A leaked 56-page document purportedly show Microsoft readying a new $299 (in a bundle with Kinect 2) console, with Blu-ray, and plans to implement a head-mounted glasses add-on
A leaked document, purportedly used in a Microsoft presentation way back in 2010, has provided some hints at what the next generation Xbox, codenamed Durango, will include.
The document, since removed, shows that Microsoft's next console will feature a Blu-ray drive, improved processing power, and even an augmented-reality style glasses system for Kinect version 2. The console with the Kinect 2 bundle will set back gamers $299, and will be ready by late 2013.
The hardware improvements will make the console capable of "true 1080p and full 3D" (many of today's games only run at the lower 720p resolution). The CPU will also feature something called "always-on" mode - a low power mode designed for media playback that will also allow the console to be constantly "on" and responsive.
Storage wise, a Blu-ray drive will be included alongside Flash storage and an internal hard-drive.
Connectivity also sees built-in wireless broadband support (featuring 3G and WiMax support).
The roadmap for the incremental improvement of the console, via new accessories, was also outlined. Kinect 2 will play a big role in the ongoing improvement of the new Xbox, with the improved Kinect being able to support 4 player simultaneous play, as well as reducing the room size requirement for play - two of the major limitations with the current Kinect system.
Most interesting perhaps is the mention an add-on called "Fortaleza", or "Kinect Glasses", which allows the wearer to interact with the game hands-free (aka Google Glasses), provide augmented reality/holographic style visuals, as well as providing the users with "real time information on people, places and objects."
And the roadmap even plots perhaps what will be the final version of the Xbox hardware - a "microconsole" concept where all of the graphical and AI processing is done in the cloud, allowing gamers to experience ever improving graphics without the "need to upgrade hardware again".
Of course, the authenticity of the now removed document cannot be verified, and even if it is real, the document dates back to mid-2010, and at best, it is a projection, not a detailed plan. Time will tell if some, or any, of the above becomes reality.