We’re nearly there – in just a few short hours Microsoft will at last reveal the successor to the Xbox 360. But what exactly are we to expect from the announcement?
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Well, possible names include Xbox Infinity, Xbox Fusion or simply Xbox. Or course something altogether different that we’ve not yet heard.
Expect a November launch in all major markets with two SKUs available at launch – a high-end (and likely high-price) feature packed SKU and a feature-light entry-level offer, possibly subsidised by a subscription to Xbox Live.
Indeed, MCV understands that retailers have been told to “expect a change to the model” of how the new machine is sold. Does that point to a mobile phone like model? Or the eradication of pre-owned?
On that subject, it seems that while Microsoft once planned to force users to adopt a permanent internet connection for the console to work, that is no longer the case. Also ditched are the plans to launch a disc-less set-top-box SKU designed to counter Apple TV.
As for the specs, it’s entirely possible we’ll be left with some gaps in our information even after tomorrow, but general consensus points to a machine with slightly less beef under the hood than we’re getting with PS4 with a heavy emphasis on Kinect 2.0 functionality.
Expect Kinect to recognise you and link to your Xbox profile even if you’re sitting in front of it at a friend’s house, too. There might be some “interesting” consequences for that functionality, we’ve been told.
Expect the theme of “family-friendly entertainment centre” to feature strongly. Don’t expect backwards compatibility with Xbox 360, though do expect to be given the chance to buy 360 back-catalogue titles over Xbox Live.
Could we also see a big reveal for Xbox Illumiroom? That’s a Microsoft tech that uses a second Kinect sensor and a projector to expand the visual space beyond the TV by beaming additional imagery onto the room itself. Early demos look very impressive and Illumiroom would certainly offer tentpole functionality not seen on rival machines.
Games are likely to be thin on the ground tomorrow night, with most being held back for E3. The Xbox’s launch line-up is expected to include Crytek’s Kinect-centric Ryse and Bungie’s Destiny. What we do expect tomorrow is a big showing for Activision’s Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Contrary to some reports, don’t expect to see anything of Respawn Entertainment’s debut title.
Excited? Us too. We’ll see you tomorrow.