New Xbox 720 Details: Mandatory Kinect, Multitasking, Improved Specs

Feb 11, 2013 by  

Xbox 720 PS4 Launch Price

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.

Xbox 720 Kinect Skeleton Mock Up

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.

Xbox 720 Diagram

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?

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Source: Kotaku

18 Comments

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  1. Well if Kinect is compulsory I hope they’ve improved it in terms of not needing a gigantic playing area for it to function. Also, I wonder if the compulsary element has anything to do with that patent on registering who is sat in a room and what licence you own for watching movies/tv. I wonder if you will have to use facial recognition before you start up your game and only you can play it. I wouldn’t be surprised at this stage with all the rumours about locking out used games etc. I hope the device is less intrusive than the Kinect 1 too, we don’t all have a great deal of space :/ I don’t want Kinect dammit! Lol

  2. That seems like a very bad idea, including Kinect in every SKU, especially if they want to keep the price low. Of course, if the technology turns out to be really capable, then maybe it’s a good idea to force it on the masses in order to facilitate “the future of gaming.” I doubt it’ll turn out that good, but we’ll see.

    Multitasking capabilities would be nice, anyway.

  3. I’m not liking this. If a mandatory Kinect plus the continuous wireless connection and the stoppage of used gaming is true, I don’t see this working out for Microsoft. Its supply and demand, and I just don’t see a demand for those parts.

  4. I think this is a great opportunity for Sony to capitalize over Xbox since Microsoft want to set up a lot of ridiculous restrictions on people to the point where you can’t use used games?? Are they crazy? They will be killing business for Gamestop. I think the only thing great they did was stop the hacked/copied games which is great but now used games are potentially being banned? What the hell is next you have to have a Microsoft Surface and a laptop installed with Windows to run Xbox 720?

  5. I think this is a great opportunity for Sony to capitalize over Xbox since Microsoft want to set up a lot of ridiculous restrictions on people to the point where you can’t use used games?? Are they crazy? They will be killing business for Gamestop. I think the only thing great they did was stop the hacked/copied games but now used games are potentially being banned? What the heck is next you have to have a Microsoft Surface and a laptop installed with Windows to run Xbox 720?

  6. So there’s gonna be a facial expression reading, voice and audio comprehending, human tracking, potentially always connected to the internet MANDATORY device in this thing… anyone else starting to get a creepy big brother vibe? I’m getting cautious of the future of gaming if it means I have to play with HAL 9000 in the room monitoring me and my family, sending the information to who knows where.

    • That was my first thought as well, I don’t like the idea of paying Microsoft to spy on me while I play games.

      • Im kind of feeling the same way.

    • Right on brother! At least some of us still see the craziness of the direction they seem to be wanting to push us. Never mind we just want better games, graphics, AI, and larger scale rather than a bunch of crap peripherals, no used games, and always on Internet crap!

  7. Mandatory installs, game multitasking…and yet I’m sure we’ll still have to have the game disc in the drive in order to play it, won’t we? So what’s the point?

  8. They should just release it as Durango, I like that name.

  9. I think that when they say ‘mndatory’ it probably means that you will have to buy a Kinect with the system, not neccissarily that it will be used in everygame. I think that they will see that their sales will drop and they will start selling just the system seperately.

  10. It’s no stretch to point out how Orwellian the “features” of this console are and how absolutely crazy the thought is of having a computer that is constantly online and hooked up to a sophisticated surveillance “peripheral”. This thing tracks multiple targets, reads facial expressions, oh the things they’ll learn prompting your reactions through the games and watching how you react. Their psyop classroom just moved right into your living room, please provide snacks.

  11. Yeh Sony is doing away with used game but there not using a camera system with face recognition software to stop movies or games your playing if someone comes in the room. Microsoft can kiss my left cheek if they think I am going to buy a 720! PS4 here I come because no matter what the new Xbox will not be allowed in my house and I am king of this castle and I won’t have a device that could potentially be used to snoop on me and my family. Yes I do have a kinect for my 360 but we don’t leave it plugged in if were not going to be playing a kinect game.

  12. eh i feel this is looking into things to deeply than what is really happening. its rumors people jump to conclusions and freak out. i highly doubt sony and ms will put restrictions on used games and make it mandatory for certain things i.e. internet and kinect. you see people copy write things all the time look at apple they got sued once for not copy writing now they do it to everything even if they dont even use the function. people settle down and grab something to drink jesus…

  13. First of all, Kinect functionality should be able to be turned on or off with the push of a button. That way, you’d be able to play games without disturbance or be “spied on”. Next, the whole “banning used games” idea is really stupid. Putting this idea into action would hurt the industry, gamers, and businesses like GameStop. And it isn’t just Microsoft; Sony first patented the idea way back but now that Microsoft has been rumored to do it, everyone’s gone crazy about it. All in all, it’s a pretty dumb idea.

    Honestly, I can’t wait for the new X-Box. The specs sound interesting and so do some of its features. Can’t wait to see more!

  14. If you would like the truth, read on!
    I am certain that there will be an improved version of kinect. It will most likely be built in to the new xbox. When you search for xbox on google or bing, you see only xbox.com, so in order to find news, you must type in xbox 720, or durango. That stinks, right? Well, they will not be calling the next generation Xbox the 720. Microsoft is NOT that stupid. I am sure that the controls will be the same on the controllers, if shipped with any. I think microsoft needs to focus on the sit-down games more than the interactive games, but still add on speech recognition. Start saving your bucks though. My Father works at microsoft, and says that there will be something coming out. It is so top secret that MY OWN FATHER can’t even tell ME!!! Take it from someone like me. My dad and I have a close relationship, and he would never lie to me. I am as excited as the rest of you, and we all have a reason to be. We know Microsoft will do a good job, so earn your money, sit back and relax, and be PAITENT!

  15. Still find it way creapy there looking into peoples homes. This could be easily miss used if hacked out a disgruntled employee gets angry.

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