Rumor: Next Xbox won’t run games from the disc-drive [Update]
posted on 03.20.13 at 09:52 AM EDT by (@salromano)
Supposed XDK echoes previous Kinect and network rumors.

Games for the next Xbox won’t run directly from the optical drive, a rumored hardware overview from the platform’s XDK suggests. Instead, discs will act as a distribution method, while all games will run off the hard-drive. Games can be played as they’re installed, however.

Kinect will also be required for the system to operate, says the overview. And an “Always On, Always Connected” infrastructure means the system will “always maintain a network connection.”

This information echoes previous rumors, which also claimed the system will have a used games block.

Find the full XDK overview below.

The Durango console is designed to offer game developers modern hardware that is more powerful than the Xbox 360. It uses a familiar x64 architecture and tools, and compared with Xbox 360 development, will reduce development time and effort spent on performance optimization. Hardware accelerators, including “move engines” for common tasks, will be added to the console. Move engines can perform common game tasks like compression and decompression while moving data around the system. The console also has dedicated hardware support for common audio processing tasks hat reduce the amount of CPU time that must be devoted to audio. The GPU provides considering computing power, and supports Direct3D 11.

Durango will implement different power states so that it can always be powered on, but will draw minimal electricity when not in use. 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.

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 provide HD video, and will use new depth sensor technology to provide better screen resolution and less noisy depth data. Active infrared illumination will provide high-quality monochrome images even when in low ambient light conditions. A wider field of view allows play in smaller spaces, and removes the need for a tilt motor.

System software will offer a full set of system API for the Natural User Interface (NUI) and the API set will be an improvement to the corresponding API used by Xbox 360. Skeleton tracing, identity, and other NUI functions will be performed by the system, and for that reason, titles no longer need to allocate title resources to NUI.

The Durango controller will make the best-in-class Xbox 360 controller even better. It will have low-latency wireless connectivity to the console, and improved ergonomics. All games will be installed on the hard drive. Play from the optical disc will not be supported.

Durango consoles will have a Blu-Ray Disc drive. Disc media will be used for distribution, but during gameplay, games will not use content from the optical disc. An installation system is being designed that will allow gamers to begin playing while the game is being installed on the hard drive, rather than waiting until installation is complete.

Audio output from Durango will be all digital—7.1 discrete PCM output through HDMI and S/PDIF. Hardware accelerators will be included for decoding and decompressing common audio formats. There will also be a dedicated sound processor to perform common signal processing in hardware.

Update 6:20 p.m.: An Edge source has said this leak is “entirely legitimate.”

  • Elvick

    “Rumor: Next Xbox won’t run games from the hard-drive… ”
    “… while all games will run off the hard-drive.”

    Wut.

    • ryougazell

      I believe Sal must have been a bit asleep as he uploaded the news. The title, according to the context of the article, would be “Next Xbox won’t run games from the optical-drive”

      • DrForbidden

        Poor Sal is almost always sleep-deprived…

        It’s all for our sake, peoples, so let’s thank him whenever we get the chance.

        • InternatlGamer3

          I agree and ill be sleep deprived during the first couple of days during Air Force Basic Training

    • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

      Damn dammit. I fixed it.

  • Richard Tooth

    You lost me at “Kinect will also be required for the system to operate, says the overview. And an “Always On, Always Connected” infrastructure means the system must “always maintain a network connection.” F00k that….

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/clatheninja Cla

      The required Kinect comes with the console. What’s the problem?

      • Richard Tooth

        The “always maintain a network connection.” part. I, like many other don’t have the best connection to the internet, and quite a few people have contracts which makes it so they can only download so much a month. Seems like a poor idea on Microsoft’s side. I know I wouldn’t want to use my monthly download limit on my Xbox always being connected to the internet….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Obb/100001994017630 Bob Obb

    If true, the ‘always connected’ thing will be the death of this console. Unless Sony decides to do it too at the last minute.

    • ryougazell

      Don’t jinx it.

    • 新阿修羅(ShinAsura)

      They said the option is there but it’s not required

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/clatheninja Cla

      Where are you idiots getting this idea that “Always connected” means an internet connection is required? Did any of you dumbasses read the article?

  • ryougazell

    Dang… this will definitely hit a lot of gamers here in Mexico. I mean… I don’t particularly care about the console… but a nephew of mine has an Xbox, doesn’t have internet on his home… and usually rents games… I guess the new Xbox won’t be for him if all this rumours end up true… I’ll have to be in touch with this news in case my brother wants to get the console for his son… (he doesn’t check news or anything… I had to stop him from getting a PSPGo once and told him to get a regular PSP)

  • uhawww

    The muddiness of the “Always Connected” design will hopefully be clarified whenever they do their reveal.
    It could be as innocent as simple optional facets of customer convenience like immediate updates and maintaining account connections while powered down to speed the process of getting online and into games.

    However, it could be as notorious as allowing further loci of publisher control (DRM, Required game registration). Admittedly, I’m not a fan of the idea of Kinect being required.

    • AdamBoy64

      Yes. A requirement of being tracked is enough for me to forget about the system. That is just pathetic.

  • Rafael Martines

    Always Connected? LoL they don’t think on Brazil fabulous internet connection XD Go! Go! Sony!!!

  • Gigus

    Will games be cheaper on the “NexBox” since people can’t buy used games?

    • Syltique

      Oh you. Never lose that innocence.

  • Kanok Timkhlai

    Rumor: Next Xbox won’t run games from the disc-drive?

    An installation system is being designed that will allow gamers to begin
    playing while the game is being installed on the hard drive rather than
    waiting until installation is complete.”

  • Skeletor

    I Skeletor would like it to be known that I am invlined to partner with a company like MS since they are so obviously Hell bent on destruction.
    It may be the destruction of their own brand and gaming in general but with a little guidance from yours truly I could hel them focus that destruction towards He-Man instead!

    Awwww who am I kidding. Some people just like to watch the world burn so I am grabbing a bucket of Eternian Kettle Corn and a lawn chair and eill sit back and enjoy the massive failure that is the Durango!

    • Richard Tooth

      Right on!!!! Lord Skeletor!

      • Skeletor

        Lord Skeletor does not need you to sing his many praises but as reward for your obedience I shall let you live to serve me another day.

        No one can ever say Lord Skeletor is not generous!

        • Richard Tooth

          Haha! Thanks :-)

  • Solomon_Kano

    So… anybody without internet? Outta luck. Internet too slow? Outta luck. Stealing your neighbors’ Wi-Fi? Probably outta luck.

    Jokes aside though, every system needing a Kinect… I wonder what that’s for? Facial recognition to personalize content displayed when you start up the system? That seems like something MS would go for. So “Mom”, “Dad”, and “Jimmy” all get the experience they’re looking for when they each start up the system.

    This installation thing though… this has either gotta ship with a huge HDD or MS is dropping the proprietary crap. Considering neither of their competitors have proprietary harddrives, allowing users more options on space, I really hope they go that route as well.

  • Gawain

    Did anyone here actually read the overview? It says that the console will maintain an internet connection when put into low power state so that updates and games can be downloaded in the background, eliminating the need for restarts or game interruption when an update is available. That’s what the phrase “Always on, always connected” means. It says nothing about needing an internet connection for the console to work. But I guess no one likes to read.

    • Gawain

      And also used games are mentioned nowhere either. It only says that the discs aren’t required after the initial install. But again, people and reading apparently don’t mix.

    • Guest

      tl;dr

  • Heavenly_King

    Even if the console does not read content from the disk to play the game, I bet you require to put the disk, in order to play certain game, because if not you would sell the disk, and play from your hard-drive

    And if they dont require the disk, it is because during the installation it was registered to your Live account, so it can not be sold.

    That is what I think.

    • Solomon_Kano

      Tying it to your Live account would be a very MS thing to do though, and it would make sense with it needing to always be online. The games would checked against your Live account when you insert the disc, maybe?

  • LordKaiser

    FAIL if this is true.

  • disqus_rIjnBIKvqC

    what hell is the industry going for?I mean as the xbox,if the rumors turns out to be true ofcourse.that means every game xbox on 720 gonna be DL and gonna require a high speed connection since mostly most games will be 50-100gb and that takes quite time,they could have just done they did in 360 and ps3 that installs the data.

    but the required internet connection gonna be the downfall of 720,me myself am always connected to internet on my ps3,but people that doesnt have internet are royally screwed.
    and i dont get that kinect is also required,it should be optional.

    most likely the blu ray will allow the consumer to play blu ray only,but not games,which is ridiculously stupid.

    and if they mean off hard drive it mean its digital and ms prolly gonna release with 2tb to 4tb hdd,but thats gonna be xpensive aswell,and even then you can have like 20games to 40games on the hdd before its full,I got over 60games on my ps3,and I only install game data and after 3years I still have only used 250gb.

    I dont get next box tho,well,lets hope this is all bullshitt and the rumors turns out false,im not gonna buy the ps4 for various reasons,so no next get consoles for me.I guess I just have to finish my ps3 games and buy 360 and play racing games,nn3 and some other games.

  • Danikun

    Eh. The majority of us have ps3’s anyway.

  • Kurisu Makise

    I was going to say something rational but this doesn’t seem to be good news, not because of the Always Online (the Wii was too after all), rather because the Kinect sensor must be plugged in. Why? I really don’t want that to be a mandatory login method. I know PS4 can log you in with the camera but I’m pretty sure that’s optional. I tend to play with a lot of people online and while I love you all, I still like my privacy. Accidentally starting up a session and Kinect not being in mute/don’t record video footage would make me scream. Never mind the conspiracy theorist stuff like MS secretly recording your footage, able to determine movie licenses for rentals and whatever else people can come up with.

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

    “Kinect will also be required for the system to operate, says the
    overview. And an “Always On, Always Connected” infrastructure means the
    system will “always maintain a network connection.””

    What a terrible idea. Take a tip from Sony, Microsoft. Allow us to run the console with an ‘offline mode’ as well like they have planned for the PS4.

  • http://twitter.com/GematsuZero Zero

    This sounds like bad news for people with inconsistent internet connections like me. =/

    • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

      As well as me…

      • shogunknight

        Yep, our internet connections here are way expensive for “always on”. So no nextbox for me

        • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

          I live in the middle of nowhere,so In stuck with Sat-internet and it isnt consistent

  • Prodigy-X

    “An Edge source has said this leak is “entirely legitimate.””

    Man fuck you M$. Every time I consider buying the next Xbox these rumors keep popping up with legit sources backing them up.

  • DrForbidden

    There’s a saying that people of moderate intelligence learn from their mistakes, while people of superior intelligence learn from the mistakes made by others. If the ‘always-online’ requirement for the next Xbox is true, that simply means that the designers of the console and the top management of MS’s Xbox division are NOT people of superior intellect.

    EA is still reeling from the effects of their ‘always-online’ GAME, and here is MS trying to shove an entire CONSOLE down consumer throats.

  • ekka4shiki

    Microsoft is doomed.

    On the other hand, next Neptunia featuring always online, always connected Green Heart would be hilarious.

  • $733987

    If this is the case, then what is the benefit of having a disc? Why don’t they just distribute and sell game codes that are printed on small cards (i.e mspoints) in the retail stores instead? We could easily just enter the code back at home and download the game from the marketplace. I mean, if they are forcing users to be always connected, then I still wouldn’t be able to play the games if I bought the discs with all the data on it, but have no internet access, right?

  • shogunknight

    This isnt a console is it? Nah, its a PC that looks like a console….its not even a PC, its junk!!

  • DuskTaker7

    The HHD part seems interesting if they give you suficient HHD size for a lot of games, this way optical unit does not degrade easily… but I don’t like the “always connected” stuff.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/clatheninja Cla

    People. Stop with the OMG INTERNET IS REQUIRED comments. Absolutely nothing about these rumors suggest that.

    “Always On, Always Connected” just means your Xbox will stay online even when you shut it off so it can download updates. THAT’S ALL.

    Please stop with the stupidity, and try reading the article before you comment.

  • http://twitter.com/ChestnutBowl Chestnut Bowl

    The more rumors I hear, the worse the system gets.

  • PrinceHeir

    yikes!!

  • bee2005

    Um, Microsoft seems to do a wrong move again to its next console just like they did to Windows 8.Hopefully, it survives long enough for the next battle of video game console competition.

  • SLM82

    opengl 4.2 and dx11 run the same rendering only big difference is opengl has a bigger pipeline. sucks that ms pulled the crap they did with dx9 to 10… the “big” difference was a doctored photo. i’ll go with the ps4