An enormous bullet-point list of specifications pertaining to be those of the Xbox 360 next-gen console, due to be unveiled in a Microsoft MTV special in the US this coming Friday, and the accompanying Xbox Live service have appeared on the Internet this week.
The hardware spec is consistent in some areas with previous suggestions and development leaks, but inconsistent in others. The Xbox Live spec, however, is arguably more interesting, mentioning a pair of subscription options and some nice ideas - like the ability to access Live to download premium content without actually being a paid up subscriber who can play games online.
However, a well-placed development source we spoke to this evening cast doubt on the validity of the spec sheet. "It's most probably a list made by someone who knows more about the official spec than the average hack, but I doubt it's an official Microsoft spec sheet," we were told by the developer, who has some experience of the new format.
"It's probably broadly in line with the spec that will be announced, but may be off on some of the finer details," he added.
One example is the mention of a 20GB detachable hard disk, when a 40GB unit is clearly visible in last Friday's leaked photographs.
We must also stress that Microsoft has made absolutely no comment on the information below, and is unlikely to do so if past form is anything to go by.
The spec sheet offers details on the central and graphics processing unit architectures, memory details and bandwidth potential, and claims that Xbox 360 will support a host of CD and DVD derivatives, output in widescreen and the much vaunted high-definition resolutions as standard, boast a trio of USB 2.0 ports, support for four wireless controllers, and a detachable 20GB drive. It will also be Wi-Fi ready, the spec sheet claims.
It also outlines a pair of Xbox Live packages - Silver and Gold - and their respective benefits, and if accurate then it appears that J Allard's assertions at the Game Developers Conference earlier this year that the service would offer an unprecedented level of customisation are wholly accurate.
But enough banter. We'll try and bring you more on the question of the spec's legitimacy in the coming days. For now, grab yourself a pinch of salt and have a gander...
- 2 types of Xbox Live:
- Xbox Live Silver (no subscription required)
- Xbox Live Gold (subscription benefits)
- Features for Gold service
- * Also for Silver
- # Also for Offline
- - Seamless transition to Xbox Live account from Xbox to Xbox 360
- - Access to MMOs (additional fees may apply) *
- - Free Xbox Live weekends *
- - Multiplayer online gameplay
- - Avatar for gamer profile * #
- - Motto for gamer profile * #
- - Personalized look for Xbox System Guide * #
- - Offline achievments [sic] * #
- - Online achievements *
- - Access to other players' Gamer cards via Live *
- - Cumulative gamer score * #
- - Location/language profile * #
- - Reputation *
- - Enahnced matchmaking using above
- - Skill level matchmaking
- - Gameplay style profile (casual, competitive, etc.)
- - Recent players list *
- - Free and premium download game content *
- - Free and premium downloadable movies, music, tv *
- - Downloadable demos/trailers *
- - Microtransactions *
- - Custom playlist in every game * #
- - Play music from portable devices * #
- - View images from digital camera * #
- - Strem media from Windows XP * #
- - Interactive screen savers * #
- - Track info for CDs * #
- - Communication with voice, video or text *
- 360 Hardware:
- 1. Support for DVD-video, DVD-Rom, DVD-R/RW, CD-DA, CD-Rom, CD-R, CD-RW, WMA CD, MP3 CD, JPEG photo CD
- 2. All games supported at 16:9, 720p and 1080i, anti-aliasing
- 3. Customizable face plates to change appearance
- 4. 3 USB 2.0 ports
- 5. Support for 4 wireless controllers
- 6. Detachable 20GB drive
- 7. Wi-Fi ready
- Custom IBM PowerPC-based CPU
- - 3 symmetrical cores at 3.2 GHz each
- - 2 hardware threads per core
- - 1 VMX-128 vector unit per core
- - 1 MB L2 cache
- CPU Game Math Performance
- - 9 billion dots per second
- Custom ATI Graphics Processor
- - 500 MNz [sic]
- - 10 MB embedded DRAM
- - 48-way parallel floating-point shader pipelines
- - unified shader architecture
- - 512 MB GDDR3 RAM
- - 700 MNz [sic] DDR
- Memory Bandwidth
- - 22.4 GB/s memory interface bus bandwidth
- - 256 GB/s memory bandwidth to EDRAM
- - 21.6 GB/s frontside bus
- - Mulitchannel [sic] surround sond [sic] output
- - Supports 48khz 16-bit audio
- - 320 independent decompression channels
- - 32 bit processing
- - 256+ audio channels