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What I wish the PS4 were


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#1 Asmodai

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 16:47

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.


#2 ahhell

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 18:40

"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.

#3 Jason S.

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 18:51

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

#4 StandingInAlley

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 18:54

http://www.myextrali...0/ps3-grill.jpg

#5 compl3x

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 18:57

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

#6 Blackhearted

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 18:57

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.

#7 hooko22

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 18:57

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

#8 boumboqc

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 18:58

A good browser.
/thread.

#9 hckngrtfakt

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 18:59

....
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)

#10 OP Asmodai

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 19:11

"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.

#11 torrentthief

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 19:23

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.

#12 OP Asmodai

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 19:27

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.

#13 Jason S.

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 19:28

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?

#14 ahhell

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 19:37

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:

#15 hckngrtfakt

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 19:39

....
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)