Feature: Xbox 720 Hardware Leak
Today, a leaked document found on the sharing site, Scribd, has revealed a wealth of knowledge about Microsoft’s next generation console, the Xbox 720. Join us as we take a look into the (possible) future of console gaming.
The un-authenticated document (which has since been removed from Scribd) revealed that Microsoft’s next-generation console will in fact be named the Xbox 720, will be released late 2013 and will be stuffed full of hardware and software upgrades, the like of which you’ve never seen!
The 56 page document entitled “XBox 720-9-24 Checkpoint Draft 1” reveals a a whole lot of details about the new technology that will make up the future Xbox, including an accompanying second-generation Kinect sensor (of Kinect Mark II, as we have taken to calling it).
The unknown author of the report also made a strong recommendation that Microsoft should price the Xbox 720 at around £190 ($299) including the Kinect peripheral. I know, seems a bit cheap eh?
What can we expect for 2012/13?
Microsoft have been clear from the outset that a new Xbox would not be unveiled until after 2012, so the documents claim of a late 2013 release didn’t come as a surprise. However, what was interesting was the indicates that Microsoft plans to release something called the “XTV service” and apps for the Xbox 360 over the winter 2012. We’re not sure exactly what this means, but a new service coupled with the launch of Smart-Glass would suggest that our old friend 360 has some life in it yet. Can’t wait to hear more on this.
One page in the document also contained a draft marketing motto for the Xbox 720: “All Your Entertainment. One Box.” Another page discussed the current life expectancy of the current Xbox console, with suggestions that its sales will begin to decline at the beginning of 2013 beginning next year, while next-generation platforms from rivals Sony and Nintendo up-speed, as well as “new threats from Apple (AppleTV) and Google (Google TV)”.
The document also clearly points out some of the Xbox 360′s key limitations, which according to Microsoft include:
- No full fidelity AAA Games + Kinect V1 sensor
- Will not support full range of XTV platform scenarios (e.g. 1080p video + Video Chat + HTML5 Apps)
- Lacking modern entertainment capabilities (e.g. Blu-ray, Native 3D output, 2x1080p in/out)
- Can’t run ‘always on’/low power states
- Can’t run multiplexed or concurrent applications and service
Accordingly, these shortcomings will all be addressed with the 720 as well as supporting Blu-ray, native 3D, video acceleration, plus five separate power settings including an ‘always on‘ power down state.
There will be a new dashboard for Xbox Live and all new “next-generation service experiences” that will be exclusive to the Xbox 720. It is also noted that core franchises like Halo, Fable, and Gears of War will be available for the console, as well as new Kinect games, linear TV service, HD and 3D movies available in the video marketplace, and XTV applications in a TV App Store for the console. The Xbox 720 will also feature backwards-compatibility, so we will all be able to enjoy older titles like Halo 3 for many (many) years to come. Reassuring, as I’ll probably still be battling my way through Skyrim and its DLC in the year 2020 at this rate.
Who’s this Fortaleza chap then?
Strangely, the leaked document also contains an Xbox 720 roadmap that is called “Road to Fortaleza” (see image below). Seemingly a code name, Fortaleza appears to be an augmented reality project that features Wi-Fi-enabled “Fortaleza Glasses” that are being planned for an Xbox 720 tie-in in the 2014 timeframe. We can only speculate at this stage, but it looks as though Fortaleza will work something like the Google-glass product showcased earlier this year.
Then in 2015, Fortaleza appears to really up the anti. The Fortaleza Glasses will get cell radio and 4G network connectivity and enabling Microsoft to turn them into little mini-consoles that serve as mobile hubs for Xbox content. Presumably, this would mean that a player would not need to be near their Xbox console to access their games and content, rendering any screen (tv, laptop etc) as a gaming platform in its own right.
The Sum Up
This is clearly an exciting day for Xbox owners and future Microsoft-converts. At present, none of the above information has been officially confirmed by Microsoft, however the document in question gives a lot of food for thought, and if you’re anything like me, you’re always hungry for Xbox.
I can’t wait to hear more about this in the coming days. Rest assured, you’ll here more as soon as we know. In the meantime, why not check out the next big development for Xbox 360, Xbox Smart Glass.
What other features would you like to see from the next Xbox console? What gaming series would you like to make a return to the next generation?