Next gen Xbox specs reportedly leak

Get out the salt and put on your skeptical hat as next gen specs for Microsoft's follow-up to the Xbox 360 have reportedly leaked. While the source does not have a track record of a significant length, the source has been posting up incredibly detailed posts regarding the WiiU, next gen Xbox and the PS4.

The specs are posted below but the highlights include an 8 core X64 CPU running at 1.6Ghz, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, USB 3.0, and a 50 GB 6x Blu-ray Disc drive.

CPU:

  • x64 Architecture
  • 8 CPU cores running at 1.6 gigahertz (GHz)
  • each CPU thread has its own 32 KB L1 instruction cache and 32 KB L1 data cache
  • each module of four CPU cores has a 2 MB L2 cache resulting in a total of 4 MB of L2 cache
  • each core has one fully independent hardware thread with no shared execution resources
  • each hardware thread can issue two instructions per clock

GPU:

  • custom D3D11.1 class 800-MHz graphics processor
  • 12 shader cores providing a total of 768 threads
  • each thread can perform one scalar multiplication and addition operation (MADD) per clock cycle
  • at peak performance, the GPU can effectively issue 1.2 trillion floating-point operations per second

High-fidelity Natural User Interface (NUI) sensor is always present

  • Storage and Memory:
  • 8 gigabyte (GB) of RAM DDR3 (68 GB/s)
  • 32 MB of fast embedded SRAM (ESRAM) (102 GB/s)
  • from the GPU’s perspective the bandwidths of system memory and ESRAM are parallel providing combined peak bandwidth of 170 GB/sec.
  • Hard drive is always present
  • 50 GB 6x Blu-ray Disc drive

Networking:

  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct

 Hardware Accelerators:

  • Move engines
  • Image, video, and audio codecs
  • Kinect multichannel echo cancellation (MEC) hardware
  • Cryptography engines for encryption and decryption, and hashing 

It looks like, if true, Microsoft is putting some serious hardware under the hood to make sure its next gen console performs during its life-cycle as well as the Xbox 360 has.

The inclusion of a NUI sensor would make it seem that Kinect will be baked in at a deep level and we should expect to see the next generation of the device debut during the lifecycle of the platform.

Seeing as the sensor will be built in, and not an add-on, would make it appear that next gen gaming will also be able to take advantage of the platform since all end-users will have access to the necessary equipment. At the current time, Kinect gaming is limited in scope because publishers are not guaranteed that the install base they are selling to will have the needed attachment. 

Not that it will be a surprise, but to see that Wi-Fi will be baked in this time around will appease many. When the Xbox 360 hit the store shelves, it required an adapter to be able to connect to wireless networks. The addition of gigabit networking is also a nice touch for those who want to stream photos and videos to the console.

Finally, the HDMI-in is a bit of a mystery as well. Could it be for set-top box functionality or does Microsoft have DVR functionality in mind? At this point, it's up for interpretation.

Microsoft is expected to unveil the next gen Xbox sometime in the first half of 2013. Some reports suggest a March timeline while others point to a June announcement

Source: VGleaks | Image courtesy of VGleaks

Thanks for the tip Audioboxer!

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft's big (rest of) January: A look ahead

Next Story

Sony: We'll let Microsoft announce its console first

127 Comments

View more comments

TheLegendOfMart said,
Of course its enough. The PS3 OS ran in 50Mb. The Orbis is going to be a pure gaming machine, the Durango a "multimedia hub"

Microsoft is making a mistake, people have lots of devices that do what the Durango do, Smart TVs, streamers, etc..


I don't think it's a mistake at all. I think it's the next logical step. The focus on multimedia capabilities will be even greater in the next generation. People want to use their gaming consoles for more than just gaming. They want to use it for streaming movies and music, browsing the web, and more. For example, a gaming console is a great device to use to stream videos from your PC. I frequently use my brother's PS3 for that reason alone. Sure, I could watch it on my PC. I could also transfer it onto a tablet or smartphone. Just because I have options doesn't mean I'd prefer anything other than watching it on a large screen TV (which doesn't have any streaming features).

As for the PS4's OS memory, it may be enough but I think they'll run into problems a couple of years down the line if new features are added. If I remember correctly, the Xbox 360's OS had a smaller memory footprint than the PS3. And despite that, Microsoft went for a unified memory approach where the OS had access to more than just 256MB of RAM.

If Sony decides to allocate a measly 512MB for the OS, then they're shooting themselves in the foot. They should make the PS4 more than just a gaming console.

TheLegendOfMart said,
Of course its enough. The PS3 OS ran in 50Mb. The Orbis is going to be a pure gaming machine, the Durango a "multimedia hub"

Microsoft is making a mistake, people have lots of devices that do what the Durango do, Smart TVs, streamers, etc..

I find this absolutely hiliarious to read.

The PS2 wasn't a trojan for DVD and the PS3 wasn't a trojan for Blu-ray. The playstation is a multimedia hub, even more than the 360, but the 360 has evolved over the years to include video on demand, music etc.

for those concerned with clockspeed, you don't understand clock speed

clock is just how many times per second the internal flip flops will sample the line. there is much more to the actual speed of the processor than clock speed.

lets say a 1Ghz CPU can do one instruction per clock cycle,and a 4Ghz cpu takes 4 clock cycles per instruction,then these CPUs do work at exactly the same speed,provided they are both running the same cpu architecture.

x86 and x64 cpus have stronger instruction sets than ARM,therefore an operation that needs 3,4,5 or more instructions on ARM,can be done with one instruction on the x86 or x64.

A core 2 duo with the same clock speed as a Pentium 4 will be 4-5 times faster.

vcfan said,
for those concerned with clockspeed, you don't understand clock speed

clock is just how many times per second the internal flip flops will sample the line. there is much more to the actual speed of the processor than clock speed.

lets say a 1Ghz CPU can do one instruction per clock cycle,and a 4Ghz cpu takes 4 clock cycles per instruction,then these CPUs do work at exactly the same speed,provided they are both running the same cpu architecture.

x86 and x64 cpus have stronger instruction sets than ARM,therefore an operation that needs 3,4,5 or more instructions on ARM,can be done with one instruction on the x86 or x64.

A core 2 duo with the same clock speed as a Pentium 4 will be 4-5 times faster.


core2duo is a dualcore vs a hyperthreading. Also the core2duo design is based on the P3 which was a stronger architecture then the P4.

DClark said,
Wifi Direct is critical for SmartGlass evolution.

Exisisting implementation works Ok as it is.
Yes WiFi direct will speed up the messaging.
SmartGlass has a greater dependancy on HTML5 (webSockets) than network infrastructure.

There was a photo of a slide that leaked a few months ago that said it was an IBM cpu, other info leaked also suggest that, so i wouldn't be so sure that they are using an AMD apu.

I'd guess that MS would have gone with IBM because their cpu is either more powerful, lower power consumption or a combination of both. I highly doubt ibm would be cheaper as amd is desperate for money, they would offer a custom apu at a lower price than ibm cpu + amd gpu. Plus it would likely be cheaper to manfacture an amd apu than ibm+amd assuming they use 2 dies on 1 chip.

Sony i'm sure will use a full amd apu as already rumoured, they spent a lot more on the ps3 and i'm sure that case will remain with the ps4.

I'm a bit disappointed that the hdd is sata2 and the wireless isn't 802.11ac. The hdd being sata2 would make very little difference in speed but there are a few minor improvements. Maybe ms will release a future xbox with 802.11ac. I hope their bluray drive doesn't just support 50gb max, i was hoping for 100gb or 128gb bdxl support as the ps3 is only just coping with 50gb for a few games. There are a small number of ps3 games that are 40-45gb in size, but there will now be much larger textures and 1080p videos added into games, 50gb will become a pain for developers in a few years time.

torrentthief said,
I'd guess that MS would have gone with IBM because their cpu is either more powerful, lower power consumption or a combination of both..

I would say the reason is mainly because it won't be easy to install Linux/XBMC on it.

802.11ac is way too expensive for a console. Most adapter, 1) are huge, no nanos yet, and 2) the routers still cost at least twice as much as an 802.11n router, 3) there just isn't meaningful market penetration of 802.11ac and won't be by the time the consoles are released. Mainly due to cost.

MorganX said,
802.11ac is way too expensive for a console..

today, and for a launch system.

MS didn't support wifi on the launch 360, only via a B/A adapter that was $70.
Third revision of the console has B/G/N baked in.

What about 4k support? I think it's something that Xbox need for their next future game console. Not for game support but more for media support for the UHDtv.

Draken said,
if it becomes a norm, may be they upscale while rendering natively @1080p, that's what they do now.

All those wasted GPU cycles on anti-aliasing and the like. You know, the post processing effects to smooth out rough artifacts due to low resolutions......

Those cycles could better used elsewhere.

to make sure its next gen console performs during its life-cycle as well as the Xbox 360 has.

Joke?

The 360 has been holding back gaming since 2007. (the year Crysis was released, for anyone that didn't understand that)

This console, along with the PS4, will be outdated within 2 years; PC hardware is just moving way too fast for consoles to ever keep their old 7+ year cycle, let alone 3+.

Tell me a time when consoles were ahead of PC hardware for 3+ years. I don't think that was ever the purpose of a console.

DAOWAce said,

Joke?

The 360 has been holding back gaming since 2007. (the year Crysis was released, for anyone that didn't understand that)

This console, along with the PS4, will be outdated within 2 years; PC hardware is just moving way too fast for consoles to ever keep their old 7+ year cycle, let alone 3+.

Actually if you want to honestly look at what platforms have been retarding the gaming industry, you need to first start with the PS3 and then look to the surge in mobile gaming. The retention of WindowsXP also hasn't helped, with gamers still writing their low level aspects of their engines based on DX9 technologies.

The PS3 is a full technical 'generation' behind the Xbox 360 when it comes to the GPU design and interoperation of the CPU. So developers that would like to build a latest API game based on the latest GPU technologies, cannot target the PS3 without a complete separate engine design.

The Xbox 360 is capable of hardware features that Windows didn't hit parity with until DX11 was released, meaning that an engine design could target DX11 and still run on the Xbox 360 with complexity scaled back.

So blaming the Xbox 360 for not having more advanced games, is a serious misunderstanding of the DIrectX subset in the Xbox 360, as the latest PCs offer very few additional features.

Even if this is the AMD CPU, do NOT be surprised to find it is not a stock offering and will be a Microsoft Hardware revision design. (The CPU in the Xbox 360 was redesigned by Microsoft as well, it is not a stock or even evolutionary PowerPC design.)

Since Microsoft is the one that supplied AMD with their current generation of mobile and SoC design technologies, it is very possible Microsoft would build from that work.

I would be very surprised to see a generic implementation of the AMD CPU and GPU technology, as there are ways to pull more performance out of the architecture when no longer dealing with various hardware compatibility issues and designs that a PC architecture still requires.

I also would be surprised to see Microsoft not take 'ownership' of the CPU and GPU design, as they were burnt by NVidia and refused to do this with the Xbox 360. This would be why we are seeing stories about IBM producing the CPUs for Microsoft, even if they are based on an AMD design Microsoft re-licensed back.

NVidia got nearly 8 strong years of Microsoft designs for their DX9 generation GPUs, and then tried to sell Microsoft's own tech back to them at an increased cost. I just don't see Microsoft exposing themselves to this type of situation, unless they are not adding anything to the hardware technologies, which I would find very odd.

Are these specs real or right? Maybe? They also could change and/or be released to keep Sony off track of the overall goal Microsoft has for the console.

Also specifications mean little without context. The Xbox 360 looked 'sad' compared to the PS3 when hardware was compared, but in reality it was the stronger console. Nobody heard of the new GPU architecture at the time, nor understood how its CPU integration and virtualization worked.

Even the GPU design from the Xbox 360 was not well understood and ATI didn't think it was advantageous and had NO plans to create a PC GPU based off the design and continued with their older model GPU architecture. It wasn't until the developers were 'wowed' by the Xbox 360 graphical performance and 'ease' that encouraged ATI and NVidia to adopt the new design that came from Microsoft.

So specs are fun to look at, and can mean 'something' but cannot paint the overall picture.

A good example where we see specs that are meaningless: Take a WP7 with a single core 1ghz snapdragon and note it can outperform a dual core iPhone and even some quad core Android phones. (And that is not even factoring the usability speed advantages that give WP7/8 an additional performance advantage.)

Everyone, let's not forget that this is just rumours and speculation. Let's not get silly by throwing numbers around that could be completely made up.

I see the importance of these specs and their effect on the future of console gaming, but for me, I'm more concerned with the next generation's approach to DRM. There had been rumors recently that Sony & MS plan to make it so used games cannot be played. ...or moreover, that once you purchase a new game, it's locked to that console. If either of these are true, I believe it spells disaster for the industry. However, if Sony takes this approach and Microsoft doesn't, I think the console wars will end abruptly.

Commenting is disabled on this article.