The X-Box ‘720’
With the Xbox 360, Microsoft took a giant slice of the market away from gaming majors Sony and Nintendo and we don’t doubt, for a second, that they will be aiming to do the same with the Xbox ‘720’, rumoured to be unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2012. One absolutely kick-ass feature rumoured to be part of the ‘720 experience’ is IllumiRoom – a concept that uses a Kinect motion sensor and a projector to “blur the lines between on-screen content and the environment we live in” with some truly spectacular results.
Specs-wise, the Xbox will hold an octa-core AMD based processor, about 8 GB of RAM, a GPU akin to the AMD 8000 series, and little birdies everywhere tell us it just might do away with physical disks. Yes, gamers may have to get their content streamed to their screens instead of actually owning a hard copy of each title, making high-speed Internet connections a prerequisite of hardcore gaming.
The PlayStation 4
With the Wii U already out there, Sony is pushing hard for the release of the PS4 and is clearly trying to get their console on shelves before the new Xbox goes public. Leaked images of the PS4 controller show few differences from its predecessor, the only exception being a touchscreen pad in place of the ‘Start’ and ‘Select’ buttons. Rumours however, run rife and here are a few of them – A DualShock controller with vibration and temperature feedback, a quad-core AMD processor, 8 GB RAM and 160 GB of storage space.
Conceived by start up tech company Boxer8 and funded through the Kickstarter program, the Ouya is not only one of the most affordable consoles ($99) on this list but is also slated to hit stores the earliest. This machine packs a Tegra 3 based SoC with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal flash memory along with USB expansion ports and it runs on a version of Android – not all that impressive. But what it lacks in hardware specs it makes up for it by being completely open to modding, allowing game designers to create and play their own titles. It even facilitates network play, in case competing against AI characters just doesn’t give you the same rush that human intelligence does.
Nvidia’s Project Shield
Very little is known about Project Shield beyond the fact that it sports a 5-inch display with 1280×720 resolution, attached to what looks suspiciously like a marriage between a PS3 and an Xbox controller. We also hear that the allows users to stream PC games (much like Sony’s Remote Play) from a laptop or a desktop. Despite the ‘portability’ evident in images of the prototype, we wager that Project Shield will turn out a device that is extremely powerful and capable of smoothly tackling even the most richly rendered visuals, especially given Nvidia’s reputation for solid hardware. Other perks include full UHD and LTE support.
The Razer Edge
Debuting at CES 2013, the Razer Edge is perhaps the very definition of gaming versatility. The 10-inch laptop can be hooked up to a keyboard dock, a pair of controllers or an incredibly cool gamepad accessory that is guaranteed to blow the hardcore gamer’s mind. Specs include an i7 processor, a GeForce graphics accelerator, Windows 8 and an 80MW battery (with the extended pack), which is an unusually robust amount of power for a tablet. But then again, the Razer Edge is anything but usual. It’s big, chunky, has a decent heft to it and barring the tremendous price tag ($999 for the base model and over $1499 for the souped up version), w think it’s one of the coolest gadgets to have hit the gaming community this year.