More Rumors Spring Up About Next Xbox

More Rumors Spring Up About Next Xbox

Microsoft is expected to officially reveal the next Xbox  - conveniently dubbed the Xbox 720 by fans – at this year’s E3,  but June is an awfully long way away and we just can’t resist a juicy new rumor.

Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo revealed earlier today that an unnamed source has shared some rather impressive news regarding Microsoft’s upcoming system, some of which was to be expected, while others may leave you feeling a bit put off.

Rumor #1:

As if you couldn’t see this coming five years ago, Microsoft is said to be adopting a former opponent by upgrading its disc technology from the prehistoric DVD format to the next gen champion Blu-Ray.

Validity: Count on it.

Although Microsoft has managed to establish a powerhouse system, they have essentially been behind Sony for nearly five years in one regard: disc storage space. DVD’s paltry 9GB of storage space has relegated several Xbox 360 games to the dreaded ‘multiple disc’ fate common in the days of the PSOne, while a dual layer Blu-Ray can pack in a hefty 50GB of data, so the choice is obvious.

It’s a no-brainer that Microsoft needs to update and since the format war ended long ago, there is really only one option for Microsoft… unless they’re still convinced HD-DVD can make a comeback.

Rumor #2:

Something that has always been a hot button issue is the concept of used games and how they impact the developers. Well, Microsoft may be planning to incorporate some sort of anti-used game feature in the next Xbox, effectively destroying any hope of getting games on the cheap or even borrowing them from a buddy.

Validity?: 50/50 at best

I’m sure someone has written a doctoral thesis regarding the impact of used games on the developers and why or why not they should be abolished. That’s how big this issue has gotten. Game developers put years worth of time and effort into creating the games we play, but used game retailers like GameStop are effectively stealing a vast majority of income from these developers by reselling their games for nearly the same price. Some people think it’s time for a change.

On one hand, if Microsoft were to incorporate an anti-used game feature in the next Xbox, developers may see that as a show of good faith and throw more support behind the system – i.e. more exclusives. On the other hand, the developers simply make the games. Without gamers a system is nothing and if a gamer doesn’t want to pay full price for a game, guess what? They aren’t going to.

I’m of the mindset that the developers deserve the money for the time and effort they put into creating a game, so I do my best to get as many games new as possible. However, I realize that not everyone shares that same mindset and that giving the consumer no other option than to pay full price for a title may actually trigger a massive upheaval and ultimately push gamers to the competitor. Although no plans to go entirely digital are in the works, some similarities can be drawn here.

Anyone who owns a PSP Go will tell you how expensive being forced to buy from the developer can be. Games that are years old still cost next to full price, whereas a used copy can be picked up for just a few bucks. The same goes from the PSN with digital copies of PS3 and PSP games alike.

It’s one of those issues where regardless of the outcome, someone isn’t going to be happy. Microsoft just needs to figure out who is more important to keep happy.

Rumor #3:

Microsoft plans to launch the next Xbox with a new version of the Kinect.

Validity?: Quite possible

The Kinect is far from an industry mainstay with nowhere near every Xbox owner having one, but that more than likely isn’t going to deter Microsoft from pushing the technology. For many, the initial cost of the device coupled with a true lack of major titles may be the reason why many, including myself, passed on the device.

However, if Microsoft was to bundle the next Xbox with a new Kinect gamers really wouldn’t have anything to complain about and certainly no reason to not at least try the thing. An even more interesting prospect would be incorporating the Kinect’s processing board directly into the system for improved power and functionality.

Either way, Microsoft doesn’t seem to be ditching the Kinect any time soon.

 

Whatever the case may be regarding these rumors, Microsoft has a standard operating procedure that simply states ‘Do not comment on rumors and speculation’. So as it stands, take absolutely everything with a grain of salt, regardless of how reliable a source is. As fun as it may be getting amped up about what might be included on the next console, nothing is worse than a family size portion of disappointment.

 

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