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News Developer Speaks About Lockhart "Holding Back Next Gen." And PS5 VS XSX Dev Kits.

Nikana

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Jan 26, 2016
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Decided to ask a buddy of mine in the industry about the Lockhart and Series X vs PS5 and what he thinks so far. He is working on Borderlands 3 for Next Gen right now.

Vetted by Bill O'Rights

When I asked about Lockhart "holding back next gen." He had this to say:

"I really hate this term as it doesn't make any sense in terms of how games are actually made but I understand what people are trying to say. But if you have ever designed a game there isn't much you can and can not do. Its all a matter of what you are willing to put time/resources into to get working correctly. Whenever a new generation of consoles happens it allows creators to get things working faster and easier. Lockhart when we/my team was first briefed on it sounded really bad on paper.

Microsoft failed on providing real dev kits and details on the project. We didn't get any type of Lockhart hardware until very recently. Before we actually had the hardware we were given a profile on Anaconda dev kits that would mimic what Lockhart would be. But Microsoft never mentioned that it would have the same CPU and an SSD or how much RAM they intended Lockhart to have. I suspect this was because they themselves hadn't decided. To put it bluntly, they released these profiles far too early. The tools they provided made us hate Lockhart.

That changed once we got Lockhart Dev kits. It is indeed the same CPU and SSD and getting up and running on this device was super easy compared to Anaconda running in the Lockhart profile. We have been able to do the work we want on Anaconda and get it running on Lockhart with not a ton of work but it has required a bit more time to make sure the code runs on both machines in the same fashion. Its not something we are really worried about anymore. As the generation goes on I feel like this will be the approach for many studios. You start on Anaconda and then optimize for Lockhart. There is nothing the Lockhart can't do that the Anaconda can.

The one thing I have heard thats concerning is that Lockhart dev kits are not common. It seems like Microsoft really wants to be able to use Anaconda to accurately portray Lockhart performance and that has not been the experience my team has had. The profiles and tools are getting better on Anaconda in terms of mimicking Lockhart, but if you don't have a Lockhart dev kit, I feel like you are not going to be able to see how it accurately runs on Lockhart. Maybe this will change, but as of right now you really need a Lockhart Dev kit to understand it. For smaller teams I could see the optimization process being more time consuming but the tools provided by Microsoft have come a long way. They make it very easy to jump from one kit to another and the Lockhart kit is equipped with a lot of tools that help you see exactly where code needs to be looked at. Ray Tracing is one area that they seemed to have focused on and have made it very easy to adjust the levels."

I asked about PS5 Dev kits vs Series X dev kits and which console has the upper hand?

"PS5 dev kit is a bit easier to work with. Its well thought out and designed in ways that make it a bit easier to tweak and change things vs Anaconda. To say I prefer one over the other isn't' really fair because both are very good, but its just a bit easier to work with PS5. But Anaconda has the upper hand in terms of us being able to really push effects. The difference will come down to effects over resolution for us. We have both dev kits pushing 4K/60 on Borderlands 3 and we have almost zero loading times on both kits. Looking at them side by side the image is very similar.
 

splattered

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WOW this is an insanely great read for ALL systems, thank you for posting this! Exciting to read the ease of development on PS5, Anaconda not far behind that, and Lockhart no longer being in a negative light at all. I feel like all of this is good news for next gen period no matter where you play. I'm sure once next gen really ramps up and Lockhart starts selling tons the dev kit issue won't continue to be an issue.
 
Feb 25, 2013
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So Gearbox?
Sometimes 3rd party studios do next gen optimizations/ports no? Though I personally don't know what gearbox would be working on where they couldn't do it themselves.

Anyway, this is what most of us PC peeps where thinking as long as some of the key hardware components where up to snuff. Lockhart is basically going to be medium/low settings compared to series x's ultra.

This is going to put MS in a really good position I think. With the economy the way it is I don't think people/families are going to be so gung ho to spend bunches of money on premium entertainment hardware when they can settle for something a bit less in the image department and still be on "Next Gen". This will open up lots of avenues to get people into the ecosystem and more specifically, get people into gamepass...

One thing that would be cool to see is some sort of rent to own option. So you rent the lockhart and after you pay it off you have the option to keep it or keep making payments till you pay for a series x. If you choose the series x, after you've made all the payments, you ship the lockhart back to them and as long as it's in pristine condition they send you your series x.
 
Mar 27, 2020
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Uncharted bunghole
PS5 dev kit is a bit easier to work with. Its well thought out and designed in ways that make it a bit easier to tweak and change things vs Anaconda.

I'm happy that the fear over the variable clocks making development wasn't really justified.

Also it's good to hear that Lockhart won't hold next gen back. I was slightly worried that it would happen but I'm glad they a developer says that it won't impact the fidelity of next gen games.

I noticed how he says that anything the XSX can do the Lockhart can also do the same thing. This basically applies the the PS5 as well. This means that games will play relatively the same across all platforms expect for differences in resolution and certain graphical effects. It's also nice to see that there won't be a huge difference in visuals which is good news for anyone buying any system.

Overall it's very positive and I'm happy to hear it.
 

Joho79

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Feb 20, 2018
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I think it’s a really smart move from MS. The fans will get the xsx and the fans of other manufacturers might get a xss as well as their main system. Will be interesting to see how it pans out for them.
 

Rolla

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There seems to be a push to dispel this narrative of weaker consoles holding back next gen experiences. And despite what we may think individually, it's weird to think that "Microsoft" is still struggling to get it's messaging right?

In terms of resources they're second only to apple but still struggle to stop these types of narratives before they become engrained.
 

Andodalf

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There seems to be a push to dispel this narrative of weaker consoles holding back next gen experiences. And despite what we may think individually, it's weird to think that "Microsoft" is still struggling to get it's messaging right?

In terms of resources they're second only to apple but still struggle to stop these types of narratives before they become engrained.

Dont see how MS has had poor messaging when the product isn’t announced yet
 

Dory16

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Nov 15, 2013
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Sometimes 3rd party studios do next gen optimizations/ports no? Though I personally don't know what gearbox would be working on where they couldn't do it themselves.

Anyway, this is what most of us PC peeps where thinking as long as some of the key hardware components where up to snuff. Lockhart is basically going to be medium/low settings compared to series x's ultra.

This is going to put MS in a really good position I think. With the economy the way it is I don't think people/families are going to be so gung ho to spend bunches of money on premium entertainment hardware when they can settle for something a bit less in the image department and still be on "Next Gen". This will open up lots of avenues to get people into the ecosystem and more specifically, get people into gamepass...

One thing that would be cool to see is some sort of rent to own option. So you rent the lockhart and after you pay it off you have the option to keep it or keep making payments till you pay for a series x. If you choose the series x, after you've made all the payments, you ship the lockhart back to them and as long as it's in pristine condition they send you your series x.
I think All access is as good as it will get from them this gen but with 0% APR and GP ultimate included, there is really no excuse price wise. If you own a contract smartphone you can easily afford an XSX/Lockhart.
 

ManaByte

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Jun 10, 2004
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It runs Borderlands 3 like a breeze sounds like: Yes, Tetris will do 4K60FPS.

Very little challenge when it comes to textures, lightning and effects.
Borderlands 3 😂😂😂😂
So they make a port for next gen of a one year old game?
Is this what we get for next gen?😂😂😂😂😂

Borderlands 3 was a mess even on the Pro and X this gen.
 
Mar 27, 2020
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Uncharted bunghole
Dealers gonna be pissed.
 
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Jun 28, 2013
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“There is nothing the Lockhart can't do that the Anaconda can.”

So whats the point of Anaconda if thats the case? How can you Hype up Anaconda while at the same time not talk shit about lockhart? And if all above is true. Basically saying flops dont matter. Wouldnt that make the PS5 the sweet spot.
 

Mister Wolf

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This was a wise choice by Microsoft to do this. Many gamers especially on PC do not care about 4K. I expect that will be the case with console gamers as well when given the option.
 

M1chl

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That's all interesting but we are talking about a port of a current-gen game. Is borderlands 3 the only basis for the idea that anyting the anaconda can do the Lockhart can do? If so I'm dubious about such a claim.

“There is nothing the Lockhart can't do that the Anaconda can.”

So whats the point of Anaconda if thats the case? How can you Hype up Anaconda while at the same time not talk shit about lockhart? And if all above is true. Basically saying flops dont matter. Wouldnt that make the PS5 the sweet spot.

Probably at lower resolution you know. It's strange that he did not elaborate more. As much as I express my displeasure with Lockhart, I think that simply 1080p vs 4k, is like 4 times as much pixels, if I am not retarded. And it has 1/3 of GPU power, so it kind of make sense. Maybe.
 
Mar 27, 2020
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Uncharted bunghole
Probably at lower resolution you know. It's strange that he did not elaborate more. As much as I express my displeasure with Lockhart, I think that simply 1080p vs 4k, is like 4 times as much pixels, if I am not retarded. And it has 1/3 of GPU power, so it kind of make sense. Maybe.

I'm still expecting Lockhart to have some other visual effects tuned down like Ray Tracing for example.
 

XtremeXpider

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“There is nothing the Lockhart can't do that the Anaconda can.”

So whats the point of Anaconda if thats the case? How can you Hype up Anaconda while at the same time not talk shit about lockhart? And if all above is true. Basically saying flops dont matter. Wouldnt that make the PS5 the sweet spot.

I guess he means programatically.

The point of Series X is the same than buying a RTX 2080 over a RTX 2060. And Lockhart can have a lower price than PS5, MS can have a deluxe and a bargain console.
 

Jtibh

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Borderlands 3 was a mess even on the Pro and X this gen.
Who cares. Its a crappy game.
Playing jedi fallen order right now and my bar once again is set higher.
I have soo much fun with it it brings back dead space memories . It takes elements from several titles but executes it much better just like dead space.
What i am saying is there just too many games that crap on borderlands 3 so why would i want to spend full price on it on next gen?
Nah thanks
 

Gavin Stevens

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So, exactly as I’ve been saying since day dot. Same experience, same game, as feature set, lower resolution and possible effects turn down in rare cases.

I mean anybody who actually understands how game engines work in relation to system hardware could tell you that.

*donk*

Edit: speaking with people over the last few months I think it’s quite clear people don’t actually understand these things and they see this as a lower power Xbox one x. That’s not the case. I also see a lot of people think it’s the same situation as porting to the old consoles, but that’s a different architecture. What exactly do you expect to happen with the same CPU speed, same SSD speed, and cut down gpu/ram (waaaay less power needed for 1080p, and lower memory usage needed for 1080p vram).
 
Last edited:
Mar 27, 2020
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Uncharted bunghole
I guess he means programatically.

The point of Series X is the same than buying a RTX 2080 over a RTX 2060. And Lockhart can have a lower price than PS5, MS can have a deluxe and a bargain console.

What I'm wondering is what's going to happen if Sony prices their console in the middle?

That would be really interesting to see if it does happen.
 
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OZ9000

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I am glad the image looks similar on both the PS5 and XSX. I just want good looking games across both platforms. I will personally stick with PC gaming, though I might get a PS5 as I'm more invested in Sony's ecosystem.
 

XtremeXpider

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What I'm wondering is what's going to happen if Sony prices their console in the middle?

That would be really interesting to see if it does happen.

I guess it will depend on games, services, compatibility, availability, or even diferent models (disc and disless for both Xbox).
 

Nikana

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Jan 26, 2016
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I hope you are right but I have a hard time seeing MS and Sony being ok with this and those NDAs are serious business.

I have a feeling they are more interested in Tom Warren than myself. No major details are leaked like CU counts, clocks, etc.
 
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pasterpl

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Did you sleep though the beginning of the current gen?

and we already seen announcements of remasters for next gen (gtav, demon souls)...it seems that we will be getting thewe remasters regularl.

re the Lockhart, it makes sense, resolution is what takes a lot of vram, with weaker gpu we will get some limited ray tracing and some effects turned down, that will be maxed out on xbsex.
 
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