Everyone is expecting a new game console from Microsoft next year. Nintendo is set to kick off the next console cycle with the Wii U later this November. The beautiful games shown at this year's E3 make it painfully obvious that new hardware is coming soon. The leaks pertaining to the next Xbox, codenamed "Durango," are becoming more frequent. All the while, retail game sales are down, gamers are waiting out the end of the cycle, and PC gaming is seeing a resurgence.
All signs point to Microsoft launching a new gaming console next holiday season.
Today, though, the website SemiAccurate published a story stating that the manufacture of processors for the Durango is going at a snail's pace. According to the report, the chip is codenamed "Oban" and batches are taking around 8 weeks to manufacture.
SemiAccurate's unnamed sources claim that September 2013 is the projected launch date for Microsoft's new console. Apparently, Microsoft has around two months of give in its semiconductor shipping schedule before the console release date will have to be pushed back. The company is evidently scrambling to find semiconductor fabricators who can expedite the chip manufacturing process. Meanwhile, SemiAccurate is reporting that Microsoft executives are holding the line and claiming that everything is on schedule.
A delay past the 2013 holiday season would be fairly devastating for Microsoft. As the current console cycle is winding down, gamers are becoming jaded, and retail game sales show it. Also, many of what are sure to be next-gen launch titles have already been shown, meaning that a console delay would also put pressure on Microsoft from third-party game publishers. While not much is yet known or has been leaked about Sony's next-gen console, it's a given that any delay on the next Xbox plays to their favor. Looming over all of this are rumors that Valve is fed up with current gaming technology and is ready to make its own gaming hardware. This should frighten Microsoft and Sony, because there could be no exclusive launch title for a console bigger than Half-Life 3.