NextBox Header

NextBox Header

On February 20th, Sony officially confirmed to the public the first details of the Playstation 4, the next installment to the home console gaming scene, and a full reaction piece from NGN’s Jason Rose can be found here. Microsoft has yet to publicly respond to Sony’s reveal, and E3, the massive gaming event in LA normally reserved for such large-scale announcements, is set for June 11th, a mere three months away. We here at New Gamer Nation have discussed and shared our opinions on how Microsoft should and will respond with the next Xbox. We have compiled our thoughts below, and if you like our predictions, hate them, or want to share your own thoughts on what to expect, give us a shout in the comments section below.

[gn_heading style="2"]Rob Russell Jr. – NGN Editor[/gn_heading]

As E3 draws ever closer, the anticipation builds for Microsoft‘s counter-punch to Sony‘s reveal from February. There is no clear idea as to what Microsoft will emphasize with the next home gaming console, but I personally hope they create a happy dilemma for gamers everywhere between the PS4 and next Microsoft offering. Personally, here are some of what I think we see from the next Green Machine:

•   The next Xbox WILL get its own reveal event, similar to Sony‘s February 20th showcase of the PS4 tech. Microsoft understands the necessity of the console having its own spotlight with which it won’t have to fight for media attention. I think we see an hour long event held in-person, and Microsoft won’t go the MTV/Elijah Wood route as they did with the 360.
•    Microsoft will reveal the console before E3 and blow out a number of details, including the controller, Kinect functionality (like it or not), games, and services.
•    Microsoft will show and demonstrate Kinect titles and a large-scale shooter (Battlefield 4 perhaps?) at the same event as the reveal of the console. I think we see a racing game to show off the hardware as well, though the smart money would likely be on a Project Gotham reboot since Forza Horizon released last holiday season.
•    I do not predict the console to have any sort of Online-Only DRM. The console will require online verification of legitimate copies of games, and ‘Online Pass’ will become a normal, if not mandatory, part of the next Xbox experience.
•    The console itself, once the dust settles, will be seen as a social connectivity, entertainment-hub as opposed to a hardcore gaming console. It’s easy to speak on this from my perspective, but I do see the gaming media and general public nurturing this idea that the next Xbox will focus on aspects outside of gaming. The console will prioritize instant connections with social media giants Twitter and Facebook, and Microsoft will heavily promote sharing your experiences with apps like ESPN, Hulu, Netflix, and Youtube through these social networks.

Whether or not any of these predictions come to fruition remains to be seen, of course. However, E3 draws ever closer, and we still have no public word on the very existence of the next Xbox console, and the clock is ticking if Microsoft wants to market the console and gather the buzz to match Sony‘s holiday push.

[gn_heading style="2"]Joe Marchese – Editor in Chief[/gn_heading]

It is only a matter of time before the next Xbox is announced, and rumors have been swirling since Sony‘s unveiling. Early reports indicate that the Xbox will be much less powerful than the Sony PS4. Could this be a problem? Read on to see what I think is going to happen.

•   It seems that Microsoft is going to wait until E3 to reveal the console, and their press conference there will focus on the next console. They will show their new line-up that all ties into the new console. E3 2013 will be a non-stop, Xbox next-gen love fest.
•    GDC was the last opportunity to show the next Xbox, and that didn’t happen; next stop is E3, and that seems the most likely destination. Enough time has passed to get details on the console, controller, and Kinect integration. Basically, we’ll see everything about the console. If Sony releases pricing at E3, Microsoft will too. It will be available Holiday 2013 like the PS4. I would expect the console to run a modified version of Windows 8 and have some cross compatibility with the PC version of Windows 8.
•    Early reports indicate that the new console will further integrate Kinect into the OS and the gaming experience. This means you need to get ready for more of screaming commands at your console. How far they plan to get into the development still remains a mystery.
•    I would not expect Microsoft to implement any devices that restrict used game sales. Used games are too important to the business and their business partners to remove from the equation. Sony started the trend by killing the rumors, and I would expect Microsoft to follow suit. The XBLA will probably look a little different, but I would expect it to function as it normally does.
•    Microsoft will continue its trends to market the machine as an entertainment hub that just happens to play games, too. However, I wouldn’t expect any new IPs, just the same ponies that Microsoft has been riding all along. Look for a new Fable game, maybe a new Halo or Gears game. I wouldn’t expect anything playable, but more of a “we are working on it” kind of trailer, similar to the Halo 4 trailer at the end of E3 2012.

I think Microsoft is sweating a little after all the waves the PS4 made, especially considering the console is more powerful than previously thought. If the Xbox is going to the be platform of choice for the next generation, they are going to have to pull out all the stops, and I am not sure if the new console is ready to do that. Only time will tell.

[gn_heading style="2"]Lawson Douvier – Editor[/gn_heading]
  • I’m fully expecting to see the usual from Xbox: Gears of War, Halo, Fable, etc. I truly don’t think there will be anything to out of the way and earth-shattering as far as titles go. Just the same, standard fare.
  • When it comes to price, I’m looking at the $400-$500 range. Of course, if they come out with some crazy hardware specs that no one saw coming, that would bump it up a bit.
  • As far as hardware goes, I’m expecting a nice upgrade from the 360, but I don’t believe it will be as powerful as the PS4. I get the eerie feeling that Microsoft is going to continue moving further away from gaming, instead opting for an “entertainment hub,” whatever that really means, so the specs are going to reflect that.
  • Kinect is going to come to the forefront even more, as sad as that makes me. Personally, I don’t enjoy yelling at my television scream, although I do occasionally flip it off. Further voice commands, more of goofy swiping actions, and possibly more intense gaming through it. But one can always hope that they just get rid of it altogether.
  • I truly want to say that I believe the next Xbox will require a constant internet connection, but thanks to Sony, I don’t think it will. The two are constantly bouncing off of one another, so if Sony isn’t going to risk it, I don’t believe Microsoft will either. If anyone is going to start this, though, I fully believe that it will be Microsoft.
  • I definitely don’t see any chance of there being a restriction on used games. Yet again, if Sony didn’t do it, Microsoft isn’t going to risk losing a lot of customers to them over this.

Overall, I believe that the next Xbox just isn’t going to come out of the gate as strong as the PS4, at least in gamers’ eyes. I fully expect it to be a formidable machine, but a machine that is going in a lot of different directions and with no emphasis on gaming alone. It will be an entertainment hub, and that will be pretty nice, but it’s not going to appeal to gamers with the same force that the PS4 will.

[gn_heading style="2"]Ryan McNeal – Writer[/gn_heading]
  • I expect that most of the launch titles will be geared toward hardcore gamers for the reason that hardcore gamers are more likely to be early adopters of the system. I also believe that the launch titles will place more of an emphasis on the use of the Kinect.
  • It’s hard to predict the price point of a console with so little information, but rumors suggest that it will sell for $299.  This seems too low to me, I would expect it to be anywhere between $300-$400.  The price could also be dependent on what Sony prices it’s next console.
  • As far as hardware and performance are concerned, I think that it will use AMD graphics hardware, two GPU’s one dedicated to games and the other to movies, and blu-ray.  The 720 will allow better integration of Windows 8 and Windows RT devices.  It will include more advanced voice recognition software than what the current Xbox has.
  • Kinect will be a focus on this new system
  • It will be always online.
  • I’ve been hearing that the 720 might be able to act as a set box top like Google TV.  I would like to see that feature included.
[gn_heading style="2"]Jason Rose – Community Manager & Editor[/gn_heading]
  • This is more about what I want, than what I predict, but I want new exclusive games. Halo, Gears and Forza weren’t enough to make me want a 360 this gen and they won’t sway me to Jump In! with the next iteration either. I want something entirely new. Appeal to a more broad sense of gamer that demands more and not just your brea and butter shooter crowd. Regardless of what you envision your machine to be next gen, it is a games machine first. Don’t forget that Microsoft
  • I expect Kinect to be pushed heavily and with rumors attesting to upwards of 25% being dedicated to it out of the GPU, Kinect better be a lot more than what is now to justify it.
  • Lots of entertainment options. The rumors to Microsoft believing the new console can replace cable boxes will ring true and there will be subscription services available day one, marrying with the already vast amounts of entertainment options on the 360.
  • I expect the machine, controller and price to be announced right away. In relation to price, multiple SKU’s will be available that emphasize what you want as a purchaser out of the gate, with one SKU able to excel at everything. I predict it will be quite confusing as well.
  • Everyone’s worst wishes will come true and the next console will be always online. My personal prediction is that this will cause an incredible amount of backlash that will deafen the already considerable amount of it there is now.
  • The next console will simply be called XBOX. No 720 and no Durango moniker.

As you can probably gather from my comments, I’m pretty down on the next XBOX based on the rumors and information out there. I don’t and never will care about Kinect or entertainment options out of my gaming console, I care about games and I don’t believe Microsoft thinks they have to address this. Another Halo, Gears of War or Forza do absolutely nothing for me and I expect even the most hardened fans to gloss over yet another sequel in these staple franchises. XBOX needs new games and IP’s to appeal to the masses that brought them to prominence in the first place; those people are all gamers first.

Saying that, I’m not so jaded that I can’t be swayed though, but I’m not really expecting it. Microsoft has already let Sony take a lot of the mind share out there and bravado the likes of PlayStation in 2006 is starting to come to the forefront. Will the third console curse hit Microsoft like it has hit EVERY major console manufacturer in the past? Who knows, but they need to do a lot to trump what Sony has shown us so far. If anyone can do it though, it’s the XBOX team.

[gn_heading style="2"]Dan Connor – Managing Editor[/gn_heading]

As an Xbox 360 fan boy, one would think that I am super excited to see what the next generation of Xbox might look like.  However, the PS4 announcement gave me enough reasons to make the switch back to a Sony player.  Microsoft will undoubtedly leave all of their fans wanting for more.

  • The new Xbox will officially be announced at E3 attempting to take all of the conferences publicity.
  • During E3, Microsoft will only focus ¼ of its time on the hardcore gamer.  The rest of the time will be spent showcasing its family entertainment abilities.
  • Microsoft will showcase its next generation of gaming leading, of course, with a new Halo game that will NOT star Master Chief.
  • Kinect will have a much larger role in the next Xbox. Kinect will continue to provide gesture and voice commands but will also integrate with cable and satellite providers.
  • Sadly, it will require a constant internet connection.
  • With its constant internet connection requirements, it will allow used games to be played in order to appease customers.
[gn_heading style="2"]Jose Sanchez – Writer[/gn_heading]
  • I want to start off with the specs, I think we might see something similar to what the PlayStation people revealed in February. I don’t expect it to be greatly more powerful.
  • I expect to see Kinect 2.0 possibly integrated into the console itself. I fully expect them to show off the new features of the next Kinect. I also think it’s possible they could build two models, one with and without Kinect.
  • As far as launch titles, Microsoft might play it safe and introduce established titles such as Forza, Gears of War, and the next Halo.
  • I don’t see anything more than an official launch date and price yet. I think they’ll give the “holiday 2013″ launch window.
  • I don’t expect the conference to be as long as Sony’s was. I expect them to show off more of their entertainment features with the console itself.
[gn_heading style="2"]Armando Mendoza – Writer[/gn_heading]
  • Price Point: $400 minimum. $500 Max. 
  • I’m not very keen on specs/performance, but my hunch is it will be similar to the PS4. Maybe a bit faster to distinguish itself but when everything is accounted for, both consoles will be the same for developers.
  • It will have built in kinect integration inside the console. 
  • It will be always online, but won’t have used games DRM issue because the always online will be just that. The main question will be if their servers will be able to handle such a task and what will happen if the servers goes down or if your home internet goes down. Will it work? Will you be able to play games on it offline? We need to have those questions answered.
  • I want to see Microsoft put more of an emphasis on creating new IPs. They have a good foothold on the third party games side of things, but if they can get more new franchises that would really help them in the long run.
  • Also, I want to see a new Alan Wake game.

 

 

So there you have it, New Gamer Nation’s take on the next Xbox. Now it is your turn to tell us what you think. Leave your comments below and lets see how we do next month!

 

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About The Author

GuestPost represents the work of past New Gamer Nation writers. Though they may not be with us anymore physically, we know they are with us in spirit.

  • Rob

    Thanks for all the input here guys. Only 3 weeks away, this will be a great read post-event