“720 9/24″ Revealing Microsoft strategy document real eye-opener for Xbox next gen
A NeoGaf poster discovered a Microsoft strategy document that sources are saying is genuine, even though Scribd.com- where it was originally posted- removed the original by demands of the law firm representing Microsoft (Covington & Burling). BUT the PDF is still able to be a torrent here at the magnet link. Jeff Rigby had posted it on Scibd.com in September 2010.
“720 9/24″ is the title of a revealing 54-page document outlining the broad strategy for post-360 console hardware. Descriptions of a system more powerful than the Xbox 360 by 8 times that includes a Blu-Ray drive, whole house DVR capabilities, and a Kinect v.2 having 4 player tracking with HD Video Capture.
The block diagram illustrates a “6-8 core x86 or ARM-based CPU, 4GBs of RAM, a separate ARM-based, dual core embedded CPU for low power media functionality, AND the original tri-core PowerPC CPU from the 360 for backwards compatibility” in a system.
The weird thing is this is a blown out diagram of a system operating at 120 watts, which is half of the power utilized by the launch 360 and PS3. Rumors about the new console have been greeted with both excitement and dismay by gamers. In the first instance, there’s the touch screen controller that’s supposedly being readied for the new Xbox, in the second, there’s the report that it will carry some form of DRM software that prevents the console from playing used games.The pricepoint is $299 complete with built in Kinect. Launch is expected in 2013.
The “720 9/24″ document also points to “Xbox 360 Limitations,” which according to Microsoft include:
- No full fidelity AAA Games + Kinect V1 sensor
- Will not support full range of XTV platform scenarios (e.g. 1080p video + Video Chat +HTML5 Apps)
- Lacking modern entertainment capabilities (e.g. Blu-ray, Native 3D output, 2x1080p in/out)
- Can’t run “always on”/low power states
– Can’t run multiplexed or concurrent applications and service
The 54 page document also points out a “common man” 2012 launch of an “Xbox 361” which is for the budget conscious so Xboxes can be integrated in every American home and even further, “every person and room in your house.” This does coincide with the rumored cheaper Xbox Loop surfacing in the early part of the year pointing towards an inexpensive Xbox branded Roku/AppleTV competitor.
Microsoft may not be planning to release a next-gen Xbox for more than a year but it has rolled out some new features and deals for the Xbox 360. At E3 earlier this month, Microsoft unveiled Xbox SmartGlass, which will tie together Xbox content with devices on iOS and Android. In May, the company began offering a $99 bundle of the current-gen console with its Kindle accessory to customers signing up for a two-year Xbox Live contract, later extending the deal offer to U.S.-based Best Buy and GameStop retail outlets.
Microsoft will also be using cloud services with local gaming, showing us this will be the last hardware generation. In 2014 they are predicting breakthroughs in head-tracking, immersive displays and so called “ambient entertainment” using augmented reality glasses, as below by Razer.
Apparently a code name, Fortaleza appears to be an augmented reality project that features Wi-Fi-enabled “Fortaleza Glasses” that are being planned for an Xbox 720 tie-in in the 2014 timeframe. Fortaleza gets a whole lot more ambitious the year after. The glasses will get cell radio and 4G network connectivity and it pretty much looks like Microsoft is planning to turn them into little mini-consoles that serve as mobile hubs for Xbox content.
This document was a eye-opening journey at Microsoft’s psychology going for the next generation. The ambition is to make Xbox (and Xbox Live Gold membership fees, presumably) an indispensable feature of home entertainment in tying terrestrial broadcast television, cable and sat services, internet based video and music. With this in play, their own big gaming franchises will be utilized to a single box so you never have to switch away from your big screen at home.
With so much effort going in to media and casual focused features it is also a question if this vision with resonate with the hard core early adopters. If Microsoft ends up selling directly through cable providers it may not even need to make that effort.
“Sony’s message at E3 this year seems to presage the lines that will be drawn in next gen, with PlayStation doubling down on core gaming while MS chases media features and casual gamers,” say critics. By looking at this presentation, MS expects the PS4 to launch simultaneous with the 720 with “tech forward” approach (ie, more powerful) hardware.
This year shall prove interesting to say the least.