Mandatory Kinect & Game Installs For Every Console, Allegedly
Time to put on your speculation hats on folks, because new word has emerged on the next Xbox. Kotaku has posted information online from a “reliable source” that allegedly gives us the lowdown on what to expect from the next console from Microsoft, currently codenamed Durango. Normally we would heap a heavy amount of scepticism on this one, but considering the informant has been revealed to be “SuperDaE”, the same person who tried to sell a Durango development unit on eBay last year, it's possible that this time there could be some weight to it.
So what does the report suggest will be included in the next iteration of the Xbox? A mandatory, always-on Kinect sensor with every console, for starters. The improved camera will be able to identify up to six individual “skeletons” at once, and will have advanced tracking capabilities, such as being able to track a user’s hands more effectively, and recognise facial expressions to know when someone is happy or sad.
Unlike with the 360’s release, all of these new Xboxs will allegedly come with a hard drive and will force all games to be installed, but interestingly the report suggests that such installations will happen in the background as a game is being played, allowing gamers to dive straight into their new purchases. There was no word as to whether these forced installations would be a part of the anti-second-hand initiative that was rumoured recently, but the new report does suggest that game data will not be read directly from the disc, leaving the question of a game disc’s worth once the data is installed.
Multi-tasking between apps and games will be a strong focus as well, the report suggests, with the ability to put games into “suspend” and “constrained” states whilst accessing other content (similar to how tablets such as the iPad deal with multi-tasking.) The report even suggests that two games could be played at once, with the user going back and forth between the two. Meanwhile, there is word that the Companion App currently available for tablets and smartphones will receive an upgrade, allowing for more interaction in a similar vein to the WiiU Gamepad.
Speaking of controllers, the Xbox controller will apparently be a “natural evolution” from the one currently being used for the 360. That said, if the report turns out to be accurate, you can forget about using your existing controllers, as Microsoft intends to use “new wireless technology” for the input devices for the Durango unit.
And finally, we move onto the alleged specs. An “8-core, 64-bit CPU running at 1.6ghz” will be included, with a DirectX 11.x GPU included to provide graphical power. Along with 8GB of DD3 RAM, and some flash memory included for system tasks, the Durango unit also reportedly includes a 50GB optical disc drive and a 500GB hard drive. 3DTV support will be added (if the games support it) and wi-fi will be installed as standard this time around (with an Ethernet port as well.) You can check out the report for yourself, which includes scans of allegedly official documents, at the link here.
So there you have it – more reports on what might be inside the next barrage of heavyweight consoles will are heavily tipped to be unveiled this year. With Sony’s Playstation Meeting just over a week away we could be seeing even more of these reports emerge sooner rather than later, but for now you can always have a listen to the latest edition of the PWNCAST, where we discuss our outlandish theories on what could happen with the next-gen consoles.