In a rare coincidence, we will see AMD GPUs drive all three major new-generation consoles, the WiiU, PlayStation 4 "Orbis," and Xbox "Durango." The CPU side of the three have remained anyone's guess. WiiU, for example, uses an IBM Expresso triple-core PPC processor. The chip that drives PlayStation 4 surprised us, consisting of an eight-core 64-bit architecture based on cutting-edge "Jaguar," and 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface. It turns out Durango's engine will be similar, if not identical.
According to a GamingCapacity report, AMD is co-developing the SoC that drives Xbox "Durango," which is essentially an APU, a combination of a multi-core CPU, a GPU, and integrated memory controller. The chip packs eight x86-64 cores (micro-architecture not named), clocked at 1.60 GHz, and GPU clocked at 800 MHz. The GPU will be powerful enough to keep DirectX 11.x games running at playable framerates, at 1920 x 1080 pixels, the baseline resolution for the console. Interestingly, Durango's SoC lacks a GDDR5 IMC, and makes do with DDR3. The console could pack 8 GB of RAM. Overall, Microsoft is targeting a 3X compute power increment over the chip that drives Xbox 360. Other details unearthed are as follows:
- Two variants, a 500 GB Pro, and 320 GB Arcade; a 1 TB HDD can be opted for on top of the fixed storage
- No Blu-ray optical drive
- Xbox Smartglass
- No word on implementation of Kinect 2.0 or Illumiroom
Durango's prototypes in circulation are decked up in Xbox 360 chassis, so as to blend in with Xbox 360 consoles. Strict NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) govern possession of prototypes. The console is expected to be unveiled at this year's E3 event, and a market release is expected some time in Holiday. Incidentally, that's also when Sony begins selling the PlayStation 4.