The Ninjabot

Next Generation Xbox: System Predictions and Wish List

Posted on May 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm by Stephen Wood

microsoft-xbox

A few days from now, the next generation of Microsoft’s Xbox will be revealed to the world. The rumor mill has been spinning at full force but Microsoft has done a good job of keeping everyone in suspense as to what is fact and what is fiction. In this article, I will explore my personal predictions for the new system and list a few features I would love to see in the newest Xbox. I give you Next Generation Xbox: System Predictions and Wish List.

System Predictions

Graphics, Power, Yada Yada Yada

Console-Graphics

I’m gonna quickly touch on this because it’s one of the first things people talk about when they think about a new system. You want the better graphics and you want a more powerful machine. It should be a given and I think the next generation Xbox will deliver. This system needs to be able to run games as well as or better than a PC. No longer should people complain about the texture popping or the toned down visuals compared to its PC counterpart. I look forward to walking into a new world and being blown away by how great everything looks on the new system.

The Always Online Thing

always-online

If you have been following the gaming news at all, you have probably heard about this one. There are rumors suggesting that you will not be able to play the new Xbox if you don’t have an internet connection. We won’t know this for sure until May 21st but here’s my take on it. I don’t think you’ll be locked out of your Xbox when you are offline. I believe you will still be able to play games, watch DVDs or even Blu Rays and play through the menus. I think being offline will be similar to what players experience when they don’t have an Xbox Live gold membership. I do however think there will be advantages for those who do keep the system online. I think you will be able to turn on your Xbox and instantly go back to where you were in the last game you played and I think you’ll be able to connect to your new Xbox in a more direct way using SmartGlass. What I mean by that is I believe you’ll be able to do everything you can on your Xbox from your smartphone except maybe playing the games. I don’t see this as a bad thing at all, just an advantage to those who can utilize it.

Xbox Membership Changes

Xbox-Membership

I got into a huge argument with my friends over this and I’d love to know what you think. I believe the Xbox will change the way it handles its memberships and make it a little more like cable TV. Right now it’s a pretty basic system, either you have a Silver membership which means you can just use your Xbox at its core or you have a Gold membership that allows you access to basically everything the system has to offer. One thing you will notice with a Gold membership is that even if it gives you access to use Netflix, you still have to pay a membership fee to Netflix on top of your Xbox membership. You want the NHL network (I’m Canadian after all)? Another extra fee. Your $8/month Xbox membership has now turned into a $25/month membership because of the extra features you want. I still think you will be able to do that but I believe they may offer packages on your Xbox membership to give you full access to a list of other content. Say a sports package where you get the regular Gold stuff on top of the NHL, MLB, NBA and NFL memberships for a set price of $25/month. If you’re a sports fan, the package would be more enticing and it would give extra money to certain leagues that otherwise wouldn’t get it. I believe packages will be the future of the Xbox.

Kinect 2 a.k.a. Illumiroom?

illumiroom-Xbox

Remember when Project Natal was first announced? It had a set of features that made it look like the future we had always dreamed of. A year and a half later we got Kinect and it wasn’t at all as originally advertised. Maybe this second go at it will give us the Kinect we want and expected? In case you didn’t see the Project Natal preview, it promised to have your Kinect not only recognize you but also react to what you are saying. It was almost like interacting with another person. You were also able to scan in objects and see it on the screen clear as day. I hope the new Kinect will be able to do that and more. By more I of course I mean the Illumiroom, a projector that extends your screen and brings your living room to life. I’m not 100% sold on this gadget but I am intrigued by what it could mean for the future of gaming.

Wish List

Backwards Compatibility

Backwards-Compatibility

I’m not holding my breath because I understand the challenges this presents but I truly hope you can play your old Xbox 360 games on the new console. If not the retail games, I would love to at least be able to redownload the XBLA games I have collected over the years. I don’t think it will happen because let’s face it, it would be way more profitable for them to have us pay for them again rather than simply importing them and knowing me, I would do just that. I think the compromise will be a cheaper Xbox 360 being available to the market at around $100 much like the PS2 did back at its end. Still, one can always hope right?

Mods

Mods-Xbox

I’m not a PC gamer because I simply don’t like having to update my hardware every couple of years and deal with the hassle of installing games. Sure the graphics might be better and it may have other advantages but deep down I’ll always be a console gamer. Having said that, there is one thing I really envy and I want it in the new system, that’s the inclusion of mods. I have spent countless hours watching YouTube videos of awesome mods for games I love and it makes me feel like a kid not being invited to a party everyone else got to go to. I think it would add longevity to existing games and maybe give us something truly unique like Day Z was on the PC.

Video Recording

video-recording

Ok i’m stealing this from the PS4 announcement but that’s what happens when you announce your system first. I would love to be able to share videos of what I did in a game with my friends. It was one of the best features in the Halo series with their Theater mode and I would love to see it for all the games. In this age where people like to share everything, I think it would be a no brainer to add. Whether its to flaunt your kill streak or laugh about a strange game bug, I believe this feature is a must on the new hardware.

I can sit here and speculate forever but we won’t know anything until May 21st when Microsoft announces the new system. One thing we know for sure is that it will be fun to find out and even more fun to play with once it is released. In the end however, the system is only the sandbox and it’s up to the developers to use its full potential and bring us the content we all want. I hope you enjoyed my “Next Generation Xbox: System Predictions and Wish List” article and get to read my “Next generation Xbox: A Look at the Possible Launch Titles” article as well.

Follow me on Twitter @StephenAlvaWood

    • Was it a “huge” argument? 😉 But yea I still don’t believe Netflix or NHL will be bundled in. I think it’s a good concept and I do see it potentially being introduced down the line, but I’ll be astonished to see it being announced as a launch feature.

      As for video sharing, I think there was a leak suggesting it will be part of the features. I’d be surprised not to see it. My question (for both PS4 and NextBox) is what formats will be used? Will I be able to save my video than upload it wherever I please, allowing me to edit it along the way if I so choose to? Or will I be locked in to one single service to upload to (say Twitch) and not be able to edit before it goes up. The difference between those two options is huge, and I’m praying they smartly go with option 1, lest they incur the wrath and rants of Adam Sessler & game reporters everywhere lol.

      • Stephen-Alva Wood

        Haha ok maybe huge was a little misleading. How about passionate? I think MS needs to go big right out of the gate and I think the packages might be something that sets them apart from the competition. It’s a long shot but it could happen. I’m also very curious about the video formats. Should be interesting to find out just what we can do with that awesome new feature.

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