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A few months back, many news outlets reported that Xbox One runs 3 Operating Systems. They further went on to claim that the one was a stripped down version of Windows 8, one was the Xbox One OS and the last was a switching layer between the two. Well they were wrong. Xbox One does indeed run three operating systems but the correct ones are: a full fledged windows 8, a stripped down windows 8 and a Host OS (RTOS). The implications for this are immediate and stunning and we will go upon each in this article.

Xbox One Games and Apps Actually run on Windows 8

We recently received the slides from Frank Savage?s presentation at Build 2014 along with the audio of the same. And we noticed something that many news outlets failed to report. The fact that Xbox One runs Windows 8. Not only that, but we realized that so many of the news outlets had gotten the initial leak completely wrong. Because if you run a game or an app on the Xbox One, it will either run in the full Windows 8 or the stripped down version of Windows 8. Either way it runs on Windows 8. Let me start by explaining the three operating systems present in Xbox One.

The first tier ?Host OS? and the ?to-the-metal- operating system present in Xbox One dubbed the ?Host OS? is an RTOS (Real Time Operating System) has complete control over the entire Xbox One hardware and resources. In Frank Savage?s words ?? owns where everything and how everything works?. owns CPU?GPU?. This is your basic Xbox One Operating System. However the thing is , this particular OS only handles tasking and the security layer. It does not run any game or application. It does however host (in a non ? hyper-v form) the ?OS? and the ?Exclusive OS?, which is Windows 8 and the stripped down Windows 8.

The second tier ?Shared Partition? is occupied by Windows 8. This Operating System is ?virtually indistinguishable? from the Windows 8 we know (and love?) , code wise. This particular Windows 8 handles all the basic functions of the Xbox One including the shell. Shared Apps are run here. It handles some major features of games such as networking and some audio.

The third tier ?Exclusive Partition? is the Exclusive OS, which in Frank Savage?s words is a ?windows 8 that has gone on a massive massive diet?? lean and mean windows 8?. It has been hand tuned to remove any and all bottlenecks as well as bloatware. However this is the part which defines it as a ?partition? and not a virtual machine. All the Direct X draw calls go straight from the Exclusive OS down to the Host OS. It does not go through the full windows 8 ? shared partition?.

Basically the Xbox One is a true X86, X86-64 machine. As Frank Savage said, ?any game I made ran equally well on Windows 8 (desktop) and Xbox One?. The porting capability this implies is very powerful, infact, if Frank Savage is to be believed, port-lag is non existent. Just convince the devs, and you shall have the game.


http://wccftech.com/xbox-one-architecture-explained-runs-windows-8-virtually-indistinguishable/

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Well this does lend credence to the fact that DX12 can provide a big boost.

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Basically the Xbox One is a true X86, X86-64 machine. As Frank Savage said, ?any game I made ran equally well on Windows 8 (desktop) and Xbox One?. The porting capability this implies is very powerful, infact, if Frank Savage is to be believed, port-lag is non existent. Just convince the devs, and you shall have the game.

 

 

Sadly I doubt many Devs will bother.

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Basically the Xbox One is a true X86, X86-64 machine. As Frank Savage said, ?any game I made ran equally well on Windows 8 (desktop) and Xbox One?. The porting capability this implies is very powerful, infact, if Frank Savage is to be believed, port-lag is non existent. Just convince the devs, and you shall have the game.

 

 

So the Xbox is a true computer console?? 

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I don't understand how in this day and age where smart phones are upgraded every how console can last 10 years.  Its just stupid. I want to see consoles upgraded every 3 years.

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I don't understand how in this day and age where smart phones are upgraded every how console can last 10 years.  Its just stupid. I want to see consoles upgraded every 3 years.

 

Because Smartphones use "off the shelf" Mobile Parts, mostly either Snapdragon or Tegra, Consoles use custom parts that usually take years to research and develop, it takes games companies years to understand how to properly utilise the hardware available. 

 

They'd probably have to switch to off the shelf graphics cards and processors to get that short a R&D time. Leaving it entirely to Intel and AMD/NVIDIA.

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so what about the stripped windows 8, that full-fledged windows 8 can't do?

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Hmmmm interesting.

 

Even after the latest update, I still find that the dashboard lags in some cases. It's much better than what it was back in November, but Microsoft still has a long way to go.

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I don't understand how in this day and age where smart phones are upgraded every how console can last 10 years.  Its just stupid. I want to see consoles upgraded every 3 years.

 

Because they don't need to.

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So the Xbox is a true computer console?? 

 

All consoles are and have always been computers, what else could they be? As for the article, not sure how accurate it is, but it's clear X1 is a Win 8 machine...just look at the fonts and the copywriting style: "something went wrong" and "it's all good" being favorites :|

 

 

I don't understand how in this day and age where smart phones are upgraded every how console can last 10 years.  Its just stupid. I want to see consoles upgraded every 3 years.

 

As McKay said, progress in smartphones is more about miniaturization than power. As much as they are impressive, the most powerful mobile device available to us consumers is like ten years behind your average console or PC in terms of processing power.

 

Besides, this generation of consoles is not going to be as long as the abnormally long previous one, and when console makers say ten years they do not mean primary model for a decade, they mean support. We've been through that point many times.

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It makes sense and isn't very surprising, to me, at least. In fact, I was expecting to hear this is how it worked. Microsoft clearly has a very scalable solution and it will benefit the system in the very long term.

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Basically the Xbox One is a true X86, X86-64 machine.

 

I would love to see a fake x86-64 machine.

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I would love to see a fake x86-64 machine.

 

Go to China

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The article is a bit self-congratulatory. "Many news outlets" were reporting what Microsoft said. They weren't making up the information -- information that was correct, just not very in-depth. This presentation just outlined the specifics.

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I would love to see a fake x86-64 machine.

How OS X ran prior to Snow Leopard.  The kernel ran in 32 bit space while apps were actually 64 bit.

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So the Xbox is a true computer console?? 

And has basically come full circle - as we ALL apparently have forgotten, the original Xbox was based on Intel x86 hardware from the CPU out.

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so what about the stripped windows 8, that full-fledged windows 8 can't do?

 

its not that the stripped down version does something the full windows 8 can't do, its just that it performs them faster. MS stripped out all of the components that were not directly needed for playing the game to create a more streamlined version of the os.

 

The article is a bit self-congratulatory. "Many news outlets" were reporting what Microsoft said. They weren't making up the information -- information that was correct, just not very in-depth. This presentation just outlined the specifics.

Heck, if people just followed the BUILD thread in this very forum, they would see this topic was covered. I know because I raised the topic :laugh:

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I don't understand how in this day and age where smart phones are upgraded every how console can last 10 years.  Its just stupid. I want to see consoles upgraded every 3 years.

Just throwing this out there but... you could get a gaming PC and keep your system upgraded to the latest and greatest every three years, enjoying things like real backwards compatibility, multitasking, digital content without a paywall, streaming capabilities... Oh, and you don't need three operating systems! :woot:

 

lol, joking aside, the world is full of options. I personally wouldn't want consoles updating every 3 years though honestly, as I'd feel it'd only create frustration for consumers.

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You know, i find it uncanny that the Xbox One didn't have a GDDR5 Memory and instead opted for DDR3. What in the world would you want to put that type of memory for intense gaming stuff? Faster multi-tasking won't do much for console. Xbox 360 included GGDR3 and it just makes sense to put it for the successors with a much more powerful memory. I'm skeptical that the Xbox division management barely have any clue of what next-generation hardware requirements and i won't be surprised if the 9TH generation console of Xbox utilize LPDDR3 RAM to prevent it from overheating the box.  :crazy:

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This is news?

Xbox OS was always based on some Windows flavor (first one was derived from Windows 2000). The one in X1 is probably some NT 6.x

It runs 3 OS, one is just a stripped down hypervisor and is probably a customized successor of this.

 

The next one is the Xbox OS.

 

and the last one is the Windows 8.x partition that runs apps, UI etc.

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To Master of Earth:

 

So you also have a problem with high end gaming PC builds using DDR3? Come on, they just did it to save a few bucks. GDDR5 is just a higher speed version of DDR3, the difference is not that immense.

 

I'd be more interested in learning what X1 is doing with that 8GB flash on the board - we were told 3GB of the main 8GB memory is reserved for the OS/app switching, so what is that flash for? Ditto for PS4, we were told about the 3GB reserve of the main memory, but what is the 2GB DDR3 for?

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 its not that the stripped down version does something the full windows 8 can't do, its just that it performs them faster. MS stripped out all of the components that were not directly needed for playing the game to create a more streamlined version of the os.

in another wording: "Significant Bloat" happens in full-fledged Windows 8, that it need to stripped down to achieve more streamlined performance, which sometimes are not even enough for 1080p/60 .... ?

 

in any case, i wonder is there any detailed lists of what the differences between the stripped down vs full-fledged capability?

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To Master of Earth:

 

So you also have a problem with high end gaming PC builds using DDR3? Come on, they just did it to save a few bucks. GDDR5 is just a higher speed version of DDR3, the difference is not that immense.

 

I'd be more interested in learning what X1 is doing with that 8GB flash on the board - we were told 3GB of the main 8GB memory is reserved for the OS/app switching, so what is that flash for? Ditto for PS4, we were told about the 3GB reserve of the main memory, but what is the 2GB DDR3 for?

you flat out missed my point, even a moderate gaming PC used GDDR5 for graphics intense and DDR3 isn't mean to perform that level of sophisticate task. As for the PS4, it also have extra 2GB of DDR3 RAM to help facilitate background processing and if that is what you're referring what is the purpose of 2GB RAM. 

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in another wording: "Significant Bloat" happens in full-fledged Windows 8, that it need to stripped down to achieve more streamlined performance, which sometimes are not even enough for 1080p/60 .... ?

 

in any case, i wonder is there any detailed lists of what the differences between the stripped down vs full-fledged capability?

depends on how you define "bloat".

 

taskbar, "install fonts", admin tools, command prompt, homegroup panel etc. can be considered as "bloat" on X1.

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