Not the system, in case you couldn’t tell
As we head into the final hours before Microsoft Microsoft premieres their next generation Xbox, I thought it would be interesting to first take a look back at everything we think we know about the system. Microsoft has taken “tight-lipped” to a whole new level in regards to the next Xbox, but as this is the age of the internet, rumors have spread like wildfire over the past months and years.
WATCH LIVE: Microsoft Xbox Event
Now, we get to see what was fan fiction and what actually made it into the final product. I’ll be liveblogging the event itself in a few hours when it starts at 10 AM PDT, but feel free to check back with this list to see what’s true and what isn’t. I’ll try to update it with new information as its released.
Where to start?
From trusted Microsoft leak blogger, MS Nerd:
“It will use a Zune HD-like hardware platform—a ‘main’ processor with multiple dedicated assistive cores for graphics, AI, physics, sound, networking, encryption and sensors. It will be custom designed by Microsoft and two partners based on the ARM architecture.”
From Eurogamer’s analysis:
“The new Microsoft console will feature an X64 processor running at 1.6 Ghz across 8 cores. The GPU is a D3D 11.x+ running at 800 Mhz. The GPU has been rumored to be similar in performance as the AMD HD 6670. There will also be 8 GB of DDR3 RAM.
The ports on the console are rumored as having an HDMI output, HDMI input, an S/PDIF output, a gigabit Ethernet port, built-in 802.11 a/b/n/g Wifi, Kinect input, USB 3.0 input, Sata 2.0 HDD (no size specified) and a Blu-Ray disc drive.”
From Xbox World Magazine, promising Wii U imitation:
“An HD screen surrounded by the traditional 360 buttons and sticks.” The magazine goes on to state that the controller “could be a remote control when you’re watching TV, a browser when you’re on the internet, extra buttons and information when you’re playing a game or a portable display when you want to take your game with you.”
From Kotaku, offering a more traditional theory:
The Durango’s control pad will be a “natural evolution” of the Xbox 360′s pad, according to SuperDaE’s info. While this suggests a near-identical layout—not necessarily a problem considering the cross-platform popularity of the layout with the PC—Xbox 360 controllers won’t work with the Durango, as they use what Microsoft is calling a “new wireless technology.”
Paul Thurrott believes the system will be a part of today’s presentation.
A refresher on what Illumiroom is:
“IllumiRoom” uses Kinect and a projector to paint a picture of a video game landscape that extends far beyond the constraints of a household TV.
The developers say it can “change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences.” Some still images and a video below show the effect, which resembles something that’s a cross between color changing backlit TVs, and a movie projector extending beyond the bounds of its intended screen.”
Via a NeoGAF leak:
“The reported new features are as follows:
A mode for sitting or standing - Able to track players with a height of only one meter - Better detection of a players hand state - Tracking of six people up from just two - An improved field of view for a much larger play space – Higher resolution and quality RGB stream - Depth stream is much higher resolution which in turn enables resolve of much smaller objects, separate objects much better and able to capture depth curvature around edges much better – Active infrared enables tracking in low or no light – Latency has been improved by 33ms – USB 3.0 – Frame rate up from 15fps to 30fps - Resolution Resolution up from 640×480 to 1920×1080 – It is reported that the device will go on sale for around $99 ”
From The Verge:
Microsoft’s next-generation Kinect sensor will also play a role in the company’s TV focus. The Verge has learned that the next Kinect will detect multiple people simultaneously, including the ability to detect eye movement to pause content when a viewer turns their head away from a TV. Microsoft is said to be using these capabilities as part of its UI and features for its TV plans.
Also from The Verge, who says TV will be a big part of the next Xbox’s strategy:
“Multiple sources familiar with the company’s Xbox plans have revealed to The Verge that Microsoft will introduce a feature that lets its next-generation console take over a TV and set-top box in a similar way to Google Google TV. We understand that the next Xbox will require an online connection to use the entertainment services, allowing them to be always-on for streaming and access to TV signals.
The functionality will work by taking a cable box signal and passing it through to the Xbox via HDMI, allowing Microsoft’s console to overlay a UI and features on top of an existing TV channel or set-top box. We’re told that this is a key part of the next-generation Xbox and that it will go a step further than Google’s TV implementation thanks to Microsoft’s partnerships with content providers. Extended support for various cable services will be rolled out gradually, but the basic functionality will be available at launch.”
The famous Microsoft Creative Director Adam Orth “confirmation.”
“Sorry, I don’t get the drama around having an “always on” console. Every device now is “always on.” That’s the world we live in #dealwithit”
Later, Ars Technica says this isn’t the case:
“Durango [the codename for the next Xbox] is designed to deliver the future of entertainment while engineered to be tolerant of today’s Internet.” It continues, “There are a number of scenarios that our users expect to work without an Internet connection, and those should ‘just work’ regardless of their current connection status. Those include, but are not limited to: playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game.”
Polygon claims it will be up to the publishers:
Sources tell Polygon that the next Xbox will indeed have some form of an always-on requirement. That will be both to support the suite of non-gaming entertainment applications that will be launched alongside the console, like streaming video services, but also as a possible anti-piracy tool. Currently, the console will support digital rights management and anti-piracy checks using an internet connection. Under Microsoft’s current guidelines, which may still be changed, the decision of whether a game will require an internet connection to work and if that is a one-time authentication or a constant connection, will be left up to individual publishers.
VGleaks and The Verge believe that all games must be installed to the hard disk, which may indicate the system won’t play used titles.
From my own piece:
“The information gleaned from both sources indicates that the Durango has not only a massive hard drive capable of holding a host of installed games, but that it’s actually going to be mandatory that games are installed to the drive and can only be played without discs. There are also references to an “always on, always connected” phrase that keeps cropping up as a descriptor of the console itself.”
Paul Thurrott claims that the console will cost either $300 or $500, but the $300 version must come with a $15 a month XBL subscription.
Common sense and various rumors indicate a Holiday 2013 luaunch.
Take your pick. Xbox 720, Xbox Infinity, Xbox Fusion, or just plain old Xbox.
Alright, now it’s time to see which of these are true, and which were just crafted to generate controversy and page views. The fun begins at 10 AM PDT.
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