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Source Claims Electronic Arts Possesses Early Next-Generation Xbox Development Kit [UPDATED]

Let's take a trip down memory lane, looking at what Microsoft's already said about the next Xbox.

UPDATE: While no surprise, EA has told Kotaku this allegation is "100 percent not true." 

--

With Nintendo about to disclose details on Wii's successor at E3, the gauntlet has been thrown and we're looking at endless months of anonymous sources murmuring about what Sony and Microsoft are planning. Speculation's fun 'n all, but everyone and their anonymous mom seems to hear differently.

That said, Develop is a reliable publication and when it claims a source has informed them Electronic Arts possess an early next-generation Xbox development kit (I'm not about to call it Xbox 720, guys), there's reason to believe there's some truth there. That's just about all Develop has filed here, however.

“Quite often when new consoles come around they’re packaged into a PC shell, but actually what’s inside is an entirely new console,” said Develop's source, described as "senior, trusted, well-placed."

Microsoft has said very little about its plans for Xbox 360's successor, pointing to continued strong sales and the successful launch of Kinect as proof there's no reason for Microsoft to move on yet. Nintendo's decision to leave Wii behind, however, may have started putting pressure on everyone else.

  I'm not ready to buy three new pieces of hardware for my living room, are you?

== TEASER == Job listings from March (via Engadget) described a team at Microsoft working on "defining and delivering next generation console architectures," which is absolutely not surprising. Of course Microsoft is actively working on a machine to come after Xbox. Eventually, the six-year-old Xbox 360 will be retired.

"Our view is we will be selling Xbox 360 for a long time," said Microsoft president of entertainment & devices Robbie Bach in 2008, when asked about Microsoft's future plans. "We are always working on new technologies. We have people working on those. People ask me how many people I have working on the next generation. On the one hand, it’s everybody. On the other, it’s nobody. People are continuously working on new technology. We started thinking about the next generation before we shipped the Xbox 360. It doesn’t start with a date. It starts way upstream with silicon development. From that comes a series of data points. You start making early technology choices. It’s an evolving thing. Stuff doesn’t become concrete until you get inside a window of when you have to ship, more than 18 months or so out.”

If Microsoft's looking to ship in fall 2012, we'd be within that window. Nintendo has said its next console would arrive sometime in 2012 but has not specified a window--we may not even get that at E3, knowing Nintendo. Previous statements from Microsoft pointed towards an Xbox 360 successor at earliest in 2013.

"I think it's important to say that the Xbox 360 is the console of the long future for us. There is no need to launch a new console, because we're able to give this console new life either with software upgrades or hardware upgrades like Project Natal," said senior director of Xbox product management David Hufford to The Guardian in January 2010, before Microsoft had ultimately billed Natal as Kinect. "The Xbox 360 was designed for a long life, and I don't even know if we're at the midpoint yet."

It's unclear how much Nintendo's next machine will relate to its previous phenomenon.

Sony's known for making similar "long life" proclamations about its hardware, declaring both PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 would be around for a decade. In a sense, Sony was correct about PS2. Even though much of the world had moved on to newer hardware, Sony continued to sell PS2 hardware at a decent clip, even releasing supportive software. WWE All-Stars was released on PS2 earlier this year and Electronic Arts will have a PS3 version of Madden NFL 12 when it releases in August.

"This generation is here for a long, long time," said Xbox UK boss Stephen McGill to Xbox 360 Achievements last fall. "I think there's still a lot of legs left with the Xbox 360, so we're years away from contemplating what comes next."

When McGill made that statement, however, Kinect was unproven and Nintendo hadn't announced a new console. Kinect was very much designed to extend the current machine's lifecycle by a few years.

The next moves from Sony and Microsoft may hinge more on the response to Nintendo's machine than anything else. If the market expects another phenomenon, how long can each company wait? It would not be a surprise to see Microsoft fleetingly reference a new console at E3, if only to get folks buzzing.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
UPDATE: While no surprise, EA has told Kotaku this allegation is "100 percent not true." 

--

With Nintendo about to disclose details on Wii's successor at E3, the gauntlet has been thrown and we're looking at endless months of anonymous sources murmuring about what Sony and Microsoft are planning. Speculation's fun 'n all, but everyone and their anonymous mom seems to hear differently.

That said, Develop is a reliable publication and when it claims a source has informed them Electronic Arts possess an early next-generation Xbox development kit (I'm not about to call it Xbox 720, guys), there's reason to believe there's some truth there. That's just about all Develop has filed here, however.

“Quite often when new consoles come around they’re packaged into a PC shell, but actually what’s inside is an entirely new console,” said Develop's source, described as "senior, trusted, well-placed."

Microsoft has said very little about its plans for Xbox 360's successor, pointing to continued strong sales and the successful launch of Kinect as proof there's no reason for Microsoft to move on yet. Nintendo's decision to leave Wii behind, however, may have started putting pressure on everyone else.

  I'm not ready to buy three new pieces of hardware for my living room, are you?

== TEASER == Job listings from March (via Engadget) described a team at Microsoft working on "defining and delivering next generation console architectures," which is absolutely not surprising. Of course Microsoft is actively working on a machine to come after Xbox. Eventually, the six-year-old Xbox 360 will be retired.

"Our view is we will be selling Xbox 360 for a long time," said Microsoft president of entertainment & devices Robbie Bach in 2008, when asked about Microsoft's future plans. "We are always working on new technologies. We have people working on those. People ask me how many people I have working on the next generation. On the one hand, it’s everybody. On the other, it’s nobody. People are continuously working on new technology. We started thinking about the next generation before we shipped the Xbox 360. It doesn’t start with a date. It starts way upstream with silicon development. From that comes a series of data points. You start making early technology choices. It’s an evolving thing. Stuff doesn’t become concrete until you get inside a window of when you have to ship, more than 18 months or so out.”

If Microsoft's looking to ship in fall 2012, we'd be within that window. Nintendo has said its next console would arrive sometime in 2012 but has not specified a window--we may not even get that at E3, knowing Nintendo. Previous statements from Microsoft pointed towards an Xbox 360 successor at earliest in 2013.

"I think it's important to say that the Xbox 360 is the console of the long future for us. There is no need to launch a new console, because we're able to give this console new life either with software upgrades or hardware upgrades like Project Natal," said senior director of Xbox product management David Hufford to The Guardian in January 2010, before Microsoft had ultimately billed Natal as Kinect. "The Xbox 360 was designed for a long life, and I don't even know if we're at the midpoint yet."

It's unclear how much Nintendo's next machine will relate to its previous phenomenon.

Sony's known for making similar "long life" proclamations about its hardware, declaring both PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 would be around for a decade. In a sense, Sony was correct about PS2. Even though much of the world had moved on to newer hardware, Sony continued to sell PS2 hardware at a decent clip, even releasing supportive software. WWE All-Stars was released on PS2 earlier this year and Electronic Arts will have a PS3 version of Madden NFL 12 when it releases in August.

"This generation is here for a long, long time," said Xbox UK boss Stephen McGill to Xbox 360 Achievements last fall. "I think there's still a lot of legs left with the Xbox 360, so we're years away from contemplating what comes next."

When McGill made that statement, however, Kinect was unproven and Nintendo hadn't announced a new console. Kinect was very much designed to extend the current machine's lifecycle by a few years.

The next moves from Sony and Microsoft may hinge more on the response to Nintendo's machine than anything else. If the market expects another phenomenon, how long can each company wait? It would not be a surprise to see Microsoft fleetingly reference a new console at E3, if only to get folks buzzing.

Staff
Edited by Fluxxed

BS.
Also, fuck that quest.

Posted by modeps

It's about time!

Edited by PhatSeeJay

I'm not exactly convinced but it would make sense that MS already have a working prototype and that they let a big publisher look at it and test things to ensure strong launch titles.

Posted by zameer

The news write-ups here have become particularly interesting since you came on board Patrick. Awesome stuff!

Posted by ChainsawButcher

I hope they don't rush this out the door like they did the Xbox 360. No RROD or any other bullshit this time Microsoft.

Posted by Venatio

I'm still not ready for new consoles :/

Posted by Commando

Of course they're working on it, but just because they're working on it doesn't mean it'll come out any time in the near future.

Edited by AhmadMetallic

what about all the people who bought X360's with Kinect ware last year? 

and the people who upgraded to X360 slim ??


ahahahahaha
Posted by Daveyo520

I hope it is a few years. I just got my 360 this year and would like some years to enjoy it. Also it is good enough, I don't really need something new and fancier. 

Posted by ESREVER

Gawd, please no. It's too soon for next gen consoles. There's still so much potential to be gained from the current-gen.

Posted by xXwindoverXx
@ChainsawButcher said:
" I hope they don't rush this out the door like they did the Xbox 360. No RROD or any other bullshit this time Microsoft. "
With the amount that technology has advanced since 2005, it would almost impossible for any good engineer to make a console that fails anymore. So I think we are safe regardless of what happens.
Edited by Afroman269

It's true that these consoles will have a long life span but they will probably just go the way of the PS2 and be out there alongside the new consoles.


@ESREVER: We are already in overtime in terms of console life cycles. We should already be in the next generation by now. After getting into PC gaming, this generation's age is more apparent to me than ever before. I'm ready for new consoles. I think what will be different though st that people probably won't have to jump onto the next gen so quickly. These consoles will keep going for a good bit while the new consoles are out. You've got time to save up. 
Posted by Commando
@Ahmad_Metallic: What about them? I don't get what you're saying. It won't be out for a few years.
Posted by Cypher

"an early next-generation Xbox development kit (I'm not about to call it Xbox 720, guys), "

 

As you should, because it'll be called the Xbox 1080:

 

1) 1080 = 360 * 3

2) "It outputs at 1080p resolution"

3) It's still three syllables (ten-eight-y) not four (sev-en-twen-ty) so it's not cumbersome to say.

Posted by MattyFTM
@patrickklepek said:
"I'm not about to call it Xbox 720, guys)"
Thank you Partick. I absolutely despise it when gaming sites call it that. It's a horrible, horrible term.
Moderator
Posted by allgamelover

I'm not that excited frankly because I have a pretty good PC now, but the ramifications on games coming to the PC with better graphics and so on is exciting. Halo is good, but not buy a new console just for it good. It will be good when developers will make higher fidelity games on the consoles because ultimately everyone will benefit. Still though, it's so far out.

Posted by Billychu

Shouldn't that say a new Madden for the PS2?

Posted by Krakn3Dfx

Late 2012 sounds like crazy talk, but there was a shorter turnover between Xbox and Xbox 360, 2001 to 2005, so 2005 to 2012 is still a good 7 years on the same hardware.

Definitely would love to see something at E3, but I'm skeptical as hell that we will, unless they would just do it up upstage Nintendo at this point.

Posted by PeasantAbuse
@zameer said:
"The news write-ups here have become particularly interesting since you came on board Patrick. Awesome stuff! "

I agree, Patrick is rad.
Posted by Th3_James

well i would hope so if ea is planning any launch titles.

Posted by nintendoeats

If the next xbox is called the Xbox 720 I will murder everybody who has ever worked at Microsoft...including Gabe Newell. That is how dedicated I am to it NOT being called that.

Posted by Brendan

I'm still calling Microsoft and Sony in 2013.  

Posted by HitmanAgent47

It has begun.

Edited by mnzy
@xXwindoverXx said:

" @ChainsawButcher said:

" I hope they don't rush this out the door like they did the Xbox 360. No RROD or any other bullshit this time Microsoft. "
With the amount that technology has advanced since 2005, it would almost impossible for any good engineer to make a console that fails anymore. So I think we are safe regardless of what happens. "
What? Please elaborate, because I don't think that makes sense.

Also fall 2012 sounds fine by me.
Online
Posted by Scodiac

I guess it's time for me to start saving my cash.

Posted by JazGalaxy

Patrick just rose a bajillion points, in my estimation, for refusing to call it "xbox 720".

Nothing makes you sound like a bigger idiot, in my opinion.

Posted by BrickRoad
@Cypher:
But 1080 is a current HD resolution. It's currently existing termonology. They wont call it 1080 because in 2 or so years time it wont sound 'next gen' enough. They'll have to find something that sounds newer than PS4 again, like with PS3 sounding newer than Xbox 2.
Posted by THRICE

Ugh goddamnit Microsoft. Please no, don't follow Nintendo down this dark path that only they need to go down.

Posted by weegieanawrench

Take your time MS, the 360 still has a few years left. And I really don't want a phenomenon, just give me 60 fps and full 1080p games and I'll be happy.

Posted by RaidenMitsuru

Fuck that, I'm ready for the next systems.

Posted by Afroman269
@mnzy said:
" @xXwindoverXx said:
" @ChainsawButcher said:
" I hope they don't rush this out the door like they did the Xbox 360. No RROD or any other bullshit this time Microsoft. "
With the amount that technology has advanced since 2005, it would almost impossible for any good engineer to make a console that fails anymore. So I think we are safe regardless of what happens. "
What? Please elaborate, because I don't think that makes sense. "
I agree, just because it's the "future", it doesn't mean that technology becomes more fail proof. 
Posted by Sammo21

Hopefully they don't knowingly ship broken hardware this time.  I am hesitant to buy all 3 major consoles this next generation for several reasons...Nintendo's because of games/gimmicks, Microsoft for hardware reasons, and Sony for network reasons.  I am literally on my 11th XBox 360 from RRoD.

Posted by leejunfan83

all this means is madden is in development 

Online
Posted by EmuLeader

I think the most telling part is the fact that dev kits are going out.  They are "always working on the next generation," but its really only once the kits go out, and studios are able to start using them for work on next gen games, that you can see that its coming soon.  (Soon being 2012 holiday or 2013ish)

Posted by StriderNo9

Please, no one call it Xbox 720 :) it won't be that


Edited by rmanthorp

AHHH VIDEOGAMES!

AHH ELECTRONIC ENTERTAINMENT EXPOS!

Moderator
Posted by kidman

I have a feeling there's a slight typo in the text

WWE All-Stars was released on PS2 earlier this year and Electronic Arts will have a PS3 version of Madden NFL 12 when it releases in August.

Shouldn't it be PS2 in both places?
   
Posted by JazGalaxy
@BrickRoad said:
" @Cypher: But 1080 is a current HD resolution. It's currently existing termonology. They wont call it 1080 because in 2 or so years time it wont sound 'next gen' enough. They'll have to find something that sounds newer than PS4 again, like with PS3 sounding newer than Xbox 2. "
I sincerely doubt Playstation is going to call their new system the PS4. I mean, they originally started calling the Playstation "2" and "3" to sound more like movies and videogames. There's a reason there's no Xmen 4, Terminator 4, Alien 4, etc.

With the success Nintendo has had with the branding of the wii, I'd double down on the next round of consoles having Web 2.0 names.

Also, why is everyone assuming that the Kinect you already own won't be able to be used with the new MS hardware?
Posted by SBYM

Seven hundred and twenty.

Posted by BUCK3TM4N

gladi ditched consoles a few years ago and moved to pc cause i dont want to spend $500 to play the latest and greatest games

Posted by bearshamanbro

Very exciting. However does anyone else feel like this next generation of consoles will be not as big of a step up as past generations? We'll probably get 1080p and solid 60fps on all games, a lot more RAM, and storage issued addressed (xbox).

Posted by JazGalaxy

I think the real reason this generation is stuck is because MS and Sony kind of killed the gaming industry. Sony first and then MS following them in. They're not visionary gaming companies, they're companies that got into games to make money and they followed the money at the expense of innovation.

We've seen genres die off as gaming moves more toward homogenization and we've seen technological innovation be crippled in order to get games up and running on the most platforms as possible.

Nobody is pushing the boundries in any meaningful way, so where is the need for new hardware?

Posted by xXwindoverXx
@Afroman269 said:
" @mnzy said:
" @xXwindoverXx said:
" @ChainsawButcher said:
" I hope they don't rush this out the door like they did the Xbox 360. No RROD or any other bullshit this time Microsoft. "
With the amount that technology has advanced since 2005, it would almost impossible for any good engineer to make a console that fails anymore. So I think we are safe regardless of what happens. "
What? Please elaborate, because I don't think that makes sense. "
I agree, just because it's the "future", it doesn't mean that technology becomes more fail proof.  "
True
Posted by xXwindoverXx
@mnzy said:
" @xXwindoverXx said:

" @ChainsawButcher said:

" I hope they don't rush this out the door like they did the Xbox 360. No RROD or any other bullshit this time Microsoft. "
With the amount that technology has advanced since 2005, it would almost impossible for any good engineer to make a console that fails anymore. So I think we are safe regardless of what happens. "
What? Please elaborate, because I don't think that makes sense.Also fall 2012 sounds fine by me. "
I meant that technology gets better, and engineers get smarter and learn new things that will help the new console not fail or break
Posted by 234r2we232

Microsoft. Constantly striving to deliver leading generation technology that keeps them in control of your credit card.

Posted by Tupacalypse
@BUCK3TM4N: wait wait wait...... your joking right? are u saying that it is cheaper to play games on PC than it is on console? lol please tell me this is a joke
Posted by Zawa
Posted by DG991

If they made another console and it broke again and again and again...

Idiots would still buy it.

And as excited as I am to see new consoles for the sake of PC gaming (graphics being brought down to the console level), I am sort of not interested in buying a new one unless it has something unique to offer... thats why Nintendo's console has me interested depending on what it is. 
Posted by christ0phe
@Zawa: Think you posted on the wrong article 
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