For quite some time, numerous media outlets and gamers themselves were calling the next-gen Xbox console – Xbox 720. Naturally, it made sense as it would be double the 360, but in reality, that designation never stood any chance.
The name Xbox 720 (Google search for "Xbox 720" brings 7.2 million results) became really popular among mainstream gaming media which was caught off guard when Microsoft deliberately chose the name Xbox 360 – in order not to face the battle of Xbox 2 versus PlayStation 3. As the results stand, Microsoft did manage to narrowly beat Sony in the battle of consoles, with 68.9 million consoles sold versus Sony's 67.2 million. Unfortunately for both players, Nintendo walked away with honors, as the company sold 96.7 million Wii consoles, and made a profit on every console they made (versus Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which lose money on hardware and gain profit on number of games sold).
For the new battle of the consoles, we could end up without a single number in their names. Nintendo already made up their mind with Wii U; PlayStation could end up being named something like PlayStation Ultra or PlayStation World, while Microsoft is still deciding on the name.
Our sources close to heart of the matter told us while the final name of the console is still undecided, there are some names which were discarded a while ago. The final marketing call will be decided during the first quarter of 2013, with the introduction in the second quarter of 2013, probably at E3. Microsoft plans to have a large venue near to the exhibition grounds, such as the Nokia Arena and have a celebrity-laden launch, with the global marketing campaign to get tickets for the launch event covering all countries where Xbox will be sold. This naturally, will exclude many countries around the globe, an error which Sony used to its advantage with its region-free approach to PlayStation Network.
If our sources are correct, the candidates for the next Xbox name are "Xbox 8" (to align with Windows 8 & Windows Phone 8), simply "Xbox" and "Xbox Next". There was also a rumor that the console might be named identically to one of already existing services, such as Xbox Live or Xbox Kinect, but both of those names should be discarded. Xbox Four was dropped due to similar pronunciation of the number "four" and "death" in Mandarin Chinese. Xbox 8 could also be the bringer of good luck, as that number has particularly positive connotation.
What we know is that Durango development platform is finally running on AMD hardware, as the company taped out GPU which will be in use for the Xbox Next console. The initial Durango XDK (Xbox Development Kit) featured an 8-core Sandy Bridge processor (SNB-E, LGA2011 on a custom motherboard with embedded memory), 8GB of DDR3 memory and Nvidia Fermi-class graphics (GTX 570). The new kit allegedly comes with 8-core FX processor, and Southern Islands graphics, with the final console allegedly featuring Sea Islands, AMD's second generation 28nm GPU hardware.
2013 should turn to be a very interesting year in terms of consoles – watch this space for continuous coverage. But for now, you can done and dust the Xbox 720. As police officer in South Park says, "Move along people, nothing to see here."