It’s no secret that the next Xbox console from Microsoft will, at the very least, be revealed to us this year. Microsoft has already confirmed its existence and has announced that they will be officially unveiling the console and details surrounding it on May 21st. With just a few weeks to go before the official reveal we wanted to take a look at everything we know about the system and address some of the rumors that have been spread about it, too.
RUMOR: ‘Always Online’ Connection Required
This is probably the hottest rumor out there. Some sources have claimed that the next generation Xbox will require an always on Internet connection. So far, this has been neither confirmed or denied by Microsoft. With the recent failure involving the new SimCity game and its DRM features, many gamers and industry big-wigs are speaking out against the always-online feature being on consoles.
Tons of current Xbox 360 owners and gamers that own other consoles such as the Playstation 3 have stated that they will never purchase a system that requires an always online connection because of the many issues that come with it. No developer has been able to successfully incorporate the feature without it breaking a game.
In the past day or so, though, information leaked from a supposed email to all Xbox employees states that the console will be able to play games, play Blu-Ray movies, and even give owners of the console access to live TV without an always-on connection. – Source: [Ars Technica]
RUMOR: Xbox 720 Won’t Be Backwards Compatible
Another hot topic related to the upcoming Xbox is that it won’t be backwards compatible, meaning you wouldn’t be able to play your beloved 360 titles on the next-gen console. This is also a rumor. This issue still hasn’t been officially confirmed or denied either but a software developer that has supposedly had access to the console’s developer kit stated this online:
There will be an Xbox 360 SOC inside the Xbox 720, meaning not only that it will be backwards compatible with all Xbox 360 games, but also leveraging a little extra power for Xbox 720 games. – Source: [NowGamer.com]
This isn’t intended to be taken as an official statement because it’s not even known if this guy is a reliable source but many gamers are taking it as truth. Unfortunately this is something we probably won’t know for sure until the May 21st reveal of the console.
RUMOR: Xbox 720 Will Use / Require Kinect 2.0
A lot of different things have been said about the new Kinect technology that comes with the next Xbox console. Some sources claim that the peripheral will be required to use the console while others say it doesn’t. Another rumor about it is that it is Kinect 2.0 which has greatly improved software and hardware that effectively eliminates any lag that was experienced with the original Kinect hardware.
There has been literally nothing said by Microsoft regarding the Kinect so its hard to say whether or not any of this information is true. Based on the success of the hardware you would think that it WOULD make a comeback. And with it being attached to a new, more powerful system, it’d probably be wise to assume that the Kinect hardware and software will have significant upgrades, too. Again, nothing has been confirmed but it seems plausible that a new, better Kinect will at least be made available for the console.
RUMOR: Xbox 720 Will Have 2 Versions; 1 for $499, Another for $299
In the past few days Paul Thurrott, a well-known writer who focuses heavily on Microsoft hardware and software, has stated that the next Xbox will come in 2 different versions. One will be $499, a hefty, yet expected amount. The other will debut for $299 but will require a 2 year, Xbox Live Gold membership. Not only will it be a 2 year contract but it will also cost $15 per month rather than $10/mo like it is right now. This suggests that a price increase for Xbox Live may be in the works once the new system is out.
CONFIRMED: Next Xbox Details Will be Revealed May 21st
Pretty much the only confirmed information regarding Microsoft’s next-generation console is that we’ll learn more about it come May 21st. It was announced via Twitter and Major Nelson that there will be a huge reveal event happening on that day. Once the details are outed on the 21st we will be writing up a new article discussing all of the official information that Microsoft releases about the Xbox 720, Xbox Fusion, Durango, or whatever they end up calling it!