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Xbox World unveils top changes with Xbox 720

While it’s set to close its doors after just one more issue – which goes on sale tomorrow – Xbox World has once again come forward with a lot of big details about Microsoft’s next generation Durango/Xbox 720 console.

So what are we looking at with a next-gen machine? Xbox World breaks it down into several major points that will make the “Xbox” – some blame Apple for the naming changeup, I blame John Rambo and Rocky – a game changer in contemporary video games.

Xbox World
The mock up of what the 720 could look like has a real media-player look to it
  • For central processing, XBW (via CVG) thinks we’ll be looking at a 22-28nm, quad core CPU, with similar clock speeds to the Xbox 360 (3.2GHZ) but with a much bigger and faster cache. It’s likely that like the late generation Xbox 360s too, we’ll also see the GPU and CPU on one die.
  • With more CPU brute force comes better physics and more realistic looking worlds, with a lot more NPCs as background extras. Destruction will also improve, with more interactivity in environments.
  • Kinect 2.0 might not be available at launch, but will be soon after, with the ability to track up to four people and movements as small as finger twitches.
  • Augmented reality is expected to be a big part of Durango’s sales pitch, though it is thought likely not to appear until sometime in 2014. Not sure how this would work? Think Micro Machines, but in your living room.
  • 3D Sound could make an appearance too, though the hardware for that application at the moment is pretty damn expensive. If implemented, it could allow for some interesting audio based puzzle games, or simply more realistic environments, that with Kinect motion tracking, could react audibly to player and character movements.
  • Blu Ray discs will be the medium of choice, with a capacity up to 50GB. Gone will be the seek times of old, requiring installation – though depending on the internal storage medium, it’ll still probably be a good idea. A slim Xbox further down the line could also do away with the optical drive altogether.
  • DirectX 11 is practically guaranteed for the next Xbox, which means tessellation, better anti aliasing – along the lines of Epic’s Samaritan or Unreal Engine 4 demos.
  • New controllers will surface it’s thought, with touch screens and remappable buttons being some of the most obvious. However Kinect is likely to come into play here too, with voice and gestures part of the mix.
  • Cloud gaming and a new Xbox Live. With better patching procedures, remote gaming for demos perhaps, better social media interaction and simple streaming, the next Xbox is likely to become more PC like in its makeup.

So this is what those in the know think we have ahead of us. How accurate do you think they are and is there anything they’ve missed? Let us know.

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