Bioware’s director of art and animation Neil Thompson has hinted that Xbox 720 will be a big leap over its predecessor.
But there’s a catch. He has mentioned that it won’t be as much of a leap as Xbox 360 was to the original Xbox. Microsoft spent a lot of money in getting proprietary tech for the Xbox 360, which included a Power PC CPU and a solid Xenos GPU along with 16MB eDRAM.
These specs were expensive before and it looks like Microsoft will be minding the cost this time because they also have to include the Kinect camera sensor which will no doubt be bumped to version 2.0.
“Clearly we still hammer up against the limitations of the hardware on a daily basis and if you push those parameters back, as I’m sure the next-gen will do, we’ll hit them again,” he told OXM.”I think the main thing is that the industry doesn’t get itself into a corner where it becomes economically unviable to make a game.
“The last technology iteration caught folks by surprise – especially the number of people you needed and the skillset jump to do the work that people expected. In the last generation the perception was that it was going to be a ten times improvement over the previous generation. “
He also mentioned that the leap won’t be as obvious, but there will be optimization and also revealed that he’s under NDA and can’t say much about this.
“For the next generation there will be quite a big leap, but it won’t be as obvious,” he revealed. “People will do things in a cleverer fashion – and I have to be careful here as there are non-disclosure agreements involved! I think they’ll be better prepared, shall we say – but we can’t see a ten-fold team increase again as the budgets would just be ridiculous. You’d have to sell 20-30 million copies before you broke even.”
The Xbox 720 specs are rumoured to be quite good, so people don’t have to be worried to much about the specs. Next-gen will be all about services and less about specifications and hardware grunt.