Monday, 18 June 2012

Rumor: Presentation Details Launch Plans for "Xbox 720", "Kinect 2", and Xbox AR Glasses

Rumor: Presentation Details Launch Plans for "Xbox 720", "Kinect 2", and Xbox AR Glasses
A set of documents rumored to be from an internal Microsoft business presentation show that the next Xbox console and the second version of the Kinect will launch in 2013 with a third piece of hardware, a set of Augmented Reality glasses, to come later in the console's life-cycle.

The document apparently dates back to August 2010 or before, details Microsoft's hardware strategy through 2015, and includes information on projects that have already been made public, including Microsoft's latest Xbox feature, SmartGlass.

The presentation refers to the next Xbox as the "Xbox 720", not the console's widely used codename, Durango. It will launch in 2013 with a $299 price tag. The console will have Blu-Ray functionality and will play games "4x-6x" better looking than what's possible on the Xbox 360. What that actually means is... not particularly clear.

The "Xbox 720" will have an "always-on" function, which may or may not refer to the console's rumored constant internet connection requirement. The console will be able to "multitask", running multiple apps at the same time and/or running app alongside a game.

The document says the "Kinect V2" will launch at the same time as the "Xbox 720", will be able to track four players at once, and will have improved physical and voice-tracking capabilities.

In addition to the two pieces of hardware we already knew about, Microsoft may be working on a set of Augmented Reality glasses, codenamed "Fortaleza". (Innovation Center Fortaleza is a Microsoft campus in Brazil.) The document doesn't detail how the glasses will interact with the new Xbox or the Kinect, but says that the glasses are on track to be released in 2014, far after the next console cycle kicks off.

Assuming these documents are the genuine article, which isn't clear, information from this presentation has been contributing to the next-gen Xbox rumor mill since last month, when Nukezilla reported on its contents.

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