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Processor specifications on next-generation Xbox

Rumors about the next-generation Xbox have been circulating for years. The next-generation Xbox, or Xbox 720 as some call it, is expected to launch later this year. There are some indications that Microsoft might unveil the next-generation Xbox ahead of E3 2013. Other rumors have put the price of the next-generation Xbox at around $400.

While most details of the next-generation console remain to be seen, leaked specs have surfaced this week that give some hardware specifications for the processor that will be the brains of the next-generation Xbox. The processor has x64 architecture and eight cores running at 1.6 GHz. Each of those CPU threads has its own 32 kB L1 instruction cache and 32 kB L1 data cache. Each module of the four CPU cores has its own 2 MB L2 cache giving the processor a total of 4 MB of L2 cache.

VGLeaks reports that each core has one fully independent hardware thread and doesn't share execution resources. Each hardware thread is also reportedly able to issue two instructions per clock cycle. The next-generation Xbox GPU is reportedly a custom D3D 11.1 class unit running at 800 MHz with 12 shader cores and 768 total threads.

Each of those threads is reportedly able to perform one scaler multiplication and additional operation per clock. A natural user interface sensor is also always present. That processor is reportedly paired with 8 GB of DDR3 RAM and 32 MB of fast embedded SRAM.

The machine is also paired with a 6x Blu-ray drive, gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, and various hardware accelerators for image, video, and audio codecs. The machine is also tipped include a Kinect multichannel echo cancellation hardware chip and cryptography engines for encrypting and decrypting content.

Source: VGLeaks

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By Beavermatic on 1/22/2013 9:40:56 AM , Rating: 5
Can't wait to buy something my PC had years ago!

RE: Awesome!
By GulWestfale on 1/22/13, Rating: -1
RE: Awesome!
By StevoLincolnite on 1/22/2013 10:17:11 AM , Rating: 1
dual phenoms with an older radeon GPU? smartphones will have comparable power in two years... hook them up to your TV with miracast, get a bluetooth controller, and why do i need a console again??

A smartphone won't be able to touch this processor for a long time, although they are advancing at a rapid rate, they're still only performing about as fast as a 5 year old Intel Atom and that's just in Single threaded performance.
This 8 core chip is probably likely based on the AMD FX architecture, if the buzz is true.

Throw in a decent GPU that alone will consume more power than several dozen smartphones and has allot of execution resources and Co-Processors...

Paired up with lots of relatively fast memory by smartphone standards...

And I don't see a phone touching it any time soon, especially considering allot of developers will be making games on the metal and not via various API's with an OS in the middle.

Mind you, the Desktop PC still (And will always) reign supreme from a gaming performance standpoint as it doesn't really have any TDP or size limitations.

RE: Awesome!
By tamalero on 1/22/2013 3:20:18 PM , Rating: 2
AMD FX or a Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge with Hyperthreading.

RE: Awesome!
By maugrimtr on 1/23/2013 11:57:43 AM , Rating: 2
AMD FX - Or do you expect Intel to release special underclocked Sandy/Ivy Bridge CPUs at a significant discount? If true, this console is similar spending $400 on a 5-year old PC. That makes the GPU extremely important since it will define the platforms 3D performance. We're already used to having games designed for ancient CPUs on modern PCs. The big news is that it has 8 cores. Games and multi-core/threaded programming are not exactly on the best of terms at the moment.

Summary: Get ready for another decade of games with limited physics, minimal processing requirements, and put to market based with their defining feature being how well they can squeeze frames from the cut down years old budget GPU under the hood. Go play Mass Effect 1 on a PC to see what I mean - it took devs years of learning to squeeze more pixels out of the 360 and PS3.

RE: Awesome!
By Jeffk464 on 1/22/2013 3:21:21 PM , Rating: 3
The arm A15 processor in the new chromebook bested the best current atom processor.

RE: Awesome!
By Alexvrb on 1/23/2013 12:21:30 AM , Rating: 2
You're gonna have to be more specific. Which Atom do you call the best current Atom? Which A15-based SoC?

Anyway, in a larger power envelope like a console, the ARM chips don't currently have the IPC. If these clocks are true they're not Piledriver based. Maybe Jaguar? Jaguar does boost IPC significantly over Bobcat, and it would be extremely affordable - both in terms of actual cost and power/thermals.

RE: Awesome!
By Samus on 1/22/2013 3:31:38 PM , Rating: 4
I'm surprised nobody is pointing out the shocking use of x86 in a game console.

This has a huge impact on release times for cross-platform games (specifically, porting from PC/XBOX will be seamless, while crippling Sony and other competitors.

The flipside is there is likely no guaranteed backward compatibility.

RE: Awesome!
By FITCamaro on 1/22/2013 4:36:07 PM , Rating: 3
Never know. But I agree. This is definitely a win on the developer side for Microsoft if their console is essentially an optimized PC. It will allow insanely easy porting (if you even have to call it that). Even if the PS4 was more powerful (both are essentially using the same GPU since the 6670 and 7670 are the same thing) developers being able to just optimize things on the 360 for lower end PC specs and go means two major platforms with hardly any extra development time.

RE: Awesome!
By Alexvrb on 1/23/2013 12:37:28 AM , Rating: 4
You must be too young to remember the original Xbox. Not only was it x86, but through emulation many of the popular titles could be played on the 360. Hopefully that be the case once again - perhaps even with better emulation than last time? Well, one can hope.

Oh, and we don't really know for sure what either one is using. Sony could very well also be using x86 chips as well, there are certainly rumors to this effect. In which case, depending on APIs used (OpenGL?), might also make for some easy ports - at least between PC and PS4. Not so much for a cross-platform title that includes PC, PS4 and Xbox Next. They'd have to have two different render paths at the very minimum.

RE: Awesome!
By TakinYourPoints on 1/23/2013 5:57:41 AM , Rating: 2
Sony's PS4 is looking to use an AMD based x86 setup as well.

RE: Awesome!
By nocturne on 1/24/2013 2:37:41 AM , Rating: 2
Well.. rumors currently point to x64 for the next xbox. The article above states as such, though they have a habit of 'correcting' their articles here without mention.

Not to mention, the only differences in the instruction sets come down to memory usage.. You act as if there is some magical improvement moving from x86 to x64 (double the bits, means double the performance, right..? lol), where in reality it's just an easier way to reconcile the higher memory demands of more demanding applications.

The move to x64 is common sense, especially given the backwards compatibility with PC chips. Devs can choose to code for x86 or x64 -- and hopefully we'll see a few more x64 optimized PC games come out of it.

RE: Awesome!
By jRaskell on 1/25/2013 10:49:32 AM , Rating: 2
porting from PC/XBOX will be seamless

Porting is never seamless.

RE: Awesome!
By TeXWiller on 1/22/2013 4:35:41 PM , Rating: 3
It is more likely a Jaguar based soc, if those specifications are correct. Easier custom soc creation, easier manufacturing with multiple foundries available.

RE: Awesome!
By augiem on 1/22/2013 1:11:29 PM , Rating: 2
Really good game artists and marketers have successfully duped the public into thinking that cell phones are the equal of consoles and PCs when it comes to graphics but its just plain not true. Want proof yourself? Go get the Unity3D game engine, develop a cutting-edge PC or console game, and convert it to iPhone or Android. You'll be doing TONS of scaling back and corner cutting on both the CPU and GPU side to get it to run.

RE: Awesome!
By CrazyBernie on 1/22/2013 10:03:03 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, 'cause y'know, eight core processors have been out for ages! Heck, I had 8GB of ram on my 486! -_-

Face it, consoles will always be behind the curve... because they don't need to be ahead. Yes, we PC gamers suffer for it. I just hope my son doesn't grow up to be a console junkie, even though it seems like I get more game on my Xbox & Wii these days (playing MP games with my woman)...

RE: Awesome!
By Beavermatic on 1/22/2013 10:12:02 AM , Rating: 2
dont want your kid to be a console junkie? dont buy him a console. Buy him mid or high end PC build kit and help him build and learn as he goes.

RE: Awesome!
By RufusM on 1/22/2013 11:51:57 AM , Rating: 2
I switched mostly to consoles after getting an Xbox 360 in 2007 and really haven't looked back. I like playing games kicking back on the couch with a 50 inch TV. That's saying something when back in the day I frequently went to, and hosted, LAN parties and had three PCs in my home for friends to come over and play on.

Yes, the Xbox 360 games are not as high-res but I have just as much fun for a fraction of the total cost year over year.

A big plus is I can keep my library of game discs and play them in later years whenever I want, or sell them. Over the years I've had way too many PC games that were obsoleted by a new OS, video card, etc. In 2007, I sold my Sega Saturn + games for $500. Every game worked. I can't say that with any of my old PCs or PC games.

RE: Awesome!
By augiem on 1/22/2013 1:16:39 PM , Rating: 5
I hadn't played PC games for YEARS (like a decade) except for a select few. I just got back into them recently after I saw the Christmas sales on Steam were cheaper than buying used Xbox games buy two get one free on Gamestop for A++ titles. That plus the humblebundle deals, I must have bought like 30 A++ titles from the past 5-6 years for around $50. I couldn't believe it. Couple that with the fact that my PC is 3.5 years old and plays nearly everything at max settings at 1920x1200 smoothly, most games run perfectly with the Xbox 360 controller, and nearly everything on Xbox/PS3 is available on Steam for far cheaper, and the PC exclusives like StarCraft 2, and I'm a total PC convert overnight. Kudos to Steam for bringing PC gaming back to life.

RE: Awesome!
By nikon133 on 1/22/2013 4:44:18 PM , Rating: 3
Not sure what you mean by "nearly everything on Xbox/PS3 is available on Steam"? Nothing from console exclusives is available on PC, and exclusives are among the best games (if not the best games) consoles have.

That is the reason I am doing both PC and console. My only regret is I haven't got enough time to do both consoles and a PC, so for this round I have selected PS3, but I might go X next turn.

My PC is being kept upgraded or replaced to gaming readiness all the time, but even the highest end PC cannot help when great titles and franchises like Halo and beyond, Resistance, Killzone, Gears, Forza, Gran Turismo, Uncharted, God of War, Fable - just to mention a few - are not and likely will never be ported to PC...

For me, this is not about a contest which platform has better graphics, more gigawhatever, stronger mojo. It is simply about enjoying experience all those great games can provide.

RE: Awesome!
By augiem on 1/22/2013 5:39:03 PM , Rating: 3
Not sure what you mean by "nearly everything on Xbox/PS3 is available on Steam"?

Exactly what I said. Exclusives make up only a tiny portion of games published on each console. Just about anything that is available on both PS3 and X360 is also available on PC. Yes, you miss out on most first party titles (all of Sony's, and some of MS's), but those are not the only reason to buy consoles.

but even the highest end PC cannot help when great titles and franchises like Halo and beyond, Resistance, Killzone, Gears, Forza, Gran Turismo, Uncharted, God of War, Fable - just to mention a few - are not and likely will never be ported to PC...

Fable 1 and 3 are available on PC, not sure why 2 is not. Yes, not having a PC and several consoles you do miss out on those you listed, as well as Gears of War, Little Big Planet, and ALL of Nintendo's titles.

Using to sort games on each platform by rating, you will find 8/10 of the top Xbox 360 games are available on PC and 7/10 of the top PS3 games are available on PC. That would qualify as "most".

Acclaimed cross platform series include dozens of games to numerous to count. Just to mention a few: Elder Scrolls, Bioshock, Borderlands, Deus Ex, Dragon Age, Fallout, Mass Effect, Portal, Max Payne, Farcry, Crysis, Dishonored, Red Faction, Call of Duty, Batman, Assassin's Creed, Prince of Persia, Tomb Raider, Dead Space, LA Noire, all the Lego games, Devil May Cry, Warhammer 40k, Resident Evil, Alan Wake, and a plethora of "arcade" and indy titles like Braid, Super Meat Boy, Castle Crashers, Limbo, etc...

RE: Awesome!
By retrospooty on 1/22/2013 5:45:56 PM , Rating: 2
Alot of those PC games are done on PC as an afterthought, and/or a poor job done when porting it over. Even if the titles are there, its still an afterthought for most developers.

RE: Awesome!
By augiem on 1/22/2013 7:40:29 PM , Rating: 2
If by an afterthought, you mean that it was a port, then possibly. But they generally do a very good job porting them, and you usually get a few perks like higher res textures. Look at the reviews on They generally give a run down of the differences between the PC and the console versions at the end of the review. If they left out features or made a buggy port, they usually make note. There are only a few AAA titles in recent years I can remember that got lower scores on the PC, Rage being one of them for having bugs galore. Now I won't argue with you that the game are designed with the console's relatively limited capabilities in mind otherwise, but I don't really mind that since I know I'm buying a console-style game.

If you were talking 6+ years ago, I'd agree with you, but after having been out of PC gaming for so long, I was quite pleasantly surprised with how far things have come.

RE: Awesome!
By StevoLincolnite on 1/22/2013 6:57:14 PM , Rating: 2
Gears of War 1 is on PC.
Didn't sell all that well, being tied to that horrible Games for Windows Live! didn't help matters.

Regardless, wait another few more years, PC's will probably start down that emulation of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 path.

RE: Awesome!
By augiem on 1/22/2013 7:42:40 PM , Rating: 2
Forgot about that. Its unfortunate they didn't keep it up and just basically gave up on porting Xbox titles to the PC even if they were a year or so old by the time they got around to it. Halo 1 and 2 are also available on PC.

RE: Awesome!
By nikon133 on 1/22/2013 10:56:07 PM , Rating: 2
This is really relative. I'd say exclusives I've been playing on my PS3 are around 50% of games I've been playing in general. It just happens I'm not RTS gamer, and not much MMO either. PC has good selection of FPSs, not bad with 3rd person (but not too good either, with Red Dead, God of War etc. missing)... but lacks in platformers (Ratchet & Clank and likes), driving games,... so for me personally, missing on exclusives is a big deal.

But I can see that someone leaning towards RTS, RPG, MMO can slide around consoles without much remorse.

RE: Awesome!
By Visual on 1/23/2013 6:32:34 AM , Rating: 2
Eh, I am playing my PC games "kicking back on the couch" too... oh well, with only a 46 inch TV. But still with the wireless XBox controller, and with better graphics settings than the XBox games have.

And your 'fraction of the total cost' comment is just making me feel sad about your math skills. The PC versions of games usually cost 2-3 times less than XBox versions, on release day. And when games gets older and into the bargain bins, PC versions are almost free, while I don't see that happening with console versions so much. Then there's user-created content, modding, save game trading, and so on. So much more versatility on the PC.

And absolutely every PC game that I ever had still works on my newest Win7 machine, and I have no doubts it will on Win8 and forward. Compatibility mode has seen a lot of improvement over the years and you can tell MS really did care to make most everything keep running... Game devs also try to patch the games for newer versions, and even the user community can sometimes hack up a patch for games that the devs abandoned. This is completely impossible on consoles.
The move to 64-bit Windows dropped support for 16-bit apps, but still runs most 32-bit apps fine. You can run a win98 instance under Dosbox for your 16-bit windows games, and DOS games. And as a last resort, there is always VirtualBox, although honestly I do not have a game that needs that.
All this means that even things that I played on my very first 286 can still work on my newest PC. At the same time, you can not run your old games on your new console. Having to keep your old console is a drawback, not a plus in this regard.

For the record, I do also have a Xbox 360, and I do enjoy it. But it is a fact that if something is not exclusive for it, it is usually better on the PC.

RE: Awesome!
By vailr on 1/22/2013 11:06:00 AM , Rating: 1
Re: "I had 8GB of ram on my 486".
I'm thinking you probably meant to say: "8 Mb of ram", no?

RE: Awesome!
By datdamonfoo on 1/22/2013 11:10:17 AM , Rating: 5

RE: Awesome!
By freedom4556 on 1/22/2013 3:52:42 PM , Rating: 2
Was just doing an autopsy on my roommate's grandma's computer the other day when I discovered that the 4GiB thumbdrive we bought her to transfer her pictures and cookbook from her old compputer was actually the same size as the hard drive!

But I really got a laugh when I looked at the system properties to see how much ram it had and noticed it said 6x6 " Cyrix Instead " for the processor instead of "Intel Inside". Hadn't seen one of those in years.

RE: Awesome!
By retrospooty on 1/22/2013 10:47:54 AM , Rating: 2
Ya, I'd really like to see this and the PS4 with a much better GPU. The biggest difference now in games on PC vs. console is the high res textures, the second being higher res. Even at 1920x1080 image quality sucks on consoles because the textures are extremely low res and everything is just blurry. Looks like they are shooting for a modern equivalent, rather than going for the best IQ.

RE: Awesome!
By degobah77 on 1/22/2013 11:22:06 AM , Rating: 2
Having just played Far Cry 3 on my Xbox and Crysis 2 on my PC, equipped with a GeForce 570, I am impressed on how well the what, 8??, year old Xbox still holds up to recent PC games.

Yeah, if you stop and smell the roses, you're going to notice pop-in, shorter draw distances, and lower res textures, but overall, it still looks great and you will hardly notice when you're running around blowing everything up. That's been my experience at least, and I game on both platforms equally.

RE: Awesome!
By retrospooty on 1/22/2013 11:51:24 AM , Rating: 3
I guess it did hold up well for 7 years old, but I still think it looks like horse shiz compared to even an old PC. Even on an old game like COD4 Modern warefare (that wasnt a graphics powerhouse to begin with). I can go to the same map on the same TV (1080p hooked up to my PC and my PS3) and look at the same scene. On an old Radeon HD 4460 vs. PS3. It looks like blurry crap compared to the PC.

There is plenty CPU on these consoles, I would like to see better GPU so we arent in the same boat in a few years with a GPU that lacks.

RE: Awesome!
By Beavermatic on 1/22/2013 2:57:51 PM , Rating: 4
has nothing to do with how well consoles hold up... they cut ALOT of corners to do that holding up.

It's how they are HOLDING US BACK. Our machines are leaps and eons over console technology even on a new consoles launch day.

And yet, we are stuck with mjaority of games being shoddy console ports, where they developed at the console hardware's expense, and thus, our system sit and suffer from the lack of 90% the performance and improvements in game technology that could be used.

FOR YEARS ON END. All because it's a cheaper alternative that a monkey could run. There's no innovation in it. When I was growing up, I had to build, configure, customize, network, learn, etc. There is none of that in a console. It's just making prodigies that could be in their prime technological years dumb as rocks. Just sofa zombies. Nothing productive.

And unfortunately, since its so widespread, its become the primary cash cow, and thats where developers will develop for... making them lazy in the process... not looking into exploring a wider range of features and technology.

And sadly, alot of great developers have migrated there with no intention of turning back as PC being their primary platoform.

Eventually... you'll see the hardware manufacturers start slacking if they have not already. Why put out a new CPU or GPU anymore when less and less are buying them? Why not just sit back and rest for a few years before hardware releases since developers aren't even really investing time into it?

It's bad all around. And lazy.

RE: Awesome!
By augiem on 1/22/2013 4:00:01 PM , Rating: 2
Problem is, when you and I were growing up, games were still relatively simple to develop and sold to a relatively small audience. I don't know about the early and mid 90's, but even by 1999 the average cost to develop a game was $1 - $4 million. Fast forward to today and we're seeing games like GTA 4 cost $100 million. On top of that, the cost of buying the games has gone down over time as well considering inflation/cost of living. It takes economies of scale to fund that HUGE increase in cost of development. That invariably means a watering-down effect will take place because only the mass market has enough consumers to fuel those demands. The mass market is NEVER on the cutting edge nor is it targeted at enthusiasts.

We gamers/techno geeks who grew up with this stuff are not the target audience anymore. It's not going to change. Cest la vie.

RE: Awesome!
By augiem on 1/22/2013 4:02:31 PM , Rating: 2
"nor is it targeted at enthusiasts." should read "nor is it made up of enthusiasts."

RE: Awesome!
By nikon133 on 1/22/2013 5:35:38 PM , Rating: 2
That is called free market. Developer releases multiplatform game on XB, PS and PC. If console versions sell more (and it seems they usually do), developer will put more focus/time/resources on console version next time, and after that.

It is naïve to think that disappearance of consoles would bring everyone back to PC. Majority of people simply want to play games, not to tinker with hardware. More people would move from consoles to tablets/smartphones/iPods… than to PCs, and that would hurt gaming even more.

I’m building my computers since early ’90, and really enjoy it. A few days ago I upgraded my gaming PC from C2Q to new iCore, and had my first Z77 chipset MoBo. On system shutdown, NIC would remain active and, for some reason, confuse my router so that other computers on LAN would drop network and Internet connectivity. While gaming PC was up and running, other machines would run without network issues. I think of myself as reasonably clued about hardware, still it took me solid 2 hours to figure this out how to disable WoL as feature doesn’t exist in motherboard’s EFI. EFI has “wake on kbd” and “wake on mouse” options, but no wake on lan. However, if you ENABLE ERP feature, it will in return disable all wake on… features, including wake on lan. Logical, isn’t it? I actually enjoyed the challenge, but for someone who just wants to run machine and play a game, it would be mighty frustrating. And then there are driver updates, game, OS, AV, PunkBuster… patches, and then there are Steam, Origin, uPlay… updates. All in all, hardly a user friendly environment for someone who just wants to play a game.

And then, of course, MS and Sony go an extra mile to secure exclusive titles and developers. I was hoping that MS initiative “Games for Windows” will bring some order (and fine-tuned, optimized extraordinary titles) to PC gaming, but it didn’t happen. Probably due to MS dedication to Xbox… but still, it is a shame that PC manufacturers like Intel, AMD, nVidia, Creative, TurtleBeach, Cooler Master, Thermaltake and all other, especially high-end enthusiast brands… didn’t find it important to create some kind of consortium and put some money into securing more exclusive developers and titles for the platform.

RE: Awesome!
By retrospooty on 1/22/2013 5:36:17 PM , Rating: 2
"It's how they are HOLDING US BACK"

That's a good point. Image quality on consoles is so dumbed down its not even funny. It appears to be holding up for 7 years, because that is the hardware that is being developed to. Oh well. I guess a 1+ year old mid range card is still a hell of alot better than a 7 year old mid range card.

RE: Awesome!
By degobah77 on 1/23/2013 10:18:06 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of times, when I get home from work, I don't WANT to "build, configure, customize, network, learn, etc.". I want to sit down in my living room, turn my TV on, press play, and start blowing things up.

Other times, I will turn to my PC and do whatever is necessary to download, install, patch, get the latest drivers, adjust video options, or anything else I might POSSIBLY have to do to play a PC game. Not like any of that is a big deal, but I can see how some might not want to deal with it.

That being said, I don't think consoles are holding PC gaming back at all, I game equally on both and have no qualms with either platform. Also, it's already been stated elsewhere in this thread - consoles don't NEED to have the latest and greatest tech because developers can squeeze more out of dedicated hardware than is cost effective to go cutting edge. They may have cut a lot of corners to get Far Cry 3 to look as good as it did on the 360, but the gaming experience (audio and video) was still superb...

...and it looked even better on the PC, so everyone is a happy camper. I hope both platforms continue to press forward because I would like to enjoy both. That doesn't make me a sofa zombie, it makes me a choice zombie.

RE: Awesome!
By DanNeely on 1/22/2013 1:25:11 PM , Rating: 2
The economics for selling a console equivalent to a godlike PC for a several hundred dollar/device loss in the initial years just aren't present anymore (and AFAIK hurt Sony/MS's bottom lines for a lot longer than expected the last go around). Instead, based on the leaked specs what's being claimed for the XBox720 looks like a core doubled and downclocked version of AMDs current trinity chips. Since that architecture launched in May of last year I suspect by the time the 720 is out it'll be in the same ballpark as then AMD's current chips.

RE: Awesome!
By retrospooty on 1/22/2013 2:52:27 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't have to be "godlike". In fact all around I'd say its plenty powerful, with the possible exception of the GPU. then again, "rumors" are not specs, so well have to wait and see... Rumors are showing up all over that both consoles will use something in the range of a Radeon HD 6650-6670, which is a mid-low card and will be 2 gens old, if not 3 by the time they come out.

RE: Awesome!
By AnnihilatorX on 1/22/2013 11:08:19 AM , Rating: 3
Consoles and customer stupidity are the sole reason PC games are dying, not piracy.

It's well known consoles drag down quality of PC games. I for one are excited at the slight emergence of good PC games recently after current gen consoles show their age.

People don't realize, while consoles have cheap upfront cost, PC games are nearly half the price of console counterparts and they will save more money in the long run getting a capable PC or laptop, and even use them for other things.

RE: Awesome!
By Flunk on 1/22/2013 11:15:49 AM , Rating: 3
You need a Steam account, PC games aren't dying, there is a vibrant community online and plenty of great new games, although not all of them come from established publishers. Steam is a great way to get great games cheap and easily.

RE: Awesome!
By retrospooty on 1/22/2013 1:02:39 PM , Rating: 3
They arent dying, but defintely not mainstrream anymore. It used to be a top tier game would be developed for PC. Later, top games were developed primarily for PC and consoles as a secondary. Now consoles are where its at as far as top tier game development with PC being the afterthought. A few do favor PC, but for the most part, its all about consoles.

RE: Awesome!
By TakinYourPoints on 1/22/2013 4:27:04 PM , Rating: 2
This is certainly true, but a part of it is due to console makers funding exclusives.

The problem with AAA game development putting a ceiling on how it will look on a PC is true, but another problem is the sheer cost of making a game. AAA titles are unbelievable risks these days and the majority of them fail. This is one reason why you're seeing such a move to "smaller" titles on PC and mobile.

Established console franchises like CoD, Halo, Gears, Assassin's Creed, and God Of War, are only a few of the that can get away with megabudgets, and half of those are published (and partly funded) by the console manufacturer that they are exclusive to.

As for the PC being a niche platform, I wouldn't call almost 60 million Steam accounts compared to about 40 million XBox Live accounts a niche, nor would I call League Of Legends being played more than even Call Of Duty or Halo a niche. There are just lots of choices that go beyond AAA games that are mostly on-rails experiences anyway.

Anyway, most "smaller" games are better these days. I hate the trend towards on-rails gameplay, super boring. One of the best games from last year was FTL, an indie made by two guys, and I've put an absolutely unreasonable amount of time put into DOTA 2 over the last year. :)

RE: Awesome!
By Flunk on 1/22/2013 11:13:28 AM , Rating: 1
Considering what they can do with the old 3.2Ghz 3 core PowerPC and crippled Radeon 2900 they have in the current XBox this should be preitty good.

I am excite, hopefully my PC games will come in Directx 11.1 now and I'll have a great excuse to upgrade my computer hardware in a few years.

RE: Awesome!
By DanNeely on 1/22/2013 11:35:36 AM , Rating: 2
Steam hardware survey is only ~50% DX11 capable up from ~25% 18 mo ago; so it'll probably be another year or two before DX11 only becomes common. DX9 only systems are still around 10%.

RE: Awesome!
By Arsynic on 1/22/13, Rating: 0
RE: Awesome!
By Jeffk464 on 1/22/2013 3:19:41 PM , Rating: 2
Can't wait to buy something my PC had years ago

Yup, consuls have had a negative impact on the PC market, sucks.

RE: Awesome!
By nikon133 on 1/22/2013 5:00:02 PM , Rating: 3
Your PC had Forza Motorsport franchise, Halo 3 and above, Gears of War 2 and above, Tekken, Soul Blade, Dead or Alive, Fable 2 and above..? :)

Consoles are about exclusive games, not about who can lift more weight. Having latest and most powerful hardware is great, but it doesn't help if games you'd like to play don't exist on the platform.

Beside that, it is unfair to compare consoles and PC only on hardware level. While console hardware is way behind PC, games running on consoles are nothing like games we could run on equivalent PCs - 512MB of combined RAM and VRAM, 7800GTX class graphics... what consoles lack in raw power, they compensate with optimization.

While it is becoming obvious that next gen consoles will be behind current PC hardware, I am confident that top titles, especially exclusives, will be as good or better looking than what top PC titles will be offering, at least for a few years. I don't know if this is due to laziness of PC developers, platform complexity (too many configuration variations), lack of time/resources to give that extra polish accessible to relatively low number of high end PCs only... but this scenario seems to be repeating after release of every new generation of consoles.

RE: Awesome!
By ie5x on 1/22/2013 9:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
Nope! I bet this still won't support NTFS format USB drives :).

RE: Awesome!
By TakinYourPoints on 1/23/2013 5:54:12 AM , Rating: 2
Consoles are static platforms, it doesn't work the same way.

Developers learn to milk every last bit of performance the deeper into a console's lifecycle it gets, so much so that the best looking games come out right at the end. Compare a launch PS2 game like The Bouncer with God Of War 2, it is a multigenerational leap in quality. GOW2 pushed the PS2 to the absolute limit but it stood up surprisingly well even against competing XBox 360 games of 2007.

The same can be said for some 360 games, Halo 4 looks much better than Halo 3 did, ditto all of the Gears sequels looking much better than the prior one, etc.

Obviously there are limitations to deal with. Max texture sizes are a huge problem right now due to very limited RAM on both the 360 and PS3, but at the same time you cannot make a direct comparison to the PC. While a 2012 PC would demolish a console game (I should know since I play console ports from my PC to my HDTV at max settings), a PC from 2006 would not be able to run the latest games that an XBox 360 can at similar settings or framerate.

Talking about console specs on a 1:1 basis with the PC doesn't make sense given that there is so much more optimization going on there. A static console platform (or any other embedded system for that matter) can be milked far more than a moving target like the PC. That leans on brute force to compensate for more overhead, less optimization, etc.

RE: Awesome!
By SlyNine on 1/27/2013 2:01:34 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry but a 1900XT and Athlon X2 made the games of the time look better. For example, oblivion. I really do not remember console games looking better in general. Besides Madden and NFS most wanted, which were purposely gimped for the PC. PC games were running at higher res and better frame rates.

The 360 was not a 1900XT, contrary to popular belief. It's CPU was a gimped Power PC. Just like PS3 was a gimped Cell. Even tho there were better optimization's, PC games still held the mantel.

By dubldwn on 1/22/2013 12:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
The next-generation Xbox GPU is reportedly a custom D3D 11.1 class unit running at 800 MHz with 12 shader cores and 768 total threads.

I’m not sure about the GPU nomenclature in the article…is it safe to say a 7870 has 20 “shader cores” and 1280 “total threads?” So this is 60% of a 7870 running at 80% of a 7870’s clock speed?

By augiem on 1/22/2013 3:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
I'm curious about this too. But looking at Wikipedia's article on the Radeon R1000 family at, the 7870 has 1280 Unified shaders, 80 TMUs, and 32 ROPs. When the article says "shader cores", are they referring to TMUs?

By dubldwn on 1/22/2013 5:03:12 PM , Rating: 3
No a 7870 has 1280 shader processors in 20 compute units (not TMU’s)

7850 has 1024 shader processors in 16 compute units
7770 has 640 shader processors in 8 compute units

*I think* this next xbox gpu will have 768 shader processors in 12 compute units

So, inbetween a 7770 and 7850.

By augiem on 1/22/2013 6:25:56 PM , Rating: 2
Ahh, thanks. That might be a nice column to add to the wikipedia article (

According to this page
the 7770 has 640 shader processors in 10 compute units and runs at 1GHz. So I'd guess maybe slightly better than a 7770, considering its running at a lower clock but has more shader procs.

By dubldwn on 1/22/2013 7:10:43 PM , Rating: 2
oooops you're right...10. 64*10=640! 7750 has 8.

By augiem on 1/23/2013 12:31:14 AM , Rating: 2
Okay, so looks we can basically expect Radeon 7770 performance. Theoretical max calculations per second is roughly equal.
"The Radeon HD 7770’s 1 GHz Cape Verde GPU employs all 640 available shaders, theoretically yielding 1.28 TFLOPS of compute performance"

From the VGLeaks article linked above (link was incorrect)
at peak performance, the GPU can effectively issue 1.2 trillion floating-point operations per second

By inighthawki on 1/22/2013 4:18:54 PM , Rating: 2
That may be the case, but believe it or not, the amount of performance gain you can get by optimizing your entire platform for a specific card can be enormous. Running at almost 50% the speed of a 7870 may still produce comparable results.

Dear Wii Haters
By inperfectdarkness on 1/22/2013 4:11:43 PM , Rating: 1

RE: Dear Wii Haters
By retrospooty on 1/22/2013 6:21:59 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder what its like in your world.

RE: Dear Wii Haters
By Cannyone on 1/22/2013 7:21:46 PM , Rating: 2
My guess is that its not very pretty... =P

RE: Dear Wii Haters
By retrospooty on 1/23/2013 7:33:52 AM , Rating: 3
It's bad enough that any time you say anything negative about a company you are labelled a "hater" and if positive a "fanboy" (Sometimes its just an opinion FFS) .... But this guy is having a whole imaginary conflict in his head that no-one else is having. LOL...

By kedesh on 1/22/2013 5:18:50 PM , Rating: 3
Try playing Planetside 2 on console, or a full featured MMO. even the next gen consoles won't be able to process thousands of players on 1 server. PC gaming will never die, it will only evolve. hopefully VR headsets like the rift will become mainstream.

RE: Ps2
By nikon133 on 1/22/2013 5:48:45 PM , Rating: 3
I'm open-minded about this. While console hardware does limit multiplayer in most of cases, once in a while you run across game like MAG that could have up to 256 players on single map. It wasn't the best looking game on PS3, but so isn't Planetside 2 on my PC.

It is harder to fit hundreds of players and big maps in 256MB of RAM for sure, but not impossible.

Consoles already have most of requirements for MMOs - HDDs, LAN access, standard voice channel built in gaming services... If next gen comes with standard Intel/AMD multicore CPUs and enough RAM, I see no reason why likes of Planetside 2 would not be possible on them.

About the spec
By evolucion8 on 1/23/2013 12:12:46 AM , Rating: 1
Since it says that the threads are independent in each core, seems that it is based on AMD
s Module approach, as Intel's Hyperthreading is tied to one core sharing two threads, but the 12 shader/768 thread doesn't make sense, I do believe that it some sort of Radeon HD 7850 derivated GPU with 768 GCN cores and may be 12 ROP's or whatever that 12 means.

RE: About the spec
By fteoath64 on 1/25/2013 1:23:42 AM , Rating: 2
Well, lets see, scaled down Piledriver cores with double Trinity GCNs and 12 ROPs. Makes a decent scalable box. Maybe 2x graphics performance over current but will makes a great node on a server farm!.

By talikarni on 1/28/2013 6:21:23 PM , Rating: 2
With prices dropping fast on SSDs, I would hope that 64-128GB of onboard storage should be standard, with hard drive options for 500GB or larger drives (including options for several SSD drive sizes).

Granted optical media is still the choke point with any system, PC or console, so the "install to hard drive" should be a much welcomed addition, at least for the owners most played games like what the PS3 already does with certain games.

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