It has been 11 years since the release of the Xbox, almost 7 years since the Xbox 360 launched and just over 2 years since Kinect first let us “be the controller”. So what’s next for Microsoft and their leading, gaming platform?
Well if the rumours and leaked presentations are to be believed, prepare yourselves for the Xbox 720. While the general consensus is that “Xbox 720” is more than likely a working title and not what we will all be queuing up for come Christmas 2013, it is the hope of a generation that the console itself will be at least twice as good as the current incarnation.
What to expect with the Xbox 720?!
Microsoft and its developers are being annoyingly tight-lipped about what we can expect from the next big eighth generation system, but this is 2012 and the internet is awash with rumours and speculation. What does the rumour mill say we should expect then? Well right now the most likely update is the inclusion of a Blu-ray drive. Microsoft have in the past been staunch supporters of HD DVD tech but with the realisation that Blu-ray discs have the capacity for almost six times the amount of data, than a standard DVD, it seems that Xbox 720 will be the first of their platforms to cross over. Whilst no games have been announced so far, and to be fair no actual console has been announced so far, it would be silly not to expect the big developers and studios to be working on some new 720 worthy titles. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 would be a pretty safe bet. No matter what they are, with Blu-ray sized discs available you can be sure any new titles will be epic in both size and content.
So far so good right? What if I told you that the new Xbox will have a 16 core CPU, which is likely to run alongside AMD 7000 series graphics and two GPU chips. If all that is true though there are some issues. With the Xbox 720 release date potentially over a year away, many are hoping that Microsoft have a slightly less outdated graphics plan in mind while the AMD 7000 Series might be good enough for the PlayStation 4, Xbox fans are hoping for more. The saving grace of the graphics rumours is that the inclusion of simultaneous rendering chips hints towards a step in a 3D direction.
Of course we won’t know anything as complete fact until around next year’s E3, and everything in the media is tantamount to the hopes and wishes of loyal fans. What we do know for sure though is that Microsoft have just been granted the patent for a device, which as a controller, has the ability to tell who is using it simply by how it is being held.
So with pressure sensitive, people reading, controllers, Kinect updates in voice control and motion detection, 1080p support (more hints at 3D), backwards compatibility and DVR functions, the Xbox 720 is sure to be a high-spec, user-friendly, hyper-modern, next-gen console.
Over the next 18 months the leaks are going to happen more often, the rumours are going to escalate and we might even see some designs, confirmation of a name and a list of launch titles, but for now, only time will tell.