Game Console Ideas #2

So, continuing my ideas for a game console. Today, I want to get out the ideas I had for hardware. Hardware is actually the hardest bit, if I ever want to implement these ideas. Mainly because I don't want to force someone to get a specific CPU, a specific graphics card, a specific motherboard.

(Side note: One reason I'm letting my mind get distracted by this is because I'm at a point where I can't really focus on the novel. I have to write the things in my head, not come up with new ones.)

My idea is that all the consoles would use off-the-shelf hardware. The PS3 has the Cell processor, which is very interesting, but the technology curve on normal computers improves at a faster rate and is cheaper because of consumer quantities. I'd rather go with AMD processors and known GPU that a custom processor. Plus, the whole idea of being hackable and improvable is making it easy.

However, this flexibility is also going to break the idea of consistency. So, I think that if there is a standard, it would be the minimum requirement. I'm thinking of saying a single quad-core AMD processor. That means that any console that conforms to OGC 1 would have a minimum of 4 cores and a AMD. Game developers can work with that minimum and know that it will work on every machine.

The same with graphics card. Fortunately, there are a lot more standards to work with. We can say OpenGL 1.3, a specific set of extensions, a certain support of OpenCL, etc. Again, it works with the idea that they can program for a specific hardware and it is responsibility of the console maker (assuming that people are going to build their own) has to conform to a specific set of standards.

I'd also go with a 10/100/1000 network, USB and SDHC cards. I wouldn't go with a CD, DVD, or BluRay drive because I'm trying to avoid moving parts. Plus, a SDHC is cheap, reusuable, supports read and writing, and goes up to 32 GB capacity. I'd also require Bluetooth. That way, we can steal controllers from other systems and hackers can build controllers that work for them and maybe get those nifty head-mounted controllers or controllers that work with people that have disabilities (I recently read about a guy who made controllers for paraplegics and quadriplegics).

For drives, I think two drives would be good. A relatively small, 16 GB SSD drive and a 1 TB data drive. Games would be installed on the TB drive and the operating system on the first. The sizes are less important on the data drive. My PS3 only has a few GB and most of the Xbox 360s are in that range. (The difference between my MythTV and the commerical DVRs was much of the same: 1 TB verses 30 GB.)

This would also lead into OGC 2. If the standard requirements of OGC 2 are based on OGC 1, then all OGC 1 games would be compatible with the newer platform. This is a selling point of the PS2 and PS3 (gen 1 and 2 only) and handles one of my complaints.