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Xbox 720 not "always-on", runs Windows 8 - claims source

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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