updated 07:35 pm EST, Tue January 24, 2012
Xbox 360 sequel may use Radeon HD 6670
A culmination of rumors may have given the first clearer picture of the next-generation Xbox's hardware. A tip to IGN has the system using graphics hardware roughly equivalent to AMD's Radeon HD 6670. Although strictly a mid-range graphics chip on the desktop, it would allegedly be about six times faster than the Xbox 360's 2005-era video.
The modern architecture would let it get DirectX 11-level visual effects and support for stereoscopic 3D video. While not as fast as higher-end 6000-series chips or the newer 7000 series, it would still be about 20 percent faster than the updated graphics in the Nintendo Wii U, according to the unofficial claims.
Most other details, such as the main system processor and its choice of storage, were left out. Microsoft may want to keep using IBM's Power architecture to guarantee backwards compatibility with existing Xbox 360 games, but modern technology could let it run much faster than the current console's three-core chip.
If accurate, developer kits based on final performance would "likely" would ship in August. Timing on that level would rule out a 2012 release of the console itself, since game developers wouldn't have enough time to finish complete games. Whether or not Microsoft waits until the end of 2013 or ships earlier is another matter and may depend on how well-prepared game creators were before the first hardware kits arrived.