Game on: Xbox 720 and PS4 go head to head with Microsoft set to launch console today
Expectations are high after Sony’s dispiriting launch of the new PS4
Tomorrow night Microsoft will unveil the latest generation of its Xbox console in Redmond, Washington.
Expectations are high after Sony’s dispiriting launch of the new PS4 back in February (a tweaked controller design was on display but little else), and although there seems to be a consensus regarding the hardware specifications, Xbox spokesman Major Nelson is still promising that the Tuesday release will “mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment”.
Most analysts agree that the new console will sport an eight-core CPU from AMD running at 1.6ghz. This will be supported by 8GB of DDR3 RAM, supplemented by 32MB of ‘ESRAM’ – specialised RAM connected directly to the graphics unit. A Blu-ray drive also seems a given, as well as USB 3.0 connections and a 500GB hard drive as standard. Oddly enough, the interesting point about these specs is how unremarkable they are.
The set-up is very similar to what’s known about the PS4 and it seems that the differences between the two consoles will be more focus on media services and extras, rather than raw processing power.
Potential names for the new console have been varied, with each backed by credible-but-inconclusive proofs. ‘Xbox Fusion’ has been suggested after a slew of domain registrations; the codename ‘Project Durango’ was supported by an early leak last year, and ‘Xbox Now!’ (exclamation mark mandatory) has been the most recent suggestion.
The Now! moniker comes via an employee from Rare (a Microsoft owned games-studio) who posted the rumour on the online forum 4chan, with the name supposedly referring to the new console’s range of internet-enabled, always-on services.
The ‘Xbox Now!’ suggestion also supports the argument that the battle for supremacy amongst the new generation of consoles will be fought through media services.
A long-held rumour that the new Xbox would be ‘always-on’ has been quashed by the leak of an internal email, but no-one doubts that internet-based services will stand front-and-center tomorrow and Redmond.
Major Nelson’s promise of “TV and entertainment” suggests that Microsoft will be aiming to position the new console as a media-hub, most likely consolidating their current partnership with Netflix.
Sources at The Verge have also reported that the Xbox will receive a direct line-in for TV signals, allowing the console to overlay Xbox Live functionality during normal TV viewing.
Such a move would put Microsoft in a good position in the battle for our sitting rooms, as Google and Apple’s TV ‘solutions’ continue to stall. And all this speculation is without even considering possible games (though this will probably just be the march of the franchises – one definite reveal tomorrow will be the latest instalment of Call of Duty, ‘Ghosts’), which just shows how the console’s position in the entertainment industry has evolved, mirroring the development of the smartphone as a hardware solution absorbs different software functionality.
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Deliberately urinating before sex can increase risk of urinary tract infections
Cervical cancer: Charity urges women to post messy lipstick selfies to promote smear tests
Broadmoor financial scandal: The £4m of NHS funds wasted at high-security hospital
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall during coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior Test Analyst/Systems Administ...
£40000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Global Real Estate Software P...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity for a talented...
£17000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continuing growth, recru...