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AMD's Robison hints at Xbox 3 hardware

Comments made by AMD's Neal Robison suggest that Microsoft's next-generation Xbox console will include AMD-manufactured graphics technology in order to push the quality of the gaming experience to new levels.

Robison, AMD's director of ISV relationships, has offered the first firm clue as to the makeup of the Xbox 3 - also known as the Xbox 720 - in comments he made to the US arm of Official Xbox Magazine for the August issue, reports.

While sadly free from technical specifications, Robison's comments were full of hype for the next-gen gaming platform, claiming that the graphical quality will be on a par with Hollywood blockbusters like Avatar and that advanced physics processing will allow every character on screen to react individually in crowd scenarios.

If Microsoft had been the one making the comments, it would be easy to dismiss them as basic hype. With a senior AMD representative bigging up the capabilities, however, a vital clue is revealed: AMD will be producing the graphics hardware for the next-gen console.

It's not that much of a leap: the Xbox 360 uses a Xenos graphics processor developed by ATI, which is now owned by AMD. The original Xbox, by contrast, used a NV2A chip from rival graphics specialist Nvidia.

Robison's comments don't only suggest that Microsoft is sticking with its decision to move to AMD-manufactured graphics, however: they also hint that the hardware of the Xbox 3 is finalised, suggesting a launch could be closer than previously thought.

Neither Microsoft nor AMD were able to respond to Robison's comments at the time of writing.