Wait. What? Kotaku has learned from an unnamed source that Microsoft’s next console will feature a Blu-ray optical drive and some kind of blocking system to prevent play of used games. Details surrounding this little interesting nugget seems nonexistent from our end – even the source wasn’t sure how Microsoft plans to implement such a system. Our theory is that games will be initially be tied and registered to one Xbox Live account. When sold off or passed to friends and siblings, these games would either be unplayable, or have a locked multiplayer component. Then again, we could be completely wrong.
This aspect of Microsoft’s upcoming console should be music to the ears of developers and publishers who are annoyed with the used gaming market. Publishers like EA are already trying to thwart used-game sales by locking the multiplayer component, and forcing those secondary consumers into purchasing a “pass” to gain access. Banning used games entirely would likely break the gaming market considering that a large chunk of consumers rely on cheaper games to build their library.
The news follows a report that the GPU aspect would be of the 6000 series — something skin to the Radeon HD 6670 — which supports DirectX 11, multi-display output, 3D and 1080p HD output. Raw graphics processing power is expected to be 6 times that of the current console, and yield 20-percent greater performance than the upcoming Nintendo Wii U.
The new XBox is also rumored to support a new version of Kinect. Not just a cosmetic restructuring, the new Kinect — Kinect 2, perhaps — is rumored to have an onboard processor. This was planned for the original Kinect, but never came to fruition. Its inclusion could drastically improve the Kinect’s body-recognizing fidelity, which is pretty much the only thing the Kinect needs if you’re sold on the concept of it.
Update: Kotaku updated their post with the following
A Microsoft rep e-mailed me the following statement: “As an innovator we’re always thinking about what is next and how we can push the boundaries of technology like we did with Kinect. We believe the key to extending the lifespan of a console is not just about the console hardware, but about the games and entertainment experiences being delivered to consumers. Beyond that we don’t comment on rumors or speculation.”