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New console is expected to feature an octacore CPU, support for 50 GB Blu-Ray disc

Gaming magazine Edge is the latest to leak details on the hardware and software plans for Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) upcoming home-gaming console, code-named "next generation Xbox" or "Xbox 720".  

I. Xbox 720 -- Death of the Used Game?

Perhaps most interesting, the Edge report claims that Microsoft is preparing to come down hard on the used game market (a market customers love, but developers/console-makers hate because they don't get a cut).  

Games will be sold (optionally) on physical media -- 50 GB Blu-Ray discs (surely Blu-Ray kingpin Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) is pleased with that).  But to play the game you will have to have your console connected to the internet.  And each game will be uniquely associated to your Xbox Live account.  While the hacker crowd may be able to come up with elaborate workarounds, for most users that spells essentially a death sentence to second-hand or used games.

Used Xbox 360 games
The Xbox 720 will no longer allowed used games, reportedly. [Image Source: Multiplayer]

The Edge report echoes previous rumors on the hardware front, suggesting the console will carry a 1.6 GHz octa-core x64 CPU.  

However, it puts a face on the chip, suggesting that the CPU will be manufactured by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) and is code-named Liverpool.  The console is also expected to pack a D3D11.x 800MHz graphics solution and 8GB of DDR3 RAM.

II. Developers Say PS4 is Easier to Develop For

While Nintendo Comp., Ltd. (TYO:7974) continues to be the market's quirky character with its hot-selling Wii U -- which launched last holiday season, featuring a more minimalist hardware spec and novel mini-tablet-based gaming -- Sony and Microsoft's next generation consoles are on the surface very similar.

Most reports indicate that both consoles will launch this holiday season, although a handful of reports have suggested an early launch sometime this spring/summer.  And both consoles carry a PC-like architecture.  This is a major shift for Sony, which reportedly admitted internally that it "messed up" with the PS3's more custom console architecture (versus a more PC-like hardware design).

Sony's PlayStation 4 is expected to carry 8 GB of DDR3, like Microsoft's Xbox 720.  Sony's "Durango" development kits.  AMD is expected to use the same Liverpool CPU, as well.  But where as Microsoft's GPU source has not been clarified, rumors indicate the PS4 will pack an AMD "R10XX" architecture GPU chip.

The upcoming PS4 is allegedly more powerful and easier to develop for than the Xbox 720.
[Image Source: Gamasutra]

According to Edge's industry sources, the PS4 is "slightly more powerful" and "very simple to work with."  The Xbox 720 is reportedly slightly harder to develop for with the current kits, a reversal of last generation's trends.

That could spell trouble for Microsoft.  However, Microsoft has some tricks up its sleeve, such as a next generation version of its Kinect motion controller and an improved version of its already thriving Xbox Live online gaming network.

Sources: Edge [1], [2]

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RE: Good
By augiem on 2/6/2013 3:11:36 PM , Rating: 1
Good god! There IS one person on the web who can still think! ;)

RE: Good
By ClownPuncher on 2/6/2013 3:34:56 PM , Rating: 3
Correct, but it certainly isn't the guy above you.

RE: Good
By augiem on 2/6/2013 6:22:33 PM , Rating: 1
The tidal wave of entitlement is staggering.

RE: Good
By tng on 2/6/2013 6:50:43 PM , Rating: 3
...developers spend the money to hire the people... Those people get paid by that company... All that costs money... the developer has bills to pay...
Funny, where I work, we have mechanical engineers, software engineers, manufacturing personnel, accounting, etc...

All of whom make a fairly large sum of money for what they do and when a machine goes out the door we can count on parts and service sales and other income over the lifetime of the tool, but when that machine is sold to another customer we don't brick the software in it until we get a fee! It is just unethical.

If it is a question of licensing as opposed to buying that is one thing. No where at any checkout counter was I ever told that I was being licensed to use, but buying.

RE: Good
By ClownPuncher on 2/6/2013 6:52:37 PM , Rating: 3

That's not a word you know the definition to.

RE: Good
By augiem on 2/7/2013 4:26:11 AM , Rating: 1
But you, sir, most certainly do. You need only look in the mirror.

RE: Good
By ClownPuncher on 2/7/2013 5:43:25 PM , Rating: 2
What did I say I was entitled to? What are you even talking about?

If you're going to debate, put some effort into it. Otherwise you bore me.

RE: Good
By augiem on 2/8/2013 2:41:32 AM , Rating: 2
I put the same effort forth as you did.

Entitlement. That's not a word you know the definition to.

This is debate? Try again.

RE: Good
By ClownPuncher on 2/8/13, Rating: 0
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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