Xbox 720 Report: Always-on Internet, Used-Game Prohibition, Blu-Ray Support & New Kinect

Feb 6, 2013 by  

Xbox 720 always on Internet Blocks Used Games

When the current generation of video game consoles was being designed, so was Facebook. In a dorm room. Fast forwarding nearly ten years, much of our world is “always online,” or “always connected,” to the Internet. Consoles have always remained above the fray of building such requirements into their framework, into their modus operandi, but rumors regarding the next generation continue to paint it as an inevitability.

According to a story in Edge, citing sources with first-hand knowledge of Microsoft’s next-generation console (known aliases: Xbox 720, Durango, Xbox Infinity), the next Xbox will indeed require an constant Internet connection. It will also inhibit the function of used games, support Blu-Ray-based physical media, and ship with new versions of Xbox Live and Kinect.

Furthermore, the story claims that the most recent power prognostications for the Xbox 720 are right on point: the system will reportedly boast an AMD eight-core x64 1.6GHz CPU, a D3D11.x 800MHz graphics solution, and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. Blu-Ray discs will feature a capacity of 50GB — hopefully curbing the “second disc” needs that we’ve seen increasingly from DVD-based 360 games (Halo 4, Assassin’s Creed 3, Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3, to name a few.)

That the Xbox 720 would block used games isn’t surprising; the oft-rumored notion began circulating over a year ago. The explanation, or “how”, however, is now a little more concrete. According to Edge, Microsoft’s Blu-Ray discs would each be shipped with an activation code, and, similar to today’s online passes (only now pertinent to an entire game), the code would activate the disc for one particular console and become void going forward.

The concept part of is Microsoft’s initiative to expand its digital distribution services in the next generation. It also poleaxes the used-games market. Secondhand discs would become impotent, obsolete. And assuming the next-gen lifespan runs at least at long as this one (currently in its seventh year), physical media altogether could be removed from the console equation when all is said and done. We already know Sony has explored similar options for single-use discs. And it seems a bit more than conjectural panic that Gamestop, whose brick-and-mortar business is all-things physical media, saw their stock price drop over 10% on the news as soon as markets opened today.

But of course, digital isn’t the only emerging trend in gaming; the report goes on to mention Microsoft’s plans regarding Kinect 2.0. The company continues to “invest heavily” in motion-control technology, it says, and the next version of Kinect is believed to be more responsive than its predecessor. Moreover, no doubt as an attempt to ubiquitize the hardware, Kinect sensors will reportedly ship alongside each Xbox.

Xbox 720 New Kinect Used Game Block

Even though there’s still plenty of mystery surrounding hardware release dates, the curtain is quickly rising on the next-generation. Once-sporadic rumors are growing more consistent; once-mercurial tech specs are starting to set in stone. We’re even getting our first glimpse, courtesy of games like The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 and Dragon Age 3, at the titles we’ll soon be playing.

February 20 will see Sony deliver an announcement on “the future of PlayStation,” and with plenty of speculation already encircling the PlayStation 4, we might just learn definitively about the way the two console giants plan to compete.

Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

Source: Edge

76 Comments

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  1. so i guess its F*** the gamers who dont have the internet, if this whole “must stay connected” feature is true….. i dont see this console doing verry well if all these verry restrictive features actually make it to the console..

  2. Welp, looks like I’m getting the PS4
    Not taking used games is unnecessary, because if Halo 4 is going to be like Halo 3 when the file share is fixed, I’m going to be playing it well into 2015. Microsoft is really alienating the less fortunate gamers, and as a result, will probably ose quite a bit of their sales to players who want Disks to Sony.
    And let’s face it, if there is a problem with getting a non-physical game, its going to be an enormous pain in the ass, but with a Physical disk, you either clean it, sell it, throw it out and buy a new one, or trade it in.
    Microsoft is steadily going downhill and this just proves it

    • Dude I don’t think you understand… First, this isn’t fact and second PS4 will be doing the same thing.

  3. Another thing is, like many have pointed out, not everyone can afford to buy a game brand new or full priced. Don’t the videogames companies WANT u to play their games. They should. Rant over with:)

    • They WANT your money. They don’t get profit from people buying used, so buying new is the only way to go for them. Unless they significantly drop new prices… this will not go over well for them.

  4. Does this mean that it wont be backwards compatible then. I wont be able to play my Halo 4, and my BO2 in my new xbox? because I already used them on my original 360?

    That would really suck, i mean i dont mind the DLCs, but enough is enough. Maybe a better less harsh solution would be to require an online pass for ALL games. This way the developers focus most of their efforts into making the online good, as an incentive for the gamers to buy the pass, or buy it new.

    Also this would make a lot of small independent gaming stores go bankrupt because they solely depend on used games for their market.

    And what would happen if i decided to trade in my console?

    • I think what they mean is that all future games will be for one console only. I don’t think it would be possible to do it for all old games since the discs are already out and they would have to put the blocker on the disc itself.

  5. How unsurprising… Leave it to Moneysoft to take advantage of those less fortunate than others. I’m definitely not buying this console upon release. Unless the online features are free, this console will be a complete waste of $400.

  6. If they do this they better lower to price of games. If not i might just stick to MMO’s.

  7. So when their server, or my local internet is out, I can’t use my expensive machine? And since I can’t buy games used, they too will be expensive, making the inability to play them all the more aggravating.

    For those looking to find refuge with PS4, I’m betting the execs at Sony are barking up the same tree.

  8. Tsk tsk

  9. hahah stupid 360 fanboys. xbox is doomed hahah ps4 is going own. like it did before. wut?!?!? dont like it hahahha go cry to your dads

    • Shut up dumbass, this is a place for intelligent debate, not your useless input

    • Shut up shithead, this is a place for intelligent debate, not your useless input

    • FAIL… PS4 is doing the same thing.

  10. I actually wouldnt have a problem with it not able to run used games if new games werent 60$. Even a 40$ price point would be better. Not everyone can spend $60 right off the bat.
    Next gen consoles are going to suck if they are going to do what the rumors are saying.
    The new name will be Xbox 1%

  11. Wow. A LOT of corporate apologists here today.

    Dont you realise that you’re giving these companies more money at your own expense?

    Can’t sell games- you’ve invested $50 in a game you might not even like. Can’t buy used games- well, once you’ve got bills to pay, good luck with the costs of gaming.

    How are these consumers OK with this? Do they have no self respect?

    • I don’t think it’s a lack of self-respect as much as they’re just not very bright.

  12. Looks like the current generation of consoles will be my last.

  13. Thank god modding consoles is legal is Australia Piracy here I come.

  14. Sad really. I myself don’t mind buying new games, but having to have the console constantly connected to the internet abandons those in the rural community who only have access to satellite internet. And what about those of us who have two consoles one for the living room and one for the bedroom? Does that mean I have to buy two games if I want to play it on both. With the rising cost of Xbox gold and the lack of content offered with it, It looks like I will be moving to PS4 first and then seeing how Xbox will play out. Love the fact that Playstation online is free and that 50 bucks a year gets me all kinds of Betas and downloadable content at no extra charge. Hopefully Playstation will keep it the same way in the future. Looking forward to Feb 20th.

  15. ever feel like s**ts getting too complex? i will never abandon gaming its one of the things i live for but……..whew this is gonna hurt alot if this happens.

    • I hear what you say and agree; it will be sad to see the demise of GameStop and all the people they employ. It also seems that, with the game to console registration methods described, we’ll lose the ability to rent games to see if they really are worth 60 or more dollars? Trial games or demo’s of games have proven misleading in the past with respect to whether a game is worth the money or not. It seems everything is about control for both MS and Sony; I don’t mean merely the console but you, me, other gamers, how we spend our money – I really love gaming too but if they go through with their rumored plans, this current gen of consoles will be the last for me.

  16. I don’t see why you can’t send the disc off to be De-registered or uncoupled from it Xbox counterpart and resold to allow used game play…

    I mean if I get a new Xbox there must be some online transfer so no problem there, why can’t they do the same for pre-owned games

  17. If either one or both Sony and Microsoft do this, I and my family, WILL NOT, be going Next-Gen! We’ll stick to our last gen stuff and have to go to the PC down the road I suppose even though the PC is not our platform choice now. What a load of crap though for the no used games/single use code and always online b*******! They are going to run THEMSELVES out of business I hope so a fresh company can come along and step in their place.

    • The Xbox 360 and associated gadgets seems to be one of Microsoft’s bright spots these days – too bad they’re going to (or at least seem intent to) ruin that by prohibiting used game sales. It’s their platform and they can do what they want with it and it seems like Sony has plans to do the same for the PS4. What a shame, I really like(d) console gaming but for my fix am seriously looking at PC only for the future. I’d rather not do with such restrictive consoles so I best get my next rig ready – XBMCbuntu anyone? I hope that by then game dev’s will see the light and start distributing some Linux titles so we’re not stuck buying crappy, bloated, in constant need of patching OS’s that really, really suck – Windows 8? Please! When the corporate bigs look only at what they want in a console and not what gamers want, they’ve already lost whatever race they’re in and it looks like Microsoft and Sony are neck and neck to see who can screw things up for gamers quickest. What they really need is to give real gamers a tub of KY Jelly so we can rub it around their necks and pull their heads out of their asses.

  18. Folks, we must boycott any purchase of any new console that has any restrictions on it. It’s the only thing that will bring some sanity back to gaming and to doing what’s right for the consumers!

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