Ahh, it feels good to be back in the run-up to a new console cycle. Despite all of the talk of the console cycle dying, gaming shrivelling up and all the rest of it, we can all enjoy a good rumor, right? The rumors got more accurate the closer we got to the big reveal of the Wii U, and of course they’re still coming, as I showed with the talk of Steam/Origin running Nintendo’s online platform. We simply don’t know, but it’s fun to speculate.
Running with that theme is EDGE magazine, who has some new details to give us from their sources. Take with the requisite salt of course.
Ubisoft Montreal is hard at work on ‘target boxes’ based on the intended specifications of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 successor, according to an Edge source. Delivery of the first iteration of genuine devkits, running custom hardware, is expected to reach studios before Christmas, and all signs point to the finalised console arriving at retail in late 2012.
Of course having someone looking at the next-gen isn’t surprising, especially given how far PC hardware has surpassed the current console generation. Speaking of which…
Ubisoft’s teams are said to be working on PCs containing off-the-shelf components provided by Microsoft, and it’s our understanding that several other major developers, including certain EA studios, are also in possession of these target boxes. While our source was unable to share precise specifications, it is believed that AMD is providing the bespoke GPU solution for Microsoft’s console.
Now a late 2012 retail is a new bit, the first we heard was 2014, then it was apparently moved up to 2013 to compete with the Wii U, and now we’re hearing 2012 holiday? This either means Microsoft is rushing like madmen to get their console out, this date is wrong, or they just haven’t felt like sharing anything with us and they’re chugging along fine and on schedule. My guess might be somewhere in the middle.
This is my favourite of their details:
We can also reveal that one major Sony-owned studio has now ceased PlayStation 3 development, its entire focus having shifted to the console’s successor. The studio is also said to have been involved in the development process of the graphics technology adopted by Sony’s new hardware.
Well if you aren’t telling us who they are I’m not sure it’s much of a reveal, is it? Anyway, it’s interesting for sure. The article goes on to talk about some other little tidbits and rumors that have been brought up before, to try and make a convincing case that the next gen is indeed coming up in a years time, and that the new Xbox will be shown at CES in January. I’m not sure I buy it, but we shall see.
The big thing to watch here is the release date, as what appeared to be a big thing going for Nintendo was a hardware release a couple years ahead of anybody else, which would give them all kinds of time to shore up third party support and build their install base to ensure they would get cross-platform releases of excellent quality. If it’s a simultaneous 3 console release however, that entire landscape changes drastically. Either way, stay tuned here for more rumor insanity!
Also as a bonus for reading this far, here is a fascinatingly stupid looking patent image, showing a mirror like device for attachment to a Wiimote that looks like it could turn the IR sensor in the front of the remote into a kind of touchpad, to possibly work with the Wii U pad for other players. Interesting, and just a little nuts. Isn’t Nintendo grand?