Ubisoft Montreal is hard at work on ‘target boxes’ based on the intended specifications of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 successor, according to an Edge source. Delivery of the first iteration of genuine devkits, running custom hardware, is expected to reach studios before Christmas, and all signs point to the finalised console arriving at retail in late 2012.
Ubisoft’s teams are said to be working on PCs containing off-the-shelf components provided by Microsoft, and it’s our understanding that several other major developers, including certain EA studios, are also in possession of these target boxes. While our source was unable to share precise specifications, it is believed that AMD is providing the bespoke GPU solution for Microsoft’s console. A Ubisoft spokesperson said: “We do not comment on rumour and speculation.”
We can also reveal that one major Sony-owned studio has now ceased PlayStation 3 development, its entire focus having shifted to the console’s successor. The studio is also said to have been involved in the development process of the graphics technology adopted by Sony’s new hardware.
It is clear that both Sony and Microsoft have learned from their respective experiences this generation and recognise the importance of being first to market. Despite rushing Xbox 360’s release – games shown at E3 2005 were running on overheating Power Mac G5s, just six months prior to the console’s launch – Microsoft would no doubt view the billion-dollar loss caused by the RROD fiasco as more than justified by the console’s eventual market share. Continue reading Next Generation Consoles To Arrive In 2012?