Rumours are abuzz with information about next-gen gaming consoles. According to Pocket Lint, the next Xbox, rumoured to be named the Xbox 720 and referred to as the Durango in development circles, will be out for the holiday season in 2013.
The rumours are also gaining momentum because of the fact that developers have already gotten their hands on devkits for the 'Durango'. This could also force Sony to unveil the next PlayStation, as again, developers have already gotten their hands on devkits. Looking at the game release schedule, and how there aren't many big titles to be released after May, this could point towards the next-gen consoles from both Sony and Microsoft being closer than we think.
The Xbox 360 seems to be on its way out
In early november, it was revealed that Sony had shipped the newest version of the PlayStation 4 devkit to developers. Developers have been getting new versions of the Orbis kit. Sony has been using the term Orbis when referring to the machine. There has been no official record of the company calling it a PlayStation 4.
There are set to be four versions of the Orbis kit being shipped to developers. A previous version was essentially a graphics card. The newest version is a “modified PC”, and the third version will be the closest to the final specifications and will be sent to developers in January.
The Orbis, according to VG247, is based on the AMD A10 APU series. An APU – which stands for Accelerated Processing Unit – is a combination of a GPU and a CPU. The PS4’s hardware is “based on A10 system and base platform”.
One of the biggest changes coming to the system is in the form of the interface. According to the source, the new interface will allow you to go anywhere while playing a game. This is not possible in the PlayStation 3 as some options require you to exit the game before using them. An example given was buying DLC from the PlayStation Store in the middle of playing a game and then seamlessly returning to play.
Earlier this year, the developer kit for the next Xbox – rumoured to be named the Xbox 720 – was leaked. A supposed Xbox 720 'Durango' developer kit was posted on a developer forum and was offered to the public for $10,000. The developer kit resembles the traditional PC tower running a debug launcher, which caused many people to be cautious and sceptical about whether the prototype is authentic. EuroGamer’s Digital Foundry reached out to 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 man who had leaked the shots, and uses the alias “DaE”, revealed to EuroGamer that Microsoft’s next-gen 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; it 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 Feburary and feature Intel CPUs and a graphics card from NVIDIA. He also claims that the Durango kit has more than 8GB of memory and 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 system tools. However, no official information is available on Microsoft’s next console, and Sony also has been keeping quiet about the possibility of a PlayStation 4.
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