Next Xbox to play Blu-rays, block used games - Report

Microsoft's Xbox 360 successor will supposedly use high-capacity discs, smaller controller, and Kinect 2; could keep gamers from playing secondhand games.

Speculation over the next generation of consoles--specifically Microsoft's Next Xbox--has spread like fire as of late. The latest hearsay suggests the processing chip for Microsoft next console is already in production, with debug kits available to game studios as soon as April. Now, new light has been shed on Microsoft's Next Xbox, the latest word suggesting it could play Blu-ray discs, block users from playing used games, and introduce the Kinect 2.

Microsoft is taking a stand against used games with its next console, says a source.

According to "games industry sources" speaking with Kotaku, the Next Xbox will use Blu-ray as its disc technology, an upgrade from the DVD drive the Xbox 360 currently sports. Sony's PlayStation 3 supports Blu-Ray, and it has since it was first launched in 2006. Blu-ray disc capacity is significantly greater than that of DVD.

Additionally, a "reliable industry source" tells Kotaku that Microsoft's Next Xbox may incorporate a system that blocks gamers from playing used titles. Further details concerning the implementation of such a system were not offered.

Further, a source familiar with Microsoft's plans told the blog that the company will ship the Next Xbox with an updated version of the full-body gesture-recognition technology Kinect. According to Kotaku's source, this new iteration of the Kinect will contain an onboard processor for greater motion detection, a feature that was supposedly considered for the first Kinect.

Lastly, the gaming blog reports that Microsoft is "interested" in creating a smaller controller for the Next Xbox. Further details on this controller were not made available.

A Microsoft spokesperson told GameSpot, "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."

The Xbox 360 is Microsoft's second home console, following the original Xbox. The Xbox 360 was released in North America in November 2005 and has gone on to sell 66 million units worldwide. The Kinect has shipped 18 million units worldwide since it was launched during the holiday 2010 season.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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