The Xbox 720 Files: Microsoft's master-plan for the next generation

CVG examines key details and breakthrough technologies found in the leaked 56-page document

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*Disclaimer: The information hereinbelow is taken from an Xbox 720 design document written in 2010. Some of the details will have been revised, perhaps extensively.*

1. Veracity


Is it genuine?
Yes. A development source at CVG has confirmed the validity of the Xbox 720 document. Lawyers for Microsoft have informed various online publishers to remove the file on the grounds of copyright.

The document itself rose to the surface on June 15th but it had been in circulation for several weeks prior. Details of the SmartGlass technology [described as "trans-screen experience" in the doc] were published online weeks before the tech's official reveal at E3.

A forgery of this detail would require remarkable perception and care. It would have required someone finely tuned into 2010 trends, when the industry was fixated on HTML5, 3DTV and Google TV (all feature frequently in the document despite recent declined interest). It even jokingly references Apple's "there's an app for that" 2010 marketing campaign. An image displaying final Halo Reach box art suggests that the final slides were put together in the latter half of 2010.

Is it accurate?Not entirely. In an industry as fluid as games, a plan outlined in 2010 would likely have evolved continuously. CVG's development source said the contents "should not be considered totally reliable".

"A lot of what you see in there ties with design docs here and other studios working with Microsoft. Some of the hardware specs are... odd, completely not what we're looking at, and there are other things in there (haptic controller?!) that I haven't heard about," the person said.

Who wrote it /approved it?Industry insiders have speculated that the document was developed by an agency on behalf of Microsoft. As most recently demonstrated in the recent PlayStation Orbis leak, console manufacturers often hire illustrators, marketing and design teams to provide concepts based on the information they are given.

'For Todd'The final slide in the document cites "additional questions to answer for Todd". It is likely that this is a reference to Todd Holmdahl, the Corporate Vice President of the Xbox Product Group at Microsoft. Though he is not a public-facing executive at Microsoft, Holmdahl has been responsible for Xbox hardware development for eight years.

NEXT: Microsoft's final bid to create the first definitive media hub

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