Ladies and gentleman, best batten down the hatches because pretty soon all hell is going to break loose, as the first major leak of the next console generation has taken place. The leak comes by way of an Assembler Gamers forum member, who claims to have in his possession a genuine Xbox 720 dev kit. The device itself is pretty innocuous, as indicated by the images above, but it's the hardware inside that gamers are really curious about, and that's what we have for you.
Though it has already been revealed that developer kits for Microsoft's next-gen console, which currently goes by the code name Durango, are out in the wild this is the first we've seen of one, and the first time that some of those juicy rumors have begun to fall into place. Among the details being confirmed by the dev kit owner, who calls himself DaE, is the inclusion of 8 GB of RAM, Intel CPUs, and an NVIDIA graphics card. The exact make and model of the components are unknown, but earlier details suggested the graphics card would be similar in power to the current Radeon HD 6670.
Along with some mighty impressive processing and graphics power, the dev kit is said to feature a 64-bit operating system and two forms of start-up. The first is assumed to be a traditional game-testing start-up, while the other is for some rudimentary camera tracking. This second screen (called NuiView) we imagine is the placeholder for what will inevitably be the next generation of Kinect.
So here's what we know about the Xbox 720 based on the dev kit:
NVIDIA Graphics Card
8 GB of RAM (possibility of 12)
64-Bit Operation System
Support for next generation of Kinect
A lot of the details that DaE provided to Digital Foundry are sketchy to say the least, but the confirmation from developers that what he has in his possession is in fact a dev kit helps validate the claims. Many had thought the console would feature a much more powerful toolset than this, but a few elements like 8 GB of RAM have us excited.
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While many have attempted to hypothesize what type of hardware the next Xbox might be packing, this is the first concrete details we have heard in regards to the system, ones that can be backed up with fact. It's still a lot of leaps to make in order to believe that this dev kit is real, and that its guts will one day make up those of Durango, but the amount of developer support being thrown the way of this leak is hard to overlook.
Whether or not Xbox 720 will feature 8 GB or 12 GB or RAM, or what graphics chip it will be sporting, are all points of conjecture until Microsoft chooses to officially unveil the console — an event we assume will take place during next year's E3. Until then we can start to hone a little more on our rumors, but still be ready for any and every detail to change.
What do you think of these purported Xbox 720 specs? Would this meet your qualifications for a next-gen console? What's missing? What's not enough?