Xbox 720 not “always-on”, runs Windows 8 – claims source

Wednesday, 17 April 2013 12:00 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox 720 will not require an online connection to function, the recent round of VGLeaks specs were correct and Kinect 2.0 is a thing. That’s the claim of an alleged Microsoft insider working in software, who has spilled plenty of fresh information online.

The source posted everything he or she claims to know in a Pastebin post addressed to NeoGAF member Chesemeister.

Although the post does not give away his or her identity, it is heavy with statements and alleged facts from within the company relative to Xbox 720, Kinect 2.0 and other areas surrounding Microsoft’s next-gen rig.

Starting with the thorny always-online issue, the source stated, “You are not required to be connected to the internet in order to play Durango games and MS were NEVER considering doing such a thing. Now please, just read that last sentence over and over again until it sinks in. Done? Good.”

According to the source, Microsoft will announce the new Xbox in May – backing up rumours of a May 21st reveal – and that the company is working on a set of VR glasses to work in tandem with the console.

The source also stated every VGLeaks article pertaining to the console’s specs so far has been true, and added that each new Xbox 720 rig will ship with an Xbox 360 SOC for backwards compatibility. The 360 chip-set is also said to boost the console’s overall speed and performance.

On Kinect 2.0, the source stated that everything VGLeaks has said about Microsoft’s new motion bar is correct, and added that with a “quite substantial increase in the hardware over Kinect 1.0, any humanly noticeable lag should be gone.”

On the issue of the Xbox 720 controller, the source said that the design is unchanged, but that the controller now houses an improved D-Pad that looks identical to the Xbox 360′s, but will feel different. It runs on AA batteries and battery packs again, but thanks to new wireless tech will last 16% longer than previous pads.

The source also confirmed that rumours surrounding new, cheaper Xbox Mini or Xbox TV models geared toward entertainment rather than games are also true.

Apparently, the $100 ‘Xbox TV’ rig is being worked on by a different team at Microsoft, and it is expected to compete with Apple TV. There is no disc-drive, but it will play Xbox Live Arcade and ‘Games on Demand’ titles, thanks to the on board Xbox 360 SOC.

In terms of OS, the source stated that both models of Xbox 720 would run on a full version of Windows 8 – minus interface – and that it will run the new WinRT framework, which the source claims will make Microsoft’s rig the most “indie friendly” console of the next generation.

On indies, the source expects that developers will pay a $60 Xbox Live license fee, and will be able to submit their games to the store without need of a dev kit.

What do you make of the above? Does it sound plausible? If you want more Xbox 720 rumours, head over to my round-up feed here.


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  1. Eregol

    Ouch. Windows 8?
    And we thought the always online thing was going to be bad.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Erthazus

    Windows 8 for a console is a good thing. It’s going to be a very fast console with the best tools. Much better then Sony’s.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Talkar

    Why is that a bad thing?

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Moonwalker1982

    The thing is, there already was a thread on this yesterday night on NeoGAF and they all claim now that it’s all made up. They renamed the thread ‘tales from my ass’. So either they are just trolling bigtime or it really is made up information.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. DrDamn

    The Xbox 360 SOC for backwards compatibility is very interesting. Though the idea that it can be used to boost the 720 performance is a doubt – wouldn’t that be horrifically complex? I.e. the sort of architecture they are meant to be avoiding? Though this does link back to other rumours which suggested a dual APU set-up. Not quite the same as suggested but similar.

    The source of this set of rumours is dubious to say the least, there are some interesting ideas presented none the less.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. DrDamn

    The impression I got was there was lots of scepticism and the thread was renamed by a mod. I think that is largely to do with the lack of any validity to the source.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. monkeyman

    I certainly hope not, windows 8 is a god awful operating system

    #7 2 years ago
  8. freedoms_stain

    The childish nature of the prose leaves me skeptical to say the least.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Talkar

    Care to explain why? I mean, it has better performance than Windows 7 in games, it is better at handling multi core systems, it can run pretty much anything windows 7 could. Why is it so bad?

    #9 2 years ago
  10. monkeygourmet

    I this is true the 720 will be very fast and capable, truly ‘next gen’ and will make the PS4 look more like PS3.5 (which it basically is).

    The only thing the PS4 has going for it is the 8gb ram, and even that was probably just bumped up to give it a chance.

    Kinect 2.0, Windows 8 and the App Store that will obviously come with the 720 are going to seriously rock Sony. Especially as I’m dubious things like Gaikai will even work that well.

    Add potential B/C into the mix and you have a winner right out of the gate…

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Eregol

    @3 It’s already been stated that Windows 8 has been a bigger mistake for MS than Vista. Realising that it just doesn’t appeal and wanting to get some legs out of it MS has decided to shoehorn it into their next console.
    It’s no secret that for the PC market it’s just not an ideal fit, and realistically it’s not going to be the greatest fit for consoles. This is really to push the Win8 UI and the Kinect functionality isn’t it?

    #11 2 years ago
  12. ps3fanboy

    the brainwashing and denying have started….

    #12 2 years ago

    If this is all legit then I’m buying Nextbox, bye bye PS4

    Microsoft will win the next gen war.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Erthazus

    @11, What the fucking shit you are talking about?

    Xbox 360 OS is based on Windows 2000 OS which is a failure or half-assed Windows XP. Windows 8 first of all is a tool + capabilities and it has nothing to do with a PC UI or anything.

    Windows 8 is reliable, fast, efficient, best tools available for a software development and it is the best OS for a console in general.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. monkeygourmet


    Getting worried are we? :)

    You can almost smell the fear!

    I don’t think Sony had the money to do the job right this time…

    #15 2 years ago
  16. ps3fanboy

    @13 the first victim have posted…

    mickeysoft always win in the usa the land of mcdonald rot… but not the rest of the world

    #16 2 years ago
  17. KAP


    Here we have a species known to many as a fanboy, these creatures unfortunately abundant all across the World Wide Web and favours nutrients such as Mountain Dew and Pizza.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. DrDamn

    What actual benefit does Windows 8 have over a dedicated streamlined OS aside from ease of development for the AppStore games? It will use more memory for a start, leaving less for the games.

    I agree there is potentially a lot of good stuff here, but if you take this as true then you are looking at PS3 having a significant GPU and Memory advantage.

    #18 2 years ago

    Fake rumour!

    No question about it, in my mind.

    I might start one myself, just to see how easy it is…

    #19 2 years ago
  20. DuckNation

    Haha this is just so funny i died at ” MS were NEVER considering doing such a thing” yeah sure you keep saying that =D

    #20 2 years ago
  21. DrDamn

    “Xbox 360 OS is based on Windows 2000 OS”

    No, no it isn’t.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Eregol

    @14 And who actually believes that Windows 8 has the best tools for software development?
    Do you develop software?
    From what I’ve read since the launch of Win8 it’s that it’s not a fit for anything other than tablets. It just doesn’t work outside of a touchscreen.

    Also, the 360 OS isn’t based on Windows 2000. EDIT: What DrDamn said.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Rosseu

    I’m on windows 8 and I like it better than 7. Definitely better than 7. Sure, people don’t like the new UI, but that doesn’t make the OS shitty. It’s good and fast.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Max Payne

    I think only first versions of new xbox will have 360′s SoC because it will just make console more expensive.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. ps3fanboy

    @15 the pc master race is out trolling i see, i guess you liked to hear that win8 crap will be on the always onbox. but its to late the rabbit is outta the sack already… so mickey$oft gonna have to try harder than this with their propaganda.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. redwood

    when will this end?

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Djoenz

    I bought a new laptop recently and I dont mind the Windows 8 and tiles well tbh if I couldnt go to my main desktop I would be devastated cause the tiles and appstore are infact terrible.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. ps4some

    If these specs are true then Rich Leadbetter is going to have to resign from Digital Foundary.

    No way on earth he’ll be able to bring himself to type “and the ps4 version is far superior” at the end of every face-off.

    #28 2 years ago

    Yeah, the Windows 8 UI is sweet on a tablet. Much, much better, and makes much more sense than it does on a non touch screen desktop.

    Win 8 is easily the best Windows yet. You do need a touch screen, it’s certainly nowhere near bug free, and still needs a lot of work (I’m eagerly awaiting 8.1), but it’s better than all the previous versions IYAM.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Joe Musashi

    Wow. There’s an awful lot of instant experts. People with prolonged exposure to years of secret business plans and next-gen tool-sets. I wonder what it takes to become so insightful and knowledgeable in what seems like mere minutes?!?

    Last/current gen I just played games on my consoles. Show me games. Games. GAMES. GAMES!


    #30 2 years ago
  31. N2O1990

    Why do people use PC standard to judge Win8′s 720?
    Sure Win8 isn’t good for PC,but doesn’t mean it’s bad for console,unless you think Xbox need something like start button
    And where does developer said Win8 bad for develop?they just said the afarid Win8 will not as open as Win7,but compared to 360…well it still a lot more open than 360 lol

    #31 2 years ago
  32. Moonwalker1982

    Oh man we even got fanboy gibberish here? Hilarious, but i didn’t expect that, lol.

    I was going to get the new Xbox anyway. And even those these are just rumours and maybe even bullshit, i never believed the always online thing anyway. Besides, always online is not a bad thing if we can still play our games without the requirement of a internet connection. If that’s not the case, nothing wrong with always online. BC is a HUGE thing for me, would be a huge plus. I plan on buying the new Xbox first and later down the road the PS4 for its exclusives. Quite similar to the 360 and PS3 era.

    By the way, why do so many people dislike Windows 8? I’ve never tried it, but it seems perfect for tablets and those laptop-tablets you got these days. If it means a very fast console with Windows 8, easy to develop games for and maybe even have Durango games compatible for PC…even more plusses.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. dizzygear

    “The source also stated every VGLeaks article pertaining to the console’s specs so far has been true, and added that each new Xbox 720 rig will ship with an Xbox 360 SOC for backwards compatibility. The 360 chip-set is also said to boost the console’s overall speed and performance.”

    That would be awesome. Take note Sony.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. tmac2011

    how about put XP on it instead this will be horrid

    #34 2 years ago
  35. Wen3

    I’m Unimpressed with all these…it is obvious PS4 will be a supperior gaming machine….who cares about kinect 2.0 and tv stuff….oh and you are forced to buy xbox 360 again….and they say it will boast speed and perfomance what a bunch BS

    #35 2 years ago
  36. N2O1990

    The fuck,people still think XP will be better for console/games…?

    Sony care,that’s why every PS4 will bundle with PSeye,maybe you can go buy a WiiU?

    #36 2 years ago
  37. Wen3

    We got a touch pad take that MS!! Ps4 controller is more next gen than XBOX

    #37 2 years ago
  38. Moonwalker1982

    Yeah…a touch pad. Something that is sooooo necessary too, right? Come on now. Let’s just wait and see what is even true about any of these rumours.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. xxJPRACERxx

    The reason people don’t like Win 8 is because of the interface, that’s all. The actual kernel is more streamline, the performance, multitasking, multi-core support and memory manager are better too.

    Win8 (custom made for the console) in the xbox 720 is a really good idea.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. DrDamn

    One interesting point I’ve just seen raised.

    “Even if there is a 360 SOC on-board, they wouldn’t let devs use it as it would really mess up BC for the generation after this. It would be a millstone around their neck for a long time.”

    That is actually a very good point.

    #40 2 years ago
  41. Wen3

    @MOONWALKER it is important man…….what’s useless is yopu people talking about the os like you going to use it…..all I know is that is for devolopers end of story all we going to use its the user interface….you will get things as they are and buy themes play games,watch videos go online……end of story so stop with windows 8 sh*t

    #41 2 years ago
  42. DrDamn

    OS is hugely important to the end user experience though. The UI is the interface to the OS but how it actually does things is a big part of the console experience.

    For example switching between games, apps, system menus. What you see and do is the UI, but what makes that quick or slow is the OS.

    So it is important, but can you really create an OS which is good for a console, a PC and a tablet device? The console OS may well benefit from a tablet like OS, but from a PC OS? Not so sure. Some people thought Apple were a bit mad scaling up iOS from the phone for the iPad rather than scaling down OSX. It was absolutely the right decision though.

    I can see some benefits for using a common OS across all three device types, as long as it has been designed for that purpose from the start it could work. The benefits to smaller devs is the key point I think.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. AcidNfection


    Stop pretending you know what is going on. You should focus more on your spelling then giving an ass opinion.

    To everyone else who says “Windows 8 is horrible” I would be willing to bet more then half of you have never even touched it, and are just joining the masses. If fact Windows 8 sucks bad…….IF you don’t have a touch screen monitor. Performance wise, it is superior to Windows 7 and if Microsoft does implement that technology into there console that would be very good!!!

    Windows XP??? Seriously……

    #43 2 years ago
  44. JopDiga

    Erthazus has no clue like always. Writes bullshit fake infos everytime. Never saw him writing true stuff.

    “Xbox 360 OS is based on Windows 2000 OS”
    No its not you cunt. Fucking dumb russian, how old are you? 12? Go start sucking cocks there in russia.

    Windows 8 won’t come to Xbox 720 or Next Xbox or whatever. But maybe a optimized version with the same Metro style, that could be real.

    #44 2 years ago
  45. Max Payne

    @44 Yes. Windows RT. Some thing that is on windows tablet.

    #45 2 years ago
  46. dtyk

    LOL 360 has Windows 2000 based OS. That’s some funny shit.

    #46 2 years ago
  47. Samoan Spider

    @44 Just to throw him a tiny bone, I dug this up from an article from back in the day -> “The Xbox 360 project started with the Xbox OS the same way the Xbox project started with Windows 2000. They cut, added, and changed it in both large and small ways. It’s now quite a bit different from the Xbox OS, which was itself quite a bit different from Windows 2000″
    Now a ripped and stripped version of Win8 could very easily be the OS of choice for the 720 but following the above logic, it would not be recognisable as a derivative of Win8.

    And one last thing from a purely on-paper point of view, the PS3 was enormously more powerful than the 360, yet when it came to the crunch, the performance was pretty much on-par both ways. So it stands to reason that whatever ever MS has up its sleeves, the same will most likely be true. As they say ‘its not what you have but how you use it’!

    Anyway, I personally don’t care because so long as there are exclusives for both devices, I will own both. But I felt a bit dirty reading some of the comments here. Like someone had just fanboi’d all over my face.

    #47 2 years ago
  48. DrDamn

    See my earlier link …

    “One of the first questions I get when someone hears I work on Xbox is “So, what operating system do you guys use? Windows 2000, right?” I am honestly not sure where the Win2K misperception comes from, but Xbox runs a custom operating system built from the ground up.”

    On the PS3 power point of view that is true but the reasons PS3 couldn’t easily exploit that power don’t apply here. We are talking about similar GPU tech from the same GPU manufacturer and one box having a non-insubstantial amount less more grunt. Will it really matter to anyone but DF devotees? I doubt it no, but from an exploitation view, if the specs are correct then the PS4 should be able to outshine (to an extent) the 720 graphically. Special MS sauce might mitigate that, but there is currently a gap in the specs that even very special sauce won’t cover fully. Obviously this is dependent on the rumours being substantially true.

    #48 2 years ago
  49. laughing-gravy

    Runs on full Win8 does it? There’s a massive chunk of system ram gone already! Not to mention the massive drag on graphics performance that it will bring. Ask developers what they think of Win8, they hate it. Without the x-box 360 soc the specs would suggest that 720 or whatever it’s called would have been around 8 times more powerful than x-box 360 and PS4 around 10 times more powerful. So even with this soc it still won’t be as powerful as PS4.
    PS4 will run a real-time OS and give low level access to the GPU which will mean a lot more performance. DirectX is fast becoming a millstone around developers necks and MSoft have already stated in leaked e-mails that they plan to retire the API. And guess what they are forcing devs to use for games on 720? Yep DX11.whatever! And devs have already said that PS4 is very easy to work with so the argument about 720 having better tools is nonsense.

    #49 2 years ago
  50. Samoan Spider

    @48 from that same piece -> ‘While our operating system exports many of the same APIs found in Win32′ would seem to add credence to the admittedly less formal quote I found earlier. Its a fresh OS they made borrowing bits from Windows. Kind of like Android is built from the ground up yet uses Linux/Java code.
    The last part about the comparison in power is based on unannounced specs for the 720 so we could all be miles off the mark. However, my assumption is that the only significant difference will be the RAM but even that can be substantially mitigated by a special sauce much like the 360 achieved. Used its 512mb in a more efficient manner and used a cheeky drop of ESRAM to help with throughput. But the question may well be, how much use can the PS4 get out of it rather than how will 720 make up the difference?

    #50 2 years ago
  51. Cobra951

    That’s sounding a hell of a lot better than the previous rumors. Of course, these are *still* rumors, but I actually want to believe these. The backwards compatibility would be welcome, and it looks like they’re doing it the right way, with the 360 hardware used to assist the Durango hardware when not in BC mode. (Nothing wasted, and since it’s needed, it won’t get the boot in future revisions of the system.) That’s what the Sega Genesis (MD) did by incorporating the Master System’s Z80 into the system, and using it for auxiliary purposes when the 68000 took center stage.

    Full-blown Windows 8? If true, then the question is whether it gets itself out of the way well enough when not needed. Benchmarks will tell.

    #51 2 years ago
  52. DrDamn

    Memory is one thing, there with current rumours I wouldn’t give the PS4 much of an advantage in multi-platform games. Games will be designed for the lower amount available. Speed wise as you mention special sauce comes in to effect.

    GPU wise there is meant to be a significant difference though. There is where the difference will be if what is doing the rounds is true. Though once you get to that level you are talking more about dialling back a little to maintain refresh rates. As I said DF will spot it, Joe Public not so much.

    #52 2 years ago
  53. Eregol

    With this talk of PC-like architecture in both machines, what’s to stop them creating the PC version first, and then porting it on a sliding scale, lopping of the parts that cause slow down, or pushing the marker higher if the machine is capable of more grunt, for the console versions?

    #53 2 years ago
  54. Samoan Spider

    @52 Yeah, spot on there. For the DF hounds it may well be a field day. For the average Joe sat 8-10′ from their 42″ telly, they aren’t going to notice a thing so long as its fun and buttery smooth. 7790 vs 7850 and 4gb vs 8gb, on paper, it’s not so good but I just think discounting the experience MS has in this area is foolish and the playing field will probably end up level again by the end.

    @53 And yeah, this. I figured the devs may well end up doing exactly this if there isn’t the parity I’m hoping for.

    #54 2 years ago
  55. laughing-gravy

    The problem with special sauce as with the move engines is that it creates more memory clients for the system to address. This again will prove to be a drag on bandwidth, so you don’t actually get that much of a performance increase at all. The memory architecture just seems to be a bit of a mess. You will still only be able to access the majority of game assets via GDDR3 which is pretty slow.

    MSoft don’t seem to have thought this one through very well at all.

    #55 2 years ago
  56. Christopher Jack

    I certainly don’t believe that if the 360 mini existed, that it would ditch the DVD drive. I mean it’s a relatively expensive component but the console would be far more popular if charged with an extra $10 with DVD drive than $99 without one.

    #56 2 years ago
  57. ba54d

    There were rumours about the 720 having 2 GPU’s… If it has a xbox 360 SOC, that would be like a second GPU right?

    #57 2 years ago
  58. Samoan Spider

    @55 GDDR3 is pretty slow actually yes, but thankfully in this case they are using DDR3 which is faster so maybe it’s not quite so bad as you think.

    #58 2 years ago
  59. laughing-gravy

    It’s still a lot slower than GDDR5 though isn’t it? I think the figure was about 68GBs a second wasn’t it? Compared to GDDR5 and with a lot less memory clients gives the PS4 a sizeable advantage.

    #59 2 years ago
  60. Joe_Gamer

    It will NOT have windows 8(rt or otherwise) you wouldn’t want that much software overhead for a console.

    It will LOOK like windows 8

    Fucking fanboys everywhere…

    Win 8 is not noticeably more efficient than win 7, it has a hybrid sleep mode so it LOOKS like it’s faster but it is not, changes from one OS to the other are almost completely cosmetic.

    The only reason M$ would ever consider shoe horning win8RT into the nextbox is to FINALLY get someone to develop software for RT. But that’s a completely different section of the beast, the colon doesn’t care what disgusting muck is dribbling out of the nose, it’s just there to keep the shit flowing.

    #60 2 years ago
  61. RocknRolla

    A little better news for xbox fans, but still I am going to go with Playstation as I always have and I have never been dissapointed by the console :) xbox just feels sloppy and cheap to me, and now they are saying xbox will go with win 8?? Windows 8 was the reason I switched to Mac and don’t regret it for a sec @10 what a fanboy go ahead waste your money, pay for online pay which should be free.. Feel almost sorry for dicks like you :)

    #61 2 years ago
  62. laughing-gravy

    But a number of respected tech bloggers have stated it is using RT. One of them even has close ties to MSoft. I think they are desperate to get people to develop for RT so yeah I think they would do that. It seems to be a trojan horse to get apps for their poorly supported store. If you want to know about how MSoft are handling the failure of Win8 click on this link.

    #62 2 years ago
  63. polygem

    #63 2 years ago
  64. Da Man

    Errrthafailure, first to comment, first to be owned as usual.

    #64 2 years ago
  65. Djoenz

    Wow this will be the new Xbox controller:

    This will be Kinect 2.0:

    This is just some harmless fun :P

    #65 2 years ago
  66. Eddie Rodrigues

    @64 he was actually the second :/

    Still wrooooooooooong. How does one claim to be a PC gamer and think that the OS will make the machine faster, PLUS to think that Windows 8 is any good?

    #66 2 years ago
  67. Mike_Smith70

    I recently published an article about how poorly Microsoft has been handling its PR surrounding the “always on” requirement.

    Let’s hope this rumor that “always on” won’t be a reality is true. But for goodness sake Microsoft, stop the bleeding and officially confirm it already. You are losing customers by the second as you allow the rumors to fester.

    #67 2 years ago
  68. Cobra951

    @62: Thanks for that link, or more accurately for a link within that article:

    It’s the perfect example of what can happen to any of your software (games included) if you are always tethered to the company store.

    #68 2 years ago
  69. spoffle

    Why are consoles repeatedly referred to as rigs on here?

    #69 2 years ago
  70. Djoenz


    Thats why I will never support the digital non tangible streaming shite etc. However I have purchased many digital games on PSN and it saddens me one day they wont be supported.

    Be too dependable and the elite will make us eat out of their hands.

    #70 2 years ago
  71. sg1974

    If this is true, Sony have a problem. The technical stuff doesn’t matter. 99% of consumers don’t know and don’t care about acronyms and numbers they don’t understand. It’s how it looks to kids and mums, and the average guy, and it’s about the price on the shelf.

    #71 2 years ago
  72. Bobby Drake

    How about the people who fucking like sony play sony and stfu and the people who like the xbox go play the dam Xbox BTW and if the fucking xbox is going to be so bad don’t fucking by it

    #72 2 years ago
  73. Bobby Drake

    The second richies man in the world runs micrsoft so I’m hundred percent the xbox has all the money to do what they wanted to do

    #73 2 years ago
  74. Bobby Drake

    The reason why Micrsoft online cost money is because they use the money they we give them to creat more shit for us
    I don’t see sony with a kinect

    #74 2 years ago
  75. Phoenixblight


    If you are suggesting that Bill Gates runs Microsoft you would be mistaken nor does Bill gates use his own money for MS related things.

    #75 2 years ago
  76. redwood

    the “always on” feature IS going to be there.. just hop the publishers decide to go easy on us.

    #76 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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