It looks like Microsoft will be trying its hardest to shut down the sales/use of second-hand games. According to EDGE, players will be required to be constantly connected to the Internet to play games on the next version of the Xbox. Along with this, it will also debut a new and more powerful version of the Kinect.
Citing sources close to the industry, EDGE states that the always-online requirement comes because of a new iteration of Xbox Live—the Xbox’s online service. This seems very anti-consumer on Microsoft’s part and has a high chance of backfiring, as not everyone has access to the Internet on their Xbox. This also poses a major problem to those with unstable Internet connections.
The next iteration of Xbox Live may have an always-online requirement to play games
The improved Kinect sensor seems like a no-brainer. The current iteration of the Kinect, while powerful, still has some issues, especially when connected to an Xbox 360. The Kinect is essentially hamstringed because the Xbox 360 has a low USB bandwidth capacity and as a result, it streams low-resolution videos to the console. This in turn leads to the sensor being severely underused. The true capabilities of the Kinect can be better harnessed on the PC, where many independent developers have done awe-inspiring things with it.
We also have new rumours about the specs of the next Xbox. The next-gen Xbox will apparently run on an eight-core x64 AMD processor clocked at 1.6GHz, and a D3D11 x 800 MHz GPU. It will also supposedly have 8GB of DDR3 RAM. The hard drive capacity of the console is e undecided as of yet, but considering the current prevelance of downloadable games, the company will undoubtably ship the console with a large HDD.
While next-gen games will be available online, it's rumoured games will still be available in physical form. The next-gen console is said to have a Blu-ray drive, with games being shipped on 50GB Blu-ray discs. However, it is believed that physical copies of games will have activation codes and have no value after being used once.
In a move that's bringing all gaming platforms closer together, the architecture of both the next Xbox and PlayStation will resemble that of PCs, according to developers. Apparently, the developers making games for the next-gen Xbox are being forced to work only with development libraries approved by Microsoft, while Sony seems to be encouraging developers to get to know its system's hardware better.