Xbox 720 or Xbox 3 - Hardware, Graphics, Release Date and Games Speculation

Xbox 720 or Xbox 3 draws a lot of speculation, so let's find out what we know so far regarding the hardware, graphics, release date, games and more.

by on 23rd Aug, 2010

Xbox 720 graphics

We have tried to gather as much information as we can about the Xbox 3 or Xbox 720 and what it'll have in store for hardcore Xbox fans and maybe even the average gamer. The article is entirely based on rumors and speculation with some known facts included.

Xbox 720 graphics
Xbox 720 | Xbox 3 - Graphics and Capabilities

The current generation of graphics for consoles has been about HD resolutions and most recently we've seen 3D gaming entering the foray. The Xbox 360 does offer full 1080p HD support also known as true HD for some games, but most of the current gen games for the system are actually running at 720p native resolution due to frame rate issues and the ageing hardware. It's also been confirmed that Crysis 2 will be coming in 3D on the Xbox 360 so that means Xbox 720 will definitely be supporting 3D gaming and it will most probably be without those pesky glasses.

So what can we expect to see on the Xbox 720 or Xbox 3, well, according to sources as quoted by VE3d "ATI-AMD will provide Microsoft with GPUs for its next generation", but it has not been confirmed. What about resolution? Will we be seeing Ultra HD(UHDV) which is touted to be the replacement for current HDTVs.

For those of you who don't know, Ultra HD uses 7,680 x 4,320 pixels in a widescreen aspect ratio of 16x9, making for a total of approximately 33 million pixels (33 megapixels).
At the moment Ultra HD is simply not a viable option, the uncompressed video and audio recorded in ultra HD takes up a whopping 3.5 terabytes for an 18 minute clip. The prototype ultra HD screen also consumes an insane amount of electricity.

There have also been rumors that the Xbox 720 or Xbox 3 will be improving the current line-up of Xbox 360 games by increasing frame rate, draw distance, graphics, textures, etc. according to Joystiq.

Xbox 720 Hardware
Xbox 720 | Xbox 3 - Hardware and Capabilities

Xbox 360's hardware has been blighted by the infamous RROD, even the most hardcore Xbox fans might agree that they would have liked a more reliable system and it is quite apparent that Microsoft will be be putting more emphasis on testing the system before releasing it this time around.

According to an interview with EGM in 2008, Robbie Batch, President of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft, said,

We started thinking about the next generation before we shipped the Xbox 360. It doesn't start with a date. It starts way upstream with silicon development. From that comes a series of data points. You start making early technology choices. It's an evolving thing. Stuff doesn't become concrete until you get inside a window of when you have to ship, more than 18 months or so out.

At the moment, we weren't able to find any rumors or speculation about the processor which is set to power the Xbox 720 or Xbox 3, so we can't say anything about that.

We have already mentioned in the Graphics section that it is rumored ATI-AMD will provide Microsoft with GPUs for its next generation system. It was also rumored that Intel was hoping Microsoft would be using their so-called revolutionary Larrabee chip, but the Larrabee project was cancelled in December 2009 so that possibility goes out of the window.

There is much debate whether the Xbox 720 will support Blu-ray disk format or will be digital based, well, according to an EEDAR analyst, Greg Short, the next generation of consoles are set to be digital based only due to a surge in small development studios, which rely on such distribution methods for their smaller, lower budget titles. We personally feel that this might not be the case as their is a lot of variations in the Internet speeds around the world and it will take some courage to provide no kind of disk support at all.

Unless Kinect ends up being a complete failure, Motion Control support is an obvious possibility with built-in Kinect support. As for hardcore gamers they would rather prefer staying away from the gimmicky motion controls and stick with the controller but would welcome Keyboard and Mouse support.

Xbox 720 Release Date
Xbox 720 | Xbox 3 - Release Date

Microsoft has repeatedly said that they believe in Xbox 360 having a much longer life-span compared to its predecessor. In an interview with Develop in late 2009, Microsoft Game Studios head Phil Spencer said the company is focused on evolving the current Xbox 360 console, with additions such as Project Natal, and is not interested in pushing brand new hardware out the door anytime soon.

So we probably won't be getting our hands on the console in 2011 or even 2012, but with the rate at which PC graphics are surpassing the current gen consoles hopefully some info is revealed at E3 2012 or we'd be very disappointed.

Xbox 720 games
Xbox 720 | Xbox 3 - Games

About the games, well, we haven't heard much but we found two rumored stories, one from 2008 and another recent one regarding Bungie's next IP. An Activision-published action series developed by Bungie is being "planned, engineered and designed" to potentially appear on Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 via CVG.

The other one concerns a first party sequel that was being developed for the 360, but is being moved to a next generation console as reported by Destructoid back in 2008.

Xbox 720 Hardware
Xbox 720 | Xbox 3 - Dashboard and UI

Microsoft has drastically evolved the dashboard of the Xbox 360 already in its 5 years of existence so it's expected that we'll be seeing a fresh interface. We haven't heard anything on this one, most probably it'll be even more social.

Kindly share any more rumored info that you might have heard or read concerning the next Xbox in the comments below.

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