It’s a new week! That means we totally need a new next-next-gen console rumour. I’m glad to see that the rumour mill is at least being considerate – what with allowing Sony and Microsoft to take turns. Last week was all about Sony and the so-called “Orbis”. This week is all about Microsoft.

We already know that the supposed next Xbox console is codenames “Durango”, but now website VG24/7 is reporting a new batch of rumours from “multiple sources” that are saying the next Xbox will hit in December 2013. Coincidentally (or not, depending on your penchant for corporate conspiracy theories) that’s when the Orbis is supposed to hit. This is the second time the “holiday 2013” period has been rumoured as the release date.

The next Xbox will feature a Blu-ray player, which was originally rumoured back in January this year, but then debunked in March; looks like the “will include Blu-ray” rumour refuses to die. That’s good news! If it’s true that is. The bad news is that the new rumours suggest that a permanent internet connection will be mandatory.

According to VG24/7 Microsoft is implementing an “always-on Internet connection as an anti-piracy measure”. It’s already been rumoured that the next Xbox would feature some form of anti-piracy or anti-used-game system, but the always on Internet is something new and something rather unpleasant. Personally, I can’t see Microsoft going through with something like this. The amount of people it’d lose due to unreliable Internet connectivity would surely be greater than the amount of money it’d safe before somebody cracks the thing? Right? RIGHT?

Previous rumours suggested that the next Xbox would feature AMD GPUs based on their 6000 range of processors. This week’s rumour now suggests the 7000 range of AMD GPUs is more likely. There will supposedly be two GPUs in the next Xbox but they won’t be working like you’d expect a CrossFire setup to work.

Insofar as CPU cores are concerned, this batch of rumours suggests between “four or six” CPU cores in the next Xbox console. One of those will be reserved for the operating system and another for Kinect 2, which will come standard with all versions of the next Xbox.

As always, file this in the drawer marked “R” for “Rumour” until such time as Microsoft gets around to, you know, actually talking about the Xbox 360 successor.

Source: VG24/7