Xbox 720: Blu-ray inside, always-on netcon required

By Patrick Garratt, Monday, 2 April 2012 11:28 GMT

Xbox 720 has been fully detailed to some third-parties, VG247 has learned, and has been slotted in for a Christmas 2013 release. And yes: of course it’ll have a Blu-ray drive.

VG247 has learned that Microsoft has now detailed Xbox 720 to certain partners and has internally confirmed the machine for a Christmas 2013 release.

The next generation Xbox will have a Blu-ray drive, contrary to a recent report.

Multiple sources have confirmed this morning that the machine will have two GPUs. One said: “It’s like two PCs taped together.”

We’re waiting for final confirmation of specs, but the graphics cards are thought to be equivalent to AMD’s 7000 series GPUs, but “not CrossFire or SLI”. The GPUs aren’t structured as they are in a normal dual PC set-up, in which the two chips take it in turns to draw lines of the same object: Xbox 720’s graphics units will be able to work independently, drawing separate items simultaneously.

It was reported last week that PlayStation 4, internally codenamed Orbis, will also be powered by AMD hardware.

There will be “four or six” cores to the Xbox 720 CPU, one of which will be reserved for Kinect and one for the OS.

Xbox 720 will require an always-on internet connection as an anti-piracy measure.

We’ve also been told that the next generation of Kinect will be built into the device as standard.

The details have emerged in the wake of a hastily removed tweet from Sean Tracy, a technical designer for Crytek, that said he was attending the “Durango summit” in London at the end of February. Durango is though to be the codename for the console.

Microsoft is not expected to announce anything pertaining to its next machine until next year.

Many developers have been posting job openings for “next-gen” and “future-gen” systems for months.

Lionhead and Bethesda are just two of the latest.

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