We’ve already heard the rumors that Kinect will be shipped automatically with the next generation Xbox and that the console will need internet connection in order to function. Now, Kotaku releases more leaked information about the next Xbox and some of Kinect features.

The next-generation Xbox will run multiple games at once, require game installations, and will only work when a much-improved version of the popular but divisive Kinect sensor array is plugged in, according to a source who says he has access to development hardware.

- Kotaku

Kinect to be mandatory

Not only will Kinect be delivered with Durango/next-gen Xbox but it have to be plugged in and calibrated for the console to even work.  Furthermore, the new camera will be able to continuously track up to six individuals in the same room, as well as independently track thumbs and read facial expressions.  On top of that, the camera will have a wide enough angle so Kinect won’t need to move anymore to find the best view.

According to sources of The Verge, Durango

…will support wake on voice, natural language controls, and speech-to-text. The improved capabilities mean that Xbox users will be able to walk into a room and simply say “Xbox on” to wake up the new Xbox.[...] The support will include natural language detection, similar to Apple’s Siri service, that will let users ask things like “what are my friends playing” to receive a friends list. Xbox will also reply back to users with answers to queries.

Now, while it all sounds very high-tech and cool, I must say I’m not particularly enthusiastic to have a camera constantly looking at me when the Xbox is on. And all of that while connected to the internet. Privacy concerns anyone?

Next generation Xbox features

Some more of Durango specs include:

  • the HDD will be of 500GB that will allow games to be installed immediately upon disc insertion into the console
  • will be able to run multiple games at once and will support pausing of one game to switch to another game and then be able to return to the first game without losing any information/progress
  • new controllers will be required (Xbox 360 controllers won’t work with Durango)
  • capability to deliver stereo 3D content in 1080p on 3D TV’s
  • will have wi-fi built-in

These are all rumors and nothing has been confirmed yet by Microsoft. But I don’t believe these rumors come out of nothing. Maybe some are a bit exaggerated, some misleading, maybe some will change before the actual release, but I’m sure we’ll see some of these features in the next generation Xbox. What do you think?

Source: Kotaku, The Verge
Thanks to 123KINECT visitor Cazz for submitting this news!