Microsoft hasn’t officially detailed the next-gen Xbox as of yet, but via the Durango XDK Documentation that assists developers on their journey to creating a next-gen gaming project – the addition of a Blu-Ray drive has been confirmed as well as minor hints on the next Xbox controller.
Within the Durango XDK documentation it states that every console sold will come equipped with a new high-fidelity Kinect Sensor which is a requirement for the system to operate. The new Kinect will not have a tilt-motor that is used on the Xbox 360 Kinect as a wider field of view for next-gen ensures none is needed, it also includes better resolutions and Active Infra-red for better visibility of gamers in low-light conditions. The next-gen Xbox controller bundled with the console alongside Kinect will have better ergonomics, use an improved low-latency wireless connection to the console, and have system interactions to the console that will be simplified for noncore gamers.
The next Xbox will have an ‘always on, always connected’ design so that gamers can instantly stay connected without waiting for load times in starting up the console, as it will also have different power states to draw minimum electricity when not in use. It also requires an always on internet connection and will have a Blu-Ray drive as standard including a HDD since the documentation states all games will need to be installed. Playing a game from the Blu-Ray optical disc drive will not be supported, backing up claims that every game is likely to require a one-time activation code. This might not render the console unable to support used games, but it is likely that codes or passes will need to be purchased separately. The disc drive will be able to install the game as you start playing to cancel out waiting times for installation before gameplay can begin.
At least the XDK clears a few things up since it was also rumoured the next Xbox will not have a Blu-Ray drive. We now know that the console will ship with Blu-Ray, it will come with a large HDD, all games will need to be installed, games cannot be played from the drive directly, a better controller, Kinect as standard, and an “Always on, Always connected” power and internet state to reduce waiting times.
When Microsoft make announcements, we’ll keep you informed.