Next Xbox Sports 500GB Hard Drive, Requires Kinect [Report]

With at least one big next-gen announcement expected to happen this month, rumors about Sony and Microsoft’s next hardware offerings have been pouring out from just about every source but the companies themselves – and now there’s even more about Microsoft’s next Xbox, codenamed Durango.

According to a report from Kotaku published earlier today, a source identifying themselves only as “SuperDaE” – the same person who attempted to sell a very early Durango development kit on eBay – claims to have access to two Durango development kits, presumably with more final hardware, and information on the console’s specifications and functionality.

The information, which was supposedly gleamed from documents sent out to various game developers, backs up a previous rumor that the next Xbox will have a much heftier hard drive at launch – 500GB.

Also backing up a previous rumor, the source says that the next Xbox will require a Kinect at all times. Microsoft isn’t just repackaging the same Kinect, however – the new version is supposedly capable of tracking up to six people at once, and boasts significantly improved skeletal tracking.

In other words, the Kinect will finally be able to identify your hands, and even your facial expressions – and very well, if the source is to be believed.

On the software side, the source claims that a number of improvements and new features are available in the next Xbox. All games must now be installed, but rather than having to wait out the installation process you can now dive right in and have it install in the background. Additionally, there will also be support for multitasking – the source claims that more than one game or app can be loaded at once.

Last but not least are the specs, and a lot of the information provided to the site is in line with previous rumors. According to a layout image, posted on the site, the next Xbox will feature an 8-core, 1.6 GHz processor, a D3D11.x GPU running at 800 MHz, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 50GB optical disc drive capable of reading data at 50 MB/s.

Of course, all of this information should be taken as a rumor until Microsoft has something official to say – but with Sony’s event coming up and E3 following not long after, it’s safe to say that we haven’t heard the last rumor about next-gen consoles.