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Anticipation Grows for the Xbox 720

/ Oct 21st, 2012 9 Comments

XBOX 720
XBOX 720

XBOX 720

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.

Bryan Haag

Bryan Haag

Associate Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Bryan is a newcomer to Gaming Illustrated and focuses on industry topics.
Bryan Haag
Bryan Haag

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9 responses to “Anticipation Grows for the Xbox 720”

  1. superunamused says:

    These idiot companies would do well to make a gaming console of modular design. The graphics processing unit could be designed to be removable. Then MS or Sony could sell graphic processor upgrades. So you can pull out your old one, drop in a new one. They could even offer a discount for trading the old one and and recycling the parts further reducing manufacturing costs.

    This would make a console far more profitable in the long run because they can sell “upgrades” year after year. And people will pay 100 bucks or so a year to upgrade the graphics on their console.

    So over the 7 year lifespan that’s almost a thousand bucks they could of made off each Xbox.

    • Jeff says:

      Fantastic Idea.

    • ifonly says:

      This has already been done. It’s called a gaming PC. I have contemplated the same for gaming consoles, but in the long run, it simply is not scalable and the up-front costs would probably be higher in reality. Unless the hardware becomes proprietary (which means more expensive for consumers), then the idea of a motherboard being able to support a processor for even as little as 2 or 3 years down the line isn’t very likely. A motherboard 2 or 3 years out of date would probably limit the functionality of the CPU or GPU, hence at least partially defeating the idea of such an upgrade.

      How often do you even upgrade the CPU in your PC? I know I don’t. When it comes to that point, I usually upgrade to a completely new system because by then, there’s other reasons to get a new system other than the processor (faster PCIe bus for GPU, faster speed SATA controllers, etc.). Also, many people buy gaming consoles for it’s simplicity, I could imagine a lot of people not being comfortable with doing this to their gaming consoles.

    • daniel m says:

      They could call it, “The PC”.

      Also I should point out the obvious problems you would have with some people upgrading and others not. Then game makers making games that only work on certain versions of the hardware, and you would be like “Oh cool, you have the new xbox, but what version is it?” The idea is nice, but I bet only half of people at best keep upgrading. Also, consumers like a new device. Way more wow factor than, “buy this new graphics card or become outdated.”

    • Andrew says:

      I agree with the comments that state how this is a poor idea, as it basically will cause the consoles to turn into PC’s that need upgrading.

      Part of the reason that many people (myself included) prefer console gaming is due to being able to look at new games, and not having to think “Oh, when that comes out, will my console be able to handle it?” Consoles are designed to be a self-contained item, that doesn’t require constant upgrading to keep up with everything.

  2. I disagree says:

    That’s a bad idea only because:
    1.) People are not going to want the hassle of buying new parts for their system
    2.) Game developers are not going to like the constantly changing work platform.
    3.) Would everyone need a specific upgrade for the newest games? If not, would they have to set different graphic settings for everyone’s different GPUs?

  3. Py says:

    Brillant.

  4. pimpmaster says:

    ha good luck with the games only working on the first console they are placed in. thats like buying a cd and it only work’s on the first cd player you put it in. the only way they could do that is by selling the copies of games digitally!!!! it would never stand up in court.

  5. Hambeast says:

    game companies would never allow upgradable hard drives. a game relased one year would be outdated by the second year. game companies wouldnt be able to keep up, releasing upgrades for their games every year, i wouldnt be able to keep up with that as a consumer either. by the time i got around to paying all my bills and saving a little money to buy the upgrade the next upgrade would be out and i would be behind once again. its a fantastic idea but unlikely

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