We already know that the next Xbox is expected to be announced next month, will come with two new exclusive games to replace Halo and will receive a large boost in the specs department. There's been much speculation about just what Microsoft has in store for its next-generation console in recent weeks, and some new information has emerged that claims to reveal more details about the company's plans.
An anonymous software engineer has come forward with a lengthy Pastebin document, making various claims about the next Xbox. The software engineer doesn't state where he works, but says he is a "GAF member," but won't be outing himself for fear of losing his job. Unfortunately, his insistence on anonymity makes it impossible to verify his claims, so be sure to take all of what's said with a pinch of salt or two.
The first rumour that the poster claims to overturn is the 'always-on' speculation. "You are not required to be connected to the internet in order to play Durango games and [Microsoft] were NEVER considering doing such a thing," says the post. If Microsoft did plump for the 'always-on' mode, then they may wish to pay heed to EA's SimCity disaster, but the writer seems pretty confident Microsoft isn't, which would certainly be a good thing if true.
The insider states that the specs leak from VGLeaks is correct, which would mean that the next Xbox would feature a new 8-core CPU and a new custom-made GPU which can handle 1.2 trillion floating-point operations per second. According to the document, Microsoft kept one secret guarded from developers: "Durango" ships with an Xbox 360 SOC. This means that the Xbox 360 SOC can be used "in parallel with the original Durango hardware."
The developer also claims that the next Xbox will run Windows 8. The document states that it will be the full version of Windows 8, "minus the desktop side of things." The anonymous developer says that Microsoft will talk more about this at Build 2013. This isn't entirely out of kilter with what we've previously heard; we understand that a heavily reworked version of Windows 8 will be used on the new Xbox, though it won't be identical to the version used on other Windows PCs.
As for the Kinect and current controller, it's said that little will change. The Kinect will remain the same, but the software will change. According to the source, the possibilities of the Kinect are only hampered by the software. The combined processing power of the Xbox 720 and the Kinect will mean that games, such as "Ryse," will be 'next-level'. The Xbox controller will allegedly remain the same, except for minor alterations to the D-pad. Controller battery life will be improved, but only by a small amount.
Microsoft has reportedly been working on a system by which your Xbox will interact with your set-top box to control TV services. The developer makes reference to an 'Xbox TV' unit, a separate piece of hardware to the Xbox console. According to the document, Microsoft is looking to compete with the Apple TV, so don't expect anything too dramatic. It will reportedly be priced at around $100. We've previously reported on plans for a standalone Xbox TV unit, so this aspect of the developers claims is certainly credible.
It's again important to underline the fact that these claims have been made anonymously, and without any means to verify the credibility of the person making them, so it could all turn out to be a load of nonsense. We'll let you decide that for now - but at least there's not too long to go until we find out what Microsoft really has in store for the new Xbox.
Source: Pastebin | Image via Digital Trends