By Vamien McKalin email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 07, 2013 01:31 PM EST
Microsoft's next-generation console, Xbox 720, is on course to hit store shelves by the 2013 holiday season, especially since the chip production has gone gold. This is good news, as it makes it highly possible that the Xbox 720 could meet the 2013 launch window.
According to the folks at SemiAccurate, the Xbox 720 chipset has been finally tapped out, which means the design has been finalized and sent off for production. The chip in question is called the Oban Chip, the same rumored processor that is expected to power the Xbox 720 and possibly a more light-weight version for Xbox Kinect 2.0.
SemiAccurate also claims Dec. 31, 2012 was the date of the final design, though it is not yet known when production will actually begin, and most importantly, how fast the processor is. We've heard rumors about the Xbox 720 processor being slightly faster than the one found in the Nintendo Wii U, but until Microsoft says otherwise, such information will be relegated to being just a rumor.
Microsoft has made it clear that it plans for a massive presence at E3 2013, on June 11. With the state the gaming industry is in now, along with the release of the Nintendo Wii U next generation system, the company has little to no choice when it comes to getting out new hardware, especially if it wants to stay relevant in the minds of gamers for another few years.
Due to the stiff competition Microsoft is facing, we predicted the company might launch the Xbox 720 at $199 as a subscription model, a similar move to the $99 Xbox 360. However, for this to happen, it would depend on how well the $99 Xbox 360 is doing.
Not to be outdone, Sony sent out invitations that hints at a PlayStation 4 release, a clear sign that 2013 is the year the heavyweights want to flex their muscles, and gamers lose their mind with excitement.