According to Kotaku, who is citing information from a source who has access to next-gen console information as well as a couple of development kits, the next Xbox will ship with and require a new Kinect-type sensor to be attached in order for it to work. The new sensor will apparently be able to identify users and might even be able to decide what to charge for content based on who’s in front of the device.
Kotaku reached out for comment from Microsoft, who has of course refused to confirm any of this, so while the following details do line up with expectations, they are still unconfirmed.
The new Xbox will also apparently require games to be installed on its hard drive (500GB) and will be able to multi-task games and apps.
Kotaku’s source claims to have played games on the new Xbox hardware, comparing the graphical leap as comparable to the difference between Halo 2 on the original Xbox, and Crysis on a PC.
The next Xbox’s specifications reportedly include custom hardware that includes an 8-core, 64-bit CPU running at 1.6ghz, an 800mhz DirectX 11.x graphics processor units and, alongside them, various “custom hardware blocks” that are able to handle certain individual tasks, taking the strain off the main CPU.
The new Kinect will be mandatory, supposedly to ensure that developers can create games that utilise it right out the gates. Kinect will also be able to track up to 6 skeletons at once, and automatically identify players.
Advances in the technology means it will be able to track thumbs, open and closed hands, and even facial expressions.
Retail versions of the next Xbox will ship with a 500GB hard drive, which will come in handy with the mandatory game installs, which will happen in “sections” allowing you to immediately play the game, while the rest of it installs.
The Durango (the internal codename for the next Xbox) will be able to multi-task, allowing apps and games to be run simultaneously.
In terms of the controller, the next Xbox gamepad is said to be a “natural evolution” of the Xbox 360’s controller, and uses a “new wireless technology”.
A companion app is also mentioned, and will take advantage of both a phone and tablet’s motion sensing capabilities, in combination with the Kinect camera.