Rumor: 16-core CPU to power Xbox 720

A new report claims that Microsoft’s Xbox 720 will be powered by an advanced 16-core CPU.

According to Xbox World, a number of next-gen Xbox dev kits were sent to developers last month. 

Codenamed “Durango,” the dev kits reportedly boasted a 16-core IBM Power PC CPU with a graphics processor “on par” with AMD’s Radeon HD 7000-series graphics cards. 

As CVG’s Andy Robinson points out, the 16-core processor – if actually present – would be a “surprising addition,” as such a chip is considered future tech even for PCs.

Xbox World offered a similar assessment about the rumored 16-core processor, but insisted such hardware, though pricey, was still plausible for the game console. 

“[Yes], 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.”

Although Microsoft has yet to release any official details about its next-gen Xbox, there is certainly no shortage of rumors, with the latest (often conflicting) speculation claiming that the Xbox 720 will feature a Blu-ray drive, some sort of solid state media and require a persistent Internet connection.

Industry watchers hope both Sony and Microsoft will take the wraps off their respective next-gen consoles at E3 in June 2012 – although Redmond has repeatedly denied that it is planning to do so.