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Xbox 720 launch date might be delayed - rumour

Trouble making the chips, apparently

Just to pour a bit more oil on the uncertain waters of the next Xbox, a new report has emerged suggesting that the console may miss its expected 2013 release date.

A story on tech news site SemiAccurate claims that the processor in the next Xbox is being manufactured by AMD - a change from the IBM PowerPC chip in the Xbox 360 - and should start rolling off the production lines in December, but has been hit by manufacturing problems.

The site's sources say that the chip, codenamed "Oban", is being manufactured in huge quantities at a variety of different manufacturing plants in the Far East, which is fairly standard practice for consumer electronics. The problem, apparently, is that most of the chips coming off the production line aren't good enough to pass testing. That means a lot of duff silicon and a greatly reduced ability to manufacture consoles.

We've gone for a different Xbox 720 mockup, as Ed's away.

This isn't uncommon with new chip manufacture, but the numbers are apparently dangerously bad and may mean that Microsoft won't be able to make enough new consoles to meet the expected Xbox 720 launch date of autumn 2013. There's still time to get things sorted, says the report, but not much - if the production problems aren't resolved by November, and chips don't start arriving in big numbers by February, then we might have to wait until 2014 to get the next Xbox.

Could this be the source of Gamestop's recent suggestion that a next-gen console could arrive in 2014? Probably not, we reckon - SemiAccurate's story says that Microsoft is still clinging to a 2013 release date for Xbox 720, and Sony's still got to make a few more quid back on PS3.

Exciting, entirely unconfirmed and possibly completely made-up times. On that subject, here's our roundup of the daftest Xbox 720 rumours.