The current console generation has been the longest one yet. Usually, console generations last for about five years. The seventh generation, according to Wikipedia, started in 2005 with the release of the Xbox 360. Seven years on, gamers and developers alike are beginning to see the limits of the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii, and these limits have a negative effect on the quality of the PC version of games, as the PC version gets ported from the Xbox 360 version.
In an interview with The Verge, general manager of Windows LIVE in Microsoft, Brian Hall, mentioned the existence of “the new Xbox”. Hall referred to “the new Xbox” as one of the many projects that could be integrated with Windows 8. He said, “We’ve had Hotmail and operated Hotmail for about 16 years. We obviously have Exchange, and Outlook, that people use at work,” said Hall. “We just decided it was time to do something new and bring the best from each of those and put them together and release it right in time for the new wave of products that we could have coming out with Windows 8, with the new version of Office, with the new Windows Phone and the new Xbox.”
The Xbox 360 seems to be on its way out
While this was the first time anyone from Microsoft had openly acknowledged the existence of the next generation console, Microsoft later backtracked in a comment to IGN.com, “The comments to The Verge were not understood in their intended context. When Brian mentioned a ‘new wave of products,’ he was referring to the full lineup of products coming later this year from Microsoft, including Windows 8, Office, Windows Phone and of course our fall Xbox update which will bring a host of new consumer experiences like Xbox Music, Videos, Games on Windows 8 and Xbox SmartGlass.”
According to an earlier report, a supposed Xbox 720 “Durango” developer kit was posted on a developer forum and was introduced to the public for a price of $10,000. The developer kit resembles the traditional PC tower running a debug launcher, which caused many people to be cautious and skeptical about whether the prototype is authentic. EuroGamer’s Digital Foundry reached the source of the leak. After following up on the story with multiple developers, who are working on next-gen projects, they came to the conclusion that the hardware was real.
The person who had leaked the shots, and uses the alias “DaE”, revealed to EuroGamer that Microsoft’s next-generation gaming console will feature an eight-core processor. The next generation console is also rumoured to include support for Blu-Ray, true 1080p and native 3D output, and is expected to be around six times more powerful than the current Xbox 360.
DaE suggests that the current devkits were sent to studios in February and feature Intel CPUs and a graphics card from NVIDIA. He also claims that the Durango kit has more than 8GB of memory, and that the hardware is 64-bit in nature. It is also worth mentioning that developer hardware typically features double the RAM of retail hardware, so that the former can accommodate debugging tools and other systems. No official information is available on Microsoft’s next console. Sony has also been keeping quiet about the possibility of PlayStation 4.