Xbox 720: Will Microsoft's Next Generation Console Take Players To Infinity?

By Ural Garrett , Updated May 09, 2013 11:32 PM EDT

With the Wii U fading into third place in a console race that hasn't even technically started yet and Sony giving a lauded presentation for the PlayStation 4 last February, it's Microsoft's turn to see if it can keep its lead into the next generation. Here is info that we can decipher until the next-gen Xbox (aka. Xbox 720, also rumored to be Xbox Infinity) reveal May 21. 

Always Online isn't going to happen

Fear not because ex-Microsoft employee Adam Orth was completely wrong about the next-gen Xbox requiring an always online connection. Here's an internal email from Microsoft forwarded to Ars Technica

"Durango [the codename for the next Xbox] is designed to deliver the future of entertainment while engineered to be tolerant of today's Internet. There are a number of scenarios that our users expect to work without an Internet connection, and those should 'just work' regardless of their current connection status. Those include, but are not limited to: playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game." 

Without the barrier of online only, used games probably shouldn't be an issue. 

Microsoft will apply it's current internal subscription plan

The house that Windows built looked to the mobile phone industry when it began offering two year contracts for subsidized Xbox 360 consoles last year at its U.S. stores. It allowed those under financial constraints to purchase a 4 GB console with Kinect for $99 by agreeing to pay $14.99 a month for two years. Yes, that included the dreaded early termination fees. Expect this to continue in a more robust fashion with the next Xbox. 

Hardware will rival Sony's Playstation 4

VGLeaks published documents that confirmed that speculation that power would be comparable to Sony's Playstation 4 along with most next-gen gaming announcements including Microsofts console. Both will have 8GB of RAM and an 8-core processor. Microsoft may be still feeling the sting from the HD-DVD failure it found itself in, so expect Blu-Ray to find its way into the console. This means that third party support shouldn't only be equal but, the differences between the PlayStation 4 and next-gen Xbox will be in pretty small details. 

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