With people still recovering from the red ring of death from the Xbox 360 launch, you would think Microsoft would do everything they could to make sure that the Xbox 720 launch would go as smoothly as possible. However, it appears that may not be the case as rumors are again floating around the unannounced system, this time dealing with possible shortages.
According to site SemiAccurate “‘Oban’ processor that powers the system is facing shortages that could prevent Microsoft from manufacturing enough consoles for the oft-rumored 2013 launch.” There is apparently a problem with the manufacturing process that yields a low production of the number of usable processor chips. Here is an explanation from the Official Xbox Magazine:
“for every wafer, or sheet of silicon chips, created, only a tiny percentage are actually usable. Think of it like a sheet of baseball cards. If one sheet makes 30 cards, but only one card comes out without any issues or defects, that’s a bit of a problem.” Microsoft has reportedly increased Oban manufacturing to “very high quanitities” that SemiAccurate notes are “too high by more than an order of magnitude to simply be for dev kits.”
In addition, SemiAccurate is reporting that the next generation Xbox was suppose to ship next September but this issue may put that ship date in jeopardy. However, there is some good news out of this rumor, according to LazyGamer.net the chip set that is going to be used in the next generation Xbox will be substantially more powerfull than what people believed:
“The dark horse was an x86 CPU, but it was a long shot. It looks like the long shot came through, moles are now openly talking about AMD x86 CPU cores and more surprisingly, a newer than expected GPU. How new? HD7000 series, or at least a variant of the GCN cores, heavily tweaked by Microsoft for their specific needs.”
In the end though, this may be nothing more than a speed bump as SemiAccurate’s sources are also reporting: “Microsoft insiders tell us that the planned launch date is September 2013, and that is not changing without heads rolling internally.” There just might be a shortage of consoles on launch day, which would be nothing new in this industry.