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Microsoft Patent Shows Next Xbox Customizable Like PC

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July 13, 2012 1:38:00 AM

Well that's pretty cool!
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19
July 13, 2012 1:44:48 AM

I have a feeling that it's going to be a lot more expensive than a user built gaming machine when you max out everything, but if it gets close to real PC gaming then I'm all for it! That means better PC console ports at least!
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July 13, 2012 1:49:33 AM

Game Developers: FML.
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15
July 13, 2012 1:49:48 AM

If I wanted a PC, I would get a PC. Why is a console trying to be a PC even more? I already have to sit through exhaustively long install times and load times and downloading of patches... what happened to consoles being a console? Quick loads, no installing, no updates because of shoddy development, no constant purchasing beyond the initial sale, selling the game back actually being possible... I miss these days.
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15
July 13, 2012 1:51:40 AM

I thought people buy consoles because they're simple to use? Now they have to worry about which upgrades they need in order to play game X?

Throwing fragmentation into the console universe = bad idea IMO.
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July 13, 2012 1:57:35 AM

Remember, these are all RUMORS!
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15
Anonymous
July 13, 2012 1:58:51 AM

Oh great, imagine the cost of upgrade parts, they already milk you over $100 for a 200 GB hdd, and not to mention how much they charge for "microsoft Flash drives" and shit.

I can foresee, a GPU upgrade costing well over $200.
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4
July 13, 2012 1:59:41 AM

TheRabidDeerIf I wanted a PC, I would get a PC. Why is a console trying to be a PC even more? I already have to sit through exhaustively long install times and load times and downloading of patches... what happened to consoles being a console? Quick loads, no installing, no updates because of shoddy development, no constant purchasing beyond the initial sale, selling the game back actually being possible... I miss these days.

Yeah, I miss Gen 6 and earlier. You just plugged in the cartridge/inserted the CD and you were good. There was no such thing as a patch, so developers tried to squash every bug they could find as there was no fixing them after release. Now, release is the new Beta.
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July 13, 2012 2:13:06 AM

ben850I thought people buy consoles because they're simple to use? Now they have to worry about which upgrades they need in order to play game X?Throwing fragmentation into the console universe = bad idea IMO.


There will be the low, medium and high versions

Games which are enthusiast level will be marked with a "requires enthusiast xbox" or what ever naming system they use. Normal games will be labeled normal, casual games named casual or entry.

Additionally I'm positive they'd design a system so that the game automatically scales down and then abck up based on the hardware it detects
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July 13, 2012 2:15:31 AM

Perhaps they are trying to pre-empt the Valve console. Then they can use patent trolling to eliminate this possible competition.
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July 13, 2012 2:34:50 AM

YES! The death of consoles! Though I didn't think it would be from them becoming PCs....
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20
July 13, 2012 2:35:37 AM

So there'll be XBOX i3, XBOX i5 and XBOX i7.....hehe
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12
July 13, 2012 2:38:03 AM

darkavenger123So there'll be XBOX i3, XBOX i5 and XBOX i7.....hehe

Nope, they're using PowerPC CPUs. So we could have Xbox 720, Xbox 1080, Xbox 4K, etc.
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-4
July 13, 2012 2:39:51 AM

So they may have a base 360-level model... then a 362 model and a 364 mode...
$100 / $300 / $500... :) 

Screw Microsoft, Screw them killing PC gaming, Screw Windows 8.... Get a Playstation 3 or 4.
*I* will never ever ever buy an XBOX.
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July 13, 2012 2:51:16 AM

fb39ca4Remember, these are all RUMORS!


i don't think so, this news is based upon a patent description.


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July 13, 2012 3:19:37 AM

Damn MS, make it work first before patenting.
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Anonymous
July 13, 2012 3:30:00 AM

i bet microsoft will never use this, but is trying to patent it to avoid other manufacturers (steambox) from doing so
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2
July 13, 2012 3:33:52 AM

nignogmyass234rffggi bet microsoft will never use this, but is trying to patent it to avoid other manufacturers (steambox) from doing so


Yep, that's what I said..
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2
July 13, 2012 3:34:01 AM

Whoa. This ought to be pretty awesome.
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0
July 13, 2012 3:42:05 AM

Lost me at hardware doesn't update on a yearly cycle like Apple's hardware and OS updates.

That's entirely Microsoft's fault and something they could fix if they decided there was a need to more aggressively develop their OS software and APIs.

And I thought the point generally was to support the software APIs as they evolved.

Xbox 1 with 9.0c, Xbox 360, 10, 11 (didn't happen), Xbox 3, 11.1+

Not just giving GPU/hardware OEMs, which essentially is still Nvidia and ATI (but does that mean consumers will have the option of a discrete Nvidia GPU/hardware acceleration expansion module?) another platform to fight over rather than splitting them up between Xbox and Playstation again so that neither really wins in the long run.. which is and has been something utterly wasted on closed boxed consoles.

If I read right, and something that has been asked for since before Xbox 360 had a final design they have a single APU in the box, which is locked down, allowing you to buy and install your own OEM video card module.. great. Bluray module? nice, extra ram modules? excellent.

How are they supposed to overcome the long standing caveat of any of those 3rd party modules corrupting the integrity of the platform? as with the DVD drive in Xbox 360, and memory modules in general. Will OEM face restrictive licensing fees? of course they will, and thus greatly devalue the incentive for OEMs to keep competing with each other, on shorter cycles, with a large cut of their meager profits going to those licensing fees? even if at the end of the day it would allow developers to cater to niche power users throughout the consoles life and avoid the huge drop off once PC starts outpacing it, wait that's the caveat that breaks the system because devs always aim at the the most broad spec.. even now when cheap gaming PCs have much better specs than the bottom dollar Xbox 360. Giving people the option to upgrade the system at their own pace, again is meaningless while software (games and apps) has no incentive to keep up.
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July 13, 2012 3:50:42 AM

I hope they offer a SSD option instead of a HDD, other than that I'm not concerned about having an upgradeable console. If they're going through all this trouble they should just invest that money into pc gaming.
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2
July 13, 2012 3:56:01 AM

It will be all awesome if it is true.
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July 13, 2012 3:56:05 AM

So their console is really just a limited PC with software being programmed specifically for it that can do all the functions of a normal PC, just simplified. It has upgrade options, but very limited. Wait, isn't that a Mac? Looks like Microsoft turned the console market into what Apple has been trying to do with computers for years.

All hope is gone.
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3
July 13, 2012 4:02:49 AM

Meanwhile.. I've also been asking.. while MS is busy making consoles (phones and tablets) having apparently evolved their hardware strategy to include 3rd parties.. and apparently having a whale of a time pissing off OEMs by dictating 'how it should be done', shouldn't Xbox 3 have modules that also work in PCs? Bringing Xbox and Windows together.. using the Same interconnect?

And here's a stupid thought.. why not just concentrate on making discrete graphics cards thinner and more modular and power efficient? defining a size and power cap so that if end user expansion cards are going to be supported by Xbox 3 as a middle ground platform that forces OEMs to make thinner graphics cards that can be used for both.. it would be better to start that now than wait until too much later on. A 3-4 slot beast don't need to exist... Mars II.. while if there are mobile versions of the chip.. why aren't there half slot designs? (heat being a real issue)

If the eventual pay off for PC gamers are thinner cards and the real option to have 4 thin cards.. I'll jump right on that bandwagon.

And if the interconnect isn't proprietary then OEMs can make GPUs compatible with both platforms, PC and Xbox 3. The constraint for OEMs being a power envelope and size in a contained module that JoeBob dumbass grease fingers wouldn't destroy between buying it at retail and installation. Very low risk when upgrading and availability of options for those upgrades, and games that support higher resolution and other features when a more powerful card is detected, would drive that market.

Would follow that mainboard and case makers just have to support a common interconnect and form factor, they seem all to eager to anyway because competition is so fierce in the PC space. And so long as the console doesn't end up an ugly box that consumers would be too afraid to open and upgrade (but they can still just phone a friendly geek to do it for them) then the benefits are too great to ignore.
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July 13, 2012 4:13:46 AM

I'm guessing there will be a low static amount of hardware upgrades available. This gives users the ability to upgrade but still makes it not to terribly hard on developers because they have a limited amount of hardware options they have to find settings for. Maybe for the low end GPU option they disabled AA and Shadows and keep you to 720p resolution. Then for the high end GPU they go full AA and 1080p.

Still easier than the near infinite amount of hardware combinations you can have in a PC
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July 13, 2012 4:40:14 AM

Why not just go PC at that point
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4
July 13, 2012 4:49:05 AM

I hope it involves at least fix set of CPU/GPU upgrades, we need a console that have 10yrs life span have some performance upgrading overtime!
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July 13, 2012 4:51:07 AM

Oh this is gonna be sweet. Now we're going to have XBOX 720 games with system requirements, maybe? Maybe the beginning of the end of crap console ports?
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July 13, 2012 5:34:40 AM

I can't help, but think of it being upgradable for the masses in a more dumbed down fashion compared that of PC's. I'm thinking it will be more like the Sega Genesis>Sega CD>32X = improvements, but not like say a GTX 9800 to a GTX 680 or anything like CPU/Memory upgrades.

I like the idea, but it sounds like a hackers dream console as well.
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July 13, 2012 5:49:50 AM

Will I be able to upgrade from a controller to a mouse and keyboard setup?
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July 13, 2012 5:52:13 AM

I'm going to laugh if a developer half-*** their game and rushes out a dual/single-core game and wonder why a 8-core processor isn't scaling up the performance as they would like.
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July 13, 2012 6:18:28 AM

too little too late, i think in the next 5 years tablets will take over or dominate the gaming market so long as you can connect them to larger displays when not needing the mobility.
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July 13, 2012 6:24:04 AM

So now I'll have to buy two $400 graphics cards, one for console and one for PC? No thanks... The only positive thing from this would be if the games are going to be compatible between the new Xbox and Windows PC.
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July 13, 2012 6:57:09 AM

I'm sorry, but have they lost their *** minds? Yes, I know that if you go to some forums like I*N you'll find a few people that talk about something like this, but they usually get laughed off the internet. This is a purely stupid idea. Consoles have already become too much like PCs in the first place. If they really do this, it will likely be the end of Xbox. I won't say the end of console gaming, because there's no indication Nintendo or Sony are heading this bad direction yet. But seriously, this setup would have to be so PC like that there would be no escaping the obvious question of why someone wouldn't just buy a PC and play whatever game on that. There would be no reason for any game to be exclusive to Xbox and not have a PC version since developers will pretty much have to develop games compatible with multiple configurations that, again, will likely mimic what is available on PC. Someone is really going to have to explain this one to me.
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July 13, 2012 7:46:12 AM

Little confused as to all the negative views here. I still remember in the early-mid 90s when you could buy a memory upgrade for your system... think it was the Sega Saturn (it died for reasons other than a memory card). But I didn't own that one and remember wanting the memory upgrade so I could just be wrong on the system or I just wanted what I didn't have.

Anyway. I remember command and conquer on the PS and if you had too many units on the screen it would slow down. Would have very much liked the ability to pop in an upgrade and power along without the slow downs.

Giving at least a head nod to the naysayers... I see how a company could blow a good thing with 30 versions or nickle and dime its people with 3-4 trivial but "needed" upgrades a year, but I just don't see that happening.

I welcome a system that is not frozen in time.
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July 13, 2012 8:48:41 AM

TheRabidDeerIf I wanted a PC, I would get a PC. Why is a console trying to be a PC even more?


"PlayStation 2 is NOT a console." (c) Ken Kutaragi
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July 13, 2012 10:32:53 AM

nesto1000I have a feeling that it's going to be a lot more expensive than a user built gaming machine when you max out everything, but if it gets close to real PC gaming then I'm all for it! That means better PC console ports at least!


Hmmm... they will make the games to the low end version of the console... I am not sure about better console ports. The only upgrades that make sense are those that does not affect the console gaming speed, or they start making games with several graphick options. Hmm... not impossible but guite different than we have now. It would be more like PC with gaming UI.
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1
July 13, 2012 11:48:55 AM

This isn't technically new, the Nintendo 64 had an expansion cart that doubled its RAM (or something like that) and it was required to play some of the later games in the consoles lifespan (Majoras Mask etc)...

I'm guessing that if they do go down this route, they will enforce minimum standards on developers so they are all working to the lowest common spec. Users then have the option to upgrade certain aspects of the console so they can play the same games but in higher resolutions or at higher framerates etc if they choose/are willing the spend the dough.

Guess we will wait and see.
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July 13, 2012 11:52:35 AM

The design seems extremely complex, and I can tell you now, the pay by year approach is gonna piss me off... And why the hell is MS patenting upgrades???
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July 13, 2012 11:58:50 AM

bobusboyThere will be the low, medium and high versionsGames which are enthusiast level will be marked with a "requires enthusiast xbox" or what ever naming system they use. Normal games will be labeled normal, casual games named casual or entry.Additionally I'm positive they'd design a system so that the game automatically scales down and then abck up based on the hardware it detects


... Or they could do what PC games have been doing for ages, and have a "High, Medium, and Low" setting. *Derp*
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July 13, 2012 12:33:50 PM

It's a brilliant idea to simplify upgrades and still make it easy for developers. So in a year or two new games come out with much better graphics and my console is not useless, all I need to do is buy another CPU/GPU combo expansion card which will double the performance of my XBox.
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July 13, 2012 1:05:05 PM

kcorp2003i don't think so, this news is based upon a patent description.

That does not mean they will implement it anytime soon, many companies have lots of patents for things they never actually use.
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July 13, 2012 1:05:35 PM

kcorp2003i don't think so, this news is based upon a patent description.


just because they submit a patent doesn't mean they will make it. patent trolls have proved that fact for years now
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July 13, 2012 1:17:47 PM

Will it come with the Red Ring of Death feature?
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July 13, 2012 1:18:20 PM

This might Sega Genesis upgrades done right. Or it might go horribly wrong. Anyways, it would be interesting.
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July 13, 2012 1:26:24 PM

bobusboyThere will be the low, medium and high versionsGames which are enthusiast level will be marked with a "requires enthusiast xbox" or what ever naming system they use. Normal games will be labeled normal, casual games named casual or entry.Additionally I'm positive they'd design a system so that the game automatically scales down and then abck up based on the hardware it detects


Nnh...I think it will be more like a way to keep the 720 alive even longer than the 360. My guess is they'll come out with "upgrades" to the 720 as needed, not right out the gate.
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July 13, 2012 1:53:06 PM

Finally! I've been saying all along consoles should be up-gradable. I'm glad consoles are evolving to the point we will just have to buy a new part instead of buying a new system.
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July 13, 2012 1:57:55 PM

ashinmsThe design seems extremely complex, and I can tell you now, the pay by year approach is gonna piss me off... And why the hell is MS patenting upgrades???


Apple is doing it, so why not. It's working for them
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July 13, 2012 2:52:51 PM

1: You'll be forced as a developer to code to higher level API's, which will hurt performance. Remember, your games have to run on the launch hardware. As a result, your graphical abilities will be serverley limited.

2: If I'm reading this right, half the resources will be reserved for the OS, meaning the specs SPECIFICALLY reserved for games are actually HALF of what the console could offer. Woops...
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