As the Xbox 360 enters its 7th year of life, many console gamers are eagerly awaiting the announcement of the Xbox 720. Microsoft have been reluctant to address these rumours, stating that the Xbox 360 was designed to have a 10 year lifecycle, however after the failed launch of the Windows 8 operating system, many pundits suspect that this lifecycle may be cut short as the software giant looks to regain momentum.
With a number of recent developer leaks showing the rumoured Xbox 720 ‘Durango’ to be reality, it seems that the 720 will most definitely be released sooner than later.
The release date of the Xbox 720 is still highly disputed, with Microsoft’s European boss going on record in 2010 saying that “we've got at least another five years of this generation”.
Internet rumours have been mixed, with initial hopes for a 2012 release. These hopes have now been quashed, with financial news agency Bloomberg citing developer information that points to a Christmas 2013 release.
There have been many rumoured specs for the next generation console, however they remain just that: rumours. Early sources seemed to have been making grandiose assumptions that the Xbox 720 would be packed with a number of highly specced pieces of hardware.
Recently surfaced information from hacker Hector Martin seems to put these claims into question after he cited insider knowledge pointing to the fact that the Xbox 720 would only feature a 1.6GHz processor. That being said, MHz isn’t the deciding factor of how well a console can perform, this is largely down to how the processor is set up.
Kinect has been partly responsible for the Xbox 360’s continuing success, showing that the console can remain up to date with additional hardware releases. The industry leading motion controller is rumoured to get its second iteration with the release of the 720.
Perhaps the most intriguing rumours circulating are regarding the 720 controllers. The controllers are widely thought to be housing some form of screen that will offer improved media hub functionality. The rumours posted by Xbox World Magazine seem to be highly plausible and could go on to be a huge selling point for Microsoft.
Blu Ray or HDD
The format used by the Xbox 720 is still completely unknown and is still believed to be in discussion amongst the developers at Microsoft. Whilst Blu-ray has proven to be highly successful for competitors Sony, many believe that Microsoft will be pushing for a download format that will circumvent any need for physical discs. Whilst this option is ideal for countries with highly developed internet infrastructure, one can only think that sales in less developed countries will surely suffer.
Whilst the true nature of the Xbox 720 is yet to be known, initial rumours seem to be pointing in a very positive direction. It may be a year until release, so it’s probably not worth trying to sell Xbox 360 consoles just yet!