First of all, I just have to say that I hate rumours.
For several months I’ve been avoiding news posts and forums discussing the millions of rumours around the “Xbox 720″ or whatever the hell it’s going to be called and people having heated debates about ‘facts’ that are neither confirmed, or even strongly substantiated. I think the most annoying ones are the so-called Xbox fanboys who are already screaming about jumping ship to the PS4 based on these fairy tales. Well, good riddance I say.
So why am I posting this blog?
The actual Xbox reveal is thankfully less than a week away. Finally the rumours will either be verified, or rightfully smacked down as absolute pish. The angry fanboys will either be screaming ‘I told you so’ from the rooftops, or more likely crawling away with their tails between their legs. To be honest, I couldn’t care less*. All I want is facts, and they are only a few short days away. And then I can relax.
In the meantime, whilst we are so close to the final reveal, I’ve decided to post this blog to share my opinions on the current rumours for the first, last, and only time. If, like me, you can’t stand reading about rumours, then I advise you to look away now. The main reason I’m doing this is because I’m bored. The other reason is because it’s annoyed me for so long, I just feel that I have to say something about it. So here goes…
1. Launch Date
“We fully expect the Xbox 720 to launch in time for Christmas 2013. We know that Sony is launching the PS4 in at least one territory in time for ‘Holiday 2013′ and Microsoft will surely want to make sure it doesn’t give away a head start.” - Tech Radar
Well blow me sideways. Really? You think that Microsoft might do the sensible thing of releasing it’s brand new shiny console to the world in time for the year’s biggest holiday, and just in time to enable it to compete with the brand new shiny PS4?
A goldfish could have come up with that one.
I think this one falls into the ‘obviously’ category, and I’d be willing to bet a substantial amount of cash on this one turning out to be TRUE.
“Many rumours suggest that the second version of Kinect will sit at the heart of the Xbox 720 experience, and we reckon it’s a no brainer. A console built around motion detection has lots of promise and it seems highly likely that this is the direction Microsoft is taking, given the way it’s currently pushing Kinect hardware and software.” – Tech Radar
Well. It’s pretty obvious again that Microsoft feel very strongly about the entire Kinect experience, and it would make a lot of sense for Kinect to be ‘built in’ to the next console. I’m definitely expecting this one to turn out to be TRUE.
“Microsoft recently filed a patent relating to projecting augmented reality 3D images onto the walls of the room you’re gaming in, in an effort to more fully immerse you in the experience.” – Tech Radar
I saw a video about this on one of the various rumour mill websites, and if I’m completely honest I don’t like it. My setup has two TVs sat right next to each other to allow me and my partner to do whatever we want on our TVs/consoles without bothering the other, but without the negative lack of social interaction gained by allocating him with a ‘man-cave’.
I don’t want half of his battlefield map being projected over my Minecraft project!
Regardless, I think the whole thing looked a bit messy. I don’t think that this is something we’re going to see with this console, so I’m marking it as FALSE, but that may simply be based on my personal bias because I don’t want it.
“Will the Xbox 720 come with a Blu-ray drive or not? We’ve seen dozens of rumours pointing both ways and we’re still no further to really finding out.” – Tech Radar
It looks as though even the rumour mill can’t make up their mind on this one. If I’m honest, I really don’t care. Yes, they can hold a lot more data, that’s cool bro. But there’s not many games that have required more than one disc (a couple that come to mind are LA Noire and Dead Space 2) but hell, if you can fit Skyrim on a single disc then I don’t think we need to press the panic button just yet.
I’m going to guess this as TRUE. Progress is progress, and whilst I don’t really care either way, it does seem sensible, so I certainly wouldn’t be against it.
4. The Name
What’s this new shiny device going to be called? Simply ‘Xbox’, ‘Xbox 720′. Who knows. Who cares. I only care about function.
Whatever the name is, it will probably have the word ‘Xbox’ in it somewhere, and beyond that I won’t be losing any sleep. Let’s move on…
5. No Second Hand Games
When I first read this one, I really hoped it would turn out to be false.
I don’t really trade in my games, and I don’t buy very much used, so missing out on the 50p bargain bin rummages doesn’t really bother me. But in my household, we have two big gamers. It would upset me if we were forced to buy every new release we wanted twice – they are expensive enough as it is.
I’m going to guess the ‘rumour’ allows for multiple tags to play the game on the same console, in which case it’s a workaround, but this definitely wouldn’t be ideal for me and I’d certainly be buying less games.
However, it wouldn’t surprise me. On my laptop I bought several Win 8 games to play, only to discover that if my fella wanted to play them aswell on his own tag, he would have to buy them again on the same laptop. That kinda sucks. On xbox, the first time you buy a game on your console, a license is allocated to that console, meaning that anyone else can play it with their tag. If the Xbox heads the same way as Win8 and WP8 then I’ll have to start reconsidering how many DLC purchases I make.
Didn’t the rumour mill say the same thing about PS4 though? And that turned out to be a load of nonsense. I highly doubt MS will pull a stunt like this without it being industry wide. I wouldn’t jump ship over it, but I know a lot of people who would. On that basis, I’m guessing (and hoping) this one will turn out to be FALSE.
“That leaked document we mentioned earlier mentions a $299 (£190) price point which sounds gloriously ambitious to us. Expect the Xbox 720 price to be a bit more than that but assuming the PS4 launches around the same time, expect some competitive pricing.” – Tech Radar
I agree. Fat chance. You’re lucky to get hold of a 360 at that price point. I fully expect to pay around the £400.00 mark for the new console, but I have to buy two of them, so if I’m right, I also expect Christmas to be cancelled!
7. Always online
“The rumours centre around the concept of the new Xbox demanding an always-on internet connection. That sounds like a horrifying idea to us – say it ain’t so!” – Tech Radar
Why not? It’s 2013 people. Who doesn’t have an internet connection these days? My Xbox is online all of the time anyway, so this would make absolutely no difference to me. In fact, if it means my games auto-update in the background so that I don’t have to be kicked out of a party just as someone started to say something interesting, then I’m all for it.
On a side note, in one of the forums I saw a post that said “If it’s always online, I’m getting a PS4! I can’t afford broadband!” Are you serious? You can’t afford broadband, which even at it’s most basic can be bought for around £10 a month, but you can afford XBL membership and a brand new console? Fuck off.
I think it’s going to be FALSE to be honest, although I really hope it turns out to be true just because I want that little baby to go crying to Playstation.
8. Xbox Mini
“Strong rumours are building that Microsoft is planning a double assault on the console market. The new Xbox will allegedly be joined in the cabinet by an Xbox MIni - a small, Apple TV-like device based on Windows 8, with the ability to stream Xbox 360 games from the cloud.” – Tech Radar
I’ve never even seen this one before today. Lucky me.
Who cares? If it’s giving more choice to the market then great. It won’t be on my radar either way, so I’m putting this firmly in the ‘I couldn’t care less*’ category. If I had to guess, I’d say it was probably TRUE.
9. No disc drive
Apparently, this news was issued with one of the strictest NDA clauses Microsoft has ever used, so if the news does turn out to be true, someone is in serious trouble.”
No, no, no, no, no. Straight up backing this as FALSE. Yes, I suppose it would make some sense alongside the always online and no second hand games rumours (IF they turn out to be true) but I just don’t think the world is ready for fully digital downloads. I mean, digital music has been around for donkeys now, but I can still walk into a store and buy a CD.
People like looking at boxes on shelves, and collecting them. I think it’s highly unlikely that Microsoft is about to take this away, and I think it would be a huge mistake if they did.
I haven’t read any ‘official rumours’ (if that’s even a valid term) about what will happen to gamerscore. I mean, they aren’t going to scrap it, I think that’s pretty certain.
Some people have thought that gamerscore might be ‘wiped’ for the new console, but your old 360 gamerscore will still be forever enshrined on your card. I doubt it. Gamerscore isn’t just Xbox 360 anymore. It’s tied to my Live account and can be earned across PC, Windows 8, Windows Phone, and lately even via iOS and the Web.
It doesn’t make any sense to me to scrap it and it would piss way too many people off. The idea of enshrining your old score sounds interesting though, but if my score was anything other than 150,000 or 200,000 dead then I would just grow to loathe it.
Nothing really to mark as true or false here, but I reckon gamerscore will be business as usual.
So there you have it. A whole list of things that are not facts. Maybe I’ll revisit next week and talk about how wrong (or right?!) they all turned out to be.
Until next time…
*To anyone who raised their eyebrows at this statement, whilst quietly thinking to themselves that it should be “I could care less”, please watch this video. Please. I urge you. You’re doing it all wrong.