Sunday, June 24, 2012

Next XBox Master Plan

A document was released a few weeks ago that purports to be the Microsoft plan for their next XBox.(direct download) 

CVG did an analysis of the document and claims that it is real. Although the document is from 2010, it is likely that, while some of the specific details may have changed, reading through this document should give us a good idea of what to expect in the next XBox when it comes out (likely) for Christmas 2013.

The full analysis can be found in this article.

The most interesting things to be included in the next XBox:

 - Their plan is to set the system up as an all-in-one entertainment hub. This means that it will probably look more like a present Blu-ray player, so as to be less intimidating to the average consumer.

- The system will be able to record in the background and multi-stream. So you will be able to record a TV show while playing a game and then start watching that show on the system but then moving it to other devices in the home (i.e. smartphone, tablet, etc). I think the background recording will be a welcome feature. We already can watch a show and record another, why not play a game and record a show.

- Kinect is to allow up to four players, likely with 2 cameras/mics placed in two separate locations (i.e. each side of the TV) and the ability to recognize props (baseball bat). I hope so. The Kinect is a bit rough. My 5 year old daughter plays some Kinect games and is constantly frustrated when she cannot get it to do what she wants. I don't mind her getting frustrated, but frustration for her means complaining to me, and that gets me frustrated. Part of the problem is her lacking the fine motor skills, but the system does need to be more accurate. I hope to see more accuracy in the voice recognition, but I suspect that is more on a software refinement, and that is ongoing.

- The last, and probably more interesting item is a plan for some type of augmented reality glasses, called Kinect Shades. This appears to be something that might be releases a year or two after the system itself. CVG has a 3D reality expert claiming that this technology is "entirely feasible" now.

Next year should be interesting in the console world. 

How will Sony respond?

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