It’s certainly no secret that Microsoft is hard at work developing a successor to its Xbox 360 games console. With Sony’s PlayStation 3 still in the middle of its life cycle and Nintendo already having announced its upcoming Wii-U, Microsoft is planning its next move deep in a bunker in Redmond.
We’ve heard rumors of what the next Xbox could be for some time now, with various suggestions for names and features being bandied around, but there are precious few hard facts known about what Microsoft will do with the third generation Xbox.
The latest news coming out of IGN’s sources is that the new machine will go into production during October or November of this year, with developers getting machines to work with some time in August. The timescale fits, with developers not needing finished hardware but rather just a PC with the same specs and a development kit.
IGN’s sources also suggest that the machine could go on sale towards the end of next year, 2013, which does tie in with some other reports that have been floating around the internet over the last six months.
Hardware-wise the new machine is expected to pack a punch that will see it being six times more powerful with regards to graphics performance, thanks mainly to a Radeon HD6000 graphics chip. The extra horsepower will also see the next Xbox be 20% more powerful than Nintendo’s already announced Wii-U machine. Which is definitely a lot when it comes to graphics performance.
No sources have yet come forward with an expected retail price, or in fact any other hard facts. Will the new Xbox be backward compatible with existing 360 games, and will it use Xbox LIVE as we know it? Just as importantly, will all our Gamertags and Achievements carry over to the new machine?
We’re equally as interested to see what method of content delivery will be used by the new machine. We wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Microsoft move away from a disc-based system and use Xbox LIVE as a method of offering games, though the lack of fast broadband may hinder that approach.
That said, it hasn’t stopped Valve’s Steam from taking over the PC gaming world, has it?