While it’s clear Microsoft isn’t planning to introduce its next-generation Xbox console this year, all signs indicate that a 2013 launch is in the cards. A newly leaked 56-page document sheds some light on the company’s plans, for what it calls the “Xbox 720.” The presentation appears to be from August 2010.
Microsoft outlines a competitive differentiation for its next-generation Xbox, including support for Blu-ray, native 3D output and glasses, concurrent apps, and additional sensor and peripheral support. Alongside a promised 6x performance increase, there’s also mention of true 1080p output with full 3D support and an “always on” state for the console. A slide on core hardware indicates that the next Xbox will be designed to be scalable in the number of CPU cores and their frequencies. Microsoft appears to have been debating whether to use six or eight ARM or x86 cores clocked at 2GHz each with 4GB of DDR4 memory alongside three PPC cores clocked at 3.2GHz each for backwards compatibility with existing Xbox 360 titles.
Microsoft positions its Xbox 720 as the only box needed for living room entertainment in the document, providing background recording functionality for TV content and a unified Windows 8 foundation to make it easier for application developers to build apps that target Xbox, PC, and Windows Phone. Illustrations of the Xbox 720 throughout the presentation make it comparable in looks to an old set-top box, but appear to be just a concept design used in 2010. Microsoft rounds off the document with a promised price point of $299 with its Kinect 2 hardware and a prediction of a 10-year lifecycle with more than 100 million units sold.