news\ Jan 30, 2012 at 9:51 am

Xbox 720 has to be 'huge and new', not just 2 or 3 times better


If Microsoft has plans on developing a new Xbox 720 console, then it needs to make a "dramatic leap in quality".  At least that's what Epic Games' founder Tim Sweeney thinks when asked about the possibility of a next-gen console.

Speaking to VentureBeat, Sweeney admitted "the longevity of this console generation has been a mixed blessing."

On the game side, it’s been really great for our business. We have been able to ship three Gears of War games on the same generation of hardware, each one with dramatic improvements over the last and a two to three-year development cycle. So it’s been a very good thing for a game business today. With each new title, there is a bigger and bigger Xbox 360 installed base of users, so the games can sell more.

But a bigger audience doesn't necessarily equate to bigger sales.  Sweeney pointed out that it's actually harder to generate excitement for a new game that still uses the same hardware.

On the other hand, it gets harder to generate the same excitement from the same hardware. That is when the new hardware is justified. But then you reset the installed base to zero and it’s a lot harder to sell a lot of games again.

When asked his preference, if he would rather the next-generation of consoles come sooner rather than later, Sweeney explained, "You should only replace the hardware when you can make a dramatic leap in quality, not just 2x or 3x."

He added, "It has to be huge and fundamentally new."

In the case of a new Xbox console, it has been rumored to play Blu-Rays, introduce a Kinect 2, and feature a graphics processor up to six times more powerful than the GPU found in the current Xbox 360.  I think that's quite an upgrade.  From a publisher standpoint, it could also be an upgrade as it was rumored that the next Xbox might include an anti-used game feature.

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