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“All of our games will play up and down that family of devices” – Xbox’s Matt Booty on exclusives

It’s now been over six years since the troubled launch of the Xbox One and another 10 months or so until we see the release of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. Yet despite all that, we’ve never seen a platform holder less in need of a next-gen boost than Microsoft is now.

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AngelicIceDiamond257d ago ShowReplies(4)
RpgSama257d ago

This will not help people transition, I understand third party games being launched across generations, but they should have exclusives for their next gen, even if they are "also on PC" but games being built from the ground up on that technology, old tech will bring the games back, yes, they will look better and have ray tracing, but they will be fundamentally the same game.

I want advanced AI, advanced physics and gameplay that revolves around those things.

AngelicIceDiamond257d ago

"This will not help people transition, I understand third party games being launched across generations, but they should have exclusives for their next gen"

On the topic at hand I agree. I find it strange they won't have console exclusives for a while but generational exclusives. He did mentioned that when consoles launch the fanbase is niche and small, which is true so he wants people to move over I guess on their time. But just like you said, MS needs unique exclusives for XS to sell. I don't want to play a watered down version of HBII on S or 1X. That would be a very damaging and a dis-service to XS and especially NT. Infinite was made on base Xbox and will launch on XS, so that games makes sense I'm ok with that.

I guess they don't want to abandon the last consoles outright out the gate.

Hopefully its short term strategy until the XS has a bigger audience down the line.

monkey602257d ago

I'm praying for Hellblade 2 on the Xbox One S because I really want to play it. Won't be buying a new console for it though

343_Guilty_Spark257d ago

Why are you so obsessed with console exclusives?

257d ago Replies(2)
rainslacker257d ago (Edited 257d ago )

There comes a limit to where forward compatibility is a good thing. But, I don't think he's saying that the current Xbox's or X1S at least are within the same family of devices. I think he's talking more about the Series nomenclature. X1X could even be left out of the equation, unless MS makes it part of the Series X.

The lowest common denominator would be set extremely low if they support all Xbox One consoles. Especially for things like advanced physics or AI. Graphics wise, it's not that much of a big deal to scale those based on presets, but doing so does remove some levels of optimization so you may not get the most out of newer hardware. Or the more likely scenario, older hardware will just not be optimized very well because the press tends to look at the newer hardware, and that's the place they're going to cater to to avoid a lot of customer complaints.

The idea of leaving generations behind sounds good on paper, and is a pithy and ideal piece of PR to sound all about the consumer. But devs have needs, and you don't clip their wings by requiring older hardware support.

If MS leaves the door open for the dev to choose the lowest common denominator, that's fine. but making it a requirement would be bad for gaming across the board. Any multi-plat game would still target the older hardware, and that would translate to a lot of other versions of the game. On the flip side, if a dev can't make it happen, and MS doesn't do as well as the competition, it means that 3rd party could forgo the XBox version, or make it more of a gimped port.

Several scenarios that could play out, and for now, without knowing what it is, I'm just offering various potential outcomes, and not committing to saying any of the above are a forgone conclusion.

KillBill256d ago

I disagree on the transition point... for me when I moved from Xbox 360 to Xbox One S it was this exact thing that ultimately had me choosing to go to Xbox One S instead of Sony or Nintendo systems. It does not negate potential upgrades to other systems and totally assists developers early on with a console new release.

I personally played a lot of Battlefield Hardline (go ahead and hate) and the differences between it from Xbox 360 to Xbox One S were night and day. Graphics, player count, map size... so much was simply different that you would imagine they were completely different games. But they weren't Xbox 360 was just the paired down game experience for majority of their base that had not moved on yet.

So much was different... explosions were bigger on Xbox One S where I could see the shockwave bubble that I couldn't see on Xbox 360. Just looking at the wake from your motorboat on the Xbox One S versus the Xbox 360 was eye dropping at the time. The sound was even better it felt.

The option for physics to have improved showing on next Gen is completely viable in many instances. Even AI having a larger repertoire is completely see-able in my eyes. Even when designing games you can see stages of an AI responsiveness and if they chose to flesh out a more advanced AI for next gen I could see it well. Yes that could prove problematic in some game types but not seeing it as that much of an issue or more simply a good challenge for Devs. Cost out weighs the advantages by far.

We currently see PC games and console games that take advantage of power of each system. The idea we can't do that between console generations is simply ridiculous. Devs don't hold back on their PC games simply because they are making a console version too. I have not seen a single revolutionary game aspect that I have seen on PC simply because it has more available options than console.

All this 'sky is falling' principal behind the generation play is funny to watch though.

chiefJohn117256d ago

They could still do all that.

abstractel256d ago

If future MS games are going to run on the Xbox One as well they'll really have an impact on how they can design there games. Imagine a game with physics that affect gameplay, and the developer having to make it work on the Xbox One as well, that would be mad. I really hope this is not true, or PS5 exclusives will completely blow MS's exclusives out of the water. Sigh.

RpgSama256d ago

That's exactly what I mean, I know that graphically you can turn on and off certain features and you can also play with resolution and frame rate between generations, but a game built from scratch on next generation with gameplay features based around advanced physics and advanced AI, that's something that cannot be replicated at all and that's what I'm actually most excited about next gen.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 256d ago
Ausbo257d ago

Really seeing people super negative about this. People say it will hold back next gen.

If that’s so, then the millions of 1080p pc gamers are holding back all the people with RTx cards. It’s just not a valid argument

gamer9257d ago

The 1080p PC gamers aren’t holding back anything because there’s no handcuffs on framerate or resolution. Not the case with consoles. For some odd reason, and I’m 100% talking about online competitive multiplayer games, consoles historically haven’t been willing to give a competitive frame rate to the machine that’s more capable. They have the framerate match the previous, and then amp up the other graphical settings. It’s my biggest concern with next gen, will we be capped at 30-60 fps with ultra graphics?? I sure hope not. Gimme 2k / 90-120 fps please. 4k / 60. Let me choose – choice works fine on PC!

Rude-ro257d ago

It is pretty much confirmed that high refresh rates at 4k is the target next gen.
Not from rumors leaked.. But by companies involved like amd.
This ces, their monitor managers said In an interview “.. and with next gen consoles focusing on high refresh rates at 4k..” in response to their focus on not only high refresh rate monitors, but large size monitors as well.

Not “confirmed”.. but I think you are going to be happy.

gamer9257d ago

@ Rude-ro, NICE, Thanks!

Father__Merrin257d ago

60fps at 4k will be the gold standard

TK-66257d ago (Edited 257d ago )

Well then they should've been outraged about this generation. What Booty is describing happened with lots of 3rd parties at the start of this gen.

“As our content comes out over the next year, two years, all of our games, sort of like PC, will play up and down that family of devices,”

I definitely recall a lot of games in the PS4/Xbones first couple years releasing on those systems and the previous generations systems for the first year, and slightly less so for the second. The only thing thats different this time is that it's a 1st party publisher saying it'll be most, if not all, of their releases. Given that MS has found focus in the XGP model, I'd say this is a good direction for them to take as long as it doesn't come at the cost of quality for the later generation.

Another thing that's good is that it means MS will be supporting the Xbone while the XSX is on the market.

darthv72257d ago

But those games were not using the same disc to go between platforms. What he is talking about is you buy the new Halo infinite game and you can put that disc into an xbox one (base model), S, X or the series X and it will play in any of them.

What you saw at the beginning was two version of a game but each was made to work specifically on the respected platform. titanfall on 360 is a toned down DVD media version while the xbo got the full package bluray version. This time it is one disc that will span both 8th and 9th gen hardware. And, some of those cross generational games were made by different teams. Forza horizon 2 on xbo was playground while the 360 ver was sumo digital. It is a pretty decent effort but you can tell there is a difference.

TK-66257d ago

@darthv72

"But those games were not using the same disc to go between platforms. What he is talking about is you buy the new Halo infinite game and you can put that disc into an xbox one (base model), S, X or the series X and it will play in any of them."

Could you give me the quote for that in the article? I just don't recall reading it so its possible I missed it.

darthv72257d ago

^i dont know if its in the artice, but it is implied seeing as both xbo and sx are using the same bluray media. There may be a second disc that contains additional assets specific to the sx but the idea of a singular distribution that spans both is possible. And the sx will be able to read the xbo discs and vice versa. With the exception to discs that are UHD capactiy (100gb) but it may be that the existing bluray drives could be fw updated to read the extra layers in those discs. I think i read somewhere that it may be possible.

It sounds like the old days of the og xbox and the 360 and both used DVD media and burger king had a few games that would play on both. But they werent very complex games and there was enough room on the disc to house an xbox version and a 360 version. This time around, because of the nature of the x86 and AMD hardware it would be like how a PC game can install and work on varying degrees of hardware. Its just the same copy of the game but it will configure and work on Nvidia gpu and AMD gpu and intel / amd cpu.

rainslacker257d ago

You're talking about cross gen ports. Those are different builds of the game. What is being talked about here is a single release which would work with one software build(even if multiple executables are on one disc) and be distributed to play on multiple hardware versions.

TK-66257d ago (Edited 257d ago )

@rainslacker

Interesting, but the end product is ultimately the same as last gen. A lesser version, and a superior version. My point still stands; it's just friendlier to the consumer assuming they choose to upgrade to the next generation.

rainslacker257d ago (Edited 257d ago )

Yes, but at some point if you want to keep advancing game design, you have to cut ties with the past. Game design is so much more than just visual quality.

In all my comments on here, I'm not saying MS is doing something wrong. I really don't know the extent of what they're talking about, or what they'll require to form an opinion. I'm just talking about general principal, and how various scenarios would play out if they go with different implementations of this idea, using various ways it could be implemented.

KillBill256d ago

@darthv72 - the only difference between that and what is going to happen is that they have set in place an option for specific portions of gameplay to be downloaded first or even not at all if not needed. Would be little different than PC where it has the capability code wise to run at different specs but when installing on older XB1 systems they could simply make it so it runs on that specific system code. Little different than what XB1X does now versus XB1S or XB1 with same games. Peeople that know so little about making games and writing code are chiming in with 'the sky is falling' scenarios that just aren't a thing.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 256d ago
locomorales257d ago

Sony introduced how SSD technology changes the speed at which it is possible to travel through New York in Spiderman's game. What they tried to show is that this technology (which will also be on the new Xbox) allows new possibilities for game design and gameplay. Cross-gen games will be limited by the lowest denominator. We are not simply talking about resolution or frames.

DJStotty257d ago

incorrect

games will not be limited.

Just how xbox one x enhanced games are not limited by the vanilla xbox one

rainslacker257d ago (Edited 257d ago )

@DJ

Lets say your a dev.

You design a game having 1000 enemies on screen, each with their own adaptive AI pattern...as in not just the same scripted routine for each enemy type. On top of that, you have a scene where everything can be destroyed or used against said enemy, and the design has different changes that happen based on how you use said environment.

Ambitious to say the least.

Now, lets say you determine the new hardware is what's required to reach that scope of design.

Good enough. Your engineers say that its good to go, you start prototyping, and everything seems like it will work.

Then, you have to make it accessible on older hardware.

The older hardware can't even keep track of all 1000 of those enemies at once, much less all the other variables that may be within the design of the game's AI or interactive physics model. It can't even draw the 1000 enemies at once. Now, you could dial it back to 500 enemies and sacrafice a lot of the visual quality elsewhere, so good enough. However, because of the AI and interactive variables, the older system can only keep track or maybe 100 of those enemies at once using the same adaptive AI routine. Any more, and you just end up with huge memory bleed and collisions and the game play suffers as the game loop tries to keep up.

This in itself isn't the end of the world, and it could potentially be overcome using other design tricks. But at that point, we're talking about making a completely different build of the game, which is basically the same as making a port to another system. It'd be like porting a current gen game to the Switch, because realistically, that's the power differences we're talking about.

Forward compatibility will limit the design, because in the real world, if a game has to run on older hardware, that older hardware is going to be the determining factor the engineers use to say if the game designers vision will work in the first place.

Graphics aren't usually the issue,it's all the other stuff that gets in the way.

Heck, the SSD implementation for next gen alone means that relying on system based disc access(like we have now) would limit the design and size of the worlds without using more "antiquated" tricks that are used now. One of the neat things about next gen is this SSD, because it opens up much bigger potential for building big beautiful worlds, with more readily available content to place in it.

AspiringProGenji257d ago

Not really because games are made with different settings for every card. 1080p players are not holding me back ever

257d ago
bluefox755257d ago (Edited 257d ago )

It won't hold back gaming, because Xbox will be in last place again. Developers won't sacrifice quality for the sake of releasing a game on an old Xbox console. Plus, it's only for "exclusives", presumably? Obviously they wouldn't be able to get 3rd party devs onboard with this. It'll hold back their own games, not anyone elses.

Chris12256d ago

Still trying too hard mate. Enjoy being fleeced by having to buy a whole new console just to play a couple of exclusives.

--Onilink--257d ago (Edited 257d ago )

Well, its honestly those cards and consoles that would “hold back” a developer who only had in mind an RTX card during development.

They have to code for every possibility, which in most cases means that the differences boil down to graphical settings like shadows, lightning, textures or overall performance.

If a PC developer decided to create a game exclusively for the highest possible pc components, it would definitely have much more than those other things I mentioned (advanced physics, destruction, better AI, much denser worlds, etc)

Once a new generation of consoles comes along, those kind of advances become the new norm for most games

rainslacker257d ago (Edited 257d ago )

The lowest common denominator idea has been a part of PC gaming for decades now. It's where the term comes from. PC gaming does hold itself back. Or rather the devs do based on what they need to do to make money off the sale of a game. Other things like locking DirectX behind certain versions of Windows also held back PC gaming for generations, where some versions went completely unused.

The only difference you get with PC gaming at higher setting is visual quality, resolution, or frame rate performance. But, from a game design aspect, the game is still not going to be any better or worse than what it could achieve at a certain level of hardware compatibility. That would involve things like Physics, AI, level size, etc. All the things which are involved in determining the scope of the game, and are often independent of the graphics settings.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 256d ago
xX-oldboy-Xx257d ago

It's a mistake to make series x games playable on older systems - why would people upgrade? Most don't have TV's to take advantage of the power residing in series x let alone one x.

Series x games should only be playable on series x if you want to sell boatloads of them.

If you're happy with large software numbers maybe look at transitioning to a publisher.

Muzikguy257d ago

It really doesn't make much sense. Just like playing the games on PC instead. If one could do that, they sell less consoles. I don't see how that is helping. Especially when people can just jump in and out of GamePass subs at $1

locomorales257d ago

What worries me is that this approach does not allow any studio to use SSD as a game design tool rather than a simple loading time accelerator.

xX-oldboy-Xx257d ago

Spot on - their has to be a clear difference, a genuine reason to upgrade.

You can't be everything to everyman.

darthv72257d ago

The SSD is simply for storage. Be it direct game storage (installed from disc) or acting as a sort of virtual cache... its all just really fast storage. Even the PS5 will be using it as such (as virtual memory/cache and to load game data). The SSD is not going to suddenly act as a secondary GPU. Devs will be able to take advanted of it accordingly depending on the platform the game is installed to. Meaning if the game installs on an S or X then that system will load the games data as it should. If installed to an SX or PS5 then the system will obviously load the game data much faster. The system will be able to install the games in an optimized fashion to take advantage of the SSD speed and performance.

xX-oldboy-Xx257d ago

darth72 - but that's only in relation to the SSD, which use is being compromised. What about the GPU, CPU or other custom chips in series x? Will they be pushed or even used.

This is starting to sound like a Steambox.

I don't even think ms pushed one x to anywhere near it's capability.

257d ago
rainslacker257d ago (Edited 257d ago )

@Darth

The SSD can fill 12GB of memory in about 24 seconds.

That may seem like a long time, and pointless to consider, but when you look at the fact it can move 500+MB of data into memory in a second, that is a huge when it comes to graphics or about 80% of all the data sets used within gaming. Yes, it's not as instantaneous as having it in resident memory, but it can be huge when it comes to graphics design or effects, and has a huge role to play when it comes to the thousands of other data sets that exist within a game design.

Most games only need small chunks of new data almost instantly, and streaming data over old data which isn't needed anymore are huge boons to game design as a whole. Resident memory will still hold a lot of the most crucial data, but in modern game design, most games waste anywhere from 40-60% of their memory just holding data which may be needed at some point, and that data is rarely crucial to completeing the game loop, and can be skipped on a loop or two with no obvious effect on the game. Being able to hot swap that with the speed and data throughput that SSD provides is a game changer.

Then when you start talking about using uncompressed data for transfer in that virual memory, the speed is even higher.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 257d ago
darthv72257d ago

The discs will contain all the necessary game data to install to any one of the xbox platforms. I know that on my original xbox one, it only installs the assets my system can handle. none of the X enhanced games have the X enhanded data installed to my system because its not an X, its a regular. This approach is no different. if i did get an X and the game detects it then it will install the missing assets to take advantage of that extra system performance.

The_Sage257d ago (Edited 257d ago )

I'm responding to you comment about the SSD being only storage. In a sense that is true, but you must have missed the articles talking about how the SSD is going to free up asset allocation allowing for memory to be used for other things. I'll try to find an article and edit it in before the timeout.

EDIT:
"Load times can have a big impact on what is possible for game artists. Faster load times give us extra room to add details like props, materials, textures, and lightning, among others with less impact on performance compared to the previous-generation console."

Here's the whole article.
https://www-gamesradar-com....

darthv72257d ago

@sage, I know of the article you speak and it is still the SSD is acting as a cache for data not in memory and a really fast cache to swap to memory. Just like how PC can use a portion of hard drive space for virtual memory. The SSD in both will help with asset offloading to/from memory in addition to stream loading content in various areas of the game.

The_Sage257d ago (Edited 257d ago )

Right, but I think your missing the point. You're saying that the fact that the Xbox One does not have a SSD will not effect the series X.

The developer here is saying, "Faster load times give us extra room to add details like props, materials, textures, and lightning, among others". Those things could not be added without the SSD. That will limit the series X.

darthv72257d ago

It wont. The games dont run from disc and they dont run from the hard drive. Games run from memory and having the SSD act as a buffer makes it faster for those assets to be swapped back and forth to/from memory. On a regular xbox, the same rules apply but obviously traditional hard drives introduce load times while that content is being loaded from the hdd into memory. Sony is going to use the SSD (or a portion) to act as a dedicated buffer to cache data which cuts down on the load times because it will be the buffer to which the memory is read from and written to. And because it is sequential, it can be feeding memory while offloading no longer needed data back to the drive and getting more date to be staged.

The_Sage257d ago (Edited 257d ago )

I think we're very close to being on the same exact page. I was reading another article where a developer was taking about running from the hard drive to the memory while moving down a pathway and that because of the increased load times they will be able to add lighting, textures, and so on to the pathways without having to double assets to deal with the mechanical hard drives. That's where the limitation lies. Maybe devs will come up with a work around, but from what I gather, to make the pathway work in a mechanical drive, they will not be able to add the extra details.

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King_Noctis257d ago

In case you haven’t noticed, selling hardware isn’t their main priority anymore. It is their Gamepass service.

briannah95257d ago

So your saying their going services only... interesting...

343_Guilty_Spark257d ago

This isn't a problem on PC. You play what you like, how you like with what you can afford.

xX-oldboy-Xx257d ago

It's a HUGE problem for PC - Can you honestly say that high-end GPU's and CPU's get maxxed out?

257d ago
rainslacker257d ago (Edited 257d ago )

I think if's OK if it's a choice by the developer. Means only releasing one game to a wider audience. Not all games will require the power of the new systems, and the design can still work on older systems. Even this gen, I think 95% of the games released could still run on last gen hardware for most of their content. There wasn't a huge advance in game design on the less obvious things this gen. Graphics will always improve, but I see forward compatibility as holding back game design itself. Not all devs try to advance that stuff, but for the ones that do, I don't want them being mandated to have to support older or less powerful hardware.

The mid-gen paradigm is an exception because of the shorter times between hardware releases meaning less chance the design would be significantly more advanced. Cross gen is a completely different matter, and making cross gen as a mandate means we're basically still in this gen with prettier visuals, or crappy old hardware ports which waste the developers resources.

Loco below is also spot on below. The SSD stuff will offer the potential to really open up game design in a lot of ways. Some of the demo stuff I've seen at my studio from our demo makers, and some 3rd party stuff I've seen to play around with the feature are damn impressive, and can be tied directly into game design.

I've even done some of my own less creative data analysis routines on it to see what kind of data I could push through using the new SSD routines, and it's exceptional beyond the point of even being able to express it. I was more surprised about what it could achieve on pure theory, because it was well beyond what I originally anticipated. Things like pushing huge data sets of graphics data almost instantaneously into memory, instead of using memory to hold those graphics for when the GPU uses it. Things like using disc based AI algorithms which store data for individual objects to be called on en mass in any given game loop, and used by the hardware to do the next step, instead of keeping thousands of pieces of that information in resident memory at all times just in case. I've calculated it's probably equivalent to having 10X the amount of system memory available, when used intelligently for things that aren't mission critical to the game loop each time. I'm so impressed by it, I keep trying to think of new tools to write for it, because I think it's going to be big for next gen.

But, you say, "you have to be able to use a standard hard drive access routine", and the game is going to be designed around that, because the game can't keep that much data in resident memory to use in the same way.

Much of the people that discuss this seem to focus on the graphics, but don't understand that there are hundreds of back end design paradigms which are affected by the hardware. What is referred to as the scope of the game. The scope is what the game sets out to achieve in every aspect of it's design. Game play. Graphics. World. AI, Content. And the list goes on. Any given major thing carried over from this gen will affect that for next gen design.

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YEP414257d ago

This article act like Microsoft didn’t make billions from this Xbox one cycle !

2pacalypsenow257d ago

How many billions did they make?

King_Noctis257d ago

You need a lesson in math bro?

briannah95257d ago

King_Noctis

No but some numbers from Microsoft might help.

And probably a reminder that revenue isn't the same as profit probably wouldn't hurt.

King_Noctis257d ago

“ No but some numbers from Microsoft might help. ”

They last reported that they sold around 30 millions unit. And think, what is the cost of each Xbox console? You think making billions isn’t profitable?

2pacalypsenow256d ago (Edited 256d ago )

@King_Noctis

Yes please give me a lesson in math and tell me how the Xbox division works.

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