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Brett Fisher: Codename Durango


windowsSony’s recent conference about their eighth generation console, the PlayStation 4, has gotten us Microsoft fans wondering what Xbox has in store for us with the Xbox 720. The original Xbox’s superiority to the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox 360’s superiority to the PlayStation 3 leads me to believe that the trend will continue. In this column, I will be predicting what we can expect to see in the Xbox 720 (codename Durango).

Let’s start with the name. Although the codename is Durango, I feel it is pretty apparent that Microsoft will go with Xbox 720 as its official name. Reason number one is that it seems the most logical. Reason two is more convincing. In the 2011 film Real Steel, an Xbox advertisement is displayed in the arena that reads “Xbox 720”. I’m not saying that the filmmakers have some inside information, but it would be a bad move for Microsoft to name it something else.

Games on demand is becoming more and more popular with gamers. Instead of purchasing a disc in a store, you can buy a digital copy and download the entire game directly to your console. This feature is great, but there are two major changes that would improve its quality. For one, most games that are on-demand are not available on release day. Often times, games will not be digitally available until months after the title’s initial release. Making every new release purchasable on day-one would be a major boost in digital copy sales.

The second improvement would be more hard-drive space. The current Xbox 360 console has many different available hard-drive sizes ranging from 4GB to 320GB. I predict that there will be a standard 500GB hard-drive in the next generation Xbox console (of course, with the options to upgrade).

The current Xbox console has 512MB of RAM. It runs games, videos, and everything else quite smoothly despite a half-gigabyte of RAM being such a miniscule amount these days in computers. I predict, as a lot of others do, that the Xbox 720 will have 8GB of RAM.

A popular topic to diccuss when predicting the eighth generation consoles is the used-games issue. Whether most gamers don’t know or just don’t care, game developers do not receive money for sales on used games. That being said, it is rumored that both the PS4 and Xbox 720 will have hardware/software to detect used game discs and ban their usage. In the past, some games required an online-pass to participate in internet based features on the game. New games would have the code, used games would have an invalid code that the previous owner used. The purchaser of the used title would then have to buy a new online-pass (normally ten dollars). Companies such as Gamestop and GAME are quite obviously not too pleased with this.

Whatever Microsoft has in store for us with the next Xbox console, I can assure you that it will be plus one on Sony’s PS4.



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