What an exciting weekend it has been in the next-gen discussion department. We obviously didn’t see any next-generation hardware from Sony or Microsoft at E3 a few weeks ago, but it looks like it is Microsoft who appears to have detailed their Xbox 720 console a little prematurely.
Usually we would associate the Xbox 720 name as just a nickname in accordance with popular belief, but a leaked document from Microsoft has for the first time, referred to the device as the Xbox 720 meaning that it could well have this name upon release.
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The leaked document contains some very juicy information on Microsoft’s next console indeed and as you may have expected, it has already vanished off the face of the internet after being taken down by one of Microsoft’s legal representatives.
Aside from the Xbox 720 name, we also see a potential $299 price tag, augmented reality features, blu-ray disc support, cloud gaming, 3D glasses, Kinect ’2′ and much more. Those 3D glasses are thought to be part of a future 2014 project known as ‘Fortaleza’ and they could provide a similar functionality to Google’s exciting Project glass plan initiative.
There’s a more detailed breakdown of the leaked features over at The Verge here, while you can still check out one of the images contained in the document at NeoGaf here. Assuming that this information is all correct though and that Microsoft are going to unleash their $299 augmented reality Xbox 720 in 2013 – what does this exactly mean for Sony?
Sony are being incredibly secretive on their next-generation plans, repeatedly insisting that the PS3 still has a long way to go yet. If Microsoft are going to be bringing augmented reality in a big way to Xbox gamers, then Sony will surely have to conjure up something similar of their own as it’s clear that Microsoft are thinking of different ways to ‘wow’ gamers, aside from just a bog standard hardware upgrade.
We also see the mention of cloud-gaming too. It will be interesting if it turns out that Microsoft are actually the first to bring cloud-gaming support from OnLive and/or Gaikai to the Xbox, when it was heavily rumored before E3 that Sony would be the ones to announce this first.
Microsoft’s new Smartglass project is also another clear sign that the company are looking to market the next Xbox as an ‘all-in-one’ entertainment hub, perhaps taking this mantle away from Sony at the moment. You can also bet that the PS4 won’t be $299 either, but maybe even double that if they are thinking of adopting the same pricing patterns as the PS3.
It all looks really promising from a neutral perspective, as all those juicy new features for $299 would be very hard to turn down in our opinion. Presuming that Microsoft really has this in the pipeline, how will Sony plan to counter-attack this with their PS4? Do you think that Microsoft may have the better next-gen system at launch next year? Remember, this is still a rumor at this point until confirmed by Microsoft – which they are very unlikely to do.