Xbox 360: rumours, pics and some factual stuff

The web's all aflutter over a 'genuine' camphone shot of the next gen Xbox. But what do we really know about the console that's going to be announced on Thursday?

The curtain officially rises on the Xbox 360 this Thursday. But what's real and what's rumour nonsense?

This photo

Engadget tell us the picture above was taken last Friday at a press preview in LA. We're sceptical about its provenance but will happily be proven wrong. What it shows - and we're firmly in speculation land here - is a headset that you can't see, a controller that you can't really see, a webcam and a console. The console, so Stuff's told by games publishers and developers, is the right shape, though the final finish and colour remain to be seen.

Widely presumed

- It'll be more powerful than the Sony PS3, Nintendo Revolution and every mainframe ever built

- It'll be the best thing since the wheel

What we actually know

- It'll have a green light

- Personalisation will be massive - online and in your home

- Media Centre Extender-style functionality will be standard

- Wi-Fi's a given

- It's a virtual cert' that it won't be backwards compatible with the current Xbox

- Hi-def games will be much more common than first time round. And UK punters will be able to play HD games out of the (ahem) box

- Xbox Live will expand way beyond gaming. Think: music, videos, chat and news

- It'll be designed to stack vertically or horizontally, like the PS2.