No prototypes for GamesCom, but a Wifi Chip and a Pyra in the dark!

Discussion in 'Pyra News' started by EvilDragon, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. FaeMinx

    FaeMinx Rainbow Liberation Instigation

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    No, we *DO* need to make it as future proof as financially possible because we would ALL (i appologize for the generalization) like to upgrade only the SOC daughter board as many times as is feasable before the built in features become completely redundant and nescessitate a complete redesign.

    I would like to see the Pyra have a good run and continue to sell for +- a decade... which is niegh on eternity in the consumer electronics world.
     
  2. _jr_

    _jr_ Advanced Member

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    And in the next round we get another bunch of whiners (sometimes including the same individuals for added fun) complaining that it will be 700EUR. Perfect future proofing is not possible. There will have to be some sort of compromise and 5GHz may not be included (e.g. because it just doesn't work, lead times are too large, or retail price would break some psychological barrier).
     
  3. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

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    Not at all, there's been a lot of features which were argued and successfully brought forward. Case in point, 5Ghz is currently being successfully argued in favour of, I think; a lot of good points have been raised about future proofing it for minimal cost. But it falls to EvilDragon whether the arguments are worth 14K or not. Re-read Christian's post: they say they want 5Ghz but recognizes the possibility that it may not happen, in which case it is not that big of a deal because 5Ghz USB adapters are readily available if you really want it. He's not saying "you don't need 5Ghz because you can use USB", he is saying "if we don't get the 5Ghz (and I would really like the 5Ghz) then we can still use USB".
    Contrived and flawed. You aren't just looking for a house for yourself, you are talking to an architect who is building an entire community of exactly the same house (for some reason) and trying to convince them to add a garden to the plans, a garden which will add cost to everyone even though not everyone will use it. The architect has stated that there is limited property space, if we can't manage to get a garden into the design then we've worked a community garden into the plans which you can use. "But it's not the same" you whine. "Well, 25% of people wanted gardens while 65% of people wanted private pools. There's only enough room for one, you'll have to use the community garden." "That's your answer to everything, just use the community facilities, I want everything in my backyard! A pool, and a garden, and a hot tub, and a tennis court!" This analogy only works if you accept that it's better to build an entire community of houses all exactly identical to each other with a properly limited amount of space.
    Nothing is so obvious it isn't worth mentioning. The fact that the Pandora had a USB port and that the Pyra will have two is amazing and should be touted as often as possible. I think you'd be surprised at how many people forget that simple USB devices exist. Your attempt at suggesting that you'd only need to point it out if the speaker is assuming the subject is either ignorant or stupid is a strawman and you should feel bad for using it. Suggesting that ignorance is an insult is in itself insulting: there are tonnes of things I'm ignorant of, there are tonnes of things that you are ignorant of, and it's wrong to assume that anyone knows anything; it is wrong to think of ignorance as an insult.
     
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  4. Kev2442

    Kev2442 Still French

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    I'm not against 5GHz in any way, but I'm wondering...

    Most people here want it because it's better for them at home (less noise, more speed...), but what about the other places ?

    Please remember that the Pyra is a mobile device at heart. If it's meant to be used in public spaces where there might not be 5GHz connection, then it might not be a priority. If you're at home, you can keep an USB on your desk.

    Now please note that I don't know a single thing about 5GHz and its availability. Is it common outdoors ?

    As I've been saying before, I'd like to have it just for the sake of it, but I'm afraid of ED's upfront payment. If we can avoid making him pay 14 000 €, then let's.
     
  5. _wb_

    _wb_ Microbe Staff Member

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    I still think that the compromise makes sense: have 5GHz only in units that also have 3/4G.

    My previous arguments still holds: there's a correlation between needing 5GHz and needing 3/4G (both only tend to be useful if you live in a densely populated area), there is no additional logistic / order complexity cost because the number of 5GHz wifi chips ED has to order would be equal to the number of cell modem chips, and this way both the cheapest and the most fully-featured options remain available.

    One additional argument is the following: from a business/community perspective, I suppose it makes sense to have the biggest profit margin on the "premium" model, and only a small profit margin on the "base" model, so that the Pyra is as affordable as possible. But then it's also good to make sure that while the base model should not lack anything vital (it should not be a different device), there is still enough incentive for customers to pay the extra for the premium model if they can afford it. Differentiating the two models on more than just one property makes sense, and this is a good candidate for such a differentiating property. Another one could be bigger/faster eMMC. In the most extreme case, the base model could have no eMMC at all (just a preloaded cheap µSD card, to be upgraded by the user if they want something bigger/faster, though they will always be limited by the 100MB/s max speed), while the premium model could have an expensive eMMC -- say, the fastest 32 or 64GB eMMC available.

    Wifi will be better than on the Pandora whatever we do (simply because these chips have become so much better), so not having the absolutely best possible wifi on the base model is not a big deal -- it will still be pretty good.

    About future proofing: don't fool yourself, the Pyra will be "outdated" even before its release, in the sense that in terms of specs, it's not the newest and best in every single aspect. This is true today and it will be extremely true in 10 years. Just to mention a few obvious areas in which it will most certainly be "outdated" in 10 years:

    • the USB port speeds (USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0) : USB 3.1 is already two years old now. The micro-USB 2.0 standard is now 8 years old. There's no way to predict the future, but who knows, in 10 years, everything will be using USB 4.0 or 5.0 with type-C ports.
    • SD card slots: UHS-I only, while UHS-II already exists today. In 10 years, UHS-I SD cards will be about as outdated as regular SD (no SDHC) cards are now -- the SDHC standard is slightly less than 10 years old.
    • It's not likely that HDMI 1.4 will still be "good enough" in 10 years. HDMI 2.0 is now almost 2 years old.
     
  6. pmprog

    pmprog Advanced Member

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    Call me crazy, but wouldn't it be better the other way around?
    ie, the "WiFi" model has the better WiFi chip, and the other has the 3/4G chip?
     
  7. slaeshjag

    slaeshjag ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    (Could ED fill in on weather or not it's an option to mix the modules, or is there a MoQ=1k that stops it from even being possible to split up for the first batch?)
     
  8. Neelix

    Neelix Insecticidal Maniac

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    I'm not seeing that correlation at all...  3/4G is useful if you need data while on the move,  regardless of how densely populated your area is.

    -Neelix
     
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  9. Natsu

    Natsu Advanced Member

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    I still think we shouldn't block anyone, especially the people who needs it, and forced them to buy a even higher price Pyra. If they even ever want to get 3g/4g. Making people pay ~$100 more for a ~$14 feature doesn't make any sense. The fact that it is a portable device is a con, not a pro for "just use a usb" method. More people on wifi in the "outside world" and not wanting to carry a usb everywhere. (Which may even cost more than just having it built in.)

    We already have a "premium" model and that is 3g/4g. This is something that can be "easily" added. No need to gimp the cheaper one.

    Oh and adding to the "Pyra is an expensive outdated device" thoughts doesn't really help.

    Buying all these separate things and upgrades are probably going to cost more than just buying a Pyra that should have already have this stuff in, in the first place.
     
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  10. _wb_

    _wb_ Microbe Staff Member

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    It's only a weak correlation. If you live in a very rural / sparsely populated area, chances are that you'll have no (fast) 3/4G reception in your area. If you live in a sparsely populated area, chances are that the 2.4GHz bands is not congested, and that you'll want to have the extra distance range of 2.4GHz. So in this scenario, you probably don't want to pay for the 3/4G chip (you can use phone tethering if you occasionally need mobile data), and you probably also don't want to pay for 5GHz wifi bands.

    If you live in a very densely populated area, chances are that you'll have good 4G coverage in your area, and chances are that the 2.4GHz bands are congested. Typically in such areas there are also lots of wifi hotspots available that you may be able to use to save costs and get higher speeds. So you'll probably want the 5GHz wifi bands too.

    Another cause for correlation is the following: some people are perhaps interested in the Pyra but internet connectivity is not a high priority -- they're planning to play games on it, edit documents, etc, but they intend to use other devices (a tablet or phone maybe) for mobile internet. In that case, you don't want the 3/4G chip and you also don't want to pay for an expensive wifi chip.

    For other people, internet connectivity is an important aspect of the Pyra, and they want to have the best possible connectivity options, both for wifi and cellular.
     
  11. _wb_

    _wb_ Microbe Staff Member

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    Well if ED does not mind the added complexity of having 3 different models (2.4GHz wifi / 5GHz wifi / 5GHz wifi + cellular), then of course that would be the best option.

    But what you are proposing is to force EVERYONE to pay the extra cost for 5GHz wifi, even if they don't need it.

    I think it's better to keep the base price as low as possible. 14 EUR extra in component cost alone means something like $30 extra in the final price, just for somewhat better wifi. If we're going to use the same reasoning for the other components, then the final price will quickly become too high for many people. I mean, how much extra are you willing to force on everyone in order to get more/faster RAM and more/faster internal storage? Those are features that everyone can use, so you don't want to "gimp" the cheaper model, right? Before you know it, we end up with a "cheaper model" that will cost $900.
     
  12. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    By the time you factor in the costs of splitting the board production streams, maintaining different stocks of the items, having TWO different base units that require TWO different product testing loops, support costs of figuring out just what version of the chip the person has, etc, the cost difference for providing that 'choice' is likely as much as the cost difference in the chips.  The net savings is  likely negligible.

    What you are proposing is to cripple the non-4G Pyras for a large portion of the population that truly need it because YOU don't need it and YOU don't want to pay 1 EUR more than you absolutely have to.

    There ISNT a "cheaper model".  THAT is a fabrication of your own.  To my understanding, there will be ONE model, the Pyra.  That ONE model will have an option of adding a US or EUR or International 4G wireless module at additional cost.

    Presence or absence of the 4G module is the ONLY thing that should differentiate these.  Anything beyond that magnifies production and support costs.  The only reason for THAT module to be an 'add on' option is because IT costs 100 EUR or so by itself.
     
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  13. _jr_

    _jr_ Advanced Member

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    The module and antenna have to be installed somewhere. Was there some indication that this wouldn't happen during the normal population phase at global components? To me it seems there will be at least two Pyra versions in production. But other considerations (MOQ, support work for the software team, etc.) may preclude additional differences.

    Personally I'm not convinced that 5GHz is required (in any version). The Pandora still sells even with suboptimal Wifi. But if it won't make much of a difference for ED, I'm fine with it.
     
  14. Natsu

    Natsu Advanced Member

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    I have been to places that had free wifi,but no 3G/4G connection. You still may want to use 5Ghz even if the other isn't that congested. Shouldn't have rely on 3G/4G anyway, if that person even has that, nor rely on 2.4Ghz. This is a portable device, you don't know what situation you could end up in.

    I'm pretty sure there isn't enough people who wouldn't use Pyra wifi at all, by choice. I mean, if that is really the case, we should move the whole wifi chip into 3G/4G only. Even sillier. Not everyone that want better wifi want the 3G/4G version, either because they fine with using their phone or simply don't want it. People who just want and need a better wifi, but don't want or need a 3G/4G version are left in the dust because "weak correlation" nonsense.
     
    Not everyone will use the leds. Not everyone will use every single usb port. Not everyone will use 2 full SD card slots. Why is suddenly a "cheap" component the breaking point? A component that many people want or even need.
     
    Ok, let's make this cheaper Pyra. Let's get rid of the sd cards and keep one usb and 8GB of built in storage. Want more? They can use the USB or the cloud. Get rid of the leds. Most people wouldn't be in complete darkness while using it anyway or want a light up lid. We can also cut the battery power down as well. We could probably sacrifice even more features. We want this thing as cheap as possible, right? Move all this missing stuff to 3G/4G only.
     
    I'm pretty sure people don't want to deal with wifi issues then and especially now. I'm pretty certain I read there were returns because the wifi wasn't working.
     
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  15. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    I live in a semi-rural area. I don't have problem with wifi congestion, so don't need 5Ghz personally (and also, living in a stone-built house probably means 5GHz reception would be a problem).

    However, I can get 3G connectivity almost everywhere here, provided I use the right provider.
     
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  16. _wb_

    _wb_ Microbe Staff Member

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    I would personally buy a Pyra with 3/4G, so this has nothing to do with me trying to save money.

    There are at least two models of the Pyra: a cheaper one without 3/4G module, and a more expensive one with 3/4G. That means we'll have to "factor in the costs of splitting the board production streams, maintaining different stocks of the items, having TWO different base units that require TWO different product testing loops, support costs of figuring out just what version of the chip the person has, etc". I hope that's not going to cost ~14 EUR extra for both variants, just as an overhead for having the option of not having 3/4G.

    I would personally have no problem with 5GHz wifi on all Pyra models, but I think it's an unnecessary expense if you're trying to keep the cost down.
     
  17. Kev2442

    Kev2442 Still French

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    We definitely need ED's advice on that case. All I can reply is that the 4G module is seperated from the PCB, so that it's not making two versions of it. The WiFi chip is not.

    Only ED will tell if he's willing to pay for the extra performance.
     
  18. fusion_power

    fusion_power Advanced Member

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    It's pretty common in the industry to have different "feature levels" bundled, so cheaper models often come with more than one stripped thing. I personaly see no problem in having 2 different Pyra models and it would make sense that the cheaper non 3/4G model also has the cheaper WiFi module.

    The other model can come later when enough Pyras are sold so ED can afford the 5GHz WiFi module. I'm sure the cheaper model would find a wider audience so it is a good strategy to start with that version. May be bad luck for people who want 3/4G right at the beginning but hey, it's the Pyra and we are all trained in waiting. ,)
     
  19. FaeMinx

    FaeMinx Rainbow Liberation Instigation

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    ^ But ED will lose my preorder if he does that... I will wait untill I can get the 3/4G model.


    He needs to offer both at the outset.


    Otherwise he needs to trust he will get enough preorders for the feature stripped model to fund the first batch.


    I have no problem waiting if that's what he decides.
     
  20. bzar

    bzar A Commando

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    ^ Same here. I'm getting the 4G version. If it's not available for preorder, then I'll wait.
     

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