Tomorrow the next generation of Xbox begins: here is what to expect

Tomorrow is the announcement for Microsoft’s next-generation console, the successor of the company’s world famous Xbox 360. The boys up in Redmond have been secretive about their new entertainment beast (most likely using the Cone of Silence in meetings), but a few rumors have slipped through allowing us to take a shot at what we might expect tomorrow on stage.

VGLeaks let loose a collection of documents showing the hardware specifications of the next Xbox; these leaks were shortly after confirmed by Kotaku and it is believed that they are the final production specs. The console is said to be packed with an 8 core CPU running at 1.6 Ghz, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, and a “large” internal hard drive for storage.

Kotaku also received reports that the next Xbox will integrate a Blu-ray disc drive for your high definition viewing enjoyment. For those of our readers still holding onto their HD DVDs – it is REALLY time to let go now.

On the accessories front, not much is expected to change for the Xbox 360 controller; Microsoft has a solid design and it is one of the best we have seen on a game console to date.

Due to the major “Xbox 720” leak during the summer of 2012, we do know quite a bit about the upcoming Kinect 2 that Microsoft has planned. The unit has the standard upgrades we would expect: higher accuracy, better imaging, improved microphone, and an improved camera. In addition, the unit is expected to include dedicated hardware processing, hand recognition support, and the ability to track up to four players at once (time to buy a bigger living room).

Xbox Kinect

On the interface front, we expect to see an updated dashboard with Live Tiles, to match the Windows 8 experience, and tighter cable TV integration.

One of the worst rumors going around that we can hope to put to death tomorrow is “always-on DRM”; this would require the console to always be connected to an active internet connection while playing games. Obviously, this idea has sparked an outrage and I can only hope for Microsoft’s life that this rumor is debunked onstage.

Besides an upgrade in hardware and improvements with Kinect, we aren’t expecting any revolutionary new experiences. Microsoft has been teasing a project known as IllumiRoom, which uses a Pico projector and Kinect to turn your room into a Star Trek style holodeck; as of now, not only does the project seem too expensive to implement, but it will most likely remain on the shelves of Microsoft’s Research division for a while longer.

We will have all of our questions revealed tomorrow at 10AM PST. Follow a live stream of the event on your Xbox 360’s dashboard or tune in on your Windows Phone 8 device by following these instructions!

What do you hope to see from tomorrow’s announcement?

Most importantly… WHO IS EXCITED?!

Sources: VGLeaks, Kotaku [1,2], The Verge [1,2,3], Edge

Michael Archambault
  • I'm excited.
  • Me!
  • I cannot wait! Wished I didn't have to work!
  • I'm excited about this new guy. :)
  • Release the Kraken!
  • RELEASE THE KRAKEN. Do it now. The fate of humanity depends on it.
  • "the predecessor of the company’s world famous Xbox 360. " don't you mean successor?
  • This.
  • I have no idea what you are talking about... ;)
  • And behold ye mortals, the power of the edit! :D
  • I'm just excited about the new FIFA that's going to be demoed. As long as that's good I will make the switch from the ps3.
  • Really...FIFA...that's what's gonna make you switch? Lame.
  • Well, seeing as FIFA is the only game I play, demonstrating a solid experience holds a lot of weight to me. I'm also tired of Sony and want a more unified ecosystem with my phone and computer if that makes you happier.
  • Same here... It sucks its not in wp8..
  • You'd be surprised how much money those games make.
  • FIFA is very popular in Europe , Asia the way COD is popular in USA
  • To each their own mate. FIFA is actually one os the best improved games year over year. Very fun to play, and quite inmersive with all the game modes like Career, Pro Clubs, and Ultimate Team.
    The only lame thing is your negativity ;)
  • Nitpick: "Tomorrow is the announcement for Microsoft’s next-generation console; the predecessor of the company’s world famous Xbox 360" The next Xbox will be the successor to, not predecessor of, the Xbox 360! Also, while I'm here, the ";" should be a ","...
  • Fixed, thanks!
  • Give me backwards compatibility and I'll be crazy excited. There were some leaked specs that it had PPC chip in it for back compat. Would like to trade my current xbox and ps3 and get the new one just for one device.
  • According to some early reports, its backwards compatible with a miniaturized 360 add on or some doohickey of the sorts
  • There will be a Xbox 360 SOC mostly in the Nextbox itself
  • Like TonyDedrick said, there is a separate component that you have to purchase (rumored to be around $100) that will connect to the NextBox. This component is a mini Xbox360 and will allow you to play 360 games. Considering the low price, and the high resale value of the current xbox (at least in my area on Craigslist), it seems like an excellent way to provide backwards compatibility. I am for sure going to purchase the NextBox with whatever the 360 addition happens to be.
  • I expect it to be free .... Jk... Lol
  • It will be free! Didn't you hear what Daniel said? He said that WPC will be giving a new Xbox"720" to every dedicated WP user on the planet.. And, that anyone who buys a WP device for the next 12 months after the "720" is released will get a voucher for a free Xbox. That's what your boy said!!
  • I'll believe that when I am wearing a fing-longer. A man can dream.
  • I wish
  • LOL
  • IF they really bring the Live tiles experience to the Xbox, that can represent a boost in WP Sales... My opinion. Young people CRAVE for this integration. I guess....
  • My biggest wish is for the cable integration and Xbox Music app to be improved. I would LOOOOVVEE for the Xbox to replace my cable box in some way or another. Even if my DVR box still records, it would be nice to just use the Xbox to view, set recordings, etc.
  • I agree. Also hope better Xbox music integration, custom soundtracks controlled from the phone would be great.
  • Custom soundtracks controlled with voice would be even better ;)
  • I hope so bad it's not just cable, but that it can take the place of Windows Media Center for my over-the-air DVR needs.
  • U would be surprised how well Xbox Music will work in coming months .. Just wait for a while ;)
  • I want to be able to sign up for cetain channels without having to sign up for cable. Ex. I want to be able to sign up for HBO or The Outdoor Channel (guns/hunting) without having to get comcast or uverse.  I know, this isn't up to MS, it's up to these channels.
    I would gladly pay $10/month just to be able to have the outdoor channel alone.
  • That would be sweet.
  • I'm hoping to see the tv overlay/set top box integration
  • Ya, same here.
  • Agreed... Hopefully they can partner with all cable and satellite companies on this type of capability.
  • I've always been a PC Gamer, but I'm seriously thinking of going for the new xbox and when this gaming rig passes on I'll go with one of the all in one deal's for desktop computing...
  • Hope illumiroom of sorts comes through. Now that's expanding your entertainment.
  • Bet it be great with a 4k TV.
  • I'm excited, if my Xbox can connect with my laptop, surface & Windows Phone that would be great. Besides just the avatar and the little Xbox live games. I only wish one day if I'm playing a game on my Xbox I could pause and finish playing it on my tablet or laptop. But only I can dream.
  • This already exists but. Look up the game "Skulls of the Shogun". It is available on Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox 360.
    When you stop playing, it saves the game save to the cloud which then allows you to pick up where you left off. 
  • Microsoft already debunked the always online rumor!
  • There were assertions that it wouldn't be true, but nothing directly official. I personally don't think it will happen, but let's see.
  • Pretty sure that an internal email to all employees would count as official.

  • There is some controversy on the definition of what will require an internet connection. Here is a snippet from an article posted today at Engadget: "Rumors have circulated that the next Xbox would require an internet connection to function, but there's been plenty of confusion, and controversy, as to what that actually means. Microsoft creative director Adam Orth took to Twitter to dismiss people's concerns about a need for always-on internet, unsympathetically saying that people with non-existent and poor internet should "deal with it." After a massive public outcry, Microsoft quietly denied that his opinion was shared by the company -- or that he was making any statement regarding future hardware. Shortly afterward, Microsoft showed Orth the exit door, and a month after that, a leaked memo suggested a compromise -- with specific console functions like single-player gaming and media playback working without an internet connection, as with the current generation." If you check The Verge, you will find the same. :)
    I don't think any compromise has been made. From the rumors I have read (not just the speculaion and massive outcry against the ever-feared "always online" rumor), it was never in Microsoft's mind to require an internet connection to play the games.
    From what I understand, MS built in the option for an always online connection and left the decision in the developer's hands whether or not to require it on a game-to-game basis. At least, this is what I really hope is the case. I don't think MS would have been stupid enough to cut out a significant portion of gamers.
  • As did vgleaks (before MS formally said what they said) same source some of this stuff came from :)
  • I'd like to see them continue to build out their app ecosystem for movies and tv, but would like a unified interface for everything available for you to watch, so you don't have to switch from, say, crackle to ign to cw to ESPN etc etc. It'd be as some as looking at the listings and switching channels on a cable box.
  • A media hub where the apps act as channels. Nice.
  • +1
  • Can't wait for the "Next Gen" XBox announcements. Though I just might get both systems from Sony & Microsoft...all about the games
  • Would also love to hear on backwards compatibility for both disk- and Live Arcade-based games. I just downloaded Minecraft, but will be disappointed if I can't continue to play my world on my new console.
  • Maybe, if they build an emulator, or stream the games over Xbox Live. Otherwise, don't count on it; probably x86 and NT kernel this time.
  • Xbox original was x86 with an NT based kernel, maybe we'll get backwards compatibility all the way back to the original Xbox ;) Besides, the 360 has an original Xbox emulator in it, why wouldn't the next Xbox have it for 360.
  • When is the last time you touched an orginal xbox game ? I dont even remember and I play a ton of games.
    I would love for it to play current 360 games with out an emulator (the emulator on the 360 to play orginal xbox games sucked, some played but, there was a ton of issues)
  • Really excited for this event!
  • Can't wait
  • my body is ready.
  • Can't wait to see what Microsoft brings to thr table. I hope they blow the ps4 out of the water
  • If they improve the 360 in virtually any way it'll blow the PS4 out of the water. Think about it, the PS4 really only got it up to par with the 360 software wise.
  • If the rumor is true that the nexbox is using a version of windows 8. I think it would be cool if it had RDP functionality so that you could play your xbox wherever you are from your win8 tablet/pc. It could nicely combat the vita/ps4 combo Sony is going to try to utilize. Looking forward to tomorrow!
  • I hope they demo some Windows Phone/Xbox Infinity action in some way, maybe get a sneek peek at some new interactions between them both!
  • Hopefully they actually show the device unlike Sony that's the only thing I'm nervous about, but I'm really excited to see what they bring to the table.
  • No chance in hell those HW specs are true, it looks like something someone pulled out of their ass.
  • ^Huh? Its pretty much the same specs as the PS4.
  • Add a cablecard slot and I'm all in.
  • Cablecard is Merica only. The rest of the world wants HDMI passthrough w/ IR blasters or full-on IPTV.
  • I just want a coaxial-in to watch my over-the-air stuff
  • FM antenna built in or I won't buy it.
  • 8 track, or I'm out.
  • Needs a turn table on top or I'm out!
  • Turn by turn navigation would be really handy.
  • What channel? What time? Eastern time over here.
  • If I can use the kinect 2 sensor instead of the leapmotion's sensor for my windows 8 as well, that would be awesome!
  • I refuse to let go of my HD DVDs!
  • I still got my collection somewhere.
  • I have to give up my HD DVD! Ohh Mann!! LOL
  • HD DVD's are much better than bluray for use in gaming (faster r/w) but Sony likes to lobby bluray to be the only HD platform out there.
  • ^HD DVDs are better period, even for movies. Sony won this format battle only because they are a studio as well so they had a grip on a lot of movies being released through THEIR platform.
  • I doubt I'll be getting one for a few years but I'm still pretty exciting. I just hope there is some backwards compatibility or a trade in scheme for games. Hopefully it isn't named Xbox 720 and that they update the music and video services. I would love a video subscription service.
  • Viva PS4!
  • i am not a gamer but i would like to use xbox for watching netflix, hulu, etc. It asks me to subscribe to xbox gold. this is the reason i have used xbox just few times since I got it. if Microsoft's aim is to make it the device of the living room then it has to get rid of this fee. when they have the lead they do all these stupid stuff and when some one else steals their market share then they spend billions to get it back. they are just pig headed, stupid.
  • I agree, hopefully we don't have to have Gold to use the apps.
  • True
  • The xbox 1 or 2 never had the lead world wide, only the Xbox 360 lead in the US. They may be finishing in a tie for second with PS3 (with the Wii winning in console sales).
    I don't know what the answer is for Xbox Live subscribtions is. I do know that if we pay zero dollars it won't be as rock solid as it has been, at least compared to Sony's free offering. I mean everything that isn't multiplayer gaming is actually taxes Microsoft servers, which cost money to maintain, so can we really expect to mooch forever? A price cut would be welcome at least.
    Maybe more tiers for streamers vs gamers? I don't know. The real kicker is that a ton of people re-up their subscription every year so MS has ZERO incentive to drop subscription completely. I've always gotten XBL gold on sale every year, usually for around $30-40 bucks. Not hard to find a deal if you aren't living under a rock.
  • Wii winning in console sales!!! On which planet???
  • This planet:
    As of March 31, 2013, the Wii has sold 99.84 million consoles worldwide
    On February 11, 2013, Microsoft reported that it has sold 76 million units worldwide
    IDC January 2013 estimate: "about 77 million"
    Though I believe now the 360 is just above PS3 at the moment...
  • Are these Wii sales including WiiU? Or just Wii. Not really fair to include both
  • Nvm I looked it up on Wikipedia...nom nom nom...thats the sound of me eating my words lol that being said Wii is still garbage
  • Maybe so, but the blue-rinse brigade lapped it up
  • If you aren't a gamer, why don't you just pick up a Roku box? I love the Roku line of products. :)
  • I want Microsoft to succeed in this space but their pig headedness will bring them down.
  • I think they are coming out with a cheaper roku like box also. i seen that rumor on a couple of sites
  • Everyone knows real gamers are at PS consoles, not Xbox.
  • surely real gamers just have both they are not exactly expensive
  • Agreed. These console wars have become lame.
  • I call bull.  I was a fan of Sony and the PS until they screwed up with the PS3.  I have all three of the major systems and by far my Xbox has given me the most for my money.  The games run far smoother and the online system is way better implemented.  Sony has a long ways to go to earn my trust back as a company and no amount of exclusives or arty-fartsy games is enough to do that.  They need to fix their arrogance first.
  • I don't need to see it...when do preorders start is what I need to know....
  • I'm excited for it and hope that they incorporate the cable box somehow and better smart glass functionallity. Of coure I hope the game devolpers can really go crazy with all that horsepower under the hood.
  • Welcome aboard Michael. As an avid gamer I'm looking forward to the next generation Xbox to add to my collection of original and xbox 360 consoles. My biggest hopes are for backwards compatibility with the 360 and an awesome launch lineup that includes Halo 5. I'll be glued to the L920 watching the reveal. As a tech worker and surface owner, I'm also interested in MS and Win8 news, and look forward to reading your contributions to the site in those areas.
  • im syked cant sleep Lets go Microsoft!
  • Hope we don't have to wait 6 months to purchase, I have been waiting to upgrade for years.
  • I'm assuming it will be released before Christmas but whether it will be before the ps4... We will find out tomorrow
  • Only 12 hours to go!
  • I'm excited for new achievements! :)
  • I'm not I hope my achievements and gamer score carry over I will not be happy otherwise
  • So this is what I hope will happen. I am on Xbox gold with original 360, if I purchased this new Xbox 720, I can literally share Xbox gold. If this confirmed it, I don't need new Xbox to be backward compatible anymore.
    Good news for all those that purchase $99 Xbox because the 2 years of Xbox live can be used on the new Xbox.
  • Will NEVER surrender to BlueRay. I'm an old fart and it feels like every movie is a cartoon.
  • Do you have an old LCD TV Blu-ray looks stunning on my Panasonic plasma and gaming is top notch as well.
  • GTA V and the new Xbox oh ya what a combo :D
  • Who has HD-DVDs anymore?
  • Unfortunately me lol and I swear to you they are better the blu ray... But my eyes aren't the greatest I don't see a ton of difference between most blu ray movies vs regular dvds
  • I would love if they announced free Gold membership to all. But I doubt that's gonna happen.
  • Skype on Xbox?
  • Skype is confirmed if you have Kinect now your Xbox 360 can or will soon be able to Skype as msn has merged into Skype and you can video chat with your msn contacts already
  • Co axial input for over the air HDTV
  • Improved IR sensor with a greater range
  • I just hope they call it Xbox 720 and not infinity or any other bs name
    ..i mean really Infinity then in 7-10 years what could they call the next one..Infinity2..InfinitySquared..Infinity360...I vote 720!!!
  • Xbox Squarfinity
  • Microsoft has a better ecosystem and that is what I crave the most. I'm heavily invested into MS now. I plan on getting a win8 device this year. I love my Lumia and so does my wife. The Xbox is the center of my!?!? DVDs, games, Netflix and Hulu... I await the next ten console and welcome it with open arms.
  • Not at all excited
  • Giggling like a school girl right now. :D
  • I'm excited! Can't wait to see what's the next Gen brings.
  • It will most likely have limited backwards compatibility, why? So they can sell you remakes or hd remasters
  • Actually its because the "innards" are too different from each other. The same reason that the launch PS3 had a hardware chip to play PS2 games (and then Sony  didn't even include anymore in later revisions).
  • What time we can stream it?
  • Cant wait, this is epic... PS3 was cool(and I have one) but, I use my 360 almost every day...time for a update as my PC can blow away the 360 in the graphics end, I would like them to be closer.  
    Crossing my fingers for 4K support too. Mark my words, next CES will be loaded with 4K tv and in 2 years, everyone will be upgrading from 1080p tvs.  I need a new tv but, I'm waiting till spring to see what 4K models will hit and at what price points.
  • The only reason I'd get a console is as a media center... But when you can build your own htcp for ~300 what's the point? And gaming on a console is gross, 720p, low quality frames on a 50' TV...
  • I am still not giving up my HDDVDs.
  • XBOX WOOOOOOO! okay its out.
  • Might be the only one excited for the voice control and multi-tasking features we might get! LOL
    Want to pull up my friends list, invite people to my party, start a custom playlist, check twitter, do a web search, all without pausing my game.
    Just pull up any visual information I might need on 1/3 of the screen like in Windows 8 and then seemlessly go back to full screen when I'm finished.
    Can you answer my plee MS???
  • I like that the Xbox button pauses games. If I have to pause during a cut scene I press that all the time, because I'm afraid hitting start will skip the scene! Lol
  • Oh yeah there will definitely be times were pausing a game/video/tv will be preferable. There should be options for multiple scenarios. The last Xbox had hardware limitations that made doing one thing at a time the only option.
  • Please MS, make my day! :)
  • If they don't announce a new Viva Piñata as a launch title I'll be pissed .