Reported by: Karen Williams
The upcoming Xbox 720′s hardware kit was this week spotted on the AssemblerGames developer forum, with a whopping price tag of $10,000. Xbox 720 is rumored to be the successor of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and is expected to be released in the US on December 5, 2012.
The reported leak of the next generation console was dubbed as a fake mockup by Eurogamer who described the kit as “an anonymous-looking PC tower case, attached to a cheap display and running Matrix-style datastream graphics over an unconvincing debug launcher”.
The images reveal that the retail piece has a dashboard that resembles current Xbox 360′s test kit launcher. It is also described as an anonymous looking black box with features being found in any modern gaming PC. Applications like D3D11Game1 and NuiView were spotted along the dashboard. NuiView is “a simple tool for rendering camera views and data from an attached Kinect peripheral.”
Not convinced by the statements and remarks on the leak, Digital Foundry checked up with a bunch of developers who were working with Xbox 720 Durango dev kit. They indeed conceded that the photos were legitimate. When ‘DaE’, the gamer who attempted to sell the kit was contacted, he informed that the current devkits along with Intel CPUs and a graphics card that carries the NVIDIA brand were dispatched to studios in February.
He went on to say that the “kit features more than 8GB of memory.. and it is 64-bit” operating system. DaE also claimed that Microsoft is integrating an eight-core CPU for the final retail hardware.
According to IGN, a popular entertainment website, the device is expected to be six times more powerful than current generation consoles and would feature an AMD 6000 series GPU similar to the Radeon HD 6670. It is a close call as Britain’s Xbox World magazine also reported back in March that new kits are “powered by a state of the art 16-core IBM Power PC CPU”, alongside the same kind of Radeon HD 7000-series graphics cards. This piece of information was based on unnamed developers that reportedly got their hands on Durango development kits.
Xbox World also previously speculated that extra cores might be needed to drive the next generation of Microsoft’s Kinect 3D camera to track multiple players “down to their fingertips”.
So does that mean Xbox 720 will be more powerful than Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Nintendo’s Wii U which are part of the eighth generation video game consoles?
Going by previous statements of Peter Moore, the head of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business division, the company was looking into what kind of CPUs will be available for its next generation gaming console in 2011-2012. Probably, Microsoft intended to expand the lifespan of the device to 6 or 7 years.
In fact, the first commercial video of the console was leaked on YouTube on May 1, 2012. The next generation console will have forward compatibility, which means Xbox 360 releases will be enhanced with improved draw distance, better speed, additional functionality with the new controller and possibly new features such as Xbox 720-only downloadable content.
Meanwhile, the arch rival Sony’s PlayStation 4, code-named Orbis, is alleged to have an AMD 64-bit CPU and an AMD Southern Islands GPU (graphics processing unit), capable of displaying games at a resolution of 4096 x 2160. And the device is expected to play games in stereoscopic 3D at 1080p high-definition resolution and is compatible with PS 3 games.