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Stop the silly: Of course Xbox 720 won’t release in 2012

Thursday, 15 December 2011 09:01 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Talk of a next-generation Xbox console has the hardware down for a launch next year. Brenna Hillier reckons someone’s got the maths wrong.

What we’re given to go on at that point will be the barest of bare bones. Maybe the new hardware will, indeed, end up smaller and cheaper than past consoles, and have an emphasis on TV content; very likely it will indeed come bundled with an improved Kinect. But it won’t release in 2012.

Since gaming crawled back out of the Atari-driven crisis of the early eighties and re-established itself as a profitable business, hardware has seen a turnover cycle of up to five years, regular as clockwork. That third generation of consoles – the 8-bit NES and Master System – was the first in a series of easily-classified waves of increased horsepower and feature sets which eventually resulted in what’s usually called the seventh generation – the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, which launched in 2006 and 2005 respectively.

Eventually, Microsoft will build a new console and launch it as the successor to the Xbox 360. The sort of world where this did not occur is not one any of us can contemplate in comfort, because it suggests a future in which the games industry has collapsed. (Or we’ve been taken over by brain-eating zombie dog overlords. Either scenario puts us out of a job and the chance to play Killing Things VI.)

By the generational measure, we’re overdue new machines, but still your beating hearts – it’s not going to happen any time soon.

Las Vegas, January, 2012

French site Xboxygen has claimed an anonymous source for a report that we’ll see the fabled Xbox 720 – whatever they’re calling it – mentioned in some form at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January.

If you draw a little timeline of console releases – ignoring the half-generational blip of the Wii – you’ll see we’re bang on the mark not just for a new console announce, but for its release (something Nintendo is no doubt hoping will discourage anyone from noticing that their latest effort with the Wii U isn’t any more grunty than the current batch of machines).

Speculation exploded in the week following this purported leak, and it was helped along by a handful of correlating reports suggesting a new Xbox hardware launch in 2012. If your chest does little flutters when you hear these rumours, you should probably take a handful of these cynicism pills. Whispers and “insider” predictions of new hardware generation have been cropping up since early 2008 – not even three years from launch. Over 2011, it’s happened with almost comical regularity, with at least one new rumour every month for the space of six months.

One report claimed that Crytek had hold of development kit and was expecting to show Timesplitters 4 at E3 2012; this was at least the second occasion on which the developer was implicated in the mythical console’s 2012 launch.

Again next year?

This is how Microsoft launched Xbox 360 at E3 2005. Think straight for a second: do you really think Microsoft is going to do this with a new console next year?

Another went so far as to name a couple of launch titles – the new Alan Wake, since revealed as an Xbox Live release, and Saints Row 4.

Reports that the new console has been in development for five years certainly added weight; if it’s not true, why is there such a definite number? A compelling pub argument.

You can add two and two together here and get a nice square four, but for maths to work you’ve got to solve all the clauses of the equation, not just the ones you like. What the excitement fails to account for is that the games industry of the seventh generation is a very different place to that of the third, fourth, fifth and even sixth. Major games now cost so much to develop, and new hardware is so difficult to come to grips with, that a new console venture is an undertaking on an entirely different scale. Microsoft and Sony built their current consoles with this in mind, leaving room to expand their lifespans with peripherals and home entertainment features like streaming services. For every developer who wants the excitement of new hardware, just as many dread it.

Asked about the rumours, EA strongly denied either Crytek or a second development team’s receipt of a new Xbox dev kit. Blizzard added its voice to the naysayers, and even Michael Pachter pooh-poohed the talk.

This very quick sample yields as much evidence for as against, and there’s plenty more indication that any future Microsoft console is still at least three years away.

Avalanche has dropped heavy hints that at least one new console is due in 2014. This date was backed up by a number of anonymous sources, apparently close to first-parties. Massive retailer Gamestop, whose leap into the digital realm shows it knows which way the wind is blowing, is in agreement.

On top of that, in a detailed assessment of Microsoft’s manufacturing capabilities, Digital Foundry concluded that the company simply doesn’t have the resources to have produced a new console to launch in 2012.

Still confident?

Calling it

A key point from Xboxygen’s report which has been greviously overlooked is that the site never claimed a working console would debut – it reported only that Microsoft would give “some information on the new console, and some of its capabilities”.

If reports of the company recruiting for a hardware engineer to work on new console are true, of which there’s no guarantee – Microsoft needs engineers for new Xbox 360 models and ongoing Kinect development – then work had really only just begun sometime around March. That’s perfect timing for an upcoming tech announcement and, yes, a 2014 debut.

According to yet another unverified report, Microsoft called a round table of developers after E3 2011 to gauge what kind of feeling developers had for upcoming hardware – what features they might like, how much power is needed.

This one does add up, and slots in neatly with the 2014 timeframe being bandied about. What we’re expecting to see at CES is an announcement of a partnership with one tech company or another – very likely AMD, since the company has already flapped its lip – as to what might form the basic architecture of the upcoming Xbox.

What we’re given to go on at that point will be the barest of bare bones. Maybe the new hardware will, indeed, end up smaller and cheaper than past consoles, and have an emphasis on TV content; very likely it will indeed come bundled with an improved Kinect.

But it won’t release in 2012.

[Pic]

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28 Comments

  1. Mr Tom

    Not listening *lalalalalalalalalalala*

    I’ve got the itch for the next gen!

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    You’ll have to wait! :)

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Mike

    It will. I guarantee it.

    December 2012. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Strawb

    #3: Actually, people have been claiming the world will end in December 2012 for years.
    Yes, that’s right. The Xbox 720 will be our doom.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Patrick Garratt

    £50? I’ll even give you odds.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Mike

    :)

    #6 3 years ago
  7. OrbitMonkey

    2014? So the 2nd Halo forerunner entry could be a launch title then? Should help it shift a few ;-)

    #7 3 years ago
  8. rainer

    Charlie Demerjian always had some interesting scoops and is saying the chips for the Xbox Next have taped out (initial test run) but mass manufacturing wont begin until end of 2012 and a launch in summer 2013 is likely.

    http://semiaccurate.com/2011/12/05/exclusive-xbox-next-chip-just-taped-out/

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Erthazus

    2012? Of course it won’t be released in 2012.

    there is Halo 4 in 2012.

    But 2013 for the first next gen XBOX is for sure.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Fin

    Tech demo at E3 2012, full showing at E3 2013, release in Q4 2013. Best guess.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Psychotext

    I for one welcome our brain-eating zombie dog overlords.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Christopher Jack

    My guess is an E3 2013 reveal & a holiday launch, I don’t think the 360 has any AAA excluisives for 2013 already announced, I can only think of 2 major titles that are yet to be released, Halo 4 & Ryse.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Erthazus

    Btw i think we will see first XBOX details at CES 2012 and not in E3 2012.
    CES is the show for MS.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. polygem

    Q4 2013

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Gheritt White

    Q4 2013

    #15 3 years ago
  16. drewbles82

    Ryse has already been confirmed for the next gen xbox.
    So have several other games already being made for next gen.

    Still predict E3 2012 demo, E3 2013 full line up,etc and released for 2013 holidays.

    Halo 4 might be in the works but still might do better to wait for next gen and release it on there.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Maximum Payne

    @16 Not for but to steal a show for Wii-U.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. The Evil Pope

    PS4/NextBox, keep them! I’ll stick with my PC and Nintendo hardware for my gaming in the present and future.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. IL DUCE

    Brenna…that report you’re referring to said Alan Wake 2 was in development for the nextgen console – which has nothing to do with American Nightmare since Remedy has made clear to us on several occassions “This is not Alan Wake 2″…must be a reason they’re so admant about pointing that out…even if the console and game aren’t coming out for a while

    Also, using Pachter to back up a claim doesn’t lend much credibility since the guy is wrong about just about everything besides the blatantly obvious…

    But yes, I agree it will absolutely not release in 2012…definitely might see or hear about the tech it may have but I would think E3 2013 would probably be the earliest we see it and they could pull an Apple and release it that week but I would lean more towards Holiday 2013 and the latest Fall/Holiday 2014…

    Since now were starting to hear about games in 2013 such as Rainbow 6 Patriots it makes me wonder if its really coming to next gen or if it will be one of the last games this gen…and since Ryse has already been said to be missing this gen that confirms a new Kinect or motion control will be bundled with the new console since I would assume it would be a launch title for it…and it also means they have to have some sort of plan if they’re are certain it will miss this gen, therefore they must know when it ends…

    #19 3 years ago
  20. xxJPRACERxx

    #10 got it right.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Lahanas

    @8 rainer, how reliable is this semiacurate site?

    #21 3 years ago
  22. chipvideo

    Q4 of 2013 is what I am thinking. Out in mid Oct to get the buzz going before Black Friday hits.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Demiath

    With the potential exception of Leadbetter’s manufacturing estimation (which appears to be hidden behind a paywall) there’s not a whole lot of hard facts backing Hillier’s (not inherently unreasonable) counter-arguments, either. Cautious publishers churning out official verbiage and a supposed Microsoft round table about console features don’t come off as necessarily being more substantial than predictions based on the only firm, reliable data we got; what has happened during previous console cycles.

    It may be true that this generation is special, but (as the article implies) if that is so it’s certainly had ample time to be divergent by now, and at some point it’s time for any bottomline-centric hardware developer to simply move on. Costs always rise dramatically as a result of generational shifts; that’s sort of the definition of a move to exponentially more advanced technology…

    #23 3 years ago
  24. kezwar

    @Patrick I don’t know about 720, but a very close and reliable source at Sony told me that the PS4 will be out sooner than anyone thinks. I interpret that to mean 2012. They wanna re-pay the favour and get the jump on Microsoft I reckon.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Lahanas

    You mean the PS4, yes?

    #25 3 years ago
  26. kezwar

    sorry yes I meant PS4.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. fearmonkey

    It’s going to happen in 2013, there will be some announcement with maybe some demos of its possible capabilities at the next E3.
    Does anyone here believe that MS wants to allow the Wii-u to have TWO years of a headstart? That would happen if they didn’t release till 2014.

    Fable 4 will be launch title, Rare will have an FPS or killer instinct remake/sequel, and maybe that crytek title….

    #27 3 years ago
  28. ozama

    yeah that’s right

    #28 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with an update and new DLC for Mario Kart 8 and the Mewtwo DLC for Super Smash Bros. Other highlights include Mario Kart DS on Wii U Virtual Console, the continuation of International StreetPass Week and more. Full update is below. Nintendo eShop Mario Kart […]

  • Square Enix host E3 2015 conference this year on June 16

    With Final Fantasy 15, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on the horizon, it should come as no surprise to learn that Square Enix will be hosting a dedicated E3 2015 conference this year. The presentation will take place Tuesday, June 16 at 9am PDT/12pm EDT/5pm UK. It will be broadcast […]

  • Final Fantasy 4: The After Years 3D remake releasing on Steam next month

    Final Fantasy 4: The After Years has been given a makeover and will be released on Steam of PC next month. You can now pre-order it on Steam and take 10% off for the time being. The game will be released on the digital service May 12 and will include trading cards and achievements. Thanks, […]

  • This Project Cars video shows off the racer’s multiplayer

    Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has released a new video giving you a look at the game’s multiplayer. The game is out next month, and if you would like to refresh yourself on the tracks included,  give this a look. While you are clicking links, here’s the minimum and recommended PC specifications which dropped last […]

  • Looks like Logitech is getting out of OEM mouse production business [Clarification]

    Logitech will no longer produce “low-end” mice, citing a decline in PC accessories. This story has been updated to include a clarification. According to a Reuters report, per MCV, the firm will instead focus on video accessories and streaming music, as its wireless Bluetooth speakers are now its best-selling product rage. This will help offset […]

  • Win! We have 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys to give away

    Must have more MOBA? Win one of our 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys and see if you’re more Blizzard than LoL. Can’t wait for June 2? Of course you can’t. We have 1,000 closed beta keys for Heroes of the Storm to give away this week, allowing you access before Blizzard’s MOBA goes […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X Nintendo Direct airs tomorrow, April 24

    A Nintendo Direct devoted entirely to Xenoblade Chronicles X will air this Friday, April 24. The video showcase will start at 11am PDT/2pm EDT/7pm UK. After the showcase, a new Nintendo Treehouse: Live presentation featuring the game will air. This is the second Xenoblace Chronicles X Nintendo Direct, but the first in English. The first […]

  • Blizzard will have 500 game stations set up at gamescom 2015

    Blizzard is heading to gamescom 2015 in August and it will have 500 game stations set up for attendees to get their hands on five of its titles. The developer will be set up in Hall 7 and those who stop by will be able to get hands-on with the latest content for Heroes of […]

  • PS4 price cut to £299 in UK

    Sony has dropped the price of the PS4 in the UK. For a limited time only, you can grab the console for £299.99 from Argos, Game, Tesco and Very. Go to Amazon.co.uk and you’ll get it for £289. You’ve only got until April 28, then it goes back up to £349. Go, go, go. For […]

  • Mad Max: first ever gameplay footage revealed

    Today, we get to finally take our first look at gameplay from Mad Max. Avalanche and Warner Bros. have shown off the first gameplay trailer for Mad Max today. The trailer below offers a look at melee combat, car combat, customisation and much more. Give it a watch below: There are a few new screenshots […]

  • Overlord: Fellowship of Evil has four-player co-op like we figured

    Codemasters has pulled the veil back on the next Overlord game, and its a four-player co-op game called Overlord: Fellowship of Evil. Rhianna Pratchett is back to write the story. The game may be co-op at its core, but it can still be played single-player. Each of the four playable character have strengths and weaknesses, […]

  • Update now available for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon X and Y

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire along with Pokemon X and Y are being updated by Nintendo to fix a few bugs and in-game text. There’s also the possibility of a few hacks and exploits being fixed. Per Nintendo Life (via Serebii), both patches are 250-270 blocks in size, and it’s a mandatory update which […]

  • Side-scrolling cover shooter Not a Hero gets a demo

    Not a Hero, the upcoming game from OlliOlli developer Roll7, has received a demo. The demo for Not a Hero was made available today on Steam. In the game, you play as Steve, the campaign manager for BunnyLord. A time-travelling rabbit who’s running for mayor of London. Think this is an absurd premise? This trailer […]

  • You have until April 30 to export your Green Day: Rock Band tracks to Rock Band 3

    Harmonix has announced that those looking to export their song collection from Green Day: Rock Band into Rock Band 3 can only do so until the end of the month. April 30 will be the cutoff date for anyone who wants to export tracks from Green Day: Rock Band into their Rock Band 3 library, […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight minimum, recommended, and ultra PC specs revealed

    Batman: Arkham Knight is looking like it’s going to be quite a taxing game. Nvidia has released a list of the minimum, recommended, and ultra PC requirements for Batman: Arkham Knight. Here’s the full thing: Minimum OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required) Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom […]

  • Bloodborne patch 1.03 is live, reduces loading times, fixes suspend/resume bugs, more

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Bloodborne. The patch reduces loading times, adds item descriptions to loading screens, and fixes other various bugs. From Software has pushed update 1.03 live to all Bloodborne owners. As promised, it reduces loading times by approximately 5 to 15 seconds. Another new addition is showing item descriptions instead of […]

  • Battlefield 4: first look at Community Map in action

    Get your first look at the map designed by the community of Battlefield 4. Battlefield 4′s community-designed map is a reality. DICE has recently updated CTE to include an early version of the map. It’s not fully textured as Westie is about to show you, but the layout is nearly finalised. Westie goes over the […]

  • Microsoft apologises for uploading misleading Witcher 3: Wild Hunt footage

    Xbox’s YouTube channel uploaded a video of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt yesterday that was captured from the PC build. The most recent gameplay video for the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt appeared on the Xbox YouTube channel and showed a quest from the game’s opening section. A few minutes after it had gone live, […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator’s new game is Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is the game Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets has been working on. Patrice Desilets has just announced that the next game his indie studio Panache Digital Games is making is called Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. The announcement comes from Desilets’s keynote at the Reboot Develop event in Croatia. The trailer started […]

  • Bloodborne: Cathedral Ward closed door mystery solved

    The mystery of the locked door at the bottom of the Cathedral Ward in Bloodborne has been solved. Bloodborne, like earlier From Software games, is filled with doors that don’t open the first time you try them. Some will give you “locked” messages, others “does not open from this side”. Some of these will open […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets is revealing his next game now [UPDATE: ended]

    Patrice Desilets, one of the original creators of Assassin’s Creed is hosting a presentation where he’s expected to talk about his next project. Patrice Desilets has emerged once again. This time he’s attending development conference in Croatia. Desilets is giving a live keynote and there’s a good chance we’re going to hear about his next […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: everything you need to know about gear upgrades & The Reef

    Bungie revealed plenty of important details in last night’s Destiny stream. Let’s go over everything. Alex wants to make sure you don’t miss any of the information revealed yesterday. Most of it affects all Destiny players too, even those who don’t intend on buying House of Wolves. During the first stream, Bungie explained the armour […]

  • Mod-friendly Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access in May

    Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access next month for a full release, Stardok has announced. The developer called the game the “largest and most diverse strategy sandbox to date,” as players have a variety of tools such as diplomatic treaties to resource exchanges, and United Planets resolutions to hundreds of research directions for […]

  • Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim is out next week on PC – here’s the pre-order trailer

    Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim will be released next week on PC, and today, we have a pre-order trailer for you. The game will be made available on April 28 for $19.99/€17.99/£13.99 on GOG, the Humble Store and Steam. Along with improvements over the original PSP version, it will contain less backtracking, controller support […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – full gear set up to level 34 in PvP and PvE, upgrades, more

    The Destiny: House of Wolves livestream this afternoon was chock full of information. Read onward for our full report. According to Bungie, Petra Venj, who serves the Queen, is the main story agent who leads the player through the main series of quests. Players who complete bounties will be able to level up in her […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – watch the livestream right here

    Bungie will host a Destiny: House of Wolves livestream at 2pm EDT today, and you can watch it right here. Watch live video from Bungie on www.twitch.tv The stream will introduce the new social space, The Reef, as well as gear upgrade paths. House of Wolves contains new Strike missions, The Prison of Elders three-player […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 22 team includes Barcelona, Chelsea players

    This week’s FIFA 15 Team of the Week is now available for FIFA Ultimate Team players. Each team member, as with previous weeks, is selected base on the previous weekend’s matches. Here’s the list of players now available: Starting GK: Claudio Bravo – FC Barcelona (Spain) CB: Leonardo Bonucci – Juventus (Italy) CB: Ömer Toprak […]

  • Sony’s Spring Fever Sale winds down with Shovel Knight and Call of Duty discounts

    It’s the final week of Sony’s Spring Fever Sale which means more games have been added to the mix. Shovel Knight, which launches today is one offer, and the rest are all Cal of Duty titles. The Taken movie series is on sale as well. With Shovel Knight available today on PlayStation 3, PS4 and […]

  • Drivers for Xbox controllers, voice messages, more features available in Xbox One preview

    Microsoft has announced new features coming to Xbox One and the Xbox App on Windows 10 through the preview program this month. Some of the new features have been requested by the community for both Xbox One and Xbox One SmartGlass. Here’s what to expect, straight from the horse’s mouth: Xbox on Windows 10 Game […]

  • Total War: Warhammer has been announced for PC, Mac, SteamOS

    Total War: Warhammer has been announced after previous teases from The Creative Assembly touched upon it. The game will contain “gigantic monsters, flying creatures, legendary heroes and storms of magical power.” It is also the first in a trilogy which includes two additional standalone titles and extra content packs. It will feature thousands of warriors […]

  • This video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt features a quest from the prologue

    A new video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, showing off the Precious Cargo quest contained in the game’s prologue. The quest tasks Geralt with helping a merchant retrieve a mysterious box from the swamps. The scene looks familiar, but we’ve seen so many videos for the game it’s hard to tell […]

  • Limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online kicks off tomorrow on consoles

    The limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited will launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One tomorrow, and Sony has provided details on the tester for those who’ve been invited to participate. The beta test contains the full version of the game and will run from April 23-27, and will start and […]

  • Dying Light debuts in second place on Media Create charts

    Techland’s Dying Light made its debut in Japan lats week, coming in a respectable second place behind Nintendo’s Girls Mode 3: Kirakira Code. The zombie shooter sold 25,530 units on PlayStation 4, while the top earner for the week moved a little over 55,000 units on 3DS. Another western release when landed on the chart, […]

  • Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven will release in the west this June

    Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven has been given a release date by XSEED Games, which announced the localization back in February. The title will launch for 3DS in North America on June 2 digitally and through retail. It will be an eShop only title in Europe and Australia when it releases on June 4. A […]

  • This Overlord video teases four new faces of evil

    A new Overlord game is in the works, going by the previous teasing and this video – which teases the possibility of four-payer co-op. Or just four characters to choose from. We don’t know just yet – all we know is the team is asking you to “join the fellowship.” A new entry in the […]

  • GTA movie will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar’s Sam Houser, the BBC confirms

    The GTA movie Game Changer will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar co-founder and president Sam Houser, theBBC has confirmed. The BBC also confirmed Bill Paxton will play Jack Thompson, a role Paxton already confirmed last week when speaking with Deadline. Here’s the synopsis per the BBC: “Conceived for an adult audience, this special 90-minute drama […]

  • Take a look at Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode

    Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode has received a trailer today. Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold will come with two modes, Classic and Story. Classic Mode was trailered today and in it, you’ll get to make your party by choosing from 13 classes. You’ll be able to customise them too using the character creation tool. Revamped […]

  • Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows to come with new challenge mode

    Shovel Knight’s upcoming expansion Plague of Shadows will bring with it a new challenge mode. Shovel Knight developer Yacht Club Games has revealed the challenge mode, one of the new additions coming to the game with the free Plague of Shadows expansion. “Are you more into digging than distillation? Already have your Feats book long […]

  • Nvidia releases complete graphical guide for GTA 5

    Those with GeForce cards will be happy to know that Nvidia has released a comprehensive graphical tweaks guide for GTA 5. Nvidia usually produces graphical guides for the big AAA games, and GTA 5 is no different. Their guides offer in-depth coverage of each in-game setting, how much they affect framerate, if they can be […]