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Microsoft will finally answer the questions of DRM and more next week

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) will announce its next generation console next Tuesday (May 21) ahead of the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

Rumored to be named either the Xbox Infinity or Xbox 720, the upcoming console stirred controversy over rumors that it would use digital rights management (DRM) to ban used games.  Rude Twitter remarks led to the firing of one Microsoft staffer as the debate over the DRM grew heated.

No one knows for sure, though, whether Microsoft actually planned the DRM or is sticking to such possible plans after the controversy.

What is expected is that the Microsoft console will pack similar hardware to arch-rival Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758already-announced PS4.  That console packs 8 GB of DRAM, aside a GPU and x86 CPU from Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD).  Given that NVIDIA Corp. (NVDAsays it isn't interesting in making console graphics, it seems likely AMD could pop up in the next Xbox, as well.

The PS4 -- which has not yet been priced -- is rumored to be priced between $400 and $500 USD.  The next Xbox is rumored to cost $500 USD, but also be available in an ad-subsidized form for $200 to $300 USD.

The console is rumored to introduce 1080p Kinect motion controls, a work-in-progress that's been written about in leaks stories for some time.

Source: ExtremeTech

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By Crazyeyeskillah on 5/15/2013 9:52:48 AM , Rating: 4
It doesn't matter if it supports it, there is no way in hell games will be able to push that many pixels yet. The 7990 that just got released can't even deliver 25fps avg at 4k resolutions on any new AAA game - crysis 3, tomb raider, ect.

You can upscale it and show it at a higher resolution but this generation of hardware used in consoles isn't remotely close to being able to really drive that kind of resolution. Cable may be able to stream that high but a gaming console rendering at that fidelity, preposterous!

By StevoLincolnite on 5/15/2013 10:21:49 AM , Rating: 2
Well. According to rumors the 4k resolution support wouldn't be for games, just 4k resolution Blu-ray, which makes sense as Sony is a large pusher of the format.

However, I don't even see the consoles lasting long with games running at 1080P, the new Killzone has already sacrificed framerate (Aka, 30fps rather than 60fps) in order to drive up the visuals and that's a launch title!
So chances are the next generation consoles like the current generation consoles will eventually have all it's games at 720P or lower a couple years after release anyway, only so much you can do with fixed hardware before you cut back in some other areas.

Then again, if you are incredibly worried about visuals, resolutions, frame rates and visit Dailytech/Anandtech you can already get such things in games now via building your own Mini-ITX gaming PC and using Steam with big-picture mode.

By karimtemple on 5/15/2013 10:50:06 AM , Rating: 3
The problem with your analysis (aside from the fact that this is launch software) is that this game is targeting a far higher level of graphics quality to something you'd expect to see today at 1080p60. Current demo performance suggest that the game is locked down to 30fps, the implication of which is that the game can reach Xfps but goes back-and-forth between X and [something above 30fps]. The PS4 has the hardware to run Battlefield 3 on Ultra @ 1080p far higher than 60fps. All of this "Gen 8 games are going to be 1080p30" talk is foolish.

By BRB29 on 5/15/2013 2:09:01 PM , Rating: 2
Please note the following

1. Consoles are fixed specs and therefore codes can be optimized to run much better than an open platform.

2. The old hardware can run 720p and 1080p. What makes you think this one can't manage at least 1080p?

3. There's more than just resolution that affect fps. For example: shadow, texture details, tessellation, draw distance, physics, polygons, HDR, AA, AF, etc...

Limiting 30 fps may be a good thing. They can add more graphic. It can be used to stop some stuttering or frame spike issues. For example, not limiting the frames on SC2 caused frame lag spikes.

BTW the new consoles have equivalent of a Radeon 7850 GPU. I'm willing to bet they can get games to run much smoother and at higher fps on a console.

By karimtemple on 5/15/2013 2:22:11 PM , Rating: 2
The GPU is more powerful than the 7850.

Also, part of his concern was multi being locked at 30fps, but the multiplayer parts of games are often rendered differently, so that could still be 60fps.

By StevoLincolnite on 5/15/2013 8:42:21 PM , Rating: 2
The GPU is more powerful than the 7850.

Not really. Remember GDDR5 bandwidth is shared on the PS4, I would be surprised if the graphics get more than 150Gb/s.
Clockspeeds are lower so it will limit the total compute performance.
It can have the hardware of a Radeon 7970, but if it's clocked low enough, it probably won't be any faster than a 7850 or 7790.

By karimtemple on 5/16/2013 1:14:43 AM , Rating: 3
The 7850 feeds itself about 150Gb/s. The PS4 is currently spec'd at 176. The GPU has 18 compute units vs. the 7850's 16, will be HSA-compatible, and will routinely have access to 6 or 7GB of VRAM vs. 2. This is aside from the fact that the compute units will probably each be customized and more advanced than the 7850.

By Mint on 5/15/2013 11:50:10 AM , Rating: 2
Choosing ultra high resolution is a tradeoff. You'll obviously have to tone down the graphic workload per pixel versus 1080p.

That doesn't mean we have to settle for Quake level visuals at 1080p. Even a lowly HD7790 can do 1.8 TFLOPS, which works out to 3600 ops per pixel for 4k at 60fps. That's an oversimplification, but clearly there's enough horsepower to give decent visuals at 4k.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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