Xbox 3 may include Radeon HD 6670, and that's not so bad

By Mike on 9:57 pm

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It turns out the Xbox 3 will not be the state of the art system the original was upon its release. According to IGN, the successor to the 360 will feature Radeon HD 6670 graphics. Naturally the internet is outraged, as they tend to get over such things. The next Xbox will definitely not rival the best gaming PCs of today. That might not be such a bad thing.

When Microsoft released the 360 in 2005, it shipped with their state of the art Xenos processor. They wanted to create a console that would rival the most powerful Windows PCs of the era. As a result, they chose to use a modified Radeon X1800 XL.  It was considered an enthusiast chip, and part of ATI's flagship line of cards.

One year later, Sony selected the enthusiast grade nVidia GeForce 7800 GTX for the Playstation 3.

Using high end chips certainly extended the life of the two consoles. While no longer cutting edge, they still hold their own against more powerful systems. By comparison, the weaker Wii has already passed its sell-by date. However, using high end hardware came at too great a price.

The HD6670 may not be a power house but will be cheaper and run cooler than the Xenos
Microsoft and Sony sold their current consoles at a loss for many years. Sony in particular struggled to lower manufacturing costs for quite some time. Both systems sold for $400 and $500 respectively. Since the recession, the desire to fork over that kind of cash for a toy has waned. $300 is the magic price point.

Using a cheaper graphics chip makes a lot of sense. While console gamers care about graphics, they don't care as much as their PC gaming brethren. What matters is whether there will be a noticeable improvement over the 360. When Microsoft says it will be six times faster, there is a legitimate case to argue that. Seven years and five generations of graphics cards have passed by, with a new generation about to be released. Even a lower end card such as this will offer clear improvements. Especially if Microsoft adopts DirectX 11, and it's tickle trunk of visual enhancements.

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