Phil On X And PS5 Interview - 2020


Hiding in your WiFi ūüôÉ
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Sep 11, 2013
in front of a screen

When designing Project Scarlett, we made sure that games emulated on Xbox One today will continue to work. In other words, Xbox and Xbox 360 titles that run on Xbox One today will also work on Scarlett. And our goal is to make all Xbox One games playable on Scarlett. Oh, and your Xbox One or Elite controllers will also work with the next generation.

Thanks to their speed, developers can now use the SSD practically as virtual RAM. The SSD access times come close to the memory access times of the current console generation. Of course, the OS must allow developers access that goes beyond that of a pure storage medium. But then we will see how the address space will increase immensely - comparable to the change from Win16 to Win32 or in some cases Win64.

Of course, the SSD will still be slower than the GDDR6 RAM that sits directly on top of the die. But the ability to directly supply data to the CPU and GPU via the SSD will enable game worlds to be created that will not only be richer, but also more seamless. Not only in terms of pure loading times, but also in terrain mapping. A graphic designer no longer has to worry about when GDDR6 ends and when the SSD starts. I like that Mark Cerny and his team at Sony are also investing in an SSD for the PlayStation 5...

And the engines and tools can implement corresponding functions. Together we ensure a larger installed base - and developers will do everything possible to master and support the programming of these hardware capabilities. I don't have a PS5 development kit, I don't even think our Minecraft team did. But it will be exciting to see how the industry will benefit from the comprehensive use of such solutions.

PC Games Hardware: Does the aforementioned statement 4x refer to the complete console when the performance increases?

Phil Spencer: No, that's a CPU-only statement. It would also be a little too simplistic to refer to the whole system as much as I would like to, because so many components flow into it. Let's take the Xbox One X: when it was developed, the memory bandwidth was the bottleneck. It had to be large enough to supply the GPU with content without idle times. We could have launched the console a year earlier, but waited a year for all 6 of the GPU's TFLOPS to be ready.

Our primary goal at Scarlett was to improve the console's graphics capabilities and GPU. Primarily because another goal was to integrate a CPU into the system that can keep up with the GPU. Unlike PCs, historically consoles were "arm wrestlers" with a strong arm - the GPU - and a weak arm - the CPU, which does nothing more than change the frames calculated by the GPU as quickly as possible, often with a maximum of 30 fps.

Now we're talking about 120 Hertz or variable refresh rates. Because if the timing of the game loop - i.e. the core routines of a game - corresponds to the refresh rate, this reduces the input latency and thus ensures a smooth game experience. And that largely depends on the CPU and the memory bandwidth. That's why you have to see a statement like "Scarlett is x times faster than Xbox One X" a little more differentiated.
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