We may have struck the mother load. While details about Sony‘s forthcoming next-gen console should hit during the publisher’s ‘See the Future’ event on the 20th, we may have just been clued into Microsoft’s next-gen console plans today.
So far gamers have heard everything from rumors of a Kinect 2.0 to talk of no used game support, with none of those details being substantiated in any real form. However, these rumors appear to come from a reputable source, one with close ties to Microsoft‘s next-gen development.
The scoop comes courtesy of Kotaku, who claim their inside man has access to next-gen information and is in possession of two Durango development kits. As well, the site has gotten a hold of some new design mock-ups, which you can check out below.
Kotaku’s main source is none other than SuperDaE, the same guy who attempted to sell an Xbox 720 dev kit on eBay. When talking specifically about graphical power, SuperDaE claims the leap to next-gen graphics will be similar to going from Halo 2 on the original Xbox to playing Crysis on a powerful PC. Obviously, we’d hope the graphical leap would be that large, but it’s comforting to know those assumptions are valid.
First and foremost, SuperDaE broke the rumor mill wide open with talk of the next-gen Kinect. According to Kotaku’s source, the Kinect will come packaged with every console sold, and will be a mandatory accessory. Specifically, it must be plugged in and calibrated for the console to function. For gamers that were hoping motion games would move further into the periphery, this is bad news.
On the other hand, shipping a Kinect 2 with every console has its inherent advantages, namely that companies can develop with the knowledge motion control is always an option. Moreover, these developers will have access to a new version of the camera that can track up to six individuals.
This new device can also go so far as to track players thumbs or read their facial expressions. And the viewing angle is wide enough that “nodding” is no longer necessary.
On the hardware side of things, Durango is said to ship with a hard drive that is 500GB in size. That extra space will be important because installation is mandatory for all Durango games. Before gamers get too up in arms, though, the console is said to support the sectioning of games so that players can install while playing.
Speaking of those games, Durango is also said to be able to multi-task, or manage more than one game or app at a time. The Vita has a similar feature to this, but hopefully Durango’s option is more comprehensive. Meaning gamers can stop playing a game, check Twitter or watch a Netflix TV show, then go right back to gaming, seamlessly.
For the controller, SuperDaE claims the gamepad will be a natural evolution of the Xbox 360′s offering. Not much to go on, but it appears Microsoft is adopting a “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” attitude.
Microsoft will also be bolstering support for their Companion App, which received a major overhaul and SmartGlass support last year. There isn’t much, but it sounds like Microsoft might be using the app to replicate what the Wii U does with its gamepad.
And, of course, it wouldn’t be a next-gen post without talk of specs. According to the source, Durango will run on an 8-core, 64-bit CPU that runs at1.6GHz. The graphics processor is an 800 MHz DirectX 11.x unit that features “custom hardware blocks” for handling specific tasks.
The device also comes with 8GB of DDR3 RAM, a small amount of flash memory, a Blu-Ray drive, and the aforementioned hard drive. And just for good measure the console supports 7.1-channel audio through HDMI or S/PDIF connection, and Wi-Fi.
It’s a lot to take in, and surprisingly close to the specs that leaked earlier this year, but is nonetheless intriguing. Hopefully once Sony pulls the trigger on their next-gen plans, Microsoft makes a concerted effort to reveal what they’ve been cooking up.
What do you think of these rumored Xbox 720 details and specs? Is there anything you would like to change or see improved?