Xbox 720 (Next) multi-tasks with new Kinect

Posted by Trent Nouveau

A new report claims Microsoft's Xbox 720 (Next) will ship with an updated version of Redmond's Kinect platform, which will apparently be capable of simultaneously tracking up to 6 individuals.

According to a white paper obtained by Kotaku, the device "must be plugged in and calibrated" for the console to even function.

"The camera has also been improved upon the models currently available, with the Durango's version capable of independently tracking your thumbs, determining whether your hand is open or closed, and even, it's claimed, reading your facial expression and seeing whether you're angry, sad or excited," the Kotaku crew explained.

"The improved viewing angle is so wide that the new Kinect doesn't even need to nod to find the best viewing angle."

The new system is also reportedly capable of supporting multi-tasking (of sorts), allowing numerous games anapps to run concurrently. As Kotaku clarifies, the Xbox 720 can put games into "suspend" and "constrained" states, which seemingly allow users to pause a game, switch to a second game, then return to the first game without losing their place, provided game developers follow Microsoft protocols.

Additional key specs? A 64-bit D3D11.x 800MHz GPU, an 8-core x64 1.6GHz 4MB L2 CPU, 8GB DDR3 RAM, 500GB of on-board memory, USB 3.0, HDMI-out and an optical drive for 50GB discs.

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has neither confirmed or denied the above-mentioned claims, telling Engadget  the company does not comment on rumors or speculation.

"We are always thinking about what is next for our platform, but we don't have anything further to share at this time," a Microsoft spokesperson added.

Nevertheless, Remdond is widely expected to unveil its next-generation console at E3 2013 this June in Los Angeles, so we'll know all the (official) details soon enough.