The Next Xbox: Rumors and Speculation [Photo]
The next Xbox console at this point is nothing but a big mystery. With Sony having already unveiled several details about its next system, the PlayStation 4, all eyes and ears are waiting for Microsoft to do the same. However everything that’s been heard or published so far about the console has yet to be confirmed by Microsoft other than the fact that there will be another one. So I’ll detail all the most relevant and feasible speculation floating around the internet right now. Sources of information include sites like IGN, Kotaku, The Verge, and other gaming blogs and industry analysts.
The console’s official title is unknown at this point, it’s being cleverly referred to as the “Xbox 720” or “Next Box” on the web but it does appear to be officially code named “Durango” by Microsoft internal documents.
There have been no leaked images of any kind, but sources have stated that the next controller will be a logical evolution of the current 360 controller. There have been other reports of the new controller housing a screen of some kind in the middle area similarly to the Wii U Gamepad, but I personally don’t see that happening.
There was a big uproar over information leaking that the new system will need to have an “always online” connection in order to function. A Microsoft executive Adam Orth actually fired back via Twitter telling complaining fans to “deal with it” along with other back and forth argumentative tweets before setting his account to private. Orth later resigned from his position at Microsoft, it’s speculated he may have been forced out because of the bad PR he caused.
It’s also rumored that the console will hook into your cable box and add an interface to your programming similar to something like Google TV. For a feature like this an always online console makes more sense as that part of it may not directly relate to games.
Sources are saying that because of a change in system architecture, Xbox 360 games will not work on the new system, as Sony has already said their console will not play PS3 games (unless they establish their game streaming service). This would be a big mistake on Microsoft’s part as it would help to get a leg up on their competition. Admittedly statistics show that a very tiny percentage of customers actually ever use new systems for older games over time, so it’s not an impossibility for them to leave backwards compatibility out, especially if Sony has.
Microsoft’s new console is rumored to also be using an x86 architecture which more closely resembles PC designs just like Sony’s PS4. It is also said to include 8 gigs of Ram to make developers happy, also the same numbers as Sony’s machine. Speculation states that it will use a Blue-Ray drive and there will be a new version of the Kinect, a motion tracking camera, that will be built right into or sold along with the console. Sources have also claimed units will ship with a 500GB hard drive.
Recent comments from analysts suggest that the new console will retail for around $500, and a contracted version could go for $100 to $300. The subsidized game console is a brand new model in video games but could be something that fits right in. Most people think nothing of signing a contract for a cell phone to get it for $200 or $300 less and pay monthly bills for services. Getting a console for $300 and paying for an Xbox Live subscription at a rate of $10 to $15 a month could be very appealing for some.
Early speculation pointed to Microsoft holding some sort of event this month in April, which would likely be when they’d announce the new system. Now sources are saying an exact date of May 21st for the unveil. The actual system launch will likely be this year around the holiday season (mid October to mid November).
All of the information above is at this point complete rumor, as Microsoft has neither confirmed or denied anything asked of them. Some of the information has come from fairly reliable sources who have broken leaked information that turned out to be true in the past, so you can expect at least a lot of it to actually be grounded in some fact if not completely accurate. Either way the ball is in Microsoft’s court, as the arguable winner of this current generation it’s their game to lose.