Andy Nealen: Static Console Hardware Is Glorious, Explains The Disadvantages of Iterative Hardware

"For developers, it’s absolutely glorious that they can design for a piece of hardware, and that hardware is the same everywhere."

Posted By | On 03rd, Mar. 2016

Earlier this week Xbox boss Phil Spencer made it clear that they are looking into making Xbox One upgradeable in the future. So instead of different console generations, the Xbox One will possibly have iterative hardware configuration which is somewhat similar to what we have with mobiles and tablets.

But as expected there are some disadvantages with such a hardware model, a problem that apparently exists within the mobile space. Before Spencer announced his new plans for an upgrade-able Xbox One, GamingBolt caught up with Andy Nealen who specializes in computer graphics and is a consultant at Hemisphere Games. Andy also handles his day to day responsibilities as a professor of Game Engineering and Design at NYU Poly.

Co-incidentally we asked Andy about his thoughts about static console architecture against an iterative one. The following was his response:

“For developers, it’s absolutely glorious that they can design for a piece of hardware, and that hardware is the same everywhere. Because, even developing for iOS for example, you have different iOS versions, different sizes of iPhones and iPads, and you have to make sure your stuff works for all of them. Now mind you, this is still not as bad as development can be for PC- or for Android! Don’t even get me started on Android. Android is just a nightmare. Android is just the worse. It is just so hard to make it work. The only reason there is an Android version of Osmos is because we outsourced it to a company. And we’re very happy we did, because obviously it’s been a good success on Android, but we didn’t do it ourselves, because that’s the lowest level of graphics programming that I have ever seen in my life! Where a graphics engineer has to test all these devices, all different graphics drivers, and it’s the most Sisyphean task I’ve seen. There are different graphics drivers! And each driver has its own bugs!”

In short, it’s easier said than done. There will be a lot of challenges if Microsoft plans to go ahead with such a model which includes and not limited to insuring backwards and forwards compatibility, hardware compatibility and maintaining different firmware versions for different Xbox SKUs.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

Let us know in the comments section below and stay tuned for more news and updates.


Amazing Articles You Might Want To Check Out!



Share Your Thoughts Below  (Always follow our comments policy!)



Keep On Reading!

Xbox Game Pass Family Plan Available for Insiders in Colombia and Ireland

Xbox Game Pass Family Plan Available for Insiders in Colombia and Ireland

The plan allows up to four people in the same regions to access content from a single Xbox Game Pass Ultimate ...

Sword and Fairy: Together Forever Review – A Solid Experience

Sword and Fairy: Together Forever Review – A Solid Experience

[drop-cap]D[/drop-cap]eveloper SOFTSTAR’s Sword and Fairy series is one that isn’t all that well known in ... Read More

Freedom Planet 2 Releases Summer 2023 for Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch

Freedom Planet 2 Releases Summer 2023 for Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch

The long-awaited side-scrolling platformer is still on track for September 13th on PC with the credits and a "...

Digimon Survive Review – Digital Folk Lore

Digimon Survive Review – Digital Folk Lore

This is not the Digimon game you are looking for - and that might actually be a good thing.

Why The Last of Us Part I Will Be One of The Standout Games of the Year

Why The Last of Us Part I Will Be One of The Standout Games of the Year

Even with leaks and reports of no gameplay improvements, Naughty Dog's remake is posed to be a huge success. H...

What Went Wrong With Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City?

What Went Wrong With Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City?

We analyze each aspect of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City to try to understand where this promising conc...