Why not make upgradable consoles?

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Ziontrain, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. Ziontrain

    Ziontrain Guest

    Just a thought...

    Why can't they make consoles with upgradable parts and video settings? It'd make Sony and Microsoft more money because they could sell parts just like PC manufacturers. I'm sure theres a reason but I can't think of one.
     
  2. Netrat33

    Netrat33 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Because then it's a pc.

    look at the 360. Simply not having a harddrive on all systems is already a headache and that's a minor thing. Imagine now now knowing if someone has some sort of video accelerator or wahtever your picturing to upgrade the system.
     
  3. daemonmf

    daemonmf Limp Gawd

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    Yeah, it worked wonders for Sega. :p

    Console add-ons have never worked. They lower your installed user base and generally just go against everything that makes the console paradigm work well. It segments your market lowering your installed user base and makes the easy console experience less so.
     
  4. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    It didn't work very well when it was tried before. The Atari Jaguar had a CD module. The Sega Genesis has the Sega CD and the 32X. i believe there was a shelved Super-Nintendo CD module as well. Basically its' been tried and it never succeeded. People just won't spend the money on it and frankly, technical specifications aside, they've never offered anything that made the investment in the add-ons worth while.
     
  5. noobman

    noobman [H]ard|Gawd

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    It defeats the purpose of consoles.

    Game developers love consoles for two reasons:
    1) Large installed base = big time sales
    2) Designing a game to work with ONE piece of uniform hardware is easier than having to deal with multiple combinations of hardware.

    Console gamers also hate mandatory upgrades. Suppose you buy a console, buy your favourite game, and then see a message saying "sorry ,you need to buy _______ component to play this game" when you boot it up. For us techies it's no big deal.... just buy the part, pop the system open, and connect it to the motherboard. The "average" user would freak out.

    Plus, as a console developer you have to design for the lowest common denominator. All you'd get from an upgraded console are some extra bells and whistles... while the un-upgraded system would get the same core game experience.

    Take a look @ the N64 Expansion pack. I think DK64 was the only game that absolutely required it to play (and the game came with it for free). I remember Tony Hawk Pro Skater used it, but all you got out of it was better draw distance.
     
  6. FrozenLiquidity

    FrozenLiquidity [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm pretty sure there were a few more games that required that expansion pack to play. I have one myself and am pretty certain that at least two of my games required it, and a few more took advantage of it. I'll admit, back when I got it, it was pretty strange removing and replacing something that had a big old purple sticker on it that said "DO NOT REMOVE" in six different languages or some crap. Back then I wasn't so technically adept, so it wasn't something I took lightly.

    Man, back in the day those graphics were as stunning as some of the first Crysis screenshots.
     
  7. f1y

    f1y [H]ardness Supreme

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    There was a Perfect Dark game that required the Expansion pack thing to play it. Other wise you could only play like a multiplayer, and since the 64 had no online play it equalled teh_sucks

    I never did get to play that single player game.
     
  8. Ziontrain

    Ziontrain Guest

    It's not so much where it's a requirement to have an upgrade to play a game. All games made for that console should be able to run it bone stock, BUT...If you want it to look better, you can buy another 3D accelerator.
     
  9. Forealz

    Forealz Limp Gawd

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    I'd say the SNES CD add on did pretty well.
     
  10. Hulk

    Hulk [H]ardness Supreme

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    back about a decade ago you could upgrade the n64 with a memory expansion, only some games supported it.
     
  11. Arkangyl

    Arkangyl Gawd

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    Jokes about the 360 aside, the main reason not to allow console upgrades is stability. If the console OS only has to deal with one set of HW then there are far fewer driver compatibility issues to work though. Also this makes it easier for the developers to optimize the game.

    If PC games were highly optimized for a Wolfdale Core 2 Duo, a P45 chipset and a nVidia GTX260 then we would get better frames at setting X in say Crysis.

    The general idea of a console is a very focused computer with a single set of hardware in order to maximize stability, speed, and ease of development.

    Now offering a new unit with the same architecture but boosted speeds would work, you'd be alienating all those who already bought their system (since the average consumer has a hard time dealing with the fact that Mr. Shiny 2006 is Mr. Budget 2008).
     
  12. Ziontrain

    Ziontrain Guest


    Thats what I was looking for. Thanks.
     
  13. CrimsonKnight13

    CrimsonKnight13 Lord Stabington of [H]ard|Fortress

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expansion_Pak

    An interesting read :)
     
  14. Demon10000

    Demon10000 [H]ardness Supreme

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    While I don't disagree that this is a major factor, I can't help but think that if operating systems weren't so fat and bloated, it wouldn't be such as big of a deal. Oh -- and if programmers didn't wrote tighter code like they did "back in the day", things might run a little better. To many memory leaks go unpatched because we've got enough RAM that it isn't all that noticable for a while... too many slow engines get released because we've got the horsepower to make them fast...

    I was sure that when MS released the XBox, I'd be able to buy some addin card for my comptuer. Heck, I had very similar hardware at the time -- all they needed was something to make sure I was running authentic media! Pop in a game, game boots an OS, play game, restart computer and back in windows! It never happened, but it would have been pretty cool! :)
     
  15. Mnx4

    Mnx4 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hah yeah, the SNES addon became the Playstation after Nintendo backed out on a deal with Sony. So as a console addon, it failed, but as a console it kinda did pretty well :p
     
  16. legcramp

    legcramp [H]ardForum Junkie

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    what he said.
     
  17. damonposey

    damonposey 2[H]4U

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    if the console upgrade was simple and very scalable then YES it would work. For instance, the console would have a base with X many slots with ONE type of hardware upgrade you could buy, the more of it you put into it, the better performance. theoretically of course
     
  18. Frostex

    Frostex 2[H]4U

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    Because the consoles would lose what tiny benefit they already have and just end up being really crap PC's.
     
  19. Dome

    Dome 2[H]4U

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    because the developers don't want to make a game that works on every console, and if they didn't, why not make pc games?
     
  20. Technoob

    Technoob [H]ardness Supreme

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    Hi, I'm the sega cd and the 32x, we've apparently never met.
     
  21. pothb

    pothb [H]ardness Supreme

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    Zelda Majora needed it too.

    Anyway, the reason they don't do it, (probably) cuz the difference in each console generation is too much. And its not as profitable.
     
  22. Elledan

    Elledan [H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2010

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    Well, it's kind of happening already on a limited scale... MSFT is selling X360 systems with and without (Arcade) HDD. There are also HDD upgrades. The PS3 allows for HDD upgrades too (though with that console you're not getting ripped off with HDD upgrades).

    Memory upgrades like with the N64 was reasonable at the time (considering how expensive RAM was back in '95-'96) and cartridge-based consoles have used expansion hardware a lot (embedded into the cartridge, but still. They had sound chips and GPUs and everything).

    One big argument against upgrades is because users tend to muck things up, which'd sky-rocket return rates. Having inconsistent hardware isn't really one, since the manufacturer of the console can still control what hardware is available. 3rd-party add-ons have existed for consoles anyway, usually to play ROM dumps from FD/CD and similar shady practices. Mod chips are add-ons in a sense too :)
     
  23. Ziontrain

    Ziontrain Guest

    I was thinking along the lines of the same format. Also, I don't recall my sega CD having video options. :rolleyes:
     
  24. Sly

    Sly [H]ardness Supreme

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    The legendary tower of SEGA

    [​IMG]



    EDIT: That tower is missing the modem addon.
    [​IMG]
     
  25. CrimsonKnight13

    CrimsonKnight13 Lord Stabington of [H]ard|Fortress

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    An ugly tower of plastic, metal & old silicon...
     
  26. Mnx4

    Mnx4 [H]ard|Gawd

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    That sounds more like a late model hooker bot....
     
  27. l3ender

    l3ender [H]ardness Supreme

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    I think you hit the nail right on the head. Consoles are a solid gaming piece of hardware. Besides, if they kept upgrading them (as others have said) it would simply be a dumbed down PC.
     
  28. dezertrat

    dezertrat Limp Gawd

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    lol @ that pic. Anybody remember the sega channel? i always wanted that
     
  29. Obi_Kwiet

    Obi_Kwiet 2[H]4U

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    It might be smart to have room simple RAM upgrade modules or HDD upgrade a la the 360, but anything more would be impractical.
     
  30. ThreeDee

    ThreeDee [H]ardForum Junkie

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    add-ons to enhance media capability perhaps ...ie HD-DVD add-on for the 360 .. but anything else would never fly I don't think.


    [​IMG]
    [F]old|[H]ard
     
  31. exe163

    exe163 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Addon was never a good idea. The whole advantage being a console is that it has only 1 SKU, if it works on 1 PS3/360, it will most likely to work on all. Plus having upgrade will put lower to market, games require the addon will not sell as well as the ones that don't.
     
  32. damonposey

    damonposey 2[H]4U

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    Thats assuming the addon is sporting some radically different changes. Open your mind, there are other possibilities.

    Why do people get another video card for an SLI setup? They aren't getting anything new, just better performance and the ability to crank up details a bit more.

    That's how it could theoretically work with consoles. this addon would simply be MORE of what's already in the machine. By default your console would be fine for games. But let's say an upgrade could allow you to run at 1080p, or an increased detail mode. It isn't farfetched.
     
  33. Sly

    Sly [H]ardness Supreme

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    SLI allows people to get the performance of hardware that doesn't exist yet. When the next generation of cards arrive, the single card solution is usually just as powerful as the previous generation's SLI.

    In essence, the SLI actually becomes a *requirement* just allow the previous gen to keep up with the next gen.

    That's not something you can apply to a console and explain to the regular joe sitting on the sofa.
     
  34. damonposey

    damonposey 2[H]4U

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    You're taking my post too literally. SLI isn't the point. The point is, it's possible to make an upgrade that is simply just more of whats already in it.
     
  35. Domingo

    Domingo Skip My Posts

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    I hope we NEVER see this. I like knowing that I'm playing the "right" version of a game that the developer intended and designed for...not just the version my hardware can output with what I personally consider to be an acceptable frame-rate and details.
    I was suckered by the Sega "tower of power" and rather than giving us all of those crappy add-ons, we'd have been better off with a new console.
    I don't mind some kind of one-off booster pack that could come with a game for $10-15 bucks, but I don't want to have to deal with games that are made for a general platform with a lot a variance.
    Take a look at the PC forum and make note of how much of it is related to framerates on different hardware. Almost no two are alike, even with virtually identical hardware.
    I don't want to deal with that BS on the console side of things.
    When I play something like Gears of War I like knowing I'm playing it the exact same way the developer intended.
     
  36. damonposey

    damonposey 2[H]4U

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    However, many people still own SD TVs and they play consoles not how the developer intended. I'd like upgrades that just give more of a push in graphics, AA, bump up to 1080p, that kind of thing.
     
  37. black_bishop

    black_bishop Limp Gawd

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    several people beat me to the snes/playstaion thing, sorry
     
  38. jnex26

    jnex26 2[H]4U

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    SLI is not simple nor it SMP, Dual channel ram all these features that could put in by hardware upgrades.

    Adding one more of a piece of hardware would require whole new driver infrastructure to support the new core/GPU add into the fact for the best performance the game needs to support SLI/Crossfire, and then how long before third partys start making add-ons that don't quite conform to specs and cause graphical errors and glitches, or even crash the game.

    Adding to the requirement for tech support and requiring "Supported Hardware" on the back of the box, then all you got is a cut down PC with non of the advantages and all of the drawbacks.
     
  39. damonposey

    damonposey 2[H]4U

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    You're right.

    Correct again, it would require a little more work before the console was released.

    That's not a fact. It's not even a fact that I'm referring to an SLI technology. Like I said to the other guy, open your mind, this technology may not even be out yet. The basic idea is that it could be a modular upgrade technology.

    What if I put the console in my oven at 500f. That would cause all kinds of errors! Now THIS defeats my idea more soundly than above.

    Not really. Notice you're stating a lot of absolutes about an idea that's not even finalized. I'm basically just saying, hey it might be possible, and it could benefit everyone if it worked.

    But I know the how the console haters work. Entire sections of the brain are shut off for the sake of the elitist loyalty to the PC.
     
  40. pigpen

    pigpen 2[H]4U

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    Ecco the Dolphin for Sega CD was amazing. Really underrated game. Aside from the graphics being amazing (even though it was a side scroller,) the sound track was unreal. All these incredibly rich sounding soothing instrumentals. I used to put it on just to go to sleep to it sometimes. And the first CD quality sound obviously.