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Xbox 720 Specs, Always-On Internet, Blu-Ray & Kinect Detailed

Adam Barnes

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More rumours surrounding Microsoft's next-gen Xbox, and it's not looking good.

Published on Mar 20, 2013

The next-gen console wars rage on, in spite of the lack of a next-gen announcement from Microsoft. These latest details focus on the Xbox 720, and not all of them are good news.

The latest Xbox 720 rumours come once again from VGLeaks, a site that has revealed a number of details surrounding next-gen consoles PS4 and Xbox 720.

These latest details surround the Xbox 720 devkits, claiming that an always-on internet connection and mandatory Kinect will be required to use the Xbox 720 - a pair of rumours that have been suggested before from other sources.

Additionally system interaction with the controls has been "simplified" for "noncore gamers", while the ability to play your games from an optical disc has been removed - all games will be installed to the hard drive.

VGLeaks has posted a series of images of the Xbox 720 devkit software installation, but the most interesting is the Durango Hardware Overview - Durango is believed to be the internal name for Microsoft's next-gen Xbox.

Here's the many details the Durango Hardware Overview text alludes to.

Xbox 720 Hardware Tech Specs

  • x64 in architecture (the PS4 is confirmed to be a hybrid of x84-64)
  • Will include "move engines", intended to increase the speed by which the Xbox 720 will access data.
  • These move engines can perform "common game tasks like compression and decompression".
  • The Xbox 720 will include dedicated hardware support for audio processing, to "reduce the amount of CPU time that must be devoted to audio".
  • Audio output will be all digital-7.1 discrete PCM output through HDMI and S/PD0F.
  • The Xbox 720's GPU provides "considerable computing power" and will support Direct3D 11.
  • Will draw minimal power when not in use, and will have "different power states".
  • Like the PS4, the Xbox 720 is designed to be ready instantly whenever the user wants to play.
  • Every Xbox 720 will have an internal hard drive, though "its exact capacity has not been chosen". It will, however be large enough "to hold a large number of games".
  • "Play from the optical disc will not be supported", suggesting all games will be installed to the hard drive.
  • The Xbox 720 will have a Blu-Ray drive, but this is purely for distribution only. Games will not access content from the optical disc.
  • An installation system is apparently being designed to enable the user to start playing the game while it is being installed to the hard drive.

Xbox 720 Always-On Internet Connection

  • The Xbox 720 will "always maintain a network connection".
  • This is to ensure the "game software and games are always current" - suggesting the Xbox 720 will automatically download patches and updates.
  • The overview describes this approach as "Always On, Always Connected".
  • The Xbox 720 will not require waiting for a restart or installation of updates.

Xbox 720's Kinect Details

  • Every Xbox 720 will be sold with a "new high-fidelity Kinect Sensor".
  • The overview states that the new Kinect will be "required for the system to operate".
  • The Xbox 720 Kinect will have "new depth sensor technology" to provide better screen resolution and "less noisy" depth data.
  • The new Kinect will include an active infrared illumination...
  • High-quality monochrome images even in low light conditions...
  • And a wider field of view for use in smaller spaces.
  • The new Kinect will no longer need a tilt function.
  • The Xbox 720 will come with the necessary API software to enable Natural User Interface for skeleton tracking and identity. This means the Xbox 720 won't need to allocate hardware resources to the NUI.

New Xbox 720 Controller

  • The Xbox 720 controller will be a redesigned improvement on the "best-in-class" Xbox 360 controller.
  • It will include low-latency wireless connectivity to the Xbox 720.
  • It will include "improved ergonomics".
  • Additionally, Xbox 720 system interactions will be "simplified to make them easier for noncore gamers".

We obviously can't confirm how valid all of these details are. We've included the screenshot below, but be sure to head over to VGLeaks to see the others that appeared alongside it.

 

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