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Thread: Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty says exclusives will be cross-gen for 2 years

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    Gaming Wizard WarGod ZA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenMasters View Post
    It depends on how developers go about doing the cross-gen thing. I know you disagree with me on this, but Xbox One games won't simply run on the Xbox Series X as native XSX do. If a dev really wants to push their game on the hardware by taking advantage of the lower level API they'll have to make an XSX specific version.

    I don't think MS will do this for their first party titles for that first year, since they came out and made that statement, but there's no such restriction on 3rd party developers, or indeed on MS themselves past a certain point (though like we discussed, they may foot the bill and have the Xbox One game act as a key to access the XSX version - as 360 games do on the Xbox One).

    By the way, Phil Spencer himself gave an interview in December that backs up my assertions (including that X86 doesn't equal the same architecture):

    "[It takes a lot of work] even for Xbox One games, because one of the biggest challenges is console games are usually hyper-optimized to the unique hardware capabilities of the device, and this is a new generation of hardware," Ronald added. "It is a new chip architecture. At the same time, we did design the silicon with [backwards] compatibility in mind, so we did make certain decisions to try to lessen that work, but I don't want to trivialize how much work the team's actually doing because there is a tremendous amount of work."

    https://www.gamespot.com/articles/xb.../1100-6472261/
    I've heard that the OS is the same on XSX and xbox one.

    I think they'll share the API's etc.

    but it would be a case of switching off a lot of things for a game built around the XSX to run on Xbox One.

    Do you think that the consoles sharing the same OS and API layers will make it easier or more difficult to port between the two?

    First time in MS's life that they have 15 console studios, I think they will work really hard on getting the SDK right and tweaked and as easy to use as possible, better than they have been so far, as I've heard that the PS SDK is super clean and easy to use.

    Any thoughts?

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    Very Senior Member xCY4N1D3x ZA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SauRoN View Post
    Iím deeply confused that DF is questioning whether youíll need to double dip or automatically get free updates to XSX versions.

    Itís been made obviously clear to me that you buy once end of story and you have a license across not only both Xboxes but also on PC.

    This has been the model between PC and Xbox One for a few years now already, there is no reason itís going to change with the XSX.
    Across Xbox gens I get, but I'm not sure if it automatically shares to pc. When I check on PC only the Play Anywhere games shows up as ready to install.

    Would've loved if all my Xbox purchases worked on PC.

    But I watched that DF video yesterday and went "wtf" when Wichard wasn't sure if it will carry over to Series X. That part was made clear by MS repeatedly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenMasters View Post
    It depends on how developers go about doing the cross-gen thing. I know you disagree with me on this, but Xbox One games won't simply run on the Xbox Series X as native XSX do. If a dev really wants to push their game on the hardware by taking advantage of the lower level API they'll have to make an XSX specific version.

    I don't think MS will do this for their first party titles for that first year, since they came out and made that statement, but there's no such restriction on 3rd party developers, or indeed on MS themselves past a certain point (though like we discussed, they may foot the bill and have the Xbox One game act as a key to access the XSX version - as 360 games do on the Xbox One).

    By the way, Phil Spencer himself (along with Jason Ronald) gave an interview in December that backs up my assertions (including that X86 doesn't equal the same architecture):

    "[It takes a lot of work] even for Xbox One games, because one of the biggest challenges is console games are usually hyper-optimized to the unique hardware capabilities of the device, and this is a new generation of hardware," Ronald added. "It is a new chip architecture. At the same time, we did design the silicon with [backwards] compatibility in mind, so we did make certain decisions to try to lessen that work, but I don't want to trivialize how much work the team's actually doing because there is a tremendous amount of work."

    https://www.gamespot.com/articles/xb.../1100-6472261/
    Yeah Iím mostly referring to Microsoft directly there as I just donít see them doing any definitive edition or charging for upgrades if a serious rework is required between games.

    It doesnít fit their current or future model.

    Third parties can and will of course do what they want at their own peril.

    X86 is one and the same architecture. Anything that can run on a base X86 architecture can run on another chipset with a base X86 architecture.

    Of course as a whole the chip is a new architecture in that it supports more and newer extensions (just like any X86 PC chip does) but it retains its base architecture which makes backwards compatibility very simple.

    You also took words out of his mouth. He said new architecture, not different architecture which isnít quite the same thing.

    A different architecture would be like PowerPC vs X86 where nothing can run on the other one as is.

    The only major bottleneck would have been if they switched from 32-bit X86 to 64-bit which is fortunately not the case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarGod ZA View Post
    I've heard that the OS is the same on XSX and xbox one.

    I think they'll share the API's etc.

    but it would be a case of switching off a lot of things for a game built around the XSX to run on Xbox One.

    Do you think that the consoles sharing the same OS and API layers will make it easier or more difficult to port between the two?

    First time in MS's life that they have 15 console studios, I think they will work really hard on getting the SDK right and tweaked and as easy to use as possible, better than they have been so far, as I've heard that the PS SDK is super clean and easy to use.

    Any thoughts?
    The kernel as such is almost guaranteed to be the same just like it is now with Windows 10 because that's where all their compatibility effort stems from.

    And all the Xbox One API's will be available to the Xbox Series X, BUT the difference is the Xbox Series X will then have it's own API's on top of those supported specifically by that hardware.

    And that's where it should make it quite simple to port in a "if X API isn't available do Y" kind of sense.

    Although I'm pretty sure there will be an API specifically catering to the cross compatability in and of itself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xCY4N1D3x ZA View Post
    Across Xbox gens I get, but I'm not sure if it automatically shares to pc. When I check on PC only the Play Anywhere games shows up as ready to install.

    Would've loved if all my Xbox purchases worked on PC.

    But I watched that DF video yesterday and went "wtf" when Wichard wasn't sure if it will carry over to Series X. That part was made clear by MS repeatedly.
    Yes only Play Anywhere titles are supported now as they are the only ones available on PC.

    Going forward all Microsoft first party titles are Play Anywhere and hence the cross-platform nature of this effort.

    I think it's too late in the game and not worth the effort/cost to bring all Xbox first party titles across to PC now, but they are gearing for that future now.
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    Gaming Wizard KenMasters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarGod ZA View Post
    I've heard that the OS is the same on XSX and xbox one.

    I think they'll share the API's etc.
    There are higher and lower level APIs depending on how abstracted the code is from the hardware, games designed for the XSX can make use of the low level API but an Xbox One title is further removed from the core hardware to ensure compatibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by WarGod ZA View Post
    but it would be a case of switching off a lot of things for a game built around the XSX to run on Xbox One.
    Which is where the abstraction principle comes in. It makes no sense for each game to carry the code to do that, so there's a higher level API that takes care of all that, and it's through that API that Xbox One titles will run.

    Quote Originally Posted by WarGod ZA View Post
    Do you think that the consoles sharing the same OS and API layers will make it easier or more difficult to port between the two?
    It's the same way PCs work, one OS, multiple APIs. The entire point is to make life easier for developers. It's up to them if they want to make use of Direct X12 or Vulkan (as an example).

    Quote Originally Posted by WarGod ZA View Post
    First time in MS's life that they have 15 console studios, I think they will work really hard on getting the SDK right and tweaked and as easy to use as possible, better than they have been so far, as I've heard that the PS SDK is super clean and easy to use.

    Any thoughts?
    Not really, I'm not a game designer, so can't speak to ease of use. Though it makes sense that the PS4 was more straightforward since they're not juggling as many balls as MS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SauRoN View Post
    X86 is one and the same architecture. Anything that can run on a base X86 architecture can run on another chipset with a base X86 architecture.

    Of course as a whole the chip is a new architecture in that it supports more and newer extensions (just like any X86 PC chip does) but it retains its base architecture which makes backwards compatibility very simple.

    You also took words out of his mouth. He said new architecture, not different architecture which isn’t quite the same thing.

    A different architecture would be like PowerPC vs X86 where nothing can run on the other one as is.

    The only major bottleneck would have been if they switched from 32-bit X86 to 64-bit which is fortunately not the case.
    New/different, how about we don't argue semantics and agree the definition can be a bit nebulous.

    You're talking about a shared instruction set, I'm talking about the physical implementation of the hardware. On the one hand, yes there is the ability to run the same code, on the other, the efficiency of that code is affected greatly by the implementation. An Xbox One and and Xbox One X are essentially the same system, the XSX is a very different setup in terms of the physical hardware's architecture.
    Last edited by KenMasters; January 17th, 2020 at 12:47 PM.

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    Default Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty says exclusives will be cross-gen for 2 years

    Quote Originally Posted by KenMasters View Post
    New/different, how about we don't argue semantics and agree the definition can be a bit nebulous.

    You're talking about a shared instruction set, I'm talking about the physical implementation of the hardware. On the one hand, yes there is the ability to run the same code, on the other, the efficiency of that code is affected greatly by the implementation. An Xbox One and and Xbox One X are essentially the same system, the XSX is a very different setup in terms of the physical hardware's architecture.
    From a strictly processor point of view there wonít be any problem and the efficiency will also be the same because it will support all the same instructions.

    However from a total box hardware combination point of view there will certainly be some challenges between the storage differences but more specifically their use of ESRAM on the Xbox One that will fall away with the XSX.

    Iím sure though with the increase in memory speeds and bandwidth they could virtually nullify the ESRAM problem to not be observable or circumvent it somehow, maybe even emulate it on some level.

    It should be no problem at all for the XSX to run all Xbox One titles at the same or better levels at the end of the day.
    Last edited by SauRoN; January 17th, 2020 at 02:13 PM.
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    all this techno mumbo jumbo....

    oh it runs Gears of War...purdier than before!!
    DONE.

    BEST CONSOLE EVER

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenMasters View Post
    There are higher and lower level APIs depending on how abstracted the code is from the hardware, games designed for the XSX can make use of the low level API but an Xbox One title is further removed from the core hardware to ensure compatibility.



    Which is where the abstraction principle comes in. It makes no sense for each game to carry the code to do that, so there's a higher level API that takes care of all that, and it's through that API that Xbox One titles will run.



    It's the same way PCs work, one OS, multiple APIs. The entire point is to make life easier for developers. It's up to them if they want to make use of Direct X12 or Vulkan (as an example).



    Not really, I'm not a game designer, so can't speak to ease of use. Though it makes sense that the PS4 was more straightforward since they're not juggling as many balls as MS.
    More elaboration for @WarGodza than a response to the above.

    Something to bear in mind is that the Xbox is basically a DirectX box which means it has a universal set of APIs already quite mature and used on PC for years (decades?) and every Xbox console that came before.

    There isnít that much that is specific to the hardware and by and large itís why porting to the Xbox consoles from PC has always been much simpler/faster/less cumbersome.

    The PlayStation has historically required a more direct and bespoke approach and therefore a bit more developer effort. Much improved with the PS4 but I believe especially in the case of multi platform where developed for PC first, a lot more cumbersome than the Xbox.

    When DirectX was used for the PC development of course.
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