New Source potentially confirms Durango features – “100% BC, no always-on feature ever considered”

As a word of precaution, take the below information with a grain of salt – nothing’s true until it’s been confirmed by Microsoft.

A new source, found by NeoGAF member Cheesemeister, has potentially confirmed the final release specifications and features of Microsoft’s upcoming Durango console. And these features are more than what any fanboy could have hoped for.

In a short document, the user discusses how the new system will not be always-on, will feature full backwards compatibility, and will be the most indie friendly of all the next gen-consoles.

Here’s just a few snippets from the piece:

  • “You are not required to be connected to the internet in order to play Durango games and MS were NEVER considering doing such a thing. Now please, just read that last sentence over and over again until it sinks in. Done? Good.”
  • Ok, moving on. Have you read the VGLeaks article about the Durango specs? Yes? Good because everything you read in that article was 100% correct. Except, for one tiny little detail that MS kept guarded from most devs until very recently. That detail being that every Durango ships with a Xbox 360 SOC.
    • There was a reason why MS hired so many former IBM and AMD employees. I’ll admit I’m not an electrical engineer (I’m in software) so I won’t pretend to know the ins and outs of how the 360 SOC integrates into the Durango motherboard. All I know, and all I need to know about this new change is that I (or a game dev) can use the 360 SOC in parallel with the original Durango hardware.
    • What does this mean in basic terms? Well, apart from Durango having 100% BC with the 360, it also increases Durango’s processing power a fair amount.
  • Kinect 2.0: – Again the specs from VGLeaks are correct, there’s been no change and there won’t be. However, the fact is, is that software can do ANYTHING, and with the quite substantial increase in the hardware over Kinect 1.0, any humanly noticeable lag should be gone.
  • Controller: – The controller is pretty much the same. The D-Pad has been improved, but the change will only be noticeable when actually using it, i.e. it looks exactly the same, I haven’t actually touched it, this is just what I’ve been told. AA batteries will make a return, but the new wireless tech MS has created for the controller, improves battery life by 16%. Again, this is just what the doc says.
  • Xbox Mini/Xbox TV: Yes, this is happening, although as far as I know, it’s a whole different team over at MS that are handling this. As has been reported its main purpose is to compete with Apple TV, so expect this thing to be small and around $100.
  • It contains the 360 SOC (similar to the one in the Durango), however no disc drive is included (to decrease size). But of course you can still play any XBLA/Games on Demand game. That’s all I really know about the xTV so I’ll leave it at that. Thurrott seems to know more than anyone else about this, so go ask him.
  • OS/Services: I wish I knew more about this, but I honestly don’t. I have no clue what sort of new ideas MS are going to bring to the table this gen, but I’m certainly expecting them to amaze.
  • The only thing that I do know for definite is that Durango will be running Windows 8. It will essentially be the full version of the OS, minus the desktop side of things. This means it’ll be running the new WinRT framework, which as a side effect also means that contrary to popular belief MS will be the most indie friendly of all the big 3 next gen.
  • This is because any app/game that is created for the Windows app store will (after adding controller support of course) be playable on Durango.
  • In other words, any random person worldwide can pay Microsoft a $60 license fee (for the Windows Store) and submit their app/game to the store where millions of people can then download/buy it. No expensive development kits needed.

In summary, this post would mean no always-online connection is required to play; no HMD (head-mounted display) glasses are yet being implemented; the Xbox 360 system functions on a chip for BC and parallel processing; and the system will feature full backwards compatibility with the 360, including all Arcade and Live games.

Again, keep in mind this is a rumor, but what a way to confirm a system if true. Note that this information, should it be proven correct, will be far better news for Microsoft than expected.

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