Login | Signup

REPORT: Durango Will Require Always-On Internet and Kinect, Forced HDD Installs

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Durango, Games consoles, Microsoft, Next-gen, Nextbox, Xbox, Xbox 720

REPORT: Durango Will Require Always-On Internet and Kinect, Forced HDD Installs

"Play from the optical disc will not be supported."

Ready your pinched salt. Put on your scepticals. Prepare rain for the coming parade just in case. It's rumour mill time, and it's all about the next Xbox.

According to a fresh report that provides a look at some of the documentation for Durango's XDK, the new console for Microsoft will have always-on internet, an upgraded Kinect to watch your every move, and will force players to install each and every game they buy to the hard drive. However, a system is allegedly being designed to allow players to play the game as it is installing, minimising time spent looking at a progress bar.

If that all sounds rather familiar, it's because these rumours have surfaced before in varying guises and at different times. It's worth noting that this could well refer back to early documentation that might now out of date if true.

Here's a transcription of the full document, via VGLeaks:

Durango Hardware Overview

[This documentation is preliminary and is subject to change]

The Durango console is designed to offer developers modern hardware that is more powerful than the Xbox 360. It uses a familiar x64 Architecture and tools, and compared with Xbox 360 development, will reduce development time and effort spent on performance optimization. Hardware accelerators, including “move engines” for common tasks, will be added to the console. Move engines can perform common game tasks like compression and decompression while moving data around the system. The console also has dedicated hardware support for common audio processing tasks that reduce the amount of CPU time that must be devoted to audio. The GPU provides considerable computing power, and supports Direct3D 11.

Durango will implement different power states so that it can always be powered on, but will draw minimal electricity when not in use. The console will be ready instantly when users want to play, and will always maintain a network connection so that console software and games are always current. With this “Always On, Always Connected” design, users will quickly and easily enjoy their connected entertainment experiences, with no waiting for the console to restart or install updates.

Every Durango console will be sold with a new high-fidelity Kinect Sensor, which will be required for the system to operate. The console will provide HD video, and will use new depth sensor technology to provide better screen resolution and less noisy depth data. Active infrared illumination will provide high-quality monochrome images even in low ambient light conditions. A wider field of view allows play in smaller spaces, and removes the need for a tilt motor.

System software will offer a full set of system API for Natural User Interface (NUI), and the API set will be an improvement to the corresponding API used by Xbox 360. Skeleton tracking, identity and other NUI functions will be performed by the system, and for that reason, titles no longer need to allocate title resources to NUI.

The Durango controller will make the best-in-class Xbox 360 controller even better. it will have low-latency wireless connectivity to the console, and improved ergonomics. System interaction that use the controller will be simplified to make them easier for noncore gamers.

Every Durango console will have a hard drive, although its exact capacity has not been chosen. It will be large enough, however, to hold a large number of games. All games will be installed on the hard drive. Play from the optical disc will not be supported.

Durango consoles will have a Blu-ray Disc drive. Disc media will be used for distribution, but during gameplay, games will not use content from the optical disc. An installation system is being designed that will allow gamers to begin playing while the game is being installed on the hard drive rather than waiting until installation is complete.

Audio output from Durango will be all digital – 7.1 discrete PCM output through HDMI and [obscured]. Hardware accelerators will be included for decoding and decompressing common audio formats. There also will be a dedicated sound processor to perform common signal processing in hardware.

 

Add a comment21 comments
jfox  Mar. 21, 2013 at 16:48

I don't have any meaningful insights but the word that you list as [obscured] is S/PDIF ;)

DrTrouserPlank  Mar. 21, 2013 at 18:04

Rather than this "always online" being an alternative word for DRM I actually think that this

"The console will be ready instantly when users want to play, and will always maintain a network connection so that console software and games are always current. With this “Always On, Always Connected” design, users will quickly and easily enjoy their connected entertainment experiences, with no waiting for the console to restart or install updates."

Is talking more about the machine being able to perform silent background downloads to keep it's firmware and games patched and up to date.

I don't see it being mentioned in any other form in that document.

Breadster  Mar. 21, 2013 at 18:36

Surely they won't be using blu-ray. Doesn't the Wii U have its own high capacity disc format? Surely Microsoft will do the same.

Anarchist  Mar. 21, 2013 at 18:59

Rather than this "always online" being an alternative word for DRM I actually think that this

"The console will be ready instantly when users want to play, and will always maintain a network connection so that console software and games are always current. With this “Always On, Always Connected” design, users will quickly and easily enjoy their connected entertainment experiences, with no waiting for the console to restart or install updates."

Is talking more about the machine being able to perform silent background downloads to keep it's firmware and games patched and up to date.

I don't see it being mentioned in any other form in that document.


That is exactly how I read it, too. Which I can only see as a good thing. As for not being able to play from optical discs... if this means that developers are forced to optimise for faster HDD installs, as long as the HDD included is generous, it can also only be a good thing as ultimately games will be much faster loading.

Anarchist  Mar. 21, 2013 at 19:03

Surely they won't be using blu-ray. Doesn't the Wii U have its own high capacity disc format? Surely Microsoft will do the same.


Yes, surely. As that's exactly what they did with the Xbox, and the xbox360 - developed their own proprietary system?

Moron.

Sony do not own blu ray. It is a format that after paying licensing costs, absolutely anybody is allowed to integrate into their systems, like DVD, CD, VHS, floppy disk, or almost any other media format.

Last edited by Anarchist, Mar. 21, 2013 at 19:04
NostromoXP  Mar. 21, 2013 at 19:08

Surely they won't be using blu-ray. Doesn't the Wii U have its own high capacity disc format? Surely Microsoft will do the same.


I hope they use their own format as I have a £10 bet with a mate that the next xbox will not have blu-ray.

hurrakan  Mar. 21, 2013 at 23:01

Definitely do not want.

Can't play games without an Internet connection?

Games (and apps) constantly using bandwidth to keep you updated with advertising spam?

No thanks!

Anarchist  Mar. 22, 2013 at 00:10

Hurrakan.

Where does it say that you can't play games without an Internet connection? It doesn't. Learn to read.

It says that it will always have an Internet connection, even when 'powered off'. Advantages of this? Background downloading of games/demos/videos/whatever while you're asleep without having to leave the console on - saving your broadband being clogged up through the day.

But no matter whats said, thats still not going to affect the thought process of a devout Sony fanboy, is it?

Stop being so quick to jump to ill informed, misguided conclusions. Wait for the official announcements. Wait for the official information. Otherwise, you'll just end up looking like a grade A prat.

Tsung  Mar. 22, 2013 at 09:48

Oh dear; Seriously Anarchist you've just taken the extreme opposite view and come over like an Xbox Fanboy.

Regardless of console I don't like the sounds of a console that has an internet connect even when "turned off". There are still plenty of places in the UK where you cannot get decent internet (I'm taking less than 1mb on a good day). Always connected console will mean games will be released in an unfinished state and "patched" later.

In fact I wouldn't be surprised if the game disc will only have assets on it (graphics/music/etc) and the game code will download from a server. You would be renting the game but never buying it. When the publisher decides you need to upgrade/move on they will just remove the download and remove it from your console. They will justify this using fluffy marketing speak about how only 1% of people play the game now and people have moved on to the current version of the game.

Second hand sales, forget it. Sure at launch they will say "of course you can resell your game" but once established expect that benefit to be knocked on the head (just like PC games).

Anarchist  Mar. 22, 2013 at 10:06

Wow, have you honestly just jumped to all those conclusions?

Amazing.

You honestly think the only reasons a console will have an always on Internet connection is so they can sell you half made games, steal your games off you whenever they want, and deny the use of second hand games?

Tin hat? Oh what a short memory you lot have, when how long ago was it that Sony patents were found for technology to stop the use of second hand games?

Get a grip. All I said to the previous posters, and all ill say to you, is stop being a moron. Stop jumping to idiotic conclusions based on unconfirmed, unreliable rumour. Wait for official info to come out.

And for your info, I own a ps3, and have already decided to buy a ps4 too, fanboy I am not. Just somebody who isn't a judgemental idiot, who makes decisions based on fact.

Last edited by Anarchist, Mar. 22, 2013 at 10:09
Tsung  Mar. 22, 2013 at 11:36

Speculation is not fact nor a conclusion. It's an educated guess based on past performance. Your taking our posts as facts when you admit yourself they aren't all out there. I too would love to believe the publishers/console manufactures and their promises, but history taught me different.

It's not difficult to see really looking at the history of gaming how I can come to the conclusion. It wasn't that long ago you could buy a game and keep playing it for as long as you like. Fire up any multiplayer game of quake for example. Now look at any modern game, especially ones from EA. Here is a list of games you cannot play online anymore becuase EA has closed the servers.

http://www.ea.com/1/service-updates

How far of a leap is it from their to not being able to play the game at all? Not far... However, I hope I'm wrong otherwise what will museums put in their collections in 50 years time? just screenshots?

MattGardner  Mar. 22, 2013 at 11:52

The coming generation has the unfortunate timing of arriving in a period of technological transition. We can all see where the future is at, we're just not all there yet. Not by a long shot. Always-connected has its advantages, but most ISPs are still woefully inconsistent. For every message of glowing praise, there's another with a horror story.

If you use XBLA, then the X360 is already something of an always-connected device. But it's more or less optional across the current generation. No one is disputing the advantages of standby downloads, but it's the move away from plug-in-and-play functionality that grates.

The days of popping a game in a drive and playing are fading fast. The days of individual ownership over a product bought are also dwindling. The dictation of how and where and when we play our games is fast becoming an industry norm.

These are things to lament.

Anarchist  Mar. 22, 2013 at 12:08

Are you serious?

Your example is complete lunacy. Quakeworld/TF was my favourite game of all time so its a bad example for you to choose. It was an open PC game, where anybody could host their own server, and cheats/cracks were rife (including the speed bugs that I don't think we're ever fixed. And Quake was pretty much the only real online FPS worth playing at the time, not like today's situation where we have dozens to choose from.

Modern games, especially on console, cannot win. If they have user hosted servers (aka COD), people bitch because of host advantage/lag, however these games multiplayer will never cease. But if they use dedicated servers, people bitch when they are taken down because nobody uses them. Publishers cannot afford to run dedicated servers for every game ever made, for all time. They cannot allow anybody to host their own dedicated servers on their PCs as per the old days either, as people do ridiculous things, and install cracks/whatever. BF3 was an interesting experiment with its method of buying dedicated servers, but I feel this is a massive cop out, too.

Those games cannot be played online because the games publishers had to close the servers as they were not being used enough to justify them being kept open either through the game being old, or being surpassed by future iterations. It has NOTHING to do with the console developers at all and you bringing it up displays how little you know about any of this.

Where do Microsoft or sony have past history of just deleting games you have purchased and never let you play them again?

They haven't. Infact, where specifically do they have past history of doing any of the things you've mentioned?

And speculating? You word your comments as fact, including words such as "they will". If you intend your posts as speculation, then word them as such. Instead of being an ****.

Anarchist  Mar. 22, 2013 at 12:15

The coming generation has the unfortunate timing of arriving in a period of technological transition. We can all see where the future is at, we're just not all there yet. Not by a long shot. Always-connected has its advantages, but most ISPs are still woefully inconsistent. For every message of glowing praise, there's another with a horror story.

If you use XBLA, then the X360 is already something of an always-connected device. But it's more or less optional across the current generation. No one is disputing the advantages of standby downloads, but it's the move away from plug-in-and-play functionality that grates.

The days of popping a game in a drive and playing are fading fast. The days of individual ownership over a product bought are also dwindling. The dictation of how and where and when we play our games is fast becoming an industry norm.

These are things to lament.


This is all very true,

Just to throw Tsung a bone (as he's not doing very well on his own), he should bring up MS office 2013/365.

MS are pushing the 365 monthly rental for office big time, and are making it almost completely unviable for people to own the office product outright as a one time purchase via its office 2013 offering. The pricing is set to force people onto 365, the installation process is designed to push people onto 365, and MS are taking a very hard stance on it.

Whether or not its a good thing or bad thing is open to discussion, but the fact they are forcing this transition onto people the hard way, and making the decision purposefully difficult, is making things very awkward.

Unfortunately for them, they don't have the monopoly on consoles as they do with office, and so IF they tried the same thing on Durango it would mean their death. I expect they are well aware of this.

Transition is upon us, like it or lump it, it's coming.

Last edited by Anarchist, Mar. 22, 2013 at 12:29
Tsung  Mar. 22, 2013 at 17:11

Wow you've really got it in for me; sorry I offended you with my words.

Anarchist  Mar. 22, 2013 at 18:06

Well done on admitting you were wrong.

Zeipher  Mar. 22, 2013 at 18:40

@Anarchist - You may be right, but that is no excuse to call people morons, idiots or anything else. Please stop being so rude.

Ilium  Mar. 22, 2013 at 18:53

@Anarchist - You may be right, but that is no excuse to call people morons, idiots or anything else. Please stop being so rude.


+1

Breadster  Mar. 22, 2013 at 19:37

Surely they won't be using blu-ray. Doesn't the Wii U have its own high capacity disc format? Surely Microsoft will do the same.


Yes, surely. As that's exactly what they did with the Xbox, and the xbox360 - developed their own proprietary system?

Moron.

Sony do not own blu ray. It is a format that after paying licensing costs, absolutely anybody is allowed to integrate into their systems, like DVD, CD, VHS, floppy disk, or almost any other media format.


"After paying licensing costs" being the key line there. They would have to pay Sony a small amount for all the Blu-Ray tech. Yes it would be a miniscule amount,but you know how petty companies like these can be. And Nintendo do have their own format so I don't see why that's so hard to believe, certainly no reason to call me a moron.

Anarchist  Mar. 22, 2013 at 20:15

And yes, I am aware Sony are a member of the BDA, but that literally means nothing. MS have blu ray compatibility built into windows, there is literally nothing stopping them integrating a blu ray player into Durango.

Last edited by Anarchist, Mar. 22, 2013 at 20:16
Breadster  Mar. 24, 2013 at 13:42

So at first I'm a moron because Sony categorically wouldn't recieve any money from Microsoft for using Blu-ray, but wait, suddenly Anarchist realises they will so now that just "doesn't matter" because Windows supports Blu-ray even though Windows 8 doesn't, and as far as I can tell 7 doesn't either, or at least didn't at first because they didn't want to pay the license fees. And that's in a market where Microsoft don't even compete with Sony.

Companies quite frequently compete in one market while co-operating in others so whether Windows supports Blu-ray or not is irrelevant anyway.

Also I was just using Nintendo as an example of a console developer that uses their own high capacity disc format.

Again, I'm not saying Microsoft definitely won't use Blu-ray. Just that I would expect them not to want to use it because of the connection to Sony. I don't know how much it would cost them to develop their own format though so I guess they'll just go with whichever is cheapest.

In any case I see no point in arguing with you further. It's pretty obvious from your total lack of respect for other members on here and the way you argue against a point, then realise you were wrong so just claim it doesn't matter anyway, that you're not willing to engage in any sort of genuine discussion.

Last edited by Breadster, Mar. 24, 2013 at 13:48

Email Address:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.