The next Xbox, codenamed Durango internally at Microsoft, has been surrounded in rumors for a long time. Microsoft offers no information as they hold out for their big console announcement. We don’t even know what it will really be called… Xbox 720? Xbox Next? Who knows. But we do know a little bit more about the next-gen console thanks to screenshots of the developer kit. The next Xbox’s SDK is called the Durango XDK. After installing it, it gives you full documentation on the tools and quite a bit of data on how the next Xbox will work. Here’s what we’ve found out…
- Always on, Always connected
- Low powered mode
- Kinect sold with every console, wider FOV, no motors, better tracking
- Kinect is required to be plugged in
- Low latency controller with “improved ergonomics”, simplified interaction with console OS
- Bluray drive
- All games must be installed on HDD (you can start playing during installation)
- Only digital audio out
Many of these details about the next Xbox/Durango have been predicted and rumored for the last many months. While this is short of an official announcement from Microsoft, you can pretty much be sure that this is true since its from the Durango XDK. One of the big points of concern for most gamers seems to be the fact that games will not be playable from your disc. Instead you must install the game on the Durango’s internal hard drive. This does come with some silver lining though because you can play the game while it’s installing from the disc. This is not unlike the PS4‘s ability to play games while they are downloading. It also appears that putting the disc in the Durango while playing might be necessary although we have not confirmed.
The next concern is the always on internet connection. If this is actually a requirement to play games, this could mean trouble for gamers with a poor internet connection or places without a wifi/wired connection (ex. people who connect with 4G LTE cards). It is not clear whether or not this will be required to play games on the Durango yet.
The Xbox 720 will include the Kinect but you’ll need to keep it plugged in. This is a privacy concern for many, although it can be easily countered simply by covering the unit with a towel and blocking the mic. Some expected new features come as good news though such as the improved (and hopefully a better d-pad) and a Bluray drive (although presumably Microsoft will make you buy a remote to watch movies). It’s still unknown if the Durango will block used games from being played.