Microsoft’s third-generation Xbox game console is coming out in 2013 and will pack Radeon HD-based graphics processors from Advanced Micro Devices, according to several tech and entertainment sites.
Microsoft and AMD would not comment on the reports from SemiAccurate, Fudzilla, and IGN, which differ slightly as to the specs and release schedule for the unnamed console, referred to variously in previous media reports as the Xbox 720, Xbox Next, or Xbox Loop.
SemiAccurate’s Charlie Demerjian reported last week that 32-nanometer chips code named Oban that will power the successor to the Xbox 360 are currently in production. According to Demerjian, Oban combines a Power PC central processor from IBM with a Radeon HD 7000-series GPU from AMD. The chips are being manufactured by IBM and GlobalFoundries, AMD’s spun-off manufacturing arm, the story goes.
The console itself won’t start rolling off assembly lines until late this year and the Xbox 720/Next/Loop won’t hit retail shelves before the second quarter of 2013, according to SemiAccurate.
Fudzilla’s David Stellmack later claimed his sources confirmed the SemiAccurate details, adding that Microsoft’s plans for a 2013 release of the console are “all but assured.”
But IGN, a division of News Corp., offered a different take this week on the GPU being used in the rumored console. Instead of AMD’s latest 7000 series parts, the console’s processor will utilize the older 6000 series GPU, IGN reported, citing “sources close to the project.”
“More specifically, it will be akin to the Radeon HD 6670, which offers support for DirectX11, multi-display output, 3D, and 1080p HD output,” IGN’s Scott Lowe reported Tuesday. Even if Microsoft isn’t using the latest, greatest GPU from AMD, the “Xbox 720′s raw graphics processing power is expected to be six times that of the Xbox 360 and will yield 20 percent greater performance than Nintendo’s forthcoming console, the Wii U,” Lowe said.