Xbox 360 will reach its seventh birthday later this year. This console generation has been remarkably lengthy, but as games like Battlefield 3 have shown, it may be time to start thinking about the next generation.
Nintendo is striking first blood with its Wii U system, scheduled for release later this year. But obviously Microsoft has something up its sleeve. But, what? The latest report pegs a late 2013 launch for the next Xbox, and claims the new console will have "six times the processing power of the Xbox 360."
IGN claims that mass production of the next Xbox's GPU will begin by the end of the year, but will be based on AMD's cheaper 6000 series tech, not the 7000 series. "It will be akin to the Radeon HD 6670, which offers support for DirectX11, multidisplay output, 3D and 1080p HD output," the site reports. While that will offer a significant advantage over the Xbox 360, the site claims that this will make for only a 20 percent performance increase over the Wii U.
There is reason to doubt this report, however. Digital Foundry editor Richard Leadbetter notes that the Radeon HD 6670 is "an unremarkable entry-level enthusiast product" that "struggles to run Battlefield 3 at 20 frames-per-second on high settings at 1080p." While closed console environments do generally produce more efficient results, Leadbetter told Eurogamer that "it would be a curious choice for a platform holder looking to sustain another lengthy console lifecycle."
The supposed GPU for the next generation Xbox would be quite dated by late 2013, and will probably seem ancient seven years into the next Xbox's lifecycle.
[Original Xbox controller pictured.]