The suspicious timing of the latest round of Xbox 720 leaks

Sometimes you have to wonder just how gullible game magazine and website authors think we are.

Xbox World magazine, which is just about ready to close up shop for good, finished its run (actually they may have 1 last issue on the way) with a big feature on the next Xbox, which I've been referring to as the Xbox 720. Among the reveals is a name (they say Microsoft is going the Apple route of dropping the numbers altogether and just calling it the Xbox), the inclusion of a Blu-ray reader/player and Kinect 2.0 which is supposed to have better fidelity than the first version of Kinect.

Aside from the name we've heard all these rumors before. New leaks include the existence of both TV in and TV out ports (heavily hinting at some kind of DVR capability or a system like Google TV), directional audio (I'm not sure what that means) and an "innovative controller."

Xbox World says the new Xbox will have a quad-core processor with each physical core divided into 4 logical cores, and 8 GB of RAM. You can read more details over at CVG or you can buy the whole issue of Xbow World from iTunes.

I'm in no position to question Xbox World's data. In fact I'm inclined to believe them. Why? Because of the timing of this leak. The story actually first broke last Friday, two days before Nintendo's Wii U launched.

It's a given that Microsoft is working on a new game system and everyone seems to agree that it's coming next year. The current generation of consoles are aging and that in turn is causing console game sales to slip. Microsoft needs a new game system to re-invigorate their devoted fans.

But the Wii U is here now, not next winter. There it is on the store shelf, tempting Xbox gamers with a new shiny. Microsoft doesn't have new hardware to distract us with, so what's the next best thing? "Leaked" information about what's coming soon.

The timing is just too perfect for this not to have been an orchestrated leak, and that's why I'm inclined to believe Xbox World has most of the details right.

Do you agree with me? Or am I just seeing conspiracy theories where they don't exist? It's only fair to acknowledge another possibility: that Xbox World has been sitting on this information and not sharing it for fear of upsetting Microsoft. Since they're now shutting down, there are really no negative consequences for them letting the cat out of the proverbial bag. I just find it hard to imagine them resisting temptation to publish if this is news they've been in possession of for any amount of time.

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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