This is the mother of all Xbox 720 leaks. That is, if the document which has taken tech town by storm as of late is authentic and is really from Microsoft.
A new document posted on Scribd which has now been taken down has outlined plans of the Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft for the Xbox 720 – the nickname given by tech news sites to the successor of the Xbox 360 gaming console – and the ecosystem it will make when it is finally released.
The document has since been taken down by request of “Covington & Burling LLP”, a law firm which Microsoft has hired in the past, but not until many reports came out about it. The document is long (56-pages long) and it’s quite old (it dates back to about 2010) but it is a treasure chest of information on the Xbox 720.
Xbox 720 Hardware
The hardware of the Xbox 720 is planned to be up to 8 times more powerful than the Xbox 360 hardware. Microsoft plans to do this by integrating 6 to 8 ARM of X86 cores each clocked at 2GHz. According to the document, the processors will either be 22nm SOI or 28nm G. The graphics processing unit of the system will be a “64ALU @ 1GHz” unit but there’s another GPU listed by Microsoft which is a “48ALU @ 500MHz” unit.
That second GPU will be “always on” hinting that the Xbox 720 will be a device you can’t completely turn off. That is, of course, unless you unplug it. That second GPU will be joined by two CPU cores which will always be on. Furthermore, 3 PPC cores at 3.2GHz will also be included in the Xbox 720 to ensure it’s backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games.
Fully powered-up, the system is expected to consume ~120W while its processors are estimated to consume ~50W. The system itself will sip a measly <500mW while on standby. The system-on-chip cost is targeted to be at ~$50 while total system cost is targeted to be ~$225. With a price indicated at $299, Microsoft is planning to make money right off the bat with the Xbox 720.
EDRAM is 32MB, a marked increase from the 10MB of the Xbox 360 while system memory is 4GB 128-bit DDR4. That seems to be a little bit short, by our reckoning, so it may still be increased by Microsoft. Remember that this document is from 2010.
Storage is pegged to be from optical disc drive and hard disc drive. Input-output ports include USB 3.0, HDMI, DisplayPort, GigE, PCI-E, SATA, Wi-Fi 802.11n, HSDPA, WiMAX, W-HDMI, ATSC, and LVDS.
The Xbox 720 is said to have Full HD 1080p 3D video output.
Microsoft also plans a Kinect 2 to be launched together with the Xbox 720. This Kinect 2 will not be a big upgrade from the current Kinect. It will only be an incremental upgrade but it is said to bring a better RGB camera resulting to better accuracy of the controller. It will also support up to four players simultaneously using it. The Kinect 2 will also have dedicated hardware processing so it will likely be faster than its predecessor.
This Kinect 2 will not replace controllers. However, it will reportedly be able to detect and utilize devices and props for controlling games.
Xbox 720 Entertainment Console
The Xbox 720 will no longer be just a “gaming console”. According to plans from Microsoft revealed in the leaked document, the software giant plans the Xbox console to be the only box you need for entertainment. This means that it will be able to function as a TV box and Microsoft is expected to cut deals with content providers for this.
Furthermore, the Xbox 720 will likely have recording functionality. In addition to that, it will likely also be equipped with an operating system which takes its core from Windows 8 making cross-platform applications easier to be developed for the PC, Xbox and mobile devices. This is consistent with the Microsoft plan of dominating the “Three Screens”, your TV, your mobile device (tablet and smartphone) and your PC.
Kinect Glass: Fortaleza Glass
The document also mentions “Fortaleza Glass”, augmented reality glasses that Microsoft plans to become like Google Glass in the near-future. A photo of the Fortaleza Glass is show to be used by people to interact with the Xbox 720 for 2014.
In the photo, gaming is portrayed to be 3D with characters from games jumping out of the TV and into the living room. People in the photo are wearing Fortaleza equipped with Wi-Fi.
Furthermore, by 2015, Fortaleza Glass could be used outside of the living room – or any room in the house, for that matter – and used in places such as the grocery to check information on stuff surrounding the user. This Fortaleza Glass worn by people outside will reportedly have 4G connectivity.
So that’s it folks, that’s the mother load if it’s true. Tell us what you think in the comments below.
Image 2 from seanP on Flickr (CC)