Next Xbox may have AMD Jaguar cores, $500 price tag

Now that the PlayStation 4 is official, all eyes are on Microsoft—and the rumor mill is grinding on at full speed. Both Bloomberg and Paul Thurrott (of the eponymous SuperSite for Windows) have shared fresh, unofficial tidbits about the next-generation Xbox.

Bloomberg, for one, says it was tipped off by "people with knowledge of the matter" about the next Xbox's guts. It turns out the console is supposed to have "AMD system-on-a-chip that combines powerful 'Jaguar' central processing units with graphics chips."

That sounds an awful lot like the PS4's custom AMD APU, which has eight Jaguar cores and Radeon-derived graphics. There's no telling what combination of cores and units the Xbox's APU will feature—or whether it, like the chip inside the PS4, will be fed by an 8GB pool of GDDR5 memory. Still, it sounds like developers may not have to optimize for wildly different architectures when making cross-platform games.

Paul Thurrott, meanwhile, spoke about the next Xbox's pricing and release schedule on the What The Tech podcast last week. Referring to the system by its code-name, he stated, "Durango's gonna be expensive . . . 500 bucks, 300 dollars with a subscription, that kind of thing." Thurrott added that Microsoft has scheduled the launch for May 21, but the new console won't actually be available until "early November."

$500 for a console certainly isn't cheap by today's standards. Keep in mind, though, that the 20GB Xbox 360 cost $399 at launch. Adjusted for inflation, that's about $480 in today's dollars. The rumored $300 model may turn out to be a better deal, anyway, provided it only requires an Xbox Live subscription with a contract.

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