first_imgOf the three major console manufacturers we only know when Nintendo is set to release its next generation console. The Wii U again looks to be going for something a bit different rather than pushing the enevelope in terms of processing power and graphical capabilities. However, the PS4 and Xbox 720 are expected to follow the same path as they always have: offering more processing power, better visuals, and more scope for involved gameplay and realistic experiences.Although we don’t know when the next consoles from Sony and Microsoft will arive, AMD is starting to drop hints about the capabilities of the next Xbox.AdChoices广告AMD is thought to be providing the GPU(s) that will sit inside the Xbox 720, so it should be an authority on what it is capable of graphically at least. A comment made in the August issue of OXM by Neal Robison, director of ISV relationships for AMD, states that we should expect to be seeing visuals like Avatar. So that’s real-time renders of the quality seen in James Cameroon‘s movie as standard on the next Xbox.Such a graphical jump is realistic when you consider the hardware the PS3 and Xbox 360 use today. We now see crisp HD graphics running on a 6-year-old processor and GPU combination. In the case of the 360, it runs a tri-core 3.2GHz PowerPC chip, where as today we commonly see 4, 6, 8, and even 12 cores processors in use running at similar speeds. GPU-wise, it only has a 500MHz ATI chip, and the system only carries 512MB RAM. Graphics cards today typically run above 800MHz and have 1-2GB of dedicated memory alongside 2-4GB of system memory.What the final hardware configuration will be inside the next round of consoles depends on when they launch. It could be another couple of years before we see a new Xbox, at which point an 8 or 12 core processor, GPU with a gigabyte of dedicated RAM, and multiple gigabytes of system memory will be both cheap enough for use in a console as well as capable of producing such visuals.It’s not just about the visuals, though, and Robison also stated that physics and AI would be a major step up on the current consoles. The example he gave was that every pedestrian in Grand Theft Auto can be an individual if the developer decides to go that route.One of the few companies capable of showing off what the next-generation of games will look like is Epic Games which develops the Unreal Engine and must provide the engine ahead of time to cater for the new hardware. In March they showcased a graphics demo with Nvidia that gives us a good idea of what to expect an Xbox 720 and PS4 to be capable of.While the prospect of Avatar-like visuals and worlds full of intelligent, different AI characters will have gamers excited, it will prove a problem for developers as team sizes will need to grow in order to deliver such quality in a realistic time period. Bigger teams means higher costs that must inevitably get passed on to the consumers buying the games.via Examiner.comlast_img read more