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

If the leak is real, and the documents are recent, this doesn't look good. Especially the Kinect part.

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worth stating that although this looks real enough not only could be completely fake, but even if it’s true it could be outdated information from an SDK months old.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.

35 Comments

  1. i’ll wait until any official announcement by ms before engaging outrage mode.
    but IF this does turn out to be true, well, lets just say i’m not keen.

    firstly, i like using the joypad to control the system, it’s worked fine since the PS1 and and it can work fine into the future.
    i don’t want to wave my arms around to control the machine, and i like to be laze around when i’m playing sometimes.
    i have a bad back, so sitting upright hurts after a while.
    that’s my excuse, and i’m sticking to it. ^_^

    i know, the joypad will probably be an option, but it means the interface will be designed for kinect, and that likely means huge icons and and probably like half a dozen of them at most per screen.

    and frankly, i’m not sure i like the idea of an always on, always online camera that ms have access to.
    and possibly anybody who bypasses ms security, which seems to be quite a lot of people given the news from the end of last year.

    as for the always on thing.
    if it’s like the ps plus background downloading thing it doesn’t sound too bad, so long as it’s optional, i want to be able to turn the thing off and have it stay off.

    but if it’s part of some kind of anti preowned thing, well, you should know my views on that by now.
    it doesn’t sound like it from that first part, but the whole forced install thing makes me suspicious.
    why would they force you to install the games?
    are they planning on putting a slow bluray drive in the thing?

    after all the stick they gave sony for the slow drive in the PS3, but then that wouldn’t be the first time ms have done something they’ve criticised other for in the past, and then called it a good thing when they did it.

    and what about the hard drive?
    unless they’re gonna go for a couple of terabytes at least, that drive is gonna get filled up, especially with games on bluray potentially being 25 gigs, maybe more if the new machines support the bigger bluray discs, more layers or something isn’t it?

  2. Sounds expensive.

    If this is the final spec, unless MS are willing to take a huge hit on the cost including Kinnect and a decent size HDD is gonna push the price up.

  3. Kinnect bundled with every console. That says to me the next xbox will be more wavy arm games focused. That will be the reason for me not buying one.

  4. Its always on malarkey just seems that its going to be Simcity and Diablo III all over again….

  5. this would be suicide..

  6. I find it hard to manage my 320Gb HDD now without having everything I ever play slapped on it. Even a 1 Tb HDD wouldn’t last 6 months for a regular gamer without having to go through and ‘manage’ your space.

  7. The worry with M$ is that the hard drive won’t be large enough and it’ll cost a mortgage to buy their bespoke hard drive. I’ve nothing against the installing of games – they will probably end up running much quicker which will be great, I just worry about the available storage upgrades. That’s one of the great things about the PS3.

    Not particularly fussed about the built in kinect. Just won’t use it and will probably stick a sticker over the camera as it does make me nervous having an always on camera connected to the internet. If people ever saw what I got up to behind closed doors………they’d realise how boring I am :-)

  8. so future xbox “game” discs wont contain a working game as we know them now , they will just be a means to transfer data to a hdd ?.

  9. Won’t be buying the 3rd gen Xbox until 5 years into its life cycle then.

  10. Microsoft already have patents to charge for the number of faces detected watching movies, and charging accordingly, how long before that applies to games too?

    How long will it be before they charge depending the number of players in a game?

    This generation has all been about locking in the gullible idiots to their platform (and charging them for the privilege), the next generation is all about how to monetize them.

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