No matter what you think about the Wii U you have to admire the way Nintendo are trying to innovate with their so-called next-generation console, so when it comes to the Xbox 720 and PS4 we hope that something truly innovative is delivered when we finally see the release date for these expected powerhouses. One way this can be done with the Xbox 720 is by making it upgradeable, and it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard this, although as we move closer to a launch it seems more possible considering the speed at which PC hardware is advancing and also looking back at Microsoft patents.
We only just looked at some new insight into the Xbox 720 specs yesterday, which revealed an impressive system that a few of our readers loved, although some pointed out how fast this machine would become outdated on a hardware level when compared to PCs. This is something that’s pretty obvious and already seen with the aging PS3 and Xbox 360, and while there’s the idea of cloud gaming we’re certain hardcore gamers are not ready to let go of the high-spec consoles just yet.
The PC market hasn’t grown in popularity like the Xbox and PlayStation, but we’ve seen how certain games are much better on the PC like Skyrim thanks to mods, and a lot of hardcore gamers prefer PC thanks to the upgradability. It is true that a games console needs a lot less power to produce the same result as a PC in terms of physics and graphics, but in terms of innovation and the lifetime of the Xbox 720 it would be something special to deliver an upgradeable design, which would bring more PC gamers into the living room and offer a way to improve console games like never before.
Xbox 720 upgradeable design evidence resurfaces — the image below came from a Microsoft patent, and considers sharing computer resources and could be part of the planned design for an Xbox 720, aka Next Xbox, which details a base architecture like you’d see on PCs. You can visit the patent application page on the official website here, which had first been filed summer 2012 and only just resurfaced towards the end of last month. We’ve previously seen leaked details in documents, which have since vanished from online sources although we’re sure a number of our readers have seen such documents. One leak talked about “transmedia gaming”, which would allow you to play games and run applications at the same time thanks to different components being tasked with each job, so this would happen with a more advanced GPU and CPU combo.
Would you like to see an upgradeable Xbox 720? This wouldn’t be for everyone and in fact we’ve heard from a few PR readers that state this is the very reason they left the PC, which had been thanks to compatibility issues with upgrading components for different games. Those for an upgradeable Xbox 720 point out that Microsoft would control the parts for an Xbox 720, so there shouldn’t be compatibility problems, but this could also lead to higher costs for these parts. The bottom-line is if this option were delivered it would give Microsoft a major advantage over the PS4 in our opinion, which is of course based on Sony not going the upgradeable route as well.
The patent above shows that Microsoft are at least considering this option for the Xbox 720, so now we wonder what the gamers think about it? You can also read a little on potential PS4 backwards compatibility in our earlier article.