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Xbox Series X (SEGA and Microsoft to Explore Strategic Alliance........)

Gemini

Versatile
BGOL Investor
Inside the target specs of the next Xbox 'Project Scarlett,' 'Anaconda', and 'Lockhart'
Microsoft is gearing up to reveal Xbox "Scarlett" in full in the near future, and we've finally got some credible information on the target specs.​


Microsoft is gearing up to reveal a two-pronged attack for next-gen consoles, complete with a more affordable SKU, dubbed "Lockhart," and a more beastly premium SKU, codenamed "Anaconda." We have no idea what the next-gen consoles will look like, or be officially named when the time comes, but we do now have a credible idea of what specs these systems are targeting.

We believe the information we've received below from multiple sources, but as always, take these rumors with a pinch of salt until we get official confirmation from Microsoft itself. Plans can and do change as we move towards production. Xbox Scarlett is due to launch in 2020, in time for the holiday season.

In the 2019 reveal video, Xbox cloud architect Kareem Choudhry said Scarlett could "eat monsters for breakfast," and indeed, Anaconda looks as though it will be able to. According to several sources familiar with Microsoft's plans, Anaconda is targeting around 12 teraflops (TF) of computing power, compared to the Xbox One X's 6TF, and the Xbox One S's 1.4. Lockhart conversely will sport around 4TF, and according to marketing materials we've seen previously, it is being positioned as the most-affordable entry point to next-gen experiences.

It's important to note, however, that TF doesn't really tell the entire story of next-gen systems, owing to piles of custom tech Microsoft is planning to bake into these consoles. For example, Microsoft already spoke about how ray-tracing will be a factor in next-gen systems, and while Lockhart has less raw power than the X, it will have capabilities that elevate it further than the X in various ways.


Both Lockhart and Anaconda reportedly sport eight CPU cores targetting around 3.5GHz, with Anaconda reaching a bit higher per core than Lockhart. The relatively modest increase in clock speed over the previous-gen systems may seem mild, but vast improvements to caching, new silicon architecture, and other general bespoke, proprietary optimizations will see Anaconda perform anywhere up to four to five times better than the Xbox One X, if targets are met. We're told that at least Anaconda will guarantee 13GB of RAM for games, with 3GB on the OS a total of 16GB. The X, by comparison, offered a "maximum" of 9GB for games, which often varied based on what the OS was doing. Microsoft also said in its reveal video that the SSD could be used to throw in virtual RAM as necessary. Speaking of which ...


One huge focus area for Lockhart and Anaconda is on NVMe SSD proprietary tech, which dramatically decreases load speeds, nigh-on eliminating loading completely. Games with load times anywhere up to a minute will be reduced to mere seconds as a result of these SSDs, and the inclusion of Project XCloud across all Xbox systems will allow you to start gaming via streaming while waiting for games to download locally. Next-gen is all about saving you time, increasing read speeds by gigabytes per second, while also providing cutting-edge visuals that will elevate games to all new heights.

We've been told that while many games will function across generations, next-gen features such as ray tracing for dynamic reflections and the like will most probably be exclusive to Lockhart and Anaconda, requiring new APIs that come as part of Game Core OS (which is also part of the Windows Core OS effort we've been covering). That said, Scarlett will be able to run all previous-gen games that are available on Xbox One today, including backward compatible games as Microsoft has already announced.


Similarly to the Xbox One X, games with unlocked frame rates and dynamic resolution will perform better on Scarlett, once again, being able to take advantage of the improved hardware. For example, Monster Hunter World struggles to maintain 60 FPS on the Xbox One X even in its performance mode. Even without an update, it should manage to hit its target FPS without an issue on Scarlett. Games will also be able to take advantage of the increased SSD loading speeds on the newer consoles as well, without needing an update.

As noted, always take rumors with a pinch of salt, but we're confident in our sourcing on this. It's difficult to do direct comparisons between Project Scarlett consoles and off-the-shelf PC parts, due to the unknown quantities in Microsoft's proprietary optimizations. The proof, as always, will be in the pudding.


Plans can change between now and launch (looking at you, Surface Mini), but it's looking almost certain that Project Scarlett is, in fact, two console SKUs across Lockhart and Anaconda, with Anaconda representing the higher end, and Lockhart representing a more affordable entry point to next-gen features.

Either way, across Scarlett, bigger investment in games, and Project XCloud, 2020 is looking incredibly exciting indeed.
 

conspiracy_brotha

Woke as fuck
BGOL Investor
I must admit from the little information available on the next gen consoles. I am a bit underwhelmed, hopefully as more details emerge in the future it will change my mind. Microsoft will continue to lose the console wars if it doesn't aggressively go out and acquire first party developers. Sony be killing the with the exclusives
 

Gemini

Versatile
BGOL Investor
Exclusives are going multi platform. Microsoft could buy CD Projekt red tomorrow and still release Cyber punk on multiple platforms. (the outer worlds, Minecraft)

Exclusives aint so exclusive anymore. Sony will have do the same thing Microsoft is doing......














Expect more games to go multi plat.
 

Gemini

Versatile
BGOL Investor
Madden haters should be harassing the NFL on twitter none stop after this news.


Sony’s MLB The Show baseball series is going multiplatform


Sony Interactive Entertainment and Major League Baseball are extending their long-term deal to continue developing MLB The Show, the league’s officially licensed simulation video game. But there’s a very important twist to their deal now: MLB The Show will no longer be PlayStation-exclusive. The series is coming to other, as-yet-unconfirmed console platforms.

In a news release, Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and developer SIE San Diego Studio announced an unspecified multiyear extension of their long-standing partnership. They also confirmed that MLB The Show will appear on consoles “beyond PlayStation platforms as early as 2021.”

While the league, its players’ association, and Sony didn’t specify which non-PlayStation platforms would soon be home to MLB The Show, both the official Xbox and Nintendo of America Twitter accounts tweeted about the deal, hinting that future MLB The Show video games would come to those companies’ platforms. It is unclear whether SIE San Diego would itself develop non-PlayStation versions of the games.





SIE’s San Diego Studio has been developing officially licensed MLB video games exclusively on PlayStation platforms for more than 20 years, starting with MLB ’98 on the original PlayStation. The MLB The Show brand has been active since 2006, with MLB 06: The Show for PlayStation 2 and PSP.

MLB The Show has been the only traditional simulation baseball series in existence for many years, leaving owners of non-PlayStation consoles without any options. Its main competition, 2K Sports’ MLB 2K franchise, ended in 2014 following the previous year’s release of Major League Baseball 2K13 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The last entry in the franchise on a Nintendo platform was Major League Baseball 2K12, on Nintendo DS.

Instead, MLB Advanced Media has been publishing its own multiplatform baseball video game since 2014, when it revived the R.B.I. Baseball series with R.B.I. Baseball 14. While the R.B.I. games are available on Nintendo Switch and Xbox One as well as PlayStation 4, they are not considered (or intended to be) a true simulation baseball competitor to Sony’s MLB The Show titles.

Next year’s entry, MLB The Show 20, potentially the final PlayStation-exclusive entry, is scheduled to be released March 17, 2020, on PS4 and will feature Chicago Cubs star Javier Báez as its cover athlete.
 

Gemini

Versatile
BGOL Investor
In an interview, Shawn Layden, chairman of Sony's game studios worldwide, said exclusive titles will still be a part of the company's strategy, but that some games — particularly multiplayer titles designed to be played on personal computers — may see broader distribution. 'We must support the PlayStation platform — that is non-negotiable,' Layden said. 'That said, you will see in the future some titles coming out of my collection of studios which may need to lean into a wider installed base.'

 

phanatic

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
I must admit from the little information available on the next gen consoles. I am a bit underwhelmed, hopefully as more details emerge in the future it will change my mind. Microsoft will continue to lose the console wars if it doesn't aggressively go out and acquire first party developers. Sony be killing the with the exclusives
For real dude. They keep talking about all this power, but they don't have any first party titles that take advantage of it. All the texture-less shit they release and plan to release can't touch Playstation's current lineup. Nothing on Xbox looks better than Death Stranding, but they keep talking about teraflops!!
 

Gemini

Versatile
BGOL Investor
Here is another Sony "exclusive"


Yakuza games are coming to Xbox Game Pass in 2020


Today at X019, Microsoft announced a number of Xbox Game Pass additions like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, a number of Final Fantasy games, and much more. While it's always great to see the Final Fantasy series being a part of Xbox Game Pass, the real stars of the show are the Yakuza games.

This has always been regarded as a staple PlayStation 4 franchise, so when news broke that some of the games were coming to PC, Xbox One owners were hopeful that the titles would make the jump to their platform of choice. Luckily, that day is almost upon us.



You can read about the three Yakuza games below.
Yakuza 0
Fight like hell through Tokyo and Osaka as junior yakuza Kiryu and Majima. Take a front-row seat to 1980's life in Japan in an experience unlike anything else in video gaming. There's ton of action as well as karaoke.
Yakuza Kiwami
Become Kazuma Kiryu, an up-and-coming yakuza who takes the fall for the murder of a crime boss, only to emerge from prison ten years later to a changed world.
Yakuza Kiwami 2
Kazuma Kiryu, the Dragon of Dojima, must face the ambitious Ryuji Goda, the Dragon of Kansai, in an all-out war between two rival yakuza clans. There can only be one dragon.
According to Microsoft, Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami, and Yakuza Kiwami 2 are coming to Xbox One and PC as part of Xbox Game Pass some time in 2020. We don't know much beyond that. Hopefully, Sega will announce a concrete release date soon. We'll keep you posted, but the wait might be a long one, possibly even when Project Scarlett launches.


 

M.H.C.

5280
BGOL Investor
Good. Got the X but I'm trying to figure out if I'm going to cross back over to the Dark Side(PS5) but it might not matter
 

Gemini

Versatile
BGOL Investor

There are PlayStation fans, and then there are PlayStation fans. If you’re reading this, you probably fall somewhere in the middle; we’re guessing your interest in games expands beyond the next Call of Duty release date, but hopefully you’re not one of these social media nutters who attacks developers for including a shoddy tarmac texture in their latest AAA title.

The thing is, there’s a corner of Sony’s community that’s irate right now, and it’s been feeling this way for some time. Microsoft’s community engagement has been absurdly strong for several years, and while the Team in Green is still very much playing catch-up in almost every department, we reckon it’s left PlayStation aficionados feeling neglected.

The issue is a delicate one: the Japanese giant hasn’t been particularly forthcoming this year, even if it’s shared an unprecedented amount of information on the PlayStation 5 and hosted a string of State of Play broadcasts. For many, the latter hasn’t really filled the void left by press conferences at E3 and PSX – even today’s showcase, which included every rumoured reveal, has received a negative reaction.



We also get the sense there’s some insecurity in the community, too. Exclusive franchises such as Yakuza are starting to appear everywhere, but even Sony funded titles such as Death Stranding and Detroit: Become Human are being ported to the PC. And that’s not to mention last night’s MLB The Show news, which will see the manufacturer publishing on competing consoles for the first time.

There’s context that needs to be explored here, of course: Major League Baseball may have stripped Sony of the license if it didn’t agree to publish its baseball simulation elsewhere, and it stands to earn an obscene amount of money through Diamond Dynasty microtransactions. Similarly, auteur Hideo Kojima may never have agreed to create Death Stranding without the promise of a PC port.

But there are people who, perhaps unsurprisingly, believe that PlayStation is losing its identity – an identity which, let’s be honest, has been built on the strength of its exclusive games. But this is something that was foreshadowed by ex-Worldwide Studios boss Shawn Layden back in August, when he said that the organisation may need to lean into a “wider install base”.



It’s worth remembering what else he said, though: “We must support the PlayStation platform – that is non-negotiable.” In other words: Sony’s commitment to high-quality exclusive content has not subsided – it’s just expanding its horizons a little bit. The industry is changing, and games are riskier than ever to make – it doesn’t take a genius to understand why Predator: Hunting Grounds, for example, is coming to PC.

How will all of this affect the upcoming PS5? We’re ultimately going to have to wait and see. Microsoft publishes all its software on the PC, but there’s plenty of intrigue surrounding its own Project Scarlett. And it’s unlikely you’ll be able to play God of War 2 and Horizon: Zero Dawn 2 on any platform other than a PlayStation, but subscription services such as PlayStation Now could change that in time.

The thing is, as fans we need to embrace the changes, and see where they take us. Sony’s done things differently this year: some of it has worked and some of it hasn’t. Feedback is important, but some fans are coming across borderline insecure at the moment. Perhaps it’s time to take a break and see what the future holds – after all, there’s an all-new decade to look forward to right around the corner.
 

"THE MAN"

Resident Cool Nerd
BGOL Investor
The issue is the fanboys. Anyone with common sense knew that they promoted a lot of multi plat games at E3. They have the big ones like God of War and all that sure. They stick out like a sore thumb vs Halo/Gears. But the one year they "crushed" Microsoft they showed Street Fighter 5, No Man's Sky, FF7 Remake and Shenmue 3. Which all at the time said first on Playstation. They just choose to ignore it. Timed exclusive = first on *insert system* Assholes seriously make fun of Microsoft putting games on PC like they never heard of Windows. I don't even hate Sony. I hate the Sony Defense Force. I stick with the X mostly but I have them all. I need to play Uncharted one second then Gears the next. I refuse not to.
 

praetor

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
It'll be interesting to see what they price the Anaconda system at. They can't price it too high or it'll overlap too much with gaming PCs.
 

Gemini

Versatile
BGOL Investor
Microsoft's end game is to get Game pass on every device. Don't be shocked if it ends up on a PlayStation or a Nintendo system in a few years as an app. The goal is to be the Netflix of gaming.

Having the most powerful console is for mindshare, they really would rather have you locked in to Game pass. That's why almost every game they release will release on Game pass day one.
 

Gemini

Versatile
BGOL Investor
May 20, 2019


Microsoft and Sony are teaming up for the future of gaming

It’s all about Xbox and PlayStation beating Amazon and Google​


Microsoft and Sony unveiled a surprising partnership last week that will see the companies collaborate to develop future cloud solutions for game and content-streaming services. While both companies have spent more than 15 years battling it out over PlayStation and Xbox sales, Sony is now looking to Microsoft’s vast cloud experience to help power its existing and future streaming services, and Microsoft is teaming with a rival to fend off far larger gaming threats.

It was a big surprise for fans of both Xbox and PlayStation. Bloomberg reports that the agreement even shocked Sony’s own PlayStation team, which apparently wasn’t made aware of the discussions. Talks between the firms have been ongoing since last year, and Sony has started to show it’s open to working with Microsoft and others.

The announcement seems to have been prompted by one thing in particular: Google’s reveal of its Stadia cloud streaming service. Google is planning to leverage its hugely popular YouTube platform to let people click and instantly play games in their browsers or on their phones. This ease of use and Google’s web dominance have clearly unnerved both Microsoft and Sony.


While Sony has offered its own PlayStation Now streaming service for years, it hasn’t dramatically changed since launch. Sony still makes most of its PlayStation revenue through game sales to console owners, and that business looks increasingly under threat. If the future of gaming is cloud-powered, then the infrastructure and content will be key.


Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are among the few companies that have enough cloud experience and server power to make cloud gaming a reality in the future. Minimizing latency will be key, and that requires having servers close to players in multiple cities across the world. It’s a significant investment that these three companies have already started making, but one that Sony is clearly unwilling or unable to make.

Sony has now turned to Microsoft for help, instead of competitors like Google or Amazon. Sony and Microsoft’s deal could have been a simple one to host Sony’s services on Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform, but the agreement looks even deeper than that. “The two companies will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services,” reads a statement from Microsoft.




Instead of Sony and Microsoft fighting it out, as they have for decades, there’s a partnership emerging to take on Google Stadia and whatever cloud streaming service Amazon is preparing to launch. That doesn’t mean there will be a single cloud streaming service for PlayStation and Xbox games, but it could mean that the underlying server hardware will be identical in the future to make it easier for developers to create titles for both services.

Sony and Microsoft don’t have cloud native streaming services right now. Instead, they’re taking the hardware that powers devices like the Xbox One S and the PlayStation 3 and placing it into data centers. This allows them both to offer a big game library from their cloud streaming services, as developers don’t have to do any work to have their games running off a server. But it’s far harder to scale this over time.


It’s clear that Sony and Microsoft will attempt to align the hardware that powers each company’s cloud game streaming services onto a common platform. We’ve already started to see this happen in the console space with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and the next-generation consoles due in 2020 are expected to be very similar from a hardware point of view. Aligning this hardware will make it far easier for game developers to target a common cloud platform and test game performance.


Google’s approach requires developers to create games for a Linux-based system and hardware. It’s a bigger ask, but one that developers could be willing to do given Google’s investments and YouTube leverage to get games in front of people.

Another part of the cloud gaming puzzle is Nintendo. Rumors have suggested that both Microsoft and Nintendo have been forming a closer relationship in recent months. We’ve seen this play out with Cuphead arriving on the Switch with Xbox Live support, and Microsoft’s ongoing work with Nintendo to promote cross-play gaming. Nintendo won’t want to miss any part of a cloud gaming future, and it will likely have to form some type of partnership with Microsoft, Amazon, or Google to help it power future services. Like Sony, Nintendo has a vast library of first-party titles but little experience running online services and infrastructure at scale.





Microsoft and Sony’s cloud partnership also opens up some questions around other game streaming competitors. EA has 1,000 employees working on Project Atlas, a cloud game streaming development platform. Like Google Stadia, EA’s project is cloud native and just as ambitious in its attempts to redefine the future of gaming. Nvidia also has its own GeForce Now streaming service, and Valve is turning Steam Link into a personal cloud service that streams games anywhere.


There are also smaller players like Shadow that use powerful PC hardware to let players stream games, and even carriers like Verizon are experimenting with cloud game streaming. Everyone seems to be pushing toward a future where games are streamed to devices. All of this competition will ultimately be good news for consumers, especially if game publishers are willing to transition to the cloud. It could mean consumers will end up having to choose between competing streaming services in very much the same way that they choose between Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Amazon Prime Video, and many more today.

Sony and Microsoft are both laying their own foundations for this upcoming battle. How these two gaming giants collaborate on the future of gaming will have a major impact on the streaming landscape in the months and years ahead. Neither company wants to risk having to turn over revenue on games to a competing cloud game store.

Microsoft and Sony are now signaling to the rest of the industry that they’re not willing to give up their current gaming dominance to newcomers like Amazon or Google, even if it means working with a longtime rival.



 

"THE MAN"

Resident Cool Nerd
BGOL Investor
:hellyea:

"One of the things we’re most proud of with Xbox Series X is the promise we’re delivering to our fans who have and continue to invest with Xbox. Thanks to backward compatibility, you can expect your gaming legacy, thousands of your favorite games across four generations of gaming, all your Xbox One gaming accessories, and industry-leading services like Xbox Game Pass to be available when you power on your Xbox Series X in Holiday 2020.

Building on our compatibility promise, with Xbox Series X we’re also investing in consumer-friendly pathways to game ownership across generations. Leading the way with our first-party titles including Halo Infinite in 2020, we’re committed to ensuring that games from Xbox Game Studios support cross-generation entitlements and that your Achievements and game saves are shared across devices."
 
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