Leaked Xbox 720 Document Highlights An “Always On”, Kinect Locked Console With Required Game Installs

Pitchforks to one side for a moment, this might not be real. But – hey – it looks real, and if it’s not it’s rather an elaborate attempt to fool the industry. That said, the site’s been close enough in the recent past, so it’s not out of the question that VGLeaks has got hold of the next Xbox’s SDK (software development kit) and the images posted of the installation process therefore hold some weight.

But it’s not the installation process that holds the juicy stuff, it’s a look at the help system, cannily left open on the Xbox 720’s (referred to as Durango here) introductory blurb. Blurb that mentions things like “Direct3D 11”, “modern hardware” and “move engines” – a cute moniker for tech that can apparently (for example) shift data around whilst compressing or decompressing it.

But the text also mentions some bits some might not be all that excited about. “Always On, Always Connected” is the topic of one paragraph – the system will remain on and alert but draw minimal power when not in use, and constantly check the network for patches and updates.

It also says that a Kinect sensor will be in every box, and will be required for the system to operate. It seems that Kinect will be used throughout the Durango’s UI, with specific mention to the offloading of NUI (Natural User Interface) code to the hardware so that developers don’t need to worry so much about making sure their games work with it.

Also, it says that all games will be installed to the hard drive and that play from the Blu-ray disks won’t be supported. It’s assumed you’ll need to have the disk in to verify the install, but everything will play from the hard drive, one of which will be included in each system although the size isn’t specified in the portion of the document we can see in the leak.

Players will, apparently, be able to start playing whilst the game is installing.

Again, worth stating that although this looks real enough not only could be completely fake, but even if it’s true it could be outdated information from an SDK months old. Or, well, it could be completely true – it’s not like any of this seems that remote from rumours we’ve been hearing for well over a year. Microsoft are rumoured to be having an Xbox event in April, so it’s likely we’ll know all this and more soon enough.

You can see the screenshot and more information here.


  1. The “always on, always connected” sounds like a way they’re forcing always online DRM to be used, I wonder if it will affect 2nd hand games. Bundling in Kinect V2.0 could bump up the price a fair bit, but the PS4 also bundles in the new PS Eye so it makes sense to include it too.
    Everything’s hotting up nicely for the Xbox event next month.

    • Honestly, the always on, always connected part reads like the system in place for the PS4, not always on DRM. The console is never really turned off and maintains an online connection to install patches in the background so you can start playing without having to wait for a download and install process to finish. It doesn’t specify that the internet connection is required to play games.

      • While the always-on is a smart idea in terms of the updates, I don’t think it bodes well for longevity. Sky boxes are always on and they seem not to last well, I’m on my third in three years, it’s understandable though I wouldn’t expect my laptop to last forever if I never turned it off.

    • A kinect in every unit. Welcome to Microsoft’s vision of tommorrow, where owners are gamers, but advertising numbers.

      They already have patents to licence movies per-person using Kinect to work out faces viewing. They have already implemented using kinect to look at you, recognize logos and other branding to talor your advertising unit (sorry Xbox) adverts.

      The box will of course not let you trade in games, each game is a once-only activation, and paying your Xbox Live subscription will be mandatory (no silver).

      Nice one Microsoft, you have locked in your braindead army and now it’s time to reap the rewards.

  2. Do I want an always on, always connected console that won’t function unless it has a camera plugged into it? Not particularly.

    Weird, who’s to say it’s not broadcasting, questions aside… I don’t want to have gestures as a forced operation component either.

    • Not buying the Nextbox but if I was the ‘gestures as a forced operation component’ would put me off.

  3. Always On, Always Connected? Not if I unplug it.

    • Always On, Always Connected? Not if I don’t buy it :-)

    • Turn the console on:

      “Xbox 720 failed to shut down properly. Please ensure you shut down correctly to avoid data corruption”

      Play some games and then finish and unplug.

      Turn the console on:

      “Xbox 720 failed to shut down properly. Please ensure you shut down correctly to avoid data corruption”

    • It may become self aware when you try to unplug it thus dooming us all to be enslaved by it. :O

  4. Sounds a little like the Vita’s standby feature with Plus enabled. Its rather silly that the current 360 requires power just to keep the time and date.

    None of this sounds too nasty although it certainly pushes the PS4 more towards an idea of ‘normality’. If it ever becomes a fact of always on DRM though, what a monumental suicide it would be. With the 720, I think I’ll just leave the pitchfork in the shed anyhow; couldn’t give a toss really.

  5. They can’t do that… who the hell would buy a console which forces you to use Kinect..? :O
    It’s going to be an interesting reveal but if the rumours are true it’s all sounding a bit ghastly so far.

  6. I’ll wait n see as things like this are always subject to change.Updates and patches should become a thing of the past except for future dlc as the price they’re gonna charge £60/70 for a new game should mean they get it right first time.

    • well said my friend. Thats bloody true. Maybe todays Developers could take a look at the quality of devs say 15 years ago, rather than bring out a game half finished.

      • Personally, I think it has to do with the fact that most developers, lack progammers who can code in low level languages. Most of the stuff that is being produced with written in fancy languages that demand ever more CPU and GPU resources.

        If you have a look what programmers are doing in the demoscene ( http://www.pouet.net) the amount of stuff they accomplish with 64 kB of code is just amazing. But these people know how to code. Companies that have evolved out the scene (DICE, Futuremark, IO interactive) are all well know for their products (mostly northern european)and good code.

    • Heh, keep telling yourself that. The day Bethesda deliver an open world RPG with no need for patches is the day I’m eating hats. Lots and lots of hats.

      • Your probably right but these devs and publishers who release broken games day one then moan about pre-owned and losing out on money need to sort their crap out.They can’t have it both ways,the full price of a game should mean a game gets released day one,no bugs,glitches and patches especially at the price they want to charge for next gen games.8)

  7. I shall happily wait for the XBOX event, ignore it completely and but a PS4 when available.

    On a serious note, this may well be very old info. But the install of every game on to a hard drive and not playing from disk adds weight to the blocking used games rumour that was doing the rounds a while ago. And that upset the whole internet for about three days.

  8. The required install sounds like a stupid idea if you ask me. Maybe the Blu-Ray drive is pretty slow and they want to keep loading times short? It’s definitely a setp towards PC gaming but the part about starting to play while the game still installs seems like an interesting feature. Sounds similar to what Sony is able to do with Gaikai’s tech.

    • Reading through the link, this is what worries me the most. Blurays are capable of storing anything between 25GB and 128GB of information – Unless M$ are thinking of bundling 3TB drives into the Durango, those installs will fill up a 250-500GB HDD pretty quickly.

      On a similar subject, one of my least favourite PS3 features is when you have to do a mandatory install before playing a game. Anything that gets between me and playing should be designed out at an early stage.

      • Yup that’s going to be a major problem. At the moment PS3 Blu rays are hardly filled as everyone still works to fit stuff on the Xbox format. Once both go to Blu-ray then they wont bother compressing and optimising data (takes times, cost money) and games will become huge.


      • A 500 gig would probably be filled by about 20 games in the early days which is OK in my opinion. I’d never play 20 new games at once on the system, unless they bought out some kind of Plus clone.

        One could probably hook up an external HDD/SSD anyhow.

    • LOL, good to see the myth that Microsoft created in 2006 that Blu-Ray is slow is still doing the rounds…

      You might be surprised to learn that the PS3’s Blu-Ray drive is actually faster than the 360’s DVD drive… Sorry to let facts get in the way of another one of Microsoft’s great internet myths…

      Ps3’s 2x blu-ray drive read at a constant 9 MB/s no matter if it is dual layer or single layer.

      360’s 12x DVD-rom drive It read at fluctuating rates. Double layer DVD it reads 4.36MB/s through 10.57MB/s averaging around 7.93MB/s (almost every 360 release is double layer)

  9. “Online DRM” Because that worked soo well for EA and Sim City.

    If MS are actually planning to include that anti-gamer DRM, they may as well give Sony a lot of cash as that type of DRM is hated by almost everyone. I hate the no turning off feature as i don’t want to leave it on for it to download patchs or download a lot in one day and when i get home, discover that my data limit has been exceeded. If the always on feature is true, i can see many people refusing to get it, just because of that as some people like not having their console turned on when not in use.

    For MS’s sake, i hope that this is a false leak by MS in an attempt to drum up some hype or it’s from a scrapped version of the Urango. Otherwise, it will fail. And that’s just the console. :O If MS keeps up their current policy of buying timed stuff and not focusing on the gaming side, they will struggle to sell it. :O I wonder if that bloke that waves at Peter will feature in the Kinect 2? :p

  10. Always on wont work for me. I want to turn my consoles off, so that they don’t break and last longer. I also don’t want my console downloading patches I might not want. I also don’t want to fully install my game, so it frees up more space for other media like psn/live games/movies/pictures and so on.

    If this is the way consoles are going, sheesh….I wont be getting one

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