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Xbox 2 'sneak peek' at GDC may not feature hardware unveiling

Xbox Japan spokesperson drops hints about GDC presentation.

As widely expected, Microsoft's chief Xbox officer Robbie Bach will take to the stage at the Game Developers Conference to discuss the next Xbox console - but the presentation may not include details of the system's hardware.

Speaking with Bloomberg, Microsoft Japan's Asako Miyata stated that Bach will appear at the conference on March 24th, and will discuss the company's software strategy for Xbox Next, talking about games for the console and some technical aspects of its format.

However, Miyata stated that the console's actual hardware will probably not be unveiled at GDC, and that a decision had not yet been taken to as to when the technical specifications of the system should be released.

Microsoft has already discussed its hardware plans with a number of key developers - leading to the leaking of information regarding the system's CPU and graphics configuration - but it's thought that certain vital aspects such as the quantity and type of RAM to be used have not yet been decided.

Some commentators have suggested that Microsoft is holding back from a final decision on the RAM, and possibly on the inclusion of a hard drive, until it finds out what Sony is planning to do with the PS3 - so that the spec for the Xbox Next can be adjusted to out-perform Sony's system, at least in these areas.

It's already known that Xbox Next will feature six next generation IBM PowerPC processing cores, spread across three discrete CPUs, and an advanced graphics hardware solution provided by chipset manufacturer ATI. It's expected that the system will dispense with the hard disc drive in favour of a high capacity removable flash memory solution - effectively a large memory card.