Xbox 720 to Sport Blu-ray Drive and Always-On Connectivity
Microsoft’s futuristic Xbox 720 console will finally put an end to the Blu-ray envy suffered at the hands of PS3 owners, according to recent reports.
The 720, codenamed ‘Durango’, will be the first console from Microsoft to pack in a Blu-ray drive, something that Xbox 360 users lamented Microsoft for omitting in the current console, much to the delight of mocking PS3 users.
Gaming website VG24/7 quotes two sources with plenty of information on Microsoft’s unannounced console, who have also said that it will launch in time for Christmas 2013 – the same timeframe we’ve recently heard Sony is aiming for with its next-gen console, which is currently codenamed ‘Orbis’. While this information comes from sources that are ‘in the know’, this timeframe seems an obvious one for both Sony and Microsoft to be releasing new consoles.
However, more specific details have been thrown up, including information on the processing power that will sit under the hood. We’re told that the console will be powered by either a Quad or Hex (six) Core CPU, while the graphics will be handled by not one, but two GPUs. One source explained that the twin graphics processing units are equivalent to the powerful AMD 7000 series graphics cards for desktop PCs, although the two won’t work together in unison as they would on a PC when configured in ‘SLI’ or ‘Crossfire’ mode. The source said that use of two GPUs is “like two PCs taped together”. One thing’s for sure: the Xbox 720 is going to be a beast.
We’re also told that Microsoft’s future console will require an ‘always-on’ connection to the internet as an anti-piracy measure. This seems a little odd to us, as although more and more homes become connected, there are still people out there who still don’t have an internet connection and simply game offline.
Microsoft is said to be sending out details on the Xbox 720 to select partners, including various game studios, which is how VG24/7 obtained the information. Various game studios have been advertising for developers to work on titles for a next-gen console for a while now.