Submitted by sigfredod 718d ago | article

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 (AMD, PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Lukas_Japonicus  +   718d 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.
#1 (Edited 718d ago ) | Agree(48) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
KHATL66  +   718d 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.
angelsx  +   718d ago
Anyway you buy new phones every year even more expensive
Braid  +   718d ago | Well said
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.
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Ju  +   717d 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.
Gaming101  +   717d 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.
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Computersaysno  +   717d 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.
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Gamer1982  +   717d 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.
pixelsword  +   717d 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.
#1.1.7 (Edited 717d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(2) | Report
turgore  +   717d 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.
Blachek  +   717d 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
Hitman0769  +   717d ago
I would support a new console generation every 4-5 years. 8-9 years was absolutely garbage.
Mr_Skyfish  +   717d ago
Aha but that's where a 2 year warranty comes in handy!
zeal0us  +   718d 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.
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NarooN  +   717d ago
Depending on if they get TSMC or GloFo to do the chips, they might get down to 14nm FinFets or something.
HighResHero  +   717d 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.
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GribbleGrunger  +   718d ago
And you think that they'll use that extra power? It's not going to happen.
FlyingFoxy  +   717d 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.
hesido  +   717d ago

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.
rainslacker  +   717d 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_Elite  +   718d 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.
#1.4 (Edited 718d ago ) | Agree(18) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
Rhaigun  +   718d ago
Exactly. Even if the chip is a hair faster, we're talking about something so minuscule, you won't Eben notice.
thisismyaccount  +   718d 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_bom  +   718d 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!
#1.5 (Edited 718d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(10) | Report | Reply
nypifisel  +   718d 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.
Magicite  +   717d ago
does that mean that consoles will be upgradeable kinda like PC's?
3-4-5  +   717d 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.
DOOMZ  +   717d 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!
kevnb  +   717d ago
maybe ill buy one in 2-3 years
Mohlest   718d ago | Spam
Baka-akaB  +   718d 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
#3 (Edited 718d ago ) | Agree(19) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
DomceM  +   718d 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-akaB  +   718d ago
And steambox is a console ? Nope . It aint even there yet to boot , let alone fragmenting any kind of market
thehitman  +   718d ago
steambox is just a branded pc like alienware with its own O/S. Doesnt make it a console.
Bob Dole  +   718d ago
The faster more power efficient chips would probably be put in the "slim" models a couple years down the line.
jeffgoldwin  +   718d 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.
MidnytRain  +   717d 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.
solidboss07  +   718d 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.
Jazz4108  +   717d ago
Will not happen.
#3.3.1 (Edited 717d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(1) | Report
DomceM  +   717d 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.
#3.4 (Edited 717d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
solidboss07  +   717d 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?
DomceM  +   717d 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.
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Baka-akaB  +   717d 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 .
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saikorican  +   717d 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-akaB  +   717d 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
darksky  +   718d 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.
#4 (Edited 718d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(8) | Report | Reply
Bob Dole  +   718d ago
Sounds terrible. If that had happened last gen Bob Dole would have had a $600 phased out console.
fghtrer3fb5erg  +   718d ago
Sounds like BS.
DomceM  +   718d ago
you shouldn't have gotten agrees for that comment.

This is normal for chips. (power + cost savings).
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mydyingparadiselost  +   718d ago
Just another reason to wait on next gen.
NeoTribe   718d ago | Trolling | show
AllroundGamer  +   718d ago
making them faster would be a very bad move for the people like me who preordered the first version... i would be really pissed and would probably never buy another console if this would be true.
Reem  +   718d ago
Yet another dummy journalist, it's all about costs and power savings. From this dummies own article: "And the reason to do that is both for pure die cost savings, as well as all the power savings that our customer benefits from.". No one said the chips will be faster, it's just the interpretation of the dummy.
iistuii  +   718d ago
They are consoles, not pc's you can't get a more powerful chip in a console a year up the road, it won't make a blind bit of difference to the games.
jeffgoldwin  +   718d ago
You definitely "could" put in a faster chip and if software dev's designed the game for this, it would make the game run smoother/better graphics. So I disagree with what you said or how you worded this.

However, just because consoles could easily do this, I don't think that they ever would want to. The consumer base would not be happy with such a move.
iistuii  +   718d ago
Of course you could put in another chip, I may have worded it wrong, but what I'm saying is it would never happen. The same games would have to run the same on every console. You could improve the power consumption just like they do with the newer revised models up the line, but the Newer slim models have exactly the same game performance as the launch machine, that's my point.
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XtraTrstrL  +   718d ago
The only way it would work is if they allowed everyone to send in their 1st gen systems for the upgraded 1, or had them called back now, since it doesn't release for another month. Otherwise, the extra power would never be used, you'd just have better performance for everything if you had the newer chipped console.
gamertk421  +   718d ago
Even he said most of this stuff is going to the cloud, right at the end. Most will probably miss that statement, but it carries huge ramifications.
cellfluid  +   718d ago
This is only good if u r allowed to trade in your old ps4x1 for an up to date chip version for a reasonable discount of course and I mean reasonable!!!
Drummerdude41  +   717d ago
Power efficient means less heat which means smaller form factors. Most likely getting slim versions with new chips if there is a place in the market for them. The xbox one would do good to have a smaller more elegant enclosure.
Marc20110  +   717d ago
It would be nice if they upgraded the console once during the 7-8 year life cycle of the system. Would it be a money grab, yes, but it would also allow the ones with the funds to upgrade a chance at a better picture/frame rate. I'm not saying do it every year, just once at year 4.
EXVirtual  +   717d ago
I don't think it's gonna happen. I'll be happy to wait for the PS5.
rickybadman  +   717d ago
Same thing happen with the new chip in the Xbox 360S. Microsoft gimped the new chip to perform at the same level as with older model Xbox 360.

Same thing will happen here, with Sony too. They can't have the market fragment like that. It would be pointless too.

New chips will be cheaper to produce, have better yields, and hopefully more savings passed on to consumers
cell989  +   717d ago
seems to me this time around the CPU is the constrain in the console biz, previews generations always lacked RAM. This time around the weakest part seems to be the CPU, we'll see how this plays out, sure now they have plenty of RAM but lack CPU power, so theres always a trade off
Bolts  +   717d ago
Only with idiotic console fanboys will you hear negative reactions to faster and more powerful chips. The irony of this simply hilarious.

Specs matter, 50% more power, Greatness Awaits! The PS4 will be upgraded with faster chips and more power in 2 years? No no no, we don't want that, specs don't matter anymore. LMAO!!
Ravenor  +   717d ago
It's a die shrink, the same thing happened with the PS3 and 360. They started at 90nm, and the current consoles on the shelves are 45nm. This doesn't by default bring better performance, it's the SAME APU nothing about it changes except for superior heat and power usage (lower).

Please don't talk if you don't know what you're talking about.
RAGE91  +   717d ago
I think they will bring out another console within 3-5 years much like when the Day one current gen got upgraded to slim versions. But as for games that are on next gen day one working on a future console, due to the hardware being better.
tigertron  +   717d ago
I predict a PS4-slim. Though I can't imagine an even slimmer model.
Bolts  +   717d ago
Why are you fanboys so afraid of upgrades to your system? Only in the console world would you get this kind of idiotic luddism. I thought specs matter? I thought you care about 50% more power?

The fact is that upgrade and maybe tiered hardware make sense. Everything else in the tech world get refreshes, so why not the consoles? The architecture for the Xbox One and PS4 are more mainstream and PC like then ever so upgrades and tiers to their system make sense.

Base PS4- 900p-1080 30 fps
2015 PS4 Pro- 1080p 60fps-1440p 30 fps/ maybe digital TV integration like the Xbox.
2017 PS4 Max- 1440p 60 fps- 4K 30 fps.

All of these consoles will still use the same architecture and OS so all their games will still work but the latest model will perform better and run with better resolution and textures. This will drive both hardware and game sales while preventing the stagnation that is happening as we're waiting for the current to die off.
Ravenor  +   717d ago
You're not going to see those kind of jumps from increases in clock speed, sorry. Your point of using the same architecture is also moot, the work would still have to put in on the developer side to code these games specifically for all platforms and changes. You're increasing costs, time and man power.

Seriously, stop talking. Just turn around and walk out.
Baka-akaB  +   717d ago
What's mad here are your hoped and expected changes . Overclocking doesnt even work , or gives result , like that , not even on pc .

"Only in the console world would you get this kind of idiotic luddism."

Because it does make sense in the console world . WHo the f**k is going to go through the hassle of switching the same upgraded console every two years or so ? There is a wide array of possibilities for that in the pc world , go there .

And yeah development doesnt work like that either . Even on PC , such increment DO create a market fragmentation . There is a reason why , besides the occasional trend setting title like Crysis , you no longer have as many titles pushing the graphic enveloppe on pc as hard as seen in the past . Most devs do settle for a middle ground accessibles to a bigger pool of pc instead of aiming for the "elite".

What's your advocating doesnt even work on mobile phones and tablets either . Their specs double (if not more) every year , yet it has little effects on games , saves a few . The cost , man power and time isnt worth it in most cases
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NewAgeisHere  +   717d ago
Well if they made the consoles upgradable let's say every 2 years, this would be amazing - let's say a 200dollar upgrade every 2-3 years.
kingPoS  +   717d ago

The console chips will likely be upgraded every two to three years, much like in past consoles, analysts said. The chip in the Xbox 360 was upgraded three times over its lifetime.

The console chip upgrades are more about shrinking the chip's size and cutting costs than improving performance....

Let that be a lesson for those ignorant of original context.
Jamaicangmr  +   717d ago
The PS4 that launches on Novermber 15th 2013 must be able to play every game released for it with the same quality that the console that is bought on November 15th 2020.

No compromises so their will not and i repeat there will not be any speed increases. Sony and Microsoft would face class action lawsuits of epic proportions.

Chips are reduced to improve heat output and general efficiency. NEVER to boost power.

"The console chips will likely be upgraded every two to three years, much like in past consoles, analysts said. The chip in the Xbox 360 was upgraded three times over its lifetime.

The console chip upgrades are more about shrinking the chip's size and cutting costs than improving performance, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64."

Common sense so stop with the more powerful consoles every 2 years bull please we all should know better.
CaulkSlap  +   717d ago
I assume they mean just shrinking the die size. Lower power consumption, less heat, and cheaper to make. Both 360 and PS3's chips had shrinks with the redesigns.
4lc4pon3  +   717d ago
Im a PC gamer by heart & I build my own very high end custom rigs yearly. I spend just on my PC hardware alone yearly around 3k. For myself I have no problem buying a new console yearly or every couple of years if the hardware advances and its a pretty nice upgrade.
stellarock420  +   717d ago
here is a crazy idea what if they went the road of pc and we could buy our own chips and put them in our self.but no they put them right into the mother board so we can buy an upgraded ps4 or x1 this is why they said next gen will last 10-15 years cuz i will bet that they will put out a new upgraded system every 1-2 years.
xKugo  +   717d ago
Cool, so now console players can take solace that people who buy a next gen console at launch won't be on a level playing field in 2 years, because newer buyers will have a more powerful version. LOLOLOLOLOL

Why again should people be excited for Next-gen???
DoubleM70  +   717d ago
"And the reason to do that is both for pure die cost savings, as well as all the power savings that our customer benefits from."

Means nothing to us just expect smaller consoles in 2 years times.
HeroPsychoDreamer  +   717d ago
After the AMD stock took a hit on thursday I wonder if this news is related to that dip. Creating some optimism regarding future earnings for the company.

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