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Microsoft fires the first shot in the "NEXT" generation.... - Page 128  

post #3811 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

What, dare I ask, is a soft launch?
Well only barrelbelly can tell you what he meant by that but here is a link to the soft launch Wikipedia article.
post #3812 of 7006
He loves that marketing jargon.
post #3813 of 7006
a soft launch is a small rollout, usually like 50K units. not really a launch of significance due to such small numbers but enough to say, hey, I was there first.

like when AMD did a softlaunch of a graphics card that virtually no stores had any copies.
post #3814 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlysublime View Post

a soft launch is a small rollout, usually like 50K units. not really a launch of significance due to such small numbers but enough to say, hey, I was there first.
like when AMD did a softlaunch of a graphics card that virtually no stores had any copies.

That would just be silly.
post #3815 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Paul View Post

Okay, so you now believe a 2013 release date is possible for the US. Just to be clear though does this mean that you don't believe that a wider 2013 launch is possible?

No I do not think a wider launch will happen in 2013...if anything happens at all with Durango during that year I beilieve it will be small and controlled (from media-hardware). I believe 2013 will be all about market control with XBox. Meaning...they will focus on inventory management on the XBox 360 in anticipation of the next console launch in 2014. And migrate/integrate anything from the XBox 360 they can into the WIndows 8, Surface and WP8 world. Almost like a test market roll out of something bigger to come. I do concede a possibility they could Push a controlled number of Durango units into selct markets in support of the broader Pull strategy. And to create buzz in late 2013. I'm sure they will endeavor to insure there is not any chance whatsoever that QC problems like RROD will happen again. Nor a bunch of rushed to market...buggy Durango games will launch in poor comparison to XBox 360 games. But, at the end of the day...I do not really believe they will do this at all. I suspect they will be debugging Durango for all of 2013 with a very tightly controlled group on internal and external end users with games that will launch in 2014. Then kick the door wide open in early 2014 with a full USA focused launch early in the year. Followed by a full global rollout in the fall. On a global scale that would look like a soft launch in the spring.

For BD2003 and anyone else who asked...A soft launch is a tightly controlled one. Where a brand group is testing for very specific technical or market factors before proceding to a full expense rollout. That methodology used to be the absolute norm for introducing new products and major improvements into consumer markets. Before the six sigma age of oversimplification of R&D mechanics relative to supply chain fundamentals, & crap luck guessing flowered. Steve Ballmer and I are both P&G alums from the exact same age and time. I cut my brand and marketing teeth on brand teams introducing products like ERA Liquid detergent, Solo Liquid detergent with fabric softener and Dawn Disnwashing liquid detergent. Ballmer was in sales in the Pacific Northwest. But we were both schooled in the P&G marine force discipline of test marketing mechanics. Meaning controlled test markets (technical & consumer)...followed by soft market expnasion (risk minimalisation & benefit optimization)...followed by a systematic rollout.

Onlysublime was correct in his basic description of a soft rollout. For example...when our Solo brand team launched in 1978...the consumer stage rollout progression was Boston, Syracuse NY and Omaha markets (soft launch) to nail the market test spending variables and confirm different chemical thresholds from different water/mineral/surfactant sources. That was followed by a systematic rollout throughout the Midwest (because of the phosphate bans on powders)...to a full national launch in 1980-81. Since that time I have worked as global Engineering VP and/or CMO for several Fortune 500 companies. And we all followed the exact same process as P&G. Our pre-market user/usage testing was equivalent to Devkit testing in the game sector. the difference seems to be the game segment can frequently just blow product out of the anus without doing sufficient market test processing. Followed by undisciplined rollout strategy to debug problems and exploit all opportunities. And that is where it often gets the horrendous mistakes like RROD.

@Yrd:
I do indeed love the language of marketing. It's aggressivley optimistic. Always focused on buying and selling. That's the end purpose of any product made. I can't tell you how many engineers I have gunned down over a long career...who bopped into my office with what they thought was the greatest new gadget invented. Only to be stymied by the killer questions. Who is the target user? And what is the target market? That's why I love to talk like that on this forum. Because often-times we get so insulated in our pov...that we lose sight that we are rarely "the target market".
Edited by barrelbelly - 10/8/12 at 4:37pm
post #3816 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

That would just be silly.

I agree. But onlysublime only used that as an example. Not a realistic launch model. A product rollout of any consequence, involves geographic scale. A soft rollout is just a euphemism for a limited geographic product launch to test multiple assumptions and factors further...Including competitive intent, reaction level, trade dynamics, time thresholds, real spending/cost integrity and a wide range of other variables. The narrower the test...the more one learns. The wider the test...the better the odds for good luck or catastrophic failure.
post #3817 of 7006
i think the question is... would a soft launch count as a win for bd2003? wink.gif
post #3818 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlysublime View Post

i think the question is... would a soft launch count as a win for bd2003? wink.gif

As long as I get one, sure. tongue.gif

But come on now...it's just a crazy idea. The only console that was soft launched in recent history was the Saturn, and that was an unmitigated disaster.
post #3819 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

As long as I get one, sure. tongue.gif
But come on now...it's just a crazy idea. The only console that was soft launched in recent history was the Saturn, and that was an unmitigated disaster.

BD2003:
I know you're "floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee on this one". But I lovingly have to go Smoking Joe Frazier on you. What's crazy about what every company, in every industry does to a greater or lesser degree? How many companies out there can afford a GLobal or even National launch all at once without losing their shorts. MS did that with the XBox 360 and almost had their heads handed to them! The gaming industry is not entirely different than any other one. Some games themselves are soft launched on phones and handheld...and then blasted out on console arcades or at retail. Different launch models will continue to be deployed in the gaming industry in more depth in the future, as technology continues to shift and morph. What's crazy IMO is for big companies to dump expensive, crap into the marketplace without much market research that accurately predicts demand...or is constructed with low regard for QC/QA. Even your darling...OUYA...is doing a smart, controlled soft launch. Are they crazy too? Or are they just maximizing yield on their limited resources?

Do you think MS is going to blast Durango out in Japan, China, Europe and the rest of Asia at the same time as they launch in the USA? I have an old tunnel up here in Boston to sell you if you believe that. By that Global standard a Durango launch in those markets would be considered "Soft". Launch strategies today can take on many forms. They can be soft into specific retail channels...Wide into all retail channels...soft geographic or wide geographic. Or any combination of routes up to fully National or global. It just depends what a company wants to test for before exposing their balance sheets to full blown risk. I made a lot of money over the years bringing a lot of new technologies and new products to market in that "crazy idea" way. MS does the exact same thing with their most important product...Windows. It typically soft launches when perfected into select business channels. Then it is expanded robustly before even reaching consumer channels. Why would they go dumb and do a franchise as vital as XBox differently. Why would they repeat the Xbox 360 mistakes...when they don't have too? Only a very...very small segment of the consumer marketplace is unsatisfied with consoles and gaming products out there right now. They are ready to move on past the XBox 360 and PS3. So MS just might tailor their early launch strategy to satisfy the early adopters like many on this thread...and build momentum for Durango. Especially when one considers that they are trying to persuade over 200 million people to be dissatisfied with what they have and switch over to Durango. If 38 Studios had followed the "crazy" P&G product launch protocol...maybe they would still be in business with a very successful franchise.
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlysublime View Post

i think the question is... would a soft launch count as a win for bd2003? wink.gif

Yes...if they do it in 2013. But I don't care about win/loss on a specific date. I'll be just as interested if they launched hard in the USA in 2013 as 2014. I just think one way is dumb & reckless...while the other way is practical and will be friendlier to their profitability and core business model. Especially considering the QA/QC problems they are allegedly having already with wafer yields. I'd rather they take as much time as they need to get it right...than just blast crap out to make a date. I for one don't believe the fundamental problem that pervades the videogame marketplace is an old console hardware problem (with the exception of Nintendo Wii). And I bet most consumers who are buying this stuff doesn't think so either. Most are in it for just pretty and interesting HD games on their HDTVs. But I do concede that it may be "the" problem for the most Avid gaming consumer. The bigger question is who that is? And what per cent of the 200 million plus console & one trillion PC install base they represent. Tell me that one And I'll give you the exact date you'll see the PS4 and XBox Durango.
post #3820 of 7006
Well, the difference between Xbox and windows is that a windows upgrade is useful in and of itself, but a new console is 100% dependent on games. Which means a reliance to some degree on third parties. And a soft launch isn't going to fly with them. Why make games for a console that only 50k people have? It's just bananas, a complete non-starter.

This of course relies entirely on what you mean by a soft launch. Do they need to do it worldwide? Probably not. Would it still be a huge deal come November if they launched in march with only one or two games? Probably. But a half assed launch of the new ecosystem during the holiday just seems kind of preposterous.
post #3821 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

Well, the difference between Xbox and windows is that a windows upgrade is useful in and of itself, but a new console is 100% dependent on games. Which means a reliance to some degree on third parties. And a soft launch isn't going to fly with them. Why make games for a console that only 50k people have? It's just bananas, a complete non-starter.
This of course relies entirely on what you mean by a soft launch. Do they need to do it worldwide? Probably not. Would it still be a huge deal come November if they launched in march with only one or two games? Probably. But a half assed launch of the new ecosystem during the holiday just seems kind of preposterous.

I agree 1000% with this comment BD! Hooray Beer! Even though Windows is also dependent on third party others too.
post #3822 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrelbelly View Post

Even though Windows is also dependent on third party others too.
100x more so with the upcoming Windows 8 insanity.

Also, I've been out of this thread for a while. What's this whole "soft launch" ridiculousness, and where in the world did this rumor start? Or did barrelbelly just make it up?
post #3823 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by confidenceman View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by barrelbelly View Post

Even though Windows is also dependent on third party others too.
100x more so with the upcoming Windows 8 insanity.

Also, I've been out of this thread for a while. What's this whole "soft launch" ridiculousness, and where in the world did this rumor start? Or did barrelbelly just make it up?

Yes. tongue.gif
post #3824 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by confidenceman View Post

100x more so with the upcoming Windows 8 insanity.
Also, I've been out of this thread for a while. What's this whole "soft launch" ridiculousness, and where in the world did this rumor start? Or did barrelbelly just make it up?

Nawww C-Man...I didn't just make it up. I just explained what seems to be happening a bit different to a few people's taste. You know me... I just like to stir it up sometimes.

And in that regard, I've been engaged in and reading some very spirited dialogue on a few other threads on the forum. And I have a new wrinkle to throw into this sometimes closed minded dialogue over here. I am personally intrigued with the Darbee Darblet. It is getting rave reviews at the highest of high end video circles on this forum and elsewhere! And if you 80/20 most of the comments in this thread...all the way back to its beginning...most people seem to be looking for what this device (Darbee Darblet) delivers seamlessly (the 80%). And they are calling that kind of improvement...NexGen. Stuff like more storage (Blu-Ray), DD v optical, more & better processing power, improved GPU, and true 1080p games seem to comprise the remaining 20%. So my question is...is it possible that all of the improvements we are looking for in Next generation graphics wrapped up in this device? Could Darbee make DX9 and DX10 level graphics look as good as DX11? DX11 like perhaps DX12 (whenever that happens)? I can't wait to get A Darbee and find out (Christmas present to self). In fact...I would definitely buy one of these before even considering a next generation console. Because it can potentially render eye popping level graphics under its "POP" setting with current consoles, HTPC and any content source. Maybe Next generation doesn't have to be as comprehensive as everyone thought with this Darbee gem hitting the market.
post #3825 of 7006
post #3826 of 7006
The control of the device in the pocket is neat, but I don't want to wear a device bigger than my phone on my wrist to do that. Hopefully someone could come up with a new scheme for control because that seemed like a lot more effort than just pulling out your player and using it's built in controls.

It's the beginning of something, but it's not there yet. At least for me. Motion controls, like kinect, is still something I have no use for.

I'd imagine something like this would combine well with google glass, but not in it's current state. I don't want to dance a jig just to bring up the volume level. Or to move forward in a game world.
post #3827 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrelbelly View Post

Nawww C-Man...I didn't just make it up. I just explained what seems to be happening a bit different to a few people's taste. You know me... I just like to stir it up sometimes.
And in that regard, I've been engaged in and reading some very spirited dialogue on a few other threads on the forum. And I have a new wrinkle to throw into this sometimes closed minded dialogue over here. I am personally intrigued with the Darbee Darblet. It is getting rave reviews at the highest of high end video circles on this forum and elsewhere! And if you 80/20 most of the comments in this thread...all the way back to its beginning...most people seem to be looking for what this device (Darbee Darblet) delivers seamlessly (the 80%). And they are calling that kind of improvement...NexGen. Stuff like more storage (Blu-Ray), DD v optical, more & better processing power, improved GPU, and true 1080p games seem to comprise the remaining 20%. So my question is...is it possible that all of the improvements we are looking for in Next generation graphics wrapped up in this device? Could Darbee make DX9 and DX10 level graphics look as good as DX11? DX11 like perhaps DX12 (whenever that happens)? I can't wait to get A Darbee and find out (Christmas present to self). In fact...I would definitely buy one of these before even considering a next generation console. Because it can potentially render eye popping level graphics under its "POP" setting with current consoles, HTPC and any content source. Maybe Next generation doesn't have to be as comprehensive as everyone thought with this Darbee gem hitting the market.

From what I've seen in the couple youtube videos that I looked at after you brought up this device. I'd say this device is to video what dolby headphone is to audio. Nothing that's going to change the world. If they build this into the next generation of TVs, that would be nice, but I'm not going out of my way to buy a $250 adapter, or $350. I watched a video of the darbee rep promoting the device at cedia, I think was the event, and he says "you can get it now for $249, soon to be $349." Like it's a bonus you get to pay more for it, because people are reviewing it well and apparently now there's a demand, so lets up the price to make it seem more premium. Hopefully that $349 model was something new and improved, but he did not elaborate on the price change at all.

I'd imagine this will be the new video processing people will be looking for in their dvd players of old. I haven't had a seperate DVD player since xbox 1. Now 360 and ps3. But the last device I remember buying had to have a faroujda processing chip.
post #3828 of 7006
@YRD;

Below is a much clearer path to understanding Darbee Tech. I copied a few quotes from the David Susilo review. For those who have bought & tried this device...I haven't read one single bad review. In fact it seems to even eliminate need for expensive processors like Lumagen. Apparently it significantly improves the signal of every HDMI device in one's signal chain. I can't wait to get mine during the holidays. I am extremely curious to see what my XBox 360, PS3 and HTPC look like on POP settings through it. Maybe NexGen consoles are last gen consoles...unless something really radical emerges like VR...if devices like this start to get OEM bundled into Better HD displays & devices. DX11 may be as far as they want to go for awhile...if this this device can significantly improve their native game renderings. I have never bought a video processor before. But I'm going to give this one a try. Because I like the cost and alleged universality of its effects.

http://www.quebecaudio.com/actualite/darbee-darblet-video-processor/

http://darbeevision.com/assets/documents/DarbeeVision%20Whitepaper%20with%20Tech%20Details%2020120415.pdf

"Accréditations de M. David Susilo, PhD: ISF, Control4, CEDIA,
THX Certified Professional et Membre HAA.


Watching anything through the Darblet is quite a revelation. It feels like a veil have been lifted. Blacks appear blacker but without any black-crush. Colours appear to be more solid and details are a lot more… Uhm… detailed. Suspicious that colour shift have been done by the Darblet I projected R/G/B blocks and check their colour temperatures. They are intact. Nothing changed. They are just, how should I put it mildly, much MUCH better.

Playing with multiple sources and multiple projectors, I find the set-and-forget setting in HD mode at 70%. For most animation movies I prefer using POP mode at 100%. The movies appear almost 3D. 3D movies appear even more-3D. Both 2D and 3D signals now have the appearance of a lot more depth yet still looking very natural without edge enhancement or ringing added at all. I just wish I can store two different values of Darbee processing such as 70% HD and 100% POP. As it is, I have to bring the Darbee value up and down when I want to use it for different purpose. Nothing major but I hope it can be addressed in future products.

When used with the entry-level Panasonic PT-AE7000U, it suddenly have the appearance almost identical to 4K upscaled image done by the Sony VPL-HW1000ES and better looking than JVC’s eShift image."
post #3829 of 7006
This is way too much excitement over a video processor.
post #3830 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

This is way too much excitement over a video processor.

And you and others are not excited about whatever GPU is in Durango...PS4 and WiiU? Tsk...tsk...Tsk.
post #3831 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrelbelly View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

This is way too much excitement over a video processor.

And you and others are not excited about whatever GPU is in Durango...PS4 and WiiU? Tsk...tsk...Tsk.

GPUs create graphics. Video processors just screw around with them. Sorry to be so dismissive but its about as relevant to the next gen as the sharpness and contrast control on your TV. Even if it was magic that made current gen games look like next gen, it'll probably add so much processing delay that it'd be unplayable.
post #3832 of 7006
I agree with BD. All it's doing is making the same picture more sharp. I've seen the demonstration videos, I understand what it can do. But I'm not jumping up and down for it.

It's probably a lot less desirable to me because it's not in my price range, drop a bill or two and I would perk up a bit.
post #3833 of 7006
The thing that you have to remember is that the Darbee Darblet can't take lower resolution textures and make them look like 4k textures. If you're thinking that a little box is going to make all your 360 games look like they're running on a high end PC gaming rig, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment. There are a lot of little things that DirectX 11 does that DirectX 9-10 will never be able to achieve, and all those little things add up.
post #3834 of 7006
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/digitalfoundry-the-os-factor

if this article is to believed, the next Xbox seems mighty ambitious...

excerpts:

Ask just about any games developer what they want they want most from a console and almost always the response will be "more memory" yet the trend in console hardware development is to dedicate ever-increasing amounts of RAM to the operating system. Why?

Perhaps the most high profile example of this recently is the Nintendo Wii U - 1GB of memory sounds positively luxurious compared to the sub-512MB available to developers of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games, but it's actually just 50 per cent of the total onboard memory of the machine - another 1GB set aside for the operating system. And it's not just Wii U either - though established figures aren't in the public domain, both 3DS and PlayStation Vita dedicate generous amounts of memory to the OS - RAM which could be gifted to developers.

So what's going on? Put simply, the platform holders have cottoned on to the fact that gamers want more from their devices and they want instant access to more features in a seamless manner during gameplay.

The Wii U's 1GB of reserved RAM is something a little different though, the extent of which we've yet to see fully demonstrated.

Microsoft and its next generation Xbox appears to offer up the most ambitious plans for a console operating system going forward. On the 360, the OS - with technical underpinnings going all the way back to Windows NT - occupies a mere 32MB of system space, but according to a well-placed source who has worked directly on major first party Microsoft console titles, the new Durango sees OS resources increase enormously.


Microsoft is so serious about its design for a multi-tasking console that it is trying to patent the concept. This diagram for its submission shows processors for both games and OS in the top left, and next to that, two GPUs. Hardware video encoding is also built-in.

Based on this information, the next-gen Xbox could feature 8GB of memory in total, with up to 2GB reserved for OS functions - a phenomenal figure when compared, say, to the 1GB total found in the iPhone 5. Microsoft's vision for the next-gen OS is ambitious in scope: both the leaked Xbox 720 discussion document and the firm's own 2010 patent applications suggest that the OS - or "platform" as it is described - have dedicated CPU and GPU components, separate and distinct from the resources available to developers, who only have direct access the "application" areas of the hardware.

The patent application itself is an in-depth filing on how Microsoft's engineers reconcile two internal architectures within a single box, balancing components in order to guarantee quality of service from both simultaneously. In short, the design strongly suggests that the next Xbox will run OS-level apps and games at the same time - an extreme implementation of multi-tasking, if you will.

But the OS's ballooning RAM allocation, including dedicated processing units for OS-level functions - these are elements of the Durango spec that are looking more and more like a lock for the final retail machine. It's an ambitious design, arguably somewhat over-engineered for a games console, and the question is to what extent these features will offer value to the audience - we can only speculate for now, and even our best guesses can't justify to us the sheer expensive of this approach. What is curious is that it's Microsoft that is making the running here: everything we have heard so far about Orbis, or PlayStation 4, is that its technical make-up has far more in common with what you would expect from a next-gen console design - essentially a PC boiled down into a smaller, console-sized box.

Could transmedia gameplay or some other feature embedded into Durango give it a unique selling point, in the way that motion control disrupted the current generation? If the rumours are true, Microsoft will certainly be hoping so, based simply on the huge investment it would have made in terms of both R&D and production of the final silicon.
post #3835 of 7006
If that structure indeed makes it into the final console, it is brilliant. One of my complaints with the 360 has always been that the dashboard is terribly slow, especially while gaming. With a structure like that, we could potentially have the ability to pause a game, open the dashboard and surf or watch videos and then return to the game all without saving it or exiting the game. Having a full fledged dashboard running simultaneously with games can provide functionality and integration that is not possible on a console today.
post #3836 of 7006
If this is the direction they are going with, it sounds like there might be some killer app waiting in the wings. Possibly related to the holodeck idea or something else that they have done a better job of keeping under wraps. I find this to be an exciting development.
post #3837 of 7006
http://www.storagenewsletter.com/news/optical/folio-photonics-multilayer-optical-disc

Too bad something like this didn't happen 2-3 years ago when it might have mattered. Especially since it uses existing DVD and Blu-Ray readers...and reportedly can be manufactured cheaply. Overkill for a game console though IMO.
post #3838 of 7006
No posts about the news? 360 profits are down and R&D is up, developer kits are in the wild, and security beef'd up
post #3839 of 7006
Link?
post #3840 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post

Link?

This is old news. MS has also reduced the price of the XBox 360 and expanded the $99.00 rental deal. That also suggests we are closer to a release of Next Generation. Late 2013? Early 2014? Flip a coin and pick'em.

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2012/10/18/xbox-360-sales-down-and-r-amp-d-costs-up.aspx

Below is a link to a much bigger story IMO. It's about what "Real" next generation is going to be about after PS4...Durango...and WiiU. Hate to say I told you so. But I told you so several times in this forum. VR is where serious future Gen gaming is going.I have also said several times that the military is already using technology like this.Have been for years. This technology has obviously been declassified and is ready for prime time everyday usage applications. Many people will be intimidated gaming like this. But I bet serious gamers will gravitate to the immersive worlds of VR gaming in droves...within 5-10 years. And casual gamers will follow on their handheld devices.

http://rockcenter.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/24/14648057-groundbreaking-experiment-in-virtual-reality-uses-video-game-to-treat-pain?lite#__utma=238145375.1635891641.1342440502.1351021774.1351080590.145&__utmb=238145375.3.10.1351080590&__utmc=238145375&__utmx=-&__utmz=238145375.1351015529.142.19.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=(not%20provided)&__utmv=238145375.|8=Earned%20By=msnbc%7Cworld%20news=1^12=Landing%20Content=Mixed=1^13=Landing%20Hostname=www.msnbc.msn.com=1^30=Visit%20Type%20to%20Content=Internal%20to%20Mixed=1&__utmk=31154812&ocid=msnhp
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