We’ve got a new batch of rumors related to the next-gen Xbox from DaE, who you may remember as the person who leaked photos that supposedly showed off the next-gen Xbox developer dashboard. DaE seems to have confirmed that the recently-leaked specs from Edge are genuine – he only specifies things related to the computer parts, but we imagine that if the bulk of that stuff is true, the other stuff like always online and blocking of used games is true as well.
He also says that every next-gen Xbox system will ship with a redesigned Kinect, a move designed to ensure that the device is in all consumers’ hands so that developers won’t be so afraid to make use of it.
Read on for some other information related to the new Kinect and to the next Xbox’s game-related pizzazz.
The new Kinect won’t be an optional add-on like it was for the last Xbox – it’ll be a required part of the experience, and the system won’t be able to function without it. This will help further ensure 1) that developers make use of the device, and 2) that gamers make use of it. The new Kinect will also be able to track up to six people at once, as well as identify each of them – an ability that Microsoft could use to control access to user account information or even software and content.
The cameras themselves have been improved in a number of other ways: they can now also track minute hand movements, such as a shifting thumb or an open or closed fist, as well as reading facial expressions to tell whether you’re happy, sad, mad, or just in a state of deep concentration. Kinect will also feature a much wider viewing angle, so the device won’t need to nod up and down to find the ideal position.
Game Installs Are Also Required
A number of Xbox 360 games required mandatory installs, and it looks like that’s about to become a standard with the next Xbox, which won’t even be able to run games straight from the disc. To avoid any problems with this new model, the next Xbox won’t ship with multiple hard drive configurations – instead, there’ll be a universal 500GB hard drive included with each.
To avoid the problem of players having to wait for a full game to install before playing it, the next Xbox will supposedly allow games to install even while they’re running by dividing up game installs into chunks. You’ll be able to run the game while certain parts of the game are loaded to your hard drive. The mandatory installs may be Microsoft’s way of blocking second-hand game sales – couple the install process with an “always-online” requirement, and you’ve got the ability to ensure that games can only be installed on one system.
The Next Xbox Can Multi-task
This probably comes as no surprise to anyone who’s been following computers or mobile devices lately, but the next Xbox will reportedly embrace that most popular of features: the ability to multi-task. No longer will you have to close out one application to use another: you can run Twitter while playing a game, check YouTube in the middle of your play to get a hint as to what to do to progress, or even suspend one game and start another so you can pick up right from where you left off later.
A New Controller
While the next Xbox will use a controller with relative parity to the old Xbox 360 controller, the new machine will make use of a new wireless system that will render the old ones incompatible.
And that’s it. No official final names (we wouldn’t find this out until the official reveal anyway), no images, no truly new specs – just a bunch of features. What do you think? Would you buy this machine?