Since it now seems unlikely we’ll see a PlayStation 4 announcement this year, the eyes of the incurably attention-deficit games industry have now flicked back toward the next Xbox. So what are Microsoft’s plans for the console that people are (erroneously, yet conveniently) calling Xbox 720?
If you’ve managed to fall behind on all the latest speculation, here’s a round-up of the key stories.
Tech site SemiAccurate claimed to have heard from reliable sources that the chipset that will power the next generation Xbox went into production at Christmas. The site said it was 99% sure that Microsoft would be employing an IBM-built Power PC CPU with an ATI GCN/HD7000/Southern Islands GPU. The chip’s name? Oban. On January 19, Fudzilla came in with a similar story.
This would certainly reflect the architectural make-up of the Xbox 360, which employed an IBM Xenon processor and custom ATI Xenos GPU.
IGN reported last week that its sources confirmed that Xbox 720 processors were in production but claimed that the GPU was based, not on an ATI 7000 series architecture, but the older Radeon HD 6670 which retails at around £60 as a PC card.
Kotaku reported on a selection of titbits from an anonymous industry source. The most intriguing is that Microsoft will be looking to prevent Xbox 720 consoles from playing pre-owned games. It could be that titles come with a one-off activation code, or that each game is tied in with a specific