E3 Rumors on Next Generation Console Hardware

Guys talk, you hear things. And at this year's E3 HardOCP picked up a lot of information about the upcoming hardware in the next generation consoles. It will be interesting to see if our rumor mill churns up truth or fiction. We wanted to get this out the week after E3, but we had some I's to dot and some T's to cross.

Upcoming Console Hardware

While I personally did not attend E3, there were still a lot of people out and about from the gaming industry that were willing to talk. We had a few "operatives" that were working with HardOCP to mine information. Of course we are not big on console gaming at HardOCP, but certainly all that console hardware does in fact impact the PC gaming industry as well as the PC hardware industry. These reports should be very much considered rumors, but we will not throw all of these into the same classification as far as plausibility. Some have more bite than others and certainly not all these rumors are fully baked. What is true today, might not be true in 6 months, or even 6 weeks.

The Big GPU News

What looks to be a "done deal" at this point is that AMD will be the GPU choice on all three next generation consoles. Yes, all the big guns in the console world, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, are looking very much to be part of Team AMD for GPU. That is correct, NVIDIA, "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" But NVIDIA already knew this, now you do too.

There are going to be game spaces that NVIDIA does succeed in beyond add in cards and that will likely be in the handheld device realm but we do not see much NVIDIA green under our TV sets. NVIDIA was planning to have very much underwritten its GPU business with Tegra and Tegra 2 revenues by now, but that is moving much slower than the upper brass at NVIDIA wishes. Tegra 2 penetration has been sluggish to say the least.

AMD has always been easier to work with than NVIDIA on the console front. Well that may not be exactly true, but Microsoft did not spend months in arbitration with NVIDIA over Xbox 1 GPU and MCP costs back in 2002 and 2003. I always felt as though that bridge was burned.

The Big CPU News

Let's start with what we think is most solid on the CPU side of things. Nintendo looks to thoroughly entrenched in the IBM camp and using a new custom 45nm multi-core (most likely quad) processor. This one is fully cooked at this point.

It is highly likely that Microsoft's 3rd generation Xbox will be sporting a new IBM cell processor as well although it is slightly, ever so slightly possible, that this could change. It recent public statements Microsoft has also led us to believe that it may delay plans for the next generation Xbox for a an additional year or two due to the success of Kinect.

Looking towards the Sony PS4, we hear it is still unsettled between some kind of Bulldozer (would most likely be an APU) variant and a newer updated 32nm IBM cell processor. This one appears to have flip flopped back and forth a few times but it will likely firm up very soon.

The Bottom Line

Launch dates on the PS4 and next generation Xbox are still fluid and hardware changes could occur. A perfect example of this is Sony moving to NVIDIA technology less than a year before the PS3 launch.

The bottom line here is that there is no bottom line. While we feel very sure about what we have written here, we would be irresponsible to call these anything but "rumors." Surely HardOCP sports a very solid record when it comes to rumor information, and we will try our best to keep our ratio high, but things can certainly change.

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