A super secret source at Develop is saying that EA is actually in possession the next generation Xbox! The successor to the Xbox for now only exists as a very early build without any official casing and is being hold together by a PC shell. The fact that a next generation Xbox is coming does not come as a surprise to any, but the fact that the hardware is already there (although in an early stage) is a big shocker! It’s doesn’t end there though, there is some good new regarding Kinect!

Next Xbox and Kinect

Although the source claims that the new Xbox hardware exists, there is unfortunately not a single piece of information as to what kind of hardware will power the new Xbox. But fortunately for us there is actually one bit of extra info about the new Xbox and it is concerning Kinect!

Develop understands that the hardware will feature enhanced support for Kinect with just a couple of alterations.

This is very interesting news as enhancements to the Kinect sensor are very welcome! The fact that the Kinect support will be enhanced with just a couple of alterations is even more interesting! This could mean two things, either the Kinect sensor itself will get a couple of modification or the new Xbox gets a few Kinect specific modification (or both). In other words: it might be possible that the current Kinect sensor will be compatible with the new Xbox!

Kinect enhancements

So how would something like this work? Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is perhaps a change to the way Kinect communicates with the Xbox. We already reported on the fact that the USB 2.0 interface of the Xbox360 is the bottleneck to Kinect, so if the new Xbox would support USB 3.0 and this would somehow work with the current Kinect it means that only then the full power of the Kinect sensor can be utilized! This would require the Kinect sensor to have an USB 3.0 cable but as of now I have no idea if the Kinect cable is USB 2.0 or 3.0 (does anyone know this?)

Another enhancement could be in the form of optimized software, or an internal chip in the new Xbox that will aid the Kinect sensor in doing motion controlling calculations! But whatever this enhancement will be, I’m sure it will give the Kinect sensor a boost in functionality and will give developers the needed new features to make more innovative games!

What do you think these enhancements will be?

Update: EA responds

EA has responded to the story about the next Xbox being in their possession and completely denied is. EA spokesman Jeff Brown said in a statement to Kotaku

This story is a total fabrication – 100 percent not true

This could either be to cover up the story because this info really was not supposed to come out, or the next Xbox really is not in EA’s hands at all. We’ll keep you updated if we hear anything more about this rumor!