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back to article Microsoft to unveil new Xbox console on May 21

Microsoft has confirmed that it will unveil the next iteration of its Xbox gaming platform next month. The new console will be revealed at a special press event that will take place at Microsoft's Redmond campus on May 21. The event will also be streamed on Xbox Live and Xbox.com and simulcast on Spike TV in the US and Canada …

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Anonymous Coward

The secret to avoiding the "Always On" device, is not to buy one.

XBox? Meh.

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Devil

WarGames

"The only winning move is not to play." Except I plan to play and lose a lot, cursing at the game, throwing my controller at the TV, then doing it all over again the next day.

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Anonymous Coward

Anyone have any intel on the actual release date?

Have to replace my 360 and am hoping they will drop their prices after this announcement...

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Joke

Re: Anyone have any intel on the actual release date?

Intel? I thought that they were going with AMD for the new Xbox?

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Boffin

Easy to do

As a PS3 owner, I couldn't give a flying fudge about whatever MS puts out. While I'm disappointed at Sony's choice for PS4 hardware (really, x86? Talk about stepping backwards!) I refuse to give MS any more money than I have already given them for office productivity software.

Hopefully they do bring out an always on console, just to have it blow up in their faces.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Easy to do

Sony got beaten up big time when they tried to move gaming forward with the Cell, as it meant developers had to work for the their money, and Microsoft would be left even further in the dark ages of gaming.

So sad, as seeing the PS3 exclusives, it's quite clear to see that Sony got it 100% spot on with the PS3, but everyone allowed the media to put the big spanner in and slow the wheels of progress to allow Microsoft to keep up.

Even now you real bullcrap that claims the PS3 is hard to code for, spouted by fanboys that have never written a line of code in their life, and the only chips they ever come in contact with are the ones in the fryer at their place of work... Back in the real world, PS3 is much easier than the PS2 was, and the architecture can give some amazing results if you don't have to cater for the bad old way of PC style coding.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Easy to do

I remember talking to some PS3 devs at eurogamers business fair a few years back. I actually asked them how much harder the PS3 is to code for, the response I got was "not much"

Something along the lines of it being a bit of a learning curve at first, but once you ge tthe hang of it it's 'better' the problem was, for many developers, none of their tools worked for the ps3, and they didn't want to recode everything to make sue of the ps3 system, so instead they recoded enough of it to run, but not to run well.

There were also jokes about how coding for PS3 was like a dream compared to some of the old sega consoles, apparently the dreamcast was a real ass to develop for.

I think that's part of the reason sony moved to x86 though. They scared off a lot of devs with the PS3, and now they want to lure them back, and ge a running start with tools that don't need much tweaking to optimize.

I just hope that both sony and microsoft work with AMD to try to improve the additional instruction sets for better gaming performance.

If both are going AMD for graphics and cpu, then there's bound to be a lot of investment trying to advance the architecture for gaming.

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Pint

Re: Easy to do

Daniel B. "As a PS3 fanboy..."

Are you only allowed to choose *one* gaming ecosystem? Sorry, I didn't know that. Why?

Since the cost of dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens of $60-each games far and away swamps out the cost of the console hardware, I'm not sure why anyone would think that they can't have one of each gaming ecosystem. Having one or more of each sure makes browsing for games more relaxing...

Three PS3, two XBox, Wii, Wii U, two PS2, three PSP, two DS, two iPods, one iPad Mini, one Nexus 7, one PlayBook, etc., etc. etc.

I sure wish that TVs had 32 HDMI inputs.

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Happy

Re: Easy to do @JeffyPooh

Oh, we can choose more than one gaming ecosystem. I still have a 20+ Steam Library on my PC, and a couple of GameCube, PSP and DS games to keep on playing. Didn't buy into the Wii, but that was because we usually play the Wii at a friend's flat when that was all the rage.

The one ecosystem I do refuse to buy into is the MS one, as I believe that paying for online gaming is so 1990's. I still remember Duke3D being LAN, modem-to-modem or "TEN". Where "TEN" was a paid-for service with a "high speeeed dialup gaming network" which has to sound funny even to 90's internet users. MS doesn't even have the faux "gaming network" argument, they use the internet!

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Bronze badge

Re: Draconian XBox DRM

"Draconian DRM". Really? Where has it been said that new Xbox will have such DRM?

As for forced subscription, hardly. You are quite free to never connect your Xbox to XBL.

For updates and patches you can use the no cost version of XBL. And nothing stops you from connecting only for that purpose and then keep playing your games with offline profile.

Now, I do agree that it is bit silly that to use any paid for entertainment services you need to pay for XBL Gold as well.

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MJI
Silver badge

Re: Easy to do

Your list is missing a powerful handheld with a few really good games. The Vita, I see you have the PSP.

OK I am playing PSP games on mine, but Unit13 is fun, as is UC GA.

We have a few here

Megadrive, SNES, Dreamcast, PS2, Wiiiiiiiii, PS3, Gameboy, DS x 2, PSP, Vita x 3.

Interesting that no-one is bothered about the Wiii-U

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Anonymous Coward

Progress is good

It is nice that the new consoles will finally match current mid range gaming PCs. Perhaps that will indirectly increase the quality of ports from the consoles to the PC.

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Re: Progress is good

Unless they port TIFKAM to the Xbox

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Devil

TIFKAM

Guess what they're doing. Yes, the rumors are that MS will also curse ...er.... "bestow" the new Xbox with TIFKAM.

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Re: Progress is good

Although TIFKAM combined with Kinect might just make sense.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Progress is good

It's idiotic to compare PC and console specs. Having a standard hardware platform means you don't have to cater for hardware variations and you can thus always get so much more out of a console than you will a PC given the same specs. In real terms it's a factor of 2x. Double the console's paper specs to get the equivalent PC gaming spec.

I'm VERY amped about the PS4, it's looking to exceed even current high end PC gaming, and with an affordable price tag. The prospect of Gaiki allowing me to play PC, PS1, PS2 and PS3 games on it, along with any other platform licences decide they want to support, is appealing, as Gaiki unchains the console from the architecture the game was written for.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Progress is good

I wouldn't go so far as to say double, but it is greatly improved.

When you consider all the variations, the external factors, the interactiosn between drivers that have to do things differently for every connection.

A PC you have the kernel, the interface, drivers, interoperability drivers, backend, front end, sometimes hundereds of processes fighting for resources.

Compare that to a console, you have the same hardware, but the interactions are far simpler. The hardware only has one hardware spec to communicate with, car analogy if you will.

A PC can be any kind of car, a family car, a mini cooper, a ferrari. All of these are the same basic architecture, many share similar traits, and similar parts. A modern PC is more like a kit car though, lots of generic parts you can swap about, by the end you can have something like a ferrari, but the parts don't work in complete synergy.

A games console is an F1 car. It has less power than the ferrari, fewer bells and whistles, but all the parts have been put together specifically for that purpose. There are some generic parts yes, but they've been customized so they're no longer generic.

You could hve a ferrari with a twin V8, fuel injection etc and yes it's fast ,and it has all the best parts. But put it on a track with the F1 car with a V10 and all the components have been tweaked to get the maximum synergy and transfer of power, it'll ge tsmoked.

Or another way of putting it in car terms, power to weight ratio.

A full on gaming PC is a car with 600bhp that weighs 2 tonnes. that's 300bhp per ton.

A games console only have 400bhp, but it only weighs 1 ton ,or 400bhp per ton

Are the the car analogies helpful?

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Re: Progress is good

I take your point but you really ought to read up on F1. V10 engines haven't been used for quite a while and.... well read up on it and you'll see.

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Bronze badge

Re: Progress is good

The xbox 360 dashboard has had (more than) a passing resemblance to TIFKAM for some time now. Tiles (some live), pages etc..

I'd be more concerned if they tried to port the windows desktop

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Progress is good

@Matt fair enough, I don't really follow F1 that much, it just seemed like the most apt comparison, although saying that a turbocharged V6 (next gen engine / next gen console) probably proves the same point, but even better.

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Trollface

Always on? Not interested. #dealwithit

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Hashtags? #fuckbackofftotwitter

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@Alpha Tony

The sound you heard over your head is "whoosh"

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Re: @Alpha Tony

A loud and sustained 'Whoooosh' is the noise I associate with my first-gen XBOX-360, so it doesn't do much more than gather dust these days.

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PS4

Here's hoping the new XBox reveal is a bit more revealing than the recent boring, hardware-missing PS4 omnishambles.

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Re: PS4

The hardware was given, along with the controller and some developer's efforts... The only thing missing was the PS4's case. No biggie, and hardly an omnishambes- which means 'multiple cock-ups' btw.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: PS4

Given Microsoft's history on rushing any old shit out the door and worrying about the consequences (or as it turns out - double dip revenue where idiotic gamers rewarded them for RROD), I'm glad Sony do things at their own pace.

The PS4 "launch" was never a launch. The press dubbed it that, but that was never Sony's label for it. Sony need to do what any company worth it's salt does. Release things when they are ready, spend money on R&D rather than marketing, and concentrate on what THEY are doing, and not what everyone else is upto...

Let Microsoft make all those mistakes...

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Coffee/keyboard

What games do people want to play?

Sadly I am too tired these days to play driving games/shooting games, although I look forward to seeing how they look with a bazillion polygons, etc.

For me, I'm looking forward to CivVI*, a game you can play without moving, or being awake even!

*which I'll probably play on my next laptop!

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IT Angle

Always on - obviously, this isn't 1998

@AC

Always on, like your TiVo box? Like your NAS box? Your Nexus 4? iPad? DVD Player? Kindle? Even your Xbox 360 (how the hell do you think it turns on via the controller?)

My Xbox 360 is always online never mind always on (I presume you know the difference) - giving this developers this guarnetee will creative new possibilities for gameplay, who doesn't have an always on connection these days? Really? I mean, really? Not the type of people you'd expect to be buying a brand new games console.

Still, luddites can choose to go and live in a Faraday cage if they wish,

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Silver badge

Re: Always on - obviously, this isn't 1998

How about people who can't get a persistent net connection, dipshit? And my Nexus 4 isn't always-on either. There's a big big big big big button that turns off the mobile data, and get this - when I press it, the phone continues to function as a phone! I can even still play games on it! Weird, that.

How about you outline the benefits to me of an always-monitored* console?

*This is the correct moniker, not "always on". Always monitored, all the time. If we can't keep tabs on you, you're a criminal, get out.

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Re: Always on - obviously, this isn't 1998

I was at a house the other day, where the connection is "stable" at 160/448. That's right the upstream is faster then the down.

If they had a console that was "always on", it'd also probably be always jamming up their connection too!

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Stop

Re: Always on - obviously, this isn't 1998

During the recent bad weather my internet connection along with the phone service was out of commission for almost six weeks. I would have been pretty pissed off if this had also taken away my ability to play the games I had paid for.

Not to mention the fact that my broadband speeds are so pathetic that we can barely get a PC to stream, having a console constantly slurping bandwidth would not be appreciated by the other half when she wants to watch her programs. I know I'm not alone in this situation.

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Mushroom

Re: Always on - obviously, this isn't 1998

Perhaps you miss a little subtlety about the term "always on". There is "always on" that means in an extremely low power mode and effectively off and there is the "always on" referring to an internet connection, a.k.a. 'always online' in order to function. Here is the distinction that makes a world of difference, nobody really gives a toss about the former but the latter is a royal rectal itch for several reasons not the least of which is that the internet isn't half as reliable as the marketing droids who work for multi-billion dollar companies providing unlimited fiber speed access to them.

Case in point, my refrigerator is always on but if I had to rely on Verizon's high latency, jitter laden, stop motion internet connection to keep it running then I'd be better off with a large Styrofoam box that I put ice in every day.

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Stop

Re: Always on - obviously, this isn't 1998

Not "Always on, like your TiVo box? Like your NAS box? Your Nexus 4? iPad? DVD Player? Kindle? Even your Xbox 360 (how the hell do you think it turns on via the controller?)" BUT Always connected to the Internet to perform DRM and probably activity monitoring and other such things of concern to privacy advocates.

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Re: Always on - obviously, this isn't 1998

"And my Nexus 4 isn't always-on either."

I can listen to music, play games or watch video, even reply to emails while riding the subway.

It even has a thing called Aeroplane Mode!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Always on - obviously, this isn't 1998

Got that T-shirt! I have a current-gen gaming laptop but the online gaming experience is hit and miss. Frequently in FPS enemies appear to just float across maps appearing and disappearing rapidly. I'm presuming its because they're on something like a high-quality 50-100 meg connection. Whereas I'm on less than a 10th of than and quality is questionable....

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Re: Always on - obviously, this isn't 1998

>giving this developers this guarnetee will creative new possibilities for gameplay,

Wha?

If I want to shoot some American teenagers in the head, then yeah, I take it for granted my console needs to be connected to the internet. But there is zero need for it if I just want a quick race or fight against a mate in the same room.

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Silver badge

Re: Always on - obviously, this isn't 1998

They still haven't defined what 'always on' means. It could be anything from you always need to be connected to the web like steam. Or the more likely whenever you're connected updates will e automagically downloaded in the background like the majority of devices these days.

Y'know like how the Wii U would download system udates while on standby so you didn't spend an hour downloading and installing them, or how some games these days allow you to play while a patch is being downloaded (and in some cases even installed)

I'm not convinced always on means what a lot of people think it does.

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Meh

Re: Always on - obviously, this isn't 1998

Perhaps the sort of people who don't have an always on connection are perhaps the kind of people who don't sit around all day fapping to COD and WoW and would much prefer a single player gaming experience, rather than relying on the occassionally enjoyable gaming experience that comes with player online multiplayer, usually ruined by the drones of upleasant, opinionated and uneducated people such as yourself.....

I for one much prefer a game with a story, unhindered by the input of internet trolls and lag. But what do I know my generation didn't invent gaming it was yours, wasn't it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Always on - obviously, this isn't 1998

Steam has an offline mode that works. You don't need to be connected to the internet (except for multiplayer games, of course).

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Stop

Love it...

Love the way everyone is quoting worst case internet rumours as complete fact.

Always on can mean many things. My current Xbox is effectively always on, my phone is, my steam connection is.

Do people honestly believe anyone would enforce ALL functions to have perma connection DRM enforced? They ain't that stupid.

Can you blame them for looking at ways to cut down on used game sales? Sony would do it if they could. They still might. They just haven't announced it.

Any neither have MS...

Let#'s let them actually screw us first, before we start complaining, eh?

But hey, let's not let a good MS inspired rant stop anyone whining eh?

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Re: Love it...

If I could have a version that was steam like prices that couldn't use disks I might go for it.

I think they should go back to cartridges flash is cheap enough now. Still much better than stuff with loading times always has been.

What I won't go for is paying loads more money for the same games that are less good than on a PC.

Be interesting to see what happens with games and the Nvidia way it is meant to be played thing whether it is still added to crappy ports that were originally designed for AMD based consoles.

(I would never buy another Sony product / buy most Nintendo stuff (Only place to get it and it has decent gameplay and is not all cutscenes) / Would get an Xbox if there was a compelling reason to. (I got the first one to run XBMC on when there was few other options in that department).

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Re: Love it...

Can you blame them for looking at ways to cut down on used game sales?

Um.....yes?

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Re: Love it...

"Love the way everyone is quoting worst case internet rumours as complete fact."

Well hopefully MS, Sony et al are listening - would not surprise me if always online was their original plan, which was then hastily shelved after the backlash.

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Re: Love it...

"Can you blame them for looking at ways to cut down on used game sales?"

Absofu**inglutely. Its nothing but pure greed - what's next no second hand blu rays?

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Re: Love it...

Always on by your definition of what they could mean is no different to the capability that all consoles have had for a long time now, even my Wii does that.

Clearly they mean a feature not present consoles don't have, otherwise it is hardly revolutionary is it?

If they proceed with a SimCity style always on connection, it will definitely be a turning point in consoles. It will be the end of the Xbox era.

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Re: Love it...

My god, here, have a knee... now jerk it rapidly...

Think about it for a second. Exactly WHO do used game sales benefit? Developer? Publisher? Hardware maker? Game buyer?

Oh yes, they game buyer.

Now I'm not suggesting that used game sales are stopped, it's saved me a few quid over the years, but I'm not blind to the fact that used game sales hurt the devs that MAKE THE BLOODY GAMES.

How many times 'should' a used game get sold?

As I say, I'm not saying they should stop all used sales, but I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest that any manufacturer, MS, Sony, whoever, would look to cut down on used resales.

And the downvoters... hows Steam working out for you on the resale front? Oh.......

I only see people singing the praises of Steam on here and in general. It's a good system, bar it's inability to resell when you are finished with something.

But in case you missed it, it's a form of always on DRM...

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Re: Love it...

I kind've agree on the used game front. It wasn't so bad all those years ago where you bought the game brand new for £30, sold it for £10 and then saw it on the shelf for £15.

But now when you're buying the game for £50, selling it for £3 and then seeing it on the shelf for £48 it's just a little bit silly.

I think that's why so many devs now are going with activation codes and day 1 DLC. Oh you want to buy our game? Sure it costs £50 and comes with £10 worth of DLC which is pretty much centric to the gameplay. Oh you want to buy it second hand? Fine, but it doesn't have the DLC unless you pay for it.

As annoying as this seems to me, it also seems pretty fair, to a degree. I just wish that game stores would honour this crap. Rather than selling it without the DLC bu still at the £48 pricetag. Hell one store I went into they'd deliberately put the pre-owned label and others over all the bits that mention the DLC, that just seems like bullshit.

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