sorry everyone, the file isn't going up. Here is the brief in full.
Aim of Project
The aim of Project Foundation is to create a cheap, affordable game console that can compete with the more expensive consoles owned and sold by competitors. The secondary aim is to use spare parts from scrapped computers that can be affordable and easily replaced and/or upgraded if any damage occurs or the customer wants to improve the console.
Main Goal of Project
The main goal of Project Foundation is to make an open-source, fully upgradable gaming console with obsolete or unwanted (but inexpensive) computer components that can compete with the main competing brands in the gaming industry (Xbox, PlayStation and Wii) and out sell other competing products (Steam Box and the rumoured Apple console).
Game Software and Hardware Development.
Entertainment and Gaming.
Main Project Details
As seventh generation consoles have 512mb of RAM and eighth generation consoles have 8GB of RAM, the minimum amount of RAM acceptable would be 512mb. This should be sufficient for the base model, which would be the cheapest to manufacture and sell.
Hard Disk Drive
The smallest hard drive for the Xbox 360 was 60GB, with its successor (Xbox One) having 500GB. The PS3 had a small 20GB hard drive for its cheapest models and its successor also had 500GB hard drive. It is therefore recommended that the base model should have at least a 60GB hard drive installed.
The PS3, PS4 and Xbox One all have Blu-Ray Drives as their default disc drives. However, this is costly both for the development of future games (which would have to be on Blu-Ray disc) and for the manufacture of the console itself. The Xbox 360 had a DVD disc drive. The base model itself could also have an internal DVD disc drive, which are cheap and can be ordered in great numbers cheaply.
Audio and Video
Eighth generation consoles have HDMI ports, but lack scart and AV (three coloured wires) connections, which seventh generation consoles do have. The base model should incorporate all three video/audio connections.
Graphics Processing Unit
Since the aim of Project Foundation is to create a cheap (thus affordable) game console with old, even obsolete computer technology, custom built GPUs are not being considered.
Central Processing Unit
Like the GPU, the console will have to have a pre-made, cheap CPU that can be ordered en mass (as well as cheap enough not to seriously redline the production budget).
Depending on the cooling requirements, the fan could be any model that fits the motherboard. However, size will need to be taken into account, since (unlike other hardware components) a fan that is big, unwieldy and heavy will take up unnecessary space, cost and might even damage other hardware components if any movement causes it to move about and hit the other components. Also, small fans might be light, small and easily replaced and cost less in both the short and long term, they may not be as effective as bigger fans at keeping the console from overheating.
Until a successful prototype is put together, the power supply will most likely be that of the Fujitsu Siemens Celsius model manufactured around 2003 – 2005. However, other sources of power may be available. (Please note that the actual power supply will be from the mains, and that power supply in this document refers to the cable and power box installed into the console.)
An Ethernet port would be equipped, although only for general updates and perhaps searching online.
The maximum amount of RAM would be 8GB (perhaps 16GB in the future/if possible), which is the same amount of RAM in current eighth generation consoles.
Hard Disc Drive
While the current eighth generation consoles have 500GB hard disc drives. In time, models would be manufactured with a 500GB hard drive.
The disk drive on the more expensive models would be Blu-Ray Drives, which would allow the game console to compete with the current generation of consoles.
Audio and Video
Same as the base model.
Graphics Processing Unit
Would be the same as the base model, unless a more efficient GPU that is compatible with games developed for the base model is developed.
Central Processing Unit
Same as GPU.
Since the top-of-the-range model will invariably generate more heat, a more efficient fan will be needed, although the same concerns and considerations for the base model do apply here.
The power supply will be the same as the base model.
An Ethernet port will be installed onto the console, as well as wireless connectivity.
As previously stated, the main aim of this project is to develop a game console with technology that is either obsolete or cheap to buy or manufacture in large quantities. Most of the hardware will be sourced from scrapped computers, while some (if any) might be sourced from retail. This will help to keep the costs low and also allow us to sell retail units at a cheaper price than our competitors (Xbox One is priced at £430 at launch, while the PS4 was priced at £380 at launch). Since the console will be open source and will be made out of desktop components, it will be easily upgradeable and repairable, which will also be low cost.
The hardware will be mostly, if not entirely, sourced from scrapped desktop components that may exceed in age of about 10 years (estimated). However, some more modern hardware components may be sourced from retail, such as the CPU and GPU, due to the desire to compete with seventh generation consoles with the base model and eighth generation consoles with the more expensive, top-of-the-range model. The top-of-the-range model will most likely be made up of retail- or custom made- components due to the nature of its competitors (Blu-Ray drive, 500GB hard disc drive, wireless WIFI, 8GB RAM, USB 3.0, ETC), thus would not be manufactured until late in the consoles life (if financial costs allow for such high costs).
The operating system of the console needs to take full advantage of the hardware available. Since most of the components being used are mostly obsolete (due to being from discontinued desktop computers), we can devise a rather accurate view of the processing capabilities of the hardware (estimated to be 71.235% - 94.331% accurate, although this is without any evidence at this point). This should help us in developing the operating system to achieve the maximum capabilities that the console can achieve, especially in the base model. This operating system should be cheap to develop, preferably based around Linux or Android (the latter being used in the Ouya console), should be easy to use for players, easy to develop games for, easily updatable, have the fewest number of bugs as possible (with no major bugs at all) and should be exclusively for the console (such as being navigate with a joystick or controller instead of a keyboard and mouse, although the latter two might be compatible, although low priority). The user interface must be simple, elegant and uncluttered. Overall, the operating system must use the lowest amount of possible RAM and hard disk drive space as possible whilst allowing games created for the console to take full advantage of the hardware.
Related Project Details
Since the game console will need games in order to be used, there will be a need to standardize the architecture of the software. The kernel will be based on Linux, so it will be easy for developers to make games (or port current Linux-supported games) to the console. However, additions such as controller compatibility (Xbox 360 wired controller?) and improved graphics, sounds and usability will have to be considered since they will hopefully sell the idea of a new game console. Also, the games must meet certain standards (similar to the policies Nintendo have in place) before they can be approved to play on the console, which are listed below. Any games that don’t support these standards (which aren’t necessarily based on the hardware and software of the console, but on customer satisfaction) won’t get approval to be ported to the game console, since poor quality games will be detrimental to the consoles’ ability to be successful.
• Games must have the best possible story that can be afforded by the game developer/publisher;
• Graphics and sounds must be as good as they can possibly be for the game engine used to make a game;
• Characters must be fully developed and not sidelined for any other features;
• Multiplayer must be as good as possible with the current financial situation of the company that develops the game, and is the responsibility of the game developer NOT the company who developed the console for which the game is released for;