Rumor Mill: Xbox 720 is Impossibly Powerful
Video game rumors have been coming thick and fast in the past few weeks, so it’s time for another exciting edition of the Rumor Mill, where we take you through and dissect all the lastest video game rumors.
With a new console release mere months away, it’s little wonder why all these rumors are appearing en masse, so put on your skeptics cap and let’s get on with it!
The Rumor: Microsoft’s new console (which hasn’t been announced) will be “six times more powerful” that Xbox 360.
Where it came from: Tech website Fudzilla first posted a rather forward article about the processors a new Xbox machine might have been codenamed “Oban”. Fudzilla was able to confirmed this with “sources”. Of course, none of these sources have names, identification, indication that they’re not pot plants, or even mention of where these people might work or how they could have possibly came in contact with such information.
The news spread like wildfire to IGN.com who were able to “confirm” the story with their own “sources” – again, no names, no mention of where they work or in what industry, or what country. Just “sources”. Sure, they might turn out to be accurate, however…
Fact or Fiction?: The main issue with this story is that it doesn’t stand up against other rumors that have been started by the same sources.
IGN.com claimed their “sources” have confirmed that the Xbox 720 will “yeild 20% greater performance” than Nintendo Wii U.
Which is where the problem lies for according to website Develop, the Wii U is “twice as powerful” than Xbox 360. The maths simply doesn’t add up; someone’s lying somewhere. Further, Develop claimed that Wii U is underpowered compared to what developers were expecting. Does this mean that Xbox 720 will also be underpowered, only 20% more powerful than Wii U?
The whole thing is ridiculous. Xbox 720 hasn’t even been announced yet, let alone hardware specs finalised. Wii U is closer to release and is probably in manufacturing as we speak, but that’s no reason to panic and start urinating on basic mathematics.
The Rumor: The Xbox 720 will use Blu-Ray Discs and has technology on board that prevents the playback of used games.
Where it came from: Kotaku were the ones behind this one who managed to happen across “sources”, again with no name, no identification of any kind, no mention of where they happen to work, or where they could have possibly came by this information (apart from the fact they’re game industry ‘insiders’) that told them the new Xbox will have 50GB BluRay support and will prevent users from playing used games.
There was no mention of how this technology might work, except for some speculation on Kotaku’s behalf.
Fact or Fiction: If Kotaku are trying to convince us here at Aussie-Gamer they’re going to have to do better than that. The reason is the sources. We say this constantly, but if a source is bold enough to go to the media with these claims, they should be verified – more information has to be given about them. If you said “a source who works in the procurement department in Microsoft at Redmond”, we would be more forgiving.
But let’s not just slam the source, let’s look at the actual rumor. Again, this doesn’t hold any legs and the reason is BluRay. Microsoft didn’t take up BluRay for Xbox 360 for a couple of reasons, the main being Microsoft probably didn’t like having to give Sony, who invented the technology, a licensing fee on every single video game sold. This is the reason Nintendo aren’t using it in Wii U.
BluRay can also be slow; Microsoft can work out a faster technology by going proprietary. But corporate sabotage is something that they’re probably worried about; wouldn’t it suck if Sony ran into some kind of manufacturing problem with BluRay and thus couldn’t supply Microsoft with enough units, should the console take off.
Blocking used games is also suspicious, as this is probably more of a software thing than a hardware one, meaning that it’s unlikely someone on the factory line would come across this information. Of course, this could mean the sources may be higher up, but this is precisely the reason we can’t believe this ridiculous rumor at all; the source is far too suspicious.
The Rumor: Nintendo are considering a name change of their new console, Wii U.
Where it came from: CVG has citied (wait for it…) “sources close to the platform holder” (we assume that means Nintendo) who have told them that the “highest levels” are discussing a name change for the new console.
Opportunely, Nintendo are weary of customers who are too confused about similar names of “Nintendo DS” and “Nintendo 3DS”, and they don’t wish to repeat the same “mistakes”.
Fact or Fiction? This is pretty dumb, because it means that CVG’s source is either a high-level Nintendo executive (who are all middle-aged Japanese business men), or some janitor who happened to wander into one of these secret meetings. I highly doubt Nintendo would prance around to developers, manufacturing lines, and third party publishers asking for permission to change the name of their console.
Of course, Wii U may not be the final name for the console, however changing the name isn’t as simple as slapping a new sticker on the box. Wii U represents an already-planned marketing strategy. The name may indeed change, but it would be already changed by now. This isn’t something you change at the last minute, and unfortunately for CVG, it is the last minute.
Think of what needs to happen to change the console’s name, considering that many developers are probably putting the finishing touches on their games. Manuals will need to be re-printed, box art, marketing at publisher levels, TV commercials re-shot, intro logos need to be re-issued, console hardware moulding would have to be changed – the list probably goes on.
We also don’t buy the “customers are too dumb” argument. Look at iPhone for example. If people can understand that “iPhone 4S” is better than “iPhone 4″, I’m sure the same rules apply to Wii. Further, Sony have used the “PlayStation” name for 15 years, no issue there at all.
Thus ends another exciting edition of the Rumor Mill. Of course, there are others and there will be more – we’ll keep hunting them down and researching them for your reading pleasure! Keep an eye out, and if you have any comments or thoughts on these rumors or any other, let us know below!