Both Peter Moore, corporate VP of the Entertainment and Devices Division of Microsoft, and Chris Lewis, the Regional VP of Xbox Europe, confirmed in an interview with Kikizo that the software giant is already working on the successor to the Xbox 360.
"As soon as you develop something, it's old", Lewis told Kikizo: "Of course we're thinking about that... we're constantly thinking about the next thing, we have to. It's my point about complacency - you can't sit back on your laurels in this business - the consumer won't let you, the developers certainly won't let us. So that's happening right now."
While these two Xbox executives confirm that development on the next Xbox has started, the New York Times reports in today’s edition that Microsoft plans to design its own processors at its Silicon Valley campus. The newspaper informs:
The design effort will initially be split between research labs at the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash., and its Silicon Valley campus here. Tentatively named the Computer Architecture Group, the project underscores sweeping changes in the industry.
One reason for the effort is that Microsoft needs to begin thinking about the next-generation design of its Xbox game console, said Charles P. Thacker, a veteran engineer and Microsoft engineer who will head the Silicon Valley group. Voice recognition may also be an area where the research could play a significant role.
Could this mean that the next Xbox would be powered by a Microsoft-designed CPU? Not necessarily, but there’s certainly a trend in the evolution of the Xbox platform.
From 2001’s Xbox, which used standard off-the-shelve parts provided by Intel and nVIDIA, to the Xbox 360, which made use of custom silicon designed by IBM and ATI for Microsoft, it is highly probable that the Xbox 360 successor will feature a higher level of custom hardware to set the console apart from a personal computer. We’ll have more on the next Xbox as it develops.