Rumors just keep flying about a new generation of consoles on the horizon. Some say 2012, others 2013, and the 360 successor may be codenamed Loop. Now Edge has multiple sources saying developers are already preparing for the next round of consoles in 2012.
According to one of Edge’s sources, Ubisoft and EA have custom PCs made to approximate Microsoft’s next system, as the teams are already preparing software for the unannounced system. If this is the case, then with this much lead time, the studios could already be preparing titles for a holiday launch next year. Sadly the source didn’t go into specifics on just what type of tech was in those machines.
Edge also said it confirmed that at least one internal developer of Sony’s has stopped working on PlayStation 3 hardware and are looking to the future. Though apparently that change in priorities isn’t so much to create software for the system, but to work on graphics tech for whatever Sony’s next system might be.
With all these rumors flying, including word Microsoft could reveal something as early as next January, these are exciting times. Many companies seem to be preparing for the changeover to new hardware, so it’s likely that at least some of this industry scuttlebutt is true. It’s interesting that most of the rumors have been focused on Microsoft, which could imply Sony won’t be ready to launch at the same time as MS, which would be unfortunate for Sony if it was true.
Also, what does this mean for Wii U? When we thought the next Xbox or PS4 were coming out in 2013, we thought that the Wii U would have current graphics for at least one year. Though we don’t know exactly what runs Nintendo’s next system, most rumors indicate it’ll be relatively similar to 360/PS3. If fancy new systems come out the same year as Nintendo’s less impressive machine, that can only hurt the fledgling system. However, if Nintendo has an attractive price point and gameplay hook, it could pull out a win after all. It’s happened before.
All we know for sure is that we're frustrated by how much we don't know. And the rumor buzz will almost certainly get much worse before we even get confirmation from the hardware makers that their systems are this close to production. Get ready for a long, hard slog of speculation.