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AMD hints at faster, more power-efficient Xbox, PS4 chips

Industry observers estimate the new chips could be ready for the Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 in about two years

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GarrusVakarian1013d ago (Edited 1013d ago )

"Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 are due for release next month, but chip supplier Advanced Micro Devices is already teasing chip upgrades that could make the game consoles faster and more power-efficient"

Interesting. Faster and more power efficient, im all for this.

KHATL661013d ago

"Interesting. Faster and more power efficient, im all for this"

Me too. Just not sure how I feel about buying a new console every two years.

angelsx1012d ago

Anyway you buy new phones every year even more expensive

Braid1012d ago (Edited 1012d ago )

That they're working on more power efficient chips that could also be used on next-gen consoles doesn't necessarily mean that we'll see an upgrade to the console hardware in the near future, that'd be a somewhat contradictory practice to the nature of 'close-box' gaming consoles that we're used to -and more importantly- we all love, as it's undeniable that console gamers are more interested in comfort and ease of use than 'upgradable hardware' and 'more power'.

I don't know how this could work with the developers either, if there was a newer, upgraded hardware available, they'd have to write two types of codes that would benefit older and newer chips, and games would look different, which is the type of thing you see on PC gaming, and not on consoles.

I doubt console gamers would want or like that.

Ju1012d ago

This will be the exact same machine. No performance "upgrade" will happen on an SKU base. What it will be is a cost saving version, smaller, cheaper to build. But that's about it.

- BTW: In the future - which is already starting now - devs will have to develop for a broader range of HW. SteamBox is a nightmare in that respect, but also PS360/PS4One/Vita/Mobile...and PC. Developers are adjusting to that changing infrastructure, we might as well see a broader range of devices in 2-5 years. SteamBox is to consoles what Android is for Mobile. Fragmentation is coming.

Gaming1011012d ago (Edited 1012d ago )

For those who can't read between the lines, smaller chips that use less energy produce less heat. This results in fewer failure rates, as heat is usually what melts some of the seals causing the yellow light of death on the PS3, and RROD in the xbox, cooling systems be damned.

This is not something that's going to run games better, although this 'closed box' model that everyone is alluding to is ridiculous.

If you can buy a $700 iPhone every year, why can't you buy a $400 console every 3 years? I'd like to be able to upgrade and catch up to the PC's of that time, it's ridiculous that it's been 7 and 8 years before a console upgrade.

Computersaysno1012d ago (Edited 1012d ago )

Its nothing new to the industry or particularly exciting. The console specs are now fixed, have been for months. They are both in full production, so obviously their hardware performance is now set in stone for their lives.

These will just be the designs for the 20nm fabrication node which should hit properly next year. Full mass production on the node at TSMC hasn't actually started yet- its not due until February 2014. It'll be May 2014 before a couple more 20nm production lines start up. I wouldn't expect consoles with 20nm chips arriving much before this time next year...

Both machines have been designed and launched on existing 28nm hardware which has been around for large dies at TSMC since early 2012, 18 months ago.

The latest node will be ready for full production in about 4 months, whereupon we'll see a brand new generation of fast PC graphics, drastic reduction in the price of existing cards and the consoles transitioning eventually to the smaller newer node.

The shrink should reduce the chips power consumption and eventually the cost of them. The problem is at the moment going to 20nm will be more expensive early on because of the major technical challenges posed by this process. It will come down however, in time.

Its standard procedure. The faster you get on the latest process generally the better because it allows you to cut costs and the cost of the console of course.

Smaller chips on good yields cost less. Smaller chips make less heat. Less heat means less cooling requirements. Less cooling requirements means cheaper cooling solutions.

Consoles won't likely move onto new processes until after Nvidia and AMD have launched their 20nm graphics cards.

The reason for this is that they buy up so much of the manufacturing capacity for their cards and pay a premium for it, that the consoles have to wait a bit until more capacity is around.

Gamer19821012d ago

Not gonna happen as older consoles wouldn't be able to play the newer games they cannot put out a new console every couple of years. People who use phones as an example of how it can work have to look at the bigger picture. You don't buy £60 games for your phone. It's as simple as that. They could upgrade the chips to make them cooler and the consoles smaller and cheaper. But they have been doing that for years. That's no doubt what this is really about and somebody is getting ahead of themselves here.

pixelsword1012d ago (Edited 1012d ago )

If I gotta get a console every two years, I might as well upgrade my PC; it's at least useful for more than entertainment: I can make money on my PC.

turgore1012d ago

Its not really a new console. It will probably be just like releasing the ps3 slim and super-slim or the xbox s.
If they will make it faster it probably won't impact gameplay in any way except a couple of faster fps.

Blachek1012d ago

Does anybody else remember Perfect Dark... what about the Expansion Pack it required to be plugged into your N64 just to access the Campaign in Single Player?

I wish it were this simple again to double the power of a gaming console

Hitman07691012d ago

I would support a new console generation every 4-5 years. 8-9 years was absolutely garbage.

Mr_Skyfish1012d ago

Aha but that's where a 2 year warranty comes in handy!

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 1012d ago
zeal0us1013d ago (Edited 1013d ago )

Well these probably won't be put into the next gen console 1-2 years. This gen we seen CPU and GPU process go from 90nm to 45nm. Both next gen consoles are starting out at 28nm. I wonder how low will next gen goes before this generation is over.

NarooN1012d ago

Depending on if they get TSMC or GloFo to do the chips, they might get down to 14nm FinFets or something.

HighResHero1012d ago (Edited 1012d ago )

It's becoming increasingly difficult to manufacture that scale and beyond I hear.
This (and battery limitations etc) is why we can see some stagnation in mobile devices.
Maybe we will see some massive, "quantum" ;) leaps though with some revolutionary technology.
28nm Is already pretty darn amazing imo.

GribbleGrunger1013d ago

And you think that they'll use that extra power? It's not going to happen.

FlyingFoxy1012d ago

It doesn't matter if the games are designed to use it or not, if there are any performance issues like frame rate dips and the newer chips are actually faster, it would give better performance at least in those areas.

hesido1012d ago

@flyingFoxy:

You don't want fragment your user base in the console world.

One good thing about developing for consoles is that you have set performance that you can optimize to. Making faster consoles inside a generation will ruin this.

Do you not think they could have upped the clocks on the RSX (ps3)? They could easily have. But the RSX inside the latest PS3's have the same performance of the first PS3 that's rolled out.

It's not as if they couldn't make a faster RSX.

rainslacker1012d ago

At most you might see improvement in UI functions and things not really related to games. Games will use the initial specs of the system, and Sony would not open up that power to be used on newer games for the sole reason of it fragments the user base.

They could become more reliable, if that happens to be an issue early on, but until these consoles are in use for the consumer, it is unknown if that is even neccesary.

It's a cost saving thing, and a way to reduce the form factor like they do with slim models.

ATi_Elite1013d ago (Edited 1013d ago )

Upgrade will be CHeaper to make NOT faster or more power.

Imagine having a Day 1 box then 2 years later that same box has a more powerful chip.

Now Devs are gonna make games using the better chip thus making you have to go out and buy another Box.

see the problem.

So cheaper to make is about all your gonna get and maybe more watt efficient.

Rhaigun1012d ago

Exactly. Even if the chip is a hair faster, we're talking about something so minuscule, you won't Eben notice.

thisismyaccount1012d ago

What if the new PS4 is up to 10 - 20% more faster and efficient ? What if next gen games will have an extra sticker on the back cover like :

Gran Turismo 8 (2018)
"Works only with PS4 Rev. 2.0 2015+"

come_bom1012d ago (Edited 1012d ago )

"AMD hints at faster, more power-efficient Xbox, PS4 chips"

And this is another of the reasons I'm only purchasing my next gen console next year. No RUSH!

nypifisel1012d ago

Going down in chip size will greatly reduce heat output and power consumption. But it wouldn't make sense to give them any upclocks due to it alienating consumers within their own brand.

Magicite1012d ago

does that mean that consoles will be upgradeable kinda like PC's?

3-4-51012d ago

If it's like what Nintendo did with the N64 and the memory upgrade I'd be all for it.

It has to be something everyone can plug into their console...

Having to buy a new model is going to make half your market mad.

DOOMZ1012d ago

Next thing you know we will be having contracts for consoles. This way when we are done for the two year plan, we can just trade it in for a new one,SMH!

kevnb1012d ago

maybe ill buy one in 2-3 years

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Mohlest1012d ago SpamShowReplies(1)
Baka-akaB1012d ago (Edited 1012d ago )

There is no way they'd fragment their base like this . People need to let go of their weird dreams of an upgradable console ... it makes little sense and goes against the purpose of consoles .

Get a pc already if you care about that . Only way it will happens is if future consoles go cazy about clouds and streaming

DomceM1012d ago

"People need to let go of their weird dreams of an upgradable console"

No need to let go of "weird" dreams.

Steambox is upgradable. so if its a big deal for someone, then they can do that.

Baka-akaB1012d ago

And steambox is a console ? Nope . It aint even there yet to boot , let alone fragmenting any kind of market

thehitman1012d ago

steambox is just a branded pc like alienware with its own O/S. Doesnt make it a console.

Bob Dole1012d ago

The faster more power efficient chips would probably be put in the "slim" models a couple years down the line.

jeffgoldwin1012d ago

Highly doubt they wud be faster. More efficient and smaller, yes. Just like last gen of consoles where the cpu shrunk 3 times/more efficient. But never got a speed increase.

MidnytRain1012d ago

I don't understand what purpose that would serve. Boosted performance? As console businesses, they're not going to screw over the guys who bought a console at launch.

solidboss071012d ago

Indeed. It seems these people are after a Steam Box, or something.
Its all about reducing manufacturing costs, and power usage for the customer.

Jazz41081012d ago (Edited 1012d ago )

Will not happen.

DomceM1012d ago (Edited 1012d ago )

What is a console? Your "Consoles" have pc parts in them this gen. In the past they had their own parts like ps3's cell, ps2s chip, etc. What do they have now? slightly customized pc hardware? Maybe they dont be deserved to be called consoles anymore? Its just a locked down PC now.

Steambox is a console that you can modify. thats all. It has a controller, it will be used in the living room etc...

And marketshare is irrelevant. Its either a console or it isnt. And in this case it is.

So yeah bottom line. Locked down pc + controller or open pc + controller. Barely any difference.

I think you are afraid to call steambox a console b/c you know how kick ass its going to be. And you dont want it to be compared with your machine.

solidboss071012d ago

No Dunder-Nut. We are calling a SteamBox a console you can upgrade' as opposed to PS4 ect with fixed components.
WTF are you going on about?

DomceM1012d ago (Edited 1012d ago )

Nice personal attack without understanding why I posted what I did.

I was responding to baka-akab above. You have 3 bubbles. Are you new to N4G? The comment structure can be confusing at times in terms of how it is layed out.

I clicked to respond to him, but you see yourself where the comment is located. I couldve specified i was talking to him in my original post though. Still had i replied to you, my post wouldve appeared shifted to the right under yours. Which is not the case.

Oh yeah, stop the name calling at the drop of a hat.

Baka-akaB1012d ago (Edited 1012d ago )

"I think you are afraid to call steambox a console b/c you know how kick ass its going to be. And you dont want it to be compared with your machine. "

My machine ? I've got a gaming able pc too you know ... and i'm actually interested by the steam box . So spare me the whole "ooooh you feel threatened " angle .

Steambox , as yet to show that it's going for a different market than the usual pc game . So far it seems just made to facilitate that and another mean to distribute them . So again , it hardly risk fragmenting any kind of market .

Meanwhile , until everything is cloud/streaming based on the console side , there is little , if any way for devs and constructors alike to waste ressources making different set of games for hardware variations on a same console .

saikorican1012d ago

People having "weird dreams" is how things like innovation start. You shouldn't insult people just because they hope for things to be a different way someday. An upgradeable console doesn't have to fragment anything if you have regulations and actually spend time to do it right. Not saying it's gonna happen anytime soon but don't be so closed minded.

Baka-akaB1012d ago

I've insulted no one here . And i did mention a future way of it happening , so keep reading whatever you want from it

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darksky1012d ago (Edited 1012d ago )

They could use the faster chips and allow devs to develop games that run better on the newer boxes and slightly downgraded on the older ones..i.e lower resolution instead of 1080p like XBOX one already does. The older units will then get phased out over a few years.

The benefit of this is that we don't have to wait for 10 years for the next gen to get better games and SONY/MS can build cheaper consoles in the process.

Bob Dole1012d ago

Sounds terrible. If that had happened last gen Bob Dole would have had a $600 phased out console.

DomceM1012d ago (Edited 1012d ago )

you shouldn't have gotten agrees for that comment.

This is normal for chips. (power + cost savings).