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Xbox Series X — Next Gen Console Coming Holiday 2020

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6 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

I don’t mind paying for Horizon 4 given the value I got out of it on Gamepass, but I thought as of early 2018 it was announced that first party titles on Gamepass were always going to stay in the library? 


Forza games have a ton of licencing in them that's for a fixed length. After x years, every Forza game so far has been delisted + no longer available for purchase when those deals run out. Usually right before then, they put the game + DLC on deep discount, or give it away via GamesWithGold - that's how I first got started with Forza Horizon for example, after ignoring it for years. 

This is not the new normal "MS first party games are always on gamepass", it's a big giant special case. 

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Microsoft’s Mixer experiment is over.

 

https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/22/21299032/microsoft-mixer-closing-facebook-gaming-partnership-xcloud-features

 



Microsoft is closing its Mixer service on July 22nd and plans to move existing partners over to Facebook Gaming. The surprise announcement means Mixer partners and streamers will be transitioned to Facebook Gaming starting today, and Microsoft will no longer operate Mixer as a service in a month’s time.

 

Microsoft has struggled to reach the scale needed for Mixer to compete with Twitch, YouTube, and even Facebook Gaming which has led to today’s decision. “We started pretty far behind, in terms of where Mixer’s monthly active viewers were compared to some of the big players out there,” says Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of gaming, in an interview with The Verge. “I think the Mixer community is really going to benefit from the broad audience that Facebook has through their properties, and the abilities to reach gamers in a very seamless way through the social platform Facebook has.”

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No more wondering if I’ll get a Mixpot for streaming a Microsoft showcase. :( No more letting mixer.com run in the background 24/7 so my wife could get 400,000 wheelspins in Forza Horizon 4!  :(

 

Tragic!  I didn’t use it very much, but I did tend to have better experiences on Mixer than on Twitch.  It’s a shame it never caught on.

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They dumped a ton of money in streamer contracts late last year to all leave twitch, now they are all released from that, and can go where they want. Can't say im sorry.

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Best of all worlds for guys like Ninja and Shroud.  Pocket the Microsoft millions and re-negotiate with Twitch or whomever.  Good for them.

 

 

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Remind me why they’re redesigning the Xbox pad to add a “Share” button, again?

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2 hours ago, iainl said:

Remind me why they’re redesigning the Xbox pad to add a “Share” button, again?


We’ve been over this. It’s because I want a decent d-pad on a console controller. I’m the only reason they’ve redesigned it thanks to the influence I wield on my Youtube channel YoYoYoWhatsUpWithAllTheShiteDPads

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I enjoyed watching this interview with Phil Spencer over lunch today (or ‘Spenser’ as he’s mistakenly billed as).

 

 

I like his home office. 

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This is the current list: 

 

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Bright Memory Infinite
  • Call of the Sea
  • Chivalry 2
  • Chorus
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Destiny 2
  • DiRT 5
  • FIFA 21
  • Gears 5
  • Halo Infinite
  • Hitman 3
  • Madden NFL 21
  • Marvel’s Avengers
  • Outriders
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Scorn
  • Second Extinction
  • The Ascent
  • The Medium
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon

 

 

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Never thought an Assassin's Creed game would be something I'd ever be excited for, but Odyssey is so damn good, I'd say Valhalla is on my short list of games I'm excited for. That and Spiderman.

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Is Dirt 5 still the only one we know will have a 120hz mode so far?

 

Larry Hryb did a good interview with the game's technical director.

 

 

He doesn't go into performance specifics for the 120hz mode and what limitations it will impose elsewhere on the graphics, but purely from the thoughts running through my muddled mind, if they can pull off 1080p/120hz with an XB1 X level of graphical fidelity that would be quite something.

 

It's interesting to hear about the hardware from a developer. He gets very techy, and talks about simultaneous multi-threading, the SSD, hardware decompression and all sorts of wizardry I won't even pretend to understand. It's worth a watch even if you've no interest in Dirt 5.

 

 

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Did some Googling and apparently the following will have 120hz support:

  • DiRT 5
  • Gears 5
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Orphan of the Machine
  • Second Extinction

I'll be very interested to see what cutbacks Second Extinction (fast paced dinosaur fps) makes for its 120hz mode.

 

Ori and Gears 5 are interesting. Think those are the first existing titles I've heard about getting SeriesX enhancements. 

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In terms of pixels per second, 1080p at 120fps is the same as 4K at 30fps, so it should be doable. 

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Do you think something like Will of the Wisps would have to cap down to 1080 or could it get away with something higher? Given it has performance issues even in the XB1 X I’d assume the former.

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My guess would be that Ori is more likely to target 60fps than 120, given the animation style.

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It tries to target 4k/60 on the XB1 X already but has real trouble. I suspect the SeriesX will fix those troubles at 4k by delivering a locked 60fps, but they are also doing a 120hz mode for SeriesX which is why I'm curious where the cutbacks will be to achieve that as you'd think, given the style of the game, it wouldn't mean significant cutbacks that'll we'll surely see in racers and fps games, but given it runs in such an unstable state on the X I'm not sure that will be the case.

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32 minutes ago, AlbertA said:

I’m good with 60 FPS if that becomes the new norm I would very happy.


It definitely seems like a high priority for Microsoft. You rarely get a Spencer interview about the new system where he’s not pushing the case for higher stable framerates and boasting about their low latency tech with the controller...etc

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5 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

Eurogamer is reporting the Lockheart/Series S reveal will come in August.

 

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-06-29-microsoft-will-close-out-june-without-a-big-xbox-20-20-moment

 

I’m just not sure how I feel about that coming out this year.

 

Most of what I've read is that Microsoft has a "Lockhart" mode built into their SDK for ease of use on the development side and some chatter is that the supposed "cheaper" price doesn't mean cheap. My concerns are three fold:

 

1. Series X is going to end up being outside of the mass market price range we've discussed which I think is a mistake for both manufacturers (same concern applies with Sony and the souped up SSD) and if it comes to fruition is tells me that they learned the wrong lessons about the mid-gen refresh consoles. 

2. I find the "Optimized for Series X" messaging confusing. It may only be a thing to me and  I know MIcrosoft wants to blur the line between generations here but I feel like that tag should apply to current gen games with enhancements and instead Microsoft is seemingly using it for most games that appear on the Series X and takes advantage of some type of Series X function (ray tracing for example). How much more blurry will that messaging get with the supposed "Series S"?

3. How much will the lower spec model affect development gains on next gen titles? If it is indeed a mode and its easily implemented than my concerns may subside here. Realistically, even today we have development catering to the original PS4/Xbox One and while its incredible to see the likes of Naughty Dog produce something like The Last of Us II or The Coalition produce something like Gears 5 - it begs the question how much more we could have gotten if those lower powered consoles weren't out there and if they didn't represent the core of the users in this generation. 

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1 hour ago, Romier S said:

My concerns are three fold:

 

1. Series X is going to end up being outside of the mass market price range we've discussed which I think is a mistake for both manufacturers (same concern applies with Sony and the souped up SSD) and if it comes to fruition is tells me that they learned the wrong lessons about the mid-gen refresh consoles. 

 

Agreed. I would be surprised if this happens though. We know $599 is a toxic number. I think at most we're looking at XB1X numbers for the SeriesX here (so $499 and £449 in the UK), which could mean the S is $399. I keep wondering just how badly MS want a "win" here, and just how low they are willing to push down the price of both models as a consequence. They were allegedly losing around $120 for every 360 at one point, right? As we wondered about the two PS5 variants though, the very existence of the "S model here understandably raises a fear that it exists to lessen the blow of the Series X carrying a silly price, and it's more concerning here in that regard compared to the digital PS5 since we know both PS5's offer identical performance specs.

 

I'm pretty set on getting the SeriesX first, but if they mess the launch with confusing model variants and messaging, and if they also mess up the pricing, then I'll revert to sitting things out and defer a purchase to a later date. 

 

I do think both Xbox and Playstation will potentially be more open to taking losses on hardware with this next generation on account of the profitability of their services. Just how much only they know of course.

 

 

Quote

2. I find the "Optimized for Series X" messaging confusing. It may only be a thing to me and  I know MIcrosoft wants to blur the line between generations here but I feel like that tag should apply to current gen games with enhancements and instead Microsoft is seemingly using it for most games that appear on the Series X and takes advantage of some type of Series X function (ray tracing for example). How much more blurry will that messaging get with the supposed "Series S"?

 

Definitely bugging me too. You also have them boasting that the Series X is the most powerful next-gen console, so how do you market the S? "The least powerful next gen console?" It seems like a dangerous game here and, unless they really have some massive pricing shocks up their sleeve, I worry two models of differing performance will backfire. I really don't think it can be dismissed as easily as arguing that we have two performance variants of both the PS4 and XB1 on sale together right now either. They didn't launch together, and their more powerful iterations came at a later date.

 

 

Quote

3. How much will the lower spec model affect development gains on next gen titles? If it is indeed a mode and its easily implemented than my concerns may subside here. Realistically, even today we have development catering to the original PS4/Xbox One and while its incredible to see the likes of Naughty Dog produce something like The Last of Us II or The Coalition produce something like Gears 5 - it begs the question how much more we could have gotten if those lower powered consoles weren't out there and if they didn't represent the core of the users in this generation. 

 

A big concern for me too. Can it possibly be argued that it might not differ all that much from PC game development having to cater to varying specs and components, and that it might even be better here because devs will at least have two known sets of specs to cater for under a single development platform? I can't confess to know enough about these things to have any idea either way. Is it possible the Lockheart specs could translate to to a basic scaling down of resolution and effects/textures and consequently not really hinder performance on the Series X? I can't imagine MS would go to so much expense developing such an advanced piece of hardware and knowingly throttle its maximum potential by virtue of having a lesser powered version on the shelves alongside it.  

 

There just seems like so much we still don't know. I guess we'll have to wait and see, but they need to be VERY clear and detailed about explaining this kind of stuff when they're ready to take the lid off of Lockheart. It's certainly a shame Digital Foundry won't be able to get a similar hands on with it like they had with the SeriesX just before the lockdowns occurred. It would be great if Microsoft were open to doing webcam interviews with DF though like we've seen from WWDC over the past week.   

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Angry the Clown said:

A big concern for me too. Can it possibly be argued that it might not differ all that much from PC game development having to cater to varying specs and components, and that it might even be better here because devs will at least have two known sets of specs to cater for under a single development platform? I can't confess to know enough about these things to have any idea either way. Is it possible the Lockheart specs could translate to to a basic scaling down of resolution and effects/textures and consequently not really hinder performance on the Series X? I guess we'll have to wait and see, but they need to be VERY clear and detailed about explaining this kind of stuff when they're ready to take the lid off of Lockheart. It's certainly a shame Digital Foundry won't be able to get a similar hands on with it like they had with the SeriesX just before the lockdowns occurred. It would be great if Microsoft were open to doing webcam interviews with DF though like we've seen from WWDC over the past week.   

 

 

 

It would hopefully be more straightforward than PC development for varying specs if there's an easy to implement mode within the SDK, I'm hardly an expert in that regard either but I think the comparison to PC development is an apt one. However, I think the same issues apply. Some would (rightfully) argue that PC development is knee capped by having to cater to laptop CPU's and already outperformed at the time GPU's from 2013. The 2080ti is an extremely capable/powerful GPU that far outstrips the capabilities of these current gen consoles and the next generation of consoles are only now moving to match it from a power perspective. It's not apples to apples but you get my meaning here. The 2080 chipset has been around for years. Think about that.

 

I don't think the Series S will have many long term implications on the generation. Developers will invariably take advantage of the things the Series X and PS5 can do. I'm more concerned about that short term cross-gen period we have to suffer through when a new generation launches. I worry that a lower powered alternative combined with the "Optimized for Series X" messaging will just prolong that period of time and it will take that much longer to fully transition over to full Series X exclusives that properly take advantage of all of that power. 

 

I mean, we're going to see similar cross-gen stuff on the PS5. Sony hasn't given it a fun marketing name like Smart Delivery but many of those next gen versions are going to be given away on both platforms. That's fine for the short term. At some point (sooner rather than later), I'd like to see development stop for the Xbox One and PS4 and for the focus to shift onto these new platforms without having to cater to some lowest common denominator.

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48 minutes ago, Romier S said:

 

I'd like to see development stop for the Xbox One and PS4 is my point.

 

It's certainly going to be interesting to see what fundamental level design changes exist purely on the XB1 S and X versions of future first party games to compensate for the radical differences in hardware (notably that SSD and data throughput). I'm not sure just how much MS Studios titles will hold back on their SeriesX development though, because there's so much riding on the boasts about the new hardware. I do think those studios will be best equipped to do whatever extra work needs to be done for the XB1 series of systems (e.g altering level design to accommodate loading...etc), but it's certainly a bit frustrating to think of them having to dedicate extra time to do such work at all. 

 

The most recent indication of the window they're giving to catering to the whole "family" with first party titles is two years if I recall correctly. That's long enough for them to sell their concept of an all encompassing Xbox and Windows ecosystem and to bring existing owners over to the next-gen I suppose, but like you I'd like to see that end sooner too. Perhaps sales will dictate whether it does or not. Third parties I guess are free to release next-gen exclusives whenever they want? 

 

It was interesting re-watching Digital Foundry's tech analysis of the Series X demo of Gears 5 (which was apparently thrown together in two weeks). I know it's a little different to what we're discussing, since this is a current gen game that's being scaled up in performance, but it's interesting with regards to how it compared to the game on a top spec PC and indeed to see how that performance is scaled down to run on XB1 X. 

 

 

 

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