Next-Gen Console Rumor Round-Up: Xbox 720, PlayStation 4, Steam Box and OUYA

Next-gen buzz is at an all-time high as we inch closer to the hardware reveals - platforms on which you’ll be gaming for roughly the next decade – of companies like Microsoft and Sony. New rumors regarding Microsoft’s next project have surfaced while Sony fans look forward to a potential reveal of the next PlayStation this February 20th. Meanwhile Valve and and others gear up to make a stand with newcomers like the Steam Box and the OUYA.

To help you keep up to date with all the next-gen talk, we’ve rounded up the latest on all four consoles in an easy-to-read point form.

All details on Microsoft’s and Sony’s next-generation consoles below are gathered from various sources who state that the info originates from “unidentified,” or “inside” industry sources and, therefore, should not be considered fact until proven otherwise by official Microsoft or Sony channels.

Having gotten that out of the way, lets take a look at the latest on the next Xbox and PlayStation.

Microsoft “Xbox 720″/”Xbox”/”Durango”

  • The next Xbox will require an internet connection to use.
  • Xbox Live will be an integral part of the consoles functionality.
  • Improved Kinect hardware will come shipped with the console.
  • Games can be purchase in physical form, though the system is committed to online functionality.
  • Games will be manufactured on 50GB Blu-ray discs.
  • It is believed that new games will ship with activation codes. (Unsure if used games will require users to purchase a new code.)
  • Specs: AMD eight-core x64 1.6GHz CPU, a D3D11.x 800MHz graphics solution and 8GB of DDR3 RAM.
  • Hard drive capacity is said to be undecided, though MS suggests that it will be the largest unit it has put inside a console to date.
  • Studios working with the next-gen Xbox are being forced to work with only approved development libraries.
  • Operating system overhead of the new Xbox could be considered more oppressive than Sony’s equivalent.
  • MS is continuing to invest heavily in motion-control interfaces.

Source: Edge

  • Microsoft will greatly improve its speech recognition technology inside the next Xbox.
  • The next Xbox will support wake on voice, natural language controls, and speech-to-text.
  • Kinect sensor will detect individuals in a room and suggest appropriate multiplayer games after a user queries the Xbox using voice.
  • Xbox will also reply back to users with answers to queries, making it an improved search service too.
  • Users will also be able to automatically resume video content where it left off simply by asking the new Xbox to play a particular movie.
  • With speech-to-text built-in, it’s likely that Microsoft will utilize this support to type out messages using the new Xbox.
  • Skype will make its Xbox debut on the new console.
  • Microsoft will fully detail its new Xbox at E3 this year, with suggestions from sources that the company may hold a separate event to unveil its new hardware ahead of E3.
  • Expected to release later this year.

Source: The Verge

Sony “PlayStation 4″/”PlayStation”

  • Sony’s console is preferable over the next Xbox when it comes to leveraging power.
  • Sony is encouraging coders to get closer to the metal of its box.
  • PS4 will ship with a redesigned controller which is the same size as an existing DualShock but features a small touchpad in place of the existing Select, Start and PS buttons.
  • The tech is based on Vita’s rear touchpad, and is similarly responsive in use.
  • A new Share button on the controller will, when pressed, launch a new feature that will allow screenshots and video to be distributed online.
  • The PS4 hardware will continually record the most recent 15 minutes of onscreen action (with no processing penalty, claims our source), which users will then be able to edit and broadcast via the Internet.
  • PlayStation 4 will launch in Japan and the US by Christmas, with a Euro rollout following in early 2014, the delay attributed to the complexities involved in European distribution.
  • Alongside the console, Sony will also introduce a new, improved iteration of its PlayStation Eye peripheral, which remains compatible with the PlayStation Move controller.
  • Move will be available at launch, but it’s not clear yet whether it will be bundled with the hardware.

Source: Edge

  • The “PlayStation 4″ will launch this year for over 40,000 yen (about $428 USD).
  • Sony isn’t pricing the PS4 too aggressively next to the likes of the Wii U, it may have learned its lesson from the shaky PlayStation 3 launch.
  • Were the PS4 to launch at 40,000 yen in Japan, we’d expect an American price point of around $400 or more.
  • The PS4 controller will feature a touch pad and be “roughly the same shape” as the current Dual Shock 3.
  • The Asahi Shimbun states in no uncertain terms that February 20th is the date when Sony will officially introduce the PlayStation 4 to the world.
  • The Nikkei business daily has published its own report on the PlayStation 4, becoming the latest source to state that it will be announced on February 20th.
  • The most notable part of the Nikkei‘s report is that the PS4 will apparently use cloud technology from Gaikai, the gaming service that Sony bought for $380 million last year.

Source: The Verge

Of course, we can’t forget about two new competitors on the market: The Steam Box and OUYA. The details below on the Steam Box and OUYA can be considered facts as they have been outlined by official representatives.

Steam Box

  • It would be a cheap addition to any TV, starting at $100 and eventually hitting $0.
  • “The price point that’s going to be hit is going to be much, much lower than things we’ve traditionally seen in living room devices. Better, it’s basically a PC in the console form factor and at the console price point. There’s nothing really magical about the hardware – this is the great thing about PC, is that it’s been evolving so quickly.”
  • “A user who has a great experience using in-home streaming is going to be much more likely to upgrade to a PC in a console form factor and then continue to invest.”
  • The Steam Box will hinge on in-home streaming rather than cloud gaming.
  • “One thing we believe is latency sensitivity is going to increase in the future.”
  • “The ability to do local, high-speed processing will become more important than it is right now.”

Source: Joystiq

  • Even though the core operating system will be Linux, its Steam Box will boot directly to Big Picture Mode. Users won’t see Linux at all, unless they want to.
  • Creators are not particularly impressed with motion control, and that Valve wants to take advantage of advances in technology that can allow games to respond to your body in deeper ways, like adjusting the flow of a game based on your emotions.
  • The technology that can make that happen is already out there.
  • Focus will be on mods, player-created content, stores and sharing.

Source: The Verge

OUYA

  • Once a Kickstarter project, the Ouya will now be sold at Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and GameStop this June.
  • The team is already planning to introduce a new version of the Ouya — with as much mobile processing power as possible — each and every year.
  • While the Ouya’s Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset is no slouch, there’s already a Tegra 4 inbound, and developers are already questioning the Ouya’s hardware limitations.
  • “Our plan is to have a yearly refresh of Ouya where we leverage the best-performing chips and take advantage of falling component prices to create the best experience we can at the $99 price point”
  • “If we could do it for less than $99, we would.”
  • Ouya should be slightly more powerful than a comparable Tegra 3 tablet.
  • Since the Ouya plugs into the wall with no need to save battery, all four Tegra processor cores can run continuously at 1.6GHz.
  • Though some have complained that the console’s 8GB of internal flash storage might not hold many games, you’ll be able to hook up an external hard drive to the device’s USB port.
  • The company is “in conversations” with Google, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon about accessing their services, suggesting nothing’s been fully worked out yet.
  • While Ouya will conduct a “light review” to filter out copyright infringement, malware, and pornography, there’s no standard for quality.
  • You can be a triple-A publisher, or you can be an independent developer who hasn’t released his first game yet, or you can be a student who is just learning the tricks of the trade, and all of you can develop games for the television.
  • Founder wants to curate the Ouya app store based on engagement metrics rather than sales data.
  • “We don’t believe it’s the number of downloads, or the amount of money spent. It’s how many times you play a game in a given period of time, and how quickly you start playing a game. When you boot up Ouya, how many times is it the first game you play? How many friends do you tell about a particular game? These are indicators that you really love a game.”
  • “Our goal is to have television-exclusive games.” Games “may be available on other platforms, but the only place that you can find them on the television is through Ouya.”

Source: The Verge

That about wraps up the latest on the big four next-generation consoles that we can look forward to in the coming months. At the moment, which platform is currently holding your interest the tightest?

  • http://twitter.com/paulinacio91 Paul George Inacio J

    If the rumors are true then the Playstation 4 is going to be one heck if a machine and possibly the more preferred for developers

    • Jason

      I hope they get More Devs on their side! I think the PS4 will have a simpler Tech Build this time.

      • Dirtknap

        I haven’t heard further news to the contrary, but it was my understanding Sony will be continuing with their proprietary architecture. I really hope this isn’t the case or we’ll likely end up with new tech that will not see its full potential tapped (other than by Naughty Dog’s projects) much like the PS3. Dev’s will probably take the path of least resistance, since PC and XBOX game development is essentially the same I’m not so sure the new Playstation will get the developer love the fans are hoping for.

        • http://twitter.com/paulinacio91 Paul George Inacio J

          Where did you hear that?? All I’m hearing is how much better the PS4 will be for developers then the next XBOX

          • Dirtknap

            I read it back when the first hardware specs were leaked, since then we’ve had it confirmed that PS4 will utilise the same share GPU/CPU ram arrangement. Developing games on Sony’s cell architecture was a nightmare for most devs, and only a handful learnt to use it proficiently. I’m not sure how they will simplify it for the coming gen as it is inherently different to your standard PC based architecture. I seriously hope the simplifications can be done though, so it will be appealing to a wider range of studios and as PS fans we can enjoy the benefits of Sony’s (hopeful) market dominance.

            As a primary Playstation user, I have found it so frustrating knowing that we will finish this gen having not seen the true power of the PS3 displayed, it would be a huge disappointment to see this happen again.

      • http://twitter.com/paulinacio91 Paul George Inacio J

        it has already been said that the PS4 will be easier for developers to work on then the next xbox

        • Emmanuel Reynoso

          In their release they said it would be easier than the PS3, we cannot assume it will be easier than a console that hasn’t been released (no flame intended)

          • http://twitter.com/paulinacio91 Paul George Inacio J

            Developers are saying PS4 is the preferred console for Next Gen because how much the architecture is like the PC but the next xbox will be easy to develop for as well if rumors are true

  • Jason

    Hmmmm, Im still not sure Between Xbox 720 or Playstation 4? 8GB of DDR3 is almost Identical to PS4′s 4GB of VRAM, PS4′s AMD7670 is a hair better than AMD6670 But the Xbox 720 uses a “Customized” version of AMD’s 6670, Both Systems are 8 Core CPU’s but PS4 has a higher Thread count and Teraflop Performance than Xbox 720, 1.37 Teraflops vs 1.84 Teraflops? But since Games are not all that Floating point Heavy and Don’t run off the CPU then I don’t see How it would make a difference in Gaming Performance? PS4 uses a ACU architecture with 1GB of Vram shared between CPU and GPU (Same setup as PS3) while Xbox 720 Uses a IBM Power PC CPU and a “BLITTER?” which a piece of Hardware that run along side the CPU and GPU and transfers data up to 1.5GB per second!? They Both use 50GB 6x Bluray Drives. Since I am going for the More Beefier System first (I am getting both), It just too hard to tell right now how each system will utilize their hardware better. Sorry if sound like a total nerd right now lol.

    • Arendsb

      So…what’s the decision? What about ease of programming. PS3 was difficult to program for- no idea about PS4, but if everything else is equal, ease of programming, and thus quality of games, should be the clinching factor. Any opinions/insight?

    • asgaro

      You should go for the PS4. I thought gamers chose a platform by looking at the games it provides? The raw hardware comes second to that.
      Microsoft will keep doing what they do: shifting the focus from hardcore gaming to catering to the casual family gamer market with Kinect titles, all while spamming your Dashboard with ads for services that aren’t even included in your expensive Xbox Live sub. Don’t expect they will invest in new first party studios.

      • Dirtknap

        Its a tricky one, for myself and a lot of my friends are in the same boat. The only reason I’m sitting on he fence at this stage is, as you mentioned, XBOX’s appeal to the “casual family gamer market”. I need a machine that can still provide me with a core gaming experience but also suit media needs and entertaining my two little ones. I suppose that’s exactly what Microsoft are banking on.

        I picked up a 360 late this gen so my boys can play Kinect and I could play Halo, at this stage this only other platform exclusive that interests me is Destiny, and I freaking hate paying for LIVE. In saying that, another point that swings the XBOX’s favour is that its the lead development platform for most titles, so you wouldn’t be inflicted with sub par ports. Guess it’s too early to make a decision anyhow.

      • Wrong

        Xbox has halo and gears of war. 2 of the most competitive console titles since 360 released. Ps3 has single player exclusives

    • http://twitter.com/TechS3ek Aria

      More Tera > Future Proof … Memory’s bandwidth is more important! I have to add that PS4 super fast DDR5 Memory has bandwidth equal to ~ 14 GB of DDR3 !!!

      • Jason

        Aria? Like the PC Company, I just noticed that lol. DDR3 can’t support anything past 8GB, But yes Memory Transferring is more important vs Storage of Random Access Memory. That’s where the Blitter comes in affect on the Xbox 720, For example, 100MHZ of 8GB DDR3 can transfer memory
        to CPU up to 6.4GB per second while the Blitter Can Transfer up 150GB per second to CPU or GPU. As far as More Teraflops go, The Xbox 360′s Computing Power was 25 Peta Flops or .25 Teraflops vs 720′s 1.37 which is still Too much for the hardware it supports! NVidia makes an TeslaK20X CPU for Super Computers that puts out 1.42 Teraflops, so whats the need for all that computing Power on a CPU?, well If we are running a 128bit OS on the next gen systems I don’t see it beneficial lol, or I could Understand if the new Kinect Technology was real Hungry and needed this to Run properly!? who knows lol The more RAM dedicated to the GPU ar even shared the Happier I will be :)

        • http://twitter.com/TechS3ek Aria

          lol, Apparently PS4′s specs are going to be absolutely more powerful than xbox720. About the thing that you’ve mentioned, please don’t overestimate these numbers, Nvidia or Ati’s latest graphics cards are having double or tripple these number that we are seeing here, not to mention how an high end i7 can rape these specs, that being said due to nature of consoles these specs might be good …. BUT trust me man, It’s only matter of few years until these two new consoles get very outdated in compares to future’s graphics … One of the main reasons that i’m gonna buy PS4 is gonna be Gaikai (this technology can make the console more future proof)

          • Jason

            I understand man, and the fact That Consoles will utilize these specs better than a PC with the same specs has me excited! I just can’t wait for next gen, I will get both systems, but If PS4 is more powerful (Looks that way) than I will be getting it First! BF4 on next Gen, Drooollllll

  • HBK

    I thought Sony had rights to Blu-Ray, or something to that extent.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002367454310 Jonathan Stoffregen

      HD dvd would probably be what MS would use

      • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.medric Timothy David Medric

        Bringing it back to life?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002367454310 Jonathan Stoffregen

          or a new type of format cause i seriously doubt MS will pay sony just to use blu ray

    • Sensou-Ookami

      They did say Blueray in the description but how, I thought the same. Damn Microsoft buying all the pink slips. CoD rights, now this, sheeesh, money juggernauts.

      • Sensou-Ookami

        Also, Sony made Blueray, so this all seems weird.

        • Casavult

          Actually, Sony never made the Blu-ray. Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) did.

          • Sensou-Ookami

            My mistake, Sony OWNs most of blue ray.

    • Niosus

      Sony was part of the group that created the Blu-Ray standard. Because of that they don’t need to pay royalties (or decreased royalties).

      MS jumped on the HDDVD band wagon which got nowhere. This means they do have to pay royalties. Back in the day those royalties were a lot higher and DVD still did the job just fine so they decided not to offer Blu-Ray support. By now those royalties have gone down significantly, just like the production costs. Also, next gen games will simply not fit on DVDs anymore. It’s a very logical step to make.

      • Jason

        This ^ :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Gannoncbecker Gannon Becker

    PS4!

  • MrClean

    In all honesty I would rather take this opportunity to upgrade from my 4 year old xbox (it doesn’t even have an HDMI port) to a full-blown gaming PC. At least then individual parts could be upgraded instead of having to wait for a new console several years down the road, especially when the hardware will get outdated long before then.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002367454310 Jonathan Stoffregen

    please be under $500

    • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.medric Timothy David Medric

      It won’t be. My prediction, both will be available in extremely limited supply this Christmas and with some bundle pack that’ll cost between $800-$1,000.

      • http://www.facebook.com/TheNeoReaper Chad Eugene Rash

        Rumors are $400-$500

    • asgaro

      FIVE HUNDRED NIGHTY NINE US DOLLARS!
      RIIIIIIIDGE RAAAAAAAAACCEEEERRRRRRRRRR.

  • inFamous2-VIC

    PS4 will dominate this generation. >:D

    • http://www.facebook.com/Gannoncbecker Gannon Becker

      It kinda sounds like it. Could easily go either way though. But my guess is that there is going to be a more clear cut choice between the two for this gen.

    • betosobreira

      Why do you think this? Just because it has more teraflops than the new Xbox? They are quite equal in specifications!

  • Munk

    What does this mean exactly? That Live will be… cheaper? Hopefully :)

    “Xbox Live will be an integral part of the consoles functionality”

    • http://twitter.com/paulinacio91 Paul George Inacio J

      What there saying is that your Xbox will not function unless you are connected to the internet

      • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.huggins.7 Thomas Huggins

        Gaming consoles are pretty useless without an internet connection anyway, unless a person plays non-MP games.

        • http://twitter.com/paulinacio91 Paul George Inacio J

          but it will be a big mistake and potentially hurt the Next Xbox sales if Microsoft takes this route!! I will say that a xbox without XBL is pretty boring but I would hate to not be able to play single player game just because my internet might be down

  • yeah I said it..

    Please let the new games go back to costing $49.99

  • KennyKyle

    PS4 WOOOOO!!!

  • spellingmonster

    ” new games will will ship ” hihihi

  • http://twitter.com/blondbassist blondbassist

    “Microsoft are shipping out kinects…that come bundled with a console too!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.medric Timothy David Medric

    So let me get this right, you must have internet to use the new Xbox? Sounds like a major turn off for me. I like the freedom of still being able to play games while my internet acts up.

    • inFamous2-VIC

      If true, PS4 will win major market.

  • lrishjake

    This is so good for gamers.. the future is bright. All this competition, the fact that now the Xbox and PS will be very similar to PC as far as development goes, all these cheaper options for more casual gamers, and the fact that PC is making advancements almost monthly now.. its all so good for us gamers. I cannot wait to see what games are brought to us in the next 5 years,

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