Latest Xbox 720 rumors: we're back to Blu-ray

Remember a few weeks ago when there were rumors going around saying that the Xbox 720 wouldn't have an optical drive? I told you not to believe it at the time and sure enough, like the weather here in New England, the winds of rumor have already changed. (Apologies for the tortured metaphor.)

Anyway, now we're back to the Xbox 720 having a Blu-ray drive, according to VG247. They don't list sources, of course, but the claim is that the next generation Xbox specs have been released to some third party developers.

Of course I'm still picking and choosing what to believe in this batch of rumors. VG247 is sticking to the idea that next generation consoles will require always-on network connections in order to prevent, or at least inhibit, sales of used games. I still am not believing that rumor (though we've heard it with regards to both the Xbox 720 and the Playstation 4/Orbis).

Other details include a CPU with "four or six" cores (the quotes make me wonder if Microsoft is still on the fence or if they're planning two models of the new Xbox) and dual AMD GPUs which will act independently. Kinect will be built in (with one of the cores devoted to it) and the launch date for the new console will be Christmas 2013.

The rumor post has lots of bullet points but not much detail. Honestly I'm not sure how much of it to believe. The only reason I'm seizing on the Blu-ray drive is because it just makes sense. Games are getting bigger all the time and it's either Blu-ray or shipping multiple DVD games as a matter of course.

While all these rumors are fun to speculate about, it's a shame that Microsoft isn't going to fill us in at this year's E3 (they've stated as much) so we've got a long while to wait before we know which rumors are accurate and which are just the result of overactive imaginations.

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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