With E3 done, we thought we'd have to wait until June 2013 before we learned all about the next generation of Xbox, the Xbox 720. That may be the case, but a recently leaked document has given us an awful lot to chew on in the mean time.
The 56-page document was hosted on Scribd until this past weekend, when it was spotted by the Verge. It details Microsoft's vision for the Xbox 720 and dates back to August 2010.
Microsoft's kept pretty quiet about its Xbox 720 plans since rumors started circulating about a 2013 launch, but thanks to this document we now know that the company has big things planned for the new Xbox. The Verge reports that before the document it was pulled, it promised a 6x performance increase with the Xbox 720, as well as true 1080p output, full support for native 3D output and glasses, an always-on state for the console, support for Blu-ray, concurrent apps, additional sensor and peripheral support, and the ability to record TV content in the background.
Xbox 720 will also bring us Kinect 2, which Microsoft's document says will have higher accuracy, stereo imaging, improved voice recognition, support for four-player tracking, an improved RGB camera, dedicated hardware processing, four player gaming, and a pair of augmented reality Kinect Glasses, which are apparently similar to Google's Project Glass.
Alongside a promised 6x performance increase, there's also mention of true 1080p output with full 3D support and an "always on" state for the console. A slide on core hardware indicates that the next Xbox will be designed to be scalable in the number of CPU cores and their frequencies. Microsoft appears to have been debating whether to use six or eight ARM or x86 cores clocked at 2GHz each with 4GB of DDR4 memory alongside three PPC cores clocked at 3.2GHz each for backwards compatibility with existing Xbox 360 titles.
Of course, Microsoft hasn't confirmed any of this news, but then we didn't expect them to, really. However, if you're looking for proof that it's a genuine Microsoft document, you mind find it interesting that Scribd says the document was pulled at the request of Covington & Burling LLP. What is Covington & Burling LLP? Just a law firm based out of Washington. According to the firm's website, the company helped Microsoft out with its Skype acquisition last year.
So wow, we are getting x6 performance out of 25x more transistors possible on the same area of silicon. So either, the cost of the new xBox will be way down due to smaller die sizes or the performance per transistor sucks.
or they will say
performance does not correlate to transistor count, it in fact follows a inverse exponential curve, there is a theoretical limit to the speed at which a semi conductor can be pushed, beyond which thermal resonance starts to kick in at an exponential rate, not amount of transistors is going to solve this problem, thus the emphasis on multicore computing