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pierrot
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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts

by pierrot Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:06 pm

RCBH928 wrote:This will probably never happen, but I wish you could use your console as an external GPU. Just plug it to your computer with USB-C.

Well, it probably couldn't really be done with USB, since it's a serial bus protocol, and USB 3.0 nominally supports bitrates (or byterates, in this case) up to 625 megabytes per second. Usually GPUs would be connected by PCI express, which is a parallel bus protocol, at nominal maximum transfer rates of 16 gigatransfers per second. The 'byterate' would be a multiple of that, by the bus width (divided by eight bits). It doesn't sound practical to me. At the very least, it would require some other method of connecting, with much higher bandwidth than USB, to actually give much in terms of benefit.

EDIT: It looks like I haven't been paying enough attention to USB specs lately, but even at best case, USB 3.2 clocks at 2.5 gigabytes per second. In terms of just a raw data rate, that could be enough, but there would still probably be a number of issues with trying to hotswap the graphics processor in a game console as an external GPU to another computer.
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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts

by marurun Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:47 pm

External GPUs are a thing, but console GPUs are generally not top of the line and benefit from not having a full computer OS overhead.
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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts

by pierrot Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:19 pm

Not even just the OS overhead, but I'm imagining that they're more of an integrated implementation in the consoles, to be more optimized within the system. That might require setting up the console CPU as a daughter terminal to even access the graphics processor. That is, if the system weren't explicitly designed to be used as an external GPU. I'm not especially familiar with the designs of the last round of consoles. Maybe it would just be a simple hack in the case of the Xbox One.

It's a nice thought, either way, but I'm just not sure it's very realistic. There's no incentive for the big players to offer that kind of functionality to begin with.
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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts

by RCBH928 Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:17 pm

pierrot wrote: It's a nice thought, either way, but I'm just not sure it's very realistic. There's no incentive for the big players to offer that kind of functionality to begin with.


Actually there is, especially on the Xbox side of things. If you can proclaim that your hardware can double as your GPU for your computer it will be a selling point. Microsoft will win either way because they build the Xbox, the games, Windows, and the xbox service on both Windows and Console. We also know that more hardware sold means more games sold= higher profit.

It won't help Sony as much but given that a lot of games are best experienced/exclusive on consoles and others are best/only available on PC (especially older ones), Sony too can pitch their console as a PC GPU too.

Desktop users are the smaller market share, even those with desktops might not have a dedicated GPU(School machines?). Think of the untapped laptop market, how many people out there with ultra-portable and regular laptops out there with outdated tech. It doesn't have to run 4K but if it can run Xbox1 games in 1080P that would great.
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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts

by pierrot Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:39 am

You could be right about that. Maybe for Microsoft that could actually be a selling point. I think I might disagree with how viable a market there is for it, though. I think for some people, if they bought a console, and it had that sort of feature, they might be pretty happy with it, but I don't think many would actually go out and buy an Xbox One because it could double as an external GPU.
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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts

by RCBH928 Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:31 pm

No one will buy X1 as a PC GPU, its more like the DVD player with PS2s. People bought PS2 because they wanted one and the DVD player was the extra incentive. Its just something that will give you more bang for your dollar.

I really think it can give Xbox that edge over PS since most game library is shared, here we have a real differentiator when making a purchase decision.
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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts

by isiolia Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:31 am

I think any solution to provide that functionality would end up being more complicated than it's worth, on both the end user and development ends.

As pierrot mentioned, consoles are highly integrated systems (shared high speed memory, etc). Simply turning part of the board on or something wouldn't be an option, and it's unlikely that any console maker would want to do that anyway. Even if it was feasible, if they just let people access parts of the system on a PCIe bus that'd open it up to all kinds of hacking. Having the hardware simply presented to a computer to use as a native device - as a typical eGPU would be - is likely right out.

That said, the Xbox One is already running on Hyper-V, so I guess in wild speculative theory MS could make the hardware available for a virtualized compute cluster...thing...along with other devices on a high speed interconnect? I dunno. They have mentioned trying to use cloud computing to augment games, so maybe in theory they could find a way to harness other local systems to do it too. Then again, didn't Sony get to talking about that with the PS3 tech, to no results?
At least right now though, having a port fast enough for that isn't a given...or if you're offloading enough, you're basically at in-home streaming, which is already supported.

At the end of the day though, their goal is less about selling you a box, and more about selling you content. If you're buying stuff in their storefronts, MS has a lot of ways to play it, including cross-buy and data sync with the PC version if you're shifting between the two. As neat a trick as an external GPU type feature would be, effectively, it'd just be MS spending money to enable customers go buy the Steam version that they don't make any money on. :?
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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts

by RCBH928 Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:22 pm

isiolia wrote:At the end of the day though, their goal is less about selling you a box, and more about selling you content. If you're buying stuff in their storefronts, MS has a lot of ways to play it, including cross-buy and data sync with the PC version if you're shifting between the two. As neat a trick as an external GPU type feature would be, effectively, it'd just be MS spending money to enable customers go buy the Steam version that they don't make any money on. :?


Well, the more boxes they sell the more content they sell. Anyway,I thought Xbox team is now all about being "open" and platform free. Not sure what is their strategy anymore as forever the strategy was for the console manufacturer to lock in customers to their platform.

If you ask me, I think they are transitioning slowly towards a "videogames netflix".
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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts

by isiolia Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:28 am

RCBH928 wrote:Well, the more boxes they sell the more content they sell. Anyway,I thought Xbox team is now all about being "open" and platform free. Not sure what is their strategy anymore as forever the strategy was for the console manufacturer to lock in customers to their platform.

If you ask me, I think they are transitioning slowly towards a "videogames netflix".


It's not necessarily a 1:1. What they want is for content sales to follow hardware sales. If the hardware - often sold at low margins, or at a loss - is just being bought to use for something else, then that's not good business.

I don't think it's as much a Netflix for games model they're going for, but rather, being the one selling the services everyone runs on. Maybe look at something like the Unreal engine as a parallel. Quite a number of games use it, all of which (I assume) Epic is making royalties on. If a few of them end up competing with their own games, well, fine. The success of any game using Unreal is their success too. Selling games on other platforms means that MS, as a publisher, makes money in regions where Xbox doesn't sell well.

MS is still holding on to things like Halo/ for their own platforms, they're just positioning to make things less of an all or nothing sort of deal.
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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts

by Forlorn Drifter Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:58 pm

The problem with delving deep into Japanese retro- everything I like seems to be untranslated PS1/Saturn stuff... :shock:

Currently waiting on the Linda Cubed translation. If it's even being worked on still.
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