Microsoft Asks: “Do We Even Need to Build a Better Xbox?”

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On this very site we’ve talked many times about concepts and ideas for an eventual Xbox succesor, but apparently, Microsoft have their own schedule.

Apparently, big game producers are quite happy with the plateau console development has hit, and big names in the industry like Frank Gibeau, of EA said there’s not any kind of urgency for Microsoft or Sony to develop a new gaming system. His exact words were “It’s hard for me to conceive what you would do on a PlayStation 4,” according to our source. “The displays are already 1080p, you’re already connected to the Internet. … You could make it faster, you could have more polys and you could up the graphics a little bit … but at what cost?”

Gibeau refers specifically to the fact that thanks to add-ons like Microsoft’s Kinect or Sony’s Playstation Move, added to the frequent updates and almost photo-realistic graphics seen in some games, there’s not much a current generation console couldn’t do. This can be contrasted to the PC gaming current situation, though. Because the PC is an open platform, hardware development never stops and most high-end computers are already technically more powerful than current gen consoles, but there’s more to gaming than just pretty graphics. Granted, Crysis looks much better on PC’s than consoles, but then again, isn’t Crysis just your standard Sci-Fi FPS?

This generation of consoles has already had its share of classics, but we have to admit it took a while for developers to catch on, arguing that producing for the (at the time) next-gen consoles was just too expensive and not worth it. Now that pretty much everyone has caught on, is it worth it to go back to the previous situation just to have a new Call of Duty that looks slightly better?

And this takes us to our final point: there just haven’t been many new franchises this generation, and save a couple gems, we’re still playing the same games we played on our Playstation 2 and original Xbox, only with prettier graphics. Cranking the graphics up and releasing a new console before anything truly revolutionary comes along to warrant a new console is just gonna make games staler, and gamers will end up with just new sequels while indie developers will again be left out of the latest innovations being that the price would go up again.

Apparently, though, Microsoft, and Sony seem to understand this, and seem to be holding out for 2015 for their respective new systems (the 10 year life-span so many blogs talk about). In the meanwhile, Nintendo seems to be trying to catch up with their long-due Wii U which should make for some interesting competition.

How do our readers feel about the possibility of an eventual Xbox 720? Also, be sure to check the latest news on Counter-Strike and the Persona 4 Fighting Game.

37 thoughts on “Microsoft Asks: “Do We Even Need to Build a Better Xbox?”

  1. Allen Williams .

    While I don’t intend to buy it, please make one anyway. I’m sick of these horrible looking console ports. People say its not about graphics, its about gameplay, but gameplay is usually fine unless you get a piece of crap like duke forever. Personally I’m already disappointed that the wii-u doesn’t have a direct-x 11 part.

    On the other hand maybe its not necessary, I’ve heard about a number of developers complaining about being limited to the xbox and ps3. They are considering making pc a higher priority. If that happens then let the xbox (and the ps3) die.

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  3. anonymous .

    Yes current console games are in 1080p but they’re upscaled. Heck a lot of games aren’t even native 720p. New hardware is needed.

    Xbox 360 is starting to show its age with its DVD format.(which the PS2 had).

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  5. @bradsboards .

    ” there just haven’t been many new franchises this generation, and save a couple gems, we’re still playing the same games we played on our Playstation 2 and original Xbox”

    Mass Effect
    Dragon Age
    Gears of War
    Little Big Planet
    LA Noire
    Batman: Arkham _____
    Assassins Creed
    Red Dead
    Dead Rising
    Left 4 Dead
    Dark/Demons Souls
    Dead Space
    Dark Siders

    In conclusion: WTF are you talking about?

  6. o0RECON0o .

    360 cant do 3D at 60 FPS, not to mention a lot of games including Battlefield 3, which brings up another issue, the DVD format. Battlefield will be 2disks as a result of game size. Our games look better and offer more on the PC. Imagine if we could have PC graphics and speed in game play with what Xbox Live offers? Imagine how many more PC gamers would Jump In! Especially with new trust in a completly new hardware device without the name 360 attached to it. The ring of death is still attached to the 360 name. Might justify the cost of simply improving tne power but not reinventing the wheel. A lot a game developers have said they could do a lot more with new system
    hardware. Improving hardware is a no brainer to anyone who understands tech. More ram alone makes to worth it. The 360 only has 512mb of unified RAM, most standard PCs sold today start at 4 to 6 Gig of RAM. This Gibeau is an idiot, Im buying PC to game, 360 is far to far behind in tech. Im looking forward to being creative in the map editors on PC games, something not offered much at all on 360. I could go on and on, the 360 is getting stale, has been for a long time. Happy PC gaming everyone, time for a comeback, cause thats what their pushing us to do. Just release the next gen xbox.

  7. Baldr .

    DVD is not a limitation. Big games can be spread across multiple disk, and XBL Marketplace has a huge selection of true HD movies cheaper than blu-ray disks, why do you need to pay for a more expensive drive?

    Oh and physical media is the past, you need to learn that or be a sad depressed individual in the future. UltraViolet is coming soon.

  8. letsjustgtow .

    NEWS FLASH: The Xbox 360 is a piece of shit and needs upgrading as soon as possible. No joke. This is not a joke at all. This is for real. Legit. Believe it. Let these words forever be with you. No lie. Truth. Real.

  9. Grant .

    The “720” and PS4 are needed ASAP. Most games are 720p (or lower) and target 30 fps and STILL chug like Crisis on a netbook. Significant aliasing and screen tearing abound even after the five or six years this generation has been going on.

    Plus it’s not just about graphics. With new hardware we could have fully destructible environments, interactive cloth and fluid physics and god knows what else.

    As long as they’re $450 or less, I’m probably buying both next-gen consoles at launch.

  10. o0RECON0o .

    Balder, not sure if you were talking to me but if you were you need to re-read my post, I simply stated the fact that we willnhave to deal with 2 discs for Battlefield. As for physical media being a thing of the past, everybody knows that, very old news.

  11. bob .

    “Do we even need to build a better xbox?” Yes…one that perhaps doesn’t break down would be nice. Although since so many millions of people supported Microsoft for putting out a product that didn’t work, it taught Microsoft one very valuable lesson. The next xbox doesn’t have to work because people will still buy it because they have to play Halo whether the console works or not.

    Before you call me a ps3 fanboy, which I am now, too many 360’s died on me so I had to jump ship. I will definitely be buying a ps4 since my ps3 has worked like a charm since the day I got it 3 years ago. We react by our past experiences. Microsoft screwed me, Sony didn’t. Kind of obvious where my loyalty is.

    The ps3’s release date was delayed by about a year. You know why? Unlike Microsoft, Sony has some pride and wanted their product to work and be a good reliable product. Sony are such fools though. Don’t they know people don’t want quality anymore?

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  13. SongEmu .

    FYI, if you want a “Call of Duty that looks better”, it already exists. It’s called the Battlefield series. 😛

  14. eXowomb .

    If only they put more RAM in consoles so that they could actually reach 1080p & use a decent level of AA. Most games don’t go over 740p and have jaggies all over the place…

  15. DataSpree .

    We definitely need a newer generation of console.

    While most of my 360 games are 1080P the graphics are often filled with jaggies. Look at grass in games or edges of other objects. They look very digital and fake. The console needs to have the GPU power to anti-alias the image but it doesn’t. Also there’s often “tearing” in video sequences. This is due to vertical sync not being turned on. It means the game cannot sustain 60fps to match the signal of my TV during those sequences. While I do buy a few PS3 games and a lot of 360 games my last 2 game pre-orders (Rage and Skyrim) I decided to buy for PC just so I can see these games as they were intended with decent modern day (2011) graphics.

    As for the PS3 it needs work just to sustain 1080P. While the system, like the 360, can do 1080P several of my PS3 games are only output in 720P. Now either the 360 is cheating and upscaling or developers on the PS3 have a harder time sustaining their target frame rate at 1080P than 360 developers.

  16. Awesome .

    Grant, what the hell are you talking about, who cares, now you’re just being obnoxious. The games are fine, the graphics are good, the definition is enough.

  17. Steve K. .

    I agree with the article. I think just having more polys isn’t the only reason to create a new game system. There really needs to be more that the system offers.

    I also don’t think they would call the next XBOX the 720. It would be at least called the XBOX 1080 don’t ‘ya think? 😉

  18. Mike .

    RECON, why would PC gamers switch for the Live service? Steam is a much better service than Live and it’s subscription free.

  19. Vince .

    Taking the XBOX 360 failure rate into account, I would think the question should be “Have they finished building the first one?”

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  21. Tyler .

    Yes… let’s see:

    Decent amount of RAM (at least 1GB VRAM and 1GB regular, not 512MB TOTAL shared…)
    Blu-Ray & DVD support and playback
    True 1080px60Hzx60 support.
    3D Support? Meh
    Better hardware/software support (red rings)
    New Xbox should support original Xbox games… why not? They’re the same format.

    And these are just the main things… the list goes on.

  22. Evan .

    It shouldn’t only be about graphics but there is certainly a need for a new xbox. It’s really just a matter of when. And something they need to get down this time around is hardware reliability.

  23. BobaFetttttt .

    A new generation of consoles may not be “needed,” but they sure as hell would be nice. In 2011, there’s just no excuse for less than 1080x60x60, screen tearing…

    But yeah, visually what we have now is pretty sweet, especially if you’ve grown up in the 8 bit world. The improvements from here on out won’t be revolutionary so much as incremental, but I don’t think that means we should sit on our hands using less than we feasibly could.

    At the end of the day these are going to be business decisions. What’s good for Microsoft or Sony’s bottom line? What is good for gaming is unfortunately incidental, but at least it’s correlated in some rough and laggy sort of way. The shareholders expect solid returns, and more eye candy probably won’t bring that immediately. Such is progress.

    Still, what a fucking amazing age we live in. Take a second to appreciate it!

  24. superjesus .

    There is no need for a new system yet, for the exact reason that this article and EA has said. Pretty graphics only go so far, you need more for the next system. GTA is a perfect metaphor. With GTA 3 through San andreas, they kept making it bigger and bigger (making console games prettier and prettier), but never changing the actual system of gameplay. Then GTA 4 came along with a different philosophy, make the world smaller, but more detailed. The equivalent for consoles here would be adding a different layer of gameplay rather than making the game prettier. The games industry has already hinted at this in the past. Look at the original promises for the cell system in the PS3, a different chip running different aspects of the game (one for AI, one for the environment, one for the graphics etc). Then you have what Cliffy B, said a year ago, making everything look more realistic won’t make it more realistic, duplicating the human mind onto the AI is harder than that. An innovation like this if it were to actually happen would be a good reason to upgrade, especially since motion control does not need a whole new system. The next systems should only be brought in when developers can evolve the gameplay (the comment about crysis sticks, its pretty but generic gameplay wise), not just the graphics.

  25. superjesus .

    Just reading some of these comments leads me to believe that many of the commentators have only ever played through one system. To those who keep saying we need a new system cycle, shut up and go play COD while your mom makes you a grill cheese sandwich. Graphics don’t make a game, so find a good reason for your arguments. I still play many old games who’s graphics are extremely dated now (C&C, Max Payne, Mario, Shogun: Total War, Dune, Street Fighter 2 etc.), but they’re mechanics are better than half the swill released today. Next time you play a game, forget the graphics and actually play the game before deciding if its good.

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  27. Michael Mouse .

    Having read Frank Gibeau’s interview aka EA’s excuse for limiting their r&d/development budget, I was dragged here by the posts title, and either I’m blind or I can’t see any reference to a Microsoft comment????. As for whether we need a new console, yes.

  28. Andrew .

    Great work! That is the kind of info that should be shared around the net. Disgrace on the search engines for no longer positioning this put up higher! Come on over and visit my site . Thanks =)

  29. Ozzy .

    If they would add Mouse and Keyboard support as useable controllers for console games, I’m guessing consoles would sell a LOT more.

    Mod support for games would also go a long way. Those two things would make it much more appealing for PC gamers to make the switch.

  30. ah x code .

    I Totally agree with the fact that the consoles are becoming old in technology, I would as myself, happily buy a new, updated xbox with much better hardware. I have dreamed of having the horsepower of a pc but the awesome looks and dashboard of the xbox, I am quite confident that microsoft and sony can make a very successful “new” system. I would be willing to spend 500$ at a max myself on a new system,(unless if the system specs were epic, then i would not go higher) maybe include, 32, 48, and 64 player games more and more on a new system.

    Updated graphics, more players to play with in one game, and up scaled maps is EXACTLY what i want, and im pretty sure i speak for the majority of console gamers 🙂

  31. Adam .

    Okay, here’s the thing. There isn’t enough RAM in current gen consoles and there ARE big name franchises from this gen. Homefront and Portal to name two. Fact is developers are starting to focus on pc making current consoles archaic.

  32. Adam .

    I’ll take a controller over a keyboard and mouse anyday as a controller is much easier to use and though you might not be as accurate you can move better while shooting and even jumping.

  33. Elite .

    What the hell are they talking about do we even need a new console. Hell yes…. I watch movies on my ps3 in 1080p and I think to myself damn if the games I were playing was this clear then I would feel like I’m getting the full worth from my TV. Battlefield 3 was suppose to be a next gen game. If you were able to play that game at 60fps on 1080p OMG that is what I want regardless they could have come out with a Xbox 540 and gave if more ports better graphics and fast Internet throughput 2 tb harddrives are now at 70 bucks a pop. Throw one in there for good measure then wait 4 years for a new console.

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  35. Billy Bob .

    Hell yes you do the xbox had so many faults you’ll need to improve a hell of a lot especialy to be better than the PS3

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