There have been a lot of rumors floating around the internet that last few months in regards to Microsoft’s next Xbox. We’ll find out soon enough on May 21st, when Microsoft will officially reveal their next Xbox console. Until then, we can only speculate what the next generation will bring. I’d like to offer some of my own speculation on this topic and see how close I come with my predictions.
Prediction 1) Microsoft’s next Xbox will have streaming capabilities with Twitch.tv and will have the ability to upload to Youtube and other online video services (possibly Xbox Video as well).
We’ve already seen evidence of this very recently. Microsoft just released an app for the Xbox 360 that allows gamers to watch live streams on Twitch.tv via their Xbox 360 console. My prediction is that the next Xbox will allow gamers to live stream and upload their gameplay, specifically to Twitch.TV, but also other online services as well. Youtube would be the best choice for them, but Microsoft might have trouble striking a deal with Google (who owns Youtube). This concern makes me think that Xbox Video might soon house a spot for player uploaded videos as well.
Prediction 2) Microsoft’s next Xbox will allow you to pause gameplay and switch to a different app at any time, then switch back to your game when you are ready to continue playing.
This prediction comes from what we already know about existing and current Microsoft devices. Both Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 allow for apps to ‘pause’ at any time and then be returned to at any time. I believe the same feature will be included in the next Xbox.
Prediction 3) Microsoft’s next Xbox will use Windows 8 and x86 architecture.
Microsoft is already pushing for cross-platform applications which is already seen in today’s Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. An example of this would be the game Skulls of the Shogun which you can play save on one platform, then pick up where you left off on the other platform. Skulls of the Shogun is not the only game to do this, but it’s a well known example.
Moving the next Xbox to Windows 8 and x86 architecture would result in the next Xbox being the most developer friendly console of the next generation. It would also mean the next Xbox would be the most Indie Developer friendly, depending on how Microsoft handles (and treats) Indie Developers in the future. I’m not expecting Windows 8 desktop to replace the Xbox Dashboard, but I am predicting the back-end OS will be running a lite-version of Windows 8.