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!

Deathloop Guide – How to Find All Pictograms and Spy Hideouts

Deathloop Guide – How to Find All Pictograms and Spy Hideouts

Having trouble finding pictograms for an important Lead? Want to learn more about the spies in Blackreef? Here...

Diablo 2: Resurrected Gets Live Action Trailer Featuring Marvel’s Shang-Chi Star, Simu Liu

Diablo 2: Resurrected Gets Live Action Trailer Featuring Marvel’s Shang-Chi Star, Simu Liu

A live action trailer portrays a man who asks a priest to sin in order to battle about the Lord of Terror.

It Looks Like Nintendo Will Reveal a New Switch Controller This Week

It Looks Like Nintendo Will Reveal a New Switch Controller This Week

FCC documents suggest that Nintendo is going to reveal preliminary information on a new Switch controller on o...

Overwatch Executive Producer is Leaving Blizzard

Overwatch Executive Producer is Leaving Blizzard

Overwatch series executive producer Chacko Sonny is leaving Blizzard Entertainment, it's been confirmed.

Deathloop Update Addresses Another Issue With The Game’s PC Port

Deathloop Update Addresses Another Issue With The Game’s PC Port

An update to Deathloop on PC has addressed some issues with shaky mouse movements at high-framerates.

Death Stranding: Director’s Cut Will Cost £5 To Upgrade From PS4 To PS5

Death Stranding: Director’s Cut Will Cost £5 To Upgrade From PS4 To PS5

Death Stranding: DIrector's Cut will cost £5 to upgrade from the game's PS4 edition to the PS5 version.