BioWare’s Neil Thompson: Xbox 720 isn’t a huge leap from Xbox 360
In a recent interview, BioWare's own Neil Thompson reveals that the Xbox 720 won't be an obvious leap forward in technology from current gen consoles as the Xbox 360 was over the original Xbox.
Neil Thompson, BioWare's director of art and animation, has stated that Microsoft's upcoming next-generation Xbox console won't be a massive upgrade in technology as the Xbox 360 was over the first Xbox console.
"The next generation of Xbox hardware won't be quite as barn-storming an upgrade as Xbox 360 was over the original Xbox, It'll still be quite a big leap, mind."
BioWare may very well be working hard on the development of sequels for two of their most popular franchises–Dragon Age and Mass Effect–for Microsoft's next-gen console, and Thompson touches on some of the challenges that they face while developing for the new system.
"Clearly we still hammer up against the limitations of the hardware on a daily basis and if you push those parameters back, as I'm sure the next-gen will do, we'll hit them again," he began. "I think the main thing is that the industry doesn't get itself into a corner where it becomes economically unviable to make a game.
"The last technology iteration caught folks by surprise – especially the number of people you needed and the skillset jump to do the work that people expected. In the last generation the perception was that it was going to be a ten times improvement over the previous generation. "
"For the next generation there will be quite a big leap, but it won't be as obvious," Thompson continues. "People will do things in a cleverer fashion – and I have to be careful here as there are non-disclosure agreements involved! I think they'll be better prepared, shall we say – but we can't see a ten-fold team increase again as the budgets would just be ridiculous.
"You'd have to sell 20-30 million copies before you broke even."
EA has also made predictions that their new FrostBite 2 engine will dominate the new system's hardware, and since Dragon Age 3 has been confirmed to utilize the engine and has a planned launch date of late 2013, the game has been widely recognized as a next-gen release.
We've already taken a look at Dragon Age 3's concept art which was quite impressive; however it will be even more impressive to see actual in-game screenshots and footage that shows off the capabilities of EA's new engine.
The gaming world has been flooded with Xbox 720 rumors, such as the console's rumored launch in November of 2013 with an estimated price range of $300-450. Additionally the 720 has been speculated to feature upgrades like enhanced RAM, processors and other rumored specs that still remain unconfirmed.
As always, be sure to take these rumors with a grain of salt and not accept them as total fact, regardless of the supposed proof. All in all they still have yet to be officially confirmed.
Thompson's voice does add perspective to the expectations of Microsoft's next-gen Xbox console, some of which have been wild and fanciful. In any case, BioWare should be a credible source on the subject since they're working on both Dragon Age 3 and Mass Effect 4. However, gamers will most likely be able to see what Microsoft's new Xbox console has to offer during this year's E3 in June.