That good old rumour mill has certainly been working on overdrive of late, hasn’t it? It’s not been all that long since the rumour that Microsoft’s next console won’t feature any form of optical drive, and already more rumours have surfaced, via VG24/7, granting even more info, and debunking previous leaks.
Now, in an about turn it’s been suggested that the next Xbox will not only feature an optical drive, but it’ll embrace Blu-ray, bringing with it the enhanced storage that the PS3 has enjoyed for a few years now. This is good news for those who worried that they’d no longer be able to buy physical copies of games.
A major concern with this disc-less approach amongst gamers was the assumption that you’d need an Internet connection to play games, presumably as the console would need to download everything.
Well, the inclusion of Blu-ray should alleviate this somewhat, or does it? You see, in the latest bunch of information, it’s been discovered that the new Xbox may require a permanent online connection, built in as an anti-piracy measure. So, no matter what game you’re playing, or if you intend to go online and indulge in multiplayer or not, you’ll need to have that broadband hooked up. Not got broadband? Then you may be out of luck.
Some vague technical details have also emerged. The new console will boast a dual GPU setup, but this won’t mirror the kind of SLI or CrossFire configuration you see in PCs, where both cards work in tandem. The new Xbox’s dual GPUs will be able to work independently, each able to perform different tasks. Couple this with the rumoured four to six core CPU, and the next platform may well be a bit of a beast, even if one core is going to be tethered to Kinect only, the next generation of which will be part of the new console on day one. Ugh.
Microsoft has also apparently stated that the new Xbox will release for the holiday season in 2013. This is interesting, as Sony has also recently announced that it’s confident that the PS4 will release before the new Xbox. And, both platform appear to be contracting AMD to produce the chips, which should make for some interesting comparisons down the line.
As a usual caveat, much of this information is still rumour and hearsay until Microsoft officially announces anything, but we’ll keep you up to date as the information rolls in.