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Microsoft Corp. plans to release its next-generation Xbox video game console for the holiday season next year, a yet another media report claims. The company is apparently so confident in its new system and the timeframe of its physical release that at present it is mulling whether to formally unveil it at the E3 trade-show or at a dedicated event.

Bloomberg news-agency on Friday reported citing two sources that Microsoft is on track to release the next version of its Xbox video-game machine in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas sales in 2013. What the software giant is reportedly not sure about is whether to formally reveil the new Xbox at an industry event such as the E3 show in June, or a separate event dedicated solely to the console, according to a source.

Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.

Microsoft projects the Xbox Next (also known as Loop, Durango and 720) as the center of the digital entertainment for the future, according to information released unofficially earlier this year. The console itself is expected to feature six times higher compute performance than the Xbox 360, Blu-ray optical disc drive, compatibility with X360 titles and numerous other innovations. Microsoft wants Xbox 720 to be able to render games in 1920*1080 resolution in stereoscopic 3D mode, hence, the hardware under the hood should be very powerful even by today's standards.

The key thing about the Xbox Next is not its hardware that processes data, but its ability to connect to many different sensors and peripherals, including augmented reality glasses, Kinect v1 and v2 motion sensors, various advanced controllers and many more. Microsoft is expected to position the Xbox 720 as the only "box" needed in the living room for premium experience, therefore it is natural to expect very broad feature-set of the product, including digital video recorder capabilities, remote server capability to stream video games to any device, very sophisticated Xbox TV service (to get rid of set-top-boxes) and many more.

Microsoft's ultimate long-term plan is to not only to make gaming even more immersive and interactive as well as to make Xbox experience available on any device, but to also use various mobile technologies to create contextual applications that utilize real time information from the Internet and from various sensors that enhance physical world.

Tags: Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox Next, Loop, Durango, Kinect, Xbox Live, Xbox TV, Windows 8, Windows Phone, SmartGlass


Comments currently: 6
Discussion started: 12/01/12 03:19:49 PM
Latest comment: 12/02/12 09:51:24 PM
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6x the performance is too weak for next generation gaming. That would put the GPU barely on par with HD7770:

HD7770 = 93
Xbox 360 ~ X1800XT level of performance = 16.7

I hope the console at least has HD7850 2GB.

Tim Sweeney of Epic Games estimated that the next Xbox would need to be at least 10x more powerful to really have a chance of taking graphics to next generation (i.e., to be able to play next gen game engines, not just high resolution versions of today's games/engines).

Last time MS spent $141 (cost) on the R500 GPU in the Xbox 360. By Fall of 2013, it wouldn't be unrealistic to expect HD7950M (a downclocked HD7870 GPU) inside an Xbox since it will fall in price as HD8000 series replaces it. The question is will MS adopt Nintendo's model of barely selling the console at a loss and go all budget conscious with a weak GPU like HD6670/6770 or will they actually have the balls to put in a real GPU inside?
1 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 12/01/12 03:19:49 PM]
- collapse thread

I don't think the price of the GPU will drop when the HD8000 series hits. Microsoft will have to pay AMD the full amount for some time as they really cannot switch out cards in their Xbox. AMD has a huge upper hand on pricing considering they have no competition on xbox gpu when the console releases.

There is no way any 7000 series card is making it to the xbox. Just not enough time to adapt it to the console. I do hope they put something like a 6870 at least in there. They are only aiming for 1080p, so I would not expect anything spectacular.
0 0 [Posted by: evernessince  | Date: 12/01/12 10:39:00 PM]
1. What do you mean prices won't drop? HD7000 series came out for much higher prices starting January 2012. HD7970 was $549, HD7950 $449, HD7870 $349, HD7850 $249, etc. Since the new console won't launch for another 12 months, the price MS will pay will be adjusted for what a reasonable market price is for those old parts in 12 months from now. There is no way an HD7000 chip costs as much to purchase now as it did 10 months ago and in 12 more months, it will fall more as HD8000 becomes the successor, thus relegating HD7000 to older tech - thus discounts.

2. Why is there no way HD7000 can make it into the Xbox? They have almost a year to test the designs and how long can it take? At the last minute Sony asked NV to give them the RSX GPU. You don't need more than 6 months to choose a GPU and test it. HD6870 doesn't make sense much sense since if they are going with a discrete GPU, the more power efficient 28nm GCN are the way to go. If they are going for cost-savings, a custom APU design would work too but then why pick a 40nm HD6870? In that case might as well pick a mobile version of HD7870M or something far more efficient.
0 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 12/02/12 09:26:00 PM]

Talking about performance of unreleased products is ungrateful job.

Well, if that box wont be 150W power hog like Xbox360 was, then even that "modest performance" is great thing when delivered under 50W. And you omit to notice that consoles usually offer only single screen support up to FullHD (1080p) for which even HD7770 more than enough. OFC we shouldnt forget how games became optimized for consoles by applying some tweaks to level of details that should be processed. And yet you all forget that Xbox720 should comply with DX11.1 while we still didnt see any commercial game being published that has been developed with that API.

Considering above mentioned even "modest" HD7770 should serve well for a long time when optimized 1080p graphics comes into play. But we shall probably saw something in between todays HD7700 and HD7870 with 960SP which is 50% more than in CapeVerde XT and yet easily doable under 170mm2@28nmTSMC + BD module ["dual-core"] under some 90mm2 so the whole chip could be done at 260mm2 @28nm and easily shrinked down to 20nm.
0 0 [Posted by: OmegaHuman  | Date: 12/02/12 12:38:08 PM]
- collapse thread

"Well, if that box wont be 150W power hog like Xbox360 was, then even that "modest performance" is great thing when delivered under 50W."

-- You cannot get a powerful console with a total power envelope of 50W. If you care about power consumption, go play on a smartphone or a tablet. Even the Wii U uses up to 75W in total and right now it's debatable if it's overall graphics power is even superior to PS3/360. Thus, you can't have a next generation Xbox that uses only 50W of power. Further, your TV alone will use 200-500W of power. Who cares if the power consumption of the Xbox 720 is 50W or 200W. Games cost $60. Power consumption cost is laughably low compared to the cost of hardware and software to matter.

-- The original Xbox used more than 150W of power. The number is actually around 180W, with an idle of 150W

"And you omit to notice that consoles usually offer only single screen support up to FullHD (1080p) for which even HD7770 more than enough."

HD7770 is not enough to deliver next generation graphics or DX11 games at 60 fps at 1080P, unless you set everything to low or medium, which defeats the purpose of next generation games. They are going to need something much faster than HD7770. You are also looking at today's games only but this console is supposed to last another 6-8 years. HD7770 will be laughably slow to last that long. The GPUs in PS3/360 were mid-range at least, which would imply a level of HD7950 or at least HD7870 by November 2013 next year as constituting mid-range.

"OFC we shouldnt forget how games became optimized for consoles by applying some tweaks to level of details that should be processed."

Games became optimized for consoles due to resolution upscaling. Most games on current consoles run at very low resolutions with chugging framerates. Black Ops 2 runs at 880x720 on Xbox 360. Other games like Far Cry 3 drop to 20-22 fps. Most games look horrendous up close but since a lot of people play 6-10 feet away from their TV, they might not notice the pixelation.

"And yet you all forget that Xbox720 should comply with DX11.1 while we still didnt see any commercial game being published that has been developed with that API."

What's your point? DX11/11.1 games are going to be even more demanding that today's titles. DX11 brings extremely demanding features such as contact hardening soft shadows, global illumination/dynamic area lights, bokeh depth of field, or allows one to use compute shaders for accelerating super-sampling on textures. All these effects are more demanding, not less demanding. That's why to play most games with real DX11 effects incurs a full generation performance hit just to enable those graphical features.

"Considering above mentioned even "modest" HD7770 should serve well for a long time when optimized 1080p graphics comes into play."

Not it would not. You need to account for demanding DX11 effects, rendering games at real 1920x1080 resolution, higher resolution textures, next generation particle effects, tessellation and more advanced game engines beyond what we have today. HD7770 is only enough to serve current generation game engines like CryEngine 3.4 or Frostbite 2.0. Those are not true next generation game engines, especially Frostbite 2.0 looks current gen not next gen. Things like Unreal Engine 4.0 and true next generation engines will probably start arriving in 2014 and beyond and HD7770 will choke and once again developers would need to start using dirty tricks like downscaled resolution and low resolution textures.

A lot of people are saying the next gen consoles will be underwhelming though with a large focus on lower prices and making $ off the hardware unlike PS3/360 generation. We'll see but keep in mind HD7770 will be slower then the worst AMD HD8000 series by 2013. That is budget territory. HD7770 can already be found for $110-115 with rebates. I bet MS can negotiate a price of $40-50 for this kit. It will be even cheaper in 12 months. I think they can reasonable squeeze an HD7850.
0 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 12/02/12 09:51:24 PM]

The plans shown in the images are outdated (they're from 2010). I doubt Microsoft is going to go with these same plans when seeing as how the market has changed so drastically in the past two years with the tablets and smartphone craze and seeing as how 4K displays will penetrate the market the next console generation. According to the latest rumors, Microsoft is planning on releasing two versions of the next XBOX, one geared towards "hardcore" gamers and the other towards "casual" gamers. What this could mean is that Microsoft will go all out on the hardware with the version targeted towards hardcore gamers (which I don't expect to cost more than $500), meaning the system could have enough power to render early games at 4K with all the bells and whistles. They will most likely use a cheap ARM SoC on the version targeted towards casual gamers (which shouldn't cost more than $100-150). I like the idea of having dedicated machines to cater to two different markets, it should help game developers decide which market they're developing for.
0 0 [Posted by: DirectXtreme  | Date: 12/02/12 05:23:23 PM]


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