According to the latest rumours Microsoft will require gamers to have an always-on internet connection for the Next Xbox to work, while this doesn’t sound too far fetched, it would leave the lucrative second hand games market stuck between a rock and a hard place.
The console is expected to ship with a new version of Xbox Live, and an improved Kinect hardware camera. Apparently games will be sold on Blu-Ray discs, and would require Microsoft to pay a license fee to Sony, amongst others, who control the high capacity data disc technology.
Apparently discs with be sold with activation codes that would render them useless to other users, meaning selling them would be a waste of time.
The console itself its expected to be packing AMD eight-core x64 1.6GHz CPU, a D3D11.x 800MHz graphics solution and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. At the moment no-one is talking about hard drive capacity, but it likely the console will be sold with or without a hard drive, leaving the consumers to decide whether they actually need a giant hard drive or not.
A decent solution would be to go the way of Wii U, which allows users to connect a USB storage drive of their choice to supplement the console’s onboard memory.
Sony To Go First
Sony has fired the starter gun for the next generation with a special media event scheduled for February 20 where they will show-off “the future”, and if it does turn out to be the PS4, then a European release date could be as little 12 months away, with US and Japan expected to get the console in time for this Christmas.
While Europe might be left waiting, the release road map would follow the likes of the PS3 and PS Vita, where Japan and America get the new console first, with Europe getting the console early 2014. Hardly an ideal solution, but the benefits of a staggered release could help Sony navigate massive demand for the new console.
Microsoft In April?
With Sony expected to go first, it’s time to consider when Microsoft will officially announce the successor to the Xbox 360, with some analysts suggesting Microsoft would want to get their unveil done before June’s E3, with a possible date of April being postulated. This would give Microsoft time to show the console before E3, and then focus on the software at E3.
Games, Games, Games.
While next-gen console rumours are happening on a daily basis, what is less clear is what games will launch with either console. Today, it’s been rumoured that a next-gen racer and a new project from Killzone studio Guerilla Games will debut at Sony’s ‘PlayStation Meeting’ event on February 20.
The rumour is that Ged Talbot – ex-Bizarre Creations lead designer on Blur and several Project Gotham titles – has been hired by Motorstorm team Evolution Studios, along with other former employees.
They’re working on a next-gen racer for PS4 that was at one point pitched as a Gran Turismo title, although Sony Japan decided against the move for some reason. If true, this is the second next-gen racer in the works for Sony’s new console.
And not to be outdone, Microsoft is apparently working on a new Project Gotham Racing game, which is expect to be ready for launch.
Apparently Lucid Games is currently developing Project Gotham 5 for the launch of Microsoft’s next console. The new studio is comprised of ex-Criterion and Bizarre Creations staff. The only firm detail come from a picture which shows a road closed in London, one of the location on the last PGR game.