The story always was that the Xbox 360 would be a long lasting console.
And while it’s now six years old, from the way Microsoft was talking about the launch of Kinect last year – designed to refresh the console for another good period of time – we weren’t expecting the next Xbox any time soon.
The latest rumours, however, are pitching the Xbox 720 (as many have dubbed it for convenience sake) for a 2013 release, albeit late in the year. Two years time, basically, which is certainly conceivable, although the minimum time-frame we had been considering.
The Xbox 360 will be eight years old then, so it’ll have had a good run. Far longer than the original Xbox which just fell short of a reign of four years; twice as long, in fact.
Where does this rumour come from? Xbox World (via CVG) spoke with developers who are apparently already preparing big franchises for their next outing on the Xbox 720, come the launch.
The games in question being Forza 5, Fable 4, Alan Wake 2 (hurray, we always wanted a sequel, and figured one wasn’t coming now) and Saints Row 4.
So, what can be expected from the next Xbox? A much heftier processor and GPU, that’s a given, which will produce full HD graphics to keep pace with what PCs can achieve now (just look at Battlefield 3 trailers on high details).
Bundled motion control, perhaps? That depends on whether MS wants to continue to chomp at the casual Wii market, as was the intention with Kinect. Or perhaps the Xbox with Kinect will be repositioned as the casual family console, with the 720 for core gamers?
We’d also imagine that the games might go fully digital and downloadable.
Microsoft may well unveil the skinny when it comes to next year’s E3. Let’s hope so.
Of course, with the Xbox 720 on the cards, the PS4 won’t be far off either. Not if Sony’s got any sense.