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Development sources downplay alleged Xbox 360 spec sheet

Developers working on the Xbox 360 hardware have expressed doubts at the validity of a "leaked" bullet-point list of specifications purporting to be those of the Xbox 360 next-gen console and the accompanying Xbox Live service.

Developers working on the Xbox 360 hardware have expressed doubts at the validity of a "leaked" bullet-point list of specifications purporting to be those of the Xbox 360 next-gen console and the accompanying Xbox Live service.

The console specifications, which were posted to the Internet this week, are largely consistent with previous leaks about the Xbox 360 hardware - but a number of unusual flaws in the document, pointed out by development sources, suggest that this is not an official Microsoft document.

"It's most probably a list made by someone who knows more about the official spec than the average hack, but I doubt it's an official Microsoft spec sheet," we were told by one developer who has experience of the new format.

"It's probably broadly in line with the spec that will be announced, but may be off on some of the finer details," he added.

One example is the mention of a 20GB detachable hard disk, when a 40GB unit is clearly visible in last Friday's leaked photographs.

The hardware spec sheet offers details on the central and graphics processing unit architectures, memory details and bandwidth potential, and claims that Xbox 360 will support a host of CD and DVD derivatives, output in widescreen and the much vaunted high-definition resolutions as standard, boast a trio of USB 2.0 ports, support for four wireless controllers, and the aforementioned detachable 20GB drive.

It will also be "Wi-Fi ready", the spec sheet claims, although whether that is intended to imply that the system actually has Wi-Fi hardware (as is widely expected) or that it's simply ready to plug an additional Wi-Fi module into is not clarified.

The Xbox Live spec included on the sheet is arguably more interesting, mentioning a pair of subscription options (one free, and one paid-for) and some key concepts like the ability to access Live to download premium content without actually being a paid up subscriber who can play games online.

We must stress that Microsoft has made absolutely no comment on this information, and is unlikely to do so if past form is anything to go by. We don't have long to wait, however, with the MTV special which will officially unveil the console planned for Thursday evening in the USA.

For the sake of completeness, that probably-not-official spec sheet in full...

2 types of Xbox Live:
Xbox Live Silver (no subscription required)
Xbox Live Gold (subscription benefits)

Features for Gold service
* Also for Silver
# Also for Offline

- Seamless transition to Xbox Live account from Xbox to Xbox 360
- Access to MMOs (additional fees may apply) *
- Free Xbox Live weekends *
- Multiplayer online gameplay
- Avatar for gamer profile * #
- Motto for gamer profile * #
- Personalized look for Xbox System Guide * #
- Offline achievments * #
- Online achievements *
- Access to other players' Gamer cards via Live *
- Cumulative gamer score * #
- Location/language profile * #
- Reputation *
- Enahnced matchmaking using above
- Skill level matchmaking
- Gameplay style profile (casual, competitive, etc.)
- Recent players list *
- Free and premium download game content *
- Free and premium downloadable movies, music, tv *
- Downloadable demos/trailers *
- Microtransactions *
- Custom playlist in every game * #
- Play music from portable devices * #
- View images from digital camera * #
- Strem media from Windows XP * #
- Interactive screen savers * #
- Track info for CDs * #
- Communication with voice, video or text *

360 Hardware:
1. Support for DVD-video, DVD-Rom, DVD-R/RW, CD-DA, CD-Rom, CD-R, CD-RW, WMA CD, MP3 CD, JPEG photo CD
2. All games supported at 16:9, 720p and 1080i, anti-aliasing
3. Customizable face plates to change appearance
4. 3 USB 2.0 ports
5. Support for 4 wireless controllers
6. Detachable 20GB drive
7. Wi-Fi ready

Custom IBM PowerPC-based CPU
- 3 symmetrical cores at 3.2 GHz each
- 2 hardware threads per core
- 1 VMX-128 vector unit per core
- 1 MB L2 cache

CPU Game Math Performance
- 9 billion dots per second

Custom ATI Graphics Processor
- 500 MHz
- 10 MB embedded DRAM
- 48-way parallel floating-point shader pipelines
- unified shader architecture

Memory
-512 MB GDDR3 RAM
- 700 MHz DDR

Memory Bandwidth
- 22.4 GB/s memory interface bus bandwidth
- 256 GB/s memory bandwidth to EDRAM
- 21.6 GB/s frontside bus

Audio
- Mulitchannel surround sound output
- Supports 48khz 16-bit audio
- 320 independent decompression channels
- 32 bit processing
- 256+ audio channels

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