The moment of truth for both Sony and Microsoft is expected to arrive soon, as far as next generation consoles are concerned. While Sony is reportedly gearing up to unveil the PlayStation 4 this month itself, rumours and speculations from Microsoft's stable continue as a never-ending puzzle.
The latest one comes from sources at Edge with "first-hand experience of Microsoft's next generation console" claiming that the next generation Xbox console will require an Internet connection for games to function and that a new version of Xbox Live will be an "integral" component of Microsoft's new platform.
The sources also revealed that the games will be available via download or in the physical form of Blu-Ray discs with 50GB capacities. That's an upgrade from the 6.8GB dual-layer DVD discs seen on the current Xbox 360 console. They also stated that "games purchased on disc will ship with activation codes, and will have no value beyond the initial user." It's a move that basically aims to eliminate the market for pre-owned games.
Such a block would surely destroy sales of 'special edition' versions of games. The main reason people shell out so much money for these games is due to their rarity and re-sale factor. If a game is locked once it is played, it essentially becomes worthless.
What's interesting is Sony has adopted a similar methodology by filing a patent earlier this month for its upcoming PlayStation 4 console. The company has has patented a new disc-tagging technology that makes use of RFID chips instead off keeping a user online persistently. This will tie the purchase of physical discs to a user's PlayStation Network ID. Part of the patent filing reads as:
Furthermore, the sources said Microsoft will ship a new version of Kinect alongside the next-gen Xbox console. No further information was made available, though a previous report said "Kinect V2" could support four-player full-body tracking and allow gamers to sit down while playing. This technology is believed to adapt to gamers' living rooms, meaning they will not need to move furniture for an optimal experience.
Edge's sources also said the previously rumoured Xbox 720's specifications will include an AMD eight-core x64 1.6GHz CPU, a D3D11.x 800 MHz graphics solution and 8GB of DDR3 RAM.
If past rumours are anything to go by, then Microsoft might unveil its next Xbox console at a press conference in March, close to the Gamers Developers Conference scheduled to take place in San Francisco between March 25-29.
Sony, however, has scheduled a press event for February 20 in New York City where it is likely to unveil the next iteration of the PlayStation console. Sony is also expected to host its annual Destination PlayStation event for retailers from February 25-February 28 (Also See: Sony PlayStation 4 to cost $430: Report)