The Xbox 720, the code name for the follow up to Microsoft’s current generation video game console the Xbox 360, has quite a long list of rumors swirling. Though it is not expected to launch in 2012 by any stretch of the imagination, Microsoft are well underway in developing the system. As the months progress, rumors continue to surface.
Now there is a fine line between fan speculation and what Microsoft is actually considering. But the below rumors are all backed by insider comments and industry involvement. Now how often and how serious Microsoft are considering the additions, attributes, and characteristics of their new system is unknown to us, but it does shape up to be a rather interesting series of speculations for tech and game fans alike.
By pure power of processing, the Xbox 360 is expected to be about six times as powerful as the Xbox 360. This includes graphical power, as well as physics within the software and character artificial intelligence. For example, characters may be far smarter, even pedestrian level characters, and will be able to act with a far more powerful system of A.I. Now the six times as powerful comment discovered by the rumor mill is slightly substantiated by those directly involved with Microsoft. And though it remains a rather arbitrary number at best, it does represent the expectations and goals of Microsoft in developing their new system.
For many video game players and Gamestop employees, one rumor in particular becomes borderline frightening. It is widely mentioned from those involved in the Xbox 720 project that used games will be unplayable on the Xbox 720. The system will have a built in anti-used game system that will reject used titles. Once you purchase a game, it will “download” to your system, and be unplayable on other consoles. This is a conscious effort to offset the dent the used game market makes on software sales. It will likely work similar to the PC market, that offers a download code that is a one-time use. Though there is further speculation that this is not likely, and the Xbox 720 will use a download system as well as a regular physical disc system. For example, an individual could download the game to their hard drive or purchase a physical copy, for what will likely be a premium price.
For fans of motion controlled movement, one rumor in particular is barely one at all. It is strongly reaffirmed that the Xbox 720 will expand on the Kinect product, building the Kinect into the actual system and making improvements to the technology. For those who are unaware, the Kinect is the extremely successful motion-controlled add-on for Xbox 360 that has sold approximately 10 million units since its launch. Expect this idea to be expanded exponentially for the new system.
Microsoft has confirmed their path to making the Xbox 720 an entertainment hub. Though the degree of its crossover functionality is unknown, expect the Xbox 720 to strongly support the idea of crossing into many other mediums. This includes movies and other such products that will make the Xbox 720 a fully functioning entertainment hub. This may even include blu-ray technology.
With all the rumors circulating, there is very little actually confirmed. Microsoft is not planning to launch the system anytime soon, as fans and industry insiders expect a 2013-2014 release date. But as Microsoft has said many times, they expect to get a healthy ten years out of the Xbox 360. Considering the 360 launched in 2005, that puts us around 2015 for a launch of the new system. Ouch.