Despite the relative newness of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U, all three consoles are getting replaced this year by their respective makers.
In the cases of Sony and Microsoft, that means new versions of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
In the case of Nintendo, it means a new game console altogether — currently codenamed “NX” — that’s yet-to-be revealed.
More than just rumors, though, chip company AMD is creating three custom, game console-grade chips that are going to make the chip-maker billions of dollars across the next several years. We’re betting that those three chips are headed to new consoles from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.
The company held a quarterly earnings call last week where company execs detailed three “system-on-a-chip” [SoC] products that start launching in 2016 — all three will be inside consumer products and sold by 2017, AMD said. These are exactly the kind of chips that currently power the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, that could just as easily power Nintendo’s next game console. They require little power, are capable of powering high-end games, and come in small enough form factors that they’re easily placed inside of home game consoles.
Beyond all the other logic, AMD’s timeline easily connects the three mystery chips to three new game consoles from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.
Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are currently powered by “SoC” chips that AMD made for the companies — the same type described during AMD’s quarterly earnings call. Nintendo’s current game console, the Wii U, has an AMD chip inside as well.
Rumors, reports, and some pretty strong evidence all point toward new versions of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in the not-so-distant future. A new version of the Xbox One recently slid through the Federal Communications Commission, and official documents detailing a new, slightly more powerful PlayStation 4 were recently reported on by Giant Bomb’s Austin Walker.
AMD, of course, isn’t saying much about where its three new chips are going.
Company CEO Lisa Su did say, however, that all three chips are destined for the world of gaming. “I’d prefer to let that come out as our customers are ready to launch,” she said according to Ars Technica, which first reported on the earnings call.
The video game industry’s big annual show, E3, happens in June; that’s where we expect to hear much more about one, two, or all three of these new game consoles.
PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners: do not fret! We don’t expect that new versions of either of those consoles will deviate in a major way from what you already own. Games may look slightly better, but we’d expect near-identical functionality between new and old versions of Sony and Microsoft’s game consoles.
If you’re a Nintendo fan and you just bought a Wii U, here’s hoping you’re really happy with that purchase, as it’s more than likely to lose a lot of support soon after Nintendo’s next game console gets unveiled and detailed.
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