From DLC games to Siri-like voice recognition the next Xbox console had it all. One thing is for sure – Xbox 360 console is now starting to show its age as newer games are released. The rumours that surround the next Xbox console(codenamed Durango) are numerous right now, but I’d like to focus just on some of them.
Reports from multiple sources suggest that the new Xbox will have an AMD eight-core 1.6GHz CPU, combined with a D3D11.x 800MHz GPU and 8GB of RAM. It’s hard to understand what these specs mean for graphics and performance without having more details about the console’s architecture. It appears that Microsoft plans to build the next Xbox on a PC-type architecture.
The same sources have also confirmed that next-gen Xbox games will all be manufactured on blue-ray disks, as happens currently with the PlayStation 3. This move would be an interesting decision by Microsoft, as it’s always been a firm supporter of the more conventional HD DVD formats. Being the technology giant that it is, Microsoft has many affiliations and unrelated policies which could very well affect how their new console is put together. Xbox is no longer just a single-market gaming console. With Kinect, Xbox entered entirely new casual markets – widening the consoles audience base considerably, with games such as Kinectimals and Kinect Sports dancing their way onto motion-tracking device. The initial Kinect offering wasn’t hugely successful, but it seems that Microsoft is still confident with its Kinect brand and will most likely be including an improved version with packages of its newer generation consoles.
It’s been quite apparent that Microsoft has its future geared towards mobility and online usability, and it will certainly be gearing its new Xbox to fit in with their online vision. The real magic of the Xbox (for the majority of users) has always been online play and communication. They clearly want to emphasise the online aspects of the console – some sources have gone as far to say that Microsoft will introduce an online-only policy. Both good and bad points considered, such a drastic move by Microsoft would certainly cause a commotion amongst the current offline fans. Such a restrictive policy wouldn’t be as much of a barrier as most people think, since less than a third current Xbox users are offline. The number of offline Xbox users (and offline people in general) has been steadily decreasing and the trend is set to continue. It’s also be argued that an online-only policy would be introduced primarily to stop the use of used games; forcing people to spend money on newer titles, putting more money in Microsoft’s pockets.
I played a lot with both Xbox and PlayStation consoles and frankly I don’t even know if I have a favourite console. I’m expecting from both Microsoft and Sony to come up with something revolutionary, that will change the gaming and entertainment environment. From Xbox 720 or the next Xbox console I want a unique experience not just a game and I want these companies to take us to the next level. The only thing that got my attention over the last months was a video Microsoft posted during CES 2013. This is somehow the next big thing in gaming – an Immersive Gaming environment that would make you think you are in the middle of the gaming experience.