Rumor: Next Xbox within 18 months, Kinect 2 might come bundled

Now that all the talk about the Ouya has dampened (or has it?), we can turn our attention back to the next Xbox. Piecing what scraps of info have slipped onto the Internet, the next Xbox could be in your home in 18 months with a Kinect 2 bundled with every unit.

Thus far, Microsoft's next Xbox has remained an elusive console. For all Microsoft cares, it doesn't really need a new game console yet. The Xbox 360 continues to top the charts, the company continues to push major updates that refresh the system's dashboard and Kinect is broadening the seven year old machine's appeal. Everything is swell in Xbox land.

But ask any hardcore gamer and the feeling is unanimous: when's the next Xbox coming out?

Rumors peg the console (codenamed "Durango") for a holiday 2013 release. PC World discovered a Microsoft job listing (since deleted) posted on the company's Careers Website that suggests the next Xbox could be out in the next 18 months:

"Over the next eighteen months Microsoft will release new versions of all of our most significant products including Windows (Client, Server, Phone and Azure), Office and Xbox."

To add more fuel to the rumor flames, Twitter user SuperDaE posted a photo of an alleged screenshot of the Kinect 2's advanced 3D tracking. In it, you can see that the sensor resolution has been increased in order to track clothing outlines and individual fingers with greater accuracy. It's believed that SuperDaE has a development kit for the next Xbox.

kinect2-screen-shot-leak.jpg

Eurogamer has also weighed in and claims that SuperDaE's Kinect 2 screenshot is genuine. The game site says that Microsoft will bundle the sensor in with the next Xbox console.

Here at DVICE, we kicked around the rumors and we think it's a smart decision if Microsoft does include Kinect 2 in with every next-gen Xbox. Arguably, the single biggest thing going against the Kinect aside from the fact that its tracking can be wonky and its games are mostly casual is that you have to buy it separately. Core game developers won't bother adding Kinect features because not everyone can use them. If Kinect 2 was somehow bundled in by default, it'd standardize the sensor and give devs a greater incentive to program for it.

Either way, 18 months is still a ways off. Whether the rumored Blu-ray drive, DVR, 3D gaming and other purported specs will pan out is still a mystery. Who knows, maybe the Ouya will be such a runaway hit that it'll reset the console gaming business like the iPhone did to the smartphone and portable gaming markets.

PC World, via Pocket-lint

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