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Xbox 720 release delayed due poor processor quality – report

Thursday, 6th September 2012 11:48 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox 720 hasn’t even been unveiled by Microsoft yet, but a fresh report suggests that the reveal itself could be delayed due to a manufacturing issue that has led to ‘painfully low’ processor quality.

Tech news site SemiAccurate has stated – by way of OXM – that Xbox 720 will house AMD manufactured processors, rather than the Xbox 360′s IBM chips. The site claims that the processors were due to enter production this December, but delays have set in.

The site also claims that AMD’s Xbox 720 processor goes by the internal codename ‘Oban’, and is being developed at several locations in the East, but that the build quality is – as the site describes it – ‘painfully low’. The site’s source went so far as to say the build quality wasn’t even up to “horrid” yet.

This could mean delays in the Xbox 720 launch – which may sound daft as we don’t even know when it’s due in the first instance – but the site also claims that proper processor testing takes about eight weeks before they are shippable. A source has told the site that Microsft is currently targeting a September 2013 launch for Xbox 720.

The report also claims that date Microsoft can submit chips for testing before the end of the year is November 8, meaning it will miss the rumoured December production schedule. SemiAccurate estimates that Microsoft needs to enter full production by February 2013 to hit the rumoured September release date.

Cheers again OXM.

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63 Comments

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  1. JonFE

    Don’t know if these reports are true, but, I assume, the last thing Microsoft needs for the x360 successor, is “poor quality”.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. DrDamn

    That kind of links in with the Gamestop story the other day. In fact the last couple of paragraphs seem to be spelling that out without going as far as linking the other article. The delay to 2014 would still very much be an unfounded implication. Time could be made back in a number of ways. Missing 2013 would be pretty big for either MS or Sony. More manageable by MS I’d say, but still not something either wants to do.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Gheritt White

    Could lead to a November release – still don’t see them releasing after Xmas 2013 though, even if build quality suffers as a result.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. aseddon130

    This is literally the last thing that the next Xbox needs, another RRoD scandal. I was dumb enough to keep going with Xbox 360 even though I am currently on my 16th console (ended up buying 5 different ones in the end for individual reasons including RRoD, the rest were exchanged for new ones)and now that I am ever so slightly older and wiser, I won’t be going through that shit again. If my next Xbox or PS4 dies on me, then that’ll be all!

    #4 2 years ago
  5. zinc

    So history repeats itself. MS rush to release a poorly built console and Nintendo have their gimmick. I look forward to seeing Sony’s $500 George Foreman grill :-/

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Krisgebis

    This story doesn’t seem legit. They would start production of the console this early, it is both a bad idea and runs counter to normal console manufacturing.
    The cost will only get smaller if they wait, so why waste alot of money and warehouse space, by start producing the console 1 year+ before release?

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Ali

    @6 from what I get they still didn’t reach a finalized build.

    Thing is, if Microsoft is to win the market, they need to start focusing on avoiding what preventing the 360 from dominating the PS3. I couldn’t think of a poorer quality console than the 360. If they can reach the market b4 Sony does, then I don’t think an extra 50-100$ for an improved quality would harm them. I would rather pay that than seeing my console dying out less than a year later.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DrDamn

    @6
    The story is about test fabrication runs. I.e. let’s try producing this in bulk and check it works out ok. Not yet about full on production runs of the chips. You need the tests to be suitably successful though, otherwise you aren’t going to get high enough yields and that’s going to send your costs up.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. NocturnalB

    @6 Read the SemiAccurate article linked above. They aren’t talking about the entire console this subject focuses on the gpu/cpu manufacturing and getting the wrinkles hammered out. It’s all about the schedule with the foundries and yeah 7 & 8 both beat me to it testing.. slow typer, sorry.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dave Cook

    @7,8,9 yeah I made sure to state that they were only talking about the processors. I knew some folk would miss that ;)

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Lord Gremlin

    So, this time Sony console launches before Microsoft’s. I kind of expected that.
    Seems reasonable – right now we have PS3 – a good quality machine and the 360 RROD box. No way MS would want their console to be same disaster again. Maybe they also don’t mind taking a look at PS4 first. PS3 came out later and was blatantly capable of more – look what happened to exclusives. Even some multiplatform games now look way better on PS3. With more similar architecture edge in power will become all the more important…

    #11 2 years ago
  12. NocturnalB

    @11 I could care less who comes out first (though i don’t want to held waiting all the way to early/mid 2014) I care about them getting the parts and pieces right and working together. It’s exciting to see the gpu may be more updated than what’s been going through the rumor mill.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Dave Cook

    @12 yeah I’m the same. Its sad how some gamers think that whoever ever launches first has ‘won’ the generation. Idiotic. Plus, how can you ‘win’ a generation, who’s keeping score? It’s all subjective surely?

    Ah, *grumble, grumble, grumble* :P

    #13 2 years ago
  14. DrDamn

    @12
    Actually from the point of view of someone who will likely end up with all three new systems it’s probably better if they are spread out a bit. :)

    Also spotted the point about GPU in the main article. Could turn out to be more of a story than this in the long run.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. hitnrun

    @11 I think the trend in exclusives resulted from Sony continuing to buy them. Microsoft abandoned its early strategy of targeting its video game machine to people who played video games in favor of chasing the fast-fading Wii unicorn.

    On that note, I’m less interested in what the system’s specs are than what its focus is. I was already feeling pretty violated by the keep-your-hand-on-your-wallet 360 experience before they turned their interface into a cellphone and declared that the future of videogame consoles was soccer moms controlling their movie selections with motion controls. (Pardon the Americanism.)

    #15 2 years ago
  16. manamana

    @11 I had Ylod on my first PS3 so shut up, fanboy!

    #16 2 years ago
  17. NocturnalB

    @13 Console hardware catching up after a long lag like this generation behind PC’s means games are going to start looking way better on BOTH platforms in the near future. Which means i win. That’s how i keep score anyway.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Dave Cook

    @16 how was he being a fan boy? I’m confused :/

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Christopher Jack

    @13, Not really, you’d be in denial to say that Ninty didn’t ‘win’ this generation regardless of your thoughts of their consoles & strategy. Frankly, I don’t know if there’s even been a generation where the first console out ‘won’, nor the most powerful has won either.

    @16, Surely you aren’t comparing YLoD to RRoD, are you?

    #19 2 years ago
  20. ManuOtaku

    A big company like AMD can do that faulty products?, if thats the case i think the best thing for Microsoft is to not rush the release, wait untill you know you are releasing a quality product, just to avoid the biggest issue the current console had, but that will depend on how much pressure they will be getting, and how well the WiiU will do, and what Sony will bring to the table, in the end if this is true, it will not be an easy call to Microsoft, hard times for them.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Dave Cook

    @19 I disagree whole heartedly that Nintendo won the generation, because I don’t think anyone did. I think they all bleed in to each other and together make for an astounding and innovative industry. I never single out a winner because that’s just stupid in my opinion.

    Plus, doing so causes petty arguments. Hence why I avoid it.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. DrDamn

    @19
    Nintendo was clearly winner in terms of console sales, MS and Sony would love to have had those figures, but the overall approach wouldn’t have suited either. By that I mean MS and Sony are both trying to capture a set-top box market through which they can sell you a whole range of stuff. Not just games. The approach Nintendo took and through which it “won” the generation doesn’t support those goals.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Dave Cook

    @22 you’re right, but that’s now the measurement most people us is it? They use tons of metrics, like exclusives, spec, signings, services, functionality, security, online stability.

    My point is, what does the word ‘won’ mean in this context. I honestly don’t know.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. NocturnalB

    @15 Valid point too. Their focus will be a whole different issue entirely and having always been an Xbox gamer (when it comes to consoles) I’m worried too. I don’t like that the new generation is falling right in the time for windows 8. The motion gaming and tablet style touch screen interface is for the birds. I mention Win8 because you’ve already seen the current dashboard iteration, God help us if they keep pushing the new tablet fad/fascination.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Moonwalker1982

    I just hope one thing, and that this will be sorted out.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. OlderGamer

    First on the story, I would rather see delays if something isn’t where it should be then to see it rushed anyways. Release it when it is ready.

    Not to make another Nintendo owns all thread, but if you look at BOTH hardware sales and 1st party software sales, Nintendo was and still is miles ahead of both Sony and MS this gen. Because EA nor Acti are platform holders, their sales don’t factor into that equation.

    And even if you did, Nintendo games still have a hold on the top sales charts for the gen.

    Now, if you want to further break down the charts and call MS/Sony core or multimedia boxes and Nintendo Casual, then yes MS or Sony won the core market. Go ahead if that helps you fel better as a gamer ;)

    But as a platform holder goes, Nintendos hardware and software outsold MS hardware and software as well as out selling Sony hardware and software. It just is what it is.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. N2O1990

    Why are some people here equating low yield with RROD?

    And i don’t even know how OXM UK/VG247 can say this is processor problem,since semi accurate is talking about low yield

    #27 2 years ago
  28. DrDamn

    @26
    No one was disputing those points though. The point is that neither Sony or MS wanted to do what Nintendo did in order to achieve what they did. For them it’s not simply about winning an individual generation, it’s about building and owning long term revenue streams.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. PEYJ

    I would say that the winner of a generation would be the the platform with most sold consoles in a lifetime of a generation. And since all three consoles still are in the market, an overall winner has yet to be determined.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. monkeygourmet

    @28

    But doing that, 1 of them eventually will have to fail.

    That’s why Nintendo had to splinter off and create a new space.

    Worked fine for Wii, let’s see how well Sony and MS do in this next gen, with Apple breathing down their necks…

    #30 2 years ago
  31. zinc

    The winner of this generation is the consumer. I doubt their has ever been such variety and choice, dispute what naysayers may have us believe.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. DrDamn

    @30
    There is always room for more than one player in every market with the right knowledge and backing. Obviously Sony and MS had more reason to take the approach they did, and the same for Nintendo – they played to their strengths. Also agree that MS & Sony are starting to converge with other players taking a different route to the same goal (like Apple).

    @31
    Thoroughly agree there. Competition has been fantastic on lots of levels.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. Moonwalker1982

    Painfully low quality sounds really really bad though. Jesus.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. monkeygourmet

    @31

    Awwww, how sweet! :) it’s true though, soooooo many good games. Everyone should be able to afford all 3 platforms by now!

    I bet you could get all 3 machines and an exclusive title for each for about £350 if you shopped around, that’s insane value! :)

    @32

    I think Apple will change the market for home media all in one solutions (prob with Apple TV).

    Microsoft look well set with the 720, Kinect and tablet smart glass combo. I feel Sony is rather out on a limb if they don’t announce some kind of similar tablet functionality (Vita won’t cut it).

    #34 2 years ago
  35. monkeygourmet

    @33

    Yeah, but it’s not like they’ve said their going to use them.

    This gen my Xbox broke twice, MS sent it back each time for free and with 1 month xbla vouchers.

    My PS3 broke once, Sony charged me £100 and then REMOVED the functionality of playing PS2 games without asking me!!! I had just bought Odin Sphere, God Hand and Maximo to play on it.

    I know which service I prefer.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. Moonwalker1982

    @35

    That’s true man. Say what you say, but MS has great service, BUT…they only introduced that service when the RROD really became public and huge. I don’t think they had that service before. Sony’s service is really shitty yet. I don’t use my PS3 alot, but i heard if the Blu Ray player dies, there’s no warranty on that. If true, ridiculous.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. ManuOtaku

    You know i dont mind who comes first really, i just want that all the consoles do good numbers, like this generation, what i dont want is the hughe discrepancy in numbers like in the 6TH generation when sony sold +120 million consoles, and the other two barely made more than 20, that is not healthy for the industry, not in competition, in improvement and in a lot of factors as well, therefore i just want the next generation to be like this one, i mean that all manufacturers make great numbers all around, whoever comes first it shouldnt matter IMHO.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. ManuOtaku

    #35 Monkeygourmet, “Odin Sphere, God Hand and Maximo”, all of them great games, especially God Hand, i have my fat 60 GB ps3 launch model without the update that took away the Other OS , and the Backwards capability, in order to play thoss great PS2 games, i did buy the slim just in order to play the newest games that ask an update in order to play them, heck iam still very critic about this move from Sony side till this very day.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. monkeygourmet

    @36

    Yep, I can confirm that’s true. My blu ray drive crapped out, that is why they charged me £100!!!! I could have done it for about £20 but I’m a bit nervous when it comes to soldering! :)

    And it took about 3 weeks to come back, then PSN went down and I couldn’t enjoy Demon Souls properly! O__o

    @38

    I haven’t forgiven them either, I phoned up to say they had made me waste my money to see if they would at least give me PSN credit to re buy these games when they released eventually, they just said ‘no way’…

    I hate Sony’s service, it’s awful. I love it when hackers crack there consoles open to reclaim these features that we had paid for originally.

    IMO they have down exactly the same thing with a lot of Vita features. Another reason I sold mine, I could just see them removing features then drip feeding them back to us with the illusion of helping us out…

    #39 2 years ago
  40. DrDamn

    @35
    When you say they removed the backwards compatibility do you mean your FAT PS3 was replaced with a Slim one? They didn’t actually remove that functionality in an OS update in the US did they?

    I was lucky with my 360 failures and touch wood my launch PS3 is still going strong. First 360 died within a year with GPU failure – covered by shop, replaced with brand new unit and a further 12 month warranty. RROD occurred on the replacement and that went off to MS for a fix and I passed that on to my brother and got an Elite – still going strong.

    #40 2 years ago
  41. DrDamn

    @36
    Of course the warranty covers the Bluray player – it can’t not. If it’s out of the manufacturers warranty period then things become more woolly.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. Moonwalker1982

    @41

    But what about MonkeyGourmet though? Unless that was out of the manufactureers warranty.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. DrDamn

    @42
    Must be out of warranty. MS only extended the RROD warranty to 3 years due to the bad press. If your DVD drive went after the first year you had to pay too.

    #43 2 years ago
  44. Da Man

    Sony won’t launch before MS. The sad bastards will, yet again, wait for the reveal of a new Xbox and a few months later present their console.

    Besides, they’re probably too busy with some useless space age tech right now themselves…

    #44 2 years ago
  45. Moonwalker1982

    @44

    But Sony did state they they did not want/plan to be the last again, to reveal a new console.

    #45 2 years ago
  46. monkeygourmet

    @42

    Had it for just over a year I think so maybe tht was out of warranty?

    @40

    Replaced Fat 60 gig backwards compatible PS3 with a fat 60 gig PS3 without b/c…

    The slim had not been announced yet.

    Just wanted to point out that although 360 has its problems, the service they offer is so much more efficient than what I have experienced with Sony.

    #46 2 years ago
  47. Da Man

    #45 – They said many things. They also said they were never the first one to bring theirs to the market, go figure.

    #47 2 years ago
  48. DrDamn

    @46
    You in the US or UK/Euro? Not had any experience this generation with Sony service but problems with PSOne and PS2 were very well dealt with in the UK. Courier came and took away broken machines at the same time as delivering replacement working machine.

    When you experienced your problem with MS this generation determined level of service, they weren’t always so quick and efficient. By the time I had to rely on MS to fix stuff it was a one week turn around – which was good. There were some horror stories earlier than that though.

    #48 2 years ago
  49. monkeygourmet

    @48

    UK.

    It’s been working since but was just surprised as my dealings with MS was so smooth! :)

    #49 2 years ago
  50. DrDamn

    @49
    You could have argued a bit in the UK. A warranty must be 1 year but the product should be free of manufacturing faults for a reasonably amount of time. It’s not tricky to argue a Bluray player should work for > 1 year, but the burden does switch to the owner to prove it was a manufacturing fault which caused the issue.

    #50 2 years ago
  51. monkeygourmet

    @50

    I did a fair bit of arguing, they seemed so adamant that they weren’t going to budge on this ‘policy’, I just wished they’d had thrown in a PSN card or something to sweeten the blow! :)

    Also, at no point did they say they would remove features, which was quite a big deal to me

    #51 2 years ago
  52. DrDamn

    @51
    Well that’s just shitty. They should have given you the option to have *your* machine repaired, not just replaced by a refurb. You could have made them take it back and refund you at that point but I guess it was just not worth the hassle by then. Service wise the damage was done.

    #52 2 years ago
  53. G1GAHURTZ

    “This could mean delays in the Xbox 720 launch – which may sound daft as we don’t even know when it’s due in the first instance…”

    Yes.

    It does sound incredibly daft, indeed.

    #53 2 years ago
  54. G1GAHURTZ

    “This could mean delays in the Xbox 720 launch – which may sound daft as we don’t even know when it’s due in the first instance…”

    Yes…

    It does sound incredibly daft, indeed.

    #54 2 years ago
  55. fearmonkey

    The interesting thing is that leaked MS article showed Arm x86 cores so this could still be a possibility.

    Also, the HD7000 spec means nothing without a card/chip model to base performance off of. The rumored GPU was a HD6670 and there is a rebranded version of that card called a HD7670, it has a HD7000 moniker buts the same chip as the HD6670, which is mediocre part. Let’s hope for a true Southern Islands GPU, but i’m thinking this ios what it might use.

    Could Pachter have had this information before when he made his 2014 announcement? If the delay happens and its past the november window, it would indeed be a spring 2014 launch.

    #55 2 years ago
  56. NocturnalB

    @53 But hey at least it gave you a reason to speak up and be redundant right??

    #56 2 years ago
  57. fearmonkey

    Looking over the article linked regarding the AMD Fusion chips that have AMD x86 cores and ARM cores, it talks about re-ordering memory and that Southern islands are built not having to use AMD CPU X86 memory ordering, so maybe a true southern islands chip is possible then :)

    #57 2 years ago
  58. sh4dow

    “So history repeats itself.”

    Well of course. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And we all know how dense people are. (This just reminds me of a book… “The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress”)

    #58 2 years ago
  59. G1GAHURTZ

    @55:

    Punctuation fail.

    #59 2 years ago
  60. ManuOtaku

    #57 Well humans are the only animals that stumble on the same rock twice, so yeah, we are prone to repeat past mistakes.

    #60 2 years ago
  61. NocturnalB

    @58 You’re pathetic.

    #61 2 years ago
  62. rav555

    Interesting…for starters AMD does not manufacture it’s cpus or for that matter any silicon cpu, apu, gpu or otherwise. AMD IS a design house.

    So that little factoid gets in the way of your credibility.
    But to continue: to say that the marriage of a Radeon 7000 to a new gen quad core is difficult would be an understatement.

    Microsoft has some savvy, one would think that low yields are expected and in fact ALL new silicon has poor yields. But chip design quality is not a yield issue. The design is sound or three console makers would NOT have bought in. I guess that Wii U may not be x86 but too soon to tell for certain.

    Your article implies that the problem is a design issue when it most certainly isn’t, it is a fabrication issue which again is to be expected.

    The last rumour had xBox 720 with Intel inside and Intel graphics! But that one was too ludicrous to even pay the slightest attention to.

    As a game box cpu it only needs to perform for graphics. That means the typical MS bloatware is not going to be slogging the silicon down. Also ALL benches against Intel integrated graphics or Sandy Birdge and up are outrageously trumped by AMD. Since a game box doesn’t need to calculate a spreadsheet or Pi to a bazzillion decimal places Inel can not compete. While I am surprised to see MS and the rest of the pack switch to x86 from a RISC instruction set, AMD does have the benefit of having the best performing graphics and cheapest silicon available. Unless someone wants to argue that a TegraII console is the way to go? Yeah right.

    I would suspect that the lack of the bloatware handicap will keep AMD very competitive in the game console market. Don’t forget that Intel is about 5 generations behind Radeon graphics cores.

    #62 2 years ago
  63. roadkill

    @4 Seriously? 16 consoles? Wow! Amazing! You people really don’t know what to do with so much money.

    #63 2 years ago