With E3 2012 on the horizon, it should come as no surprise that the Xbox 720 and the PlayStation 4 are at the forefront of gamers’ minds. It turns out that next-gen consoles may be more powerful than originally thought, as the Xbox 720 is alleged to contain hardware similar to that of a modern-day PC.

While the Xbox 720 has yet to be formally announced, recent rumors suggest developers already have access to dev kits for Microsoft’s latest console. These dev kits were shipped just recently, after the Durango events held in London and at GDC.

Xbox World Magazine’s sources say the Xbox 720 will contain an 16-core IBM PowerPC CPU, which for a game console is ridiculous. The Xbox 360 already delivers some stunning visuals with it’s 3-core CPU — it’s almost impossible to imagine what games on a system with a 16-core CPU would look like. AMD launched the first 16-core CPU last year via their Bulldozer line-up, though unfortunately there are no games (yet) that take advantage of the processing power.

As for the GPU, prospective Xbox 720 owners can look forward to a graphics card similar to AMD’s Radeon HD 7000-series. It has been rumored for some time that the Xbox 720 would be using an AMD 7000 series card, so this should really come as no surprise. Unfortunately, there has been no mention of the amount of RAM in the console, but Battlefield 3 developer DICE wants to see at least 4GB of RAM in the new consoles, so let’s hope Microsoft is listening.

The next Xbox sounds like it’s going to be a monster, but without talented first-party development studios, that power may never be fully tapped. First-party studios only need to focus on developing for one console, allowing them to take full advantage of the system — just look at how much nicer PS3 exclusives look compared to multi-platform titles. While the next Forza and Fable will definitely look gorgeous, it could do wonders for the system if Microsoft had more studios to push the new hardware to its limits.

What do you think of the rumored Xbox 720 hardware specs?

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Source: Xbox World [via CVG]