MS Director of Product Planning
"Now More Direct than ever!"
(08-29-2013, 12:47 AM)
With so many people questioning what I meant around “near final” at Gamescom, I want to clarify my own comments (typically I wouldn’t chime in on a Sony thread, since I can’t speak to what Sony is doing), but since I can’t start a new thread, I’m adding my comments here. So before this starts – I’m not here to bash Sony.
At E3, you saw Xbox One games running in a couple of environments:
Development PC’s (these were our early Alpha kits spec’d similarly to HW targets)
Development Kits (these are the white and black consoles that look like retail units)
Other PC’s (in these cases, like the drama around the PC with the nvidia GPU), we asked developers to make sure what they were showing was reflective of what could be achieved on Xbox One.
I think we were pretty open about it. Some may disagree, but I don’t recall us trying to be particularly cagey about this since it’s typical for this point in the console to have game development being scattered.
At this point, just about everything is running on “near final” Hardware. What’s unique about our program this time is that Dev Kits and Retail Kits are exactly the same.
Despite the belief, our Dev Kits DO NOT have 12gb of ram. They have 8gb, just like shipping units. So anything you see running on a black Xbox One console is the same unit we’re going to ship.
Now, the reason I say “near final” is because you guys like us to be precise. Anyone that knows HW development understands that millions of units don’t come flying off the assembly line by just flipping a switch (see what I did there?)
You have many, many units that are run on the factory production line before final product starts as you’re testing quality, tweaking the manufacturing process, etc. But all these consoles you’re seeing are coming off factory production lines. That’s why I caveat “near final” because, before you start full production, you go through many test runs.
So again to clarify – we have real, retail consoles running real code. Every time you see a black box running software, it’s the real thing. I had almost 300 people see the dash demo at Gamescom, and people were free to inspect the HW I was demoing on.