The Xbox 720 (Durango) rumors keep flowing

Credit: Source: Benjamin Nagel

I realize I'm at risk of becoming a one-trick pony, but I want to talk about the next Xbox (codename: Durango) again today. Microsoft's rumor prevention squad seems to be on vacation, or maybe they're the ones orchestrating the leaks, who knows!?

But we have a few things to talk about today. First, The Verge spilled the beans on a rumored reveal date. We had been expecting (or maybe just hoping for) some kind of Xbox 720 reveal this month, but if The Verge has it right, we'll have to wait until May. May 21st to be exact. After that, we'll see more about the new Xbox at E3 (June 11-13) and at Microsoft's Build conference (June 26-28). It looks like we're going to have about a month of intense Xbox news.

Next up is a report at Bloomberg saying the new Xbox will run on an AMD system-on-a-chip. So what does this mean? Well first it means backwards compatibility isn't likely since the Xbox 360 is based on Power PC architecture and the AMD is x86. And it means that the PS4 and the Xbox Durango will have similar internals since Sony is also using AMD chips (and similarly won't offer backwards compatibility). In Sony's case, they're going with 8 64-bit Jaguar cores. Bloomberg says Microsoft is also going with Jaguar but doesn't get specific about the number.

So for the 'next generation' porting titles from PC to Xbox Durango to PS4 should be fairly easy. But that also makes you wonder what Sony and Microsoft will do to make their consoles feel unique.

Let's keep going with a piece from Forbes. Paul Tassi dug up a transcription of a WhatTheTech podcast where Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott spoke about the new Xbox. He speculates on price: $500, or $300 with some kind of subscription model. Let's hope he's way off base; I'm not sure the world is ready for another $500 videogame console from Microsoft or Sony (or anyone).

And going way back to last Friday, Microsoft Game Studios creative director Adam Orth started a bit of a firestorm when we started tweeting about not understanding the big deal over an always-online console with the hashtag #dealwithit. Along the way he kind of slagged rural communities and anyone who doesn't have 24/7 Internet. After Microsoft issued an apology on his behalf, Orth set his twitter feed to private, but not before NeoGaf snagged screen captures of them.

Needless to say having a Microsoft employee trivializing any concerns over 'always connected' has given even more credibility to the rumor we were talking about on Friday: that the new Xbox will only operate for a few minutes without an Internet connection.

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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