Microsoft’s Next-Gen Xbox May Require You To Use A Kinect

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The war for your living room rages on, and Microsoft has no intention of yielding any hard-fought ground to its gaming rivals. Rumors of a new Xbox have been flying around for months now, but Kotaku has put together the mother of all next-gen Xbox (a.k.a. Xbox 720, a.k.a. Durango) posts thanks to a secretive-but-chatty source known as SuperDaE — if the moniker sounds familiar, he’s the guy who tried selling what he claimed was a Durango developer rig on eBay a while back.

First up, the hardware — Kotaku claims that the final, retail-ready Durango console will sport a eight-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and a “800mhz DirectX 11.x graphics processor unit.” Other reported components include a 500GB internal hard drive (mostly for installing games, which is now said to be required upon a game’s first launch), as well as a Blu-ray drive. That info matches up rather nicely with earlier reports about the Durango’s internals, so it’s becoming very clear that whatever Microsoft has up its sleeves should have no trouble pushing pixels over the months and years to come.

And for better or worse, there will be more Kinect in your future. Apparently, its days as a pricey peripheral of questionable value are over — an updated version is said to be included with every new Xbox going forward. To top it all off, it’s being reported that the new Xbox simply won’t function correctly unless the Kinect is connected and has been set up. The Kinect’s appearance at CES and Kotaku’s new report illustrate that Microsoft strongly believes in the promise of motion and gesture control that the Kinect brings to the table — even if some gamers just don’t see the value. Surely I can’t be the only one who has trouble calibrating a Kinect to work well in tiny rooms.

While the new Kinect has been updated considerably (it can apparently track more discrete points on more people’s bodies), that certainly doesn’t mean that the Xbox will suddenly go without a traditional controller. While Kotaku wasn’t able to figure out exactly what the thing will look like, the new model is expected to be “a natural evolution” of the design used for the 360′s controller, albeit with a new and largely unexplained way of connecting wirelessly to the console itself.