Phil Spencer about next Xbox: The "next thing" is framerate, CPU/GPU balance is out of whack

Oct 26, 2017
763
#1
Excellent GiantBomb interview with Phil Spencer, chief of Xbox:


Video link starts at a relevant spot:
Jeff: "So when you pie-in-the-sky think about what that next box is... what's going to be the next thing in that 'we have to have this', what is it?"

Phil: "If you look at the Xbox stuff we are doing right now like variable framerate... I think framerate is an area where consoles can do more just in general. You look at the balance between CPU and GPU in todays consoles they are a little bit out of whack compared to what's on the PC side and I think there is work that we can do there."
Pretty big news. This was posted in one of the other threads, unfortunately it didn't get much attention apparently. Seems like we can expect much more 60fps games on next-gen consoles! Thanks to Wollan for finding this!
 

Ada

Member
Nov 28, 2017
1,054
#3
This has been glaringly obvious since the Ass creed Unity debacle. The CPUs in these consoles have been a huge bottleneck.
 
Oct 25, 2017
891
#7
It helps too that since 2013 cpu's have barely advanced but they have grown less expensive (amd finally has competitive parts)

Next gen is going to be one where pc doesn't have that enormous advantage
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,002
#9
I would rather they use the cpu to improve a.i and other simulations than waste it on framerate. Not all games need to be 60 fps.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,593
#11
The one sensible man in video games management.

I am waiting for the day when people realise that the highest resolution in the world is pointless if the frame rate is terrible. And yes 30fps is just not good enough for the vast majority of games.
 

random51

Banned
Member
May 6, 2018
189
#12
I think Phil might not understand how developers work, or in this particular case is ignoring that for the purposes of this interview.

It doesn't matter how big the bag is, a developer will try to stuff more into it than it can hold. Give them a 5 pound bag? Somebody will try to put 10 pounds into it.

Additionally, FPS isn't a hard technical limit, at least within the ranges we're talking about here. It is a trade-off. You can sacrifice FPS to do other things and a lot of developers on console make that sacrifice purposely. No amount of hardware is going to change that thanks to the 5 pound bag rule.

As somebody who spent most of his career supporting developers I can tell you that "throw more hardware at it" is a band-aid when it comes to fitting the developers' vision into your current hardware footprint. The more hardware you give them the more time they spend on feature creep instead of optimization and you end up in the same place you started.
 
Oct 27, 2017
8,974
#17
Finally, someone who knows what these consoles truly need.

Also, Phil, you should really respond to me on Twitter. I've made many attempts to communicate but they seem to go unanswered. I'm just a little worried, Phil. But don't worry, Phil. I'll be fine.

Phil, please respond. Did I say something wrong? Phil? Phil.
 

MisterMangu

Banned
Member
Feb 12, 2018
724
#18
I think Phil might not understand how developers work, or in this particular case is ignoring that for the purposes of this interview.

It doesn't matter how big the bag is, a developer will try stuff more into it than it can hold. Give them a 5 pound bag? Somebody will try to put 10 pounds into it.

Additionally, FPS isn't a hard technical limit, at least within the ranges we're talking about here. It is a trade-off. You can sacrifice FPS to do other things and a lot of developers on console make that sacrifice purposely. No amount of hardware is going to change that thanks to the 5 pound bag rule.

As somebody who spent most of his career supporting developers I can tell you that "throw more hardware at it" is a band-aid when it comes to fitting the developers' vision into your current hardware footprint.
I think the comparison to PC he drew is giving us options.

Giving us a 4k/30fps or a 1080-1440p/60fps option. But they need hardware capable of doing that seamlessly. Which is what he is getting at.
 
Oct 27, 2017
360
#20
I think Phil might not understand how developers work, or in this particular case is ignoring that for the purposes of this interview.

It doesn't matter how big the bag is, a developer will try stuff more into it than it can hold. Give them a 5 pound bag? Somebody will try to put 10 pounds into it.

Additionally, FPS isn't a hard technical limit, at least within the ranges we're talking about here. It is a trade-off. You can sacrifice FPS to do other things and a lot of developers on console make that sacrifice purposely. No amount of hardware is going to change that thanks to the 5 pound bag rule.

As somebody who spent most of his career supporting developers I can tell you that "throw more hardware at it" is a band-aid when it comes to fitting the developers' vision into your current hardware footprint.
Yeah, I don't think he has a clue. You should probably get in touch with him to give him the lowdown.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,101
#21
I think Phil might not understand how developers work, or in this particular case is ignoring that for the purposes of this interview.

It doesn't matter how big the bag is, a developer will try stuff more into it than it can hold. Give them a 5 pound bag? Somebody will try to put 10 pounds into it.

Additionally, FPS isn't a hard technical limit, at least within the ranges we're talking about here. It is a trade-off. You can sacrifice FPS to do other things and a lot of developers on console make that sacrifice purposely. No amount of hardware is going to change that thanks to the 5 pound bag rule.

As somebody who spent most of his career supporting developers I can tell you that "throw more hardware at it" is a band-aid when it comes to fitting the developers' vision into your current hardware footprint.
Well if he gave them the best possible CPU for the next Xbox and developers still try to "break the bag", can't really blame Phil for that.
 
Oct 26, 2017
8,699
#22
Using Zen-based CPUs which are much more powerful than Jaguar should mean more 60fps games and games with variable refresh rate in the 40-60fps range.
 
Nov 2, 2017
310
#23
Everyone knows this, and this was best they could get in APU back in 2013, so its not their fault and they made conscious decision to go with it. Tech has improved, and this time its possible to get balanced CPU.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,735
UK
#25
I think Phil might not understand how developers work, or in this particular case is ignoring that for the purposes of this interview.

It doesn't matter how big the bag is, a developer will try stuff more into it than it can hold. Give them a 5 pound bag? Somebody will try to put 10 pounds into it.

Additionally, FPS isn't a hard technical limit, at least within the ranges we're talking about here. It is a trade-off. You can sacrifice FPS to do other things and a lot of developers on console make that sacrifice purposely. No amount of hardware is going to change that thanks to the 5 pound bag rule.

As somebody who spent most of his career supporting developers I can tell you that "throw more hardware at it" is a band-aid when it comes to fitting the developers' vision into your current hardware footprint.
Ugh. It's a fact that the Jaguar CPUs in the consoles this generation are not balanced with the GPU. There are plenty of games on Pro and X for example, where the GPU is easily capable of serving up 60fps but the CPU is holding it back.

What Phil is saying here, is that the CPU needs to be more balanced, and as a result it will allow for an increased number of opportunities for higher framerate games. Which is a fact. Especially for open world games, or games with a greater use of physics and AI.
 
Oct 29, 2017
794
#26
I think Phil might not understand how developers work, or in this particular case is ignoring that for the purposes of this interview.

It doesn't matter how big the bag is, a developer will try stuff more into it than it can hold. Give them a 5 pound bag? Somebody will try to put 10 pounds into it.

Additionally, FPS isn't a hard technical limit, at least within the ranges we're talking about here. It is a trade-off. You can sacrifice FPS to do other things and a lot of developers on console make that sacrifice purposely. No amount of hardware is going to change that thanks to the 5 pound bag rule.

As somebody who spent most of his career supporting developers I can tell you that "throw more hardware at it" is a band-aid when it comes to fitting the developers' vision into your current hardware footprint.
Of course devs do what they want. Point is in consoles its completely unbalanced. The X has a 6tf gpu and a 2013 notebook cpu. If you had a PC it would be a ridiculous set up.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,433
#27
So what exactly is the difference between the current Jags and the newer CPUs on the market. How much of a difference will we see?
 

DontRaff

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
254
#28
Don't the console makers (MS, Sony, Nintendo) pretty much judge if their games will be 30fps or 60fps by which CPU/GPU combo they choose? It's not really the developers fault if the hardware can't handle 60fps and a jump of resolution to 1080.
 

random51

Banned
Member
May 6, 2018
189
#30
Yeah, I don't think he has a clue. You should probably get in touch with him to give him the lowdown.
Good job ignoring the second half of the sentence, cupcake. He almost certainly has a clue, but the marketing clue is taking precedence in this particular instance.
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,775
#32
But Pinello said it was the "most balanced system".

It is quite obvious the CPU has been the bottleneck since 2013, and there is no other choice but to improve it for next gen, otherwise it is a waste of GPU silicon.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,647
#34
I think Phil might not understand how developers work, or in this particular case is ignoring that for the purposes of this interview.

It doesn't matter how big the bag is, a developer will try to stuff more into it than it can hold. Give them a 5 pound bag? Somebody will try to put 10 pounds into it.

Additionally, FPS isn't a hard technical limit, at least within the ranges we're talking about here. It is a trade-off. You can sacrifice FPS to do other things and a lot of developers on console make that sacrifice purposely. No amount of hardware is going to change that thanks to the 5 pound bag rule.

As somebody who spent most of his career supporting developers I can tell you that "throw more hardware at it" is a band-aid when it comes to fitting the developers' vision into your current hardware footprint. The more hardware you give them the more time they spend on feature creep instead of optimization and you end up in the same place you started.
Even If you are right, a better CPU/GPU could give us more chances to "performance mode" being a standard.
 

EkStatiC

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,241
Greece
#38
It's a simple thing
A decade ago all the advertisements was static images so framerate was irrelevant.

Fast forward to today with the dominance of video and twitch and if a game is not at least 60fps for most watchers something is off.
 
Apr 18, 2018
402
#40
Do what some ps4 (i guess Xbox too) games do: let the players choose.

Just make an option if you want higher resolutution, higher framerate or something in between. Done.

--> but this depends on the developers and not Xbox/Sony. But at least with more power they get more responsibility.
 
Oct 26, 2017
8,699
#41
Uuh, pretty sure it's up to the devs to decide that, and not something the hardware makers can guarantee.
Nobody is using the word "guarantee". A better balanced system with CPUs that aren't severely underpowered will allow more developers to create games with higher frame rates.

It'll also help VR.
 
Nov 2, 2017
9,480
#44
Don’t the developers decide the frame rate? I don’t see what Phil can do other than insure their next console having a good CPU.
 
Oct 27, 2017
13,759
#46
Interesting that he'd say that. I certainly hope we see 60fps become more viable for even more genres next gen. It feels like this generation, graphics got "good enough" that most FPS devs would target 60fps and then push the visual fidelity as far as the framerate and other elements allowed. I hope that we can get devs of other genres saying that graphics have gotten good enough that they can focus on the framerate first.
 
Oct 27, 2017
360
#47
Good job ignoring the second half of the sentence, cupcake. He almost certainly has a clue, but the marketing clue is taking precedence in this particular instance.
So what is he supposed to do? He's talking about balancing the CPU and GPU to have them far less out of whack compared to the current generation, which is a good thing. And you're stating that it will barely matter as developers will just crank up the graphics anyway to the point where the framerate will chug regardless.

Like, removing the bottleneck is at least going to make it less likely there'll be framerate issues going forward. We all know that certain games will be too taxing already. But there's nothing he can do about that.
 
Dec 13, 2017
903
#49
Well a better CPU for nextgen system is obvious, so devs will finally have 60 fps as an option for most games without having to compromise too much on their visions, and other devs will have the option to make better use of the CPU by having better AI/physics in their games. This current gen I think the CPU wasn't able to do either, as it wasn't that powerful compared to even lastgen offerings. I hope we at least get a 2nd gen Ryzen at 3.0 GHZ, that should be many times more powerful than what we have now.