Rumors about Microsoft’s next Xbox, which we’ll call the Xbox 720, have for the most part gone dry over the past several months, but now VG247 has come out with a new rumor that backs up some previous statements while adding in some entirely new info.
Back in early March, MCV ran a rumor that said that the Xbox 720 will be foregoing an optical drive entirely, and instead will be entirely focused on digital distribution–apparently in an attempt to thwart piracy and second-hand game sales.
According to VG247′s more believable rumor, Microsoft’s next Xbox will come with a Blu-Ray drive, as speculation had previously suggested. There will, however, be anti-piracy measures: an always-on internet connection requirement.
VG247′s sources suggest that Microsoft’s hardware hasn’t been finalized yet, but current Xbox 720 units have two AMD GPUs, which are thought to be equivalent to AMD’s 7000 series cards. Interestingly, the source suggests that the cards won’t be run in SLI–they’ll run independently.
Again, not much is clear about the next Xbox’s final hardware, but VG247′s sources suggest that the Xbox 720′s CPU will have between four and six cores. The report says that one of the cores will be dedicated to Kinect–which will come standard with the Xbox 720–and another core will be dedicated to running the OS.
The report also backed up the often-rumored holiday 2013 release date. Statements from Microsoft and Sony would seem to contradict this–both have said that they have no plans to announce new hardware at E3 this year.