Why Heir To Microsoft Xbox 360 May Be A Windows Phone Handset

A quick look at what Microsoft can achieve with the hardware inside the current Xbox 360 will convince many that the next Xbox 720 may actually turn out to be a mobile phone based on Windows Phone.

Switching from a dedicated platform to an open-base one will reduce the cost of developing the hardware while dramatically increasing the roll out speed.

The Xbox 360 gaming console was, for a while, a money losing venture, buoyed only by the sale of millions of games and by Microsoft's ambitions to topple Sony and Nintendo in the lounge.

Getting mobile handset manufacturers like LG or Samsung involved means that this financial burden would be removed altogether (or at least shared) since any costs associated with hardware development would be the responsibility of the phone makers themselves.

Then there's the fact that mobile hardware has improved dramatically over the past few years. As a reminder, the Xbox 360 was developed more than six years ago (it turned five very recently) and even the Xbox 360 slim is only a refresh, rather than a major upgrade.

Ironically, Microsoft had to deliberately slow down the Xbox 360 Slim in order to eliminate risks of incompatibility should it allow the console's CPU to run at faster than stock speeds.

The forthcoming generation of mobile SoC from the likes of TI, Samsung, Marvell, Qualcomm or Nvidia are very promising with the Cortex-A9 core set to provide enough oomph to rival the Xbox 360.

Indeed, Qualcomm has confirmed that their forthcoming MSM8960 will feature a graphics module as powerful as the Xbox 360 and the PS3.

Given that ARM has already announced its successor, the "A15 Eagle", chances that your Xbox 360 is the last of its species are quite high indeed.