Xbox 720 rumored to have 16-core CPU

Another day, another next-generation console rumor. Once again, the specifications for the Xbox 720 are being hinted at. Previously we'd heard that the Xbox 720 will come in two flavours: a low-power and basic ARM version that will run apps, and the "main" console. The more powerful of the two was tipped to have two GPUs that could render graphics independant of each other, and a new rumor indicates the Xbox 720 could have a CPU with 16 cores.

The finished version of the Xbox 720 will reportedly come with a 16-core IBM Power PC CPU, along with a GPU that will sport similar power to AMD's Radeon HD 7000 GPU. That's not too far off what we heard about the PlayStation Orbis, which was rumored not too long ago to include an AMD CPU and GPU combo.

Why the need for such power? Apparently the next version of Microsoft's Kinect will command at least four of those cores, due to being significantly more accurate than the existing version. Kinect 2 will supposedly have the capability of tracking multiple players at once, not to mention precision, being able to track even fingertips.

A 16-core CPU seems unlikely at first, but AMD did introduce a cutting edge 16-core Opteron chip back in November. The chip was designed to be used in servers for applications that need a large number of threads, such as video encoding, and cloud computing. As for the PlayStation Orbis and Xbox 720, Sony and Microsoft deny that they'll be showing the consoles off at this year's E3, but sources say both are racing towards that goal.

[via Redmond Pie]