Next-gen Xbox rumors include two versions and 2013 launch

There are a ton of rumors concerning the next version of Microsoft's Xbox game console and this week the newest one popped up on Gamesindustry.biz. The Digital Foundry section of the web site claims that Microsoft is developing two versions of the next Xbox console for a possible launch in the fall of 2013.

One of the versions, according to the report, would be a lower cost machine that would be designed like a set-top box for streaming games and media. The other would be more expensive and would have hardware features like an optical drive, a built in hard drive and backwards compatibility with the Xbox 360 game line up. Both versions would have the Kinect motion sensor technology built into the console box, rather than as an add-on device.

The article adds that, according to its source, Microsoft held a secret event for game developers at Disneyland in California just after E3 2011 was held in LA in June. Microsoft reportedly got some input from the assembled game developers on what kind of issues that they had occurred on the current Xbox 360 hardware and where they would like to see improvements in the next generation console.

The article adds some speculation about what might be inside the next Xbox. Specifically there is some talk that the next Microsoft console could have dual graphics chips, which is becoming common among PC gamers who own rigs with NVIDIA's SLI set-up or AMD's CrossFire X feature.

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20 Comments

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I call BS on the "Kinect" sensor being built into the console instead of being a stand alone device. MS isn't run by idiots, and as such they will realize that not everyone has the "Space" to place a CONSOLE above or below their TV. So I think its fair to say, that particular rumor is pure lunacy. I fully expect the sensor to be BUNDLED with the consoles for sure, but not PART of the console.

As far as there being TWO versions, thats a reasonable assumption as there are people who may want the media capabilities of the console, but not want to play games. So it would make sense to sell a "Trimmed Down" version that serves as nothing more then as an internet TV, especially with MS adding TV streaming to XBOX Live in the near future. However, I highly doubt it will or even SHOULD share a name with the next console due to possible consumer confusion. Again, MS is run by idiots, and I'm sure they see possible issues arising from having two versions of the "Same" console, but one cant play games.

The rest of the info is again, pointless because anyone with half a brain knows that the next gen console is going to have an optical drive of some kind, a HDD of some kind, etc..

dual graphics chips, which is becoming common among PC gamers who own rigs with NVIDIA's SLI set-up or AMD's CrossFire X feature

Really? Wow, that would be a step towards the past.

The XBox 360 today, in 'theory' can already handle multiple GPUs and queue SMP threads to the GPUs as needed.

Just as Vista and Windows 7 can do as well, which makes SLI and Crossfire obsolete, just like 20 years ago when multi-CPU bridge technologies were killed off by SMP aware OSes.

People keep forgetting this is Microsoft and Windows NT architecture, which is no longer requires these older technologies like Linux and OS X do.

Yes, but sonsidering that the current gen gfx cards in a PC have to support very high resolutions, and its likely the gfx chip(s) in the next Xbox will be limited to 1080p or 4K max then its not an issue, you can just wind the clocks back to where the temp vs performance is optimal.

I also wish they would make it a standard 19" wide so it looks like any other item in my entertainment cabinet.

Built in kinect is BS me thinks. It has to be a separate peripheral so you can position it in the best place. People arent going to want a built in sensor so they have to position the Xbox in a certain place.

.Vamp said,
Built in kinect is BS me thinks. It has to be a separate peripheral so you can position it in the best place. People arent going to want a built in sensor so they have to position the Xbox in a certain place.

true, but they could just mean the brains/software and have a external peripheral.(i.e just the camera /ir cam)

ir0nw0lf said,
All this talk about features and tons of hardware goodies has me scared when they get to the price part of things...

I'll pay the price if they deliver the proper hardware. My 360 has delivered 100% in the cost-per-entertainment department.

When I see "dual GPUs" I think space heater. When you consider the kind of cooler required just for a Radeon HD 6970 or GTX 580, I don't think it's feasible to stick a high-end GPU (for the time) and expect it to stand up to the rigors of being on for hours at a time.

Microsoft is still reeling the costs from so many failed Xbox 360s during this generation. They can't risk another billion dollar payout.

dagamer34 said,
When I see "dual GPUs" I think space heater. When you consider the kind of cooler required just for a Radeon HD 6970 or GTX 580, I don't think it's feasible to stick a high-end GPU (for the time) and expect it to stand up to the rigors of being on for hours at a time.

Microsoft is still reeling the costs from so many failed Xbox 360s during this generation. They can't risk another billion dollar payout.

Ahh yes, all those profits from the XBOX division must be a huge burden to MS.... lol

dagamer34 said,
When I see "dual GPUs" I think space heater. When you consider the kind of cooler required just for a Radeon HD 6970 or GTX 580, I don't think it's feasible to stick a high-end GPU (for the time) and expect it to stand up to the rigors of being on for hours at a time.

Microsoft is still reeling the costs from so many failed Xbox 360s during this generation. They can't risk another billion dollar payout.

Both GPUs, if it has 2, wouldn't run at the same time unless the game needs it. I don't expect a game like one of the arcades titles would need both of them etc. If they're dynamic in how they work and turn on or off or just downclock then I don't see the problem with heat really. Also, at 2013 we're talking some pretty small GPUs which shouldn't produce as much heat as they do now.

soLoredd said,
As long as they keep backward compatibility...and REAL compatibility this time!

I wouldn't expect them to switch to ARM or back to x86, so I think BC should be a realistic feature this time around.

trip21 said,
Kinect built in, take this for what it is a rumour

Kinect build in can work if you place it in the right spot, as most tend to have it directly under their TV. Also there's official info from MS that they're making a updated kinect sensor for use with Windows coming in 2012 that can work as close as 20cm iirc. So, anything is possible I'd say.

sensor has to be some how be in the actual screen where the eyes are everything else is random and beyond control

by the way these fu()ed up verizon adds arent letting my page load

tbob121 said,
sensor has to be some how be in the actual screen where the eyes are everything else is random and beyond control

by the way these fu()ed up verizon adds arent letting my page load

Yeah, I get that, there's the story out there that MS is talking to TV makers about adding kinect into the TVs which would be best. I'm just pointing out that MS is already working on a updated version that can work closer (for use with PCs) so that the space problem isn't a issue anymore.

I also like the idea of having most of the hardware and logic inside the Xbox and just keeping the two cameras and directional mics in a separate and thus smaller unit.