2014 release estimates seem too conservative according to the latest source.
Latest Xbox 720 rumor points towards a 2013 release that will bring high-end specs
Honestly, I have no idea when the next Xbox will launch. The safe bet was 2013, with 2012 the final year for big game releases on the platform. Though depending on who you believe, the console could launch as late as 2014. Vocal analyst Michael Pachter has said he expects a 2014 release, and was right about Microsoft offering a console bundles with Kinect: the company offers the console for $99 on a two-year contract with the motion sensing peripheral. To me that suggests Microsoft will be supporting the Xbox for two more years at least, though there’s no reason they couldn’t launch the Durango/720 Xbox while supporting the Xbox 360.
Semiaccurate, who reported the details, says Oban chip the console will use is in production. They say sources at a foundry with a blue logo confirmed the chip started running in the final days of 2011, so Microsoft’s know what they wanted the next Xbox to look like for some time. Semiaccurate also reported that a source from Redmond was pretty angry over the leaked, but check out the source link for the full quote. It made me chuckle, to say the least.
Looking beyond developer consoles
The initial order for the chips was around 10,000, the site’s source say, at a three-lettered company. IBM has a blue logo, and has three letters, so it’s almost certainly the manufacturer. A sizeable chunk is also being run at Global Foundries.
Speculating, the Obain chip is primarily made by IBM so that would mean an x86 chip is out of the running. Semiaccurate also said in its report that they were 99% sure the next Xbox is a will run a Power PC CPU plus an ATI GCN/HD7000/Southern Islands GPU, and the latest news reconfirmed their interest.
The 10,000 production chips are also much more than those required for development kits, which usually go out to select developers. 10,000 chips suggests Microsoft is getting ready for a launch, perhaps in 2013. Honestly, I’ve be surprised if the console launched in 2014. Production begins in 2012, meaning no console before spring 2013.
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