Xbox 720: 7 Things We Hope To See In Microsoft's Next-Gen Console
Posted on Monday, January 28 @ 14:08:00 PST by Alex_Osborn
I'm not a betting man, but if I was, my money would be on a fall 2013 release for the next Xbox. It's hard to believe, but Xbox 360 owners have been gaming on the same piece of hardware for over seven years now. That's right, seven. As such, Microsoft's gaming box is really starting to show its age, especially when compared to the ever-evolving PC gaming market.
Last week we took a look at what we'd like to see Sony do with the PlayStation 4, so this week we're going to steer the discussion toward the competition (it's only fair) and highlight the next-gen Xbox, which I'll simply refer to as the 720 from here on out—as an aside, I really hope they don't call it that. So without further ado, let's jump right into Game Revolution's seven-item wish list for the Xbox 720.
7. Blu-ray Drive
Remember the days when multiple discs was a cool thing? The PSone RPGs that came in those extra-thick CD cases totally made it feel like you were getting more bang for your buck—which often proved to the true. However, in today's day and age, having to swap discs is viewed more as a nuisance. It is totally possible that Microsoft will go with some sort of proprietary disc format to circumvent the need to have a Blu-ray drive, but why do that when you can steal a bit of the thunder away from Sony?
It stands to reason that Microsoft would want to refrain from doing something like this simply to encourage consumers to purchase digital content through their video marketplace and make use of their numerous streaming services, but giving Sony even the slightest advantage in this arena could be a mistake. Let's face it, more options for the consumer is (almost) never a bad thing.
6. Kinect 2.0
When Microsoft first showed off the Kinect several years ago, it made a bunch of promises, many of which the company have yet to fulfill. The Kinect is undisputedly an interesting piece of tech; however, its limitations hold it back from truly revolutionizing the way we play games. There's no doubt that Microsoft plans to build upon this controller-free platform in the future, so it's safe to assume we'll see a more accurate version of the peripheral around the launch of the 720.
Don't get me wrong, I'd much rather play games comfortably on the couch with a traditional controller in my hands, but if a Kinect 2.0 means innovation for the industry and creative new game concepts, I'm all for it. As long as Microsoft doesn't simply continue to shovel out half-baked casual games for the platform and shows an interest in the hardcore gamer, I'll be satisfied. I mean, that's all you can really ask for, right?
5. PlayStation Plus Equivalent
Despite the fact that the PlayStation Network doesn't support cross-game chat and a number of other bells and whistles that are currently available on Xbox Live, many gamers are beginning to fall in love with Sony's service simply because of PlayStation Plus. While playing games online is totally free for PlayStation gamers (a move I'd love Microsoft make but will likely never happen), people are still giving Sony their money so that they can get access to free games.
The Xbox Live Arcade is loaded with incredible titles, and I'm sure gamers would be willing to shell out even more in subscription fees to get access to some of these games. The subscription business model is where we are headed, and I think it'd be foolish for Microsoft not to take a page out of Sony's book in this regard. They don't have to do away with the Xbox Live tiers, either. (Perhaps make some tiers free!) Just add a third option called "Xbox Live Platinum" that costs $100 a year, which offers all the goodies that come with Gold in addition to a handful of free games every couple of weeks.
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