by Anton Shilov
10/20/2011 | 10:59 PM
Microsoft Corp. plans to release its next-generation Xbox video-game console sometimes in 2013, according to a report that cites industrial sources among game and tool developers. It is highly likely that Microsoft will remain tight-lipped about the console which may carry Xbox 720 name for a long time and is projected to reveal it in mid-2013, months ahead of the release.
Multiple sources across the industry, from processor chip manufacturers to middleware firms, have told Develop web-site they expect the console to be fully unveiled at E3 2013, months before its release. Typically, video game console designers roll-out new consoles during holiday season, so the U.S. should expect Xbox Next to be available by December, 2013. Still, even Microsoft itself most probably has not yet set its launch plans for its future console.
This spring rumours transpired that the successor to the Xbox 360 console is currently evaluated by an unnamed game design studio that belongs to Electronic Arts. EA reportedly received the systems back in April. At present, it is said, the hardware is installed inside typical computer cases.
In summer Microsoft's official Xbox magazine (OXM) published an article about hypothetical next-generation Xbox 360. Among other industrial experts, Neal Robison, the head of software developers relations at AMD, said that he would expect the future Xbox games to have Avatar-like graphics, that it would also continue using physical optical medium and will not be OnLive-like.
Although Microsoft officially wants its Xbox 360 to have a ten-years lifecycle, it is more than likely that the next Xbox will become available earlier than in 2015. As a result, it is more than possible that at this point of time Microsoft has already determined the concept of the system (e.g., CPU and GPU technologies), but naturally had not implemented anything in hardware. Theoretically, Microsoft might have started to ship its conceptual system to partners to learn their opinion about the model.
Sony Computer Entertainment, which released its latest PlayStation 3 (2006) video game system a year later than Microsoft launched its Xbox 360 (2005), confirmed earlier this year that it had begun to develop the next-generation PlayStation 4.
Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.