Anticipation Grows for the Xbox 720
Bryan Haag / Oct 21st, 2012 9 Comments
With the Xbox 360 hitting its 7th year on the market fans must be wondering, “When is the next installment?” Colloquially called the Xbox 720 by the gaming community, Microsoft’s new system is rumored to make a variety of software changes and contain some much-needed hardware upgrades.
Currently pegged for a Christmas 2013 release date, the Xbox 720 will be Microsoft’s 5th generation gaming console. It has been seven years since the release of the Xbox 360 in 2005, and since then such a large jump has been made in technology that the 360 can no longer keep up with the capabilities of modern gaming computers. The addition of the Kinect bought a few years of life for our beloved console, but the 360 is suffering from seven-year-old hardware. Due to its limitations many developers have been struggling to improve the graphics of some of our favorite titles. Studios like Bethesda, responsible for the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, curbed the graphics on The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim due to the limitations on the Xbox 360’s graphic capabilities in order for the system to handle such a large game.
[adsense250itp]As far as rumors about the mysterious Xbox 720, various outlets have reported earlier this year that the next generation of Xbox would be upgrading to Blu-ray instead of using the standard DVD drive. This is a great turn of events for gamers that enjoy large titles such as L.A. Noire, which had to ship with multiple discs to accommodate the size of the game. With the adaptation of Blu-ray, games as large as 50 gigabytes will be able to be stored on a single disc. These updates finally bring Microsoft up to speed with Sony’s PS3, which has used a Blu-ray player since its release.
In the weeks after E3 2012, rumors began circulating about the Xbox Surface. Speculation seems to suggest that Microsoft may be planning a tablet to compete with Apple’s iPad (which has been confirmed and had pricing set this past week), which may have some kind of connection to the Xbox 720. Some of the more notable specs are a 7-inch LED touch screen, 1440p video and 250 gigabytes of storage. Perhaps this is Microsoft’s way of competing with Nintendo’s Wii U, which hits stores on November 18th and takes an idea from the Gamecube’s Gameboy Advance connection by implementing controllers with a touch screen capable of detaching from the system.
While we are on rumors about the Xbox 720, one was leaked to Kotaku in early 2012, suggesting that the Xbox 720 will be implementing a system that blocks used games from being played on that console. Microsoft may be borrowing a strategy from Activision/Blizzard and its product key method to prevent the resale of games. If Microsoft were to implement some kind of key-based game technique it would severely affect businesses like Gamestop and EB Games, which thrive on the 2nd hand resale of games.
What can be expected from the next generation Xbox? The titles are in development, but which ones are hard to know. Gamers can mostly likely expect the big hitters; titles like Call of Duty, 343’s new take on the Halo franchise, Elder Scrolls and all the big studios must have something up their sleeve for the release next Christmas season.
tags: microsoft , rumors , xbox , xbox 720