I have been planning to write this for quite a while, as the rumour mill keeps feeding my excitement factor. There has been a steady stream of small snippets of what we can expect from the next incarnation of the Xbox.
I will be honest and say that I have been an Xbox owner for some time now, and have not really been wooed by the PS3 or its predecessors. This means any Xbox news gets me looking around like a meerkat to see what is happening.
I thought for this post I would trawl the net and try and see what all the various rumours were. I can then sum them up here before the Xbox’s arrival – which is the 21st of May by the way … be still my beating heart.
So here we go:
What will it be called?
The name is the first thing the net is filled with suggestions for. What I have found varies greatly, but here are some of the best efforts.
Durango Seems to be the development name for the project
Xbox 720 This seems to be the most popular and has stuck
Xbox Next This was found a number of times.
Xbox Infinity Only read this once?
Xbox Two sources are suggesting that they will go back to just calling it the Xbox.
What about the specs?
Once again rumours abound, and I have picked what seems to be the most consistent info. Here it is for all you hardware buffs and gaming freaks.
Xbox 720’s CPU AMD Jaguar-based CPU clocked at 1.6GHz
Xbox 720’s Graphics A revision of AMD’s 7000 series graphics
Xbox 720’s Memory 8GB of general system memory and separate graphics memory
Xbox 720 Drive A Blu-ray has been rumoured and seems a no brainer.
Internet and Gaming?
One of the more disturbing rumours doing the rounds is the suggestion that you will have to keep the Xbox connected to the Internet all the time to be able to play any games – a rather nasty form of DRM.
Here is an excerpt from Expertreviews.co.uk,
“The news that the Xbox 720 would include DRM that requires an always-on internet connection, without which games simply won’t play, was all but confirmed earlier this month by Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth who took to Twitter to defend his company’s decision. Sadly, Orth appeared to be speaking out of turn: after mocking those who had stated they wouldn’t buy the Xbox 720 if it required an always-on internet connection, he left the company under a cloud and Microsoft, after a weekend of Xbox Live outages that would have left the next-generation console useless, issued an apology.
That apology did not come with details of how the DRM system, designed to prevent piracy, would operate in the next-generation Xbox – but sources speaking to Polygon claim that the always-on requirement will be set by each game’s publisher individually, rather than by Microsoft. As a result, the console will support requiring an always-on internet connection, without which games won’t run for more than three minutes, but publishers can choose to ignore the feature and allow gamers to play single-player titles entirely offline should they so choose.”
If Microsoft, or the games manufacturers, enforce this – I can only see it as being detrimental to what they are trying to achieve. Many gamers will want to take their Xbox out and about, even away on holiday with them, and as a result they may not always have Internet. Should that mean they can’t game?
Will the controller change?
Again there are a number of suggestions as to what we will end up with, and some of them are quite intriguing indeed. Here is a brief roundup:
The strangest rumour seems to be that the next version of Kinect will be launched with the new console – ‘Kinect 2’ if you like. This will be at the very heart of the new Xbox’s sales drive to increase and enhance the motion control we already have.
However, here is the most intriguing rumour/fact I found. Microsoft has recently filed a patent relating to projecting augmented reality images onto the walls of the room when you are gaming. An attempt, no doubt, to fully immerse you in the game. The codename for this project is ‘Fortaleza’. Is this the fore runner of the Star Trek Holodecks?
The control pad, as far as I can determine, is likely to remain pretty much the same – the current design being well received by the majority of gamers. The only extra item rumoured is the possibility of Microsoft including a touch sensitive strip on the controller, something which is rumoured for the PS4.
To sum up!
Having trawled the Internet and found many potential facts about the next gen Xbox, there seems to be a lot of information out there. However, what it will eventually be called, and what a production unit will look like, is still very much a mystery. I guess we will just have to wait until the 21st May launch date to find out!
What is your favourite gaming system and does the new Xbox excite you?
Blu-ray would be a welcome addition, especially if it also supports 3D discs. Anything to get rid of another box from the living room!
Always on DRM is a sticky one. I’m one of those people who likes to take his Xbox away on holiday, which usually means it’s offline for the entire time. If I couldn’t play any of my games, what would be the point? Or what happens if my Internet goes down at home? At the minute, it just means I can’t shoot my dad in Black Ops… I’d hate it to mean the console becomes entirely useless.
Yes the DRM thing does worry me and I think Microsoft will have to rethink this option. They did suggest that they are going to leave it up to games manufaturers to apply the lock down to the net or not. This seems again very messy.
We will see what they do on the 21st.
The blu-ray being 3D I hadn’t considered but that would be good indeed. I would also need to invest in a 3D TV as well as a new Xbox. The wife may not like that. Watch this space.
But what an excuse to buy now tech 🙂 We bought a 3D blu-ray player a while back (on special in Asda) but don’t have a 3D TV. I figured I was just preparing the way for when the TV eventually needs replaced.
I think leaving the DRM decision up to publishers might be the better of the two ways to go – if enough people chose not to buy DRM’d games, the publishers could at least change their minds. The always-on DRM is the reason I’ve not bought the new Sim City… I’m just replaying SC4 instead.
I think you are right. The publishers would be the better choice and I suppose they are trying to cut out Long John Silver behaviour. It is just figuring out the best way to do it.
I don’t think my wife or my budget at present would cope with the hit of a new Xbox and a new 3D TV.
The other thing to note, by the way, was another runour suggested that the new Xbox may not play older games. Remember they did this between the first Xbox and the 360. Some older games played but not them all. It will be interesting to see what happens here. As people like you and me and many other have a back library of favourite games and I would not want to have to rebuy them to play on the new hardware. Might benefit the games manufaturers I suppose but not the gamer.
Just watched another Xbox 720 rumour review last night and found that the reviewer mentioned that his oppinion was that Microsoft are not including a Blu-ray drive in their new incarnation.
The rumour mill continues…… come on May the 21st then we will all know.
Well it is the Xbox One. That’s a name we did not mention, cloud development is now included. The bluray drive is there. More voice recognition and a better kinnect. Still watching it live now. Are you getting all this.