A document containing a 5 year plan for Microsoft has been leaked via the site Scribd, though was hastily taken down by Covington & Burling, the law firm that advise Microsoft. The document started in 2011, with developments to the Xbox 360 which then progressed through to a 2013 launch of the new system with a new Kinect sensor. All of this was said to launch at $299 bundle. If this is legit, this is what we have in store for us:
Microsoft seem to be very concerned by competition with Apple and Google, in addition to Sony. The supposed tagline for the 720 would be “All your entertainment. One Box.” suggesting fear of AppleTV, GoogleTV and Sony’s focus on being the entertainment hub of you’re living room. A list of limitations of the Xbox 360 includes things such as no Blu-ray, native 3D support or video chat, all of which will be coming to the 720.
One of the most interesting leaks was Fortaleza, Kinect 3D glasses with some kind of ‘augmented reality’ functionality planned for 2014. These would initially work through Wifi but by 2015 the plan is to have them running on a 4G connection that would allow them to be used anywhere with your mobile device. This all sounds like crazy sci-fi tech right?
Microsoft seem to be pushing hard for the integration between the physical and digital world, with enhanced Kinect sensors that will have naturally adapt to your body’s input. It will feature 4 player full body recognition, be able to play seated or standing and will no longer require you to rearrange your living room, it will adapt to the space it’s put in.
As well as that physical integration, they are focusing on a seamless experience between all of your devices. You can utilize tablets as additional screens, and it features the same kind of functionality as the WiiU, where you can watch something on your TV then immediately pick up watching at the same place on a mobile, tablet or even another TV. It is essentially freeing you up, with plans to house your entire media collection on a cloud so that you can have any media streamed to whichever compatible device you choose. However, not quite so liberal is the DRM preventing the use of used games. One final point is ‘Access to the latest and greatest experiences without upgrading hardware”. This could bite them in the future, but with a 10 year plan for this next generation they seem pretty future proof.
All of this sounds very ambitious, and whether Microsoft can pull it off is yet to be seen (as is whether this is actually real or not…) but it’s all very exciting. It sounds like a complete revolution in the way we experience media such as games, music and television. With no presence at GDC or Tokyo Games Show, Microsoft will probably have to have an independent show when they finally announce this, as a 2013 holiday release is looming and an E3 announcement might be too late for them. In other news the Xbox 1080 has been leaked and will feature time travel and hover board functionality, Back to the Future here we come!