quite as far fetched as it may at first appear. Instead though we seem to be getting budget PC hardware.

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Posted

"Storage

240GB SSD Drive (user replaceable) supplemented by Cloud Storage

Why? Hard drives are going out and SSD prices are falling. They are already under $1/GB in many cases."

Yeah, that's going to fly. You've just added a couple hundred to the price of a PS4. As if it won't be expensive enough initially.

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Posted

yeah the SSD isnt happening. even if the 240GB drive in the example cost $200... well, that's $200 in the rumored price point of $400.

i do believe the BD-XL drive will happen. There will be a need for more disc space as well as 4k movie support.

the PS4 will undoubtedly have wireless-n support - it wont, however, have ac or ad support.

Sony would also be wise to heavily integrate the PS Vita - whether in software only or through some of the hardware mentioned by the OP

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Posted

Are hard drives going out? I think mechanical hard drives are going to be around for a long, long time.

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Posted

ARM cpus may be suitable for handhelds, but i don't think they belong in home consoles. Gaming machines require something with more power. 8GB of ram isn't likely, especially when the most demanding pc games rarely use more than 3GB of system ram and still rarely need more than 1GB of vram at 1080p. And you've got to be joking to want an SSD, the prices of those are still far too high to even remotely consider for a console.

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Posted

I would just love for it to have a decent internet browser!!

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Posted

A good browser.

/thread.

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Posted

....

GPU 2

AMD "Southern Islands" or nVidia "Kepler" based

Why? Traditionally Consoles have matched the current state of the art for graphics AT LAUNCH, this maintains that.

.....

What ? This couldn't be any less accurate,...

Every console is always at least one or two (if not more) generations behind current GPU (PC) counterparts.

Not even the recently released WiiU contained on-par graphics with top of the line GPUs (E6760 wiiU vs. a 7970 PC)

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Posted

"Storage 240GB SSD Drive (user replaceable) supplemented by Cloud Storage Why? Hard drives are going out and SSD prices are falling. They are already under $1/GB in many cases." Yeah, that's going to fly. You've just added a couple hundred to the price of a PS4. As if it won't be expensive enough initially.

I don't believe a SSD drive costs significantly more now than a Blu-Ray drive did when the PS3 launched. Also since it's user removable and offset by cloud storage the one 240GB could be the top end more expensive model with cheaper options available such as a 120GB SSD which in bulk could likely comprise under $100 of the price. Really though it's important to keep in mind that this is NOT a prediction or anything, just a fun little "What if?", VERY LITTLE (if any) of this is "going to fly".

Are hard drives going out? I think mechanical hard drives are going to be around for a long, long time.

On consoles? I'm not saying servers and PCs are going to drop them but I'd bet that the REAL Xbox720 and PS4 will likely not have mechanical hard drives (the Wii U doesn't already). I could certainly be wrong but I just feel SSD prices have come down enough and console makers aren't going to want HUGE storage as they'll want to "encourage" you to use their Cloud.

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pretty crazy wishlist, the armv8 a57 cores that are coming out will be incredibly slow and very power efficient. Power efficiency means nothing to console users, performance does. They would have multiple times faster processor with one from AMD or IBM. The SSD would cost a bomb which would result in hardly any console sales for the first few years. A 500GB mechanical drive would be the best option. Also what is your obsession with vita? This is a console, hardly anyone has a vita nor wants one. Lets them just be separate entities. As for BDXL the leaked info today suggest xbox and playstation will both have support for 100gb bluray discs.

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ARM cpus may be suitable for handhelds, but i don't think they belong in home consoles. Gaming machines require something with more power. 8GB of ram isn't likely, especially when the most demanding pc games rarely use more than 3GB of system ram and still rarely need more than 1GB of vram at 1080p. And you've got to be joking to want an SSD, the prices of those are still far too high to even remotely consider for a console.

The most important part of a console is the GPU. Even the WiiU is rumored to have an inferior CPU to the Xbox360/PS3 but it's offset by the fact is has a vastly superior GPU. A quad core 64bit ARMv8 CPU is no slouch either, this isn't your current cell phone/tablet chip and Dell and others are already working on data center servers made with these things. It's not going to beat a modern quad core Intel chip in processing power granted but it will consume much less power than just about anything that beats it. Also, again the integrated GPU has "compute" support and so when the system is running at full power (PS4 games) the SoC PowerVR GPU will be helping the CPU with things like physics since the more capable (but much greater power using) AMD/nVidia GPU will be handling the graphics. It's not going to beat a bleeding edge gaming PC still but it's better the PS3/Xbox360/Wii U I would bet and will likely outperform the rumored PS4 while ensuring full compatibility with the Vita.

As for RAM the most demanding PC games can't require more than 2GB of RAM because no developer is going to release a boxed game that won't run on a 32bit OS (without non-default setting changes). That's something a new console platform doesn't have to worry about because if they define a PS4 game as 64bit then everyone can address more. It's something they can offer developers that PC gaming can't even if their processors are slower. Even on a 64bit OS since boxed PC games are compiled for 32bit they CAN'T use more than 4GB of memory. PC games don't use more because they can't, I've no doubt that if developers were offered more they would use it, especially if they knew everyone on the platform had it as in the case of a console. It's also more important on a console since the game will be coming from a comparatively slow disc drive unless you are going to expect Console games to be installed like PC games before they can be run (which removes some of the "ease of use" of consoles.

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Posted

What ? This couldn't be any less accurate,...

Every console is always at least one or two (if not more) generations behind current GPU (PC) counterparts.

Not even the recently released WiiU contained on-par graphics with top of the line GPUs (E6760 wiiU vs. a 7970 PC)

the OP was saying that a newly-released console (wii u not included) is always graphically on par w/ current PC graphics. for example, a PS4 running Crysis 2 will look as good as a PC running the game. that make sense?

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I don't believe a SSD drive costs significantly more now than a Blu-Ray drive did when the PS3 launched. Also since it's user removable and offset by cloud storage the one 240GB could be the top end more expensive model with cheaper options available such as a 120GB SSD which in bulk could likely comprise under $100 of the price. Really though it's important to keep in mind that this is NOT a prediction or anything, just a fun little "What if?", VERY LITTLE (if any) of this is "going to fly".

You might want to actually RESEARCH something before speculating. :rolleyes:

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....

As for RAM the most demanding PC games can't require more than 2GB of RAM because no developer is going to release a boxed game that won't run on a 32bit OS (without non-default setting changes). That's something a new console platform doesn't have to worry about because if they define a PS4 game as 64bit then everyone can address more. It's something they can offer developers that PC gaming can't even if their processors are slower. Even on a 64bit OS since boxed PC games are compiled for 32bit they CAN'T use more than 4GB of memory. PC games don't use more because they can't, I've no doubt that if developers were offered more they would use it, especially if they knew everyone on the platform had it as in the case of a console. It's also more important on a console since the game will be coming from a comparatively slow disc drive unless you are going to expect Console games to be installed like PC games before they can be run (which removes some of the "ease of use" of consoles.

Again, Wrong.

I think you're confusing VRAM with system RAM

Games like (upcoming) Crysis 3 and Bioshock are already pushing the 2gb VRAM limit.

but then again this is mostly for the need of loading HD textures and other details that are NOT possible on consoles.

(hence the need for system RAM and the benefit games have from it)

So unless console makers stop making unified RAM architectures (VRAM-shared) the need for more RAM will always be there

Need proof, try playing FarCry 3 on a PC with only 2gb of system RAM, and see how poorly it runs.

the OP was saying that a newly-released console (wii u not included) is always graphically on par w/ current PC graphics. for example, a PS4 running Crysis 2 will look as good as a PC running the game. that make sense?

No, it doesnt. Crysis 2 is a bad example because the PC version was a PORT from the consoles.

Try a PC-optimized (no port) game such as DMC, and you'll notice the obvious difference

or even a PC exclusive which was later on ported to consoles (like FarCry 2)

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What ? This couldn't be any less accurate,... Every console is always at least one or two (if not more) generations behind current GPU (PC) counterparts. Not even the recently released WiiU contained on-par graphics with top of the line GPUs (E6760 wiiU vs. a 7970 PC)

Nintendo is the exception. Just like the Wii couldn't do HD when the Xbox360 and PS3 did the Wii U is behind the curve in pushing bleeding edge tech (not that that's bad, it's made them a ton of money.) The Xenos GPU the Xbox360 has is based off of the ATI R520 architecture which was the current ATI GPU when it launched in 2005. The RSX in the PS3 is based off of the nVidia NV47 which was current when it launched in 2006.

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You might want to actually RESEARCH something before speculating. :rolleyes:

Follow this link:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/multimedia/display/20061117130000.html

The Blu-Ray drive's estimated cost was $125 at launch.

As for SSD's I can go to newegg and buy a 240GB one for around $160. That's one guy buying a drive retail. One would assume that with wholesale pricing and volume discounts Sony could get that lower than I can (and I didn't even look around beyond newegg). I'm only $35 off as it is. Even if you can't though then dropping the drive down to a 120GB SSD drive gets you below $100. Also again prices are coming down fast in the SSD world and these consoles likely won't actually launch until late in the year or even next year when prices will be even lower.

You can remove your foot from your mouth now.

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I would just love for it to have a decent internet browser!!

rolf, I'm with you there. A native Pandora app would be nice too since the crappy browser on the PS3 keeps running out of memory if I keep it on playing music through the house all day.

I wish they'd just give up with their own broswer and work with Google to put Chrome on... in fact they could make the PS4 include the whole GoogleTV software suite in addition to the PlayStation specific stuff. Sony already makes Android phones (including the Xperia Play), uses Google Maps on the Vita, and makes stand alone GoogleTV boxes.

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Follow this link:

http://www.xbitlabs....1117130000.html

The Blu-Ray drive's estimated cost was $125 at launch.

As for SSD's I can go to newegg and buy a 240GB one for around $160. That's one guy buying a drive retail. One would assume that with wholesale pricing and volume discounts Sony could get that lower than I can (and I didn't even look around beyond newegg). I'm only $35 off as it is. Even if you can't though then dropping the drive down to a 120GB SSD drive gets you below $100. Also again prices are coming down fast in the SSD world and these consoles likely won't actually launch until late in the year or even next year when prices will be even lower.

You can remove your foot from your mouth now.

Why exactly would a console need an SSD in the first place? A mechanical drive would be far cheaper. A PS4 would NOT sell well if it comes out at or above the PS3 launch price ($599).

Quit being asinine.

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I don't see the need for a SSD. A mechnical hard drive would not only be cheaper but offer much more space. And space will be even more important for next-gen consoles. I'd rather have a 2TB hard drive than a 240GB SSD.

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I wish MRAM and ST-RAM were more developed, we'd have some serious beasting on our hands.

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Put some serious Sea Islands metal in there. Otherwise, it will be on par with an average gaming PC for about a year at 1080p. And after that PC Master Race will rise and rule again.

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I don't see the need for a SSD. A mechnical hard drive would not only be cheaper but offer much more space. And space will be even more important for next-gen consoles. I'd rather have a 2TB hard drive than a 240GB SSD.

If you exclude the cloud I'd agree with you but I think the upcoming console generation is going to include a huge push to the cloud. Smaller faster local storage with say a 1GB of cloud storage included for free and then offering cloud storage upgrades at a reasonable price seems like a good way for them to go. With more and more downloadable games becoming available the local drive speed will become even more important in this upcoming generation. Ideally movies and music will be streamed so you don't need storage for that and the USB 3.0 ports allow savvy gamers to attach an external HDD if they really want a ton of storage. With cloud saves for example you'll be able to play God of War Next at your house, take your disc to your friends house and log into his PS4 put the game disc in and continue right where you left off. (he can remove your account from his local machine when you leave if he likes)

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You can't rely on the cloud or even assume everyone else that buys the system does so as well.

There's data caps from various ISPs as well as bandwith speed limitations.

The dedicated to the most casual gamer would not put up with having to wait an average of 1 to 5 minutes for a game save to load, simply to compromise faster level loading times. (if not, see how happy the wiiU owners where about that 5gb+ patch they got on week 1)

An HDD is still a viable and preferred option over a space-limited SSD

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Put some serious Sea Islands metal in there. Otherwise, it will be on par with an average gaming PC for about a year at 1080p. And after that PC Master Race will rise and rule again.

Oh the PC Master Race will always rise and rule again! People thought I was nuts for suggesting Southern Islands or Kepler which both came out in early 2012 and you're going with something that isn't even out yet, that's great! What I posted I thought was actually reasonable for a say $500 subsidized console (for the 240GB version) or maybe $400 (for the 120GB version) though clearly others seem to think even my thoughts went way too far. Keep in mind though that while you could certainly build a PC with better specs at launch it won't be price competitive since typically console makers sell new console hardware at a loss. Likewise games will actually look better on the console for a while because developers know everyone has the exact same hardware and on PCs while there may be people with better spec'd hardware there are also A LOT with worse that they are going to continue to target so they can't tune their games to get every bit of performance out of a specific hardware set like the console devs can. The 32bit compatibility issue is also a problem on PC's, it will likely be quite some time before PC devs can make games that REQUIRE more then 2GB of memory because that's all out of the box 32bit MS OS's can handle and there's still a lot of people out there running 32bit and devs won't want to exclude them.

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