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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 20, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Xbox 720 leak du jour: New disc handling, Kinect sensor detailed

The latest leak information about Microsoft’s next Xbox reveals a new disc handling system that could prevent the resale and sharing of game discs.

According to documentation leaked to vgleaks.com, the new Xbox will require players to install games onto the console’s hard drive. The games are then launched from the console’s hard-drive, and not from a disc.

Games will still be distributed on discs and the new Xbox will have a Blu-ray drive, but the discs will basically be used once, to install the game on the console similar to the way you install productivity software on a PC.

This will improve performance and make it quicker to select and launch a game. But it’s also likely to add restrictions on what people can do with the game discs they purchase.

Consider what Microsoft tried to do with the new version of Office, to prevent sharing and resale of the software. It tried to limit Office 2013 installations from disc to a single PC, binding the software to that machine forever. Customer outrage forced the company to change this policy earlier this month.

The new Xbox material also discusses the new, improved version of the Kinect sensor coming with the hardware. The sensor will no longer be an optional accessory; it will come with every console and “be required for the system to operate.”

The information that vgleaks received is documentation for the software development kit, which includes an overview of the hardware code-named “Durango.”

A spokesman declined to comment.

Microsoft is expected to clarify all of this publicly and unveil the hardware at the E3 game conference in June.

 

Comments | Topics: blu-ray, Digital media, drm

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