Microsoft's next Xbox is getting unwrapped, slowly but surely. Along with a faster processor, more RAM and Blu-ray support, the console will reportedly come with a feature to combat used games, which is already upsetting virtually every gamer.
Now, Kotaku has a new scoop from a source known as "SuperDAE," who claims he has two development kits for the next Xbox. According to SuperDAE, the specs and plans from his dev kits are pretty recent and will likely be what ends up in the final console, which is slated for launch later this year.
Improved Kinect And Controller Options
As previously reported, a new and improved Kinect with a higher color resolution sensor and the ability to track six people simultaneously (instead of two) will supposedly come included with every new Xbox. The main difference is that Kinect won't be optional anymore; it'll be mandatory, and "must be plugged in and calibrated for the console to even function," reports Kotaku.
As far as a new controller goes, Kotaku's report says it'll be a "natural evolution of the Xbox 360's pad" and will use a new wireless technology, but overall, it will have a "near-identical layout." (Sony is said to be integrating a touchpad of some sort into its next PlayStation controller.) The report also claims Microsoft is planning to beef up its Xbox SmartGlass app for new touchscreen interaction.
Required Game Installs And Multitasking
With the Xbox 360, Microsoft went with a two-pronged approach for storage, making a hard drive optional. That won't be the case here, reports Kotaku.
Every next-gen Xbox will come with a 500GB hard drive and "game installations will also be mandatory, as games can't directly access data from the disc." (Perhaps this is somehow related to the rumored anti-used game feature?) On the bright side, installing games to the hard drive will also work as a background process, which should mean there will be no wait time for playing games immediately.
But the most intriguing nugget from Kotaku's report is that the next Xbox "will be able to run more than one game or app at once." Games can reportedly be suspended, like they can on mobile devices, and gamers can jump between games and apps without having to close them or risk losing any progress data without saving. Now that's something I think every gamer will dig.
Rumor And Speculation Until Confirmed
While most of the specs and details delivered by SuperDAE to Kotaku align with previous rumors (eight-core x64 1.6GHz processor, 800MHz DirectX 11.x GPU, 8GB of RAM, 3D support, 50GB Blu-ray discs, built-in Wi-Fi, etc.), it's possible Microsoft may scrap some of the features and "mandatory" requirements. Changes and tweaks can still happen. Until the company officially announces the next Xbox (supposedly at E3 this June), keep your BS glasses on.