Rumor: Microsoft developing two next-gen Xbox 720 consoles

By on November 24, 2011, 12:30 PM

Microsoft could be preparing two gaming consoles to replace the current-generation Xbox 360, according to industry sources. It is believed that the new consoles could arrive sometime in 2013 which would give Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) ample time to test and refine their 28nm manufacturing process.

Redmond is said to be developing an entry-level system as well as a true next-generation hardcore gaming console. Multiple consoles aren't a new idea as Microsoft sells the 360 at multiple price ranges but the differences typically are minimal: various capacity hard drives, limited edition offerings and game and accessory bundles.

The lower-end model will come at a very low price point and positioned much like a set-top box. The report says this unit will target streaming media services like Netflix and cater to more casual gamers, described as a Kinect-themed portal.

The mainstream Xbox would be a true upgrade in every sense for hardcore gamers, featuring an optical drive, hard drive storage and backwards-compatibility with existing 360 games. Such a system would carry a premium over the entry-level model, with price and graphics performance reflective of it.

It is also believed that Kinect will receive a substantial upgrade, perhaps in line with what Microsoft is planning to do with the Windows version sometime next year.

We could see hard evidence of the next-gen console as early as January at CES. Rumors suggest the 720 could contain a six-core CPU, AMD graphics and 2GB of DDR3 memory.




User Comments: 47

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yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Backwards compatibility. Great if it comes to fruition. I will buy one of those pretty fast if the price isn't ridiculous.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Hmm I always wondered, what if you get a GPU from a PC and somehow connect it to your xbox? would it work? same goes for other parts =/

Or would be cool if they made an xbobx OS (emulator would do) for PC so I could play with friend that use xbox on my PC.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Ram is so cheap! 4GB minimum cmon guys!

Guest said:

2GB of RAM? I just bought 8GB of DDR3 for my laptop, cost me $50 with shipping. Why cheap out on the RAM?

Guest said:

i thought there was going to be xbox game playability on windows 8?

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

i thought there was going to be xbox game playability on windows 8?

If there is, that is just one reason why id buy W8.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

xclusiveitalian said:

Ram is so cheap! 4GB minimum cmon guys!

I'd say at least 8gb minimum, but this is why PC gaming is better, and will be for years to come. Hardware customization till your heart's content.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Wendig0 said:

xclusiveitalian said:

Ram is so cheap! 4GB minimum cmon guys!

I'd say at least 8gb minimum, but this is why PC gaming is better, and will be for years to come. Hardware customization till your heart's content.

Wish we could use PC hardware for consoles... but then might as well just use a PC :X

Cota Cota said:

xclusiveitalian said:

Ram is so cheap! 4GB minimum cmon guys!

Not a lot of games really use all that much memory :P

Mindwraith said:

an optical drive in 2013? lame...

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

I wouldn't mind seeing 4GB in a console. For the gaming part it's probably not needed, but since when has XBOX been just a gaming machine?

lchu12 lchu12 said:

I guess its time to save up for a new console!

Guest said:

..I guess considering the XBox 360 and PS3 both have 512MB of ram, 2GB is a considerable upgrade.

ps; I don't know what company is referred to as 'Big Blue', and I never remember what HP stands for. Arg...

DeliciousPie said:

About time. Games are being held back because of the current generation is ancient and awful.

I'm just interested in this because at least my crappy PC ports will be less crappy for a bit :/

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Mindwraith said:

an optical drive in 2013? lame...

I imagine optical drives will be around for a while, till more people have access to high speed internet. In some parts of the country that's still non-existent, so people will need to purchase games/movies in a physical format rather than waiting till 2015 before their download finishes.

jameslangley said:

2GB of RAM? I just bought 8GB of DDR3 for my laptop, cost me $50 with shipping. Why cheap out on the RAM?

They don't need it, when you are using disks, all of the processing is done directly by the processor, there is no need to copy it to the RAM. If they are only using 2GB of RAM, I would guess at least some of the HDD is solid state, to cache data for faster performance and less heat generation. If they are using 6 cores, it is likely there will be 3 dedicated CPU cores, 2 GPU processing cores and a ODD/HDD shared core, in addition to the GPU's processing power.

You have to remember that consoles work differently to PCs, in that you get a close as you can to a "system on a chip" in a console, as it is all built to a propriety schematic with the exact same parts.

Guest said:

Mindwraith : "an optical drive in 2013? lame... "

how would you play ur old 360 games without one?

herpaderp said:

2GB of RAM should be more than enough, seeing as how consoles run minimalist OSes and the games are optimized to hell and back....We've seen the impressive work console devs put out even with the paltry 256MB of system memory each console has, they should have no problems putting out much more impressive work with 8x the RAM. On the GPU front, seeing how affordable graphics cards that can play @ 1920x1080 are, I'd expect at least something on the level of an HD6770/GTX 550, if not better, but that's only assuming they'd price the consoles somewhere around the usual $299/399 price point.

I personally can't wait for the next gen systems to come out, if for nothing other than to raise the bar for console to PC ports. This next system cycle, we might actually start to get ports that can stress our multi-hundred dollar graphics cards, not because of crappy optimization, but because they'll be genuinely resource intensive.

RH00D RH00D said:

jameslangley said:

2GB of RAM? I just bought 8GB of DDR3 for my laptop, cost me $50 with shipping. Why cheap out on the RAM?

They don't need it, when you are using disks, all of the processing is done directly by the processor, there is no need to copy it to the RAM. If they are only using 2GB of RAM, I would guess at least some of the HDD is solid state, to cache data for faster performance and less heat generation. If they are using 6 cores, it is likely there will be 3 dedicated CPU cores, 2 GPU processing cores and a ODD/HDD shared core, in addition to the GPU's processing power.

You have to remember that consoles work differently to PCs, in that you get a close as you can to a "system on a chip" in a console, as it is all built to a propriety schematic with the exact same parts.

You seem to be mislead, the six-core CPU would not have cores dedicated to graphics because it's a CPU not a GPU. (Unless they used one of those CPU's with the GPU integrated into the CPU, but even then it's still not the literal CPU doing the graphics work) RAM still needs to be filled with what ever is actively being processed by the CPU. And the RAM dedicated to graphics cards still needs to be filled with what ever is being actively processed by the GPU. The difference is that on a console the data is going DVD -> RAM -> CPU/GPU whereas on PCs it's HDD -> RAM -> CPU/GPU.

Next gen consoles should have 8GB RAM because it's extremely cheap and for should have it just for the headroom. Current games like RAGE and BF3 have to resort to gimmicks like "streaming" textures because the consoles don't have *enough RAM* to hold all the textures in RAM. And you have to remember, 2GB is already a low amount, if they want consoles to have 10 year lifespan, putting in 2GB in 2013 and expecting 2GB to STILL be viable in 2023 is taking a huge stretch.

Consoles are becoming more "general" entertainment devices so the 8GB RAM should be in, right out of the gate in my opinion. Compare the 360 from launch to now, they have a lot more services integrated that they didn't before, such as Netflix. If the trend of consoles becoming general computing devices continues then that's just another reason to have more RAM in them.

jameslangley said:

Yea, I thought 1 or more of the cores was integrated with the GPU chip to allow faster processing time with as little latency as possible?

Guest said:

herpaderp said:

2GB of RAM should be more than enough, seeing as how consoles run minimalist OSes and the games are optimized to hell and back....We've seen the impressive work console devs put out even with the paltry 256MB of system memory each console has, they should have no problems putting out much more impressive work with 8x the RAM.

Thats so true. Unfortunately most people don't see it that way. A good example is if my PC had only 512mb of ram to work with, I would have the crappiest graphics ever.

Guest said:

Im not buying one till i know if the build quality and reliability matches the impressive specs. The early model 360's were the ford pinto of the console world. The latest model 360 I own isnt bad. I actually feel confident it wiil last a few yrs.

kamz999 said:

these are just rumors dude...

jeffz6 said:

Aslong as its runs my tetris

Guest said:

Looking forward to the new Xbox when it happens. Right now I jump between my 360 and PC for gaming. Though I like customizing, it seems a bit more convenient to plunk down $299/$399 for a complete game console versus paying that just for a PC video card.

My 360 is almost 6 years old and I haven't seen a single hiccup in performance. Wish I had a PC that would last that long without upgrades...

Guest said:

This is mostly irrelevent...!

Anyone with a PC and Window8, with be able to instantly creat a Virtual Xbox Machine and play and & all Xbox games on any Win8 PC with virtualization.

Even multiple Xboxes on different montiors in different rooms, if u have an 8 core, etc..!

Guest said:

Wow people on a website called "techspot" aren't very technically inclined based on the comments I have seen here!

You wouldn't have the "crappest graphics ever" with 512mb of RAM on a PC. Please understand how PC's work before posting nonsense.

And asking for 8GB of RAM in a console... my god. Find me a PC game that uses 1/2 of that. Just because it's available doesn't mean they should do. Leave it to the experts to build the consoles kids.

Guest said:

I think this article could be just a troll.

NextGen 720??

I've played Red Faction on PS3 in 1080

I'd say perhaps this article is not a troll if it stated 4kx4k....i'm surprised no one caught on to this.

Guest said:

The ram you find in that console is different than the gskill sticks you wannabe's are picking up at newegg for 30 bucks. As a matter of fact, the architecture is entirely different across the board.

Guest said:

Your move, Sony!

Mizzou Mizzou said:

ps; I don't know what company is referred to as 'Big Blue', and I never remember what HP stands for. Arg...

'Big Blue' is IBM and HP is Hewlett-Packard. Wonder what kind of optical drive we're talking about, surely it would have to be Blu-Ray.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Guest said:

i thought there was going to be xbox game playability on windows 8?

Last I read microsoft only stated that xbox live was going to have full integration in windows 8. People seem to have extrapolated that this means you'll be able to play xbox 720 games on pc.

RH00D RH00D said:

Guest said:

Wow people on a website called "techspot" aren't very technically inclined based on the comments I have seen here!

You wouldn't have the "crappest graphics ever" with 512mb of RAM on a PC. Please understand how PC's work before posting nonsense.

And asking for 8GB of RAM in a console... my god. Find me a PC game that uses 1/2 of that. Just because it's available doesn't mean they should do. Leave it to the experts to build the consoles kids.

Battlefield 3, Starcraft 2 and even Crysis 1 can all EASILY swallow up 1.2GB RAM and I've seen all three peak just over 1.5GB RAM being used. And Battlefield 3 could have used more but they had to work with the consoles and not every PC would have been able to run it to DICE's satisfaction if they continued to bump it up more because most gaming PCs vary in specs. It's also for future-proofing. In 2005 256MB RAM was a decent amount to work with, in 2012 it's barely anything.

Also, the more RAM they have, the more they can leave in Standby RAM once "closed" thus increasing overall system performance/loadtimes/responsiveness.

2GB might be fine for TODAY but you have to remember MS/SONY want these things to last ~10 years.

Guest said:

What are we gonna play on this thing, old games? We want new games M$oft!!! I dont want a X-Box 720 to play Halo & gears....! Give me new exclusives! Thank goodness for my PS3.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Ok well i've I was to take a fairly good guess I'd say it'll have 2GB of shared RAM between the system and graphics card, similar to todays xbox but more. The proccessor will have 4-6 cores, possibly 8 depending what IBM cooks up. The Graphics card will probably not be anything special, around t 460GTX level or similar level. Overall, nothing to see here...

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't mind Gears of War:Prologue or whatever running with twice the fancy. Coop gameplay can be much better in terms of graphical quality. Halo 4 could use the whole screen in splitscreen coop instead of gimping it with black bars down the sides!

Guest said:

Naming 720 is a retarded idea, people hate that the current xbox 360 is only 720p, why remind people of there past folly?

Mizzou Mizzou said:

Actually, the XBox 360 supports 1080p and has since the orignal console.

Guest said:

If u own Windows 8, u own a Xbox...

Coincidentally, for the stand-alone console, the specs will be DDR3 4GB RAM, 1GB of Vram DDR5..

RH00D RH00D said:

Mizzou said:

Actually, the XBox 360 supports 1080p and has since the orignal console.

Do you mean the 2002 Xbox when you say "original" I believe the original did support 1080i or 7201 in the dashboard or something like that with a 3rd-party connector.

Although with the Xbox 360 there is huge difference between *supports* and *can*. Dashboard can be in 1080P, yes, although almost every game is 720P or less. With the exception of a extremely few games that support 1080P, I'm pretty sure the number of games that can run in 1080P is in the single digits.

Mizzou Mizzou said:

Do you mean the 2002 Xbox when you say "original" I believe the original did support 1080i or 7201 in the dashboard or something like that with a 3rd-party connector.

Although with the Xbox 360 there is huge difference between *supports* and *can*. Dashboard can be in 1080P, yes, although almost every game is 720P or less. With the exception of a extremely few games that support 1080P, I'm pretty sure the number of games that can run in 1080P is in the single digits.

It was released originally with 720p and 1080i capability and then updated to support 1080p via component video (pre HDMI). I had the HD-DVD add on and a Samsung HL-S5088W 50" DLP which also supported 1080p via component. Great for gaming since image retention or burn-in isn't an issue with a DLP.

Believe you're right about the vast majority of games being 720p, haven't done a lot of gaming on the XBox for while so am not up to date on how many 1080p titles have been added.

Note: Was referring to the original XBox 360.

Guest said:

why would they add loads of RAM? RAM is used for when you have multiple applications running at once. On a PC, you will have quite a few going at once, on an xbox you wont. 2GB will be easily more than enough

xplayer xplayer said:

common guys 2GB is too much compared to current xbox360 as you know its only 512mb besides i don't think that more than 2GB is needed for gaming because very big amount of data can be rendered on it and its enough for all visible environments

Guest said:

Quote: "We could see hard evidence of the next-gen console as early as January at CES. Rumors suggest the 720 could contain a six-core CPU, AMD graphics and 2GB of DDR3 memory."

Wait a sec....nex gen?

Doesn't the PS3 already have 8 cores?

1 for the OS, 6 for gaming, plus another spare?

So...Xbox 720 wouldn't be next-gen....it would be playing catchup!? :|

gobbybobby said:

Id say 2gig ram would be a minimum. Allow the devs to put more stuff on screen.

Guest said:

the 2 gb is probably dedicated video RAM....which is a decent amount to buffer graphics

Guest said:

wow 8gb of ddr3 laptop for 50 bucks

wat laptop do you have???????????

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