It may not be due until later next year but the rumour mill continues to spit out a few details for Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox games console, which for now everyone is calling the Xbox 720 (its code name is Durango).
According to VG247, it will launch ahead of the Christmas 2013 period and, contrary to earlier reports of it having no physical disc drive, it’s now claimed that it will use a PS3-style Blu-ray drive. The drive-less version could instead be the rumoured low-cost Xbox Lite being touted to fill the gap between the old and new machines.
Historically Microsoft supported the now defunct rival HD DVD format and has always appeared reluctant to fully embrace Blu-ray, though if the console is to have any kind of disc playback, it makes commercial sense to use what will probably be the last ever optical media format.
In a nod to the future rather than the present, the console is also said to require a constant internet connection. As far as users are concerned, it will ensure that Xbox Live online services become as much a part of the device as games and movies on disc.
For the entertainment industry it’s likely to mean the device may be able to scarily snoop on what you’re up to and disable suspected pirate content. Whether this also includes pre-owned games is certain to be a hot topic, and it’s far too early to be any more certain at this point.
The report also says that the new Xbox will use two GPUs (graphics processing units), thought to be equivalent to AMD’s 7000 series but “not CrossFire or SLI”. The site adds, “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.”
The CPU may have four or six processing cores, with one reserved for its OS and another for Kinect, which will be an updated version and reportedly built-in as standard.