So the PS4 has been confirmed — it’s real and it’s coming soon. Speculation still remains about the extent of the hardware and the pretty box it’s so obviously going to reside in, but we still have solid gold facts around its existence. The Xbox 720 console is quite a different story. The next generation has yet to be revealed by the mighty at Microsoft. However, the rumor mill has been working overtime with all the possible details that are surfacing in regards to this hotly anticipated bit of kit. So, to save you the trouble of desperately trawling the World Wide Web, here is a nice little roundup of the rumors (from the plausible to the insane) surrounding the next Xbox console.
Possibly the least important aspect of the console is its name. Sure it’s a selling point but in the grand scheme of things, who gives a crap? As it happens, quite a few people as there’s been a few haphazard guesses at the new consoles name tag.
Durango – This is the codename given to the console during its development period and seems to be the only real bit of information that has any truth in it. Similar to the PS4’s codename ‘Orbis’, it’s very unlikely that Durango will stay for the retail version.
Xbox Infinity - One of the better guesses at a potential name for the console is the Xbox infinity. Ditching the numerical consistency and going for a grand title such as infinity would be a bold marketing move for Microsoft and makes for quite a pleasing logo (see below image). This name has also formed another speculative name, the Xbox Loop with the infinity symbol taking the place of the two o’s in the word which I for one sincerely hope isn’t the case.
Kryptos – Another possible codename for the new Xbox however this one comes unsupported by developer images and as such remains incredibly unlikely. Even less so for the final retail version of the console.
Xbox 720 – The obvious favorite is the logical name for the next console, the Xbox 720. This makes for the most likely name for the next console and would follow in the numerical naming that PlayStation also took. It’s likely but still quite boring. (I’m hoping for Infinity, personally.)
The innards of the new Xbox are being hailed to be much the same as the PS4, with AMD supplying some powerful GPU and CPU. This will apparently include an 8GB helping of RAM like that of the PS4 along with a quad core processor, a Blu-ray optical drive, and cloud gaming connectivity. In short, the Nextbox hardware rumours would indicate that the next generation are going to be evenly matched from the inside.
Big and Worrying Rumors
Always Online – Probably the most worrying rumor of all is this ‘always online’ rubbish. Apparently, to even turn on the Nextbox requires an internet connection, which is said to mean it can deliver a more integrated environment to play games? Whilst this has been met with unanimous hatred, a creative director for Microsoft did tweet about it being a logical addition to the next generation. Cliffy B also added his two pence on his blog stating that always online has been the way forward for gaming, putting some weight behind this possibility.
Backwards Compatibility and Pre-owned Games –
The PS4 was feared to block pre-owned games. It turned out that it wouldn’t be a standard, but developers had the option to implement it if they wanted to. The same thing would appear to be the case with the Nextbox as many sites are claiming that it can recognize and block used games but not by default. With a sigh of relief we can be sure the high street gaming scene will remain for a few more years at least. The other worrying rumor was in regards to backwards compatibility. The PS4 has dispelled the use of PS3 discs and left it’s backwards compatibility to the clever clogs at Gaikai with their cloud technology, which will probably bleed a few extra bucks out of subscription fees for those wanting to play the old LittleBigPlanet games. The Nextbox rumors have taken a rather different approach however, as they claim that backwards compatibility will be enabled through an add-on known as the Xbox Mini. Basically an Apple TV-like device that supposedly enables the use of old 360 games? Unlikely to be the case but incredibly cruel if so.
It goes without saying that along with the unveiling of the Nextbox, we’ll also get to see some games. But what exactly? To name a few besides the certainties of Halo 5, another Call of Duty, and Madden/PES, here a few other incredibly likely releases.
Watchdogs - Whilst being released for the PS4 there has been no talk of exclusivity in regards to this game, indicating that Ubisoft is planning to plug this game to every console possible.
Destiny - Releasing on both the PS3 and the Xbox 360, Bungie’s new game Destiny has been confirmed for release also on the next-gen PS4 so why on earth would it ignore the Xbox 720 too?
Ryse - Announced back at E3 2011, Cryteks’ fantasy game Ryse has slipped from the limelight to some extent. Although heralded for the Xbox 360, it’s likely that it will release for both the current and next-gen Xbox’s much like Destiny.
Forza - The hugely popular driving game has been strongly rumored to be one of the headline games to be announced alongside the unveiling of the new console
Battlefield 4 and Assassin’s Creed IV - Both of these games have been announced for the next generation of consoles (AC has also been announced for current). So whilst they’re expected for the PS4, there’s no reason to suspect they won’t be also on the list of Xbox 720 games too.
Other Little Bits
Alongside the headline making rumors there have also been a large amount of little tidbits of information that may or may not be true in regards to the new Xbox.
- New Kinect (2.0?)
- Will cost between $500 and $700 (helpfully large price window, I know)
- Will be revealed late April 2013
- Will be released this holiday season like the PS4
- Might have a touchscreen controller
- May have the ability to act like a TV box (DVR) – Microsoft owns the patent for an ‘integrated gaming and media experience’
- Might have a standard 500GB HDD
- All games require installing
- May support the running of multiple programs
- May utilize ‘Illumiroom’ periphals with a new Kinect 2.0
Now that’s a lot of food for thought, fingers crossed many of these rumors remain as fiction however things such as the spec and the inclusion of Illumiroom sound fantastic. What new things do you and don’t you want to see in the Xbox 720? Please share your comment below and stay locked on BagoGames for news regarding the reveal date for Microsoft’s steps into the next generation of gaming.
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