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Microsoft switching to AMD for next Xbox - Report

The next Xbox is leaving behind PowerPC and backwards compatibility

Microsoft is switching from the PowerPC/ATI CPU/GPU combination that powered the Xbox 360 to a brand-new AMD system-on-a-chip (SOC) for the next Xbox, sources have told Bloomberg. The SOC reportedly combines AMD's x86 Jaguar cores with its graphics chips.

The change to x86 means that Xbox 360 software probably won't work on the new Xbox, a situation mirrored by Sony's shift to x86 for the PlayStation 4. AMD is also the primary chip provider for the PS4, which uses an 8-core Jaguar CPU with a Radeon GPU. It could be a boon for AMD if the next Xbox and PS4 take off, as the company has lost ground to rivals Intel and Nvidia.

The move also means developers and publishers can expect PC-style architecture for both next-generation consoles.

"We'll probably see many more titles because the console makers are saying the publishers are back in the driver's seat," said Envisioneering Group president Richard Doherty told Bloomberg. Doherty believes that the change will also allow Sony to bring down the initial cost of manufacturing its consoles.

[Image via Xbit Laboratories]

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor, USgamer

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.