Monday, July 18, 2011


Of the three major console manufacturers we only know when Nintendo is set to release its next generation console. The Wii U again looks to be going for something a bit different rather than pushing the enevelope in terms of processing power and graphical capabilities. However, the PS4 and Xbox 720 are expected to follow the same path as they always have: offering more processing power, better visuals, and more scope for involved gameplay and realistic experiences.

Although we don’t know when the next consoles from Sony and Microsoft will arive, AMD is starting to drop hints about the capabilities of the next Xbox.

AMD is thought to be providing the GPU(s) that will sit inside the Xbox 720, so it should be an authority on what it is capable of graphically at least. A comment made in the August issue of OXM by Neal Robison, director of ISV relationships for AMD, states that we should expect to be seeing visuals like Avatar. So that’s real-time renders of the quality seen in James Cameroon‘s movie as standard on the next Xbox.

Such a graphical jump is realistic when you consider the hardware the PS3 and Xbox 360 use today. We now see crisp HD graphics running on a 6-year-old processor and GPU combination. In the case of the 360, it runs a tri-core 3.2GHz PowerPC chip, where as today we commonly see 4, 6, 8, and even 12 cores processors in use running at similar speeds. GPU-wise, it only has a 500MHz ATI chip, and the system only carries 512MB RAM. Graphics cards today typically run above 800MHz and have 1-2GB of dedicated memory alongside 2-4GB of system memory.

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