The infamous rumour mill has been at yet again with the latest issue of Xbox World magazine claiming some rather impressive specifications for the next generation Xbox, claiming that devkits, which are special consoles allowing the developers to test their games, were sent out to some of the top developers in March. This of course follows the news that a secret conference for the next-gen Xbox, codenamed Durango, was held last month for developers to be briefed on the new console and its abilities.
According to the magazine, Durango will feature a whopping 16-core IBM PowerPC CPU, a GPU that will be comparable AMD’s Radeon HD 7000-series graphics cards and, perhaps most surprisingly, a blu-ray optical drive allowing for more gaming goodness to be jammed in to a single disc.
The magazine had this to say: “Even if you had a 16-core processor in your gaming PC there are currently no games built to use it, but games for the next Xbox could put all sixteen cores to work on day one for a level of performance far in excess of current gaming PCs. It’s a ridiculous amount of power for a games machine – too much power, even. But remember, Kinect 2 could chew up four whole cores tracking multiple players right down to their fingertips, so it’ll need a lot of power.”
Even more intriguing is that several developers at GDC said that expect that the Playstaion 4 will be more powerful that Microsoft’s offering, and that several studios are planning on unveiling their next-gen software at this years E3, regardless of whether Microsoft and Sony are even ready.
Currently Sony are denying that the Playstation 4 will be shown at this years E3, but with Durango kits supposedly having been shipped out to developers then there’s a chance of Microsoft dominating the show with plenty of devs showing off their next-gen titles on the Xbox 720’s hardware, including Epic and their new Unreal 4 engine This, of course, could be a major blow to Sony. The magazine seems to agree with this train of thought:
“Regardless of whether the next Xbox makes it to E3, the arrival of those Durango devkits is the starting gun for the next generation and once again Microsoft have beaten Sony out of the gate by getting hardware into the developers’ hands first. Sony keep denying any possibility of PS4 at E3 2012 too, but if they don’t move fast Microsoft could roll into June’s LA showcase with dozens of next-generation exclusives from third-parties. When Epic shows that first Unreal 4 demo they’ll only have one console platform to talk about – call it Durango, call it 720, call it what you like, but if Microsoft move fast it might be the only game in town.”
As always, take all of this with a pinch of salt because at this point it is just all rumours with absolutely no way of telling if it’s true or not. But if it is true, what do you think of Durango’s specifications?