With less than 24 hours left to go before Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox event, we’ve compiled a list of games and features that are sure to be making an appearance on the new console. Here’s what you should expect from tomorrow’s headlining presentation.
1. 2013 Holiday Launch
Microsoft executive Aaron Greenberg has strongly implied that the company might be be aiming for a ‘holiday’ 2013 launch for its next-gen console. Greenberg also promised an encompassing ‘behind-the-scenes’ look to be shown at the May 21st event, as well as ‘tons of exclusive’ games to be unveiled at E3 2013. The good thing is, we’ll likely find out tomorrow whether or not we’ve read too far into his comments.
2. Automatic Game Installation
Kotaku sources claim that the next Xbox will come packed with a study 500GB hard drive, which surprisingly, will mostly be used for required game installations. Lucky for you, the console is supposedly able to install next-gen titles while you’re playing them. This is a strict divergence from the feature set of the previous console, which allowed for time-consuming installations, but magnificently avoided making them mandatory.
3. The Next Generation of Kinect
With the amount of time and money the company has poured into the Xbox 360’s Kinect features, it’s hard to imagine a new console without advanced support for motion controls. We’d be willing to wager our homes and families that some form of Kinect 2.0 will be be symbiotically integrated into the next-gen device. Combine that with Nintendo and Sony’s own Kinect competitors, and Microsoft has a lot to squeeze into its announcement tomorrow.
4. Xbox SmartGlass
Even with developers claiming that the Wii U is dead, Microsoft and Sony will be hard-pressed to ignore their strongest family-oriented competition. SmartGlass, Xbox’s tablet-based trojan horse, offers many of the same features seen on Nintendo’s peripheral-heavy console. With the new Xbox being branded as a full-on entertainment hub, it’s unlikely the company will forego this innovative technology.
According to a report from Kotaku, the new Xbox will allow for ‘game-swapping’ in the vein of iOS app juggling. The source, who somehow managed to leak a host of accurate PS4 details leading up to the announcement, alleges that the feature will allow users to place a game or application in a “suspended” state. From there, the user can move to a different game or app, interact with it, and then return to the original program when they’re ready.
A trusted Microsoft blogger, Paul Thurrott, has claimed that the device will come standard with an optical Blu-ray drive. If this is actually the case, you can expect that the console’s game library will be shipped with this technology, as opposed to the Xbox 360’s outdated DVD method. As should be obvious, this also means that the newest Xbox will follow in the footsteps of the PS3, providing consumers will a full-fledged Blu-ray player.
Microsoft has kept quiet about their newly unveiled IllumiRoom concept, but details are beginning to emerge regarding tomorrow’s industry-centric presentation. CVG reports that the projector-based technology will be making an appearance at the Xbox event, which means it might feature heavily into the new console’s core feature set. According to Microsoft representatives, IllumiRoom has the ability to “change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences”.
The next Xbox is being billed as “the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment,” (according to respected Microsoft blogger Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb). If the Xbox 360 has taught us nothing else, we at least know that the company is heavily invested in providing features and services the expand far beyond the scope of video games. Consumers should expect that the trend will continue into the next generation. There isn’t much word on which services will be making an appearance, but you can be sure that Netflix will be chief among them.
Destiny Watch Dogs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcMRkyoHKeA&w=610 Madden 25 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isdd-YCsU-A&w=610 Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZm7uorBmmE&w=610] Ryse youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCIDamMWaGc&w=610 Cyberpunk 2077 Battlefield 4 Thief Beyond Good & Evil 2 Call of Duty: Ghosts FIFA ’14 Beyond that, it’s more than likely that Microsoft staples like Halo, Forza, and Gears of War will be making an appearance in the near future. Interested in the announcements tomorrow? Keep your homepage glued to Gadget Review for all the latest Xbox news.
Boston-based writer, artist, designer, critic, loser & storyteller. Focused on the intersection of games, culture, narrative, and art. KillerStrokes on XBL, Steam, PSN. @Wherbit on Twitter. http://willpowerarts.com/