Microsoft's old Xbox 720 roadmap leaks

Note: Before we get right in to the contents of the leaked Xbox 720 roadmap we should inform everyone that the document is two years old, and references consoles like the "Wii2" which we have known as the Wii U since mid-last year. Lots of things can change in the tech world in the space of two years, but at least it gives some insight into what Microsoft was planning for the future of the Xbox back in 2010.

Anyway, the leaked document is known as "Xbox 720 9-24 Checkpoint" and details pretty much everything Microsoft was thinking of for the future of their entertainment division. It appears to be some sort of platform for invoking discussion about the Xbox 720 and other projects rather than a complete roadmap that Microsoft was going to stick to, but the information of what they were hoping to achieve is juicy.

In the document Microsoft is calling the next Xbox the "Xbox 720" and they appear to be aiming for a console that is at least six times as powerful as the current Xbox 360. The console described here will possibly have a Blu-ray optical disc drive and will be capable of delivering "true 1080p and full 3D" while launching sometime in 2013. Microsoft is aiming for a system that will launch for $299 plus a "Kinect V2" sensor, while selling more than 100 million units over a 10 year lifecycle.

The aforementioned Kinect V2 sensor will improve (or at least they were aiming to improve) on the original by providing a better 3D play space (closer, wider and deeper), better voice recognition, better HD RGB cameras, dedicated hardware processing and support for concurrent tracking of four players.

Meanwhile in the holiday of 2012 Microsoft was looking to unleash "XTV" (aka. Xbox TV) which is a combination of "linear TV, TV apps [and] DVR" alongside internet-provided services such as Netflix. This service would be launching on the Xbox 360 first later this year before a full roll-out with the Xbox 720 in 2013; it will also work on phones and PCs.

Later in 2014, Microsoft is hoping to launch "Fortaleza", which will essentially be Kinect 3D glasses that provide a "breakthrough heads-up and hands-free" gaming experience. This will provide "seamless integration of the digital world within the physical world". Later on Microsoft hopes to bring seamless Xbox gaming anywhere on any device through the use of the cloud.

Of course, there is much more to learn from this document even though it is two years old, so we recommend you check out the source link for more. 

Update: Unfortunately you can't check out the source link anymore because Microsoft has requested Scribd to take the document down; naturally they complied. This also pretty much confirms the legitimacy of the document, as some of the plans - regardless of the fact the document was from 2010 - Microsoft clearly doesn't want the public to see anymore.

Via: WPCentral
Source: Document

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34 Comments

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dogmai79 said,
I want to believe it but has it been confirmed to actually be real or is this fake?

I'm very skeptical, especially with them calling it Xbox 720 in the document. That's just a dumb name that fans made up, I find it hard to believe they would even consider it.

Hm... Bluray... I have been saying for ages that it would make no business sense not to support it. I'm glad Microsoft appears to see that as well and hope maybe others see it as a likelihood as well...

If I were in charge of Microsoft, I'd immediately ban the use of the word "premium". Their marketing people have humped that word into meaninglessness.

even though I'm not a X-Box fan (mine gets the least usage of all my consoles), I do like the look, just like a dvd/blu-ray player.

Wish all the consoles were made like that (though I suppose you can always do it yourself if you are so incline)

My biggest concern looking through this regarding is validity is the choice of x86 ARM processor cores - for one going from 64 bit CPU's to 32Bit CPU's doesn't make much sense, and secondly I've never seen an ARM CPU perform better than PPC CPU - especially when they're only planning to be clocked at 2Ghz.

~Johnny said,
My biggest concern looking through this regarding is validity is the choice of x86 ARM processor cores - for one going from 64 bit CPU's to 32Bit CPU's doesn't make much sense, and secondly I've never seen an ARM CPU perform better than PPC CPU - especially when they're only planning to be clocked at 2Ghz.

There exists a 64-bit ARM architecture (ARMv8) but currently no one uses it. By 2013, it should be ready for production.

But yeah, not sure why they'd go away from a PowerPC or POWER based architecture. Currently all the major non-mobile gaming consoles use the PowerPC architecture.

~Johnny said,
My biggest concern looking through this regarding is validity is the choice of x86 ARM processor cores - for one going from 64 bit CPU's to 32Bit CPU's doesn't make much sense, and secondly I've never seen an ARM CPU perform better than PPC CPU - especially when they're only planning to be clocked at 2Ghz.

Going to an x86 AMD APU doesn't mean going to 32 bit CPU ...

HawkMan said,

Going to an x86 AMD APU doesn't mean going to 32 bit CPU ...

Writing "6-8x ARM/X86 @ 2GHz" implies 32Bit ARM cores, and considering it specifically mentions ARM, has separate GPU's listed, and nothing about APU's, if these specs were / are still correct, that means it's not going to be using APU's.

A bizarre choice to make to go with ARM, when they could go for a far more powerful IBM chip.

Edited by ~Johnny, Jun 16 2012, 2:30pm :

~Johnny said,

Writing "6-8x ARM/X86 @ 2GHz" implies 32Bit ARM cores, and considering it specifically mentions ARM, has separate GPU's listed, and nothing about APU's, if these specs were / are still correct, that means it's not going to be using APU's.

A bizarre choice to make to go with ARM, when they could go for a far more powerful IBM chip.


I've been thinking the same thing. If they do go this route, I'd be very curious to know why...

M_Lyons10 said,

I've been thinking the same thing. If they do go this route, I'd be very curious to know why...

All microsoft platforms will or have the end-goal of running ontop of the Win8 Kernel. WP8, Windows8, and Xbox as well, ARM is supported by the Win8 Kernel while PowerPC is not. I believe that is why there is a fundamental shift in architecture.

~Johnny said,

Writing "6-8x ARM/X86 @ 2GHz" implies 32Bit ARM cores, and considering it specifically mentions ARM, has separate GPU's listed, and nothing about APU's, if these specs were / are still correct, that means it's not going to be using APU's.

A bizarre choice to make to go with ARM, when they could go for a far more powerful IBM chip.

Well, remember that the system is going to have a wider roll now and not just play games but all the media side stuff as well. So the way it's listed as "6-8x ARM/x86" CPUs could mean it's going to be a combo mix of both ARM and x86 cores, when the system doesn't need all the beefy CPU power it could switch to the lower power ARM mode and so on? Guess we'll know in 2013 for sure.

GP007 said,

Well, remember that the system is going to have a wider roll now and not just play games but all the media side stuff as well. So the way it's listed as "6-8x ARM/x86" CPUs could mean it's going to be a combo mix of both ARM and x86 cores, when the system doesn't need all the beefy CPU power it could switch to the lower power ARM mode and so on? Guess we'll know in 2013 for sure.


That's an interesting idea. I am very much looking forward to this unveil whenever it may be... And yeah, I understand that they are trying to leverage the Windows 8 kernal, so that does make sense. I just hope the console itself doesn't suffer. That would be unfortunate.

M_Lyons10 said,

I've been thinking the same thing. If they do go this route, I'd be very curious to know why...

it could be that they are targeting for cloud computing, something like onlive. but such idea have one big issue - lag time and bandwidth. well, sometimes you get to have very tiny lag and bandwidth could be not a problem, but these parameters vary too much across the world.

They have got the Xbox Smart Glass app coming up. It's not much of a stretch to see how they could have adapted this plan while maintaining a 2013 launch.

-KJ said,
Ambitious for that price point.

Consoles are always sold for a loss through the first 4-5 years of their life before the hardware costs drop enough and the software sales make up for the initial hit etc. Otherwise they'll do a Sony and sell it for $599!!!

GP007 said,

Consoles are always sold for a loss through the first 4-5 years of their life before the hardware costs drop enough and the software sales make up for the initial hit etc. Otherwise they'll do a Sony and sell it for $599!!!

Right, but wasn't the PS3 sold at a loss?

Mike Brown said,
Right, but wasn't the PS3 sold at a loss?

Yeah, but how much compared to the $399 for the 360? I mean we don't know really, it could be that BD added more to the PS3 probably. But I think everyone can agree that $299 for a new system sounds right to me compared to $599.

GP007 said,

Yeah, but how much compared to the $399 for the 360? I mean we don't know really, it could be that BD added more to the PS3 probably. But I think everyone can agree that $299 for a new system sounds right to me compared to $599.

it wasn't the blu ray, sony owns the bluray. it was the cell processor and all of the shabang that went with it

CobaltHex said,

it wasn't the blu ray, sony owns the bluray. it was the cell processor and all of the shabang that went with it


Sony doesn't own blu-ray, and it was shown to be the most expensive part of the PS3.

helios01 said,

Sony doesn't own blu-ray, and it was shown to be the most expensive part of the PS3.

At the time Bluray was new and economies of scale had not settled in yet, so it was MUCH more expensive starting out. That's no longer the case thankfully... And they did have quite the investment in the Cell processor, which had a lot of issues during development and a ballooned cost that they needed to recoup as well...

Jarrichvdv said,
Glad they're not planning to ditch physical media. That was one of my biggest concerns about the next-gen Xbox.

I wish they would have some replacement for disks though.

Majesticmerc said,

This. USB Flash capacities are big enough and quick enough for Carts to make a comeback.

Cartridges are not cheaper than a thin piece of plastic, and have more points of failure. Plus that means building a custom cartridge loader, which will never be cheaper than a disc drive.


Nintendo learned the hard way that discs are better than cartridges in the N64.

dagamer34 said,

Cartridges are not cheaper than a thin piece of plastic, and have more points of failure. Plus that means building a custom cartridge loader, which will never be cheaper than a disc drive.


Nintendo learned the hard way that discs are better than cartridges in the N64.


Yeah, the argument against disc makes absolutely no sense from a business standpoint, NOR does it benefit the consumer. I wish people could see that. I have no idea why so many people are for this. It's just silly.