3D: Why a new Xbox is coming sooner than later

This 3D (Dirty's Digital Diatribes) editorial is fairly straightforward... I predict the new Xbox, whatever it may be called, will be announced before years end and furthermore will be available sometime (probably second-half*) in 2010.

It was one simple comment on our recent tour of AMD's facilities during Neowindex in Austin, Texas... "Wait until you see the next generation of consoles." The comment itself was harmless enough and was made in a very blase fashion. I feel I am undeniably obligated to state for the record that not once was the 360 even mentioned during the much larger overall conversation we were having when this comment was indeed made. Needless to say, nine simple words sparked my imagination. After a few days to mull it over, even if this comment had nothing at all to do with the Xbox which it very well might not have, I am still now convinced it is inevitable that we will see a new Xbox sooner than later. Here is why...

Phooey To Those Who Say It's To Early For A New Release
Being so dominant in the computer world for so long now, Microsoft already has deep-seeded roots in a culture where people are willing to spend anywhere from $150 to $450 on a new graphics card, just one singular component of a PC. As such, I am thinking the way they see it, why would people not be willing to upgrade to an entirely new console for around the same amount of money? The 360 is after-all already going to be four years old this November, and lets not forget, the first Xbox launched in November of 2001. Yep, that just four years prior to the 360's launch.

Still, plenty of people would definitely be upset by the news of a new console for a plethora of different reasons. Number one being that for whatever reason, people see consoles as being immune to the plague that affects all other technology: once something is released it is already dated. I believe Microsoft knows this is the mindset, and the main reason I believe they are going to be able to pull off the release of a new console in the mind of many consumers "so soon" is because for the first time...

New Games Will Have Scalable Graphics (at least for awhile).
Anyone who has played a game on the PC knows that most games have, for awhile now, included an Auto-Detect option that will detect your system's components and change the graphic settings for the game accordingly. Admittedly, the Auto-Detect settings are almost always never right, but when you only have two systems you need to detect for, it makes a developers job that much easier. By doing this, they will not be abandoning the 360 and people will indeed still be able to play new game releases. Only difference being is this time around they will be providing consumers with an option (and believe you me their marketing people will make sure to reiterate that "options" fact over and over) to play new game releases either on the new console with better graphics and resolution, or on their current 360 with the same graphics they have come to know and love. Again, this is yet another concept with roots in the already established PC gaming market, just replace one singular component with an entire console.

Taking this approach, after a few years Microsoft could kindly "suggest" to developers that for Triple-A titles to drop development for the 360 completely. This would be the exact opposite of how they handled things with the Xbox to Xbox 360 transition where they virtually dropped development almost instantly. Doing so would keep plenty of nay-sayers happy for at least a good time to come.

But What About Blu-ray?
Naturally, the concept of better graphics then leads to the question "Will Microsoft then decide to support Blu-ray?" Well my first response would be perhaps. I do not see that as being completely out of the question. Perhaps even some sort of external solution would be an option as other companies seem to see that as a plausible and viable option. However, a more plausible scenario is that the resources needed to support higher resolutions, etc., especially when there are only two configurations to support (360 and new console), will actually still be able to fit on current dual-layer DVD's. The two different configuration would already share so many common resources, and it is indeed only the graphical elements such as textures, etc., that would need to have two "versions."

Let's just say for the sake of argument that they could not fit everything on a current dual-layer DVD. With the now introduced option to install to hard-drive (again from PC world), especially on a 250-320 GB drive which is the most common-sense size to be in the next generation of consoles. Would it then really be that big of a deal if a game did indeed require two disks if you only needed one disk to play after you were able to install the game itself? Finally, there is still the possibility that games can indeed be delivered by means of digital downloads, although I personally just do not see a huge company such as Microsoft strictly relying on a method of distribution that still has a long way to go before it is the absolute standard.

PC Graphics Are Just That Much Better
We all know the above subtitle in bold has always been the case, it goes without saying if you know anything about gaming. However, since we are talking about better graphics and resolution, one cannot deny or dismiss the fact that PC graphics are really, really starting to make the 360 (and PS3 for that matter) show how weak and not-so-capable they actually are in this department. Truth be told, a capable PC could have shown both consoles graphical inferiority on Day One of each consoles release. Going back a few years to their release, the not all that informed public was simply just mesmerized by the fact that their newfangled HD TV was able to play games in HD itself.

Keeping in mind that for better or for worse, the modern day gamer is obsessed with graphics, I cannot help but think Microsoft is not only aware of this fact, but they also simply want to stay competitive in this area. Case in point, two games that are fairly recent releases that stick out to me as examples of superior graphics are F.E.A.R. 2 and Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. Both undeniably look dramatically better on a well equipped computer, and to reiterate, I believe Microsoft are smart enough to know people are either already realizing this fact and / or will start realizing it more and more as time goes on.

Also lets face it, the current generation of consoles was and still will be about the "HD gaming experience." One cannot ignore that none of the Triple A titles are running at the superior 1080p, and none probably ever will on this current generation (and note I do say Triple-A titles, yes there are indeed some games that are 1080p native, most notably XBLA and PSN releases. So for a "true HD gaming experience," they need better more capable GPU's. Plain and simple. I can notice the difference in a 720p Blu-ray compared to a 1080p one, and I am sure I am not the only one. If game graphics can be at 1080p, and in a perfect world even run at a constant 60 frames per second, I am sure plenty of people would definitely be interested in and in-fact desire this capability.

They Want To Put The Nail In Sony's Coffin
Sony has time and time again talked about the PS3's ten year life-cycle. While it is a noble crusade, and one that many support at least in theory for their wallets, unfortunately it is just not a realistic one, mainly for the reasons I pointed out above about no games actually being capable of full-blown 1080p HD. Sure, perhaps Sony can help developers squeeze some more power out of the Cell processor. Sure, graphics on the PS3, just as the 360, do currently look pretty damn good, but why not make them look even better if possible? Also lets face it, the PS3, just as the 360 in all fairness, are definitely limited in the GPU department to pull true HD off, as already outlined above.

While I have no doubt Sony is already working on their next console as well, I just do not think they are as far along as Microsoft is on their next console - not even close actually as they had a fairly well documented struggle getting the PS3 off the ground itself. I just cannot help but think that Microsoft sees this as a perfect opportunity to deliver a potential KO punch and put Sony down for the count, perhaps even for good.

The Experience Itself
We have to keep in mind that Microsoft already have done a major overhaul to the 360's OS itself with the launch of NXE. They are going to continue building and improving on NXE naturally, but they just as NXE's current name implies, Microsoft are indeed all about the new experience. As such, I believe that NXE will indeed be the last major overhaul to the 360, but Microsoft is and definitely will be itching to release a completely new experience sooner than later: Specifically one that capitalizes on social media and networking. Expect plenty of partnerships to be announced and an even more social experience than you currently can and do indeed enjoy on the 360. Going back to possibly putting Sony down for the count, I do not think that anyone can argue that Sony is almost embarrassingly behind in this aspect with the PS3 currently, and if Microsoft can release and even stronger social experience, that could indeed have the potential to even further the distance between themselves and Sony as the must-have console.

Thing is, I do not deny that Microsoft can and definitely will continue to develop for the NXE, as they have an extremely solid foundation to build upon. However, taking into account the way social media and networking has and will more than likely continue to take over aspects of our everyday computing lives, I think something else to tie it all together is in the works. If you then also add in the fact that the line between your computer and TV keeps getting blurred more and more, I believe it all adds up to multiple top-tier development teams somewhere deep in top secret labs in Redmond are buried knee deep with the task of designing a brand new experience that somehow ties it all together. Which then leads to...

* Marketing. Marketing. Marketing.
This is perhaps the weakest reason for my prediction, but it actually has the potential to be the strongest if you also believe that companies live and die by their marketing departments. In keeping with this theory, it is my belief that 2010 just has a great ring to it. Simply put, 2011 does not. To further elaborate, I believe Microsoft might even break the tradition of a November release and go for an October release. Yep, that would be 10/10/2010. I can literally see the higher-ups in any marketing department gathered in a non-descript conference room giggling uncontrollably at the potential to launch on this date.

To summarize, I believe Microsoft recognizes that they have a unique opportunity to potentially overthrow Sony permanently and secure their dominance in the console market. I also happen to believe they are willing to take the potential risks and steps necessary to seize the moment and try to indeed do just that, also making the RROD of consoles past a distant memory. Will they announce it as soon as E3? Highly unlikely. Truth is who knows when they will announce it, but I do think for the reasons mentioned above, it will be much sooner than anyone might have expected.

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(snipped) This line : "Truth be told, a capable PC could have shown both consoles graphical inferiority on Day One of each consoles release."

Day one of 360 there were no PC games that came close to looking that good, and NO PC HARDWARE that came close to reaching 360 on a SPEC level, ignoring typical console efficiency.

Jigen said,
(snipped) This line : "Truth be told, a capable PC could have shown both consoles graphical inferiority on Day One of each consoles release."

Day one of 360 there were no PC games that came close to looking that good, and NO PC HARDWARE that came close to reaching 360 on a SPEC level, ignoring typical console efficiency.

Then you were completely blind. 360 specs were far behind powerful PC's on release and this is a fact. 360's GPU was is only as powerfull as average PC GPU on release (of course, 360 GPU is just a version of normal PC GPU), most powerful GPU's were already over 5 times faster even then. My PC even in 2003 had 1 GB of RAM (+128MB in graphics card) and it wasn't even expensive and in 2005 it was already common to have 2 GB on PC + 256 MB on graphics card. Some PC's had 4 GB or more even in 2005. 360 has 512MB of RAM. The only part which could challenge fastest PC's is CPU and even that was slower than fastest PC CPU's.

Also, PC's have had HD games for over 15 years and when 360 was released practically all PC games had HD. Some even had 2560X1600 mode.

Untam said,
Then you were completely blind. 360 specs were far behind powerful PC's on release and this is a fact. 360's GPU was is only as powerfull as average PC GPU on release (of course, 360 GPU is just a version of normal PC GPU), most powerful GPU's were already over 5 times faster even then. My PC even in 2003 had 1 GB of RAM (+128MB in graphics card) and it wasn't even expensive and in 2005 it was already common to have 2 GB on PC + 256 MB on graphics card. Some PC's had 4 GB or more even in 2005. 360 has 512MB of RAM. The only part which could challenge fastest PC's is CPU and even that was slower than fastest PC CPU's.

Also, PC's have had HD games for over 15 years and when 360 was released practically all PC games had HD. Some even had 2560X1600 mode.


Thank you Untam.

So far several people have for some reason loved to point this sentence out, and as I said and as you just confirmed, yes, indeed PC components on release, in particular the GPU, were just as if not indeed more capable.

My trusty AGP 6800 Ultra, way back when, was pumping out 1680x1050, well above the resolution of all of the 720p games that were being released on launch.

So again, thanks Untam, you said it just as well if not better than I could have.

10/10/2010. I can literally see the higher-ups in any marketing department gathered in a non-descript conference room giggling uncontrollably at the potential to launch on this date.

Yup does have a nice ring to it and fits nicely with the Bad Religion song '10 in 2010' completely of topic but there ya go

I completely agree Larry. Microsoft will release a new console by end of 2010 but I think they might actaully show the prototype and possibly Halo 4 this E3 as a teaser of what's coming.

There's really no reason for them to abandon Xbox 360. Xbox 360 will be alive for a long time making them a lot of money in the process because it's really ahead of PS3 in hard core audience and even casual gamers.

I expect Nintendo to showcase Wii HD this E3 too.

The key and overall picture for Microsoft is to take over home entertainment and the only competitor for that is Sony to them. So if they crush them with the next console coming out next year or even this year (though I'd be really shocked) Sony will be taken out of the picture. They will again reserve the hardcore dominance while Xbox 360 will remain widely sold to people who want HD gaming and online experience for under $200.

I think their plan is really good and the don't care to lose another 2-3 billion to cement their lead in the game console market (at least at the level that's beyond Nintendo).

I totally understand what their plan might be:

1. Continue selling Xbox 360s at <$200 and offer full games as we've seen with PS2s making them pure profit for at least next couple of years
2. Get a huge start on the next gen and by the time Xbox 360 sales fade they'll already have a large market with the new Xbox.

It's a no loss investment because they already saw how Sony has been able to swim through billions of dollars of loss thanks to PS2.

When the Xbox 360 came out, memory was still pretty expensive. In the PC world: Video cards back then were the GeForce 6 series and 256MB was considered a lot while 512 was considered overkill. 1GB for a memory stick was around $200 and I think 2GB was considered high-end.

Using Neowin as the link for this next one http://www.neowin.net/news/main/05/08/01/a...ces-by-up-to-25 , AMD's lowest price on a dual-core CPU (the Athlon 64x2 3800+) was $354.

The technology is here for a new Xbox, but I just don't feel the consumers would be ready yet. It would be a bad idea to introduce a new product in this economy. Would the majority of consumers even really notice a difference in quality if they upgraded from the Xbox 360? Probably not, but I certainly would enjoy games without jaggies, proper AF, and improved AA.

I think this round, it would be wise to keep all Xbox 360 peripherals compatible with the new system, but they need to at least fix that D-pad issue. People don't just buy 1 or 2 controllers anymore for their systems. There are driving wheels and Rock Band / Guitar Hero instruments. Having to updade all of that just to play on a new system would be a huge deterrent.

Full compatibility with Xbox 360 games and everything on Xbox live. We should be able to transfer all XBLA games as well as any add-ons, especially with games where people spent $50 - $100+ on RB/GH songs. Also, we would like the capability to transfer information from the Xbox 360 to the new system aka like "Windows Easy Transfer" over the LAN.

Let us upgrade our own hard drive and give us the option to buy the system without a hard drive for those of us that are wanting a bigger HDD before we buy the system. (I'd really prefer a 3.5" drive or at least the option to plug in an external drive)

Allow SD cards and not something like those $50 512MB memory cards.

Increased disc size, obviously. Probably Blu-ray, but if they are pushing 2013 - 2014, then they might consider holographic discs with Super Hi-Vision movie support (If Super Hi-Vision discs use holographic discs, but it is only my guess). That is probably 3 years too soon for that technology, though. 1080p would still be considered fine for video games.

Finally, make it quiet and reliable. If I want to hear a jet engine, I'll go to the airport and if I want something that breaks down a lot, I'll buy a crappy car from China.

My guess would be 2012 for a release date.

PC Graphics Are Just That Much Better
We all know the above subtitle in bold has always been the case, it goes without saying if you know anything about gaming. However, since we are talking about better graphics and resolution, one cannot deny or dismiss the fact that PC graphics are really, really starting to make the 360 (and PS3 for that matter) show how weak and not-so-capable they actually are in this department. Truth be told, a capable PC could have shown both consoles graphical inferiority on Day One of each consoles release.

I can. Also on "day one" the 360 had a much better GPU and CPU than you could find on a "capable PC".

Personally i'd disagree with this as my family PC (and yes it was a budget system built for less than an XBOX 360 price) used to run Far Cry beautifully and it looked stunning.

New console = better hardware and design flaws worked out = better cooling for a quieter experience = reducing red rings of death = smart move for Microsoft.

all these discussion over someone at amd saying, "Wait until you see the next generation of consoles."

who nu, he's probably talking about dumb terminal. i don't see the word "game" mentioned in front of "consoles" ...

besides, amd is not really doing very well financially, they may be desperate enough to get excited over ... ahem ... consoles ...

I don't think Sony or Microsoft will make another system like they did with the current Gen systems. They both put alot of money into them and lost alot of money manufacturing them. This is what i think the next Xbox will be.

CPU = Something on the market. I don't think they will use a special chip. It will have to play 360 games though so it probably be PPC just like the IBM one they got now.

Memory = I think they will have 512 mb dedicated for the CPU and 1 gig dedicated to the GPU. It really doesn't need much more than that. Its not like a regular pc that has a bunch of processes running all the time. It has the same processes all the time.

GPU = Something on the market right now. Everything on the market right now is way faster and nicer than what is in the 360 now anyway.

Game media and storage = HD-DVD they invested in it and Toshiba sold out to Sony. They can get 30gigs out of one disc that is plenty of room. Plus i am sure i read that they can get more than two layers per disc wich equals more space. Also it would be very hard to copy a HD-DVD as i am pretty sure no burner is available.
The HDD will just get bigger. They will have to bring the prices down though.

It will have WIFI built in.

Also they are focused on the marketplace right now and i think they will keep expanding on that. I don't think people will care that much about Blu-ray if they can just download a HD movie or stream from a pc.


Bhav said,
Something to note:

Sony will surely re-use Cell for PS4 - they poured billions into its development, as did IBM, and it really hasn't been used that much yet. It is amazingly powerful - they'll either modify it or stick a load of them in together. It means they won't have to be years behind MS and they won't necessarily have to charge such a high retail price, especially since Blu-ray prices will drop a lot in the next 2 years.

To suggest that MS could put the "final nail in the coffin" is absolutely ridiculous.

I have to say to this that Sony does not own the cell processor any more. They sold it to toshiba for $800 million last year. Toshiba was the #1 manufacturer of HD-DVD at the time. Now they don't make them anymore. That is why the Blu-ray won. I'm not a fan boy. I was just pointing that out.

I also would like to say Sony would have to license the Cell from toshiba now to make another system with it. It would be cheeper than make a new processor.
I am sure Toshiba would grant Sony the license. I wonder if they might not grant Microsoft a license too. That would be funny but it could happen because i am sure that they would like to make back some of that 800 mil that they droped for it.

Sony owns the rites to Blu-ray and i am damn sure that they would never grant Microsoft a license for it because other than the Blu-ray the PS3 doesn't have much else to compete with the 360. You can say anything you want about opinion but on a technical side they both just play games. Mostly the same games at that. If you give Microsoft a license Sony would lose sales on the PS3.

I also would like to say Sony would have to license the Cell from toshiba now to make another system with it. It would be cheeper than make a new processor.
I am sure Toshiba would grant Sony the license. I wonder if they might not grant Microsoft a license too. That would be funny but it could happen because i am sure that they would like to make back some of that 800 mil that they droped for it.

Microsoft owns the CPU in the 360. I'm not sure why you'd think they'd license the Cell from Toshiba.

It was just at Bhav's comment. I was not saying that Microsoft doesn't own the 360 CPU. I was just saying that they could use the Cell because Sony doesn't own it anymore. It was more of a joke.

you should its sweet! i had originally bought a launch one, but that rrod a week before they extended the warranty, and i already had got an elite, and when they dropped the price of the arcade i picked one up to mod cause that isn't as bad a hit if i had messed up when i was soddering it.

Just wanted to say thank you to all of the readers from other sites who are also checking this out and again to all of our members here. Passionate discussion is IMO the absolute best thing one can get in response to something they write, even if it turns out most everyone disagrees with what you have to say, so thanks again for your support, it is much appreciated.

I think Microsoft wanted a 3 year cycle on console's is a bit out of synch with what consumers are willing to put up with. If they have 100% (or close to it backwards compatibility) with the DLC and stuff you have to rights to, it may lessen this effect but one of the benefits of a console is not frequently having to replace it.


really? odd, it looks sweet on mine, make sure you have all the setting correct and the little switch on the plug on the hd side.

Shaka-de-virgo said,
and 1080p games.

the dashboard looks like crap in my 1080p.


It needs new technology like Blu-ray and Cell though, xbox 360 right now with last gen. technology like dvd, disk tray, no wi-fi ect. it looks pretty outdated next to Sony PS3.

do your research buddy, disk tray? sorry, but physical media is still gonna be around for atleast another 5-10 years. there are still a lot of people with dial-up or dsl, not everyone has a broadband connection. blu-ray actually sucks when compared to hd-dvd, it just had better marketing and more financial and movie industry backers. read the news, gm just managed to create a disc that can hold 500 gigs on it. and wi-fi? i dont know ANYONE who uses that wifi attachment. i have it, i dont use it, i like a hardline. its good to have when you aren't playing a game, for just content or movies/demos. i find that there are to many variable with wifi, like a constantly steady, high quality signal, there are tons of things that can interfere with the signal, ie. microwaves, and similar devices on the same wave length.i will hold off til wimax, or N is fully supported. any person who likes to play online will have a ethernet connection. Right now the 360 is fine, in 2-3 more years it will have to worry cause that is when the cell will shine cause it will still be able to keep up with new technology, depending on how much we advance in said time. that is when the ps3 will truly be profitable cause it will be like 7-8 years old when ms has already a new console out, and all the people who don't pay attention to console generations and people who only want to spend 100 on a console will pick it up for their niece or nephew.


Shaka-de-virgo said,
It needs new technology like Blu-ray and Cell though, xbox 360 right now with last gen. technology like dvd, disk tray, no wi-fi ect. it looks pretty outdated next to Sony PS3.

I could see another Xbox in 2010, depends how the economy is, but I haven't heard too much about companies suffering the pinch as of lately, and hear it is actually improving

Wouldn't be suprised if they released the next one for end of 2010. Apart from all the sales it would also hurt Sony even more.


The Cell is really amazing, just look at games like MGS4 and Killzone 2 looks far better then anything the xbox 360 will ever produce, the Cell is the reason why Sony PS3 is so much more powerfull.

are you dumb or just retarded.... because the gpu is really the only reason that those games look good, not cause of the cell processor. my roommate had a ps3 and i played mgs4 and killzone 2, and they look just as good as re5 does on the 360

Shaka-de-virgo said,
The Cell is really amazing, just look at games like MGS4 and Killzone 2 looks far better then anything the xbox 360 will ever produce, the Cell is the reason why Sony PS3 is so much more powerfull.

Something to note:

Sony will surely re-use Cell for PS4 - they poured billions into its development, as did IBM, and it really hasn't been used that much yet. It is amazingly powerful - they'll either modify it or stick a load of them in together. It means they won't have to be years behind MS and they won't necessarily have to charge such a high retail price, especially since Blu-ray prices will drop a lot in the next 2 years.

To suggest that MS could put the "final nail in the coffin" is absolutely ridiculous.

Look whos the Sony fanboy. Sure the cell processor is a good processor but here are some facts. The Xbox 360 gets all the downloadable addons. Look at GTA4 and Rock band and Guitar Hero. These games all get downloadable addons that the PS3 doesn't get. Plus all these games have been rated better on the Xbox 360...not but much but still. Xbox live blows away Sony's live clone and MS will keep making it better. Plus whos to say that IBM or Intel isn't working on some special chip for the next Xbox?

I'm not a MS fanboy, I know they have their problems but Sony has theirs too. Plus like I said before if Onlive is as good as people hope it is it may cause major problems for MS, Sony and Nintendo. So we'll just have to see what happens.

Hellcat_M said,
Look whos the Sony fanboy. Sure the cell processor is a good processor but here are some facts. The Xbox 360 gets all the downloadable addons. Look at GTA4 and Rock band and Guitar Hero. These games all get downloadable addons that the PS3 doesn't get. Plus all these games have been rated better on the Xbox 360...not but much but still. Xbox live blows away Sony's live clone and MS will keep making it better. Plus whos to say that IBM or Intel isn't working on some special chip for the next Xbox?

I'm not a MS fanboy, I know they have their problems but Sony has theirs too. Plus like I said before if Onlive is as good as people hope it is it may cause major problems for MS, Sony and Nintendo. So we'll just have to see what happens.

GTA4 360 - 98 - http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/...grandtheftauto4

GTA4 PS3 - 98 - http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/...grandtheftauto4

MS have exclusive DLC because they've paid millions for it, 50 million for GTA4. Last time I checked I have no idea what DLC you're talking about with RB/GH, both consoles have stores for each.

bioshock 2, halo odst, alan wake, prototype, duke nukem(hopefully) call of duty mw2, tekken, and not that i care, ffxiii


Shaka-de-virgo said,
Simple.

xbox 360 has no games for 2009.


I forgot about Pink...the Zune phone...Windows mobile 7. This is another big thing MS is working on, and also important to them. They already have the #2 game console. They have Uverse with AT&T. They have the most used OS and with Windows 7 its going to get bigger. Then their is Office 2010. So I think a Windows Mobile 7 phone is MS' chance to gain market share in the mobile market (if WM7 is as good as they think it'll be). Another console is like the 3rd or 4th thing on their minds.

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for taking the time to read this. I knew most people would probably disagree, but even those people who have disagreed have done so in a respectful fashion and have talked about why, which is great as my true intent was just to spark a conversation about the possibility. Again much appreciated.

A few months ago I might have agreed with you and I have to agree MS might bring out a console in 2011-2012, but I don't think 2010. Here's my way of thinking.

There is one reason I think they'll wait and thats to see what happens with Onlive. If Onlive makes it they may try and buy the company, or make their own tech thats similar. If Onlive flops they may still look into buying the company only to make the idea work. Onlive must be scaring MS, sony and nintendo, if it does what it claims to do this could be the new console. Sure it won't do 1080p but I think that will be less important when much higher end graphics and textures can be brought in. Onlive could be the biggest thing in game tech since the development of video games itself and MS is going to be looking at it closely. I think a company like Onlive is going to be aching to be bought weather successful or not. Why? Because the servers to keep millions of people playing, and keep all the games streaming and future games, and bandwith is very expensive. They may do well for a while with the servers they have but if Onlive takes off like the Wii they're going to need more servers which will cost a lot more. MS is one of the few companies that can pull this off. If Onlive hits the roof and gets 20-30mill+ people playing the tech is going to need a company like MS to keep them afloat. Sure they have a lot of backers but they are more for the games itself and exclusive titles I don't think they're their for the backbone and thats what MS is good at. They can bring Xbox life to Onlive which would kill sony and nintendo...and at that point who needs bluray.

IF Onlive flops horribly and MS decides not to try and buy them (or if they don't want to be bought) then I think the next version of console will be upgradeable. Instead of just buying a new console you'll upgrade the processor and graphics chip. The only time a new console will come out is when their is a breakthrough on a motherboard technology. Now about them using DVD or bluray. I think their is a third option, they'll use something else. Maybe they'll still use HD-DVD technology. The Xbox is more about the games, it was easy for them to bring on Netflix for movies. What they need is a high capacity disk to put games on and HD-DVD would be great for that (or something else thats being developed that we don't know about). For all we know MS and Toshiba could be working on bettering HD-DVD and if they use this format on the next Xbox it'll be better and be able to hold more than bluray. We don't know what MS is up to, they're trying to keep peoples eyes on Windows 7, they don't want people to think about the next console in any major way just yet. Windows 7 is their #1 thought then probably office 2010, after these two things are off and running then they'll bring to light what they've been working on for the next console.

So I think yes in some way MS will be coming out with a new console in the next 2-4 years (unless they buy Onlive, then they'll be buying a console) and if that happens it'll happen 6 months to a year after Onlive is up and running.

Don't know but they need it. When i play my game on my PC at 1920x1080 with 8xFsaa and 16xAF and then i game on my 360. I'am depressed (i have a 106 inch with a projector so it's really obivous). Granted i paid my card 267$CAD (plus the cost of my PC itself).

It's entirely possible, perhaps even highly likely. November 22nd, 2010 will be exactly 5 years after the release of the Xbox 360. Remember, the Xbox 360 was released 4 years (and one week) after the original Xbox. Also, Microsoft has already demonstrated that they're capable of releasing a console earlier than Sony. After all, Sony did release the PS3 more than 6 and a half years after the PS2. It would really put Sony in a disadvantaged position. The buzz for next-gen consoles was... colossal. Imagine the amount of media coverage and popularity that would be generated by a next-next-gen console. I'm sure the graphics jump alone would be enough to make most people drool.

I dont think a leap in graphics is enough to drag people away from the current systems.
I mean... Have you seen the graphics on some of the newer console games?

Pretty amazing.

Nauge said,
I dont think a leap in graphics is enough to drag people away from the current systems.
I mean... Have you seen the graphics on some of the newer console games?

Pretty amazing.


Yeah but it's pretty crappy when you game on a pc with a 250$ Video Card. The lact of AF really kills Xbox 360 and PS3 games. You can cleary see the rendering lines on textures and it remove the 'It's like you're there' feel. I know it bother me a lot. If all 360 game where running 16xAF it would be very nice still. Off course i got a 106 inch screen with a projector so those things are pretty much in you're face at that size, but if you have a 32 inch + and play close enought it's still very visible.

why is it all about graphics...at this point i just want good gameplay

the graphics can be ultra flashy and nice but if the game sucks who cares....

the420kid said,
why is it all about graphics...at this point i just want good gameplay

the graphics can be ultra flashy and nice but if the game sucks who cares....

Nintendo called.. It's for you.

the420kid said,
why is it all about graphics...at this point i just want good gameplay

the graphics can be ultra flashy and nice but if the game sucks who cares....

Who says you cant have both... Its up to the software developers to create better user experiences. Not the hardware manufacturer.

In the second half of 2010 it will be almost 5 years since the XBox360 hit the market, and after 5 years it's quite safe to assume that we'll obviously be seeing a new generation. I don't know how is this "coming soon", we're talking about almost 2 years from now, so ...

E.Fahd said,
In the second half of 2010 it will be almost 5 years since the XBox360 hit the market, and after 5 years it's quite safe to assume that we'll obviously be seeing a new generation. I don't know how is this "coming soon", we're talking about almost 2 years from now, so ...

Yes, but games are taking longer to make in this generation then any other generation, I could see a generation lasting 6 or 7 years from here on in.

Not going to happen so soon...
They had to stop making the original xbox because they were making a loss with each console.

The roles were reversed this time around. Sony were the ones taking a huge loss while the xbox has managed to stay profitable while cutting price at the same time.

They have reached a nice price point now, so i dont know why they would throw that away.

If i was to make any predictions. It will be revealed in 2011 and released in 2012... at the earliest.

Alot of this depends on signs of a world economic recovery. I don't see scalable graphics as the key hardware enabler for the next generation of gaming. I think it will be 3D and new inputs methods.

Whatever they do, they need to simplify the controller interface. I despise the fact that I cannot put a premium DDR pad on an Xbox 360. I had to trade mine back in for a PS2.

you sir are a nerd, lol sorry, i am sure ddr is fun, but i could never bring myself to ever touch it.

Bemani Dog said,
Whatever they do, they need to simplify the controller interface. I despise the fact that I cannot put a premium DDR pad on an Xbox 360. I had to trade mine back in for a PS2.

How do you know that statement wasnt made about nintendo. I thin kit was a year or two ago they made a huge increase in their research buget . They also have been working with ati (before that artx i think the companies name was).
So wh ycouldnt the statement be about nintendo?

I dont know for sure, it very well could have been, no denying that. I will say though that when we were talking about gaming and consoles, etc., the Wii was more or less just mentioned as "and of course we supply the chip for the Wii," and that was the end of it... Main reason I personally do not think it was about Nintendo they do not ned to do a single thing for a long time and the Wii will still be the top-selling console. But sure, could also have been about the next Wii, no doubt about it.

I would really be shocked if Microsoft came out with a new XBox this year... First, they just released the overhauled NXE, and while I'm sure they will likely build upon this for the next XBox, they're going to want to get some life out of this release I'm sure. Otherwise the update wouldn't really make much sense. Plus, they are continuing to plan and release updates to NXE. Second, the economy can't be discounted. It isn't good, and it isn't going to get better for quite some time. I doubt Microsoft would be positioning themselves to release a major commercial product like the next XBox at such a time. I imagine they will probably gear up to release it once things are improving a bit... Third, there have been absolutely NO real rumblings about a new XBox. Microsoft can't hide things that well, something always gets out... lol

I honestly did not know that Sony planned a 10y life plan to the PS3, I think that is just stupid.

If might have been true about 10 years ago but did Sony ignore tech trends?! tech is accelerating and not progressing in a steady and stable path... with quantum computing just around the corner, ati and nvidia putting out smaller much stronger psus, bluray getting outdone by online distribution...

I think it makes sense for MS to put out a new xbox out with full backward compatibility.

Beastage said,
with quantum computing just around the corner

And by just around the corner, you really mean: sometime in our lifespan, should it even be physically possible.

quantum computing is inevitable, Moore's law though not perfect is true, we have actually have to hinder development sometimes cause we need to let other areas catch up, no i am not saying terminators are around the corner, or sentinels for that matter. But i am saying that in the next 20 years, we will have achieved this goal and perfected its existence.

AltoidBox said,
And by just around the corner, you really mean: sometime in our lifespan, should it even be physically possible.

Sony's 10 year plan doesnt mean the PS4 will arrive 10 years after the PS3...it means that they will support the console for 10 years and there will be a period of time where they have two consoles being supported.

It's exactly what they did with the PS2.

No one can notice the difference between 720p and 1080p at 32" or even 40" with both at their respective native resolutions. Why? Because you're human, unless you can prove me you're not, or you play with your eyes at 8" close to your TV or monitor.
But you can notice the difference at 50" or up. The point is... this subject is not that easy to just simply say "I can notice". Or maybe you have binoculars artificially attached to your eyes.
Nice article.

that all depends on what your source media is. on the 720p monitor if you have 720p, and then on the 1080p monitor you ahve a 1080p high quality feed, you'll probably see the difference then. but if both the 720 and 1080p monitors have the same lower quality 720p source, then you probably wont see anything different.

Agreed, i can totally tell the difference between the two, i have a 28 in monitor and a 40 in tv, with an xbox on both of them and i can really see the difference when one is running 720 or 1080, p or i, the anisotropic filtering is cleaner and and models look more crisp and clearer. you can especially tell when games have a lot of spherical objects, a good example is the new re5 my monitor has the ability to switch from resolutions and by doing this i can see how my videos will look on all hd formats(i am a video student). To the novice consumer it isn't as prevalent, but since i have had training and education on all those formats and ones that we will be seeing soon in the future(imax and better in the home soon, we just have to let the tv technology become a little cheaper)but i digress, it is still noticeable and it would be nice to have an improvement there, and perhaps a new direct x*what is it now 11?12?) gen with all the new amenities, cause we are not far off from games that look like the final fantasy movie and the appleseed movie.


Luis Mazza said,
No one can notice the difference between 720p and 1080p at 32" or even 40" with both at their respective native resolutions. Why? Because you're human, unless you can prove me you're not, or you play with your eyes at 8" close to your TV or monitor.
But you can notice the difference at 50" or up. The point is... this subject is not that easy to just simply say "I can notice". Or maybe you have binoculars artificially attached to your eyes.
Nice article. :)

Luis Mazza said,
No one can notice the difference between 720p and 1080p at 32" oreven 40" with both at their ****respective native resolutions****. Why? Because you're human, unless you can prove me you're not, or you play with your eyes at 8" close to your TV or monitor.
But you can notice the difference at 50" or up. The point is... this subject is not that easy to just simply say "I can notice". Or maybe you have binoculars artificially attached to your eyes.
Nice article. :)

****respective native resolutions****

Anti-aliasing is not the same as using higher res. to mask it. When you put textures and all, making it look even more like video, the difference is even smaller. Only very thin lines would look thinner in very high res. But there's a limit of how close you can be to a monitor to notice this change. If you turn on even a small amount of anti-aliasing, then the difference is gone.

I can't see any of the big 3 bailing on this generation until the econmy starts showing signs of life, not just nearing the bottom. Launching a new console takes lots of people, so hiring up right after you did mass lay offs (with MS punishing the home entertainment and devices division) is more than unlikely.

The 360 and PS3 have plenty of juice left, and when you consider that very many of the HD capable displays being sold right now are 720p sets, there is really no rush.

If they can build a more solid console next time around, I see them doing great in the future. Enough of these RRODs, Microsoft. Put your next machine on a real workout!

i highly doubt it, the xbox 360 has only just become the dominant console in europe (bar the wii), its still got a good few years left. I cant see them releasing anything until a year or 2 before sony do

MS still hasn't worked out all their hardware issues this generation, took a mild bruising for killing the original Xbox early, spent tons of cash on this generatoin while only marginally profitable. You can't use scalable PC graphcs as an argument when WoW is the most popular PC game and The Wii is the runaway console in sales. This is pretty unlikely any time soon, just looking at audioboxer's numbers alone are a good reason why this won't happen soon. MS is huge, but they aren't big enough to completely silence Sony this generation or next.

R&D costs for the next xbox could be very low compared to the 360 if all MS does is just beef up the specs using the same arch. Faster triple core (or maybe same speed but with 6 cores?), faster and more memory, 2GB etc, faster GPU with more shaders, and then the big thing would be whatever new optical media they would decide to use be it bluray or some other blue laser tech to give them more space.

Keeping the arch the same but just basically "upgrading" it means you still have full backwards compatibility with 360 games as well, which is another big plus in many gamers eyes. Also the costs for building new tools and so on are also cut.

Overall the costs would be lower this way compared to just starting over from scratch with something totally new inside. Something Sony seems to love to do over and over.

This is just a copy of my forum post, but putting it here is wise to spark discussion if anyone wants to say anything to me :)

Nice write-up and layout!

I totally disagree though, but I enjoyed reading your piece :p

I just do not think the console audience will salivate all over marginally improved graphics this early when we have such future proof consoles - While PC games do look better and always will, consoles games look fantastic for most people sitting in their living rooms, most likely people who can't afford high end gaming rigs in the first place and won't really be thinking "oh hey, Crysis has better textures than Killzone 2". Plus we have many years left for developers to squeeze out more. I put a bet on some jaws on the floor at how good some of the upcoming games at E3 look!

Heck the best selling console this generation is one that doesn't even do HD...

But hey that's the interesting thing about predictions, everyone can share them, then we wait ;)

Earliest bet for me for a new console, E3 2010. Earliest release end of 2010/2011.

The Xbox could have gone longer than 4 years if it wasn't for the PS2.

That being said I most certainly put MS releasing their new console before Sony, and I most certainly believe it will run on Blu Ray or some proprietary discs, not DVD. One main reason being HD audio, if developers can put it in PS3 games just now, you can bet MS will support 7.1 and HD audio with the next Xbox. Secondly for Blu Ray movies, people can bitch about HD films vs SD films as much as they like, but by the next generation MS will most certainly want to remove some of that advantage Sony currently have of being an all-in-one box under your TV.

edit: Costs and economy need to be considered also, look at these figures

       Sony            Nintendo          Microsoft            Total
Y/E 1998     $902,811,090   $1,023,333,867                      $1,926,144,957
Y/E 1999   $1,102,563,557   $1,301,350,000                      $2,403,913,557
Y/E 2000     $722,738,949   $1,368,207,547                      $2,090,946,497
Y/E 2001    -$449,776,290     $677,576,000                        $227,799,710
Y/E 2002     $629,101,056     $895,872,180   -$1,135,000,000      $389,973,237
Y/E 2003     $935,569,253     $834,333,333   -$1,191,000,000      $578,902,586
Y/E 2004     $627,195,212     $993,161,303   -$1,337,000,000      $283,356,515
Y/E 2005     $419,888,799   $1,056,056,202     -$539,000,000      $936,945,001
Y/E 2006      $69,129,058     $774,478,055   -$1,339,000,000     -$495,392,887
Y/E 2007  -$1,970,923,859   $1,914,666,388   -$1,969,000,000   -$2,025,257,471
Y/E 2008  -$1,079,994,103   $4,322,637,887      $426,000,000    $3,668,643,783

Y/E 09Q1      $51,113,208   $1,124,452,830      $178,000,000    $1,353,566,038
Y/E 09Q2    -$379,471,154   $1,278,759,615      $151,000,000    $1,050,288,462
Y/E 09Q3       $4,395,604   $2,737,879,121      -$31,000,000                            

Total                
       $1,584,340,380  $20,302,764,330   -$6,786,000,000   $12,389,829,985
                
Full Year Average
         $173,482,066   $1,378,333,888   -$1,012,000,000      $907,815,953
                
Profitable Years                
            8        11           1             9
                
Non Profitable Years                
            3         0           6             2
                
Average in Loss Year                
      -$1,166,898,084           N/A   -$1,251,666,667   -$1,260,325,179
                
Average in Profit Year                
         $676,124,622   $1,378,333,888      $426,000,000    $1,389,625,094

do note: Microsoft is one quarter behind Sony and Nintendo on that chart. They are the first to report their 2009 calendar Q1 earnings (which they report as Q3). Nintendo and Sony reported their 2008 calendar Q4 earnings in January (which they report as Q3).

MS will most certainly want to focus more on 360 profitability before they go dump another ton of money in R&D/marketing/etc releasing a new console. I don't think many people remember how much money the Xbox lost them.

Yep, that would be 10/10/2010. I can literally see the higher-ups in any marketing department gathered in a non-descript conference room giggling uncontrollably at the potential to launch on this date.

I dunno... I'm holding out for an 11/11/2011 release. Hey, can't blame a guy for wishing, right? lol


Great article though... I've been thinking about when some XBox 720® rumors would start swirling for the past couple months... Can't wait to see where we go from here.

I think 2011 sounds more realistic. With all the R&D money and costs they've put into the 360, I think it'll be around longer than 4 years.

GP007 said,
I think 2011 sounds more realistic. With all the R&D money and costs they've put into the 360, I think it'll be around longer than 4 years.

10/10/10 would make 5 years.

Good editorial. I still have to disagree though. Most of your points are fine in the realm of hardcore high-end gamers, but they start to fall flat when you get to casual, or even gamers in between, which is the vast majority of the console market market.

The people that don't mind spending $300+ on a graphics card are generally the people that don't care for console gaming, and if those that also have consoles are in the great minority - I think most people that own consoles generally aren't also PC gamers and wouldn't want to shell out that much for a graphics card, much less a new console when the 360 is arguably doing stellar. The point goes even further with the economy the way it is.

Your scalable graphics point is a good one for consumers, but you'd have to sell it to Microsoft - I think they'd much rather not provide a way for people to prolong buying their new console.

I agree with your Bluray point. I think those saying we need it are still overblowing the situation. That being said, I'd like a next xbox to support the format if for nothing else than to watch BD movies.

PC Graphics being better again only applies to hardcore gamers that actually play games on PC and Consoles - far and away the minority of all those that own a 360. I'm willing to bet that most people are pretty happy with what games look like on the 360.

It would put another nail into Sony's coffin, but I honestly don't think they need to worry a whole lot about Sony. Not to mention that they probably don't want to overthrow Sony entirely - they already have enough legal problems concerning potential monopolies as it is...

I also agree that the NXE will be the last major overhaul, but I think MS could (and, quite honestly, probably will) implement some pretty amazing social/networking/digital life hub into the 360 without releasing another console.

The last one really is your weakest reason :P

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind seeing another console - I'm sure MS has something awesome up their sleeves for it, and if one comes out in late 2010, I'll be lining up, but I don't think the market is ready (or cares) for one quite yet.

Don't see it happening.

Releasing a console now would put a nail in their coffin, not Sony's. With the current economic climate, why are people going to want to buy yet another brand new console when they've just bought one? And it will surely have to cost far more. I don't think PC graphics are substantially better right now, and I don't think the user experience is bad. Seems like Microsoft is trucking right along.

Another point is that the 360's price point is now ridiculously low, so they could feasibly release a new top-range console to go into a higher price bracket

I disagree, with Sony rumored to be releasing the PS4 next year sometime, I doubt MS is just going to set there and let them be first Xbox Next is coming and it'll be here by late 2010 at the latest is my prediction.

Xerxes said,
I disagree, with Sony rumored to be releasing the PS4 next year sometime, I doubt MS is just going to set there and let them be first Xbox Next is coming and it'll be here by late 2010 at the latest is my prediction.

PS4 next year? Dude, pass me some of what you've been smoking!

Audioboxer said,
PS4 next year? Dude, pass me some of what you've been smoking!

Sony hinted towards late 2010 for the PS4 a few years back and with MS gearing up for potentially a 2010 release for Xbox Next, Sony is going to need something to remain competitive and not to mention Nintendo has been working on their new system as well. It's not that hard to beleive really, we are due for new consoles within the next few years anyway and that isn't to say the current gen consoles will dissappear over night, look at the PS2! it's still going...

Uhh, sure, Sony's gonna release a PS4 next year. You just keep believing that.

Sony and MS got their asses handed to them by Nintendo. Why? Not because the Wii had better specs. It most CERTAINLY did not have a better name. And the buzz before its release was decidedly underwhelming.

Nintendo figured out a very credible new way for its customers to interact with a machine. It was cheap, simple, and mostly reliable. And it struck such a chord with people (non-hardcore gamers, admittedly) that it's STILL in short supply in many places, even going on 3 years later.

Sony isn't going to have a new console next year. They're awash in red ink right now, and the whole PS division is likely getting some very close scrutiny from the corporate bean-counters.

Admittedly, Microsoft might have something new, but the fact remains that better technology isn't going to do much for either Sony or Microsoft. What they need is better GAMES.

I hope not.
Nothing worse than rushing a console out before the one before it has died off properly, and surely the Xbox 360 has the ability to go for another year or two minimum.

And people using the "well people buy graphic cards" excuse simply doesn't work, there is a reason people buy a console to game on and not a PC, to get away from the upgrading costs and hassle that most people would have. Companies want to make the big bucks, getting a console that looks affordable with a lot of games to buy that aren't expensive is the best way forward, look where it got the PS2.

With the economy being a bit crap currently, bringing out a new console that will no doubt be more expensive than the current system is just silly, the core Xbox players will buy it, but then sales will slump till it comes down in price.

The worst thing either of Sony or Microsoft could do is force another generation, they both doing crap compared to the selling power of the Wii, and if Nintendo is made to come out with another generation, possibly the next Wii, and the console manages to attract the same casual crowd buying it now, but also managed to boost the graphics and attract the hard core, then they will screw Sony and Microsoft again.

But of course this is just my general opinion on the matter.
Good article.

Died off properly? When the N64 came out the SNES was still pumping out games. The PS One was still going strong when the PS2 came out. The PS2 is only just truly ending its life cycle, in that there are few game still developed for it now (mostly just Guitar Hero sequels), yet it still commands a large retail space at most game stores, and the PS3 has been out for a while. The next generation emerges when the technology is ready and there is enough of a consumer demand to warrant it, not when the old system is dead. Now, I don't find the current "next gen" consoles to be anything spectacular, since even when they were released my PC made them obsolete, and I don't see another generation surpassing PC graphics either (which haven't changed substantially in the interim, with few games pushing the boundaries and demanding $500 video cards), but they can certainly put beefier processors, more memory and SSDs into a smaller package. I think it would be even more fantastic if they just built something off the ION platform and distributed games on read-only flash drives with the option of an external USB Blu-Ray or DVD drive for media playback, backwards compatibility and built in support for h.263/h.264 off a flash drive in all popular containers, including MKV (and if it's a Microsoft console, it should also support flash drives formatted in NTFS). Why a 360 or PS3 needs to be nearly the size and half the cost of my PC but only half as powerful is beyond me; shrink 'em down to a point they could actually be considered consoles again.

That only happens if the older gen sells enough to keep devs making games for it. Look at how many systems the PS2 has sold in total even before the PS3 came out.

That's enough incentive to keep making games with that big of a user base.

In contrast the original Xbox sold somewhere around 22 million units in 4 years.

That may be because the original Xbox was crap. The 360 isn't too great, either, but at least with their Games for Windows program I can use their peripherals on my PC.

Rushing? you do know they've been working on it since before the 360 was released don't you? I think it might be coming even sooner, I'm expecting an E3 announcement and possible NA release by Christmas 09 season with around March-ish for EU. This could be totally wrong, it's just a hunch.

I don't think MS's next system will use bluray for games, I think it very well might be able to play bluray movies but not in the same sense as a native bluray player.

With todays news that China has it's own blue laser format in the works that is much like (if not a clone of) HD-DVD. I don't see why MS can't use the same HD-DVD tech with a dual layer disc holding 30GB? And since all you really need is the blue laser itself, how harder can it be to be able to read bluray movies as well? Sure it won't have the official bluray logo and so on, but so?

This of course wouldn't work for bluray movies if there's any legal roadblocks in the way. In which case they could just use it for games. Then any optical storage problems wouldn't matter.

GP007 said,
With todays news that China has it's own blue laser format in the works that is much like (if not a clone of) HD-DVD. I don't see why MS can't use the same HD-DVD tech with a dual layer disc holding 30GB? And since all you really need is the blue laser itself, how harder can it be to be able to read bluray movies as well?

Someone's not an electrical engineer....

Anyway, I can't see why they wouldn't just use straight-up Blu-Ray. It would make no sense to use an obscure format like that, because it would make implementation of Blu-Ray disk playing significantly more complex for the drive.

MioTheGreat said,
Anyway, I can't see why they wouldn't just use straight-up Blu-Ray. It would make no sense to use an obscure format like that, because it would make implementation of Blu-Ray disk playing significantly more complex for the drive.

Mayhaps because Sorny reams companies with outrageous licensing fees? The license fee for DTS alone is $20 or more, and that is mandatory with BlewRay. BlewRay is yet another license fee (I recall something like $50). So that's a $70 premium going straight to Sorny with zero return to the customer. As if BlewRay is so great of a technology...

Anyway, I'm an engineer, and business & marketing trumps engineering anytime, any day.

well firstly it's not just Sony's format so I wouldnt say it's specifically them setting the fees.

Secondly fees aside, having BluRay there still acts as a deterrent to those people buying the PS3 has a BluRay player first and a gaming console second.

I'd be surprised if those "fees" don't shift either over the next 18 months and hell, with the amount of hardware MS is producing maybe they can get it discounted (given BluRay on an XBox would also benefit the BluRay group too)

I hope they don't, Look at the RROD, I didn't experience it but then I only had my 360 for 4 months for Halo3 and AC.

I'm sure they fixed that by using a better design, and now that they got a really good design out which is the Xbox 360, they probably are planning some high-tech hardware this time to go along with an even better design.