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2 hours ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

As a simple user who has no technical knowledge of this kind of stuff, I just have to wonder: why doesn't Steam have similar issues? Their storefront shows way more titles and associated information on-screen at any one time and yet doesn't hitch and loads up all the tiles instantly. What's the difference?

 

Steam is just a web browser (modified IE) interface to HTML pages, isn't it?

 

Yeah, you'd think that a dashboard/OS that's optimised for a specific console would be able to be at least as snappy as that (for both detecting locally installed games, and grabbing online store data).

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22 hours ago, petrolgirls said:

Books are just words with different layouts, get the layout wrong and they're confusing and incoherent. The interface has been a real weakness for Xbox this gen, surprising given MS strength in this field. Tiles are best suited to small touch screen devices (Windows tiles were initially designed for the now defunct Windows Phone of course). They've pretty much stripped out tiles from Windows 10 after considerable protest to Windows 8's interface. Tiles are arguably least well suited to game controllers where lists, either horizontal or vertical, work far better.

 

This is why, in swapping from a pointer control to a d-pad, Nintendo complete changed their Wii tile interface for the Switch's horizontal list. I'm hoping MS have a similar rethink their interface next gen. 

OK, I see what you mean. They were never tiles in the Win 8 sense, just large square icons. I guess had they had live updates they'd be more like tiles. But semantics aside, it's more the grid versus horizontal scrolling. But even those other devices aren't consistent there. Obviously, the eShop turns to a grid when you're browsing, and Sony's version of the Xbox's TV guide is now a grid, with the TV apps as a horizontal scroll across the top (the TV apps page used to be a grid). 

 

Of course, this is all hugely subjective, and I've found the tile concept fine on a Surface so I'm not the best judge. That said, I would look to future Win 10 design cues for where they're going. Departing from it significantly would be unusual, I think?

 

edit - thinking about this more, where it completely falls over for me is the store, when I've selected a game (e.g., GwG freebies). It's not obvious enough which screen element has the focus, and the path the cursor takes as you move up down is fairly broken, so I'm wrestling with it, pretty much every time. That's almost certainly a hangup from the touch/gesture navigation mentality. 

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22 hours ago, petrolgirls said:

 

Books are just words with different layouts, get the layout wrong and they're confusing and incoherent. The interface has been a real weakness for Xbox this gen, surprising given MS strength in this field. Tiles are best suited to small touch screen devices (Windows tiles were initially designed for the now defunct Windows Phone of course). They've pretty much stripped out tiles from Windows 10 after considerable protest to Windows 8's interface. Tiles are arguably least well suited to game controllers where lists, either horizontal or vertical, work far better.

 

This is why, in swapping from a pointer control to a d-pad, Nintendo complete changed their Wii tile interface for the Switch's horizontal list. I'm hoping MS have a similar rethink their interface next gen. 

 

Not saying you're wrong or anything, but why is a tiled interface worse for pad control? I would've thought the fact you can get more on screen (as you can lay them out in both x and y axes) and the fact there is more space to make them graphical i.e you can get a decent amount of the box-art or movie poster in a tile - would make it better. Moving between tiles is just a press of one of the d-pad directions.

 

I can understand them being annoying for cursor users because of the large distances the cursor has to travel.

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3 hours ago, TehStu said:

edit - thinking about this more, where it completely falls over for me is the store, when I've selected a game (e.g., GwG freebies). It's not obvious enough which screen element has the focus, and the path the cursor takes as you move up down is fairly broken, so I'm wrestling with it, pretty much every time. That's almost certainly a hangup from the touch/gesture navigation mentality. 

 

3 hours ago, Pob said:

 

Not saying you're wrong or anything, but why is a tiled interface worse for pad control?

 

TehStu kind of answers your question there, without a pointer - ie mouse, Wii controller or your finger it's easy to get lost in the interface. You generally only play a handful of games at any one time so an entire grid of games is a waste of screen real estate and requires all 4 directional buttons to navigate. Microsofts system of having different sized tiles only adds to the confusion. Better to have your currently played games in a simple horizontal list and up/down to change settings or bring up contextual stuff about the game. It's no coincidence that Sony and Nintendo have elected to use an almost identical interface this gen.

 

3 hours ago, Pob said:

I can understand them being annoying for cursor users because of the large distances the cursor has to travel.

 

But the d-pad is effectively just a cursor, no?

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9 minutes ago, petrolgirls said:

 

 

TehStu kind of answers your question there, without a pointer - ie mouse, Wii controller or your finger it's easy to get lost in the interface. You generally only play a handful of games at any one time so an entire grid of games is a waste of screen real estate and requires all 4 directional buttons to navigate. Microsofts system of having different sized tiles only adds to the confusion. Better to have your currently played games in a simple horizontal list and up/down to change settings or bring up contextual stuff about the game. It's no coincidence that Sony and Nintendo have elected to use an almost identical interface this gen.

 

 

Yes that does make sense, I’ve always liked the XMB interface on the PS. 

 

I think a grid of tiles makes sense when you’ve got a lot of things which are identified by their artwork, but then the PS4 uses that for the Library I think, which makes sense. 

 

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But the d-pad is effectively just a cursor, no?

 

Well not really because a cursor travels at a consistent rate (putting aside acceleration) no matter the size of the things it’s travelling across, so spreading the items you want to interact with across the whole screen means a whole lot of travel time and loss of accuracy (Fitts’ law). D-pad selection skips one grid item at a time so you can navigate between large items relatively quickly. 

 

I can understand Windows users being hacked off with tiles. 

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Zilch because 1080p60 will be an irrelevance in the market segment you’re competing in for a £350 console in 2020. That’s another two years of TV buying when every tv is 4k, and dilutes the proposition you’re selling. No-one is buying one, or that 720p switch wannabe as a baseline to force all the games to support.

 

Think of it as equivalent to launching a new 480p only console in 2009 after four years of HD telly sales, the price for the low end TVs dropping through the floor, and then needing to support that base console for the next decade, while not having the sales proposition of “Nintendo games”.

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Based on what Uncle Phil said at E3, such a system/their future ecosystem would likely be streaming-based... so assuming this means backwards compatibility/cross-device access would be achievable?

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On 27/06/2018 at 05:42, Super Craig said:

Does the tech even exist for Microsoft to do a handheld while retaining compatibility with all Xbox/360/One games?

If you look at something like the GPD Win2 which has fairly decent gaming capabilities despite being hamstrung by an Intel GPU then I'm reasonably sure that if Microsoft or Sony went to AMD and were willing to foot the bill then a portable Xboxone or PS4 would be possible. The biggest technical hurdles I can see is the issue of how big games have gotten and how the Xbox/PS4 both practically require you to be online all the time. 

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RE: The faster storage problem.

 

I think a solution to this would be for the manufacturers to offer a premium variant at launch, like the Xbox One Elite. This would make use of a relatively small SATA or NVMe SSD (64/128GB) and a normal 2TB HDD in a tiered storage arrangement, something similar to AMD's StoreMI which is a licensed version of an enterprise-grade software solution.

 

This gives you the benefits of flash without the massive cost in providing the Terabytes of storage that Next Gen 4K games will all consume, as they'll be pushing way past 100GB each at that point.

 

Charge $100-$150 premium for it, doesn't require any extra work for developers to optimise for as the hardware/OS transparently handles the different storage configs and people who want the extra performance can pay for it, while people who just want a cheap console with slower loading times are also catered for.

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They could do, but it all comes down to $$$ with console designs and the fact most people don't want to pay more for a feature they don't think is worth it. The Xbox One Elite came with a fancier controller and a larger hybrid-HDD, it never became the bulk of sales. Does anybody on here own such a premium variant?, as the sales blurb makes the SSHD sound like a major benefit:

 

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All-new Solid State Hybrid Drive

 

Experience true performance with the Xbox One Elite Console

 

Built for Speed:

 

The SSHD optimizes performance by storing data on the fastest part of the hard drive—flash memory partition. This allows it to fetch data faster than standard hard drives so you can jump into the game quicker.

 

 

I assume the Next Gen will raise the baseline storage to 1TB, which is enough for casual usage, leaving room to upsell a 2TB tiered storage premium model. That's certainly a way to fulfill this demand for faster storage without a wholesale increase in costs for all users.

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ive got an  SSHD in my ps4pro, its nice!

once it moves the files over to the flash memory portion its much faster, takes a few loads, but is then great!

its not as quick as a proper sdd, but, when a 2tb sshd is only £85, and a 480gb ssd costs £100, its a good compromise!

 

 

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A quick look on Scan suggests that it's nearly twice the price for an SSHD. Even as an optional premium feature, it sounds like a waste of money. Capacity is where the focus should be. 1TB might not even be enough as a base option by the time next gen arrives.

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