Allard surprised attendees by going into detail on plans for Xbox 2, ahead of the system’s formal unveiling at E3 this May.
“In the HD era the platform is bigger than the processor,” he said. “New technology and emerging consumer forces will come together to enable the rock stars of game development to shake up the old establishment and redefine entertainment.”
Allard then proceeded to give a rundown of the features which would comprise the Xbox 2 ‘guide’: elements which will exist across the whole connected digital experience of the next generation.
Xbox 2 users will use Gamer Cards to store and swap information over Xbox Live with other users; a Marketplace will offer a one-stop online store for the purchase of downloadable content. Within this framework, micro-transactions can also be made, purchasing special content for $0.99 a time.
He went on to describe the hardware design principles of the next-generation Xbox, also insisting that familiar software technologies – including Microsoft’s recently announced XNA Studio – would: “Complement the new hardware to help game developers unlock increasingly powerful and complex silicon.”