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Next-generation Xbox details leak ahead of launch

Additional details of Microsoft's upcoming next-generation console have leaked out, thanks to the penultimate issue of closing magazine Xbox World.

According to information collated by the magazine from what are claimed to be reliable sources - editor-in-chief Dan Dawkins claims his magazine has been "at the cutting edge of Durango coverage for over 12 months," referring to the next-generation console's codename in an interview with CVG - the system will, contrary to rumours, include an optical drive capable of playing both DVD and Blu-ray media - levelling the playing field between Microsoft and Sony, whose PlayStation 3 has supported Blu-ray discs from launch.

The system is also claimed to be launching with a next-generation version of Microsoft's motion-sensing Kinect controller platform, capable of more accurate detection of depth and motion and even tracking individual finger movements - something that was rumoured for the original Kinect but never materialised.

Other details revealed by Xbox World include the ability to record and play back live TV, a directional audio system, a new design of controller and built-in support for augmented reality gaming through a set of add-on glasses that will launch after the console itself.

Internally, the next-generation Xbox system is claimed to feature a powerful quad-core processor with support for up to four threads per core and 8GB of RAM - a significant upgrade from the current-generation Xbox 360, which has just 512MB of RAM and a triple-core processor.

Microsoft, naturally, has refused to comment on the accuracy or otherwise of Xbox World's claims, but with rumours suggesting the company will be unveiling the next-generation console at the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) in June, fans shouldn't have too long to wait to see how close the claims come to Microsoft's vision for its third crack at the console gaming market.

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