By Jimmie Geddes email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 03, 2013 06:08 PM EST
It looks like the stars are beginning to align for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox gaming console. Many gaming sites have been expecting the console to launch in 2013 and it looks like it's going to happen.
The Xbox 360 launched in 2005, so it's about time Microsoft brings out a successor to the console that has sold over 73 million units globally. It appears that Director of Programming for Xbox Live, Larry Hryb, aka "Major Nelson" in the gaming world, has just started flashing a major hint on his blog of the date it will possibly be unveiled, complete with a countdown.
Sources have revealed that all the Xbox buildings in Redmond have been put on lockdown, presumably to finish up a very important project. Judging by the "Countdown to E3 2013 And it's on..." message on Major Nelson's site, he's excited to be counting down to E3.
Microsoft's next-generation Xbox is codenamed "Durango" and there are a few rumors as to what the final name will be. These include Xbox Loop, Xbox Infinity, and logically Xbox 720. Xbox 720 is what most people refer to when speaking about the console.
As for what kind of technical specs that might be included, these are all rumors at this point, but sources have claimed the console will use two GPUs (graphical processing units). Some believe it will have a 7000 series AMD GPU to handle 1080p, 60fps, and 3D. Rumors place a similar GPU in Sony's next-generation PlayStation 4 console, so it might have some truth to it. The console is expected to use Blu-Ray discs for gaming. SSD flash is also expected to offer faster and quieter gaming since the drive will no longer have to spin.
When it comes to the type of controllers expected to be used with the new console, you can expect Kinect to be an option. Microsoft's smartglass is another - it allows Apple and Android devices to be used similarly to how the Wii U's GamePad controller works by offering a secondary display. Xbox gamers love their current controllers and Microsoft will most likely keep the general design but could add some new functionality.
There is no word on an expected price but it should be in line with current consoles or be a little more expensive depending on the type of hardware Microsoft will be using. So if Microsoft's Director of Programming for Xbox Live's countdown is to be believed, we will almost certainly see Xbox call-it-what-you-will at E3 in June.