Rumour: Project Phoenix (Xbox 720) and the X-Engine

Microsoft’s Project Phoenix, the code name for the next Xbox, could have something to do with the rumoured X-Engine.

Yesterday we brought you the rumour that Microsoft had not only sent out a new Xbox 360 development kit to developers, but had also included a new X-Engine to make the most out of the system.

We believe that it might be more accurate to describe Microsoft’s X-Engine as a collection of powerful development tools, which would make the relation to Sony’s PlayStation 3 Edge Tools more relevant, since we believe Microsoft’s initiative won’t be restrictive.

The significance of the development tools are still the same (if not more so) and we’ll continue to refer to the project as Microsoft’s X-Engine, since this appears to be what some developers refer to it as.

Today we bring you a little bit of speculation on Microsoft’s Project Phoenix, or what many of you might have called the Xbox 720. The project’s early technical specs have been sent out to select developers (who are then matching them on PC) and an interesting feature has been tested.

We’re told that developer’s have tested the running of Xbox 360 games on the Project Phoenix’s technical specs with not only upscaling, but increased AA (anti-aliasing), increased AF (anastropic filtering), a higher framerate and generally improved performance. The potential is that the next Xbox will not only run Xbox 360 games, it will improve their performance and graphics (think the PS3’s smoothing and filtering of PS2 games but to a much greater degree).

We’re also told that the X-Engine (or what we believe to be a selection of powerful development tools) will also be used on Project Phoenix, meaning that developers will be able to start working on games for the next-generation Xbox much earlier and will achieve earlier gains.