A Digital Foundry report, following up the emergence of allegedly leaked Durango dev kit pics over on AssemblerGames, has confirmed some of the leak as true thanks to "reliable sources we know to be working on AAA next-gen games".
Digital Foundry spoke with the user who leaked the pics, noting that "the pictures he leaked have been acknowledged as genuine by reliable sources we know to be working on AAA next-gen games, and the inescapable conclusion is that the leaker has indeed been hands-on with a Durango devkit - and then tried to sell it".
According to Digital Foundry's source, the current dev kits were issued in February this year, and the report speaks of an alpha console that uses an Intel CPU (with Microsoft allegedly targeting eight cores for retail), an nVidia graphics card, "more than 8GB of memory (other sources have suggested 12GB), and that it is 64-bit in nature". DF did, however, note that "dev hardware typically features double the RAM of retail kit in order to accommodate debugging tools and other systems".
Though Digital Foundry were unable to corroborate the nVidia link, or the eight-core rumour, another source confirmed the 64-bit report, "adding that current DirectX 11 engines developed on PC can be ported to 64-bit and that they will run with no problem on Microsoft's new console".
If true, this points towards Microsoft following a similar path towards ease of development to the process for Xbox 360, which took on a workflow model that shared much in common with PC development and working directly with the DirectX API.
"In an effort to prove the authenticity of his devkit leak," continued Digital Foundry, "DaE also leaked a screenshot of Microsoft's Visual Studio coding tool, apparently set-up for Durango. None of the developers we spoke to disputed what they were seeing. 'As an aside it's got my favourite MS return code in there: ERROR_SUCCESS,' chuckled one source."
The Nextbox is expected to emerge next year, with a possible release for 2013's holiday season. [Digital Foundry]