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Global Hardware 1 June 2019

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PS4 down again, NS up and its weekly lead on it grows to a more significant amount. Not now in the dead period, but in Autumn PS4 will really need a price drop.



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Bofferbrauer2 said:
EricHiggin said:

Sure the hardware launching this year could have been as up to date as possible, but how expensive do you think that would be for MS and how much would they be willing to subsidize it? Would MS have paid to put Ryzen on 7nm, because if they didn't it would consume considerably more power at 14nm. Would they pay to have Navi put on 14nm? If the console performance was considered high at 14nm, that means a bigger PSU, bigger or more expensive cooling, larger console shell, etc. It wouldn't have been all that much different than the PS3 engineering and manufacturing cost as well as subsidy to try and get it to $500 by now. If they charged anymore than that, or lost the performance crown by a significant amount again due to lower input costs and lack of subsidy, it would have been Dreamcast for them.

7nm would be very much set this year. Last year would have been 14nm, and that's why I crossed that one out. I agree that doing it in 14nm would not be feasible.

I made a test built on Alternate with similar powerful hardware as is expected for Scarlett and got to a price of around 800€ - and that's consumer price. Microsoft could certainly shave off at least 100€ off of that, if not 200€. At 600€, they could sell it at $499 for the first year(s) until the prices drop for them. That was the modus operandi for gen 5-7, and the losses ain't too big to not recover them with the software sales.

Dreamcast needed about twice what it was selling for, and we're far away from that. Plus, Dreamcast got plugged because Sega was bleeding money everywhere, not just on the console. There's no chance that could happen with Microsoft anytime soon.

Why wouldn't the next gen XB console come out in 2019 then if it would end up more like the 360 era? Zen or Zen 2, Navi, PCIe 4.0, cheaper SSD's, etc, are all going to be on the consumer market in the next couple of months. Why would MS wait until holiday 2020 if they could have launched late 2019? Maybe the 7nm yields still aren't high enough yet and the costs of losses would be too much this soon? Maybe they are waiting for 7nm+ on euv and there is a logical reason why they are doing so? Maybe TSMC just doesn't have the capacity or is booked solid this year? Why would they use Zen and not Polaris or Vega, when Zen 2 and Navi are about to launch? Maybe because they would have had to pay a lot to get Zen on 7nm and Navi moved up so it was ready in time? Maybe they didn't want to pay that, or it happened as fast as possible anyway, but they also didn't want to try and have to use another semi custom Polaris or Vega? Maybe the costs are too high overall for everything right now and so they decided to wait a year? Maybe they feel the power and tech narrative is super important, and even if they couldn't best PS5, being as close as possible is important, considering what happened with XB1? Who's to say 2020 is the right time since that will only be 3 years since XB1X? How long is long enough, or too long between consoles? There's a tonne of reasons and more as to why launching in 2019 may not have made sense and would have been a bad idea, even with the unfortunate position XB1 would be in at this point without XB1X.

You're focusing too much on the costs, and assuming the best, when time line, performance, marketing, and brand image would be just as important if not more. While MS wouldn't suffer the same way Sega did due to their online infrastructure, in terms of hardware, it would likely end up a Dreamcast. There's even articles about Halo supposedly being proposed for PS4, and now Phil is talking Gears 5 potentially. Why do that if you're planning on selling enough of your own hardware?



The Canadian National Anthem According To Justin Trudeau

 

Oh planet Earth! The home of native lands, 
True social law, in all of us demand.
With cattle farts, we view sea rise,
Our North sinking slowly.
From far and snide, oh planet Earth, 
Our healthcare is yours free!
Science save our land, harnessing the breeze,
Oh planet Earth, smoke weed and ferment yeast.
Oh planet Earth, ell gee bee queue and tee.

EricHiggin said:
Bofferbrauer2 said:

7nm would be very much set this year. Last year would have been 14nm, and that's why I crossed that one out. I agree that doing it in 14nm would not be feasible.

I made a test built on Alternate with similar powerful hardware as is expected for Scarlett and got to a price of around 800€ - and that's consumer price. Microsoft could certainly shave off at least 100€ off of that, if not 200€. At 600€, they could sell it at $499 for the first year(s) until the prices drop for them. That was the modus operandi for gen 5-7, and the losses ain't too big to not recover them with the software sales.

Dreamcast needed about twice what it was selling for, and we're far away from that. Plus, Dreamcast got plugged because Sega was bleeding money everywhere, not just on the console. There's no chance that could happen with Microsoft anytime soon.

You're focusing too much on the costs, and assuming the best, when time line, performance, marketing, and brand image would be just as important if not more. While MS wouldn't suffer the same way Sega did due to their online infrastructure, in terms of hardware, it would likely end up a Dreamcast. There's even articles about Halo supposedly being proposed for PS4, and now Phil is talking Gears 5 potentially. Why do that if you're planning on selling enough of your own hardware?

I focused on the cost/performance, as every console manufacturer does. About the timeline and brand image, well, anything is better than what they have now, and they certainly would market the heck out of it.

Can you stop with that Dreamcast crap, please? That's simply not comparable. If you want to compare, then take a console who launched early, were comparatively weaker and didn't got pulled out after a year or so, like Megadrive/Genesis, Saturn, or Wii U. And as you can see with the inclusion of the Megadrive/Genesis, that's no guarantee to be a flop.

Yes, they are talking about bringing their games to PS4. But that was more or less the plan all along: Originally, the Xbox was created to promote PC gaming, and more specifically, DirectX (which is exclusively on Windows as opposed to OpenGL), hence the name of the console. Don't forget Microsoft is a software company, and only got into hardware with Xbox. What they wanted is to sell software through Xbox - but it turns out, that they don't necessarily need their console to sell the software.

In fact, since you kept talking about Dreamcast, I expect them to pull a Dreamcast in the way that Microsoft is going to stop their console division and simply becomes a software publisher again. However, unlike the Dreamcast, sales or financial losses will have nothing to do with that decision - just that it's not necessary anymore for their plans.



Bofferbrauer2 said:
EricHiggin said:

You're focusing too much on the costs, and assuming the best, when time line, performance, marketing, and brand image would be just as important if not more. While MS wouldn't suffer the same way Sega did due to their online infrastructure, in terms of hardware, it would likely end up a Dreamcast. There's even articles about Halo supposedly being proposed for PS4, and now Phil is talking Gears 5 potentially. Why do that if you're planning on selling enough of your own hardware?

I focused on the cost/performance, as every console manufacturer does. About the timeline and brand image, well, anything is better than what they have now, and they certainly would market the heck out of it.

Can you stop with that Dreamcast crap, please? That's simply not comparable. If you want to compare, then take a console who launched early, were comparatively weaker and didn't got pulled out after a year or so, like Megadrive/Genesis, Saturn, or Wii U. And as you can see with the inclusion of the Megadrive/Genesis, that's no guarantee to be a flop.

Yes, they are talking about bringing their games to PS4. But that was more or less the plan all along: Originally, the Xbox was created to promote PC gaming, and more specifically, DirectX (which is exclusively on Windows as opposed to OpenGL), hence the name of the console. Don't forget Microsoft is a software company, and only got into hardware with Xbox. What they wanted is to sell software through Xbox - but it turns out, that they don't necessarily need their console to sell the software.

In fact, since you kept talking about Dreamcast, I expect them to pull a Dreamcast in the way that Microsoft is going to stop their console division and simply becomes a software publisher again. However, unlike the Dreamcast, sales or financial losses will have nothing to do with that decision - just that it's not necessary anymore for their plans.

Would you prefer the PS2 instead? Are we going to assume it would have turned out more like that?

PS wanted to have cross play with the 360 and MS told them to get bent. I wonder why when PS was willing to hand XB exactly what they wanted, they rejected it, only to then pay for it with XB1, then implemented cross play, and had to seriously push to get PS to join, in the most minor partial way possible. Maybe just maybe, when MS was selling enough consoles, they were going to remain headed in that direction, until they got stomped by PS4. Then just by chance, they decided they would take another direction with much less solidified competition where they could more easily get their foot in the door. Now they want to put their first party games on the largest solidified console platform? Sounds a lot like someone doesn't think they can sell enough consoles to make it worth their while, like another ghost of console past.

So because MS saw the potential downside to selling consoles in the future, partially because of what has happened to other consoles in the past, they changed their direction, and that makes it completely different than Sega? I agree it won't be identical to how things ended for DC, but it would certainly have similarities. It's not like Sega could have done what XB is doing to change direction, and it's not like MS is looking to offer games on other platforms like Sega does.



The Canadian National Anthem According To Justin Trudeau

 

Oh planet Earth! The home of native lands, 
True social law, in all of us demand.
With cattle farts, we view sea rise,
Our North sinking slowly.
From far and snide, oh planet Earth, 
Our healthcare is yours free!
Science save our land, harnessing the breeze,
Oh planet Earth, smoke weed and ferment yeast.
Oh planet Earth, ell gee bee queue and tee.

EricHiggin said:
Bofferbrauer2 said:

I focused on the cost/performance, as every console manufacturer does. About the timeline and brand image, well, anything is better than what they have now, and they certainly would market the heck out of it.

Can you stop with that Dreamcast crap, please? That's simply not comparable. If you want to compare, then take a console who launched early, were comparatively weaker and didn't got pulled out after a year or so, like Megadrive/Genesis, Saturn, or Wii U. And as you can see with the inclusion of the Megadrive/Genesis, that's no guarantee to be a flop.

Yes, they are talking about bringing their games to PS4. But that was more or less the plan all along: Originally, the Xbox was created to promote PC gaming, and more specifically, DirectX (which is exclusively on Windows as opposed to OpenGL), hence the name of the console. Don't forget Microsoft is a software company, and only got into hardware with Xbox. What they wanted is to sell software through Xbox - but it turns out, that they don't necessarily need their console to sell the software.

In fact, since you kept talking about Dreamcast, I expect them to pull a Dreamcast in the way that Microsoft is going to stop their console division and simply becomes a software publisher again. However, unlike the Dreamcast, sales or financial losses will have nothing to do with that decision - just that it's not necessary anymore for their plans.

Would you prefer the PS2 instead? Are we going to assume it would have turned out more like that?

PS wanted to have cross play with the 360 and MS told them to get bent. I wonder why when PS was willing to hand XB exactly what they wanted, they rejected it, only to then pay for it with XB1, then implemented cross play, and had to seriously push to get PS to join, in the most minor partial way possible. Maybe just maybe, when MS was selling enough consoles, they were going to remain headed in that direction, until they got stomped by PS4. Then just by chance, they decided they would take another direction with much less solidified competition where they could more easily get their foot in the door. Now they want to put their first party games on the largest solidified console platform? Sounds a lot like someone doesn't think they can sell enough consoles to make it worth their while, like another ghost of console past.

So because MS saw the potential downside to selling consoles in the future, partially because of what has happened to other consoles in the past, they changed their direction, and that makes it completely different than Sega? I agree it won't be identical to how things ended for DC, but it would certainly have similarities. It's not like Sega could have done what XB is doing to change direction, and it's not like MS is looking to offer games on other platforms like Sega does.

WTF? I never said that! I said that their plan was to sell software from the get-go. They just found out, that they don't need their own console to do so effectively, and the original plan of pushing DirectX didn't work this gen at all, just look how many new AAA PC releases are not DirectX 12 titles even though it's mandated on their own console.

About your first paragraph: Again, it's just because they want to sell software. They are the opposite of Nintendo in that regard: Microsoft produces hardware to sell software, while Nintendo produces games to sell hardware.

Microsoft could have sold quite a bit better if they kept all their IP for themselves. Just imagine how well the XBO could have sold in Japan if they just kept Minecraft exclusive for them. Hellblade and Cuphead are on the Switch already for some time now, and Crash Bandicoot is coming to Smash. They are also opening up to other platforms on PC, not just on consoles. You no longer have to buy the games in Microsofts store, you can get them on Steam and GOG (not using Epic, so not sure about there), too.

In short, they want to make their games accessible to absolutely everyone and not just those with an Xbox live account (you need one to shop in their store on PC). Why? Because they are in the business to sell software, and being on all platforms guarantees, that more people could buy their games.



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RolStoppable said:
COKTOE said:

That's an interesting thought. Things couldn't realistically get much worse for Xbox, so you may be right.

The downside to that scenario is that the X-Box would have had to, especially if it dropped in 2019, ride out the rest of the gen with a wildly inferior platform to the PS4-Pro, and they were already fairing poorly in direct comparisons to the original PS4. It's possible sales, and the brand may have suffered even more in skipping the X.

A new generation provides the chance for a proper reset of more than the sales units alone. Sacrificing the tail end of a generation in order to build towards the next generation is a tradeoff where a console manufacturer takes some small additional damage to an already lost generation in exchange for a potentially big payoff in the following generation. A recent example of this is the Wii U to Switch transition where Wii U's 2016 had few first party releases and no high profile ones, but in turn Switch's 2017 was just about the strongest first year lineup a console has ever had and that laid the foundation for a runaway success story.

Now it's important to mention that Nintendo used the reset to overhaul their image, the first step being a different branding for the console itself, because that instantly tells the market that the new console is different than what came before it. The repeated error that Microsoft has made is that they stick with the Xbox name, so consumers' perception and expectations carry over from one generation to the next. The Xbox name is good in the USA and the UK, but it's detrimental mostly everywhere else. It's a situation where Microsoft is too afraid to give up a benefit in a couple of countries for the chance to do better globally. While Scarlett has yet to get its final name, it's likely that it will be another Xbox and that will shove them in the same corner of a dominant USA and UK share of their total sales again. Their total sales may very well increase if they execute without any big errors, but when it comes to the question if the console can sell 100m+ units, it's easy to conclude that that is very, very improbable without a more balanced distribution of global sales.

Since the Xbox One was a series of blunders leading up to its launch and beyond, the bar is set very low for Microsoft to do better with Scarlett. It will be first and foremost a question of how much better and a lot of that also depends on what Sony does with the PS5. It won't be until this time next year that the information is out, so there's not any more I have to say on this topic.

I don't think the "Xbox" name has been irreparably tainted, just the "Xbox One" name.

If they're idiots and call Scarlett the "Xbox One Omega" or some shit then it's fucked, but I could see it finding success if they drop the "One" and make it clear this is an all new system rather than a continuation of the unpopular Xbone line.



Bofferbrauer2 said:
EricHiggin said:

Would you prefer the PS2 instead? Are we going to assume it would have turned out more like that?

PS wanted to have cross play with the 360 and MS told them to get bent. I wonder why when PS was willing to hand XB exactly what they wanted, they rejected it, only to then pay for it with XB1, then implemented cross play, and had to seriously push to get PS to join, in the most minor partial way possible. Maybe just maybe, when MS was selling enough consoles, they were going to remain headed in that direction, until they got stomped by PS4. Then just by chance, they decided they would take another direction with much less solidified competition where they could more easily get their foot in the door. Now they want to put their first party games on the largest solidified console platform? Sounds a lot like someone doesn't think they can sell enough consoles to make it worth their while, like another ghost of console past.

So because MS saw the potential downside to selling consoles in the future, partially because of what has happened to other consoles in the past, they changed their direction, and that makes it completely different than Sega? I agree it won't be identical to how things ended for DC, but it would certainly have similarities. It's not like Sega could have done what XB is doing to change direction, and it's not like MS is looking to offer games on other platforms like Sega does.

WTF? I never said that! I said that their plan was to sell software from the get-go. They just found out, that they don't need their own console to do so effectively, and the original plan of pushing DirectX didn't work this gen at all, just look how many new AAA PC releases are not DirectX 12 titles even though it's mandated on their own console.

About your first paragraph: Again, it's just because they want to sell software. They are the opposite of Nintendo in that regard: Microsoft produces hardware to sell software, while Nintendo produces games to sell hardware.

Microsoft could have sold quite a bit better if they kept all their IP for themselves. Just imagine how well the XBO could have sold in Japan if they just kept Minecraft exclusive for them. Hellblade and Cuphead are on the Switch already for some time now, and Crash Bandicoot is coming to Smash. They are also opening up to other platforms on PC, not just on consoles. You no longer have to buy the games in Microsofts store, you can get them on Steam and GOG (not using Epic, so not sure about there), too.

In short, they want to make their games accessible to absolutely everyone and not just those with an Xbox live account (you need one to shop in their store on PC). Why? Because they are in the business to sell software, and being on all platforms guarantees, that more people could buy their games.

Nin, who makes high quality games that are sold at high prices, that remain at high prices, use that to sell expensive hardware? What? Nin may make some money on the hardware, but it's definitely the hardware that's selling the software. Just look at Wii U vs Switch as well as the ports.

MS, who always wanted to just sell games, only sold consoles until they had to, then will quit selling hardware? What? Just look at Steam. Why would MS keep pushing hardware like they did if they only wanted to sell games? Did they really need to, or maybe not? Does PS really want to sell consoles?

MS also would have sold much better if they didn't try and sell everyone a cable box and force them to accept Kinect along with it, all for $500, Not to mention the other hardware related issue's that couldn't be changed apparently, yet were with software since that was the case all along.

If you want to be on as many platforms as possible, then why compete directly against the biggest player in consoles when you didn't need to? Did they change their minds maybe when the initial plans weren't working as intended? Did Sega change their minds when their hardware wasn't selling well enough?



The Canadian National Anthem According To Justin Trudeau

 

Oh planet Earth! The home of native lands, 
True social law, in all of us demand.
With cattle farts, we view sea rise,
Our North sinking slowly.
From far and snide, oh planet Earth, 
Our healthcare is yours free!
Science save our land, harnessing the breeze,
Oh planet Earth, smoke weed and ferment yeast.
Oh planet Earth, ell gee bee queue and tee.

Portability seems a desirable asset.



curl-6 said:

I don't think the "Xbox" name has been irreparably tainted, just the "Xbox One" name.

If they're idiots and call Scarlett the "Xbox One Omega" or some shit then it's fucked, but I could see it finding success if they drop the "One" and make it clear this is an all new system rather than a continuation of the unpopular Xbone line.

If they call it Xbox anything, the console will be automatically associated with previous Xbox consoles. Usually it's associated with the most recent one and recent years because the memory is still fresh. In Japan the Xbox name has the reputation of redundancy. It's similar in mainland Europe where gamers prefer to stick to their PCs, so Microsoft's initiative to support Xbox and PC equally won't help matters. For those who want a console, PS is the prefered option because that style of games has established itself before the arrival of the original Xbox and the only way to break that up for Xbox is to be a significantly superior alternative to PS, hence why the 360 managed to do reasonably well in mainland Europe unlike other Xbox consoles.

If Microsoft calls their next console Xbox, they'll have to hope for Sony making mistakes with the PS5, otherwise their situation in mainland Europe won't improve due to the association and perception the Xbox brand has. "Same old Xbox" won't cut it.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

RolStoppable said:
curl-6 said:

I don't think the "Xbox" name has been irreparably tainted, just the "Xbox One" name.

If they're idiots and call Scarlett the "Xbox One Omega" or some shit then it's fucked, but I could see it finding success if they drop the "One" and make it clear this is an all new system rather than a continuation of the unpopular Xbone line.

If they call it Xbox anything, the console will be automatically associated with previous Xbox consoles. Usually it's associated with the most recent one and recent years because the memory is still fresh. In Japan the Xbox name has the reputation of redundancy. It's similar in mainland Europe where gamers prefer to stick to their PCs, so Microsoft's initiative to support Xbox and PC equally won't help matters. For those who want a console, PS is the prefered option because that style of games has established itself before the arrival of the original Xbox and the only way to break that up for Xbox is to be a significantly superior alternative to PS, hence why the 360 managed to do reasonably well in mainland Europe unlike other Xbox consoles.

If Microsoft calls their next console Xbox, they'll have to hope for Sony making mistakes with the PS5, otherwise their situation in mainland Europe won't improve due to the association and perception the Xbox brand has. "Same old Xbox" won't cut it.

That's why it shouldn't be the "same old Xbox", it should improve over past consoles by not having either Xbone's crippling early mistakes or 360's reliability issues. A next gen Xbox that doesn't suffer from any such serious problems and is well designed and marketed could beat PS in America and do better overseas than Xbone.

It probably won't outsell Playstation 5 globally, but it doesn't have to to still be a profitable and worthwhile venture.