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Durango Developers Verify Xbox 720 Prototype Details

| 30 Jul 2012 14:39

A developer has outed photos of Microsoft's new PC-like "Durango" development platform.

Pictures and details of a development kit for Microsoft's next console have appeared on the ASSEMblergames forum. Codenamed "Durango", the unremarkable-looking black box seems to be essentially a high-end gaming PC in terms of its technology and appearance.

The source of the leak, who goes by the alias DaE, originally listed the Durango for sale for an eyebrow-raising $10,000, but the administrator removed the post after outing it as a prank. However, while the sale may have been a practical joke, the device itself is apparently anything but, with a variety of developers telling Digital Foundry that the photos of the kit's sparse user interface are legitimate.

The most widely-confirmed details are the type of processor and amount of memory that the Durango possesses. The Digital Foundry report confirmed DaE's claims that the dev kit is a 64-bit system sporting over 8GB of RAM, with some other sources giving a figure of 12GB. The memory is not indicative of the final Xbox 720, though, as the majority of development kits contain twice the memory of the finished product for debugging purposes. Another developer has added that the Durango can run the DirectX 11 engines used by many recent PC games with ease.

The other information DaE gave is somewhat less well-corroborated, however. Other developers in possession of the kit neither confirmed nor denied his claims that the Durango contains an eight-core processor, and his remarks on the manufacturers of various key components are also questionable . According to DaE, the processor and graphics card were made by Intel and NVIDIA respectively, a pairing which harks back to the original Xbox's hardware partnerships.

DaE also uploaded a screenshot of the Visual Studio environment he has been using to code for Durango. Not one of Digital Foundry's sources raised any doubt as to its veracity, with one adding, "As an aside it's got my favorite MS return code in there: ERROR_SUCCESS." One of the header files used, titled "immintrin.h", gives a strong hint that the processor will use an x86 architecture similar to that used in many PCs, signalling an intriguing departure from the proprietary architectures seen in most consoles and narrowing the gap between personal computer and console technology.

Source: Digital Foundry

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