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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 eagle470 on 2/6/2013 3:42:20 PM , Rating: -1
Really? Because last I checked Meineke was an auto repair shop. How do you plan to resell my services?

Care to try again?

RE: Good
By ClownPuncher on 2/6/2013 4:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
My fault.

Either way, you're still comparing apples to oranges. Developers make a product to sell. Developers are also not usually the ones who profit from a games sales, that would be the publisher. Most of the time, royalties do not get back to the developer unless the developer is a subsidiary of the publisher. Developers are often paid for a contract and then their job is done.

Not that I would condone piracy, I don't.

-your services often add value to the car, and that car can be sold for a higher price.

RE: Good
By eagle470 on 2/6/2013 4:19:48 PM , Rating: 2
Negatory, My services usually kept the car running, the car was always depreciating in value. Of course I worked in a rather poor area, it was kind of sad sometimes....But I digress.

The developer wouldn't have a job if it weren't for the publisher though, so how can you justify screwing over the publisher, when if they go out of business, the developer no longer has contracts to win.

RE: Good
By Rukkian on 2/6/2013 5:06:56 PM , Rating: 3
Then the developers should make something that is not crap that I may want to keep for more than a month. If I pay $60 for a game, I should own it. If you want to go to a service where I pay $5/ month for a game, then fine, but if I have to pay $60, then have no rights to unload it to another fool when the game sucks (as most seem to nowadays), then you can get bent.

I will stop buying games at full price, plain and simple as the value is not longer there, and I am betting I will not be the only one.

RE: Good
By Reclaimer77 on 2/6/2013 5:20:59 PM , Rating: 2
Also nobody is talking about micro-transactions!!! Every game is heading that way these days. Even used games can be profitable with micro-transactions.

RE: Good
By ClownPuncher on 2/6/2013 7:02:37 PM , Rating: 2
So, a car that doesn't work has the same value as one that does?

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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