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Xbox 'Durango' leak claims console is 'always connected,' games must be installed to hard disk

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Xbox 360 stock
Xbox 360 stock

Last month we heard rumors of an anti-used game system for Microsoft's next-generation 'Durango' Xbox console, but an additional leak this week appears to reinforce those claims. Vgleaks, previously responsible for revealing accurate specifications for Durango, has provided screenshots of an Xbox Development Kit (XDK) for Microsoft's next-generation console. We've seen screenshots leak before, but these appear to confirm a number of previous rumors.

As part of a Durango hardware overview, the leaked documentation states that every next-gen console will include a hard drive with enough capacity to "hold a large number of games." All games are said to be installable to the drive, and "play from the optical drive will not be supported." Kotaku previously suggested Durango game installations will be mandatory, and The Verge has seen information that confirms this is accurate. At present, Xbox 360 games can be installed to HDD, but they require the disc to run. Durango titles cannot directly access data on discs once they're installed, suggesting that the next-gen console may not require the disc to play games post-installation.

The information is accurate, but how old is it?

An installable game requirement backs up claims that Microsoft is developing an anti-used games system that requires activation codes for 50GB-capacity Blu-ray discs. The latest information leak includes references to an "always on, always connected" console. Previous rumors have suggested that an activation system will prevent games from being sold, coupled with an online requirement for games to be activated. We understand that the information shared by Vgleaks is genuine, but it's also dated from last year. The real question isn't whether Microsoft has considered an anti-used games system, but if the leaks we're seeing are old enough for the company to have dropped the implementation in the mean time.

Other information in the XDK leak includes mentions of a new high-fidelity Kinect sensor without a tilt motor to be sold with every console. At a recent TechForum event, Microsoft demonstrated next-generation Kinect sensors without tilt motors, suggesting that the new unit will be a lot smaller and compact. Microsoft is expected to unveil the full details of its next-generation Xbox at E3 this year, with a release in time for the holidays.