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Leaked: Xbox 720 slated for 2013 release


June 19, 2012

A document allegedly leaked from Microsoft details the company's possible plans for the next Xbox, including a 2013 holiday release, $299 price tag, and augmented reality glasses

A document allegedly leaked from Microsoft details the company's possible plans for the next Xbox, including a 2013 holiday release, $299 price tag, and augmented reality glasses

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Rumors about a possible next-gen Xbox have been swirling for quite awhile now, dropping minor details like Blu-Ray support and major details like software that prevents used games from playing. But those were tiny pebbles compared to the avalanche of possible features that were recently revealed when a 56-page document purportedly leaked from Microsoft showed up online.

The hefty document, titled "XBox 720-9-24 Checkpoint Draft 1," showed up on Scribd originally and outlines exactly what features Microsoft thinks should be included in a "next-gen Xbox." Among a host of software and hardware upgrades for the "Xbox 720," the document points to a possible release date in late 2013, a price tag of US$299, and even augmented reality glasses with 4G connectivity.

Earlier rumors indicating Microsoft's goal is to make the Xbox 720 offer six times the performance of its predecessor seem to match up with the features listed in the leaked document. The new console should support true 1080p video, full native 3D, and improved video acceleration. A new "always on" power system may be included, that would cycle between five different power states - full power, media playback, idle, streaming, and standby - depending on what function is being used. The varied power states and improved processing power would allow for multiple apps to run at the same time - one example given is to have a live sports ticker at the bottom of the screen or picture-in-picture of a TV channel while a game is running.

The suggested tagline for the Xbox 720 is "All Your Entertainment. One Box," and the document focuses on improved media features. One diagram specifically names Apple TV, Google TV, and even OnLive as main competitors, along with Nintendo and Sony. A series of software upgrades would allow media to be streamed to any smart device, so a user could start playing a game or movie on a TV, move it to a tablet or phone, and then continue playing. A mentioned DVR feature would also allow live TV to be recorded and streamed in the same manner. If the console also uses a Windows 8 platform, as the document states, this could also streamline the development of games across Xbox, PC, and Windows phones.

One point the document makes very clear is that the Xbox 720 would need to be released in 2013 at a starting price of US$299 in order to compete with other video game platforms. From there, the console would be expected to have a 10 year lifecycle, with various SKUs being released over that time.

Aside from the possible new console, features of the next version of the Kinect are also detailed. "Kinect v2," would improve the voice recognition and HD camera on the device. An improved tracking system and dedicated processing just for the Kinect would actually allow for four players to use the Kinect simultaneously. There's also a possibility that we may see some force feedback-enabled peripherals like a baseball bat or steering wheel.

The most surprising parts of the document though are where it mentions "Project Fortoleza," also known as "Kinect Glasses." These aren't described as much as the Kinect v2, but, if genuine, are augmented reality glasses similar to the Google glasses revealed a few months ago. Slated for 2014, the glasses would be able to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi or 4G through a smart phone to play games and use online apps. The glasses would be able to connect to a dedicated app store, though the document doesn't go into any details about what types of apps might be offered.

It's worth noting that the document appears to be from a presentation in August 2010 and almost every page is stamped with the words, "For Discussion Only." So even if it is legitimate, nothing here is set in stone. Still, it is interesting to see what features could be on the table, especially since Microsoft has already confirmed products with features similar to those outlined in the document. Xbox SmartGlass and My Xbox Live for Android sound like steps towards providing Xbox content on multiple screens, for instance. The document even specifically mentions using a separate tablet to devise plays in a football game, learn more about the actors in a movie, and switching back and forth between video being played on a smart device and a TV, all of which were demonstrated at E3 2012.

Unfortunately the document has since been removed from Scribd at the request of Covington and Burling LLP, a law firm that lists Microsoft among its clients (thus fueling the rumors even further). Fortunately, the internet being a place where nothing ever truly disappears, there are plenty of other sites and forums where the full document can be found. It's certainly worth looking over, if only to get an idea of what could be possible in the next generation of consoles.

Via Nukezilla

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things. All articles by Jonathan Fincher

Hope the power supply is internal, not like the current huge box i struggle to hide behind my wall mounted tv. Hope the power supply does not die when taken from usa and used europe like the 360 did. Hope it is slim and can mount verticle.

If i have to pay extra for a live account just to use netflix or similar (pandora, etc...), its a total no go. If not, would gladly pay $300.

Here's my ultamite wish; that a small box covers the following functions; its my xbox for games, networked media player, internet media streamer, video chat, my cable modem- router-wifi router, Dvd/bluray player. Currently i have all this stuff cramed behind my tv. Its a mess. Even better would be a tv with all these features.


So, they're trying to turn the Xbox into a PC?

William Jolley

There are 2 things I don't like about my Xbox 360: I dislike being asked to pay money for Xbox Live Gold; and I positively hate the "negative option billing" scheme they persist in shoving down my throat. What I like most about my 360 is that, on my particular vintage of old hardware, I was able to flash the DVD drive and Microsoft has no way whatsoever to stop me playing backups. Actually, I just thought of another criticism: I don't like the way they shut down multiplayer servers for the older titles. Those are the things that matter to me, and the 720 doesn't seem to address those points, so I don't feel any motivation to upgrade. I have a feeling that tablets are going to leap-frog the 720 and become the new console. I've got a WD media player, I don't play blu-rays. Microsoft might be falling behind the times.


Most x-box titles are available for PC. I would be happy if all of them were - the graphics are better, the sound is better, the saves are faster, and there are more interface options. Even the Kinect works with my PC. I would rather just pay for windows 8 than pay for a new box to sit in my living room and do what my PS3 and computer already do (oh, look, blueray, bluetooth, 1080p, and streaming media... how... quaint). Seriously, this spec sheet looks like they looked at the list of existing Sony peripherals and put a -slightly- better processor in.

Charles Bosse

"prevents used games from playing" Epic. FAIL.

Gregg Eshelman

If I can't play my current 360 games on the new console then I will not play it. I still have and play my PS2. The PS3 does not have reverse compatibility. That is part of the reason I choose a 360 over a Wii or PS3. Also any console that locks out used games will die in the current market.

Doug Doyle

@Doug Doyle

Unfortunatley i dont think it will as the developers dont see any of the money from second hand games. The people who buy a game thinking they will trade it in after they are finished with it may have second thought now but big titles like COD will probably not see any effect on their sales.

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