The last week we dug a deep hole inside the Microsoft strategy. The brand would want to sell two new systems. One would be next-gen, Durango, Xbox 360 successor. The other one, we are going to call it Xbox Mini for now, would be a redesigned Xbox 360. This Mini console would provide BC to Durango. That’s the idea.

An anonymous insider has analyzed our documents, our leaks and other ones about Durango. It’s like an open letter for everybody. Don’t lose your time reading me; please give 5 minutes to this interesting article:

So yes, I originally made a post on pastebin that I then posted on IGN that has now mysteriously vanished from the internet. I’m guessing good ‘ol Don wasn’t too happy.

In that pastebin post I said I wouldn’t be saying anything else, but that was before a few things changed. So yeah…. #dealwithit.

That IGN post (that referenced the pastebin post) was also posted on NeoGAF. Though it didn’t get much attention.

In that pastebin post I specifically mentioned that I was a GAF member, but that I would not be outing myself on GAF for fear of losing my job. And I still will not be doing that. I’m not an idiot.
However since the reveal is pretty close now, I thought I’d just come out and tell you everything I know. No more cryptic bullshit, just facts.

First of all, for any of the GAF members reading this (or anyone else for that matter) that actually believed the online-required rumor, well…. you’re either stupid, very gullible, or a fanboy. Reading the posts some of you made over the past few weeks leads me to believe that mostly fanboyism was involved. So, I’ll make this very clear:

You are not required to be connected to the internet in order to play Durango games and MS were NEVER considering doing such a thing. Now please, just read that last sentence over and over again until it sinks in. Done? Good.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way I can talk about the real details.
First, I’ll admit some things that I originally hinted at in the first pastebin are now not going to happen. Mainly the April 18th date (obviously) and the HMD glasses. The date, as you may know by now was pushed back to May, and the glasses, well, although they’re kind of working are going to spend a bit longer in the oven.

Ok, moving on. Have you read the VGLeaks article about the Durango specs? Yes? Good because everything you read in that article was 100% correct. Except, for one tiny little detail that MS kept guarded from most devs until very recently. That detail being that every Durango ships with a Xbox 360 SOC.

There was a reason why MS hired so many former IBM and AMD employees. I’ll admit I’m not an electrical engineer (I’m in software) so I won’t pretend to know the ins and outs of how the 360 SOC integrates into the Durango motherboard. All I know, and all I need to know about this new change is that I (or a game dev) can use the 360 SOC in parallel with the original Durango hardware.

What does this mean in basic terms? Well, apart from Durango having 100% BC with the 360, it also increases Durango’s processing power a fair amount.

Ok, so what else?

Kinect 2.0: – Again the specs from VGLeaks are correct, there’s been no change and there won’t be. However, the fact is, is that software can do ANYTHING, and with the quite substantial increase in the hardware over Kinect 1.0, any humanly noticeable lag should be gone

Controller: – The controller is pretty much the same. The D-Pad has been improved, but the change will only be noticeable when actually using it, i.e. it looks exactly the same, I haven’t actually touched it, this is just what I’ve been told. AA batteries will make a return, but the new wireless tech MS has created for the controller, improves battery life by 16%. Again, this is just what the doc says.

Xbox Mini/Xbox TV: Yes, this is happening, although as far as I know, it’s a whole different team over at MS that are handling this. As has been reported its main purpose is to compete with Apple TV, so expect this thing to be small and around $100.
It contains the 360 SOC (similar to the one in the Durango), however no disc drive is included (to decrease size). But of course you can still play any XBLA/Games on Demand game. That’s all I really know about the xTV so I’ll leave it at that. Thurrott seems to know more than anyone else about this, so go ask him.

OS/Services: I wish I knew more about this, but I honestly don’t. I have no clue what sort of new ideas MS are going to bring to the table this gen, but I’m certainly expecting them to amaze.
The only thing that I do know for definite is that Durango will be running Windows 8. It will essentially be the full version of the OS, minus the desktop side of things. This means it’ll be running the new WinRT framework, which as a side effect also means that contrary to popular belief MS will be the most indie friendly of all the big 3 next gen.
This is because any app/game that is created for the Windows app store will (after adding controller support of course) be playable on Durango.
In other words, any random person worldwide can pay Microsoft a $60 license fee (for the Windows Store) and submit their app/game to the store where millions of people can then download/buy it. No expensive development kits needed.
Expect to hear much more on WinRT – Durango at Build2013.

Ok, so that’s pretty much it. I wish I had more info on specific games and services that MS have lined up, but it seems that even I’ll have to wait until May to find out.
I’ll look forward to this post appearing on GAF, where rest assured I’ll be lurking. Hell, who knows I may even make a few posts.

I wonder how many people will refuse to believe this? Hmmmm….

Thanks, Lee Mcs Twitter.