The latest issue of Xbox World reports that codename 'Durango' devkits were sent to developers last month, shortly after secret meetings were held in London.
The Durango kits don't resemble the final hardware in appearance, says XBW (the original Xbox 360 devkits were PowerPCs in standard PC cases), but the hardware inside is representative of the machine you can expect to see released in late 2013.
XBW's sources suggest Durango's devkit is powered by a state of the art 16-core IBM Power PC CPU with a graphics processor on par with AMD's Radeon HD 7000-series graphics cards, as previously rumoured.
The 16-core processor in particular would be a surprising addition, as it's future tech even for high-end PCs. AMD launched the world's first 16-core processor for the business market in November last year.
XBW explains: "It's a ridiculous amount of power for a games machine - too much power, even. But remember, Kinect 2 could chew up four whole cores tracking multiple players right down to their fingertips, so it'll need a lot of power."
Despite Microsoft and Sony both denying they'll show next-gen tech at E3 in June, XBW's sources claim many developers are working towards an LA debut for their next-generation software, "whether Microsoft and Sony are ready or not".
The alleged devkits do not sport the console's final appearance, although the sources were confident that the hardware within are consistent with what we can expect to see when the Xbox 360's successor is released late next year.
Although the thought of a 16-core powered console makes us salivate in anticipation, this information (as with most rumors) should be taken with a grain of salt. Video game consoles aren't typically equipped with state of the art, up to date hardware and, while we can dream, this news seems a bit far fetched.
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