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Hardware Thread, Will consoles die in 5 - 10 years? in Technical; Originally Posted by Michael I disagree it's going no where. It's made progress killing off HD-DVD, but the bigger competition ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I disagree it's going no where. It's made progress killing off HD-DVD, but the bigger competition (at the moment) is still DVD. In years to come however, DVD will eventually be dropped, however I don't think Blu-ray will have the market to itself. Web services, IPTV or Video on Demand (whatever you want to call it) will also be on the table. I love the competition. It'll drive prices down and that's great for the consumer
    Sony was able to make Blueray the standard by buying off the main manufacturer of HD-DVD with a generous offer of a large amount of cash. HD-DVD was slowly dropping away but it was Sony's behind the scenes dealing that finally sent it on its way. After all their whole corporate strategy was pinned to blueray so they really couldn't loose this one without taking a massive hit. That and they could not push their latest root-kits to the unsuspecting public

    MS were not really fully invested in HD-DVD sure they were part of the group pushing for it but it seemed they were more in it to obstruct Sony. They did not include it in their 360 consoles and so the overall hit that they took was minimal.


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    As for games running centrally, I am not so sure about that. The PS3 especially is a very impressive console (technically) and is the most powerful out of this generation; however, even with some form of virtualisation to have (for example) the power of 1,000 PS3s in one box/server, I don't know how realistic that really is. I think it would require some new revolutionary design!
    Next generation datacentres stacked high with the latest processors and graphics processors should be able to accomplish this in the near future. The two limiting factors in this case are both to do with the network used to distribute it.

    The problems are two fold, To transmit a comparable full HD video signal you need round 720 Mbit/s using MPEG4 so each home using this would need at least a 1gbit link to the datacentre to provide good quality.

    The other more troubling problem is one of latency, due to the way current networks work the real time nature of games does not allow for streaming of files as the lag would be unacceptable. The only way around this is going to be by developing and using new end to end fibre transport, routing and switching that does not require the signal to be converted to electricity at any point along the way. This stuff is on the way but the solely light based logic components that are needed are still in the early stages of development and are no where near being commercialized.



    In response to the original post I think that consoles will defiantly still be around in 10-15 years but as Trapper above says they will be far more integrated with other services. I think that the computer in it current form is more likely to be pushed into the console as an integrated unit for most homes that do not require all of the features of a pc but still need web access and other basic services.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 18th May 2008 at 08:31 AM.

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    iTunes store ?

    iTunes already do the download service for movies, tv series, music etc.

    Once you have downloaded it you can make upto 5 copys of it on external hard drives or burn it to a dvd or whatever.

    you have a logon account that you register with iTunes that is used to verify you and it connects to there servers to check you are you. So if you had to wipe your machine and start again all you would have to do is to update os x and any software ( mainly iTunes ) and copy your data to the relevant location(s) and re launch iTunes, sign back in and it recognises who you are and allows you to carry on

    Didn't read all the posts so may of missed someone posting something similiar, just thought id throw this in.

    At the min I currently have a CRT and with the technology going at the pace it is and with my CRT working I think I will wait until it blows up or dies on me until I get anything newer that way giving me plenty of time ( at least thats the idea ) to save up enough money to get a new telly whether it be HD TV or a hd compatable projector or whatever.

    With regards to streaming video / games or whatever into someones house ( and the issue that someone else posted prior with regards to how would they get enough cpu power etc to allow thousands if not more people play games, videos etc )

    I think they will make something similiar to the mac mini or a pc version of it that is completely speced out with a decent graphics card, ram etc etc that will sit underneath your telly somewhere that will be a media centre pc that connects to your tv ( via s video for older tellys ) or hdmi to hd tv's along with the relevant audio outputs and then all the consumer would have to do is subscribe to a media service that provides all the movie downloads, game downloads etc ( similiar to what lovefilim.com are doing ) and the movies would be downloaded directly to that pc provided your internet connection was sufficient.

    As far as I am aware virgin media are upgrading and trialling 50mb if not more.

    With regards to blu ray being dead - if you are supposed to have all this backend technology ie a hd tv and they are going to stream the movies ( in supposed hd format ) then if they are going to allow you to make a backup then where or how would you make that backup copy of your movie ?

    If you had to wipe your windows installation would they give you a service that listed all your purchases with a download link next to each so you could always download a copy of it regardless ?

    Also if it is in hd format ( what size of file(s) would you have to download to get that hd quality ) ?

    I mean dvd's are in the 4 gb region and blu ray and hd dvds are even more then that.

    I know compression is good but if you compress a hd movie then is it really HD ?

    sorry synack didnt see your post
    Last edited by mac_shinobi; 18th May 2008 at 09:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gecko View Post
    If you had to wipe your windows installation would they give you a service that listed all your purchases with a download link next to each so you could always download a copy of it regardless ?
    As we are looking at the integrated console route there would be very little need to reinstall it unless the hard drive was busted. As the software is set up more as an appliance it should remain stable, you don't usually have to reinstall a playstation or xbox.

    If the software as a service and persistent network model was being followed then you would simply replace the hard drive, connect to the persistent network using the onboard firmware, enter your account details and it would boot remotely from the network and download the necessary client side software to the hard drive including the pointers to your purchased content.

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    @synack - i remember my former ccna instructor telling us about light based logic in computers 4 years ago, if it's still in eary stages of development as it was then it's pie in the sky stuff really isn't it ?

    Also, i'm not sure whether it's even needed for gaming farms...massively scalabe parallel architecture using pizza boxes would do the trick i would have thought.

    i think the point about end-end fibre in the network is going to be vital...i mentioned about fttx previousy and that's where the issue is going to be. Core networks of the tier-2's have virtually unlimited bandwidth and and are extremely reliabe with sub-second failover aswell as redundant connections into the internet backbone, they're data centers and networks won't have a problem scaling to the demand or implementing QoS end-to-end...it's the edge where the problem lies getting fiber to homes and premises is such a massive undertaking it could well take 20 years if they decided to start on the project soon, which they're not. It'll probably be left up to the far eastern countries who have that fiber deployment to premise to push ahead with video as a service while we languish in the slow lane with ADSL.

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    @gecko - you make a good point about backing up or having physical media, but i think you have to imagine it as the ISP backing up the movies, games, on-demandtv available to you. You'd be covered in the unlikely event it was lost or unrecoverable.

    And imagine each home having a multservice router with a 250gb hard disk that can store recorded content for local use aswell as do the other stuff like acting as an edge router with proxy, web filter etc. It's not quite SaaS but it is something that could replace the pvr, the blu-ray player an the dsl modem. The device would be remotely managed by the ISP, and t he service itself could eventually come with a three 9's or even a five 9's sla.

    Cisco bought a company called scientific atlanta which makes stb's and headend equipment for cable network operators, they also have their own substantial router business that sells every conceivable module and interface for internet and wan connectivity....and they own a maker of dvd media players. They have all they need to build an all-in-one, but what they don't have is the middleware business in the core of the network...microsoft dominates that area in cabe tv networks with it's iptv patform which does everything from EPG, billing and no doubt the dreaded DRM (M$ are evil after all) The constituent parts are there to do triple play and there's no reason why gaming cannot be added, but the last mile needs to be upgraded for that to happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    @synack - i remember my former ccna instructor telling us about light based logic in computers 4 years ago, if it's still in eary stages of development as it was then it's pie in the sky stuff really isn't it ?

    Also, i'm not sure whether it's even needed for gaming farms...massively scalabe parallel architecture using pizza boxes would do the trick i would have thought.
    They have the basics of the logic down, they have sorted some of the logic gates but it is still something that is on its way, its just still more than a few years away from commercial applications.

    Without this technology the latency will just be to high for gaming, 50 or 80 milliseconds to a local server is still 1/5th of a second before you get any response from your button press and that is not including processing time by the actual server. Short of having the datacenter just down the road with a single layer of layer3 switching in the way - which will still have a small latency issue - it is just not practical.

    In my previous post I did agree with you that the actual datacenter component is quite feasible and with the latest midrange line of IBM server shipping with cell processors not very far away from being a possibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    i think the point about end-end fibre in the network is going to be vital...i mentioned about fttx previousy and that's where the issue is going to be. Core networks of the tier-2's have virtually unlimited bandwidth and and are extremely reliabe with sub-second failover aswell as redundant connections into the internet backbone, they're data centers and networks won't have a problem scaling to the demand or implementing QoS end-to-end...it's the edge where the problem lies getting fiber to homes and premises is such a massive undertaking it could well take 20 years if they decided to start on the project soon, which they're not. It'll probably be left up to the far eastern countries who have that fiber deployment to premise to push ahead with video as a service while we languish in the slow lane with ADSL.
    The core may have large amounts of bandwidth but it is certainly not unlimited, when you start talking about each home using up an entire 1GBit a second for a single gaming console you end up with some pretty big numbers. Say 100,000 games running simultaneously will require 100 petabits of bandwidth which is not trivial, especially when current modern fibre runs at around 14 terabits a second meaning that your would need around 7200 fibre pairs at backbone speed to support just these simultaneous games at the same video quality as current consoles in full HD without requiring heavy processing on the client side.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 18th May 2008 at 11:02 AM.

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    I think I am leaning towards believing in the Singularity on all this. Many of Raymond Kurzweil's predictions in 'The Age of Intelligent Machines' from 1990 have come true. I can see everything we use changing dramatically in a couple of decades - including consoles.

    So I agree with the MS guy here - consoles as we know them will die out. But so will most other computer related tech. He just has the timescale a bit wrong. I'd go with 20 years.
    Last edited by localzuk; 18th May 2008 at 11:36 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    They have the basics of the logic down, they have sorted some of the logic gates but it is still something that is on its way, its just still more than a few years away from commercial applications.
    I'll try and digg out the stories but there was some news on the subject recently (as in this year) that IBM has made massive progress on the commercialisation of the process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    They have the basics of the logic down, they have sorted some of the logic gates but it is still something that is on its way, its just still more than a few years away from commercial applications.

    Without this technology the latency will just be to high for gaming, 50 or 80 milliseconds to a local server is still 1/5th of a second before you get any response from your button press and that is not including processing time by the actual server. Short of having the datacenter just down the road with a single layer of layer3 switching in the way - which will still have a small latency issue - it is just not practical.

    In my previous post I did agree with you that the actual datacenter component is quite feasible and with the latest midrange line of IBM server shipping with cell processors not very far away from being a possibility.



    The core may have large amounts of bandwidth but it is certainly not unlimited, when you start talking about each home using up an entire 1GBit a second for a single gaming console you end up with some pretty big numbers. Say 100,000 games running simultaneously will require 100 petabits of bandwidth which is not trivial, especially when current modern fibre runs at around 14 terabits a second meaning that your would need around 7200 fibre pairs at backbone speed to support just these simultaneous games at the same video quality as current consoles in full HD without requiring heavy processing on the client side.
    That's assuming each home will need or be allocated 1gbps, increments between 10 and 100mbps are more likely and realistic with 100mbps service having having room for expansion for future applicartions.

    you said yourself HD will be delivered using mpeg4/H.264 which should provide for decent quality 720p video at between 15 and 30mbps for a single stream - the limitations for BT delivering HD services using the fusion product is the copper last mile not they're core networks ...the requirements for gaming i'm not too sure what they would be beyond the HD delivery requirements, but i think the vision of triple play has always voice video data with video being live and on demand tv not gaming. core networks can easily handle Hdtv delivery as part of triple pay service to 100,000 subscribers.

    As you say gaming is not as forgiving when it comes to latency...infact it's unofrgiving of any distortion or freeze framing of image.

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    Japan , Australia etc

    I think the way things are going with the network situation in terms of getting the relevant speed we need for this to become available it may be worth while seeing what they are doing in japan and possibly Australia with regards to those sorts of services and see how they are doing things.

    I mean when I went to Australia a couple or more years ago they have totally phased out scart connectors and were already using phono type gold plated conenctors to connect projectors to dvd players and the like.

    And seeing as we are in the slow lane connectivity wise would be interesting to see if Japan or anywhere else has anything in place like what we are all talking about already in this post and see how they do this ( If at all )

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    Quote Originally Posted by gecko View Post
    I mean when I went to Australia a couple or more years ago they have totally phased out scart connectors and were already using phono type gold plated conenctors to connect projectors to dvd players and the like.
    SCART never really took off for Australia and NZ it is now practically impossible to buy equipment with those connectors as almost all of the tvs and audio systems come with RGB inputs and on the higher end modles VGA and HDMI.

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I think I am leaning towards believing in the Singularity on all this. Many of Raymond Kurzweil's predictions in 'The Age of Intelligent Machines' from 1990 have come true. I can see everything we use changing dramatically in a couple of decades - including consoles.
    Which criteria are you using for the singularity, smart machines that can understand information and human requests or direct human to computer interface. I agree that things will change dramatically in either event and current ideas about the use of computers will become obsolete rapidly.

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I'll try and digg out the stories but there was some news on the subject recently (as in this year) that IBM has made massive progress on the commercialisation of the process.
    That is good news, I have seen lots of reports floating around about progress but nothing fully concrete when it comes to the actual implementation in the real world. The gates exist and people are working on them, some even claim to have made the switches but I have not seen compelling proof for any of the more hefty claims, it is always seems to be some startup somewhere that is demoing their latest product when it comes to this line of products. This kind of product would really benefit geographically isolated places like New Zealand, it would be nice to have a ping of less than 350ms to the UK.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 18th May 2008 at 12:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Which criteria are you using for the singularity, smart machines that can understand information and human requests or direct human to computer interface. I agree that things will change dramatically in either event and current ideas about the use of computers will become obsolete rapidly.
    I think the advent of smart machines will cause the rest. ie. Proper AI. As soon as we tip the balance and have a machine that is as smart as a human, there is no reason why it won't improve itself so quickly as to make everything we currently think of in terms of tech, obsolete.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I think the advent of smart machines will cause the rest. ie. Proper AI. As soon as we tip the balance and have a machine that is as smart as a human, there is no reason why it won't improve itself so quickly as to make everything we currently think of in terms of tech, obsolete.
    But will it be friendly? , What are your views on how this would effect its development?

    If an AI with this kind of ability was built it would probably be restrained from developing or at least be built with such stringent controls that it would limit or stop its progress. This would all be done in the name of safety as the scare stories about this kind of thing are very well known, even screen written in some cases.

    A little off topic I know but it is a valid question, what would win human curiosity or human paranoia?



    With regards to the whole combining of devices and media streaming aspect of the consoles here is a write up on the Microsoft service that they are releasing through the XBOX 360s:
    http://gizmodo.com/391338/microsoft-...e-or-satellite
    Last edited by SYNACK; 18th May 2008 at 01:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    there is no reason why it won't improve itself so quickly as to make everything we currently think of in terms of tech, obsolete.
    Including us

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    But will it be friendly? , What are your views on how this would effect its development?

    If an AI with this kind of ability was built it would probably be restrained from developing or at least be built with such stringent controls that it would limit or stop its progress. This would all be done in the name of safety as the scare stories about this kind of thing are very well known, even screen written in some cases.

    A little off topic I know but it is a valid question, what would win human curiosity or human paranoia?
    Human curiosity wins every time. If it didn't, we wouldn't have advanced this far already. Look at the luddite movement. They destroyed the machines as they thought they would ruin their livelihoods.

    Yes, there is a distinct possibility for us to create a machine that could evolve and wipe us out, but I would guess that by the time that happens, the amount of tech we will be introducing into our bodies is going to make it difficult to differentiate between humans and machines in a cleanly defined way. Why would a machine wish to wipe out those who created it?

    I look forward to the future, as I don't believe in any form of God. I look forward to us solving our world's problems.



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