ITProPortal has been keeping tabs on Microsoft's next-gen console plans for some time now. Safe to say, there's rarely a dull moment on the Xbox 720 rumour mill, and now that Sony has given an outing of sorts to its rival PlayStation 4 console, speculation surrounding Microsoft's third gaming system is starting to reach fever pitch. With a provisional launch inching closer and closer, the time is ripe to round up all the best news and rumours - whether its release date gossip or potential spec leaks that you're after, this is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about the Xbox 720.
13 April, 2013: Is Microsoft's always-on Xbox 720 more hassle than it's worth?
25 April, 2013: CONFIRMED! Microsoft announces new Xbox reveal for 21 May
21 March, 2013: Leaked Xbox 720 screenshots point to always-on console
22 February, 2013: Xbox 720 spec leaker raided by FBI, Oz police
3 April, 2013: Meet SimSensei: the Kinect-based virtual psychologist
2 April, 2013: Intel and AMD spill beans on new video tech and GPUs
22 February, 2013: Sony PlayStation 4 tech specs analysed
22 February, 2013: Xbox helps Microsoft boost hip factor
20 February, 2013: Sony unveils PlayStation 4
19 February, 2013: Bunjie unveils first non-Halo project, Destiny
12 February, 2013: The seismic shift in the traditional hardware release cycle
Hot on the heels of a recent ITPP news compendium for rival console the Sony PlayStation 4, is another all-you-can-eat news destination for the next Xbox, codenamed Durango. Bookmark this article so that you can keep up to date with all the latest and most credible news on Microsoft’s next-gen console.
12 February, 2013
Very specific information about the next-generation Xbox, code named Durango, has just gone from a few leaks to a full-fledged gusher. The latest bit of so-called intelligence comes from a Kotaku source called SuperDaE, who claims that the next-gen Xbox will ship with a vastly improved Kinect motion sensor that "will always be watching you." Follow the link for the full story.
8 February, 2013
Rumour, rumour, on the wall, who is the fishiest of you all? A fresh wave of gossip has it that Microsoft's next-generation Xbox will reject used video games, but is the whole rumour game a waste of time? That's the killjoy vibe being flaunted by some observers, who argue that the current crop of next-gen Xbox rumours are a load of ol' hogwash and little more than older nuggets of speculation being revisited and rehashed. Another bit of recent chinwagging has the Xbox 720 performing natural language recognition à la Apple's Siri.
21 January, 2013
With the official announcement of the Durango now speculated to be just months away, more detailed leaks regarding the system's inner-workings are coming to the fore. Vgleaks.com, a site dedicated to the reporting of leaks and rumours regarding next-gen consoles claims to have got its hands on the Durango’s full specifications. As you might’ve guessed the news has not been confirmed by official channels so don’t take it as gospel.
Much like its rumoured Sony competitor the Durango is expected to feature an eight-core CPU clocked at 1.6GHz. The processor is believed to be based on AMD’s new Jaguar technology - which is graded for use in the construction of laptops and tablets.
The CPU is alleged to be supported by 32MB of quick-running RAM, dubbed “ESRAM”, which will purportedly be connected to the Durango’s northbridge, giving the octo-core processor general access to the console's other internal components alongside a ubiquitous connection to the GPU – which will supposedly offer 12 compute units clocked at 800MHz. The speedy RAM is expected to operate in tandem with 8GB of DDR3 memory with a speculated combined throughput of 170GB/s.
The report by vgleaks has also seemingly uncovered some proprietary components, like the mysterious 'data move engines' accelerator module and the Kinect multichannel echo cancellation (MEC) accelerator module which likely pertains to voice controls. The unofficial schematics also list an accelerated hardware video encoder, which alongside a purported HDMI input could give users the ability to record and transfer images and videos directly from an external source, e.g. camcorder, phone or set-top box.
The speculative rundown goes on to contradict earlier reports that the Kinect peripheral will be fully integrated into the Durango’s architecture as it lists a dedicated input for the peripheral. On a more optimistic note, the optimised outlet may also be indicative of improved connectivity between the two pieces of hardware as the Xbox 360/Kinect relationship has been plagued by more than a few bugs.
The forthcoming console might feature a 50GB dual-layer disc 6x Blu-ray drive as well as the obligatory networking options of Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct.
The picture is a speculative blueprint for the Durango produced by vgleaks.
This day also saw an interesting addition to the Xbox staff, as 22-year-old designer Andrew Kim was hired by Microsoft to take part in the branding of the next Xbox. A current undergraduate at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, he first found fame through his bold reimagining of the entire Microsoft brand back in June 2012. His 'Next Microsoft' campaign went viral prompting the Xbox developer to extend an offer of employment which he's confirmed to have accepted on his personal site. He's due to take up his new position after his graduation in the summer of 2013 which coincides with the suspected unveiling of the Durango.
7 January, 2013
The Durango's core processor has purportedly entered production according to the ironically named site SemiAccurate. The consumer silicon has allegedly passed the testing phase and is currently being manufactured in hope of meeting a speculated late 2013 launch. The report also corroborates prior rumours that the new Xbox will be employing a multi-core processor and a custom-built Radeon GPU.
3 January, 2013
The year started with a bang as Microsoft unveiled a new clock counting down to E3 - the alleged venue for the unveiling of the Durango. The clock was posted at 16:51 GMT, 2 January, on the personal blog of Microsoft's Xbox Live director of programming, Lawrence 'Major Nelson' Hryb's, accompanied by the blurb "and it's on..."