Dev On Whether PS4/Xbox One Will Outlast Relatively Short Shelf-Life of Their Components

Celtoys founder talks about optimizing hardware for the coming years.

Posted By | On 30th, Dec. 2015 Under News


Xbox One PS4

For all the credit that the PS4 and Xbox One, there’s no denying that their components are already quite old. Such is the problem with consoles which are stuck with the same hardware for years on end. However, the games still keep looking better thanks to improved optimization but can this current generation of consoles outlast the relatively short self-life of their respective components.

We spoke to Celtoys founder Don Williamson, who has experience with engine and pipeline optimization (besides developing the renderer for Splinter Cell: Conviction and was an engine lead for Fable), who stated that, “These are powerful machines with fixed architectures and some astonishing debug tools. On one of the games I worked on we created some amazing effects for Xbox One that have given us ideas for how it could be visually much better and more performant. The main variable in all this is how many skilled people you have and how much you’re willing to spend.

“These days the investment in great engine tech is no longer necessarily rewarding you with better sales. You have less developers going with their own solutions, instead investing money in programmers for the core game and those who can maintain a bought 3rd-party engine.

“You have some established pioneers like Naughty Dog thankfully making leaps and bounds in this area, but I’m unsure right now whether we’ll see as much progress as we did with the previous generation.”

The last statement from Don is a bit interesting. The rate at which graphics are improving on current gen consoles, will developers eventually hit the graphics wall? Several games like The Order: 1886 and Star Wars: Battlefront are already closing the gap between in-game visuals and real life simulations. However the bridge is still far away.

Thoughts on the same? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    “performant” I’ve never heard of such a word. Guess we learn something everyday. that aside he may be right, and also if this gen turns out to be shorter, they systems definitely won’t be anywhere near maxed out.

    • Mark

      Lol

  • Mike

    I don’t get why people are worried about this. If graphics are a huge deal, a console isn’t what you want. I only game on consoles, so for me, the PS4 has the best graphics of any of my consoles and it will until the next Playstation comes out. I don’t have a gaming PC so I don’t have anything to compare it to, makes it easy for the PS4 to have the best graphics.

    • Mark

      Well although I’d argue Scalebound, Quantum Break and Ryse is neck n neck with PS4 games, I 100% agree with the whole graphics on console thing. We buy these systems at very low prices compared to PCs, so how any console owner can sit here and expect these things to pump out something beautiful the likes of Avatar, is just asinine. It truly is. I’m satisfied with how great the 2016 games lineup look on both systems..

    • Mike

      I haven’t gotten an Xbox one. Scalebound may change that. Have to see. I’m one of the weird people that hates the analog sticks on the Xbox controllers and am more of a single player gamer. If Scalebound is amazing, I may break down and get one

    • GHz

      Agreed! Mostly. But over all what you say is on point.

    • Hvd

      dont get a pc its a money sink in upgades and legit games are $60 on steam same as console.it will take you $800-$1000 to start a decent gaming pc that you will have to up grade and sink more money in to.stay on console i stopped pc gaming years ago.lol

  • Xbox one 2econd gpu unlocking

    We have a system designed for 10 years.The Xbox One.
    We are coming up to our ray-tracing layer unlocking layer.
    +12 and we game on

    • Truth™

      Dream on.

      Both are underpowered trash.

      Arctic Islands and Pascal will annihilate them with Vulkan 🙂

    • Hvd

      games will always be made for consoles…lol

    • Truth™

      Games will always run worse on consoles. lol

    • Hvd

      lol they run better then batman arkham knight and ac unity on pc…lol

    • Gamez Rule

      People like *Truth™* that’s making negative comments about PS4 but not actually owning a PS4 is funny at best which makes him look stupid. Then add that with his
      silly fanboy logic and it gets even more laughable☺..See below

      Truth™ fanboy logic: When games run at 30fps he smashes console players with
      1080p 60fps, when a game then runs 1080p 60fps he smashes that with 4k 120fps.

      BUT what he doesn’t understand due to not being a real gamers himself is that gaming at 1080p-30fps is enough. Anything more is just nice, but not really necessary.

      Reason I said the above is looking at the ♦Nov Steam Hardware Stats 2015♦ it shows that most PC gamers use 1080p and under ( just like consoles ), while 4k is at 0.07% used☺ ( see pic )

    • Hvd

      all he was doing was trolling.so i trolled him hard and he didnt come back.you are wrong about pc gamers using 1080p.only 33% of them do according to the steam survey .

      http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey

      every pc gamer uses steam.it showes primary display is 33% 1080p here is where most pc gamers get it wrong.out of that 33% 29% use multi display which im sure you can agree most pc gamers use 2 or more monitors.

      most pc gamers think the survey says 33%+29%=62% which is wrong.lol.they cant even read the survey right.its 33% primairy display is 1080p and 29% of that is multi display.

      as far as truth goes he is nothing but a troll that got put in his place by me.and ill do it to every other pc gamerthat talks smack.

    • Xbox one 2econd gpu unlocking

      No they don’t.
      We have professional controllers

    • Xbox one 2econd gpu unlocking

      DX12 is better we are told.
      Our system isn’t inderpowered, we have been playing weak until the 2nd layer gets unlocked
      +12 and we game om

    • Xbox one 2econd gpu unlocking

      Our forum has professional researchers that have shown we have a
      2nd GPU to be unlocked.So we don’t have weak hardware.

    • Hvd

      agreed i think the in the xbox one 8 year they will announce the next console.just like the 360 was 8 years old when they announced the xbox one.
      so by 2021 they will announce xbox two at E3 and set it for a nov release date.just like the last one.

  • miyamoto

    “You have some established pioneers like Naughty Dog thankfully making leaps and bounds in this area, but I’m unsure right now whether we’ll see as much progress as we did with the previous generation.”

    Why does the xbone have to be dragged along any positive PS4 news?

    • Truth™

      What positive PS4 news. Both are underpowered downgraded garbage 🙂

    • Hvd

      lols

    • Truth™

      kek

    • Hvd

      heh.lol

    • Starman

      So in 3 years the new G-cards will be garbage to you .. the Gpu you’re using now , all that money , you will soon call under powered garbage…

  • Hvd

    it doesnt matter AAA titles will always be made for consoles over pc’s.pc can enjoy their crappy ports over the next 5-7 years.they will run fine on console.

    stop comparing consoles to pc.AAA titles will ALWAYS be optimized for consoles over its life span.i think we still have 5-7 years till the next consoles.

    • Truth™

      PC titles will always run better and look better on PC and consoles will forever be underpowered 🙂

    • Hvd

      lol

    • Truth™

      lel

    • Hvd

      lolololol

    • Tech junkie

      Lol. PS5 and Xbox Two coming 2018 due to being released obsolete.

      PS3 and 360 were cutting edge with unique hardware running basic OS that essentially shut down during gaming.
      You won’t see the life span from these consoles you did the previous gen.

      PS3 was $800 or something stupid and sold at a loss. That is why it made it as long as it did.

      Consoles this gen are a huge disappointment

    • Hvd

      try again they will be announced at E3 in 2019 and released 2010 or 2021.

    • Paul

      I sure hope so, that way this trend of the PC taking more market share will continue.

      The PC gaming market is growing faster then the console market the last few years and if I was to put money on it, I bet it was because it was how dated the last gen of consoles got and that it took 8 years for a new one, way too long in the tech industry.

      Now considering that the PC gaming market is still growing faster then the console market even thought I thought it might of slowed down since the ps4 and xbox one came out should be a scary thought for console gamers, the pennies droped, people are jumping ship and with good reason too, the PC works out cheaper then consoles in the long run, even with a modest upgrade if you are smart at timing when to buy.

  • Truth™

    Both are garbage and need to die for the good of gaming.

    PC gaming is the only gaming that shows growth and potential and will demonstrate how obsolete both are by the end of 2016.

    • Hvd

      lololol

    • Guest

      U WOT M8

    • Starman

      The industry would die , you’re looking to play games that look like Avatar , gaming isn’t ready for PC only , the average gamer can’t afford it … You should calm down bro …. and the only console fanboys ever claimed more power or just as powerful as PC is PS4………

    • Hvd

      you are right the gaming industry would collapse if pc was the only platform for gaming.dont get in to it this guy he is a pc elitist no matter how right you are or facts you post he will find some way to get around it save your time..lol

    • Paul

      Thats not true, all it would mean is that there would be a lot more PC’s with lower hardware like the PS4 hardware which doesn’t cost much more then the PS4 and performs better and in the long run ends up costing less if you don’t upgrade like you can’t on consoles

  • GHz

    I like when Don speak cause he says some interesting things. For example,

    “The main variable in all this is how many skilled people you have and how much you’re willing to spend.”

    People who own big tech and have the money for R&D to improve upon them are practically giving them away by inventing creative ways to offer them as services. Middle wear companies who support engines make big strides in having game devs worry less about big time consuming code as much as possible. And rendering tech like PRT & Tile Resources can aid small indi dev teams to create artfully rich games that in some cases can compete with AAA (Art direction is key)

    “I’m unsure right now whether we’ll see as much progress as we did with the previous generation.”

    I bet he/we will, cause he already stated….

    ”On one of the games I worked on we created some amazing effects for Xbox One that have given us ideas for how it could be visually much better and more performant.”

    My take from this interview is, (which also echoes I believe, Naughty Dog thoughts) a lot of developers are pushing for smaller titles, and this is Don’s way of preparing us. He isn’t the 1st to evangelize this. We heard it 1st from Yoshida.

    In the end, we don’t need CGI looking games, we need games that have amazing art direction and atmosphere than can draw us into the gaming experience. Games on the XB1 & PS4 will look pretty regardless.

    • Truth™

      But games on the xbone and POS4 will still run like garbage because they are both underpowered trash 🙂

    • GHz

      I love gaming on consoles and own games that provide a rich gaming experience. Forza 6, Tomb Raider, Halo 5, just to name a few. Over all great graphics and tight controls that rivals most of what is on PC one way or the other. I talk my way through the menu system with no problem, accessing all sort of services while I play my games w/o pause. I cant get that experience on PC. It only means that there’s room for both.

      Question. What graphic card(s) you running in your PC?

    • Hvd

      dont get in to it with a pc elitist.they will always flip around what you say and never accept truth.

    • Paul

      He’s making it seem like consoles can play all games, how cute lol, truth is, the PC is the only thing that can play all games by emulators but then that would be some wait but in the end, almost every game ever release comes to PC.

    • Hvd

      i dont care for esports.rts or isdie games. i like my exclusives and AAA titles.

    • Paul

      What I like about exclusives is how it’s the main selling point on consoles, it’s a weak argument but as we know, exclusives are used to get people to buy more then one console and it works, if exclusives are what it’s about, you need to cough up for 4 different systems.

      In any event, it’s a bit silly to buy for exclusives, thats weak minded, it’s always best to buy what suites you and play the games that come to what you buy, what we get is divide and conquer. well mostly on consoles anyway, anyone that has more then one console kinda proves that.

    • Hvd

      exclusives are why i got a xbox one over a ps4,i dont like games like the order,bloodborne(dark souls clone),cover shooters and quick time event games i dont like and roll and dodge games like bloodborne.i dont care about beating a boss with 100m hp and have to rool and dodge to do it.

      ther is no better fps exclusive like halo series.there is no better racing games like the forza series.xbox live is the best multiplayer network.i could go on as why i didnt want a ps4.
      the point is in the console world exclusives do make all the difference.

      it doesnt matter if the ps4 is a little more powerful then the xbox one.its about the games.

    • Paul

      In the end it doesn’t matter, there is more then enough games to suite everyone’s play style on all platforms but more so on PC.

    • Gamez Rule

      I’ve said this over and over again to Truth™ ( PC can’t play all games ) facts are facts, and no matter how power a PC is it cannot play Uncharted collection / Halo Series, etc

      I have a gaming PC but love the consoles for what they offer me. I have more friends using PS4 than my other platforms just because it’s more fun in a party playing online together while being easier to. All playing on same hardware = no advantage.

    • GHz

      He knows. He’s only teasing us. He still need to deal with the fact that gaming tech has evolved and it doesn’t need to be static. A dynamic console is a good enough machine & will be able to compete with the most trick out PC’s.

    • Hvd

      lol how do you like getting trolled?

    • Gamez Rule

      Truth™ the FACT is that you cannot play all the games released on the market on your PC, you NEED consoles to play games that cannot be played via PC ( no matter how powerful the PC is )

      No matter what a console does it will never be good enough as you are a pure PC Fankid clearly shown by your worthless posts and pure biased statements.

      Example = PS4 version of Trine 3 while running at 1080p with solid 60fps only to be compared in a face-off to a PC “using a GTX 980 Ti-based system” …and you still call PS4 trash LMAO!

    • Truth™

      POS4 version runs at low settings to hit 1080P 60FPS. How embarrassing.

      PC gaming is the only worthwhile gaming 🙂

    • Gamez Rule

      So now Trine 3 is runing on low settings?…LMAO! Nonsense, as clearly stated,,,

      “Running at 1080p to match the PS4 code, we were able to we maxed out all graphical settings, combining FXAA with 4x SSAA (supersampling) anti-aliasing using a GTX 980 Ti-based system”

      And by your comment it proves 100% what I stated to be correct. “No matter what a console does it will never be good enough as you are a pure PC Fankid clearly shown by your worthless posts and pure biased statements”

    • Truth™

      PC is better. That’s a fact. Not fanboyism.

      Deal with it deluded sony fanboy 🙂

    • Gamez Rule

      “POS4 version runs at low settings to hit 1080P 60FPS”

      BS! and untrue. Deal with that you PC numpty fankid

    • Truth™

      Low settings 900PS4. LOL

      Pathetic. Consoles are pathetic. 🙂

    • Gamez Rule

      FACT is that you cannot play all the games released on the market on PC, ( even IF they were Low settings 900P ) ☺☺☺

    • Hvd

      dont get in to it with this pc elitist. just ignore him.

  • Riggybro

    I think consoles are popular enough that they can stand on their own two feet. I don’t think many console players really care too much. They look at their XB and compare it to their 360 and are pretty happy with increase in power.

    I play Fallout 4 on my PC I play SWBattlefront on my PS4. Works for me.

    • Hvd

      fps like battlefield and battlefront last longer on console then pc.what does it mater if withen 6 months of a fps being released on pc is dead.do graphics matter when no one is playing it?

    • Alyssa Florez

      I have scored 78k dollars previous year working online and I am a full time student. I am attached with an online business entity that I heard about and I have earned such great cash. It is really user friendly and I feel myself lucky to have that option. Why not try this.

      http://www.fasttrends.dr.ag

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  • Hvd

    do you guys thing they will release more 1080p consoles?the next step is 4k.when 4k tv’s are cheap enuff they will come out with the next consoles.

  • Schroeder

    I like how some games look on XB1 and I’ve seen what PS4 offers… nothing blows my skirt up. I had greater ambitions for what both consoles could dish out, both opted for old-school hardware sets. The hope that the cloud can dazzle us all is nice, but it only helps technical processes that help manage things like destruction – great stuff for sure, but it leaves people out of the fray that have weaker internet connections (or none at all). It also doesn’t improve graphical prowess.

    If I were in charge of the next console to be created, I’d make sure there was an expansion port that had high bandwidth capabilities so I could pair a second GPU and CPU with extra dedicated memory down the line that could offer a sizable bump in performance so things like extra-detailed 4K gaming were a reality that didn’t require years of optimization and loads of money dedicated to the issue just to make it happen. Optimizations, like DLC, should exist as an extension of the core potential – not be the crutch in which the hardware leans on to deliver on its original potential.

    • Greetingsfriend

      “If I were in charge of the next console to be created, I’d make sure there was an expansion port that had high bandwidth capabilities so I could pair a second GPU and CPU”

      If you were in charge you would be told by everyone on your team thats a bad idea. It hasn’t been done for a reason.

    • Schroeder

      …Are you high? Nintendo did it with the N64, and Razer has been experimenting with it via Project Christine. Do your homework.

      Oh and the next Nintendo console is said to have a daisy chain capability (though this is based on speculation over leaked design ideas from early on in the engineering process), which would mean you could add on hardware to boost power.

    • Greetingsfriend

      Nintendo did a memory add-on and that was it. And, haven’t’ done it since. No one has. For a good reason. And, it’s no where near the same as a CPU, GPU with dedicated memory that is, somehow, cooled. Unless this expansion slots into a massive console with extra fans.
      Razer is experimenting. They don’t have a product you can buy and it’s a different set-up to what we have with consoles now. So yeah. No one has done it. For good reason. If you were in charge you would be told by a team of people all the things I just said.

    • Schroeder

      Have you ever built a computer before? It’s remarkably easy to add on – REMARKABLY EASY. Nintendo did a memory add-on, which improved the graphics (because consoles use a CPU that handles graphics too – we call them APUs today).

      You can also liquid cool stuff, not that you’d need to. With the small size dies and a heatsink used on an add-on slot, you could keep it well below it’s critical heat levels. Trust me, anyone can do it with a box of scraps, having additional resources, like the ones that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo do, can easily get the job done. Or have you forgotten we use smartphones that don’t have fans to keep them cool? The new Lumia 950 uses liquid cooling for a higher performance chip, and you could engineer the addon slot to be open-facing so the console fans assist in keeping those components cool as well. It’s no problem seeing how even the XB1’s fan is overpowered for what it’s cooling (by design). I don’t know why you’re so hard-headed against this – it’s completely doable and like I mentioned: Razer DID it with cartridge-style components as proof that we could compartmentalize hardware to be easily added and removed without any knowledge of building a PC. Don’t overthink it.

    • Greetingsfriend

      “You can also liquid cool stuff, not that you’d need to. ”

      Hahahahahaha! Yeah, that’ll happen in the mass market sub-$400 consumer electronics space.

      “Or have you forgotten we use smartphones that don’t have fans to keep them cool?”

      At 5watts. Horrible, HORRIBLE example.

      The Lumina uses a traditional liquid based heat pipe. Nothing magical or interesting there. How often do you see that design with any high-performance chip? Pretty much never. It’s not enough to cool the power hungry devices we are talking about.

      “Razer DID it with cartridge-style components as proof that we could compartmentalize hardware to be easily added and removed without any knowledge of building a PC”
      And they made a giant monstrosity they would hit the ground dead if Sony or MS ever tried to sell it. I just looked at a picture and burst out laughing with the size of it. Oh, and Project Christine isn’t a product you can buy. They didn’t really talk price.

      You’re pulling a bunch of random and weird examples and are still ignoring the part where no console maker has done this for a reason. 1 example from Nintendo that falls apart because they never did it again.

    • Schroeder

      You’re speaking for companies for which you do not work for nor do you have any experience modding or building products with. Let those companies speak for themselves – this is entirely possible and probably IF those companies deem it necessary. The highest probably reason for nobody doing it is that it prevent consoles from releasing as brand new more frequently – cutting potential profits. You don’t get quite as much efficiency when you start adding on hardware as you would with a fresh, new unified hardware-set.

      It’s very easy to build a SATA or PCI expansion slot onto the side of the console. Build a cartridge that houses the expansion hardware. We’re not talking about a 200% power increase, but probably more like 30-50% (depending on how heavily you want to invest in it). BUT, the benefit is you have a console that makes its money and can make extra revenues with higher profit margins with add on bits. If we could get 50% more power out of either the XB1 or PS4, there would be more potential for games like Destiny to push toward the MMO landscapes and games like Battlefield to operate that 60FPS in 1080p with those 48-64 player counts.

      It’s a viable method of sustainable growth without having to spend so much on a new product. It’s doable, has been done (regardless of what you’re willing to claim ignorance over) and is a better business decision and would make buyers more happy knowing that they’ll get more years and more power down the line without investing another $500.

      /FIN

    • 86er

      Greetingsfriend – I think you’re too hard-nosed about this. You’re trying to shoot down the idea based on 1:1 comparative circumstances. Nobody would literally use the Lumia liquid cooling, the Xbox hardware team are more than capable of moving to a great liquid cooling base. Seems like you’re over-assuming everyone’s capabilities.

      I built a liquid-cooled system with a friend back with the original Xbox just as a school project to see how far we could stretch the hardware. It’s incredible what that tech can do for clocking speeds. Even though you lose efficiency at higher clock speeds beyond what is optimal for the given hardware, having that ability is very handy as long as you’re keeping the components appropriately cooled.

      More to the point – what Schroeder is saying is completely in the realm of possibility. I agree that it’s more of a business standpoint for companies in the past, and the technology wasn’t easy to shrink in years past. Today, it’s not a question of “if”, but a question of “would you want to?” – would you want to build your unit so well at launch and eat a little more cost up-front in exchange for opportunities for longevity and staving off the need to build again so soon?

      So many computing devices are getting turned over every year and people pay for it, I don’t see the consoles going this route, so if Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and whoever else wants to be in that ring want to keep from having to upgrade so fast, having attachable hardware to ramp up horsepower is actually a smart play. You keep the diehards from crying so hard whilst

  • Graeme Willy

    Because hardware doesn’t get upgraded on a console, developers are forced to innovate their software practices, thanks to the high expectations of the console gamers, who wants “as close to PC graphics” as is possible. I’ve always made this argument. While, you can’t exceed hardware performance, you can make better use of it, and innovate software development. There are just as many software innovations, methodology and advancements as there are hardware advancements. I’ve actually read interviews from developers stating that they wish the PC market could slow pace because by time you have finally neared mastering efficiency on one card, another card comes out that completely changes the ball game in some way, shape or form, and the enthusiasts have already moved over to the latest and greatest. This is so true.
    Pick any new game, such as Battlefront, and run it on your current PC setup, using the latest drivers. Play to your heart’s content. In a year or two down the road, be sure to use that same card, CPU, and RAM setup(even if you have to momentarily downgrade, and or undust your previous computer, or pull it from the closet/ garage, run the latest software updates, graphics card updates and OS updates and you’ll find that you run it a lot more smoothly with a lot more effects turned on then you last were able to. Cards mature. Unfortunately, they mature when you’ve already upgraded to the next card. I’ve PC gamed for nearly two decades and it always amazes me. I remember when Far Cry 1 came out. It was a very hard game to run at my monitor’s max resolution(1280×1024 ). I could only get it at around 1024×768, with high graphics settings(not the highest settings) and even then I wasn’t at a complete 30FPS. Mostly around 25. I fell out of PC gaming for about a year, as I was playing a lot of Xbox and PS2. By time I had interest in updating my rig again, I wanted to first pick up on Far Cry again and it ran gorgeously. Smooth, 1280×1024, and enough for post processing, and I had done absolutely nothing with my rig in that entire time. I was still running the same install of XP, but with later updates.

  • Tech junkie

    Problem is both these consoles were released obsolete.
    360 and PS3 were bleeding edge unique hardware. These 2 consoles are simply weak x86 pc’s running fairly heavy OS’s.

    We will see new consoles very soon.

    I don’t just mean because of graphics either. PS4 CPU is already struggling and Xbox is not far behind.
    Xbox graphics are less than what is expected and PS4 is running at full potential which can’t lock 30 frames on a significant number of games.


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