Next Xbox likely to be less PC-like
C|Net has some interesting commentary on Microsoft's deal with IBM to design the next Xbox processor. It looks like Microsoft very much wants to be involved in the design process for the chip, which could make for better performance, but kill backwards compatibility and modding.
"It is clear that Microsoft wants to get a lot of their DNA into it," said Richard Doherty, director of research company The Envisioneering Group. One reason for that involves hacking incidents. "They sure don't want to have a situation where an Xbox can be turned into a PC," Doherty said. Another is that Microsoft can squeeze better performance out of chips by being involved on the front end of the design process.
Considering that Microsoft sells Xbox consoles at a loss, it has little motivation to cater to the modding community. However, if the next Xbox isn't backwards with current Xbox games, the console could be a tough sell with only a limited number of compatible launch titles. Making the next Xbox less PC-like could also make it a less friendly development platform for developers who have thus far praised Microsoft for how easy it is to make and even port Xbox games.