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Rumors about the next Xbox

xboxlogoThe Spring is usually a good time for big companies like Apple, Samsung, and Sony to announce their flagship products. Sony had revealed its next generation console while both Samsung and Apple are now set to unveil products in the coming weeks or months. Microsoft is most probably jumping on the bandwagon by announcing a major product, and multiple sources have confirmed that April will be a good time for the software tech giant to showcase its new Xbox.

There have been rumors of a next generation Xbox gaming console for months now, but so far Microsoft has declined to comment when it will be unveiled, what hardware specifications to expect, or even what name to call it. Probably a marketing surprise to add more mystery surrounding the product, or just plain old tactic to create more rumors to create more public interest. Whatever the case, almost everyone expects a new Xbox following Sony’s announcement of its new PlayStation 4.

Let’s take a look at the rumored features of the new Xbox below.

A new name

Legit leaked sources confirm that the new Microsoft device is code-named Durango but not everyone is sure if it will be called Xbox 720 officially. Other keen observers say that Microsoft’s recent acquisition of domain names like Xbox8 may imply that the new console will be named Xbox8, with the number 8 also symbolizing “Xbox Infinity”.

Privacy concerns for entertainment feature?

One of the current entertainment features of Xbox allows streaming of videos and movies. The new Xbox is expected to continue and enhance this feature in the near future. Sources are saying that Microsoft will most likely take advantage of the patent it won named “Content Distribution Regulation by Viewing User”. The patent, approved under the ownership of Microsoft in 2011, revolves around the idea that Microsoft can use the Kinect Motion sensor to count the number of people streaming or watching a movie. This would allow them to charge users on a “per seat” basis by looking at your living room to see who’s currently watching. Sounds creepy but don’t forget that rumors can be this unpleasant sometimes.

Impressive hardware

Microsoft aims to provide more than enough reason for hardcore PC gamers to switch to console gaming by ensuring that the new Xbox can deliver amazing hardware specifications. However it will be called, the new Xbox is rumored to feature more powerful chipsets compared to the current Xbox offering. The new console will use processors and video cards six or times faster than an Xbox 360. Kotaku previously said that the new Xbox will run an 8-core, 64-bit infrastructure with 1.6 GHz processing power. Its graphics card will also have a 800mhz DirectX 11.x processor.

For storage, the new console will have a minimum of 500 GB hard drive, though games will only be available for installation.

If you have a 3D TV, the new Xbox should allow you to play games on 3D mode. As expected, this new console will come with more entertainment options than the current Xbox 360, even possibly allowing simultaneous playing of entertainment apps. As Blu-ray discs are becoming common, the new console will possibly come with Blu-ray player as well. Microsoft also filed a patent to allow a DVR in their new device so a user can record shows from live TV and watch them on the console. with Microsoft’s Smartglass app launched last year, the new console should have added compatibility to work with a Windows 8 phone or any other smartphone in the future. This means that you can hook up your smartphone to your console wirelessly and play games on your mobile.

Enhanced Kinect features

The later batches of Xbox 360 S did not come with a standard Kinect motion sensor but that may soon change with the arrival of the new Xbox console. One common prediction is that Kinect will become a standard accessory for an Xbox bundle in the near future. While this may raise the price of an Xbox bundle a bit, it can be safe to assume that this is Microsoft’s way of forcing voice calibration a significant feature for Kinect enabled games. Microsoft may have to lower down the price of the Kinect sensor if it will included in a bundle so the overall bundle price will be reduced.

As an added feature, the new Kinect sensor is predicted to have a wider field of view to allow up to six players instead of the current four player capacity.

Hardware-wise, the new Kinect will also feature significant upgrades over the first version. This means that it will now come with 3.0 USB connector to allow faster data transfer between it and the Xbox. Such upgrade means that more data can move to and from the console, which also translates to decreased latency, increased recognition of finger movement, more sophisticated gameplay, and more detailed facial recognition technology. It may even have higher resolution so as to allow it to recognize or interpret moods of users. Now, mood recognition may seem a thing of far future at this time but there’s a possibility of it being incorporated here.

More futuristic rumored features

Following Microsoft’s filing for patent ownership of a technology that allow for parts of a game to be shown all across the room, it can be assumed that there is a chance that the new console will allow a more immersive game play. It’s a cool idea but way too advanced for current known technology that would allow it to be featured for the next release. Reality glasses can also come sooner than expected allowing it to work with the Kinect sensor for a cooler gaming experience.

Sooner than expected launch date

the recent launching of the PlayStation 4 console may have pushed Microsoft’s own announcement of the new Xbox sooner. Developers have been making waves about an April announcement although Major Nelson gaming site has been preaching the upcoming E3 gaming conference as the most probable launch date. But one thing is for sure, the new Xbox will be available for sale during the holidays.