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PlayStation (Games)

Should Next-Gen Game Consoles Be Upgradeable? 348

MojoKid writes "Historically, console add-ons that boosted the performance of the primary unit haven't done well. Any attempt to upgrade a system's core performance risks bifurcating the user base and increases work developers must do to ensure that a game runs smoothly on both original and upgraded systems. The other reason is that a number of games rely on very specific hardware characteristics to ensure proper operation. In a PC, swapping a CPU with 256K of L2 for a chip with 512K of L2 is a non-issue assuming proper platform support. Existing software will automatically take advantage of the additional cache. The Xbox 360, on the other hand, allows programmers to lock specific cache blocks and use them for storing data from particular threads. In that case, expanding the amount of L2 cache risks breaking previous games because it changes the range of available cache addresses. The other side of the upgrade argument is that the Xbox 360 has been upgraded more effectively than any previous console; current high-end versions ship with more than 10x the storage of the original, as well as support for HDMI and integrated WiFi. It would also forestall the decline in comparative image quality between console and PC platforms."

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