Surely Microsoft is hard at work getting the next generation of Xbox’s close to production. Sega has supposedly decided to take another swing at the console market, Sony is gearing up for the PS4, and Nintendo has found their niche. The question is, what will the next Xbox, currently referred to as Xbox 720, bring to the table.
I have seen lots of rumors about solid state drives, but I honestly think that Microsoft will go with a larger 1TB drive in favor of storage capacity and a lower price point, rather than go all out with speed. Microsoft already has some of the largest data centers in the world, and an extremely impressive Xbox live network infrastructure. Larger drives would make digital distribution a viable option, allowing for more convenience and an increased number of impulse purchases.
We can also look at Microsoft’s current improvements with Xbox 360 to get some direction. We will surely see streaming TV and movies as an even bigger part of the Xbox dashboard. Microsoft tends to favor the second mover advantage strategy, letting companies like Netflix and Hulu take the risks and then add in their services to its own intellectual property. I’m sure they also feel the need to compete against Google TV and apple TV before they gain too much market share. But whether these services can actually gain more traction than their current competition is another post in itself.
Speaking of competition, Microsoft will probably have to bite the bullet and finally add blu-ray support for the Xbox 720 release. I’m sure most of the executives are still very bitter about the HD-DVD war, but there is no way they will abandon support for physical media if there is any chance in-store sales will remain competitive against digital distribution.
Microsoft Kinect – New Version for the Xbox 720 Release?
Regardless of Kinect’s success or failure, I’m sure we will see Kinect play an integral part in the Xbox 720′s design. Microsoft already has too much money invested to even think about pulling out. I doubt we will see a new version of Kinect at launch, but I wouldn’t rule out a second version of the camera a year or so after. I also hope Microsoft will ditch the dated AA battery scheme they have used for their current controllers. Charging directly from the console is the way to go. I personally think they will pick up bluetooth for their headsets, which could then be used along with Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 OS and accompanying hardware.
3D Gaming – No Room for Glasses on the Xbox 720?
The Xbox 720 will surely support 3D on release, and it’s likely that all next generation consoles will support the new sans glasses 3D technology inching its way to the market. Will Microsoft get into the 3D TV market to supplement their new console? Doubtful, but such 3D support will surely increase competitor profits for those already in the TV market, such as console rival Sony.
We are still a few years from the next generation of consoles, but with Sega’s new console looming it should be an interesting round. Microsoft has learned a lot this generation about what works and what doesn’t, so everyone should be excited about the Xbox 720 release and the Xbox live experience it will include. The two biggest wild cards will be what physical media the Xbox 720 will support, and whether or not Kinect’s performance will make it an integral part of the Xbox 720′s design. What do you think?
The gaming world is abuzz with rumors of a new offering from Microsoft, provisionally codenamed the Xbox 720. If we examine the evidence, it does seem clear that Microsoft are gearing up to amaze consumers with a next generation games console that will make previously releases seem basic and redundant.
Though the facts are hard to come by, there is enough information available to piece together a picture of what the 720 will be like. One thing is for certain, the specs on this new console will involve a significant technological leap forward. When we look at an Xbox 360, and compare it with the latest PC’s, we can see just how much progress has taken place in the years since the 360 was released. If Microsoft want to continue to hold a dominating market share of games consoles sales, they will need to come up with a product that more than matches the latest PC’s.
One area in which there has been a lot of development recently is in CPU power. Various bloggers familiar with the inner workings at Microsoft predict that the 720 will come with a cutting edge AMD fusion chip, or possibly even a new Ivy Bridge Intel special. There is huge pressure from the designers of blockbuster games for console manufacturers to use the most powerful chips in their upcoming products.
Storage is another area in which we can expect to see very obvious developments. PC’s with one terabyte drives are now common place, perhaps Microsoft will steal a march on their competitors by producing the 720 with a cloud storage feature, this would be the easiest way to ensure that the amount of media which can be used is not limited. Other alternatives, such as Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, will perhaps only have a short shelf life.
Whether you love it or hate it, it needs to be stated that gesture control is here to stay. The new Xbox is most likely to make use of Microsoft’s Kinect hardware. Already Kinect has broken records in terms of sales of console accessories, but, veteran gamers should not be anxious, it is predicted that the 720 will also come with a traditional game pad. Let’s face it, you can hardly play Gears of War 4 just by waving your arms around!
The big question is when will the new Xbox be released, those in the know suggest a Christmas 2012 release, though this may be pushed back into 2013 due to Microsoft’s other commitments. In the meantime, gaming fans will just have to make to with the Xbox 360.