The "Durango" (codename for the next Xbox) development kit claims that Microsoft's next console will be always-online, require the use of Kinect, and must have every game installed to its hard drive.
"Durango" is the codename for Microsoft's upcoming Xbox successor, and the XDK development kit is already out there in the hands of eager developers, no doubt under all sorts of NDAs. VG leaks claims to have seen the XDK first hand, and has discovered a "hardware overview" document that lists some of the features of the upcoming console. The document says that the new console will maintain an always-online connection, require the use of a new Kinect device (which will be included with the console), and require all games to be installed to its hard drive.
This new information gives more credibilty to earlier rumors that the next Xbox will require a constant online connection. Those of you unimpressed with Microsoft's Kinect may be disappointed to find that it's here to stay, with the document stating that "Every Durango console will be sold with a new high-fidelity Kinect Sensor, which will be required for the system to operate."
"The console will be ready instantly when users want to play, and will always maintain a network connection so that console software and games are always current. With this 'Always On, Always Connected' design, users will quickly and easily enjoy their connected entertainment experiences, with no waiting for the console to restart or install updates."
"All games will be installed on the hard drive. Play from the optical disc will not be supported," the document states. It also says that the Durango will allow users to begin playing the game while it is still being installed/downloaded, instead of having to wait for it to complete. According to the document, the Durango will come with a blu-ray drive and a hard drive of yet undetermined size. Since Blu-Rays can go up to 50 gb, and it requires mandatory installs, I couldn't see it being lower than 500 gb for the base model.
These are all rumors that have been floating around for quite some time now, but screenshots from the XDK itself give it a bit more validity. The wording of the sure-to-be-controversial "always-online" statement doesn't suggest that internet is mandatory for it to work, but may be talking about always having an internet connection so that it can download and update even when in the off or standby mode.
Microsoft has offered no comment on these rumors. It is expected to reveal its new console in the next few months, and it is assumed it will release as a competitor for the PS4 in the upcoming holiday season.
Source & Image: VG Leaks