• Register
  • TOS
  • Privacy
  • @NeoGAF
  • Like

jelly
Member
(10-31-2014, 12:49 PM)
Link

Some choice parts

The price drop is long overdue. The Playstation 4 is outselling the Xbox One by a significant margin -- Ars Technica estimates by at least 40% -- and the entire gap can be traced to one crucial decision. That's how thin the line is between success and failure in the console market. You can have a fantastic brand, recruit third party support, obtain exclusives, introduce innovations, ensure wide distribution, spend a lot of money on marketing... and still fail because of one bad decision.

That's not to say Microsoft hasn't made their fair few, but can you guess which bad decision I'm referring to? It wasn't bundling the Kinect, though that was rough because of the $100 price premium. It wasn't the DRM policies, or the always online requirement either. I think Microsoft was able to reverse those out early enough.

It was Microsoft's decision to go with 8GB of 2133MHz DDR3 RAM and 32MB of eSRAM memory for the Xbox One, while Sony opted to go with 8GB of 5500MHz GDDR5 RAM for the Playstation 4. This was terrible judgment on Microsoft's part, and if they lose the console war they can point to that decision as the cause.

The game's publisher sees that the Playstation 4 version sold better and concludes they should put more resources behind the winning platform. Those resources translate to better games which gives consumers even more reason to choose Sony. Microsoft itself earns less revenue to make up for its loss leader, the console itself.

It's a death cycle that Microsoft is in danger of falling into.

Those who follow the console market will point out that weaker machines haven't always lost. Indeed, the Sega Genesis held up admirably against the Super Nintendo, as did the Xbox 360 against the Playstation 3. There's one key difference however. Those weaker machines also cost less to make and thus were sold at cheaper prices. Gamers don't mind weaker machines as long as they are cheaper as well.

Fortunately for Sony, DDR5 supply didn't turn out to be a bottleneck. In fact, Sony was able to launch in many more countries with more consoles ready for sale than Microsoft. Unfortunately for Microsoft, it also meant it had a console that appeared weaker graphically -- a sin for hardcore gamers who are the first to buy new, expensive consoles.

Can you imagine if Microsoft had just opted for DDR5 memory? The Xbox One and the Playstation 4 would have the same exact hardware. There would be no resolutiongate and it wouldn't have been so easy for hardcore gamers to choose which to support. It would be a race to secure the better exclusives, provide a better network environment, and so on. Sure, Microsoft would have still made their earlier snafus, but those were all reversible. A bad hardware decision is not.

More at the link. Does go over what we've read before but a decent summary and conclusion.
darkwing
Member
(10-31-2014, 12:51 PM)
darkwing's Avatar
that is why MS can afford to start the next gen race early
Nintendojitsu
Banned
(10-31-2014, 12:51 PM)
The console war does not exist.
CmdBash
Member
(10-31-2014, 12:52 PM)
CmdBash's Avatar
In the end the platform with the best games will win just as it has been for every past generation, a shiny turd is still a turd.
c0de
next time I babble on about sales parity, just quote my tag back at me thx friend
(10-31-2014, 12:53 PM)
c0de's Avatar
What? First they say that MS had terrible judgement with their memory solution, then it was fortunate for Sony they could put in 8 gb ddr5.
MS played safe and Sony risked and it went well for Sony, in my opinion. Not what the article says it was/is.
cookie-monster
Member
(10-31-2014, 12:53 PM)
cookie-monster's Avatar
did the memory decision lead to them putting in a significantly weaker GPU as well?
El-Pistolero
Member
(10-31-2014, 12:53 PM)
El-Pistolero's Avatar
40% difference...WUT? Did they mistake the GPU disparity for the gap in sales?
Jonnax
Member
(10-31-2014, 12:54 PM)

Originally Posted by darkwing

that is why MS can afford to start the next gen race early

Too early and current Xbox One users will be annoyed. Why would you buy a new console after a company straight up abandons their previous one early.
c0de
next time I babble on about sales parity, just quote my tag back at me thx friend
(10-31-2014, 12:54 PM)
c0de's Avatar

Originally Posted by CmdBash

In the end the platform with the best games will win just as it has been for every past generation, hardware does not a good game make.

That's not entirely true as Dreamcast and other systems showed us. It's not software alone that makes for success. Software is an important parameter in this multi-dimensional vector, though.
Competa
Banned
(10-31-2014, 12:54 PM)
The regular consumer doesn't know and doesn't care. It was the rumor/fact that nearly killed the xbox. People today still thinks the xbox is always online and drm fest.
Skux
Member
(10-31-2014, 12:54 PM)
Skux's Avatar
Well of course a site called Techspot is going to blame the hardware.
Xis
Member
(10-31-2014, 12:54 PM)
Xis's Avatar
The RAM? That's their reason? Do they even understand how computers work? Even just if I were to agree that Microsoft's problems are hardware related (which I don't) - it would be because of the GPU (which has a huge effect on games) and not the RAM (which has a much smaller effect)
KKRT00
Member
(10-31-2014, 12:55 PM)
KKRT00's Avatar

Originally Posted by cookie-monster

did the memory decision lead to them putting in a significantly weaker GPU as well?

Yes, ESDRAM takes silicon space that they could use for more CUs.
cormack12
Member
(10-31-2014, 12:55 PM)
cormack12's Avatar
Didn't Cerny pretty much admit the 8GB GDDR5 was a bit of a gamble though? Didn't they plump for 4GB and bank on prices coming down to soup up the pool later in the dev cycle? It was a very educated guess mind, and that's obviously why he's in the job he is.

It would have been interesting to see the response if the memory had not dropped that much though. Will also be interesting to see how it affects the new console designs in a few years.
tim.mbp
Member
(10-31-2014, 12:55 PM)
tim.mbp's Avatar
I thought the Xbox One was selling well, not as much as the PS4, but that doesn't mean it's struggling.
stryke
Member
(10-31-2014, 12:56 PM)
stryke's Avatar
How are you going to exhibit differences in resolution when you don't even provide them in full resolution.





And no, I don't really agree with their reasoning the blame lies solely on the power differential.
Kezen
Banned
(10-31-2014, 12:57 PM)
I agree with the article mostly, Microsoft made terrible hardware choices and this will bit them in the ass for as long as the Xbox One is on the market. Kinect should never have been but an option right from the start.

Sony won't have much trouble selling much more PS4s, Microsoft has slipped and misjudged the market. They could have gotten away with DRM, policies of all kinds so as long as the hardware was on par or better than its direct competitor.
One4U
Banned
(10-31-2014, 12:57 PM)
I think this article hit the key point.

Xbox One was in the trouble when IW announced that Ghost was 1080p on PS4 and 720p on Xbox One. Since the resolution-gate was open last year, Xbox One started to fail in the consumers' mind.

Just imaging you go to mediamarkt to buy a console, and the employee tells you that PS4 games are 1080p and Xbox One games are 900p, what choice will you make even you just have small knowledge of resolution?
Withnail
Member
(10-31-2014, 12:57 PM)
Withnail's Avatar

Originally Posted by cookie-monster

did the memory decision lead to them putting in a significantly weaker GPU as well?

Yes, the ESRAM takes up die space.
Nintendojitsu
Banned
(10-31-2014, 12:58 PM)

Originally Posted by stryke

How are you going to exhibit differences in resolution when you don't even provide them in full resolution.





And no, I don't really agree with their reasoning the blame lies solely on the power differential.

Ugh...the black crush hurts my eyes. T_T
SolsticeZero
Banned
(10-31-2014, 12:58 PM)
SolsticeZero's Avatar

Originally Posted by darkwing

that is why MS can afford to start the next gen race early

But if they start it too early, people will think "wow, that was quick. If the next one is that quick, I can skip this one."
TechnicPuppet
Nothing! I said nothing!
(10-31-2014, 12:58 PM)
TechnicPuppet's Avatar
The 360 was weaker? PS3 had some worse multi plats than the XB1 will ever have. Funny this myth still exists, that cell marketing really did a number on folk
Jack cw
Member
(10-31-2014, 12:58 PM)
Jack cw's Avatar
They struggle not only because of the split RAM desiscion and relative weak GPU. But for the whole DRM dilemma, the huge design of the box with external PSU, a high launch price, inferior brand strentgh worldwide (xbox compared to PS), no real value for the online paywall and PR desaster regarding power difference and DRM. Microsofts approach with focusing too much on entertainment, TV and sports on the reveal was really bad either. If you look for how to NOT place a new product into the market, then Xbox One, the all in one entertainment system is textbook definition of it.
samman6
Member
(10-31-2014, 12:58 PM)
samman6's Avatar
This article is full of it, DRM and the price did way more harm then the ram, the power difference is real and a factor in the sales gap, but everyone I know, knew about DRM due to twitter, and everyone saw the 500 vs 400 at launch, very few knew about the power difference. Being extremely NA focused did not help either.
Luigiv
Member
(10-31-2014, 12:58 PM)
Luigiv's Avatar

Originally Posted by cookie-monster

did the memory decision lead to them putting in a significantly weaker GPU as well?

Actually yes. The weaker gpu is a direct result of them blowing their transistor budget on the esram.

Edit: beaten.
Plinko
Wildcard berths that can't beat teams without a winning record should have homefield advantage
(10-31-2014, 01:00 PM)

Originally Posted by samman6

This article is full of it, DRM and the price did way more harm then the ram, the power difference is real and a factor in the sales gap, but everyone I know, knew about DRM due to twitter, and everyone saw the 500 vs 400 at launch, very few knew about the power difference. Being extremely NA focused did not help either.

This right here. I struggle to believe people can't see how badly the anti-consumer policies hurt their reputation.
Manmademan
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:00 PM)
Manmademan's Avatar

Originally Posted by El-Pistolero

40% difference...WUT? Did they mistake the GPU disparity for the gap in sales?

worldwide this is accurate.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/1...than-xbox-one/

In the US it's closer, but Sony has something like a million unit lead on the Xbox one. this generation is over, basically.
Chris1
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:01 PM)

Originally Posted by darkwing

that is why MS can afford to start the next gen race early

So that sony can yet again get a hardware advantage over MS?

MS is not going to release the xbox two/xbox whatever before PS5. The weaker hardware this gen is a problem for them/the xbox brand, why would they give Sony an easy shot to 1 up them again by releasing early?
wapplew
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:01 PM)
wapplew's Avatar
We all know the popular answer is Don Mattrick.
Guerrillas in the Mist
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:01 PM)
Guerrillas in the Mist's Avatar
Theoretically, if the XB1 had used GDDR5 and used the freed-up die space for the GPU, would the two consoles have been almost the same both in terms of architecture and performance?
Jack cw
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:02 PM)
Jack cw's Avatar

Originally Posted by TechnicPuppet

The 360 was weaker? PS3 had some worse multi plats than the XB1 will ever have. Funny this myth still exists, that cell marketing really did a number on folk

Cell was and is a giant when it comes to processing, but it's a hell to code for it. The RSX wasa failure by Nvidia and both 360 and PS3 were equally powerful, with 360 easier to program for and the bonus of edram for post processing AA. PS3 launched 1 year later, was difficult to program for because of very bad documentation that was partially only in Japanese, so the extra money from devs to optimize for PS3 was not worth it at the begining. Same goes for Xbone right now, but with the difference that PS4 is considerably more powerful.
NewDust
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:02 PM)
NewDust's Avatar
Than how did the ps3 got better ltd sales than 360. A lot of games are graphically impaired on the ps3 in comparison. Shouldn't that gave it the same dead spiral they proclaim the One will have.

If there is one reason that the one is behind in competition, it is bad consumer communication. Strenghts aren't conveyed, while negatives are only made worse by MS's messaging.
DBT85
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:02 PM)
DBT85's Avatar

Originally Posted by Plinko

This right here. I struggle to believe people can't see how badly the anti-consumer policies hurt their reputation.

Because so many were ready to bend over and take it, including a fucking host of websites. All they can see is that those of us who hated it ruined everything for them and that they were going to be able to play any games any of their friends ever bought with no limits.

Originally Posted by Guerrillas in the Mist

Theoretically, if the XB1 had used GDDR5 and used the freed-up die space for the GPU, would the two consoles have been almost the same both in terms of architecture and performance?

Yes. Then it would have been about the DRM mess, the Kinect and the exclusives. Something plenty of people keep saying it's all down to in the first place.

The dies used on both systems are fairly close in actual size, the Xbone's is actually bigger I think because of that ESRAM.
One4U
Banned
(10-31-2014, 01:03 PM)

Originally Posted by Jack cw

They struggle not only because of the split RAM desiscion and relative weak GPU. But for the whole DRM dilemma, the huge design of the box with external PSU, a high launch price, inferior brand strentgh worldwide (xbox compared to PS), no real value for the online paywall and PR desaster regarding power difference and DRM. Microsofts approach with focusing too much on entertainment, TV and sports on the reveal was really bad either. If you look for how to NOT place a new product into the market, then Xbox One, the all in one entertainment system is textbook definition of it.

No. Many of those factor were long gone or even not out when X1 was launched. I bet most of average consumers didn't even know those DRM dilemma / disaster PR, etc. And the price of X1 was on par with PS4 since June. Why PS4 still takes the lead?

It is because of the power of hardware, resolution of games.
Sho_Nuff82
(10-31-2014, 01:03 PM)
Sho_Nuff82's Avatar
Ridiculous. DRM-gate and mandatory Kinect were much bigger hurdles than 720p vs 1080p (or 900p vs 1080p).

MS had to claw their way out of a PR hole last fall that they buried themselves in with the reveal. When those first preorder numbers dropped, no one even knew about CoD and Titanfall resolutions.
KKRT00
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:04 PM)
KKRT00's Avatar

Originally Posted by Guerrillas in the Mist

Theoretically, if the XB1 had used GDDR5 and used the freed-up die space for the GPU, would the two consoles have been almost the same both in terms of architecture and performance?

Yep.
ps3ud0
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:04 PM)
ps3ud0's Avatar
Poor article IMO - hell from the OP it doesn't even discuss the reasons why they were after as much RAM as possible which led themselves down the DDR3 path

I think a whole set of decisions has put the XO in the position its in, any one of which is a contributing factor - seems to be a perfect storm pre-launch that they'll put a load of effort in since to right.

ps3ud0 8)
psn
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:05 PM)
psn's Avatar

Originally Posted by Manmademan

worldwide this is accurate.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/1...than-xbox-one/

In the US it's closer, but Sony has something like a million unit lead on the Xbox one. this generation is over, basically.

It's not really accurate, it's an estimation. A bad one for Sony, a good one for MS.

According to the quarterly results, its 13.5 million shipped for the PS4, not 10.5
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=922489

And it's still an optimistic estimation for the XB1...
Madness
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:06 PM)
I don't know. Just the other day when I bought my Xbox One I was talking to some kids who said it doesn't play used games. That's how pervasive the belief became. The average consumer cares more about missing features like being able to share or trade in games, not having to be connected online all the time, price point and Kinect which came at the height of the NSA scandal. I don't think the average person cares about 1080p vs 900p or 8gb ddr3 versus 8gb gddr5 as much as gamers or tech bloggers think.

The reason Microsoft struggled was because it was increasingly being talked about as an anti-consumer console, one that was not only $100 more than its rival but weaker in terms of specs. It was just a perfect storm of things that really did a number on them.
geordiemp
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:06 PM)
They are correct but wording is not so clever.

Yes the DDR3 and ESRAM was a mistake.

If the XB1 had GDDR5 it would not need the ESRAM and hence have as big or even bigger GPU than Xb1 with all that spare die space.

Arguably with Xb1 die space being slightly larger without that ESRAM Xb1 then MS could have gone with 2TF. With faster CPU they would have been maybe 10-15 % more powerful.


Shame.
One4U
Banned
(10-31-2014, 01:07 PM)

Originally Posted by Sho_Nuff82

Ridiculous. DRM-gate and mandatory Kinect were much bigger hurdles than 720p vs 1080p (or 900p vs 1080p).

MS had to claw their way out of a PR hole last fall that they buried themselves in with the reveal. When those first preorder numbers dropped, no one even knew about CoD and Titanfall resolutions.

DRM and PR hole destroyed the pre-order of Xbox One, but why wasn't the sales of Xbox One improved after DRM and PR hole was gone?

DRM/PR hurt Xbox One once, but the weaker hardware and the resolution-gate will hurt Xbox One for a much longer time, I mean the entire current gen.
Manmademan
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:07 PM)
Manmademan's Avatar

Originally Posted by NewDust

Than how did the ps3 got better ltd sales than 360. A lot of games are graphically impaired on the ps3 in comparison. Shouldn't that gave it the same dead spiral they proclaim the One will have.

If there is one reason that the one is behind in competition, it is bad consumer communication. Strenghts aren't conveyed, while negatives are only made worse by MS's messaging.

The PS3 caught up to the Xbox 360 almost entirely because EU and JP were heavy, HEAVY Sony territories and the Xbox never really caught on there to the extent that it did in the US and UK.

Microsoft doesn't have that advantage. Sony is so far past MS in EU and JP that those territories are completely out of play for the Xbox. Sony now leads significantly in the US. There is NO way for microsoft to catch up to Sony the way the PS3 did to the 360 last round.
jpax
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:08 PM)
jpax's Avatar

Originally Posted by jelly


Can you imagine if Microsoft had just opted for DDR5 memory? The Xbox One and the Playstation 4 would have the same exact hardware. There would be no resolutiongate and it wouldn't have been so easy for hardcore gamers to choose which to support. It would be a race to secure the better exclusives, provide a better network environment, and so on. Sure, Microsoft would have still made their earlier snafus, but those were all reversible. A bad hardware decision is not.

First he writes about DDR5 and then completely ignores the about 40% stronger GPU of the PS4. Should not be taken seriously and should be forgotten fast!
Percy
Banned
(10-31-2014, 01:08 PM)
I can think of many reasons for why Xbox One is proving so unpopular, but the reasoning employed in the article would be far from my top choice as to why it's in the position it is in.

Top reason for me is the lack of decent games (That I can't play elsewhere) worth owning the console for right now and the poor looking release schedule for next year.

Originally Posted by TechnicPuppet

The PS3 had graphically broken games and near every game was inferior.

Near every XB1 version is inferior but it doesn't and won't have broken games.

Depends on how you'd define "broken" I guess, but using this reasoning I'd describe XB1 games with awful performance like Dead Rising 3 as being "graphically broken" in all honesty.

I'd be interested to hear how you know that it "won't have broken games" as well.
TechnicPuppet
Nothing! I said nothing!
(10-31-2014, 01:08 PM)
TechnicPuppet's Avatar

Originally Posted by Jack cw

Cell was and is a giant when it comes to processing, but it's a hell to code for it. The RSX wasa failure by Nvidia and both 360 and PS3 were equally powerful, with 360 easier to program for and the bonus of edram for post processing AA. PS3 launched 1 year later, was difficult to program for because of very bad documentation that was partially only in Japanese, so the extra money from devs to optimize for PS3 was not worth it at the begining. Same goes for Xbone right now, but with the difference that PS4 is considerably more powerful.

The PS3 had graphically broken games and near every game was inferior.

Near every XB1 version is inferior but it doesn't and won't have broken games.
Isurus
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:08 PM)
Isurus's Avatar
Frankly, there biggest screw up was price (or, more specifically, whatever drove the need for that launch price). $100 or 25% more than your competition when launching at the same time without any additional value proposition (Kinect wasn't it) hurt more than any of these technical differences.
hodgy100
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:09 PM)
hodgy100's Avatar

Originally Posted by TechnicPuppet

The 360 was weaker? PS3 had some worse multi plats than the XB1 will ever have. Funny this myth still exists, that cell marketing really did a number on folk

The 360 is weaker than the PS3, it was also much easier to develop for.
TyrantII
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:09 PM)
TyrantII's Avatar

Originally Posted by Xis

The RAM? That's their reason? Do they even understand how computers work? Even just if I were to agree that Microsoft's problems are hardware related (which I don't) - it would be because of the GPU (which has a huge effect on games) and not the RAM (which has a much smaller effect)

32MB or eSRAM is a huge bottleneck in HD gaming when just framebuffers of modern engines can easily surpass 4-5X that amount. The ram is an issue.

That said I think they're severely underplaying always online, always watching, and DRM.

Its one of the rare instances where consumer knew they were to be screwed before hand and voted with their wallets until the 180.
virtualS
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:10 PM)
virtualS's Avatar

Originally Posted by Xis

The RAM? That's their reason? Do they even understand how computers work? Even just if I were to agree that Microsoft's problems are hardware related (which I don't) - it would be because of the GPU (which has a huge effect on games) and not the RAM (which has a much smaller effect)

The RAM needed to be 8GB in 2010 or whenever they started designing the One because of TV TV TV 3 simultaneous operating systems. They had to choose DDR3 back then which led to the embedded memory taking up a large part of the GPU.
DBT85
Member
(10-31-2014, 01:10 PM)
DBT85's Avatar

Originally Posted by One4U

DRM and PR hole destroyed the pre-order of Xbox One, but why wasn't the sales of Xbox One improved after DRM and PR hole was gone?

DRM/PR hurt Xbox One once, but the weaker hardware and the resolution-gate will hurt Xbox One for a much longer time, I mean the entire current gen.

Because the hole had been created in the first place and gamers are not quite as forgetful as people think.

I think pretty much every game running better on PS4 HAS had an effect, if only because lots of people that DO care have made buying choices on it, and its those people that lead the initial market and encourage their friends and relatives to do the same.

Thread Tools