Rumors surface on next Xbox's hardware

— 4:21 AM on February 2, 2004

A number of rumors are circulating about the hardware going inside Microsoft's next Xbox console, and while none of this information has been officially confirmed by Microsoft, it's interesting to see what's being tossed around. Team Xbox has a couple of reports that detail the latest rumors, including the following:

  • The next Xbox will reportedly be powered by three 64-bit, dual core PowerPC 976 processors. IBM will apparently manufacturer these chips using 65nm fabrication technology, with production ramping up as early as one year from now.

  • In the pixel pushing department, the next Xbox's graphics chip will apparently conform to the DX10 spec and have embedded DRAM. No, the chip isn't being designed by Bitboys; it will reportedly be based on ATI's R500 GPU.

  • Whether the next Xbox will have a hard drive seems to be up in the air. Microsoft would apparently like to replace the hard disk with flash memory to cut costs, but that could significantly erode the console's viability as an online gaming platform that supports downloadable content. It would also effectively kill the console's potential as a jukebox or home media center.
There's also speculation that the next Xbox won't be compatible with current games, though if the system's rumored specs are true, it should have more than enough horsepower to emulate a 733MHz Celeron and GeForce3.
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