Microsoft patent app points to scalable console platform

Wednesday, 11th July 2012 13:06 GMT By Stace Harman

The recent publication of a patent application, filed by Microsoft in December 2010, suggests that the platform holder has considered the notion of console hardware that can be customised and upgraded over time, Eurogamer has reported.

A patent application made by Microsoft in 2010 may give clues to the technical architecture of the company’s next-gen console, which could include the ability for hardware resources to “scale up or down over time.”

The document was published in June 2012 and discovered by a member of the Beyond3D Forum. It has been interpreted by Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry tech journalist, Richard Leadbetter, as pointing to Microsoft establishing it’s own “base architecture” for a console platform that could be customised to provide different levels of hardware capability. This could result in different models of hardware built around the same underlying components but with varying performance capability.

The patent application is said to share some similarities with the alleged leaked “Xbox 720″ documents that caused a furore earlier this year, with both suggesting a multi-CPU, multi-GPU system specification.

In his dissection of the patent application Leadbetter said,

“While the patent could be interpreted to mean that different Xbox SKUs could be released with different levels of multimedia capability, the ‘over time’ element in the application could suggest that Microsoft is giving itself the option of opting out from the traditional fixed architecture model.”

He later noted: “What should be stressed is that everything we’ve heard about the current Project Durango points towards a more traditional console design, and that this patent application is over 18 months old. Many of these applications are often lodged simply for legal reasons and never actually turn into final products.”



  1. ManuOtaku

    Well i was hoping for the next gen to have something like the n64 did had back in the day, i meant that device add on needed in order to play bigger games like donkey kong letting you increase the capacity of the graphics, but of course taking this idea to the next level, i think that will be pretty great, therefore i hope this turns true and i hope it isfor all consoles not only xbox 720.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Maximum Payne

    I am PC gamer , but I wouldn’t wanted that in any console.
    Not to mention that would make development time even longer to polish each version then…

    #2 2 years ago
  3. TMRNetShark

    This is a bad idea… splintering potential audiences from buying a game because they need to buy another $150 piece of hardware is bad. At least with PC games, the graphics scale to the powerload that your computer has available.

    #3 2 years ago

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