Rather than reporting on everything at once, we’re going to have a mini-series on the leaked document.
Look, Microsoft’s next-gen console is coming next year and with it a new versions of Kinect and a ten-year cycle
For a little while it looked like the leaked next-gen Xbox dossier was a fake, with some fans questioning the hand drawn art style. When it was taken down by Microsoft and confirmed to be line with other documents from the company it seemed legit, and so we thought it would be a good idea to break down the most interesting parts into a mini-series.
The first piece of information is the estimated ten-year cycle for the next Xbox. Currently, the Xbox 360 is on its sixth year. That’s a long cycle, and we’ve already seen trilogies ending (Uncharted) and new ones beginning (Halo 4, the beginning of the Reclaimer trilogy). That’s partly because developers are struggling to create new IPs, but partly because the technology is limiting what developers can do. We’re not going to get games looking like Watch_Dogs or Star Wars 1313. It’s impossible, so the talk of a ten-year cycle seems too optimistic.
Though could it happen? Yes, quite easily: the hardware from Microsoft and Sony will see a significant bump (Sony’s head flat-out denied claims the Wii U would outperform the Orbis). More powerful hardware means games like Star Wars 1313 are just the beginning, though some industry veterans such as John Carmack have said that the next-gen hardware really isn’t that exciting. And I agree, because a better level of graphics isn’t what I want in the long-term. It’s different games, not the next Call of Duty.
Kinect 2.0: Can Microsoft Make It Work?
Then there’s Kinect, and version 2.0 of the motion sensing peripheral. It’d been a mixed bag for Microsoft: 10 million – and probably more – units have been sold, but the software is lacking. Star Wars Kinect was a critical failure, and that was meant to be one of the platform’s biggest titles. Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, which released this week, simply didn’t work. Are consumers really going to buy into a product when it’s software isn’t performing as advertised? Kinect 2.0 needs to address these issues next time round.