I'm not so sure that we're ready for the next generation of video game hardware (outside of Nintendo Wii owners), but everyone is forging ahead anyway with new technology. IGN has a report regarding Microsoft's next Xbox that's intriguing, but entirely unconfirmed by the usual sources. Rumor has it that not only will the next Xbox go on sale at the end of 2013, but the first round of parts for development kits bound for third-party developers are already being manufactured (although Electronic Arts may or may not have had some kind of development technology since sometime last year depending on whether or not you believe an earlier rumor). Here's what IGN has to say about the timetable and the horsepower behind the graphics processing unit.
The next Xbox will ship to retailers in late October or early November of next year with six times the processing power of the Xbox 360, sources close to the project have told IGN. In real terms, the Xbox 720's raw graphics processing power is expected to be six times that of the Xbox 360 and will yield 20-percent greater performance than Nintendo's forthcoming console, the Wii U.
The article has more information in technobabble form about part numbers and series lines and what-not. It didn't really mean much to me on a specific level, but the takeaway is that the new GPU can output 1080p visuals and handle 3D which one would hope it would at this point in our lives. It's all just talk right now with nothing officially confirmed, but it's still fun to consider. We've seen some great games this console generation and I'm going to miss it when we move on. I'm not really ready to cope with a new crop of launch games that will age really, really quickly just yet though. Have you played a game from 2006 lately and compared it to a 2011 release? We've come a long way.