The next gen Xbox will most likely not be called 720 as many had suggested. The reason why the Xbox 360 named so was because of its 360 degree lights around the power button and controllers. 720 therefore doesn't seem the logical progression for Microsoft's next gen console. Last year a Microsoft Games programmer tweeted he was excited to be working on the 'Durango' project so this seems the likely codename for the project. However this will most likely change as did 'Project Natal' as it evolved into Kinect at launch.
Last month Microsoft accidentally leaked a copy of the SDK (Software Development Kit) for Durango. Website VGLeaks released screenshots of the SDK installation on a windows machine including a help file that included a 'Durango Hardware Overview'. This suggested amongs other things extensive 3D support and shockingly that it will always be on.
'Durango will impliment different power states so that it can always be powered on, but will draw minimal electiricity when not in use.'
Durango will also be sold with a 'new high-fidelity Kinect Sensor, which will be required for the system to operate.' A new depth sensor will help to provide more accurate information from the player's surroundings and will provide HD video input. A wider field of view will allow for the Kinect to be played in much smaller spaces and will see the removal of the internal motor for tilt.
So will the controller get even smaller again? We all remember the chunky original Xbox controller (I quite liked it). No rumour as of yet but it will be a 'low-latency' wireless connection with 'improved ergonomics'. The added feature is that 'System interactions' will be simplified for the 'noncore' gamer. This most likely means use of the Kinect and gestures to navigate between menus and the likes.
All games are now to be installed on the hard drive for the Durango. This means that if games are still on disk (Blue-ray perhaps) then gamers will have to wait to install the game before play. However Microsoft says in the document it is designing an installation system to allow play while games install. This will require a much larger hard drive but 'its exact capacity has not been chosen' but 'will be large enough... to hold a large number of games'.
The document seems to also confirm a Blue-ray disk player, an embarassing u-turn after Microsoft had supported the now retired HD-DVD and Toshiba on the Xbox 360 as Sony opted for its own Blue-ray in the PS3. This is said to be used for distribution of content but games won't use any of the disk content during gameplay as it will be already installed on the console.
Hopefully Microsoft will break the silence soon before more embarassing leaks emerge.
Check out a few concepts below, a few of which are a little farfetched.