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Xbox 720: 6x Performance Increase, Kinect 2, 3D, 1080p

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.

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  • hoofhearted
    Is this what they are supposed to be announcing at 3:30 PST today?
    Reply
  • Stardude82
    Lets see.. Xbox 360 came out in in 2005... 360 will come out in 2013... so 7 years minimum between releases. If you follow Moore's law where transistor counts double ever 1.5 years... 7/1.5=~4.6. 2^4.6=~25x more transistors.

    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.
    Reply
  • hhhmmm would this be enough power starting next year and last for the next 10? I think in 3 years a mobile phone will have the same cpu/gpu power .... gggrr consoles will always keep back proper games!
    Reply
  • kikireeki
    Interesting, but I think the whole (leak) story is a stunt made by MS itself.
    Reply
  • whooleo
    I doubt that it's going to get an ARM or x86 CPU (especially ARM) I don't think they would ditch PowerPC they would need it for backwards compatibility and it's such a widely used architecture in consoles (among other things) so devs and the like are familiar with it. I also doubt DDR4 because consoles normally don't use vanilla DDR RAM it's usually GDDR or something else.
    Reply
  • bak0n
    stardude82Lets see.. Xbox 360 came out in in 2005... 360 will come out in 2013... so 7 years minimum between releases. If you follow Moore's law where transistor counts double ever 1.5 years... 7/1.5=~4.6. 2^4.6=~25x more transistors. 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

    .... Profit!
    Reply
  • Raidur
    333 million to 716 million transistors (assuming they're going with a 6670 as rumors state). 6x?
    Reply
  • DRosencraft
    Alas, this is yet another alleged leak/rumor, and from 2010 at that. Even if it was an actual authentic document back then, there's no telling how much they may have changed that plan by now. I know that even I fall into the same trap sometimes, but can we all try a little harder to stop jumping at all the rumors that are thrown out there?
    Reply
  • jazn1337
    Please add "Rumor" to the title. Otherwise, the title is very misleading
    Reply
  • @stardude82

    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
    Reply