New information has come to light this week on the XBOX 720
developer kits codenamed "durango
The development kit is described as "an anonymous-looking black box" that has many parts in common with standard gaming PCs".
It's placeholder dashboard contains the name Durango, a word that has long been rumored as Microsoft’s codename for the next Xbox.
The dashboard’s two options are D3D11Game1 and NuiView, described as “a simple tool for rendering camera views and data from an attached kinect peripheral.
Kinect functionality is a logical inclusion for the dev kit, as upgraded kinect features have been heavily rumored.
Recent rumored job listings for the next gen console are as of now:
- Halo 5
- Skype integration
- Deus ex 4
- Just Cause 3
- Enhanced 3D capabilities
There are Reports that the most recent round of development kits were sent out in February, with Intel CPUs and an NVIDA graphics card. The kits sport 8GB of RAM (though other sources say 12GB) and have a 64-bit operating system.
Although these specs haven't been verified, what was last heard about the system, sources told IGN it would be six times more powerful than current-gen consoles and would feature an AMD 6000 series GPU similar to the Radeon HD 6670. That specific processor includes support for DirectX11.
It is no surprise that these development kits are already in the hands of developers, as heard back in November that Xbox 720 development kits would be ready by Christmas 2011. IGN’s own sources said that development kits for the next Xbox were continuing to be manufactured as of May and that developers expect the next generation of consoles to start in 2013.
On top of that, job listings for work on next-generation games have been plentiful recently. Postings have been seen from Infinity Ward, Id Software and Crystal Dynamics, as well as Microsoft’s own 343 Industries and Rare. It isn’t a stretch to imagine that we’ll see plenty more in the coming months.
Microsoft has yet to officially provide details about its next console, but it's worth noting that the development kit is simply an early test model for developers to use and does not reflect what the actual final hardware will look like.
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