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Monday, July 18, 2011

Next Gen Xbox to Offer ‘Avatar Quality’ Graphics?


By: Kareem 

There’s a rumor going around the interwebs lately about AMD letting it slip to OXM (Official Xbox Magazine) that the next generation of Xbox consoles, the so-called Xbox 720 will feature Avatar style graphics capabilities.

Neither Microsoft nor AMD have actually admitted the Xbox 720 is in development, however that’s not stopping the latter’s expectations of the next generation of consoles. However since AMD is the current Xbox’s GPU manufacturer it would seem to me they have somewhat of an inside heads-up. There’s also no mention that AMD is making the 720’s GPU, but again it does make sense given their history.

According to the OXM article the Xbox 720’s new chipset and board should also allow for a much higher A.I capable of individualizing each NPC in a game like Grand Theft Auto to the point that they have their own personalities and react rather than just running pre-rendered scripts (at least that’s how I understood it).

Personally I think that’s just insanity. If they can pull it off without resorting to wizardry I’ll be amazed. I understand companies have to hype their next projects but promises like this are almost certain to leave quite a few people disappointed. I’ve been a gamer long enough to know that gaming companies tend to make huge exaggerations when it comes to what their capable of and this would seem to fall right into that category nicely. I remember pretty much these same claims of super-smart A.I when the first Xbox released and then with the 360, needless to say the level of A.I they were pitching came nowhere close to the level of A.I that actually made it into games.

Just as a quick sidebar check out this video of what to expect from the Unreal 3 engine:

Unless they’ve seriously amped up their Processor (I’m taking 6 cores or higher at at least 3.2GHz), GPU, Motherboard and (this might be a little important) upgrade to at least 4 gig’s of DDR3 RAM I don’t see the Xbox 720 pulling off Avatar style graphics while at the same time providing this genius A.I AMD is claiming. It takes A LOT to pull off a playable Avatar, and although I don’t think it’s impossible by any means I do think that this is just hype getting people prepped for next years E3, We should hear a lot more during the Windows 8 details release in a couple of months, when Microsoft is expected to announce the details on how they plan to bring Windows 8 to the Phone, PC, Tablet, and consoles, doing something not even the almighty Apple has…bringing one OS to every device. That should be very very interesting.

Either way you slice it you have to take this rumor with a grain of salt. Especially since there really isn’t anything to base it in reality, it never hurts to hope though.

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