Monday, June 18, 2012

Rumor: Xbox 720 coming in 2013, with Kinect 2 and Kinect Glasses

A powerpoint presentation leaked over the weekend revealed Microsoft’s purported plans for its next-gen video gaming console. The 56-page document clearly calls the next console ‘Xbox 720′, a handle only used as a slang by users and media for easy identification. Microsoft has never used the term, either off the record or on, however, the prominent ‘Xbox 720′ branding on Dreamworks’ futuristic action movie Real Steel does add slant to the name – unless, of course, Microsoft were trolling.

According to the document, the Xbox 720 will be pitched at the sweet, sweet spot of $299, which to be honest does seem a little far fetched. The console will sport a blu-ray drive, 1080p 3D support, and an always on” state feature. On the performance side of things, the console will have either six or eight ARM or x86 cores clocked at 2GHz each, with just 4GB of RAM to back it up. Microsoft is also apparently mulling over the inclusion of three PPC cores for backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games. The presentation predicts a 10 year life-cycle for the console, with 100 million units sales.

Along with the new console, Microsoft is also looking to release a new Kinect hardware that will have higher accuracy, stereo imaging, improved voice recognition, 4-player tracking, an improved camera, and its own dedicated hardware processing. The new Kinect will also be able to identify peripherals and accessories that heighten game immersion.”

Additionally, Kinect will also have it’s own AR glasses, called Kinect Glasses – referred to as Project Fortaleza in the document. Fortaleza is the name of an actual city, much like Microsoft’s previous codenames Natal and Durango. The glasses will be similar to Google Glass and is described as a breakthrough heads-up and hands-free device”. The product will not ship with the console, instead launching sometime in 2014. The presentation doesn’t delve into the hardware much, so details as to what it does exactly is scarce.

The document was available on Scribd but was removed almost immediately after it broke through the mainstream media. According to The Verge, the document was removed by Covington & Burling LLP, an international law firm that lists Microsoft as one of its clients.

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