Thunderbolt logo

Xbox Next specs leak

A Microsoft Xbox 2 machine specification document has apparently leaked onto the Internet and some undisclosed high-level industry sources are saying that the information contained within is remarkably close to what they’ve heard is true.

Yes – it does all sound like a load of old publicity machine baloney, but the document that’s recently found itself plastered across Internet forums and is supposedly penned by development lead at Xbox Advanced Technology Group Pete Isensee is certainly an interesting read.

This is the gist of it…

Xbox 2 (a.k.a Xbox Next or Xenon) is said to contain three 3.5Ghz PowerPC G5 CPU cores, built onto one silicon die. This presents the possibility of AI being processed on one chip, lighting on another and collision detection on the remaining one, for example, rather than all cued onto one big chip.

The specification document also mentions a 500Mhz ATI graphics unit with a 10Mb on-board framebuffer and 256Mb of main RAM shared between the graphics unit and CPU system – though the it says that these are all subject to change in the run up to the – rumoured – 2005 release date and we’d assume for the better, being as computer hardware components depreciate rather quickly.

As for hard drive-related issues, again, it’s a ‘could change’ feature, though the likelihood of an add-on being introduced later was not discounted, with the relevant section stating:

“At the time of this writing, the decision to include a built-in hard disk in every Xenon console has not been made. If a hard disk is not included in every console, it will certainly be available as an integrated add-on component.”

The controller design spoken of echoes old stories about the white and black buttons being removed, with two new shoulder buttons being introduced, though if this does happen, we’d wonder whether Sony may sue as this sounds frighteningly similar to the Dual Shock design.

Much like PS2, Xenon will also support standard USB 2.0 ports as peripheral interfaces for potential ability to “host storage devices, cameras, microphones, and other devices.”

Visual output-philes can apparently expect the joys of high-definition output up to 1080i, VGA output (also confirmed for Nintendo Revolution), and the existing XACT Xbox audio development API.

Fact or fiction? Only time will tell…

The author of this fine article

is the Deputy Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in June 2002.

Gentle persuasion

You should like us on Facebook.