Recently Microsoft sent out their incredibly colorful and lively digital invites to the release of the next Gen Xbox. Ok so in true Microsoft fashion they aren’t colorful…or lively…but they are accurate – the third installment of Microsoft’s category competitor is coming May 21st, and you can watch the reveal live on your own Xbox 360 or Spike TV.
With the recent release of the Wii U and the reveal of the PS4, Microsoft has the advantage of seeing their opponent’s hands. The question is, will they rush to capitalize, or rely on their hard-core gamer fans to just blindly purchase what they will them to?
I vote the former, they will need to take the onus to improve on things they found the PS4 did wrong on reveal day.
What should we expect from the Next-Box though? A touchpad controller? 2-D hologram imaging? Well, obviously for the next few weeks, we won’t know. However, we can certainly speculate, which is the fun part, right?
Possibly the biggest rumor that’s been tearing apart the internet and upsetting many hardcore and casual gamers alike, has been the initial reports that the new console will have Always Online DRM security measures, in fact one Microsoft employee resigned from his position after going so far as telling critical gamers to “deal with it” in regards to the rumored feature. Well, good news folks, (at least it seems so) the increasingly disdained anti-pirate software, which one close friend described as “…using a hatchet where a scalpel is needed,” most likely won’t be present in the new gaming device. (UPDATE: IGN news is reporting there will be DRM in this video.) However, another problem that some gamers will be potentially fired up about will be the rumors that the new Xbox won’t allow for the owner to play used games, which is potentially devastating news to gamers on a budget and second-hand companies like GameStop.
There is actually a kernel of truth to a gaming console with DRM features though, the newly reported ‘Xbox Mini’. This miniature version of the new Xbox is rumored to be able to stream the new consoles games, and be a lower price point option for gamers. I wouldn’t put it past microsoft either, anyone remember the Xbox 360 Arcade version? It was a half-price little brother to the original 360, just minus the hardisk (and for some reason a white disk tray cover instead of the 360’s chrome) that was designed to boost sales to casual gamers and gaming families, and that’s exactly what the Xbox Mini is heavily rumored to be for, among other whispers, like the ability to provide backwards compatibility. However, with a potential game line-up like this, why worry about that part yet?
The rumored Xbox Mini won’t have a disk drive, so what will the Xbox (720/Durango?) be packing in that department? Well, recently released documents (although they are two years old) suggest a built in Blu-ray, which would obviously reveal a complete 180-turn for Microsoft’s opinion on the Sony tech. The documents also lean toward vast differences with the promising new Kinect device.
It can be pretty easily assumed that Kinect 2.0 will be at the center of the new Xbox’s experience, how it will integrated, is an entire other mystery. The only big thing we’ve seen is that there may be a wall projection device that shines the environment and surroundings of the game your playing on your walls. No, I’m not kidding. This rumor however, is a little more defunct than others, so we’ll have to wait until May to see exactly how that unfolds.
Luckily, although the Kinect will be a key element, the new controllers are speculated to be nearly the same as they are now, which is good news for current 360 owners, as the ergonomic design has become a fan-favorite.
So in essence, the next console may or may not have DRM software, may or may not let you play used games, may or may not allow backwards compatibility without separate Xbox Mini purchase, may or may not however be physically and visually immersive with Kinect 2.0, may or may not rock a Blu-ray player, and may or may not wont be for hardcore gamers. Sounds like we should just wait until May 21st, which, by the way if you want to watch the reveal, you can find out how and when here.
On that note, can we just go back to playing our curent consoles until May 21st? No? Well, I tried.