A strange thing happened on the way to the next generation Xbox. Leaked online this week were photographs of the next generation Xbox Developers hardware, along with an offer to sell the whole kit for the not insignificant amount of $10,000.
A rare and special beast, in the hands of talented game designer’s armies of these machines will create the next generation video games we all love so much. Suffice as to say these machines don’t often see the public light of day, this is a rare glimpse.
Featured at the top of the dashboard in large green type is the word ‘Durango’, Microsoft’s internal product name for the next generation Xbox, a name that will change upon release of the new Xbox. Let’s hope they keep thee new name simple, 720 gets our vote.
Advertised on AssemblerGamers.com, a game developer forum, the advertisement and pictures have since been taken down and the advertiser DaE has been banned. Website Digital Foundry did a little digging, talking to other developers with the kit and all reports seem to confirm the images are legitimate. Let’s just hope Microsoft developers aren’t this hard up for cash.
The kit itself is reminiscent of any brand name tower, this black rectangular box packs quite a punch though. 8 core CPU, NVIDIA graphics card along with 8GB of RAM (other developers quote 12GB). By nature dev kits spend more time running development applications than actually playing games, typically being more powerful than the target system or console.
It’s the software that sets a dev kit apart from the average PC. Present on the system are all of the tools required to build and test the latest games. Kinect hardware is also included in this dev system.
The hardware used in the final Xbox 720 can’t safely be predicted from the dev kit hardware, especially with the introduction of Direct X(11) hardware and libraries. These libraries are new to consoles but have been used for years to enable PC gaming. Direct X allows games o use any hardware without needing to be re-written, a radical approach for a console.
Game developers have had dev kits since February so the kit isn’t especially rare, just hard to get your hands on, normally. Microsoft appears to be progressing well with the development of the Durango, the tension builds as the world waits to get that first glimpse of real working hardware…
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