Sorry Playstation lovers. I've got nothing against the PS4, but the Xbox is my platform of choice. Also, the next Xbox (often called the Xbox 720 but codenamed "Durango" by Microsoft) honestly just has so much more leaked information out there right now. Though mostly rumor and speculation, the details are extremely enticing. The most exciting bit? The release date is heavily rumored to be set for HOLIDAY SEASON 2013!
Also, there’s some good news for both your wallet and your room space. Its speculated that the Xbox 720 will be both smaller and cheaper than the Xbox 360, though its questionable whether connect functionality will be built in or still come as a peripheral. It’s of course assumed that, since Sony won the next-gen DVD format war, the next Xbox will also sport a Blu-Ray player.
Now for some crazier stuff. In February 2012, Xbox World Magazine reported that the Xbox 720 controller will have an HD touchscreen on it surrounded by the traditional controls, much like the Wii U. The magazine also reported that the controller itself might serve as a portable gaming device, possibly allowing players to start a game on the console and then continue that same game on the go.
What about Kinect? Well, patents have been discovered for a device that will work with Kinect to project a 360 degree 3D environment that the user will be able to interact with. According to the patent, the fact that players still see the room around them in their peripheral vision interferes with their immersion in the experience. This projector will allow the game's space to extend into the player's room. Intriguing stuff, but remember that this is just speculation based on some patents.
|A Design Drawing From The Patent Application|
Now here’s a downer. Though this hasn't been confirmed some sources have claimed that the Xbox 720 will prevent the use of used games. Personally, I think its complete BS if they choose to do this. People sell products that they've used and grown tired of all the time, why should video games receive different treatment? The used market has given me opportunities to play great games I wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise. In addition, what will this do to Gamestop's business?
Microsoft is also continuing its commitment to transforming the Xbox into a multimedia device, apparently planning to include separate CPUs for gaming and other media. This could allow the user to pause a game, switch over to an app running some TV program, and then switch back to the paused game instantly.
|SmartGlass In Action|
Certain leaked documents also mention streaming of videos, music, and photos between multiple devices. This sounds like an extension of Microsoft's recently launched SmartGlass. SmartGlass is an app that allows users to connect their smartphone or touchpad to their Xbox 360.
Finally, a report has claimed that sources within Microsoft's own headquarters say that the next Xbox device, or should I say devices, will come in two versions. One will be the typical hardcore, AAA title-playing Xbox with all the perks. The second will be a smaller, cheaper device aimed at a more casual audience. It won't be able to play those AAA titles, but it will be able to download casual titles from the Xbox Live Arcade and play all of the other media apps.
So what do you think? Excited for next-gen yet? And of course, what are the implications for the topics we've been discussing in class? Imagine what such a melding of TV and games could do for narrative! How could this new 3D projector or the introduction of connected touchscreens alter the gameplay space and gameplay itself? How might the end of used games affect gamer culture? What does the creation of a separate, more casual device say about current gamer culture?