Besides a launch time frame of late 2013, the latest wave of posts discussing the features of the console include a dual-GPU setup, similar to two AMD 7000-series graphics processors. However, the graphics units will be integrated as independent processors that can process separate tasks at the same time.
According to VG24/7, the new Xbox will integrate four to six processing cores, one of which will be reserved for Kinect and one for the operating system. Given upcoming Kinect upgrades, which are rumored to include automated avatar generation based on a user rendering, as well as much higher resolution, it is reasonable to offload some of the required processing horsepower from the Kinect device to the console itself. Previous reports suggested that Kinect will be a default feature of the new Xbox and will be offered as standard equipment of the console.
The VG24/7 article also mentions that an always-on Internet connection will be a requirement for the Xbox for piracy protection purposes. Interestingly, there is a note of a Blu-ray drive as well and it appears as if Microsoft does not feel that streaming only content is an option just yet.
"an always-on Internet connection will be a requirement for the Xbox for piracy protection purposes"
When will they learn that hardcore DRM like this cripples the user experience? I can just imagine my internet connection going out and not be able to play games even in campaign mode.