We’re not quite sure what it will be called yet, but the new XBox console from Microsoft is reportedly set for third quarter release in 2013. That means we may be unwrapping our Christmas presents a little early in 2013. Trust me: you won’t want to wait.
According to whispers and rumors, Ubisoft has already received developer kits from Microsoft for the new console and, given how close we are to the 10-year life cycle Microsoft originally quoted for the Xbox 360, it is not unreasonable to suppose that we will be seeing this new console debut at E3 with a Fall 2013 release date. Although it’s unclear what the Kinect integration for the new Xbox will be, we do know that the Kinect 2 will be much more sophisticated. According to an article from Daniel Cooper over at engadget.com, the Kinect 2, “will be able to read your lips, track your fingers and sense the tone of your voice to determine if you’ve come over all angry.” The current Xbox and its Kinect lack the sophistication and power to accomplish these feats, namely due to the limitations of its cables and cords–a USB cable simply will not be able to pass along the amount of information necessary. Because of USB 3.0 (which transmits 400 MB/s compared to USB 2.0’s 16MB/s), not to mention Intel’s incredible Thunderbolt(700 MB/s), it is completely reasonable to suspect that the new Xbox console and its Kinect system will have the transmission power they need to do incredible things.
The rumored specs for the Xbox are impressive. There may end up being two versions: one for more casual gamers and one delectably heavy-duty version for hardcore gamers. In either case, this new console will probably be based on AMD’s new 6000 series, which is robust enough to give viewers 3D and highly detailed graphics. The sheer computing power of the 6000 series (up to 1.3 teraFLOPS) gets me excited for what the new Xbox console will be able to accomplish. Joseph Volpe, also at engadget.com, suspects that the 6000 series will, “catapult [the new Xbox’s] performance past Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U by 20 percent.” He also reports that the graphics capabilities of the console may be up to six times as powerful as the Xbox 360.
If all of this hasn’t gotten your heart fluttering yet, I don’t know what will. One thing is for sure: whether it debuts at E3 or not, something big in gaming is coming soon from Microsoft and the whole gaming world is rapt with anticipation.