Next-generation Xbox Durango could ship with 16-core CPU

Next-generation Xbox Durango could ship with 16-core CPU

Summary: The hardware Microsoft has shipped to developers for the next Xbox supposedly includes a 16-core IBM PowerPC CPU and AMD Radeon HD 7000-series graphics.

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While Nintendo seems to be stuck about five years in the past with the hardware specs for its forthcoming Wii U console, Microsoft has the good sense to be looking to the future with its next-generation Xbox, currently being referred to as Xbox Durango.

According to developers, Microsoft has shipped versions of the new Xbox hardware, due at the end of 2013, to programmers to start coding games for the system. What they've apparently seen is a console with a 16-core IBM PowerPC CPU, a massive jump from the three-core CPU in the current Xbox, as well as an AMD Radeon HD 7000-series GPU. It also comes with a built-in Blu-ray player. The next version of Kinect supposedly requires four of those 16 CPU cores, so we know one reason why Microsoft has gone core-happy.

The PlayStation 4 is rumored to have both an AMD CPU and Radeon graphics, and may ship before the Xbox Durango. The Wii U will launch first, supposedly with a $300 price tag. That pricing may be tough for gamers to swallow for hardware that's equivalent to the current Xbox and PS 3, especially if tablet gaming steps up its streaming capabilities to HDTVs. Of course, it will be interesting to see how much a 16-core Xbox will cost -- and if consumers will be willing to pay for the advanced hardware.

[Via VentureBeat]

Topics: Microsoft, Hardware, Mobility, Processors

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27 comments
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  • Er, 300 for a console is dirt cheap

    Or did you forget the PS3 were 500-600 dollars (and those were all at around a 200 dollar loss)? Hell, I just spent 300 on a Vita. It's only 50 dollars more than the Wii's original price. Add in inflation, and there's not really much difference in price. This Xbox will most likely be double the price of the Wii U.

    Not that it's not sexy as hell.
    Aerowind
    • Er, 300 for a console is dirt cheap

      I will pay $600 in a heartbeat for a nice 16core Xbox. PS3 can be first but they're overall experience is inferior to MS XBOX so most won't jump on that and will hold out for Xbox. Considering people pay $500-$600 for tablets with weak games I think the price won't be an issue. Don't forget that your 16core beast will integrate with Windows 8 and everything you do there so MS is on the right track the rest will fade away....
      Rob.sharp
  • No way it's 16 core

    Are you kidding me. This console will probably have a quad core CPU with 4 threads per core for a total of 16 threads, but not 16 cores. No on wants to take a 2nd mortgage out on their house for a gaming console.
    Big_Erk
    • It is plausible

      I don't see why not. You have today's PCs that are almost there in terms of power and in two years anything can happen. I personally think it will be sweet, although I do agree with you that it will probably cost an arm and a leg.
      statuskwo5
    • My first thought as well.

      That was my first thought as well. If they make kinect hardware obsolete after two years that's pretty weak sauce. With any luck the kinect and the OS will just take one core or better yet just a couple threads.
      Rowd1e
    • Sure it could be

      I don't know why you'd think this is impossible. Currently you can buy an AMD 8 core processor for under $200. In another 2 years when this console is going to hit the market you'll probably be able to get a 16 core processor for that price. Add in price deals for contract/bulk purchasing and Microsoft will probably pay $100 or less for each one.
      kenn213
    • RE: No Way it's 16 Core

      The current 360 has a triple core processor and was released at a time when dual core processors were just starting to appear in consumer desktops. While it is possible it could be a multi-core/multi-thread processor having 16 physical cores is not out of the realm of possibility.
      bobiroc
    • AMD already has 16-core processors

      One word: Interlagos

      Starting price: about $500US
      Joe_Raby
    • The number of cores mean nothing if the software can't use them.....

      Unless some very innovative paralleled programming is used, the number of cores will not make the system faster. Parallel programming takes a completely different mindset and I don't believe the game developers have embraced parallel programming yet. When they do, then we see some awesome gaming.
      linux for me
  • Next-generation Xbox Durango could ship with 16-core CPU

    If that's true that's going to be one powerful little box. Expect people to hack it for cluster use.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • It could scream

      if it comes with Linux on it!
      The Linux Geek
      • Yeah the "screaming" would not be coming from the Xbox

        but the customers in that case:) Just saying...

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • The next XBox ...

        ... Will be running atop the Windows8 kernel and will likely run a significant subset of the Windows8 OS, supporting many WinRT apps.
        bitcrazed
      • Yeah........

        The screaming you hear would be coming from the people who had to use the damn thing. Why would Microsoft use that POS Linux?
        jhammackHTH
  • Meh

    Exotic CPUs are a pain for developers to program for, and most PCs only have 4 cores. Besides, the limiting factor most of the time is the GPU, not the CPU. This rumor makes no sense.
    Jeff Kibuule
    • Not if it's built off DX11.1

      And uses Win RT. Then it will probably be the simplest of the consoles to program for.

      As for the Wii U rumors, one or two devs have said it's less powerful while numerous developers have praised the Wii U, with Epic going so far as to saying they are doing "amazing" things with the Unreal 3 engine. And supposedly Nintendo is looking at adding in stuff to support Unreal 4. Plus, these comments may be coming from people with dev kits that are gen 1. Supposedly numerous updated dev kits have shipped since the original.
      LiquidLearner
  • PowerPC

    @MEH & Big_Erk = 2.3 Ghz w 16 cores w 64 threads only consuming 65W!!!
    oldskillz
  • You missed a point

    The 4-core requirement of the Kinect, according to VentureBeat, is for multiplayer tracking. Translated, that sounds like it will support up to 4 players, and will use 1 core per player. I dunno about you, but to me that also sounds like the cores are not going to be particularly powerful, since right now the existing Kinect uses a single-digit processing percentage.

    Using PowerPC means that it MIGHT play legacy games.

    I often thought about the cost of the 40GB PS3 that I bought several years ago, and the option to not buy the 80GB model for backwards compatibility has served me well. I saved $100 for a paltry 40GB more in drive space, and with the money I saved, I bought a 250GB hard drive and an external drive enclosure to put the old drive in. Looking back, I don't regret the decision, because ALL of the games I wanted to play from the PS2 days became HD remakes on the PS3. I would imagine that blockbuster games from the PS3 will make a reappearance on the PS.Next also.

    If Sony does away with supporting used games, then the one thing I want to see is more downloadable games. I want Blu-ray quality games available for download, not just 3 year old games that are less than 5GB. I have a 28Mbps uncapped Internet connection, and even if I'm waiting for a 15GB+ download, I don't care, so long as I don't have to take a trip to the Ye Local Gaime Shoppe to pick up media that only works with my console. Subsequently, they should allow easy transfers of PSN accounts from one console to a replacement console without much effort. I've read that they are going to lock this down somehow, but there needs to be some way of reactivating purchases on a replacement console without the need to set up a "migration setting" first, in the event of a console malfunction. Steam already does this. If you are signed in to one PC, you can't sign in on another one at the same time. You don't need to set up a transfer status or deactivation ahead of time either.
    Joe_Raby
    • Steam is a brilliant example of why no used games could be positive

      Look at how it is on a PC. You haven't been able to do used games on a PC for a very long time. It's not an issue though and it actually brings some serious benefits. Such as the fact that games go on sale much sooner and for less than they do on the console platforms. I bought Batman Arkham City a month after launch for $25. I would trade the ability to overpay for a used game from Gamestop to get a cheaper game sooner from the dev.

      Also, I would imagine that new games will be available digitally. I can't imagine them going backwards from a PC.

      As for the Kinect, the current model was originally planned to have a dedicated processor. The reason was to allow much higher resolution and much, much better tracking. With a dedicated core per person you'd be looking at probably 16x the current resolution along with much better user identification. Plus it would also enable close proximity support. I think it would be a huge benefit.
      LiquidLearner
  • Hmm, worth noting...

    1. The 7 series GPU is just being stuck in there because of it's name. In fact it's not a 7 series at all, it's all for hype. The "7 series" that's going in is actually just a rebranded old 6 series.

    2. A 16-core PowerPC CPU is really pretty unlikely considering PowerPC really doesn't have the technical prowess or value of ARM or even Intel, AMD. 16 cores isn't likely because there really is hardly a single mainstream 16 core CPU on the market at present, and the multicore Cell CPU in the PlayStation 3 still hasn't been utilised fully by a single game as of yet, and given that the technical jump in this generation of consoles is going to be smaller than that of the last generation, it just doesn't ring true that the number of cores will be roughly doubled for no real reason.

    3. According to some websites, the PS4 is supposed to have the same graphics processor as the new XBOX. The reason being quoted is that it would reduce headaches for developers to make things easier/cheaper for everyone.
    Naryan