The word on the street says the next Xbox will feature backwards-compatibility, cloud gaming capabilities and a $299 price tag.
Take it for what it's worth, but a leaked internal Microsoft document from 2010 lays out some pretty interesting design choices for the Xbox 720. And yes, "Xbox 720" is how it's described, although it's a good bet that the Microsoft folks, like everyone else, use it as a term of convenience that's slightly less irritating than "NextBox."
The console is intended to be a "true all-in-one home entertainment box," with a pay-TV service called XTV, as well as support for Netflix, LastFM and other media applications, native 3D support and permanent internet connectivity, although whether that's an option or a requirement isn't clear. It will have 4GB of DDR memory and either six or eight CPU cores that will give it six times the power of the current Xbox 360, plus another three cores supporting backwards compatibility. Multitasking will be possible through the use of overlays, while the upgraded Kinect hardware will offer greater accuracy, better speech recognition and support for up to four players at once.
The document said that cloud streaming was expected to be available by 2015, and that cloud gaming service OnLive might be a possible target for takeover. Multi-screen technology akin to SmartGlass is also a possibility. It even mentioned a price and a release window, albeit a very vague one: $299 in 2013.
So is it legit? That's the obvious question, and the answer is that nobody knows, although shortly after it was posted to Scribd it was pulled at the request of Covington & Burling LLP, a corporate law firm which has worked with Microsoft in the past. That does lend a little bit of real-deal cred to the whole thing and Edge said that if it is a fake, it's an awfully good one, calling it "a 52-page roadmap for the future of Xbox which seems consistent with Microsoft's strategy over the past two years." There's obviously no doubt that Microsoft is working on something, and that it will be coming sooner rather than later. Could this be it?
Yes. It could be.