Xbox 720: 10 Technologies It Should Have, 2 It Should Ditch
Little is known about the new console, but early (unconfirmed) reports suggest that the console may take over a user's TV.
Other rumors have indicated that the new hardware will force users to maintain a persistent Internet connection, but only if required by certain games.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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WANT: Microsoft's awesome wrist controller.
While Kinect was designed to be Microsoft's clever alternative to Nintendo's Wii remote, the company is also developing a motion controller of its own -- for your wrist.
This brilliant concept will allow users to execute a number of impossible-to-imagine tasks that could make him or her feel like a superhero. It's the kind of intuitive stuff that will make people ask, "Did Steve Jobs make this?"
Yes, it is that good.
While existing games may not be right for the device (like it or not, Halo and Call of Duty require a thumbstick), the wrist controller could be perfect for new types of games, hybrids, and other fresh ideas -- particularly those that developers likely never thought of before.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
This one seems like a no-brainer. After all, Microsoft has conveniently chosen to release new details about this promising technology a mere three weeks before the next Xbox is scheduled to be released.
A couple IllumiRoom developers have said that the project will not be demoed to the public before July, so don't expect to see it at the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo.
Even so, that does not mean this awesome technology (which uses Kinect and a projector to surround your TV -- and an entire wall -- with an incredible array of illusions and special effects) won't or can't come to the next Xbox. It could be a year or two before it's ready for release, and even longer before the average person can afford an adequate projector.
That, however, is part of what gaming is supposed to be about -- the push for bigger and better things.
One can only imagine what this might have done for arcades if it had been developed in the '90s.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
If Microsoft is going to ask consumers to spend several thousand dollars on a new projector, it might as well give us the ultimate projector game concept: Beamatron.
Realistically, this tech is several years away from completion, but the technology is already one of the most promising ideas the game industry has ever seen.
If completed in five years, it could serve as a Swan Song peripheral to Xbox 720 -- similar to how Kinect breathed new life into the aging Xbox 360.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
WANT: Omnidirectional Projector
When it comes to interactivity, projectors seem to be the common theme for Microsoft's R&D team.
Another original idea is the omnidirectional projector, an incredible concept that Microsoft could feasibly use to immerse everyday consumers, business professionals and hardcore gamers into a unique and highly visual experience.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
WANT: Augmented Projectors
WANT: Wearable Multi-Touch Interaction
For those of you who are unaware, Microsoft has an endless array of cool technology in development -- including projectors that can display interactive images onto a multitude of surfaces (including the human hand!).
Maybe not today, but someday soon Microsoft is going to change the face of gaming.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
WANT: New Controller
The current Xbox controller is better than most, but now is the time for change.
From the 1980s through the late 1990s, game controllers constantly evolved. After thumbsticks entered the mix, however, hardware makers have been afraid to do anything drastically different.
The closest thing to "change" would be the Wii remote, Sony's (NYSE: SNE) knock-off (PS Move) and Kinect. Nintendo tried something different with the Wii U touch screen controller, but that concept was technically introduced in 2004 with original Nintendo DS.
Now is the time for a new controller. Now is the time for Microsoft to change the world of gaming.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
WANT: A Smarter SmartGlass
Last summer, Microsoft announced a promising new addition to Xbox 360: SmartGlass.
This technology was designed to merge the worlds of Xbox game consoles and third-party tablets. At the time, Microsoft had yet to unveil its own tablet.
Nearly a year has passed since then and little has come of the SmartGlass innovation.
With Xbox 720, it's time for Microsoft to change that.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
WANT: USB 3.0
While this is on the minor end of the spectrum, there are rumors suggesting that the next Xbox could act as a DVR. This would enable users to record TV shows and memorable gaming experiences, among other things.
If so -- and if Microsoft fully intends to turn the next Xbox into the ultimate living room device -- it should incorporate USB 3.0 and allow users to attach third-party hard drives to store additional content.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
DON'T WANT: Always-on games
No one is going to want to maintain their Internet connection just to play a single-player RPG.
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) and Activision (NASDAQ: ATVI) may whine about the risks of piracy (which are justified) or complain about the sale of used games (which is a mistake -- used games help the industry).
Their words should be ignored. Microsoft's primary goal is to serve the consumer. And if it wants to serve the consumer, it must not give third-party developers the chance to enforce an always-online policy.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
DON'T WANT: Any other anti-piracy, anti-used game measure that hurts consumers
Technology is only as good as its ability to improve the user experience.
Anti-piracy measures sound good in theory, but when users are required to play games from a hard drive or enter a special code to access online content, the experience can be ruined.
Thus, Microsoft should stay away from this issue and exclude all dangerous anti-piracy technologies from the next Xbox.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons