Here we go again! This isn't confirmed officially, but VG247 and Verge sources have also said it's true.
So, here's what we know about the Nextbox so far:
- The codename is "Durango." The final name is suggested to be something like "Xbox Loop" or Xbox Infinity"
- The CPU is basically the same as the one in the PS4 - an AMD "Jaguar" based 8-core CPU running at 1.6 GHz. This may seem like a weak CPU (it is compared to Intel desktop CPUs) but keep in mind that almost all computation is done on the GPU in these new systems.
- The GPU is an AMD Radeon-derived chip with 12 CUs capable of ~ 1.2 TFLOPS of computational performance (vs 18 CUs and 1.84 TFLOPS on PS4)
- 8 GBs of DDR3 RAM, with 68 GB/s of bandwidth (vs 8 GBs of much faster GDDR5 on PS4 with 178 GB/s of bandwidth)
- 6x Blu-Ray drive (same as PS4)
This information is from leaked official documentation and was confirmed by a lot of people working with the system. The specs are unlikely to change at this point as it would delay the system and push the launch into 2014.
The following are rumors that have come from multiple sources, so they are likely to be true. Take them with a grain of salt nonetheless.
- The system will not work without an internet connection
- Used games will be blocked entirely - this one is causing a lot of uproar as you can imagine and Microsoft is dumb as all hell if they actually go through with it.
- Kinect 2.0 will be packaged with ever system. If you're wondering why Microsoft is releasing a console with a lot less power than the PS4, this is the reason right here. There's just no way they'd be able to package in Kinect and keep costs low enough while competing with Sony on hardware.
So. Predictions? Late April is pretty far off so it's likely we'll see more "complete" looking games than we saw at the PlayStation meeting. If these rumors end up true though, I don't know how Microsoft will be able to compete unless either Kinect 2.0 turns out to be amazing or they moneyhat devs for exclusives. The PS4 will be a lot more powerful, it will have a more consumer-friendly online service, there won't be a huge emphasis on Waggle-style casual games, it won't block used games, it won't require an internet connection to work, and it will likely have a lot more exclusives. I'm betting that we'll either see a lot of moneyhats for timed exclusivity/DLC, or the system will be disappointing and come off as anti-consumer. Microsoft hasn't had a very good track record in the last couple of years convincing people that a $50 pay wall between the consumer and Netflix is a good idea, for example. So we'll see if they can change that. So far things aren't looking too great though. In fact, some devs have apparently expressed their lack of enthusiasm about the system as well. It's unfortunate that Xbox today is not run by the same visionary people who created the 360. It's run by suits and people determining how they can best gouge their customers for more money.