Next-Gen Xbox to Feature Blu-Ray, AR Glasses, and Broadcast DVR?

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According to rumors, Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox console will showcase awesome features such as Blu-ray, broadcast DVR, and augmented-reality glasses. The report came from a UK magazine, Xbox World, which published a long feature article on what they believe the next-generation gaming console would look like.

Citing “industry experts and Microsoft’s own leaky boat,” Xbox World’s write-up is largely based on leaked planning documents that surfaced last June. However, the document was taken down by the request of Microsoft’s legal representatives.

Dubbed as the Xbox Next, the magazine speculated that next-generation Xbox will be available on November 2013. In relation to this, there were claims that top developers are already making games for it.

Listed below are the expected features for the Microsoft’s next gaming console. Just bear in mind that the rundown is based on rumors, and Microsoft hasn’t confirmed any of it.

  • Hardware may include four hardware cores, 8GB of RAM, four USB spots (two in front, two in back), and a removable hard drive.
  • A “Kinect 2.0” may detect subtle finger movements and track up to four players in a single room.
  • Augmented reality glasses could work with Kinect to create virtual reality in your living room. Hello, Holodeck.
  • To further enhance the virtual reality vibe, the next Xbox could have 3D sound to project audio to specific parts of a room.
  • Microsoft may finally embrace Blu-ray in its next Xbox, but may eventually ship a slimmer console that skips optical discs altogether, possibly around 2015.
  • Rumors hint at a traditional Xbox controller, but with a touch screen or programmable buttons. Xbox World’s report adds some speculation from experts, but the controller still seems like major question mark.
  • Microsoft may try to build its own cloud gaming service, similar to OnLive and theSony-owned Gaikai, which would let players stream their games to tablets, phones and other devices. That would certainly make sense if an Xbox Surface tablet was on the way.
  • The console may strive to be “always-on,” so users can quickly wake it from standby and start playing. Favorite games may even be pre-loaded into memory so they start up faster.

Aside from the speculated features, Xbox World’s article also features a mock design, which is based on their “own interpretation of Microsoft’s newfound sense of industrial design”. It boasts the same VaporMG coating found in the Surface tablets, as well as the silver band that was taken after the company’s Wedge touch keyboard.

Assuming that these rumors will become a reality, it would be interesting to see what Xbox Next would look like. However, there is a big chance that the much-awaited console won’t deliver everything that was rumored—at least not for now.

On the other hand, Xbox World—which will cease its publication after the February issue—is available on iPad for $5.

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