Images of a next-generation Xbox 360 (codenamed Durango) development kit appeared online after a user named DaE on the AssemblerGamers forums tried to sell the kit for $10,000.
Originally we totally doubted the images' legitimacy and were dumbfounded by the idea that someone could be selling a weird-looking PC tower claiming to be a next-gen dev kit online, but Digital Foundry stepped in and confirmed that they were the real deal after speaking with "multiple developers working on next-gen projects," as well as DaE, the user selling the kit. So this is it, gamers, feast your eyes on the hardware that's being used to develop next-gen games for Microsoft. Color us surprised.
According to DaE, the black box, which was sent to developers back in February, contains parts similar to those you'll find in a "standard gaming PC." DaE said that the kit includes an Intel CPU, a NVIDIA graphics card, 8 GB of RAM and a 64-bit operating system. Before you get your hopes up too high, remember that dev kits generally feature twice the RAM of retail devices in order to make room for all of the debugging tools.
Images DaE posted showed the kit's dashboard which looks similar to the current Xbox 360 test kit launcher, and featured two programs, "D3D11Game1" and "NuiView" which on the 360 are tools for rendering camera views and data from a Kinect. You can find more pictures of the device over at Digital Foundry.
Frankly, this whole situation is extremely unusual; it's not often we see dev kit images leaked in the first place, but when they turn out to be legitimate and the device is being sold on an obscure gaming forum for a radical amount of money, we just have to shake our heads. Microsoft hasn't officially commented on the pictures or made an announcements on their next home console. If they do, we'll make sure you're the first to know.