There are few things the guys over IGN like doing more than speculating about the power of upcoming consoles. Recently it’s mostly been speculation about what the WiiU would have under the hood, but yesterday IGN started tossing around specs for Microsoft’s next gaming machine.
According to IGN’s sources the Xbox 720 (or whatever it ends up being called) will arrive in the fall of 2013 and will have graphics processing abilities similar to a Radeon HD 6670. This is interesting because the Radeon HD 6000 line is already slightly out of date, having been replaced by the HD 7000 line. It will be even more obsolete by late 2013.
IGN then goes onto say that the next Xbox will be approximately six times more powerful than the Xbox 360, although what exactly that stat means, I have no idea. Stats like “six times more powerful” reek of the mid-90s when console makers threw meaningless terms like “bits” and “blast processing” around like candy. Also according to IGN the next Xbox will only be about 20% more powerful than the WiiU, which would mean the WiiU is going to be a hell of a lot more powerful than we’ve heard previously.
But let’s not get hung up on specific numbers here — the overall message I get from these rumored specs is that Microsoft is moving it’s focus away from pure processing power somewhat. The next Xbox will certainly be more powerful than the current one, but they’re not pursuing cutting edge graphics technology for the machine. Hey, it makes sense — the Xbox 360 had its best holiday season ever in 2011, an achievement that can largely be attributed to Kinect actually catching on this year. In other words, motion controls and casual gaming aren’t going anywhere guys, no matter how many angry comments you leave on blogs and message boards.