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Unread 03-24-2012, 02:49 PM   #1
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PC/console unification

This OP is gonna be long and spalted into multiple cases, but it's gonna combine in the end, so take your time and read my post.

Okay, I haven't owned an xbox, nor an xbox 360, but I know that they're built by Microsoft, who owns the biggest operative system in the world. The xbox 360-controller is compatible freely with both the console, but also with any computer equipped with windows, no plugins needed.

Apple has a lot of software that enables the emulation of both Linux Ubuntu and all Windows' current and previous OS', and I wouldn't be surprised if the same could be applied to the standard PC.

Now, I know for a fact that the "720" is set for a Q4 2013 release with initial showing at next years E3 event, and its estimated value is gonna be around 3-400$ USD, and get a quite hefty amount of new tech. This does two things:
1) Xbox 360 goes way down in price soon
2) Enables an early investment in powerful tech that will last a small decade if treated properly

Browsing diverse social medias like Reddit and Funnyjunk, I've stumbled upon a concept I haven't heard of before; A desk with an integrated PC.
This opens quite a few possibilities, where beyond looking badass, you can do tons of both media-related stuff and artistic work and make it a multimedia platform in itself, and with some hefty processing going on, you can make some neat local clouding using that as the main board.

Also, a friend linked this on his facebook.
If you are too lazy to click, it's pretty much a unified xbox 360 and PC in one box. Now, this is actually just a hardcore PC with a built-in console within its framing, but the idea itself is cool as hell.

Get to the point!
Sheesh... Now, my idea is as following, if you haven't already partially guessed it:
The xbox console system runs with some sort of OS, which can be manipulated in some way. Could it potentially be possible to take a used 360, crack it and let it run on the computer while only using its own hardware, but still be a part of the computer? Because if that's possible, I can imagine a TON of new custom home media options becomes viable, with for example the computer-integrated superdesk being one of them, unifying the console and PC, and eventually upgrading it with additional hardware from both Sony and Nintendo.
Frapsing material would also be easier, since it's "streamed" through the PC so it's frapsable, but still running on the console, so it won't take up extra performance power.

It's sort of a madman concept, but it could also be applied to studio usage, hard-wiring a, let's say, Steinberg CI2 or even an Axe-FX ultra into the mainframe of a computer, and letting it run off of the same PSU (with extra circuitry involved, to make up for eventual differences in R-I-U to avoid frying).
It would also clean up A LOT of workspace, since all external wiring is going internal.

And since the tech can be made as powerful as desired based around the processor, it could possibly be extended and hooked up to a lot of screens in the house for streaming music, TV and games, since the mainframe also is hooked up with the consoles.

TL;DR: Combining entertainment consoles or digital music equipment directly with PCs and hook it up to the entire house through local clouding; smart or just playing mad computer scientist?

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Unread 03-24-2012, 03:05 PM   #2
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Buy a PC
install a Blu-Ray Drive
5/7.1 Surround Sound system
big ass TV

and just play PC games with a 360 controller.
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Unread 03-24-2012, 03:27 PM   #3
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First up, tons of xbox 360 games aren't ported over to the PC, and most ports are shoddy (Shooters having 60 degrees FOV, menu screens being keyboard-only etc.) and not fit for purchase. Secondly, it would also potentially ruin the idea of lower-fidelity machines to fraps HD games thanks to multi-connectivity, which I hinted to.
Third; you simply can't hook up a TV to a computer and expect quality gaming. The responsetime on TVs are ludicrous, and also not tailored towards handling graphics at lower distances (desktop).

I'd love to play both Halo, Gears of War and MGS (yes, it's a PS3 title, but that's irrelevant) without having to either install emulators, blu-ray disk drivers and code-converters to be able to play console games with a gamepad on my computer, or to turn on an entirely different set of electronics every time I feel like playing console games.
Luxury-problem, but it's brilliant if it could be surpassed.

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Unread 03-24-2012, 05:48 PM   #4
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If you mean putting a 360's components inside the same case alongside a regular pc, i don't see why that wouldn't work. It'd be kinda similar to the stuff Ben Heck does: The Official Blog of Benjamin J Heckendorn
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Unread 03-24-2012, 06:32 PM   #5
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^Well that's rather friggin cool.
But my idea is to take an xbox, and make it run through a PC, as in the audio-visual output not being a screen per se, but an augmented screen inside the computer, which then can be sent through the graphics card up unto the actual screen.

You don't stress the computer with anything more than a simple screen emulator, as anything technical is handled by the console.
Could also be possible to make a split harddisk so the PC and the xbox shares the same memory unit, but then again, I don't know how the xbox' memory system works. Should be possible, but hey, it's theory.

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Unread 03-26-2012, 11:51 AM   #6
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...and the Lord said "Thou shalt not lie with Xbox-kind as with PC-kind, it is abomination."

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Unread 03-27-2012, 06:57 AM   #7
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Once streaming games comes into full effect, this is going to happen. It won’t matter what hardware your playing on, instead what “service” you subscribe to, and maybe even more importantly what games are included under that services umbrella.

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Unread 03-27-2012, 11:31 AM   #8
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The next xbox will not launch in 2013. 6 months is not enough time for neither MS or the game developers to get their marketing in full motion.
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Unread 03-27-2012, 12:26 PM   #9
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... You can't run unsigned code on 360 hardware. Emulating requires too much processing power for the 360 hardware to compute. You can use the rgh to run bomebrew and xbmc for media vlbut that's meh. Not to mention the hardware is 6 years old. Just get a decent computer and enjoy. Worst case scenario ur playing dust and Eve together.
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Unread 03-27-2012, 03:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handbanana View Post
... You can't run unsigned code on 360 hardware. Emulating requires too much processing power for the 360 hardware to compute. You can use the rgh to run bomebrew and xbmc for media vlbut that's meh. Not to mention the hardware is 6 years old. Just get a decent computer and enjoy. Worst case scenario ur playing dust and Eve together.
Well... That wasn't my intention either?
My intention was to put real discs in the real console, and let their HDMI-outputs go into a data input on the computer, which would trigger a screen emulation program, so I could play xbox on the computer with the external workforce of the xbox. Possibly make a shared HDD to save space.
Xbox -> the entire game processing.
PC -> the screen processing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock4ever View Post
The next xbox will not launch in 2013. 6 months is not enough time for neither MS or the game developers to get their marketing in full motion.
Funny, I read some places that Microsoft exactly planned to delay their publication of the machine untill next year, to exactly give devs and people a fairer chance. I can try to dig after the source if needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslieioner View Post
Once streaming games comes into full effect, this is going to happen. It won’t matter what hardware your playing on, instead what “service” you subscribe to, and maybe even more importantly what games are included under that services umbrella.

False.
Gamestreaming requires a solid, and I mean REALLY solid internet connection on the providers side. We're possibly talking TB of uploading and downloading speed on the provider, and maybe a gig for the player before the lag disappears. Some games, possibly, but competitive games like Street Fighter and CS will be unplayable untill the speeds are raised by an unreal margin.

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Unread 03-27-2012, 11:59 PM   #11
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I see three problems with that proposition that would have to be addressed before this kind could ever become a reality, one of which I believe could be pretty insurmountable:

1) By outputting the video to the PC, which then has to re-render it, you're adding latency between what's actually going on in the console and what you see on screen. Even the minimal difference added by employing a hardware solution over software emulation could mean the difference between life and death in multiplayer gaming.

2) You'll be adding a point where DRM could potentially be circumvented, and doing so right into a system that would be best suited to circumvent it. Current DRM technologies don't allow digital transmission to sources like PCs because they can then be re-rendered into analog and then back into digital, removing any copyright protection on the material, opening it up for piracy.

3) Whenever a new console arrives on the market, manufacturers generally sell them at a loss, unless the hardware is primitive enough that they can sell it on its novelty factor, such as the Wii. The manufacturers do this because they know that they'll recoup their losses in software sales. However, if you then introduce in a PC into the mix, you run the risk of people NOT buying any software for the console side of things. This leaves you with one of three possible outcomes: 1) sell the it at a loss anyway and hope to God that you can still recoup your losses in software sales knowing that you'll likely have to lower your software sales estimates significantly per unit. 2) sell it without any subsidization for a higher price, thus limiting its market appeal for casual gamers. 3) sell it with obsolete hardware, limiting its market appeal for hardcore gamers.

Those are my thoughts.



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Unread 04-05-2012, 10:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asrial View Post
you simply can't hook up a TV to a computer and expect quality gaming. The responsetime on TVs are ludicrous, and also not tailored towards handling graphics at lower distances (desktop)
but a 360 or ps3 is somehow exempt from this?
response time on a *good* lcd tv (inb4 60Hz crap) is pretty much on par with lcd monitors, plasma surpasses but has lifespan issues.
just get something with multiple hdmi ins and switch the display with the xbox controller. i'm sure it could be done with a few hacks to arduino learning remote firmware. power on for initial switch on startup, start to toggle back and forth when you pause/resume. the whole 'pseudo-emulation' thing sounds super impractical and likely verboten.
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Unread 06-25-2012, 04:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asrial View Post
Gamestreaming requires a solid, and I mean REALLY solid internet connection on the providers side. We're possibly talking TB of uploading and downloading speed on the provider, and maybe a gig for the player before the lag disappears. Some games, possibly, but competitive games like Street Fighter and CS will be unplayable untill the speeds are raised by an unreal margin.
Streaming games (ala onLive, et al) does require a fair amount of UPLOAD ONLY for the provider, (download is insignificant, merely just requests, and control inputs basically), what is most important is low latency, which amounts to having the fewest route hops in between the provider and consumer.

Which demands similar architecture to Youtube, where there is a server (farm) practically in every city.

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Unread 06-25-2012, 05:48 AM   #14
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Why not just plug the PC and Xbox into the same TV/Monitor? o.O

Admittedly, what you're suggesting (which, if I've got it right, is to have a video input into the computer, and then the computer emulates the screen, right?) is an incredible amount of complexity for very little gain. The only kind of worthwhile endevour I can think of here would be to emulate an Xbox complete and I get the impression that with the current state of DRM and encrpytion on those things, that isn't possible.

Oh and just a point from your original post - I think you're talking about VMware or Bootcamp when you said about Macs being able to handle different OSs. Truth is, this is called virtualisation (and it's not just limited to macs, check out VirtualBox). It essentially creates a virtual computer inside your computer. The analagous thing with an Xbox 360 would be complete emulation of all the hardware.

From a technical standpoint, if the two devices aren't really functionally linked, there's not much point.

In short - just get a decent monitor that has the appropriate inputs for both your PC and Xbox.
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Unread 06-25-2012, 11:01 AM   #15
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It seems to me that this would be a HELL of a lot of effort to crack some 6 year old hardware to cloud with your home/PC, when you could easily just upgrade an actual PC and get MUCH better results.

Unless I'm missing something here.
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Unread 07-01-2012, 12:19 AM   #16
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It seems to me that this would be a HELL of a lot of effort to crack some 6 year old hardware to cloud with your home/PC, when you could easily just upgrade an actual PC and get MUCH better results.

Unless I'm missing something here.
you're missing the fact that he wants to play console games, not necessarily PC ones

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Unread 07-01-2012, 03:58 AM   #17
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How did this thread get a revival again?

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