June 17, 2012
Leaked Documents Allegedly Reveal First Xbox 720 Details
A leaked 56-page document that allegedly originated from Microsoft could provide the first concrete information about the company's next video game console.
According to CNET Saturday News Editor Edward Moyer, the gaming system, known as the Xbox 720, will include Blu-ray functionality for HD movie playback, and will also be able to play films in 3D.
"Alongside a promised 6x performance increase, there's also mention of true 1080p output with full 3D support and an 'always on' state for the console," said Tom Warren of The Verge, adding that the hardware would be "designed to be scalable in the number of CPU cores and their frequencies."
"Microsoft appears to have been debating whether to use six or eight ARM or x86 cores clocked at 2GHz each with 4GB of DDR4 memory alongside three PPC cores clocked at 3.2GHz each for backwards compatibility with existing Xbox 360 titles," he also noted. "Microsoft rounds off the document with a promised price point of $299 with its Kinect 2 hardware and a prediction of a 10-year lifecycle with more than 100 million units sold."
A successor to the Xbox's Kinect motion-control accessory was also detailed in the document, Warren reported on Saturday. The device, identified as Kinect v2, promises to be more accurate with improved voice recognition, stereo imaging, dedicated hardware processing and support for up to four players. Warren said that the document promises a variety of software applications for the enhanced motion-sensing device, including carnival games, pub-style games like darts, and sports games (with basketball mentioned specifically).
Finally, the document reveals something known as "Project Fortaleza," which CNET UK's Joe Svetlik describes as "Google Project Glass for games," The glasses, which aren´t expected to be launched until 2014, will reportedly function over Wi-Fi or 4G, will be capable of producing augmented reality environments, and can also be used apart from the console.
In related news, the Telegraph reported Saturday that Microsoft will unveil advertisements that utilize Kinect technology before the end of the year.
The ads, which are scheduled to debut this fall in the US, are called "NUads" and will allow gamers "to interact and control the experience using their bodies and voices," the UK newspaper reported. Toyota, Unilever, and Samsung have been announced as three of the first companies participating in the ad campaign.
"Viewers of the Kinect-enabled adverts will be able to choose what part of the advert they want to see using the motion or voice control. And the brand in question will be able to collect data about the viewer based on the choices individuals have made," the Telegraph reported.