Microsoft and Sony have yet to officially reveal their next-generation video game consoles, but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from spitting out tidbits and teases over the past year. As we settle into 2013, more clues about these gaming industry successors are continuing to surface.
To put it simply, Microsoft’s next addition to the Xbox line, if it lives up to the rumors, could shape up to be quite a monster. New purported leaks from gaming website VGLeaks claim to have the full system overview of the alleged Xbox 720. On Monday, the website laid out a diagram demonstrating how its various components interact, revealing the following specifications.
The Xbox 720, according to the specs, might come packed with a whopping eight-core CPU clocking in at 1.6GHz. This essentially means that the device will come with some impressive multitasking capabilities, allowing players to zip through hefty gaming titles.
Conversely, some reports have indicated that the Xbox 720’s could pale in comparison to that of the rumored PlayStation 4. Although we may see a mega octa-core processor from Microsoft, Sony is rumored to implement an AMD A10 APU quad-core unit that pumps out more power than the Xbox’s at 1.84 teraflops. We’re not sure how much truth there is behind this, but VG247 reports that Microsoft’s offering may only clock in at 1.23 teraflops.
However, in terms of storage space, the Xbox 720 could still smoke Sony’s PS4. Lining up with previous rumors about the console, the alleged system overview says that it will come with 8GB of RAM, marking twice the amount of storage space that the PS4 is expected to come with.
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Players may expect to see a significant enhancement when it comes to the image quality of Microsoft’s gaming machine as well, considering the Xbox 720 could include an 800MHz graphics card. This is a sizeable upgrade from the current Xbox, which only boasts a graphics card of 500MHz.
Unsurprisingly, the folks over at VGLeaks also say the “Durango” codenamed Xbox will feature a high-end Blu-ray Disc drive as well as Gigabit Ethernet connectivity. Little to no information has been officially confirmed about the next Xbox, but Microsoft has dropped some hints that it will be much more than a gaming machine. Just before E3 2012, a Microsoft executive spoke vaguely on the console writing the following:
“We’ve got ideas for making all the entertainment you love more personal, interactive and social across the devices you love—and on the phenomenal Windows 8 devices that are to come,” Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi said in a blog post titled “Xbox Beyond the Box.”
Although Microsoft won’t be shaking up the way players use video game controllers like Nintendo did with its most recent systems, the Xbox 720 could be the most ambitious yet mysterious console yet. Last year we heard about Microsoft’s purported plans to integrate some major augmented reality functions into the next Xbox that would project 3D images onto the player’s own environment. We’ve also seen some eye-catching patents for wearable controllers and a massive 56-page document that supposedly revealed the company’s plans for the Xbox 720.
Despite these rumors, Microsoft’s next gaming system is still a mystery in the sense that we don’t know when or how the company will integrate these features, if at all. We’ve just been teased that they could appear in the next piece of gaming hardware, without any confirmation to back these claims.
It’s easy to get worked up over the processing power and features that may come with any new form of technology, but Richard Ledbetter of video game website Digital Foundry reminds us that it’s not all about the tech specs.
“The rumors are certainly plausible, but we’re still essentially looking at singular components in isolation and not in context of the system as a whole,” Ledbetter said to Today Online. “The PlayStation 3 has a graphics core that is basically an entire generation behind in that the Xbox 360, yet no one can deny that it’s Sony’s first party games that have led the way in the visual arts.”
There’s no certainty as to when these next consoles could launch, but a key player in Microsoft’s Xbox division recently posted a countdown to E3 2013 on his official blog. This has sparked widespread suspicion that we could see the “Durango” console in June, but this has yet to be confirmed.