Xbox gamers had some excitement over the weekend when a 56 page Xbox 720 roadmap was leaked. The document was allegedly written by someone at Microsoft in 2010.
Assuming the document is legit (and still accurate — a lot can happen in 2 years) the Xbox 720 will launch at a $299 price point. It'll have a Blu-ray drive and 4 GB of RAM. The document suggests it'll be about 6x as powerful as the Xbox 360 thanks to six to eight ARM/Intel x86 cores running at 2 Ghz. Three PowerPC cores will provide backwards compatibility with all Xbox 360 titles.
The new Xbox (according to this document) will have native 3D running at 1080P and will ship with a second generation Kinect system onboard. Kinect 2 will be able to track 4 people concurrently and will support "Kinect Props" (presumably physical objects that enhance the gaming experience).
Also mentioned are things like SmartGlass, which we now know is a real thing. But some mystery projects are revealed, like Project Fortaleza which sounds like some kind of augmented reality glasses designed to work with Kinect.
This sounds like an awful lot of tech for $299 and I assumed the document was a hoax when I first heard about it. $299 is what an Xbox 360/Kinect goes for today (and that's the 4 GB 360 model with no hard drive). Besides the unlikely price, I found it hard to imagine that Microsoft would be referring to their next console as the Xbox 720. Sure, that's what I call it, but that's a name that (as far as I know) we gamers just came up with. Most rumors suggest that Microsoft refers to the next Xbox by the codename "Durango" internally.
However, the document (which was hosted at Scribd) was removed "at the request of Covington & Burling LLP" which lists Microsoft as a client. So is that an indication that the document was legit, or does Microsoft just not want fake roadmaps of its future tech lying around?
Sadly now that the document is removed I can't link to it, but based on what I've shared, what do you think? Can Microsoft really launch a next generation Xbox with Kinect, hardware backwards compatibility and six times the power of the current system for just $299?
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.