The Xbox 720 ‘Durango’ most likely won’t be backwards compatible with Xbox 360 titles.
There are a few things to take away from this – the first of which is that is likely where Microsoft see the new, cheap Xbox 360 to take the place of. This new device, codenamed Stingray is rumoured to cost just £65, or around $100.
Secondly, it backups the fact Microsoft want to get away from the PowerPC type of CPU that the Xbox 360 has in it, and indeed move to a more X86 / 64 based CPU. This makes sense if you think about it, since the rumours of the Xbox 720 tell of it as a Windows 7 like device. This would include how to develop for it, and tools such as API’s.
It’s important to remember that Microsoft’s Xbox 720 is rumoured to be using the same CPU as found inside the Playstation 4. Sony have confirmed they will be using AMD’s Jaguar APU (which is a System on chip AKA SOC). This APU combines 8 Jaguar CPU cores with 18 GCN cores, which form the basis of the GPU. Although Sony are yet to confirm the CPU speed of their PS4, it has been rumoured to be 1.6GHZ – the exact same speed as the Xbox 720’s CPU.
Previously, the Playstation 3 used the Cell CPU – similar to the Power PC CPU inside the Xbox 360. The PS4 has been confirmed as not being compatible with the previous generation PS3 for the same reasons. Sony are exploring the possibility of allowing games from previous generations of Playstation (PS1, Ps2, PS3 and PS mobile) to be streamed to the PS4 using the Gaikai technology.
There are a few issues with such technology such as ‘lag’. While titles like Final Fantasy would barely feel an effect, other titles such as action heavy games (like say God of War and Street Fighter) would be much more sensitive to such latency.
All of this regarding the Xbox 720 Durango is still unconfirmed, Microsoft are yet to give a date of a reveal. Bloomberg have confirmed that Microsoft originally planned a reveal this month (April) but aren’t happy for whatever reason, and pushed it back yet another month.
Perhaps it’s possible they want extra time to prepare either the hardware, or perhaps software demos. There are others reporting that we might have to wait until E3 for an unveiling – the problem with this of course, is they would be competing for limelight against Sony’s PS4.
The date touted for May is the 21st, so we’ll have to all play the waiting game I suppose.