Some questions about computer and console hardware.

Discussion in 'Hardware Discussion & Support' started by Projeto, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Projeto

    Projeto New Member

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    Hello all, I'm currently doing a project in college that requires some basic knowledge and information about computer and console hardware and hardware in general. So I'm now enrolled in searching for info and linking the dots, gathering information here and there, the hardware world can be quite scary with all of it's names and references to technology and processes that the layman usually can't grasp. So I have some questions that I hope someone can shed a light on in order to help me, if anyone can send me links to other websites and places where I could get more info it would also be great. So, let's go to the questions:

    1-I already know that nowadays consoles and computers have quite similar architectures, however that doesn't seem to have always been the case. What were the differences that older generations of consoles had that set them appart from computers, what differences still remain so that modern consoles still can't be really compared to computers? Would it be right to say that older consoles were still a kind of computer, even with their different architecture?

    2-Knowing that consoles and computers are somewhat different, would it be reasonable to say that someone who is developing a project related to a new "console" but that doesn't have the means to develop an original architecture such as that of consoles should just stick to assembling the computer hardware available in the market and building a computer that would suit the needs of the "console product"? Of course, all of that taking into account that the objective of the project is not to innovate hardware-wise but to assemble the existing technology in a new and original way.

    3-The next question is about dedicated devices, there are a lot of gamers out there, some prefer consoles, some computers, well this is a mostly computer-themed forum so I expect to have somewhat biased opinions around here regarding this particular subject, but in my personal experience I have always noticed "smoother" and "steadier" performance of games when played on consoles as opposed to when played on computers. Sure the graphics of the games when played on pcs always look better, but I don't know, maybe I've never used a computer powerful enough but I always noticed that when playing games on computers there are always these "little things" like stuttering and framedrops, for example, that get in the way of playing the games, also the distractions that computers offer are also a thing that may get in the way.

    All of that makes me go back to my question, is there any advantages to having a dedicated device solely for gaming as opposed to a device such as a computer that has many functions appart from gaming? Maybe it comes down to the fact that the computer has many other processes going on that prevents it from running the games with the best performance. Or maybe there is a difference between consoles and computers when we're talking about playing games after all(besides graphics), maybe the different architecture of the consoles is "more suited" for playing games with steadier performance than the architecture of the computer is.

    4-The next question is an extension of the last, now talking about tablets. Are tablets basically computers in another shape? Or do they have another architecture altogether? Let's say I want to develop a console that has the same shape as a tablet, would you say that it would be pointless to develop such a product, and that any good quality tablet would be able to offer the same performance than a dedicated device with games developed specifically for it(in the shape of a tablet) would?

    So, in case a console-tablet would be developed, if it were developed as a dedicated platform for other companies to develop games for it(like with actual existing consoles), being a dedicated device and having games made specifically for it, could it have any advantage over, say, companies making games that would work on any regular tablet, regardless of model and brand?

    5-Also I would like to know if it would be possible for smartphones to act as "joysticks" when playing games on another regular tablet if those games are made specifically with that function in mind (and maybe with a corresponding app to be installed in the smartphone). Would it be possible with current technology, maybe via bluetooth?
    Now if we're talking about a brand new console in the shape of a tablet(and with either computer architecture or tablet architecture), would the same thing be possible? Could I create a built-in ability so that the console I'm developing could engage with any existing smartphone so that it can work as a joystick when I'm playing the games made exclusively for the console? Also would it be feasible to use a smartphone, maybe with some sort of app, to act as a controller for the console's operational system itself(appart from gameplay control)?
    Or would it have any advantages/would it be better to just create a dedicated controller for my dedicated console(regardless of shape)?

    6-One last question, why do some devices such as tablets and ipads have screens in the same "part"of the device as the internal components, while regular notebooks have screens set appart from the main hardware? Is there any special reason for that other than arrangement of components in space and usability of the product?
    Lastly, how can tablets and ipads use so much less space for the hardware as opposed to notebooks that are usually much thicker? Does that come with a compromise?

    That was a lot of questions but I really hope there are people who can help me with them, feel free to answer just one or a few of them, any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. RealityRipple

    RealityRipple Embrace Entropy

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    Not actually going to directly and completely answer these questions, of course, but here's some initial comments regarding them:

    1) The SNES had the ability to include alternate hardware inside the cartridge so that games could have "above-specs" features at an increase in production cost. I always thought that was a neat feature that is no longer possible. I'd also say the difference has been minimized to consoles being little more than proprietary computers that may or may not officially support keyboards and mice.

    2) You'd really need something special to bring to the race at this point. That's all I can say.

    3) Most game programmers don't seem to have good enough computers to recognize when they have a bug or bottleneck in their code on a computer. On the other hand, all copies of a model of a console are the same for that model's lifespan, so you always know exactly how fast or slow it will be. When everyone can afford a PCI-E SSD and a 2000+ thread GPU, this problem should be mitigated.

    4) I consider tablets and phones to be dedicated devices. It's just that the software acts more like malware in its persistence, so that things like notifications work. But those are usually more like daemons, not processes with interfaces, so if they're designed right, they should be almost entirely passive, and the app you're using is the only active process. It's dedicated to "apps" though. And the Game Boy came out a year after I was born, so a "console-tablet" is only new in the sense that I assume you mean the entire screen would be a touchscreen, as opposed to having a smaller touchscreen, because that's been done too. They're not very successful these days because regular phones are fine at playing passive games that you don't really have to focus on, which is what people seem to like.

    5) You can do this with some emulators for Android if you have a Chromecast. It's pretty neat. Play the game on your TV and use your phone as the controller while it runs the game.

    6) Keyboards. Also, it's easy to make hardware that has specs equivalent to a decade ago fit in your hand. Two years ago's specs require a little more space and more heat dissipation.
     
  3. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    How about you do your homework instead of trying to get answers from other people? Perhaps that way you will learn something, how to do proper research on your own. That's the main reason, other than knowledge on the subject, that you get these projects in college/university.
     

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