The last fortnight has heralded a veritable smorgasbord of rumours surrounding the next-generation Xbox - 'Durango' - both in terms of its hardware, release date and features. For completeness' sake (and because some of you lovely readers have been asking), we've rounded up the smartest rumours, complete with easy-to-surf links to our coverage or elsewhere, into one convenient place.
The DaE Dev Kit Debacle
When a purported 'Durango' dev kit appeared for sale at $10,000 on a developer forum, you know something weird is going on. It turns out that user DaE was indeed playing a joke on the site owners, but more bizarrely, numerous developers confirmed that the dev kit itself was legit.
Upon further investigation, DaE told Digital Foundry that the Durango uses NVIDIA components, features more than 8GB of RAM and is 64-Bit in nature. He also reckons that Microsoft are aiming for an 8-core CPU, but this seems remarkably ambitious to us.
Release Date: Out By February 2014
A hastily-deleted Microsoft job vacancy [reported by PC World] proudly proclaimed: "over the next eighteen months Microsoft will release new versions of all of our most significant products including Windows (Client, Server, Phone and Azure), Office and Xbox." Eighteen months. We make that February. Since the next generation pretty much has to arrive Christmas 2013, this sounds right to us.
Speaking to The Verge, Windows Live GM Brian Hall said a thing. This thing, in particular: "we've operated Hotmail for about 16 years, we obviously have Exchange and Outlook that people use at work, and we just decided it was time to do something new and bring the best from each of those and put them together and release it right in time for the new wave of products that we have coming out with Windows 8, with the new version of Office, with the New Windows Phone and the new Xbox."
Intriguing, and also worrying considering the miserable state of the Xbox 360 Metro dashboard. However, Microsoft has since explained this comment away as being out of context, instead suggesting that Hall is referring to an Xbox 360 title update. Hmm.
A Skype job description reads thusly: "the team you'll join is responsible for Skype in the living room (broadly the home), across various devices but with a focus on the large screen and the next generation of Xbox." It doesn't get more blatant than that, really.
Kinect 2: Finger Tracking & High Def
Finally, DaE posted what appears to be a leaked screenshot of a Kinect 2 developer tool. If true, it seems to support rumours that the next Kinect sensor will be able to track each finger individually, even if held in front of the body.