The End of Console hardware?

Imagine if there were specific devices for Netflix, Amazon video, disney+ etc? Crazy… right… Well this is the reality of games consoles today, we have to buy hardware that is very very similar just to play a handful of exclusive games.

Weather sony like or not in the not to distant future, console hardware is going to become a tougher and tougher sell

@ 16.25 Tim sweeny who is a pretty smart guy says that in 10yrs we will be able to have photorealistic environments and humans may also be possible. So XsX 2 and PS6 hardware may be able to do photorealistic visuals, maybe it will take the PS7 gen to reach this photorealistic goal. Once we reach this goal, will new gens really be necessary? I guess VR will push the hardware requirement higher because more pixels will be required but it will be a tougher sell.

So when that point happens where more powerful hardware is no longer needed, what do you think will happen? Will sony and ms turn to more Netflix style companies?

Eventually, it will happen but it will be a while. Personally, this will be my last generation of using consoles. Technology will get to the point where for majority of people it will be good enough. It really depends on how streaming tech improves over the next decade where the amount of users makes it unnecessary to have dedicated hardware. Time will tell.

Imagine if there were specific devices for Netflix, Amazon video, disney+ etc? Crazy… right…

there are dedicated and specific hardware in TV SOC and GPU for video streaming. It just that almost all video coding uses one of few international standards (AVC, HEVC and in future AV1) and encyption standards such as HDCP. For years on internet we would suffer from video not playing and finding and installing codecs. That has pretty much been done... back in 2003 I started development of a GPU with multistandard video decoders.

Today, on PC we can pick up almost any game and it will play if HW meets minimum requirements. This happens because almost all games are built using common API such as DX11/DX12. If consoles used a common API then we would not care... however, console business is not that. Its to sell you razer blades and those blades need to be proprietary to ensure you need to buy from specific vendor. This is how we can justify the hundreds of millions of investment in a new console and selling them at a loss.

I have been working on cloud gaming for over 8 years... and only now we are seeing the very first steps. The issue for much of this time has not been technology, its been an economic issue. We are getting enough data centers to challenge latency, and network structure and bandwidth. Only a few companies can provide this infrastructure because of the cost. From the customer perspective you many not need specific hardware (console), but you will need to sign up to different services, and need multiple subscriptions.

Theres also the question of moors law, i dont think chip designers will be able to go smaller then 1nm, so PS6/XSX2 will either be a 1nm soc or multiple gpus on infinity fabric.

They might be 40-50tflops next next gen which would be interesting, but they would need multiple gpus for the gen after because the node would not be able to be shrunk.

I say devices not components.

Ivan Sutherland’s Wheel of Reincarnation… components keep getting consumed into devices for economy, and maturing technology transitions from SW to HW.