A document surfaced last week that had video-game fans guessing about what's in store for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox 720. It quickly circulated around the Internet, leaving gamers wondering whether there was any truth behind the alleged plans in it.
According to ComputerAndVideoGames.com, a source has confirmed the paperwork is in fact legitimate.
The 56-page document was written in 2010, and therefore it may not contain the newest developments in the Xbox successor. Microsoft has issued a statement to CVG, basically telling fans and analysts to wait until the company is ready to make its announcements.
The Microsoft statement reads as follows: We understand there is great interest and anticipation for what comes next for Xbox and we are lucky to have customers who are so passionate about the platform. Today, there has never been a better time to own an Xbox 360 console. We have found new ways to extend the console lifecycle by introducing controller-free experiences with Kinect and we've re-invented the console with a new dashboard and new entertainment content partnerships. We are continually thinking about the future of the platform and when we have something to share, we will.
This response from Microsoft doesn't say whether the information found in the documents is true, but CVG did report that one anonymous source verified the findings.
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A development source at CVG has confirmed the validity of the Xbox 720 document, the website reported. Lawyers for Microsoft have informed various online publishers to remove the file on grounds of copyright.
For the information to have been forged, the imposter would have had to pay impeccable attention to trends in 2010, when the industry was primarily focused on HTML5, 3-D TV, and Google TV. An image in the paperwork displaying the final box art for Halo Reach also suggests the files were put together in 2010.
Because the content is from two years ago, however, the information may not be considered completely reliable, as plans change with the times.
A lot of what you see in there ties with design docs here and other studios working with Microsoft, the source told CVG. Some of the hardware specs are ... odd, completely not what we're looking at, and there are other things in there (haptic controller?!) that I haven't heard about.
It became clearly evident with E3 2012 that game consoles are moving toward the idea of acting as multimedia entertainment sources. This was a sentiment that Microsoft had promoted since 2010, as the allegedly leaked files indicate. XTV is the working title for online services such as TV streams, music, and video. Blu-ray playback will also be supported. But with Xbox 720, Microsoft will allow users to blend applications together. Users will be able to have sports feeds over movies, game guides over games, and other overlays.
The reportedly leaked plans also reveal some exciting prospects for TV lovers. Xbox 720 is said to support background recording, which means a player can record live television while a game is being played. The footage could then be watched on the console afterward, and it also would be able to be streamed to other devices in the home, such as a tablet or smartphone.
A next-generation of Kinect was alluded to in the documents, which would theoretically include two cameras and microphones as opposed to the single set used now. Referred to as Kinect Version 2, the upgraded motion-based game-play device would allow four players, sitting or standing, to participate in the game.
But an additional camera and microphone set isn't the only new piece of hardware for Kinect. The file describes a device known as Kinect Shades, which would be augmented-reality eyewear, allowing several players to experience the same three-dimensional image.
The game has broken out of the screen and is all around you, the document reads.
Microsoft has said in the paperwork that Kinect Shades would be a breakthrough in heads-up hands-free devices.
As for the Xbox 720's alleged tech specs, the document noted that the console will feature a 6-8 core CPU consisting of either ARM or X86 chips. A 3-core PowerPC chip is also said to be included for backward-compatibility. The plans also include a dual GPU, one dedicated to applications, and the other dedicated to System.
The Xbox 720 is rumored to be priced at $299, according to the files, which would be less than the latest bit of hearsay claims about the Wii U's cost. But, until Microsoft makes an official announcement, there is no way to know for certain.