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Old 21 September 2015, 01:39   #1
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eXeler0's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sweden
Age: 44
Posts: 1,442
If you would design a new game console...

I have a whole bunch of old consoles.. Sometimes the hardware is interesting, sometimes it has really interesting games, sometimes the story about how it came into existence is the thing....
...but the stuff that intrigues me the most is the reasons for its failure..

Most of us are familiar with the story of poor old Commodore and how sometimes small decisions at the top have catastrophic consequences..
Looking at the big picture, there is a whole lot to be learned from history..
A lot of consoles failed due to poor software, poor hardware, or were simply released at the wrong time or the wrong price...

So I was wondering.. With our collected wisdom about gamings consoles and computers over the past 30-40 years, how would we design a gaming console and why would we make these particular choices?

Obviously it matters if you have Micro$oft money behind your idea or if you are doing a kickstarter to collect the pennies...
But apart from strictly financial worries..
What market segment would you target? Pricing? Technology used? Would it be digital or physical media? Design - small, cute, big, high-tech, retro? What software would it be based on? Technological architecture? Bring back the bit-wars? ;-) Low Power? Super High performance? Jack of all trades or specialized?

My take:
  • Price: ~400 (even if hardware would initially cost more, not pulling a "3do" here..) ANd then trying to lower the cost as time goes by.
  • Market segment: Old skool and/or hardcore gamers , truly and fully 4k capable (not "barely being to able to display a pic @4k")
  • Architecture: 64-bit+ (stuff like the memory bus would obviously be much higher)
  • Architecture, details: CPU, 8-core low power, possibly dual (2x) upcoming nVidia (Pascal architechture) Tegra chip. (whatever it will be named... X2?). Provided they can work in "SLI" mode in a meaningful way.
  • Memory: At least 8GB 3D RAM (Shared)
  • Internal Design: CPU+3D Memory placed on daughter-card for future upgrades.
  • Game Media: Physical, probably "cartridge-like" where the contents of the cartridge can be updated with signed digital downloads, but game would load from the cartridge, not installed on an internal drive in the console. (I hate playing on PS3, every time I start a game that hasn't been played for a while, it starts downloading a zillion patches, and 30 minutes later you forgot why you turned on the console, compare that to old cartridge based systems with startup times close to zero). I like consoles where I can play a game 20 years later without the need of some servers being up to provide you the necessary content.. ;-)
  • Console could receive media completely through digital downloads as well (Market-place for Indy devs)
  • Small, fast and reliable (AND replacable) SSD drive for the main OS etc... Additional SATA 6Gbit (or better) connector for optional secondary SSD
  • OS: minimalistic, anti-bloatware Linux based, fully using the new Vulkan API for graphics. (Installing something like Ubuntu on the secondary drive would be possible I guess)
  • Cyanogenmod / Android compatible and can be configured for dual boot.
  • Design: Small-ish (Think PS Two)
  • Controller: System would accept several USB / Bluetooth controllers already out there. Optional Keyboard, Mouse and Arcade joysticks.

And how about you? What would you do?

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