Xbox 720 release date, specs and price rumours

Posted: March 19, 2013 by Areeb Fazli in Games, Technology
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s official: the PlayStation 4 exists and is making its way to a store near you, but what of its rival? According to rumours, Microsoft is also gearing up to launch its next-generation console, the Xbox 720, this year – a rumour that’s been circulating around the web for some time.

Unlike Sony, however, the American firm has made no official announcements and has declined to comment on speculation that it’s working on a new console. But that’s not to say the rumours aren’t true.

In fact, we’ve witnessed some pretty convincing evidence that suggests the console is nearing completion – and will be hitting shelves as soon as Christmas 2013. Here’s everything we’ve learnt so far…

Xbox 720 release date

Speculation about where and when the Xbox 720’s unveiling will take place has been rife, but a string of rumours have narrowed it down to two possibilities. A Bloomberg report last November cited Microsoft sources who claim the console will be unveiled at the annual games expo, E3, in Berlin in June 2013 – where Sony is also expected to whip the covers off the PS4.

However, other reports indicate Microsoft is planning to unveil the next Xbox at an event outside of the hustle and bustle of E3 – something akin to the PS4 launch in February – although there is no concrete evidence as to when this event is likely to take place. Chances are it could be soon as Microsoft wouldn’t want Sony hogging the limelight with the new PlayStation.

Xbox 720 price

A leaked Microsoft document discovered last year mentioned a price point of £190 ($299) for the Xbox 720, which sounds pretty low to us.

A similar price point was also rumoured for the PS4, but we’re guessing both firms will be selling their machines for a much higher sum – although if both consoles hit shelves at the same time, expect some pretty competitive pricing – just not as low as what’s being speculated.

Xbox 720 specs

As with the PS4, the Xbox 720 could use AMD graphics hardware – a rumour that has resurfaced time and time again. Games site VG247 reports that the console will use two GPUs in tandem – a complex system architecture that’s most common in gaming PCs.

However, we’re not convinced that Microsoft will opt for such a system in a console. A simple, single GPU architecture will always be popular with developers, as it would allow them to code games quicker and more efficiently.

In January, VGLeaks published what it claims is the Xbox 720’s full specifications list, below. Although Microsoft hasn’t confirmed its validity, many gaming sites and sources claim it’s the real deal. Highlights include Blu-Ray and Wi-Fi support, 8GB of RAM and an 8 core CPU.

CPU:

– x64 Architecture

8 CPU cores running at 1.6 gigahertz (GHz)

– Each CPU thread has its own 32 KB L1 instruction cache and 32 KB L1 data cache
– Each module of four CPU cores has a 2 MB L2 cache resulting in a total of 4 MB of L2 cache
– Each core has one fully independent hardware thread with no shared execution resources
– Each hardware thread can issue two instructions per clock

Storage and Memory:

– 8 gigabyte (GB) of RAM DDR3 (68 GB/s)
– 32 MB of fast embedded SRAM (ESRAM) (102 GB/s)
– from the GPU’s perspective the bandwidths of system memory and ESRAM are parallel providing combined peak bandwidth of 170 GB/sec
– Hard drive is always present
– 50 GB 6x Blu-ray Disc drive

Networking:

– Gigabit Ethernet
– Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct

Hardware Accelerators:

– Move engines
– Image, video, and audio codecs
– Kinect multichannel echo cancellation (MEC) hardware
– Cryptography engines for encryption and decryption, and hashing

Skype

Microsoft bought VoIP provider Skype in 2011 so it’s no wonder many believe the firm will use this technology in its upcoming console. In fact, games site CVG claims the Skype will come pre-installed in the Xbox 720 as a default communications programme, replacing Xbox Live and Messenger service.

This brings us to our next rumour – voice recognition. According to a report in tech website The Verge, Kinect for the Xbox 720 will come equipped with revamped voice recognition technology which can do uber-awesome things such as identifying the number of people in a room based on the number of different voices it picks up. The new Kinect will also purportedly recommend games based on the number of potential players it recognises from voice control.

Source: DenofGeek

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s