Rumors and stories have been flying around cyberspace about the new Microsoft Xbox. These rumors vary from the actual system pictures to its very name itself. This is understandable because as the E3 approaches and the Holidays loom we can’t help but wonder what this next generation of gaming consoles will have in store.
We know at this point that Microsoft will be releasing the Xbox 720 for this coming holiday season and we also know that Microsoft’s main competitor Sony will be releasing the PS4 in at least one territory at the same time. We can expect the traditional console war to be in full effect. There will be a special “launch Event” for the new Xbox on May 21st that will answer the questions that have been poised thus far. There was hope that some information would have been released at this year’s GDC but Microsoft remained tight lipped. Microsoft has flopped back and forth with their expected release times and has decided on a “launch Event” to avoid presenting their product during the circus week of E3.
Rumors suggest that the new Xbox will have a similar architecture as to the PS4. It has however been stated that the Xbox will have a significantly less powerful graphics processor than the PS4 which supports the idea that the New Xbox will be less about games this time around and more about everything else. Knowing this, it is also interesting that the new Xbox will also have the next generation of the Kinect. Microsoft has also patented some type of 3d projection technology they have named 'Fortaleza.' Fortaleza, by description seems to be a technology that will project aspects of gameplay into the environment around the player for a more immersive experience. As far as the standard input device goes, the 360 controllers are now a classic and we can expect that Microsoft won’t try to fix what isn’t broken and keep the design the same.
The last rumor that needs to be addressed is this ridiculous idea of an “always on” Xbox. It has been suggested that Microsoft will make the new Xbox inoperable without an internet connection. Why? The answer is GREED. It has been suggested that Microsoft intends to use this “always on” scheme to attempt to kill the used games industry. As gamers if we purchase a title we should be able to sell or trade it at our leisure. This type of brazen consumer manipulation will not fly as the internet has been set ablaze with the outrage that this rumor has sparked. As a long time Xbox gamer myself I have to say that I am personally disappointed that a rumor like this has even surfaced. I will also state that if this rumor turns to fact at any point in the near future that I will be moving my tent to the Sony camp. As just 1 of many I can predict that if Microsoft is not extremely careful in how this area is handled they have the potential to deliver a stillborn console.
Written by David Ausberry