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MS begins work on next Xbox

MS begins work on next Xbox

Microsoft has begun hiring hardware engineers, indicating it will soon start work on a new Xbox.

Microsoft has begun recruiting hardware engineers to work on a new console platform, indicating that it will soon begin work on the successor to the Xbox 360.

Microsoft has yet to issue firm confirmation, but three new job adverts have appeared on LinkedIn, each putting heavy focus on designing new console architectures.

The roles currently being advertising include Graphics Hardware Architect, Senior Architect and Performance Engineer for the Xbox Console Architecture Group and Senior Hardware Design Verification Engineer.

'[The applicant must be] responsible for defining and delivering next-generation console architectures from conception through implementation,' reads one of the adverts, as originally reported by Eurogamer.

'The ideal candidate will have been the lead architect and/or implementation lead of a 3D graphics core. The candidate must have taken designs from investigation to end-customer shipment during their career...Our group is involved in product definition from early evaluation all the way through high volume manufacturing.'

While history would normally suggest that a new Xbox console would be arriving this year or next, the console market is currently looking at a much longer shelf-life. Microsoft in particular views the recent launch of Xbox Kinect as a 'console refresh' - so don't expect to see the new Xbox on shelves for a few years yet, at least.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

42 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
chrismarkham1982 8th March 2011, 11:36 Quote
still a good 3 or 4 years off then id imagine unless theyve already made some headway into their next design
Cupboard 8th March 2011, 11:39 Quote
I'm amazed they've only just started!
leveller 8th March 2011, 11:45 Quote
I don't think manufacturers ever stop R&D. When 360 and PS3 came out, I doubt the companies said "ok, let's not worry about the next console for the next 5/6 years". In fact I bet they were thinking about the next console as the 360 went in to final prototyping.
erratum1 8th March 2011, 11:48 Quote
Will be exciting to see a new console, graphics have not really changed much as developers still work for the 360.

Will a new xbox be more powerful than the best home pc at the moment?
hrp8600 8th March 2011, 11:52 Quote
Will a new xbox be more powerful than the best home pc at the moment?

Yes if its 3 or 4 years off
DarkFear 8th March 2011, 11:53 Quote
Let's hope it'll be able to do AA.

That way when they port stuff to PC we might at least get AA support. :p

Assuming of course that people still develop stuff for PC by then...
matee 8th March 2011, 12:17 Quote
Silent and RROD-less is what I'm after. You reading this MS?
BRAWL 8th March 2011, 12:21 Quote
Wonderful... make it so they can swap out GFX cards so us PC gamers don't get bogged down in consolificationville please.

Or better yet, destroy all consoles! >.<
Kiytan 8th March 2011, 13:05 Quote
bout damn time.
Coldon 8th March 2011, 13:35 Quote
Afaik, we'll be looking at a 2013 release date at the earliest. The next console should be SM5.0 (i.e. DX11 featureset) allowing for things like AA and full HD deferred rendering which on the current XBOX is impossible due to the small size of the framebuffer.

Looking forward to it!
eddtox 8th March 2011, 14:37 Quote
Good news for those of us who just bought the Slim, then. (I.e. me!) :P
Bindibadgi 8th March 2011, 14:43 Quote
What they need to do is start a game company, then after 10 years hire a hacker and level him up to level 5 with lots of training vacations. Then buy a job change manual from a door to door salesman, before changing him into a hardware engineer to work on it entirely on his own. If Game Dev Story taught me anything, that will only take an extra year!
Th3Maverick 8th March 2011, 14:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
What they need to do is start a game company, then after 10 years hire a hacker and level him up to level 5 with lots of training vacations. Then buy a job change manual from a door to door salesman, before changing him into a hardware engineer to work on it entirely on his own. If Game Dev Story taught me anything, that will only take an extra year!


HA! It's funny because I was thinking EXACTLY the same thing.
leveller 8th March 2011, 14:50 Quote
OnLive! and Steams Big Screen will surely add to the development direction and I wonder what the future consoles will look like and behave like with these in mind. Have we seen the back of the simple consoles of the last decade and they will now be more integrated with everything else in the home including PCs?
themax 8th March 2011, 15:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
What they need to do is start a game company, then after 10 years hire a hacker and level him up to level 5 with lots of training vacations. Then buy a job change manual from a door to door salesman, before changing him into a hardware engineer to work on it entirely on his own. If Game Dev Story taught me anything, that will only take an extra year!

My pursuit of the coveted Game of the Year led to a 3 day binge of Game Dev Story.

And it's good to see MS working on the next console.
Flibblebot 8th March 2011, 15:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leveller
OnLive! and Steams Big Screen will surely add to the development direction and I wonder what the future consoles will look like and behave like with these in mind. Have we seen the back of the simple consoles of the last decade and they will now be more integrated with everything else in the home including PCs?
Current consoles (at least the PS3 & Xbox) integrate in some form already. Both have Internet video streaming, the ability to browse another PC for music or video and both can already play physical media-based movies.

Frankly, I think the new console will probably just be a case of "bigger, better, faster" - after all, the max resolution is stuck at 1080p, so all that can really change are the numbers: faster processor, faster graphics, more detail, more AA, more storage.

As long as Microsoft see Sony as their main competitor, not Nintendo, we should be OK. I won't be interested if Microsoft try to make some kind of Wii-alike console.
maximus09 8th March 2011, 15:39 Quote
sounds about right that they should start now. Bear in mind that current technology or technology availble in 1 year time will probably be at its core. So the PC should still be at least a year or two more advanced, unless the PC industry decideds to take a holiday??

Lets say for example they use something of similar power to Sandy Bridge, Intel would probably be looking at releasing their next architechture a year after the next gen consoles come out or maybe sooner, who knows?

Still I'm sure it will be interesting to find out what happens.
memeroot 8th March 2011, 15:52 Quote
1 year behind at 1/4 the cost we hope
paisa666 8th March 2011, 16:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
Current consoles (at least the PS3 & Xbox) integrate in some form already. Both have Internet video streaming, the ability to browse another PC for music or video and both can already play physical media-based movies.

Frankly, I think the new console will probably just be a case of "bigger, better, faster" - after all, the max resolution is stuck at 1080p, so all that can really change are the numbers: faster processor, faster graphics, more detail, more AA, more storage.

As long as Microsoft see Sony as their main competitor, not Nintendo, we should be OK. I won't be interested if Microsoft try to make some kind of Wii-alike console.

Hmm... lets not forget even more PC-Like, games feature now more tweak options, more downloadable content, ISO like demo's downloadable directly from the company website, espect unique and never seen before bugs at the release date, virus and Haxxor's from around the world, Next Gen Expeience like you never imagined :D
Flibblebot 8th March 2011, 16:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by paisa666
Hmm... lets not forget even more PC-Like, games feature now more tweak options, more downloadable content, ISO like demo's downloadable directly from the company website, espect unique and never seen before bugs at the release date, virus and Haxxor's from around the world, Next Gen Expeience like you never imagined :D
No, I don't think we'll see MS move away from the Live Marketplace model - that way they can protect the console from things like viruses and hackers. I don't think we'll see direct downloads for the same reason.

I don't think there'll be a need to tweak options, either - they exist on the PC because the range of target hardware is so huge, so developers need to allow their games to run on the widest range possible, hence the availability of different graphics settings, etc. Console hardware is fixed, meaning developers are only writing for a single hardware configuration, so no need to offer tweaking as the game will be guaranteed to run on every console because they're all the same.

The one thing you've got right is the downloadable content - developers have really jumped on this with the PS3 and Xbox, and this is only going to get more popular (at least from the developer's viewpoint) in the future - it extends the lifespan of games and is a reasonably cheap way of generating revenue for the games companies.
paisa666 8th March 2011, 17:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
No, I don't think we'll see MS move away from the Live Marketplace model - that way they can protect the console from things like viruses and hackers. I don't think we'll see direct downloads for the same reason.

I don't think there'll be a need to tweak options, either - they exist on the PC because the range of target hardware is so huge, so developers need to allow their games to run on the widest range possible, hence the availability of different graphics settings, etc. Console hardware is fixed, meaning developers are only writing for a single hardware configuration, so no need to offer tweaking as the game will be guaranteed to run on every console because they're all the same.

The one thing you've got right is the downloadable content - developers have really jumped on this with the PS3 and Xbox, and this is only going to get more popular (at least from the developer's viewpoint) in the future - it extends the lifespan of games and is a reasonably cheap way of generating revenue for the games companies.

I think its not that crazy... lets take a look at this, Im sure you remember this move by Intel:

http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/18/intel-wants-to-charge-50-to-unlock-stuff-your-cpu-can-already-d/#

Yes, for $50 more you could "unlock" some extra L3 cache memory, a feature that was already there.

Now my point with this is, it is entirely possible to make a console with "unlockable" feature in it, be it unlock more memory, unlock an overclocked setup(it doesnt even have to be custom, lets just say its a preset overclock unlocked), and charge more for this features, features that wont damage the console because it was already made to work that way. And with this new unlocked features, revamp some game features aswell (antialiasing enable, some AF, higher texture resolutions). Yes, its entirely possible and for how the technology business is working right now, Im pretty sure this is the way they gonna go!!

NINTENDO DI IT IN A VERY SMALL SCALE, BUT IT DID IT:
http://www.gaminggenerations.com/store/images/expansion_pack_n64_4mb.jpg

Its the Nintendo 64 Expansion Pak, with this your console could have a woping extra of 4 MB of memory, and with this your games could run now at resolutions of 800 * 600 (that's some "tweaking" right there)

I give you the virus and stuff, that part was more to point out the "pc-ish" trasformation consoles are having
BlackMage23 8th March 2011, 18:18 Quote
console upgrades never work as devs then never know which sku to make the game run on.

As has been said, they don't need to really make any big changes to the next consoles, just faster, silent, no rrod, keyboard and mouse support - job done.
The_Beast 8th March 2011, 18:25 Quote
Ohh great more console fags


j_jay4 8th March 2011, 18:46 Quote
Surely there aren't many people qualified for this job "The candidate must have taken designs from investigation to end-customer shipment during their career" Either they invented the wii, DS, PSP or PS3
Flibblebot 8th March 2011, 19:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
Ohh great more console fags

Gosh, whoever would have thought people would be discussing consoles in a thread about the next Xbox console... :(
Chicken76 8th March 2011, 20:17 Quote
Typo: "The roles currently being advertising include..." (paragraph 3)
chrismarkham1982 8th March 2011, 21:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
Gosh, whoever would have thought people would be discussing consoles in a thread about the next Xbox console... :(

shocking isnt it, i dont know the nerve of some people
play_boy_2000 8th March 2011, 23:41 Quote
My god the 360 is ancient.

As others have said, I do think M$ needs some sort of upgradeability in the next console. Take all the good ideas from laptops:
Easy to access sodimm slot
express card
MXM or AXIOM card (graphics)

The graphics card would be the toughest and would probably require a more proprietary slot, just to prevent people from trying to plug in a 6990 and having to RMA the xbox because the power supply shat its innards all over the floor.
Skiddywinks 9th March 2011, 01:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by play_boy_2000
My god the 360 is ancient.

As others have said, I do think M$ needs some sort of upgradeability in the next console. Take all the good ideas from laptops:
Easy to access sodimm slot
express card
MXM or AXIOM card (graphics)

The graphics card would be the toughest and would probably require a more proprietary slot, just to prevent people from trying to plug in a 6990 and having to RMA the xbox because the power supply shat its innards all over the floor.

HAHA, it would so happen.
Bindibadgi 9th March 2011, 02:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by play_boy_2000
My god the 360 is ancient.

As others have said, I do think M$ needs some sort of upgradeability in the next console. Take all the good ideas from laptops:
Easy to access sodimm slot
express card
MXM or AXIOM card (graphics)

The graphics card would be the toughest and would probably require a more proprietary slot, just to prevent people from trying to plug in a 6990 and having to RMA the xbox because the power supply shat its innards all over the floor.

No chance. Most 360ers don't even know what a SODIMM slot is. The whole idea of a console is that it's a standard platform.
ObeyTheCreed 9th March 2011, 07:20 Quote
The whole point of the xbox is to give gamers the ultimate gaming experience and so far MS has done that with the 360 and Slim. Though i do admit i was expecting more when they came out with a completely new console (Slim), so far I have found nothing wrong with my Slim and hope to continue using it for many years(College's gonna be awesome :D), That said, hopefully this new xbox should be out in about 3-5 years to give us a better gaming experience than any other. But if the thing has 3D only capabilities i'm sticking with the 360. I HATE 3D GAMES.
eddtox 9th March 2011, 10:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by play_boy_2000
My god the 360 is ancient.

As others have said, I do think M$ needs some sort of upgradeability in the next console. Take all the good ideas from laptops:
Easy to access sodimm slot
express card
MXM or AXIOM card (graphics)

The graphics card would be the toughest and would probably require a more proprietary slot, just to prevent people from trying to plug in a 6990 and having to RMA the xbox because the power supply shat its innards all over the floor.

I'm with Bindi on this one. The whole point of the XBOX is that it's a standard platform where developers can tailor their games for specific hardware capabilities and gamers know that an XBOX game will run on their console no questions asked (mostly).

I already have a computer, but one of the reasons I prefer to game on the xbox is that I don't have to worry about hardware specs etc. I know I am playing the game as it was intended and not missing out on the pretties because I haven't upgraded in a year etc.
leveller 9th March 2011, 11:15 Quote
If I were Sony I would keep in mind that MS have an ace up their sleeve with PC install bases in homes. Whether it is the next gen consoles or the gen after, etc, if MS were to ever incorporate PC to Xbox streaming then Sony would be up **** creek. How many of us would love the simplicity of a dedicated console in the lounge with the ability to receive the best quality streamed games over fast network from our PCs?

Who would have guessed that Steam would make a showing on PS3?
Cthippo 9th March 2011, 14:28 Quote
With MS using basically off-the-shelf PC hardware I don't see why the development cycle needs to be terribly long. A Sandy Bridge CPU, DX11 graphics card and a uATX mobo with a really good, silent cooler and some software upgrades and they're in business. Maybe add a SSD in place of the spinny thing to justify a higher price.

The more interesting question is what's going to be under the hood on the PS4. I predict Sony will move back to the mainstream with a x86-64 CPU in order to make the platform easier to code for and therefore more attractive to developers.
ObeyTheCreed 9th March 2011, 15:01 Quote
Problem is that if microsoft just uses "off-the-shelf" PC hardware then it would be just like have a PC cept with a gaming quality added to it. I hope that MS actually puts alot of effort into this console because if they do the PS4 or whatever will be blown outta the water.
play_boy_2000 10th March 2011, 01:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
No chance. Most 360ers don't even know what a SODIMM slot is. The whole idea of a console is that it's a standard platform.
yeah, but how difficult is it to code

If memory > 4GB then
Feature-xyz = true
else
Feature-xyz = false
end if

If feature xyz was something like microsoft medaroom IPTV running in a small PiP in the corner, or the ability to power a second display for eyefinity(assuming the red team gets the nod again), other content, or just to avoid the crappyness that is splitscreen I think a sodimm slot makes sense.
knuck 10th March 2011, 01:41 Quote
I bet 20$ that they will go the Nintendo way and just make a "spin off" of their last console by adding some gimmick to it (aka kinect to a new console that's not more powerful than its predecessor)
Lazarus Dark 10th March 2011, 04:15 Quote
Honestly, what happened? I mean, from the 80's until this gen they always had a console twice as powerful every two years. Some complained (mostly those who waited till end-of-life before buying in finally), but personally I liked the cycle (though it was much appreciated once they started putting in some backwards compatibility).
But this gen should be ready for replacement and there are NO replacements in sight. What happened? Don't tell me we reached any sort of ceiling, there's still PLENTY of innovation to be done (without slap-dash hacking your console with after-thought motion control. I'm lookin at you MS and Sony.) I can think of a dozen serious improvements to be made on a new gen of consoles.
All three consoles are stale in my opinion (I'm actually thinking about giving my 360 to a childrens hospital or something, I haven't touched it in a year, may as well give it away. I'd almost consider the same for the Wii, but I'm looking forward to the next Zelda, so I'll hang on to that.)
knuck 10th March 2011, 06:05 Quote
Cycles were always about 5 years long, not 2 years.

You're right though, this time is different
Bindibadgi 10th March 2011, 07:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by play_boy_2000
yeah, but how difficult is it to code

If memory > 4GB then
Feature-xyz = true
else
Feature-xyz = false
end if

If feature xyz was something like microsoft medaroom IPTV running in a small PiP in the corner, or the ability to power a second display for eyefinity(assuming the red team gets the nod again), other content, or just to avoid the crappyness that is splitscreen I think a sodimm slot makes sense.

You're greatly overly simplifying it. If coding was that easy, every title would be a triple A game without bugs. Plus you're assuming that you want build in potential upgrades - at extra cost - on an already loss leading price for your console. The aim of a console is to be designed as physically cheap as they can possibly be made without failing, then make the money on the games.
chrismarkham1982 10th March 2011, 07:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
No chance. Most 360ers don't even know what a SODIMM slot is. The whole idea of a console is that it's a standard platform.

i resent that statement!!!!!! lol in all seriousness i totally agree with you, im the only person in my group of friends that actually knows what a sodimm is, although when we knew about the 360 being in development i also called for there to be some upgrade ability but, having thought about it, the idea is bit over the top as someone stated above about developers knowing they are developing for one piece of hardware and not many thousands of different hardware setups.
I would like to see microsoft allow us to use our own peripherals though and in that i mean allowing us to exchange our hdd's for bigger hdd's, maybe use our own wireless adapter although i dare say the new console will most likely come with wifi built in like the slim, keyboard and mouse support.
play_boy_2000 11th March 2011, 02:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
The aim of a console is to be designed as physically cheap as they can possibly be made without failing, then make the money on the games.
Exactly my point. Skimp on the extra 2GB of shared main/gfx memory, save $20, sell as addon for $40 to enable extra features. Chaching!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
You're greatly overly simplifying it. If coding was that easy, every title would be a triple A game without bugs..
Modern PC games (ignoring crysis) seem to work on anything (albiet at laughable resolution) thats been manufactured since... well.... since the 360 was made half a decade ago, why can't consoles be the same?
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