Xbox 720 release doubts after new insights

By Alan Ng - Sep 10, 2012

After it looked like a forgone conclusion that the Xbox 720 would have a release date some time in 2013, a significant element of doubt has now been put in place after several rumors have suggested that Microsoft may be experiencing one or two problems.

A few weeks ago, it looked plain sailing that we would at last see the Xbox 720, along with the Sony PS4 sometime towards the end of 2013. While this may still be the case for Sony’s next-gen effort, a new report which you may have heard already now claims that poor processor quality has forced Microsoft to delay the release of their system.

The report, which you can read in full over at Semi Accurate, references that Microsoft’s processor chips for the Xbox 720 have a codename of ‘Oban’, but more worrying is the fact that current build quality of the chips is quoted as being ‘painfully low’. If you’re not aware, Microsoft are thought to be using AMD-based processors for their next Xbox, compared to the IBM based chips on the Xbox 360.

Sony too is thought to be using AMD chips for the PS4 and it will be interesting to see if they are running into similar problems as well. That report was dated from a few days back now, so chances are you may have already heard about this potential processor problem for Microsoft. What you may not have heard though is additional comments from industry analyst Michael Pachter, who without mentioning processor complaints, states that Microsoft may even be delaying the launch of the Xbox 720 until 2014.

In his latest industry note, Pachter insists that Microsoft may change their release strategy in order to satisfy gamer demand, with a Spring 2014 release a better time to launch the console, rather than the end of 2013 as widely speculated. Could this possibly have a reverse effect though if gamers have to wait even longer for the Xbox 720 to arrive?

Some thought it would come this year during the Holiday period, but that’s obviously not going to happen now. How would a 2014 Spring release sound to you instead? If it’s true that Microsoft are really having problems with processor quality, then surely they should take as long as possible? It would be a disaster if it releases at the end of next year with hardware faults.

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  • Christian

    as long as it runs good, allows ya to play used games, does not kinect as the main controller but as an alternative, and you dont have to be on xbox live all the time. i’ll be fine with the system.

  • Nukem

    I’ll wait 6 months to a year on both the PS4 and the Xbox 720 just for them to make sure the bugs are out. No hurry.

  • ( )

    Poor yields is not the same as “poor processor quality”. ALL new silicon goes through a period of poor yields until the fab house gets the recipe just right. Low yields is not a sign or “Poor processor quality”. In fact low yields imply a cutting edge very complex cpu. The design is good, Microsoft went into this knowing the design is good but as with ALL new silicon, there will be manufacturing problems. Those issues are NOT AMD issues. Thsi is a TSMC problem. As you know AMD is no longer a FAB house but rather a design house. GloFo is also no longer in the picture. So when spreading rumours, lets try to remain accurate okay?

    • Bryan

      Why should we listen to someone with the name () ?

  • Dannon

    Could this possibly have a reverse effect though if gamers have to wait even longer…”

    I think you mean ‘adverse’ rather than reverse…

    • First In, Best Dressed

      No, he meant reverse as he was saying that M$ may want to delay until Spring as that might be a time that would yield greater sales, however the author asserted that this may have the reverse effect by reducing sales (especially if the PS4 is released first). I tend to agree with the author. The only rerason the 360 dominated the PS3 early on was that it released first and a lot of people went out and bought “the latest and greatest”. It is not a very large portion of the market that buys both consoles. Therefore, consumers who don’t want to wait, buy the console that is released first and maintain this allegiance for the duration of ther generation.

  • Joe

    Microsoft are using a PowerPC variant and not x86 AMD processor for the Xbox 720

    • Read the Semi Accurate article. Although x86 was the longshot, it looks like the new Xbox chips are using x86 cores.Since the PS4 is also being built on x86 tech with AMD graphics cards, the good news for all gamers is that devs should be able to quickly and easily port between the platforms — Xbox, Play Station, and PC.

  • PCs Are Inferior to Consoles

    It would be nice if we could FINALLY upgrade memory and ram on the next generation of consoles. No cool person in their right mind wants to sit down and play video games with a dorky keyboard and mouse. It’s just lame playing video games on a computer. Not to mention how inferior PCs are to consoles…

    With consoles you have Xbox Live, cross video game chat, bluray, and Playstation Home.

    • Matt


    • Kyle

      PCs are not even close to being inferior… The keyboard and mouse actually provide more freedom and more controllability than consoles. But, there is one problem PCs face to consoles and that is PCs are hard to be competitive on with mods, cheats, hacks, you name it against you. To me… that is what drives me away from PC competitive gaming. I game on PC to have fun with single player games or non-competitive games where you can mod openly and freely and everyone enjoys it.

    • Really? Really? Really? REALLY? PC’s are inferior to consoles? What a wonderfully flawed statement. I’m guessing you are bitter that you don’t have a PC capable enough to play decent games. Oh and you don’t need to play PC games with a Keyboard & Mouse. You can use either PS3 or Xbox 360 controllers with either a wire to connect via USB or a wireless receiver. I love consoles just as much as PC’s as sometimes I prefer the simplicity of just putting the game in drive and playing. But sometimes I prefer a game which I can take a bit more time and mod to my delight. Also if I had a more capable PC than what I had…Then I probably would play my console less because the graphical differences obtainable are amazing.

      But don’t listen to me because consoles are better because of cross video game chat & Blu Ray both of which are impossible on a PC. Right?

      • Nicholas Gatewood

        PCs are inferior to consoles because of one thing: Steam. It removes 99% of your retail options, forcing gamers to resort to gaming with DRM. It pretty much has a monopoly on the PC gaming industry.

        I had a 268-game Steam account. A Steam Support bully closed my account just to mess with me, when I asked him to have a co-worker of his examine the scenario he threatened to close my support account, when I emailed other Valve employees I got no responses(they protect their own). Screw Steam. It’s the reason PC gaming isn’t a valid option for me anymore, with most of the great games these days being Steamworks-only on PC. If I wanna play all the latest and greatest games, I now have to pirate them. That’s unacceptable.

  • Hurry up and release the 720, we are all waiting…..

  • Tut

    There’s so much potential with the current generation to bring us all great games as now developers/programmers have more of an understanding of its’ power/ability than ever before.
    Being patient is the key, and with the low £$ flowing the world…it would be in our interest to wait for much better. Give them chance for a good software line-up.

    • Matt

      So i take it that you, like many others, are not aware that the US and UK economies are almost at an all-time high and still growing?

      • Tut

        Many reasons to keep developing current gen games & building the capital for the next line-up 🙂

    • No, Developers have spent the last 6-years tapping every remaining drop of graphical capabilities out of Microsoft’s Xbox 360. It’s time for an upgrade and this time, refresh every 5-years, not 7-8. PC gaming is so far ahead of console gaming at this point in time, but comparing the two would be a mistake, for they’re two TOTALLY different balls of wax.