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Rumours of next Xbox running ARM, Windows 9; codenamed “Loop”

Often-correct Microsoft speculation site MSNerd is putting their money behind the prospect that the next Xbox will be called “Loop”, and will run on modified Windows 9 code.

MSNerd states that the new Xbox “will use a Zune HD-like hardware platform—a  “main” processor with multiple dedicated assistive cores for graphics, AI, physics, sound, networking, encryption and sensors. It will be custom designed by Microsoft and two partners based on the ARM architecture. It will be cheaper than the 360, further enabling Kinect adoption. And it will be far smaller than the 360. It will also demonstrate how Windows Phone could possible implement Win9’s dev platform on the lower end.”

While the Windows 9 tidbit doesn’t surprise us, the use of ARM does — it’s currently employed by a number of mobile devices which require solid computing (ie the PSVita’s near-PS3 quality graphics, just at a smaller resolution) without using too much power. A move away from the PowerPC chips currently in use by the Xbox 360 may mean all of our current games won’t play nice, compatibility-wise, with the rumoured new console.

Let’s face it — most of this speculation is useless in the end. I personally don’t believe we’ll see a new Microsoft or Sony console until 2014; it’s just too expensive for developers to prep for new console hardware.

I LOVE the codename though — it keeps the circular theme in use by the 360 going strong.

What do you guys think?

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for close to fifteen years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.