Epic Games Says Next Xbox Console Needs To Make Dramatic Leap

By William Usher 2012-02-02 15:21:13 discussion comments
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While no official name has been given to Microsoft's next Xbox and we've been throwing around names like the Xbox 720, NextBox, Xbox 360 2 and Xbox Trinity, in the end the only thing that really matters is how powerful the engine is under the hood, well that's what Epic Games' boss Tim Sweeny thinks.

In a recent interview Sweeny commented on the state of Microsoft's next Xbox, saying that the transition needs to be huge and not just a few steps higher than current-day console capabilities. Speaking to VentureBeat [via GameZone], Sweeny stated that...
On the game side, itís been really great for our business. We have been able to ship three Gears of War games on the same generation of hardware, each one with dramatic improvements over the last and a two to three-year development cycle. So itís been a very good thing for a game business today. With each new title, there is a bigger and bigger Xbox 360 installed base of users, so the games can sell more."

On the other hand, it gets harder to generate the same excitement from the same hardware. That is when the new hardware is justified. But then you reset the installed base to zero and itís a lot harder to sell a lot of games again."..."You should only replace the hardware when you can make a dramatic leap in quality, not just 2x or 3x."

While current gen hardware has proved to be successful there are a few problems we're facing in this current day and age: 1) developers have already admitted to hitting technical ceilings with the Xbox 360 and PS3 and having these consoles linger on any longer than they already are is just overkill. 2) Battlefield 3 proved that PCs are already a generation ahead and the console ports were shells of DICE's Frostbite 2.0 powered shooter. 3) I thought gaming was about the creative venture of experiencing and exploring the limitless opportunities of an interactive world, not shipping SKUs and making games based on an install base?

Anyway, I do agree, however, that new hardware should only be introduced to the market when there is significance to its nascence. In other words, I think Nintendo is right in bringing on the Wii U to appease the core gaming audience and if Microsoft is planning to unveil the next Xbox console soon it should be a significant step up from the Xbox 360 as Sweeny suggested. Based on the rumored system specs it's hard to tell exactly how much more powerful the next Xbox console could be.

So long as there is enough RAM and a decent enough GPU at the system's core so that developers will have the freedom to explore bigger and better gameplay options, then I think we as gamers should be all set.


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