Officially, Microsoft will launch Xbox Infinity tomorrow, but the specs of the prototype have already leaked today, revealing TV, streaming, DVR, AR, and everything else people could ask for in a video game console.
Microsoft has already hinted that its next-gen video game console would be called Xbox Infinity, instead of the number everyone speculated (720). However, besides IllumiRoom, which is known to come with the future console, nothing else made the jump from rumor to fact. Until now, that is. Today, the specs of the Xbox Infinity prototype surfaced, with or without the Redmond giant’s permission.
With such features as DVR, augmented reality and streaming, the new Xbox would force Sony’s PS3 and Nintendo’s Wii U to eat its dust. The PS4 would need to pack some really serious features to make gamers take their eyes off the next-gen Xbox. Even though a DVR and a TV tuner have been offered with the PS3 for quite a few years, this offer was only available in the Land of the Rising Sun (that would be Japan). Sony is rumored to enable streaming on its PS4, so if anything, Microsoft doesn’t do anything but level the combat terrain.
The strategy here seems to be to integrate as many services and features as possible into one device. Of course, IllumiRoom and AR would require a few add-ons, but other than that, everything else would be integrated into the new Xbox.
In case anyone is curious why would streaming be necessary, there could be many answers, but the most important ones is backward compatibility. In the years since the launch of the Xbox 360, gamers must have amassed quite a few games that… ta-da… won’t be compatible with the next video game console, mainly due to the AMD architecture that is used. In this scenario, Microsoft could enable gamers to stream the older titles from the cloud.
The new video game console will be launched tomorrow, but anyone wanting to play any new games on it would have to wait some more. The first titles will be launched at E3, in June, while the console is said to be released to the public in November, in two pricing plans. One option would be to buy the Xbox Infinity as it is, at a higher price, while the other possibility would be to purchase the console at a smaller price, while being tied to a two-year subscription for Xbox Live Gold.
It is uncertain how many of these features will make it from the prototype to the retail version, but the latter will pack DVR and augmented reality, I can’t complain.