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Microsoft Durango dev-kit put up for sale - report

Digital Foundry's sources say the leaked dev-kit is the "real deal"

The Microsoft Durango dev kit that was put up for sale online over the weekend is apparently real, Euorgamer reports.

A man using the alias "DaE" attempted to sell the Durango kit for $10,000 on the Assembler Games forum, but was subsequently banned and his post removed. The photos depicted a PC tower attached to a monitor running a debug launcher with a "Matrix-style" data-stream backdrop, which was widely considered to be unconvincing.

However, Digital Foundry located DaE and ran his claims past several industry sources working on next-generation Xbox projects, and reports that the photos are, "the real deal." According to DF's sources, the Durango dev-kit is an "anonymous-looking black box" - like the one in DaE's photos - with an architecture similar to that of a modern gaming PC.

DaE claims that the kits were sent to developers in February, and contains 8GB of RAM - dev-kits tend to contain double the RAM of the retail product - an eight-core Intel CPU and an Nvidia graphics card. He also sent DF a screenshot of Microsoft's Visual Studio coding tool to prove its authenticity.

"The presence on this screen of the "immintrin" element strongly suggests that the Durango coding environment is built around x86 CPU architecture, supporting the AVX (advanced vector extensions) instruction set that was added in last year's Sandy Bridge revision. However, AVX is now supported on some of the most recent AMD processors too.

"At the very least, the x86 nature of the leaked Visual Studio shot is intriguing - in combination with the AMD rumours swirling around PlayStation 4, there's the very strong suggestion that the era of custom console hardware is now very much a thing of the past. Licensing revised versions of existing architecture - exactly as Sony did with PlayStation Vita - appears to be the most efficient way of getting the most powerful consoles without breaking the bank in terms of R&D."

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Matthew Handrahan

Editor-in-Chief

Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.

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