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Next-gen Xbox to debut at CES

“More Xbox!”, shout the gamers. “Faster, sexier, better!” is their war cry. For those tired of the wildly successful Xbox 360, the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show may be the launchpad for the new Microsoft machine, the Xbox 720.

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The placeholder name of the next-gen machine is assuredly set to change and according to French site Xboxygen, the new technical specifications of the next-gen Xbox will be revealed at CES.

The Xbox 720 project’s genesis was 2005. The software and hardware groups for the project were labelled “Infinity” and “Loop” respectively, but the notion of Microsoft calling its new machine the Xbox Loop is comical at best.

Xboxygen paints a picture of an advanced machine rocking a hex-core CPU, with 2GB of DDR3 memory and a possible prototype dual-GPU from AMD, the company responsible for the development of the Xbox 360’s graphics card.

Rumours of the Xbox 720 may have been confirmed by Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia creators Ubisoft Montreal. Ubisoft is currently working on a series of “target boxes” or development kits which are based on the proposed specifications of the next-gen console. Another source corroborates the rumour and even EA, the current king of games publishers has its own development kits on site.

As for Ubisoft, Microsoft has it using off-the-shelf components which mirror the guts of the next-gen Xbox. When Ubisoft was quizzed on the matter, a spokesperson said, “We do not comment on rumour and speculation.”

Here’s the rub — how early does Microsoft plan to launch its next-gen consoles? With the Xbox currently celebrating an overall ten years of gaming success and the current batch of games making use of the full power of the Xbox 360, a premature launch of next-gen hardware may set Microsoft back once more, and possibly incur the wrath of a RROD-like issue.


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