Xbox 720 Rumors Range from the Unlikely (Blu-ray) to the Unreasonable (Anti-Used Games Mechanism)

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Lindino08

I think Microsoft should release two different consoles. Like the Core and Elite but with a little bigger price jump; it was kind of a joke the last round paying 100 dollars more for an extra 100GB and an HDMI port. The Core like last time should be the low cost lower end unit. Where the Elite has more top of the line hardware. Give the consumer some choices. I don't see the next Xbox hanging around for 5-6 years with the specs they are giving. You'll slowly keep seeing people heading to the PC if this is the case.

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bpstone

I would prefer them release a single fully loaded model rather than have two to three other stripped down ones to choose from. There a lot of families who cannot afford a gaming PC. When you consider how many games are ported nowadays, it does not seem as worth it anymore. Now I like playing on a decked out rig. Most everyday people do not give a rat's ### about having a high-end PC at all. They would buy it for a cheap few hundred dollars then play it with their children during some leisure time; most likely more on the weekends. I doubt PC will ever become the elephant in the room until the performance price ratio improves for the typical family or individual.

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TheMiddleman

If the new Xbox contains a physical drive at all, it will most certainly be a Bluray drive. To say otherwise is absolutely asinine. If developers are forced to cram future titles into the outdated confines of a ten year old format like DVD-9, they will flat out revolt and refuse to code for said console. Price is no longer a hurdle, as BD drives go for less now than DVD drives went for at the 360's launch, and including that capability into their next console would allow it to directly compete with Sony's current and future consoles in both the physical media market as well as digital.

Going with a DVD drive, or god forbid a completely new proprietary drive, would be absolute suicide, and that's all there is to it.

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dgrmouse

"If the new Xbox contains a physical drive at all, it will most certainly be a Bluray drive. To say otherwise is absolutely asinine."

Whoa there, tiger. I'm pretty sure a hard drive is a physical drive, and I'm also pretty sure that going forward, all MS consoles are going to have one.

That said, I believe you're wrong about the proprietary optical drive. Proprietary discs in proprietary drives with proprietary connectors and proprietary formats can go a long way to slow piracy. The more commodity parts they use in their device, the more likely it is that some part of the trusted platform will become compromised, and I suspect that is an issue that MS is taking very seriously.

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pazinboise

I'm sure what ever graphics the xBox 720 uses will be an upgrade from the current system and will probably please the average xbox customer. We all know that a PCs kick the crap out of consoles when it comes to performance (plus they are tons of fun to build and upgrade) but remember there are a few reasons why many people prefer consoles and why they are still the most popular platform to game on:

1. Cost - Consoles cost less than gaming PCs. Even if the next-gen consoles launch at ps3 like prices ($500-$600) they will still be only as expensive as budget gaming rigs like the ones our friends her at MaximumPC build yearly. Sure Gaming PCs can have more horsepower and offer the ability to upgrade over time but those things cost $$$ and for the average-joe consumer it something they are not looking to spend money on yearly. You could argue that PC games can be found for cheaper but all AAA titles release for the same price. As far as cheap games go, like the ones steam has during its winter sale, consoles equivalent to that would be the vast number of used games that can be found in stores and online.

2. Standardized performance - With consoles you do not have to worry about performance issues related to what hardware you are running. If I buy Forza I know it will play exactly the same on any xbox and for many consumers that brings them peace of mind. So even if the next gen xbox has a weaker graphic platform than most gaming PCs are running the performance will be standardized for all its users and thus no one will have to worry about upgrading their GPUs ever 2 years because they could afford a $600 GPU that would last them 5 years.

3. Availability - while sometimes games and consoles may be hard to track down due to high demand (anyone who bought a Wii the first 2 years it was out knows what I'm talking about) consoles, their accessories, and games can by found at far more retail locations and at competitive prices. Of course with the internet buy PC equipment isn't hard at all but many people want to get what they want at brick and mortar joints.

With that being said I know it's fun to knock the new xbox for specs that it is suppose to have but remember buying a console is like buy a budget gaming PC and that's about the performance you get out of one.

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vrmlbasic

"As far as cheap games go, like the ones steam has during its winter sale, consoles equivalent to that would be the vast number of used games that can be found in stores and online."

Perhaps, but this very article contains a rumor that the "Xbox 720" won't allow used games to be properly played.

I can't say that I like the idea of consoles continuing to stand against technological progress, reducing the demand for greater and greater graphics cards rather artificially, and while I believe that your point on the "average joe" being reluctant to be on the cutting edge of tech, I remember Skyrim and Deus Ex: Human Revolution on the console and on the PC. The PC had vastly improved graphics and load times, but it was also obvious how the games had to be gimped as so that they could run on the consoles. Had Deus Ex been on PC first and foremost, the levels could have been larger and more populated, more "organic" if you will.

My PC has as much RAM as 32 xbox 360s. There is NO excuse for Lower Hengsha to have to be broken up into several tiny "districts", each with their own load screen. (Thankfully the SSD turns the xbox's 20-40 second load screens into 2-10 second screens. :)

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jedisamurai

Software publishers hate used games, but ultimately will just shoot themselves in the foot. It's just like the passes they want you to buy to play multiplayer. Some people can afford them, and some people can't. Those who can't will either not buy the pass...or not buy the game. Simple as that.

I'm not planning on buying ANY of the new systems anyway, but consoles do not need nearly as much power to look good as a PC does. I have a quad-core AMD with 3 gigs of ram and a 9800GT graphics card...and my Xbox 360 looks MUCH better. That said it will be interesting to see how the next generation plays out.

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dgrmouse

"I have a quad-core AMD with 3 gigs of ram and a 9800GT graphics card...and my Xbox 360 looks MUCH better."

Then something is wrong with your PC or your monitor.

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bling581

He's playing at 800x600.

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TheMiddleman

Those passes don't mean a damn to me, as I'm too old to be dealing with hatred-spewing 14 year olds anyway. I buy games for the single player, and that's it.

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andrewc513

While that is true(optimized OS/hypervisor compensates for less GPU/CPU power), the Xbox 360's Xenos, which is exquavalent to a Radeon X1850/X1950, was relatively high end at the time of the console's launch. The 720 rumor is placing a 2012 low/mid-range card into a 2013 console. It will suffice at first, but will struggle to have the longevity of the 360 unless they play with the specs before launch time for the 720.

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Holly Golightly

Xbox Ten...

Don't believe in the rumors... You are only going to set yourself up for disappointment. No, It will not be halographic, no it will not have an octocore processor, no it will not have the latest GPU, no it will not support blu-ray, no it will not have 8GB of ram. Consoles are about affordability, and not about state-of-the-art performance anymore.

Xbox 10...

Why does everybody keep calling it the Xbox 720? That is by far the most retarded guesstimate name ever. They are not going to follow the same steps Sony used in naming their consoles. That is why they went with 360 in the first place. We should say "the upcoming xbox" or "the next generation xbox" or something different.

Xbox X

Oookay, Microsoft clearly stated they wanted to make the Xbox the next set top box for the entire family to enjoy. Not aimed for hardcore gamers like myself. So what is the point?

Xbox |||| ||||

Everybody knows the future way of gaming is PC gaming, not cheap limited consoles. Sorry, but it is the truth.

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devin3627

so the pc i have already supports xbox 720 graphics.

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kixofmyg0t

The GPU in the Xbox 720 only needs to be powerful enough for 1080p. Think about it. Nobody has a TV that goes beyond that(and won't for years).

But the most important consideration is power draw and heat. Of course the PC gamers want nothing less that some crazy 8-way Geforce 890 GTX SLI PCI 3D whatever....but that crap won't fit in a laptop sized box without setting the house on fire or dimming every light in the neighborhood.

I think something based on the 6670 IS a bit too weak though. A 6770 based chip is a much better choice and still fits within reasonable power and thermal levels.

The bigger question is the "next" gen's choice of CPU. Will they remain PowerPC based? x86? ARM? Sony's PSV is using ARM and it's damn near just as powerful as the PS3.

I think a 6 core or greater ARM CPU, 6800 based GPU set up with 2GB of XDR2 would suit the PS4 nicely and would vastly overpower the next Xbox. Heck Cell still has untapped potential even today. The PS3 is hobbled by it's GPU(which was a afterthought...the PS3 was supposed to just have Cell in the beginning) and the horribly slow memory bandwidth of RSX accessing XDR.

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dgrmouse

Yeah, because nobody interested in a next-gen XBox has a 3D display and wants to use it, right? It is a bit silly, in my opinion, that you feel like you can choose the ideal video board for every system from AMD's consumer lineup. Isn't it possible that the ideal chip isn't represented there? Maybe that's part of the problem.

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vrmlbasic

The current consoles can't handle 1080p. Too many games are upscaling 540 to 1080 or putting out an utterly pathetic 1280*720. Today's console games look like crap compared to their PC counterparts not only due to the lack of advances in shaders and such that have occurred in the 6+ years since the consoles were made, but because they're generally rendered at a vastly lower resolution.

If a PC game says it is 1920*1080, it's 1920*1080. No upscaling BS. Eventually the next generation of consoles will have to resort to upscaling, seeing as how the 6670 can't even run current PC games at their full potential.

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kixofmyg0t

Yes. They CAN render in full 1080p guy. It just depends on the game. Are most games upscaled? Yes that's a fact. But that's lazy programming.

Uncharted 2 and 3 are great examples of what happens when programmers actually want to make a great looking game and work hard to do so. Why? Both of those games look great and aren't even rendered with the PS3's GPU. Look it up. Uncharted 2 started that. Its not even using the RSX and its rendered in 720p

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steelcobra

"What makes the Blu-ray rumor so hard to believe is the number of times we've heard similar chatter of Microsoft releasing a Blu-ray version of the Xbox 360, only to be strongly refuted by the Redmond software and hardware giant."

This will never happen with the 360 because it fragments the users between who has the BR model and who doesn't, making it so publishers from that release point have to either release two versions, or include both versions in a box of any game.

Including a Blu-Ray drive built into the next Xbox is pretty much a no-brainer. BR drives are down to what DVD drives were 5 years ago in price, and Microsoft would love to have the media center power Sony does. And after the debacle of the HD-DVD external drive, there's no way they'll stick with a DVD as the system drive.

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4wsprelude

Don't worry about the specs. Sony and MS will come out with about the same specs. because the software people will possibly say its to hard to port it to various consoles.

Oh and blueray on a MS console is unlikely unless the world turned inside out. Its war now.

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jgottberg

I would like to see bluray added as well. I currently have a PS3 and love the fact I can do a lot more with it than just play games. Streaming movies, playing movies with physical media and also using it as a HTPC by displaying movies and pics from my PC.

I would also like MS to remove the Live membership cost. It just gets too costly to play a game... There's $50 for my internet service, $60 for Live, $60 for the game and then any DLC the game publisher charges. I know that won't happen but the article did ask us what we would like to see :)

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vrmlbasic

Your internet service only costs you $50 a year? ;)

Is it really germane to list your ISP costs when you'd still be paying them even if you were playing games online via a free match-making service like PSN or Steam?

PS3 and PC have DLC as well :(

It seems to me that you should be hooking your PC to your TV, cutting out the middleman, and playing better games with better graphics. The PC gives you native 1080p, with no 540 upscales or 1280*720 nonsense as the consoles are wont to do.

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pierogi210

"Unreasonable (Anti-Used Games Mechanism)?" How is this unreasonable? This has happened to pc players with the invention of cd keys. How come console games can be sold and resold and traded with alot more value where pc games are a one time thing? I hope that this becomes a reality.

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jgottberg

I don't have anything solid to back this up but I'm guessing it's because there are a lot more console gamers than PC gamers. I know that's going to open up a flood gate of responses and hate but it's just my gutt feeling. Walk into any place that sells games and their walls are lined with console games and maybe a token kiosk for PC games. The market just isn't big enough to justify an aftermarket for the PC games.

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t.y.wan

I wish microsoft would openly discuss with the community or even find a bunch of gamers with knowledge of hardware to design this thing...
It's not hard to design a system, and often very lucrative if done correctly.

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vrmlbasic

I expect SEGA would beg to differ, as would Nintendo.

I'm not sure a group of gamers would be the proper design group. As a gamer I'd surely want the greatest hardware possible (a position at which I am surely not unique), which would make the design untenable due to cost. Consoles have to be cheap (and have historically almost always been sold under-cost) so their designers always settle for the cheaper, crappier hardware. Case-in-point being this article's 6670 Radeon rumor.

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jaygregz

What I want to see out of the new xbox 720..

A full fledged htpc. Have you guys tried using an xbox 360 as a media extender for your computer? Aside from some missing codecs it actually works quite well. I think that Windows Media Center on xbox 360 is something that doesn't get advertised enough. Hook a tv tuner up to your pc and all of a sudden your streaming tv shows to any xbox in your house hastle free. I really hope that the next generation of consoles push the envelope on features like this even further. I want to seamlessly integrate the internet and the content on my pc with the tv and up until this point no one has be capable of doing that. Boxee and XBMC are close but not quite there. Specifically console makers haven't been close at all. Essentially though I want a DO IT ALL device for my television. There's just something magical about getting an invitation to play gears of war 3 in the middle of a new episode of The Walking Dead.

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vrmlbasic

Then there's just something sad about playing Gears of War 3 on the 360 with its ridiculous load times and horrible graphics. I used to love my 360 but now that I have a mid-range PC I just can't go back. Skyrim on a console should be a crime.

I suppose the Xbox does work decently as a media center, especially now that it streams a few Verizon channels, but why not just hook up a PC to your TV? It's a device that already does everything, and it's a device that doesn't have to suck as it's as good as you can afford.

In your scenario the 360 requires a PC with a tv tuner to realize its full function, so you're adding a middleman (the 360), when you could just hook the PC up to the TV. Or hook another PC to the TV. For the price of a 720 you could surely buy a better gaming PC.

My PC gives me game invites whether I'm streaming The Walking Dead or if I'm writing SQL code, or if I'm really doing anything. Sorry 360, you've been out-moded.

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vrmlbasic

AMD 6670?! I'm glad that they're choosing AMD, but I'm rocking a 6850 in my new PC right now and I'm already considering upgrading!

I have a 360 and trying to play games on it after playing games with glorious SSD load times and DX11 6850-enabled graphics on my PC, I just can't. So I'll still have the same problem with the new console as it'll still pale in comparison to my PC, which then would be almost 2 years old.

I hope that the 720 does have blu-ray as the new blu-ray standard promises to have 1 TB of data storage capacity. Sure, games might not need that much (Though we all know the infamous Bill Gates quote), but 1000 GB is a helluva lot more than the ~9 GB that DVD offers.

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Kromix

"Instead, the processor will be derived from the 6000 series, which was introduced last year. More specifically, it will be akin to the Radeon HD 6670, which offers support for DirectX11, multi-display output, 3D and 1080p HD output."

Meaning that after a year, all the games ported from Xbox to PC will be horrible... again...

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Phrish

No Blu Ray player in the next Xbox, huh? Don't mind saving hundreds of dollars by not buying one, so I don't really care.

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vrmlbasic

New blu-ray is supposed to hold 1 TB. If I could have 1 TB discs, I don't think I could live with the 8.5 GB of DVDs.

A DVD drive on a 720 for primary game storage would be like using 1.44 MB floppies for storage on a modern PC, in comparison to the new blu-ray. While great things like Duke Nukem came on floppies, I don't want to take that leap backwards ;)

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hammeredtoast

How would Microsoft EVER get a Blu-ray player in their devices? I'm sure Sony, one of the founding members of the Blu-ray Disc Association, would take a cut every time a new Xbox with a Blu-ray player was produced. I'm positive Microsoft doesn't want to support it's enemy. I'm sure that's why newer Xbox Slim's never supported Blu-ray, either.

I'm probably totally, 100% wrong about my facts that Sony would make a buck or two for every Xbox produced, but it seems possible. Sort of. I think.

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chronium

It's not probably it is a 100% wrong. Sony is also apart of the DVD association and the 360 has a DVD player.

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CHR15x94

When I read 6670, I checked the source. Thought that was a typo. Unfortunately not.

I know the thing's a console, but even that seems a bit weak. Assuming the Wii U does have a 4870 based GPU as I've read online, Nintendo's console should outperform the Xbox 720. Not by much, but still. Only thing the 720 would have on the new Wii would be DX11. Still no details on CPU and RAM/VRAM, and these are just rumors, so anything could happen I suppose.

Well, I certainly won't miss this year's E3. It just keeps getting more and more interesting. Sounds like Sony will be my least favorite pres again this year. :P

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bling581

Adding an anti-used game mechanism is a good way to increase piracy. It's been proven that when the price is right people will buy. Forcing everyone to buy your titles new will reduce sales, inspire piracy, or both. How would this affect game rentals? Want to borrow a friend's game for a while? Nope, sorry.

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Scatter

Pirates steal anyway and most of them don't need an excuse other than they don't want to pay for something that they can download for free.

I really don't see a whole lot of honest people deciding to turn to piracy because they wouldn't be able to buy a used game at Gamestop any more.

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bling581

"Pirates steal anyway and most of them don't need an excuse other than they don't want to pay for something that they can download for free.

I really don't see a whole lot of honest people deciding to turn to piracy because they wouldn't be able to buy a used game at Gamestop any more."

There is a portion of people that turn to piracy if something costs too much. Then there are those that are just don't care. There are many reasons people have for turning to piracy. Most people fall under the "do not care" category, but some are on the fence.

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CaptainFabulous

You're right. They simply won't buy it. Or buy a lot less titles to make up for the extra money each costs them. Either way they're not getting the extra revenue they think this stupid system will afford them.

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mattman059

No, Id be more likely to NOT buy the 720....

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Supall

Sounds like console players will suddenly experience what the PC community has been utilizing for years.

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acidic

IF the "anti-used game system" is true, i see it as a cd-key type deal. it would just tie that game to your gamertag and not the console itself

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noobstix

People almost forget (or don't care) that the Xbox 360 GPU is based off the Radeon HD 3600 series (More specifically, I think it was the HD 3650). So Making a jump to the HD 6670 is quite a jump. As for the "Anti-Used Game" system that might be implemented, it sounds like they want to team up with EA or something or maybe it could be just another fancy way of saying D-R-M. I've heard people saying that this would only be 20% better than the Wii U and I guess in the console world, that doesn't equate to much.

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praetor_alpha

No, the 360 GPU is more like a Radeon X1800/X1900 (aside from unified shaders and memory architecture), not a 3600 series. It's a good reason that the vast majority of console ports lack any post DX9, post shader 3.0 functionality.

http://www.beyond3d.com/content/articles/4/2

http://www.doggetts.org/michael/eg05-xenos-doggett.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenos_%28graphics_chip%29

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smartguy05

I would love to have a blu-ray in my 360, then I could get rid of my blu-ray player. But I think the used games issue is something the game companies need to address. They should do like arkham city. If you buy the game used you miss out on parts of the game unless you buy the dlc. This way you can still play the game, but if you want the full experience the game companies still get a little more.

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dgrmouse

Game publishers already get more than enough.

Any system that requires getting online in order to enjoy a game as intended (discounting multiplayer, of course) fails.

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