During the PS4 reveal in February, Sony revealed that the console would be using AMD's new Jaguar x86 system-on-a-chip architecture that combines a CPU and a GPU onto a single chip. There were rumors that Microsoft would be doing the same with the next Xbox, and a new report adds more fuel to the fire.
Speaking to those familiar with Microsoft's plans, Bloomberg reports that the next Xbox will indeed use AMD's Jaguar SOC. The report doesn't mention any specifics, but previous leaks have said that the next Xbox's CPU would feature eight-cores, and be clocked at 1.6 Ghz. The PS4's Jaguar has the same number of cores, but is clocked at 1.8 Ghz.
The report says that Microsoft's move to an AMD-based architecture will effectively kill any chances of backwards compatibility in the new console. The Xbox 360 employs an IBM PowerPC CPU that makes any chance of compatibility with the new AMD chip all but impossible. Of course, the next Xbox could use emulation for Xbox 360 games, but that seems unlikely. Those wanting to play Xbox 360 games will just have to keep their old consoles around.
Bloomberg's report is just the latest in a number of leaks that are beginning to paint a clearer picture of the next Xbox. One of the most persistent, and plausible rumors, is that the next Xbox will ship with the next generation of Kinect hardware. The surprise is that Kinect will be required at all times, even if the game in question doesn't require it. Some suggest that Microsoft will be using the Orwellian tech it patented some time ago to enforce DRM or other protective measures based upon the number of people in the room.
Another persistent rumor is that Microsoft's next console will require an always online Internet connection. The latest rumor says that the console will be able to function for up to three minutes without an active connection, but will suspend all activity to open the network troubleshooter after it times out.
Of course, all of this is mere speculation and rumors for now. We won't anything until Microsoft decides to unveil the console. The latest report suggests that Microsoft will host its unveiling event on May 21, and then reveal more at E3 in June.