Dango Durango -- Next-Gen Xbox developer kit in the wild.

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors, Systems | July 31, 2012 - 08:35 PM |

Eurogamer and Digital Foundry believe that a next-generation Xbox developer kit somehow got into the hands of an internet user looking to fence it for $10,000. If the rumors are true, a few interesting features are included in the kit: an Intel CPU and an NVIDIA graphics processor.

A little PC perspective on console gaming news…

If the source and people who corroborate it are telling the truth: somehow Microsoft lost control of a single developer’s kit for their upcoming Xbox platform. Much like their Cupertino frenemies who lost an iPhone 4 in a bar which was taken and sold for $5000 to a tech blog, the current owner of the Durango devkit is looking for a buyer for a mere $10000. It is unlikely he found it on a bar stool.

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One further level of irony, the Xbox 360 alpha devkit were repurposed Apple Mac Pros.

Image source: DaE as per its own in-image caption.

Alpha developer kits will change substantially externally but often do give clues to what to expect internally.

The first Xbox 360 software demonstrations were performed on slightly altered Apple Mac Pros. At that time, Apple was built on a foundation of PowerPC by IBM while the original Xbox ran Intel hardware. As it turned out, the Xbox 360 was based on the PowerPC architecture.

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Huh, looks like a PC.

The leaked developer kit for the next Xbox is said to be running X86 hardware and an NVIDIA graphics processor. 8GB of RAM is said to be present on the leaked kit albeit that only suggests that the next Xbox will have less than 8GB of RAM. With as cheap as RAM is these days -- a great concern for PC gamers would be that Microsoft would load the console to the brim with memory and remove the main technical advantage of our platform. Our PCs will still have that advantage once our gamers stop being scared of 64-bit compatibility issues. As a side note, those specifications are fairly identical to the equally nebulous specs rumored for Valve’s Steam Box demo kit.

The big story is the return to x86 and NVIDIA.

AMD is not fully ruled out of the equation if they manage to provide Microsoft with a bid they cannot refuse. Of course practically speaking AMD only has an iceball’s chance in Hell of have a CPU presence in the upcoming Xbox – upgraded from snowball. More likely than not Intel will pick up the torch that IBM kept warm for them with their superior manufacturing.

PC gamers might want to pay close attention from this point on…

Contrast the switch for Xbox from PowerPC to X86 with the recent commentary from Gabe Newell and Rob Pardo of Blizzard. As Mike Capps has allured to – prior to the launch of Unreal Tournament 3 – Epic is concerned about the console mindset coming to the PC. It is entirely possible that Microsoft could be positioning the Xbox platform closer to the PC. Perhaps there are plans for cross-compatibility in exchange for closing the platform around certification and licensing fees?

Moving the Xbox platform closer to the PC in hardware specifications could renew their attempts to close the platform as has failed with their Games for Windows Live initiative. What makes the PC platform great is the lack of oversight about what can be created for it and the ridiculous time span for compatibility for what has been produced for it.

It might be no coincidence that the two companies who are complaining about Windows 8 are the two companies who design their games to be sold and supported for decades after launch.

And if the worst does happen, PC gaming has been a stable platform despite repetitive claims of its death – but could the user base be stable enough to handle a shift to Linux? I doubt that most would even understand the implications of proprietary platforms on art to even consider it. What about Adobe and the other software and hardware tool companies who have yet to even consider Linux as a viable platform?

The dark tunnel might have just gotten longer.

Source: Eurogamer

July 31, 2012 | 09:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Microsoft dreams and creams in the sheets about Apple's business model. Microsoft so lusts after that closed garden that is the Apple ecosystem! Its High Noon at the Freedom corral, and Linux will have Gary Cooper's shoes to fill! I hope the Gamers will see the clock on the wall, as it ticks towards the point of no return!

August 1, 2012 | 01:52 AM - Posted by D1RTYD1Z619


August 1, 2012 | 02:36 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

TL;DR: Rumours -- which have been backed up by an independent source according to Eurogamer -- claim that a guy got a hold of a dev kit for the successor of the Xbox 360... and he wants to sell it for $10,000. It apparently has an x86 (Intel or AMD, likely Intel) based processor and an NVIDIA GPU much like the original before-360 Xbox.

I claim that this could be Microsoft trying to push the Xbox console ecosystem into the PC gaming ecosystem as sort of a revival of what we hated about Games for Windows Live... and might partially explain why Gabe Newell (Valve) and Rob Pardo (Blizzard) are scared about Windows 8.

August 1, 2012 | 12:58 PM - Posted by icebug

as much as I love Valve it is totally possible that the criticism over windows 8 has something to do with the fact that the marketplace built into Win 8 will have traditional PC games on it as well. Blizzard and Valve both have a digital distribution store and they probably just don't like people stepping on their turf. Granted Blizzard has less reason to dislike this but there will be a push toward them using the store from the market.

August 1, 2012 | 01:34 PM - Posted by Billgatez. (not verified)

I need more proof then some bury iPhone pictures. Like a shot on the inside of the PC. Or a shot of the PC post screen.
All i see is a log on screen with a matrix wallpaper. And what i think is a Dell server case.

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