Microsoft confirmed reports about the new Xbox console and just how powerful it's going to be. Two times? Three times? Try six times as powerful as the current Xbox 360 console. The new version, often nicknamed the Xbox 720, is aiming for a 2013 release. It's graphics processor relies on the Advanced Micro 6000 series, a close relative of the Radeon HD 6670 used for other Microsoft products.
This is actually not as powerful as once hoped, since the 7000 series is also out and about. Maybe Microsoft still finds it easier to mass-produced the 6000 version, or wants to drop the price of the next Xbox as much as possible. Still, 6 times the current power is nothing to yawn at.
However, it also doesn't mean the Xbox 720 will walk on water. Raw processing power, even for a graphics processing unit, doesn't always mean better games and graphics. Microsoft is only one part of the story. The other part is the game and the developers themselves, who won't receive their development kits for the new console until much later this year.
So what does the new power mean for future Xbox systems? For one thing, it could make downloadable games easier to stream live, scoring one more point for online games and one more nail in hardware-based gaming's coffin. It could also mean tighter and more imaginative uses for the Xbox Kinect.