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What to expect from the Microsoft Xbox announcement

May 1st, 2013 by Irwin Fletcher 1 Comment

We all knew it was coming, probably the worlds worst kept secret but Microsoft will be announcing their next gen console on May 21 at 6pm.

It will be livestreamed through Xbox consoles, Spike and Gametrailers so we can all watch in awe or dismay when they give us their Sony destroyer…

Being a fan of gaming and knowing a little about Microsoft strategy (plus loads of forum reading and wild speculation) I thought I would say what we could probably expect from this announcement.

The name:

It will certainly not be called Durango, that’s just a codename but industry analysts and other people in the know have suggested Microsoft will simply call this machine Xbox. No digits afterwards, no funky names just simply Xbox.

I personally like Xbox 720 and have been saying it long enough but I suppose Xbox works as well, might not help the original Xbox was called the Xbox but I’m fairly sure no one will mix the two up.

They will reveal the always online connection:


It is no secret, Microsoft have told us already but it is time for it to be confirmed. They will let us know that this new iteration of the Xbox will always need an online connection, whether it be for cloud streaming reasons, online connectivity or simply a way to keep piracy at bay (the Xbox 360 was a very easy machine to write firmware for, it was and still is a highly pirated console).

I hope there is someone there to ask the hard questions like “what if you can’t afford internet, what if there is no service in your area or what happens if your internet goes down. I once had a 2 month outage of internet because of line problems, would this mean during that time if I’d had this next gen Xbox that I would have been unable to game? Unacceptable.

It will not be backwards compatible:


Yeah that’s right, keep that old Xbox 360 in good condition, treat it with love and respect because if you enjoy playing it well you are going to need to keep it.

There are hardware limitations involved in backwards compatibility but I cant help but feel this is just a money making scheme hoping that people will re-buy games they love from some sort of cloud service.

It’s not easy making a machine backwards compatible especially with how far the technology has come but I imagine this will turn some people off from buying the machine. Who wants multiple consoles under their TV?

Hardware spec.


It had already been alluded to that it will have an AMD processor and 16GB of ram and a random assortment of off the shelf PC parts. At the event they are sure to get the tech savvy geeks salivating by telling us exactly what’s inside this glorious machine. To be honest I don’t expect the specs to be too different to the PS4, making it easier for developers to make games and port them to different consoles. Microsoft doesn’t want to give up that market share they have so I see no reason for them to head in a different tech direction.

It will be a media centre.


I can guarantee they will focus on this a lot, they will talk about the media capabilities, connectivity to cable services, Netflix, Hulu and all those wonderful streaming media sites.

They will spout words like “centre of your living room” and “all purpose console”. They will talk about fast internet connectivity, high definition and all those things people come to expect from a media centre.

They need a share of the market that isn’t hardcore gaming and the only way to do that is give the people what they want, a media centre. They want people not interested in gaming to purchase one just to watch TV. They have to be careful that they don’t alienate their hardcore fan base by making the Xbox unappealing to gamers and more appealing to your average Joe.

It will run Windows 8.


This is a no brainer, I mean it wont run the whole OS probably just a slight version of it but if you play around with windows 8 just now it feels like the Xbox dashboard.

They based certain parts of Windows 8 from the Xbox dashboard anyway so why not implement more of it into this powerful machine, it’s pretty much a PC anyway, plus they will need a good OS to run all those programmes in the background.

An Exclusive game:


Well they have to get the gamers in somehow, after showing off the media centre applications they will somehow need to come up with a way to bring the light back to the gamers.

The only way to do this is with exclusivity. Now over the past few years the exclusiveness of Xbox has dwindled, there was such a day when Mass Effect was an Xbox only but no more, times have changed and Xbox have very little to offer.

A new Halo game seems unlikely as does a new Gears game… what does that leave us with?

I suppose only time will tell but one thing is for sure, gamers do not want to see a rehashing of games that will also be on PS4 e.g. Destiny and Watch Dogs.


Xbox Live:


I don’t know if they will explain their new system but I’m sure they will show us brilliant new ways to personalise our avatars.

Over the years the Xbox avatar has been a way to show yourself off to the gaming world and so many accessories have been made for it.

Xbox Live could do with a little overhaul but I imagine it will look more the same with some new bells and whistles.

Social Interaction:


Gone are the days of sitting alone in a darkened room obsessing over level design or that boss you just can’t kill, gone are the days when gamers were viewed as outcasts of society. In its place are gaming clans, chatting with your friends and annoying people on the other side of the world.

Gaming has become more social with the implementation of the multiplayer game, so much so the PC community is screaming out for a simple way to chat to each other now.

Things have went a step further than that, with Facebook and Twitter telling everyone about your daily life and apps like Raptr telling everyone about your gaming habits the world has become a much less silent place.

YouTube is one of thee most popular sites in the world and if you scroll around it for a few minutes you will see an onslaught of gaming related videos, Sony has already tapped into this with their PS4 reveal outlining their social applications so it seems pretty obvious Microsoft will edge in with what they have planned.

I imagine Skype will get mentioned since Microsoft purchased them over a year ago and this could be a big step forward, especially for team chatting as sometimes Skype is much clearer than Xbox live chat.

Kinect 2.0:


I hate Kinect because somehow back when it was being released I got it in my head it was called Kinetic and its never left, plus the fact it seems like such a pointless invention.

Kinect 2.0 is bound to change this, with the ability to turn on the Xbox with a simple voice command or wave of the hand. Being able to tell NPC characters where to go during game and giving voice commands to your team in battle, yeah I can see that being cool.

Just do me one favour, don’t make me wave my hands around like an idiot, it’s not my idea of a good gaming time.

Kinect could work, with the introduction of the Illumiroom idea last year it could possibly change gaming, but let’s face it that is a long way off.

It’s cool that Kinect will come with the new Xbox but as to how much I will actually use it depends on how much Microsoft make me have to use it, personally I still want a simple power button and one on my controller too. I want to be able to turn it off as well so it doesn’t impede my gaming, especially if it reacts to my angry arm swings during that tedious boss battle.

They most likely will not show us the console or a new controller. I doubt they will discuss pricing either, after all they do need to leave something for E3 and they probably won’t tell us the release date either.

No matter what it should at least be interesting to watch, especially for everyone who liked the PS4 reveal.

What do you think will be revealed? Will it be great or a shambles? Are Microsoft making a mistake or are they headstrong?

Let us know.

I'm an LA journalist who really lives for his profession. I have also published work as Jane Doe in various mags and newspapers across the globe. I normally write articles that can cause trouble but now I write for FTN because Nerds are never angry, so I feel safe.