The hype for a next-generation Xbox console is well and truly hotting up; more-so since the news hit that Microsoft are rolling out production of developer units that feature an Oban chipset manufactured by IBM.
Whilst the next-gen Xbox is commonly known and referred to as an Xbox 720 – it was previously rumoured due to an MS Nerd source as codename ‘Loop’, whilst other sources point to the direction of ‘Xbox Infinity’. Would it shock you so much that Microsoft are pondering over naming the third generation Xbox console, which just so happens to be an eighth generation home console, “XBOX 8″ in line with Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 that will fluently all interconnect with each other.
So, how did we come by this news – well, an employee for a well known combined Publisher and Developer known to thisisxbox.com (who left his employment just a mere few days ago) stated that despite a current mass run of developer units ready to go into production, themselves and other developers of top titles have already received dev units of hardware, but in an alpha non-console form. Also confirming that newer versions of that unit in a non-console form was shown behind closed doors at the recent CES 2012 event by invite only running a fully playable version of Battlefield 3.
Next up, codename ‘Loop’ and codename ‘Infinity’ are meant to relate to services accessible within the online functions of XBOX 8 and not actually be names of the console itself. Infinity is an enhanced form of what we know now as Xbox LIVE, and will be the platform used for future Xbox 8 digital downloads, Windows 8 digital downloads, and Apps for all three systems. Infinity (note not Xbox Infinity) is an online platform that could also be implemented within future TV sets to bring approved apps to the home without the need for an Xbox console attached to the TV.
Xbox Loop is a codename for a service that will bring all current-gen digital stock into a next-gen era on the new console – it is the backwards compatible functions, but since it is likely to launch from within Infinity on the Xbox 8, we will never hear or see it referred to as Loop outside of the developer units unless it is used within the retail version of Windows 8 later this year.
Whilst Microsoft has not yet officially confirmed the name for it’s next generation of Xbox console – it was recently confirmed that it will not be shown at this years E3 2012 conference and nor will it ship in 2012.
When official announcements have been made, we’ll keep you updated.