Please don't read this read this unless you have several metric tonnes of salt available to take it with: the next Xbox might come with an HDMI in socket!
We've just been looking at the games console rumour site Vgleaks, where they're claiming a world exclusive on the specifications of the next Xbox, called variously "Durango" (which is its "development-stage name - equivalent to Sony's "Orbis" for the PS4) and Xbox 720.
We've given the full specs according to Vgleaks below, but there's one rather enigmatic one that is only visible in the block diagram for the console (you can see part of it above). Somewhat mysteriously, in addition to an HDMI 1.4a out port, it has an HDMI in port. This seems odd. Why would you want to push video in to a games console?
We have no idea either, but that's not going to stop us speculating, although each of these suggestions is pretty wild, and pretty unlikely as well!
First, it might be something to do with the new Kinect, about which we know very little. It is likely to be a very much higher resolution device, and the output from a Kinect is certainly not a conventional video signal, because it contains depth information as well as the normal picture. But maybe the new Kinnect has a much higher-resolution camera that can be used to enhance the way that Kinnect works? Perhaps to show the users on-screen keyed against an Xbox game-generated background?
Secondly, it might have something to do with a surround-video capability. We recently reported on Microsoft's "IllumiRoom" technology, where the video output from the console is projected around the periphery of the television, with real-time compensation for the shapes of the furniture, bookcases etc, that the video is projected onto. Now this is so far out that we hardly dare to even think it; but is it just possible that the next Xbox is going to contain a video projector? And that this HDMI input is there so that you can play other devices through it?
What do you think? Let's have some even wilder speculation in the comments so that it makes ours seem more sensible…
Meanwhile, here's the full spec of the next Xbox, according to Vgleaks.com
- x64 Architecture
- 8 CPU cores running at 1.6 gigahertz (GHz)
- each CPU thread has its own 32 KB L1 instruction cache and 32 KB L1 data cache
- each module of four CPU cores has a 2 MB L2 cache resulting in a total of 4 MB of L2 cache
- each core has one fully independent hardware thread with no shared execution resources
- each hardware thread can issue two instructions per clock
- custom D3D11.1 class 800-MHz graphics processor
- 12 shader cores providing a total of 768 threads
- each thread can perform one scalar multiplication and addition operation (MADD) per clock cycle
- at peak performance, the GPU can effectively issue 1.2 trillion floating-point operations per second
High-fidelity Natural User Interface (NUI) sensor is always present
Storage and Memory:
- 8 gigabyte (GB) of RAM DDR3 (68 GB/s)
- 32 MB of fast embedded SRAM (ESRAM) (102 GB/s)
- from the GPU’s perspective the bandwidths of system memory and ESRAM are parallel providing combined peak bandwidth of 170 GB/sec.
- Hard drive is always present
- 50 GB 6x Blu-ray Disc drive
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct
- Move engines
- Image, video, and audio codecs
- Kinect multichannel echo cancellation (MEC) hardware
- Cryptography engines for encryption and decryption, and hashing