Next Xbox comes today, Here is the Roundup!
The next Microsoft Xbox is going to be announced in a few hours and we know quite a lot of things about it so far (or at least we think).
The Xbox (next) should carry on Microsoft’s legacy of the gaming industry as it has from the beginning. The Xbox became an icon of the gaming industry the minute it landed, quickly becoming the most popular gaming console, due to the sheer volume of gamer available on it. Microsoft Studios’ dedication in creating exclusive titles, also had a big role to play here.
Price of the Next Xbox
While most consoles debut around the US $ 499 price mark, we expect the next Xbox to be the same. Microsoft in the U.S., offers the Xbox 360 on subsidy and has tried to work out similar strategies with their sales in India with no real subsidy offers.
What real package deals may is unknown, but it appears that Microsoft realizes that the biggest market for games cannot afford Rs. 25000 consoles outright.
Release Cycle and Branding
While many rumored names for the next Xbox are floating around, the Xbox Infinity the Xbox ultimate, etc. The most probable name is going to be Xbox 8 ( due to a trademark filed by Microsoft), which could also tie in with the specs of the hardware below. On the flip side Microsoft could simply call it Xbox or if they were to follow in Apple’s footsteps the “New Xbox” or the “Next Xbox”.
The new gaming console from Microsoft is expected to clash with Sony’s rivaling Playstation, when both will be available around the Christmas holiday season of 2013.
Hardware and Specifications
Apart from major aesthetic changes, the new Xbox will also get a hardware overhaul. Starting with the 64-bit, 8-core, 1.6GHz processor made by AMD with x86 architecture and 8GB of DDR3 RAM vs the existing 3-core 3.6GHz processor and 512 MB or RAM. The previous architecture was based on PowerPC so the GHz change will actually be better. The GPU is an 800 MHz DirectX 11.x, and will be accompanied by custom hardware for Xbox-specific tasks vs the existing 500MHz GPU. The new hardware will also have a traditional ethernet port, an optical Blu-Ray disc drive( even though rumors pointed to diskless systems, this is a way to curb piracy) , a default 500GB SATA 2 HDD, USB 3.0 ports, and HDMI out and in ports for Full HD/ maybe even 4K video.
New Xbox Controller
Many are expecting a Kinect overhaul, and some rumors have pointed to a controller less console ( which in all entirety would be a failure). The new controller is expected to be smaller and more ergonomic. It is also rumored that the new Xbox controller will have an additional set of buttons to enhance the gamers experience. The Kinect sensor is expected to come bundled with the hardware, along with a better optical recognition system which would be able to respond more accurately to movements.
The Handheld controllers are expected to come with rechargeable and replaceable batteries out of the box, to one up on Playstation’s rechargeable but irreplaceable batteries.
The new Hardware, along with controllers and Kinect have been with Game developers for a while now, but since each unit is tightly packed, coded and covered in stripes, not a lot has leaked out from design perspective.
TV or Gaming Console (or Both?)
Microsoft’s Nancy Hellens – a former boss at US TV station CBS has been brought on to spearhead new TV-esque entertainment experiences. Uk based, Lift London is working on new gaming experiences, Microsoft Soho Studios has already put out interactive TV-like games based on Sesame Street and Discovery Channel. Now well a lot of heat around different types of TV’s systems is in place, Microsoft could bundle these features into the new Xbox and make the package a lot worth for the owner. Replacing the likes of recoding boxes and streaming accessories.
A move along such lines would also replace devices, like Nexus Q or even Apple TV from living rooms.
Microsoft has already clarified that the launch will be for the hardware and not for the games, which would be announced possibly at E3, but expect at least a few titles to show up for a wonderful preview.