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Next-gen Xbox said to feature deep cable TV integration, Kinect eye-tracking

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Microsoft's next Xbox gaming console is expected to build on the "living room hub" initiative started by its predecessor, the Xbox 360, as new leaks have Microsoft preparing to release a device deeply integrated with a user's television and cable service.

Xbox 360
Current generation Xbox 360. | Source: Microsoft


The next-generation Xbox will reportedly be able to take the signal from a user's cable box via HDMI, overlay an Xbox UI over existing TV channel content, and output the results in high-definition. Thanks to Microsoft's partnerships with content providers, the device is said to feature much greater functionality than current options on the market, including those bearing the Google TV brand.

The Verge, citing multiple sources familiar with Microsoft's plans, says that the next Xbox will require a persistent Internet connection in order to access these features. This is in keeping with recent reports from an array of gaming sites that claim the console would need an always-on connection. Game industry observers assumed that such a connection was intended to combat piracy, but The Verge's report appears to indicate that it is intended, at least in part, to access entertainment content.

Beyond the Xbox UI overlays, the new console is also said to feature deep integration of Microsoft's Kinect 3D camera system. A next-generation Kinect is said to be capable of distinguishing multiple-users and will be able to detect eye movement to pause content when a user turns their head away from the television.

Previous patents from Microsoft have hinted at deep Kinect integration in its products, including the possibility of interactive and even mood-based commercials.

Microsoft is expected to reveal the next generation of its console at an Xbox event in May, though that has yet to be confirmed. A second, cheaper set-top box is expected to follow the next Xbox, though that device would reportedly not see release until 2014.
post #2 of 28
A game console that tracks all of your movements in your living room or bedroom and requires a constant internet connection? No, I don't see any privacy or hacker concerns about that at all.
post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

A game console that tracks all of your movements in your living room or bedroom and requires a constant internet connection? No, I don't see any privacy or hacker concerns about that at all.

I also love this tied to every tech rumor these days

"is said to be capable of distinguishing multiple-users and will be able to detect eye movement to pause content when a user turns their head away"

Are we really there yet? Is it reliable? What if I blink?
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by starbird73 View Post


I also love this tied to every tech rumor these days

"is said to be capable of distinguishing multiple-users and will be able to detect eye movement to pause content when a user turns their head away"

Are we really there yet? Is it reliable? What if I blink?

Imagine your TV pauses during commercials when you are not looking or when you leave the room. This way you are FORCED to watch commercials as well 😆

post #5 of 28

The thing is, I want to watch my TV, but I don't really want my TV to watch me.  If you get my drift.

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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post #6 of 28
'mood-based commercials'? Really? I guess it'll be tampon ads non-stop when my girl is PMSing. No offense to the PMS afflicted readers.
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post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by starbird73 View Post

Are we really there yet? Is it reliable? What if I blink?

"Don't Blink. Blink and you're dead. Don't turn your back. Don't look away. And don't Blink. Good Luck."

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #8 of 28

The Kinect part is gimmicky. The important bit is the HDMI passthrough, and I've felt for years that this is exactly what the AppleTV needs. With your cable/sat box passing through the AppleTV, it suddenly has much more content to present to the user through the UI. Additionally, you no longer have to switch inputs to use the AppleTV - much more convenient for users. Throw in some games, and it becomes one hell of a useable box.

post #9 of 28
If only Apple would innovate like this. /s
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctmike78 View Post

The Kinect part is gimmicky. The important bit is the HDMI passthrough, and I've felt for years that this is exactly what the AppleTV needs. With your cable/sat box passing through the AppleTV, it suddenly has much more content to present to the user through the UI. Additionally, you no longer have to switch inputs to use the AppleTV - much more convenient for users. Throw in some games, and it becomes one hell of a useable box.

I've made the same request and argument for years. The best UI for an interactive TV that is always a click away. It also allows overlays so if you get certain calls or messages they can appear on the TV over your favorite show.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #11 of 28

This thing where it tracks the eyes and pauses when you look away is the most pointless and useless "feature" a phone or tv could have. Stu-Pid! 

post #12 of 28
Why is this on AppleInsider?
post #13 of 28

Does this mean that the talking heads can now hear you when you yell at the TV?

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctmike78 View Post

The Kinect part is gimmicky. The important bit is the HDMI passthrough, and I've felt for years that this is exactly what the AppleTV needs. With your cable/sat box passing through the AppleTV, it suddenly has much more content to present to the user through the UI. Additionally, you no longer have to switch inputs to use the AppleTV - much more convenient for users. Throw in some games, and it becomes one hell of a useable box.

 

The important bit is replacing the cable box, not passthru.   if you connect via HDMI to the cable box you get exactly one stream of content which you have no control over.  And no Cable company will allow anything other than poweroff commands to come back from the downstream device.

 

The better model is Apple agreeing to replace the cable box... and you move to a single remote device controlling your entire experience.   The Apple TV is the 'cable navigation system' that integrates in 'broadcast' with Internet and 'DVR in the cloud' content.

 

I don't disagree with the fact that a few games via appleTV would be cool. 

post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The Verge, citing multiple sources familiar with Microsoft's plans, says that the next Xbox will require a persistent Internet connection in order to access these features. This is in keeping with recent reports from an array of gaming sites that claim the console would need an always-on connection.

There was a Twitter exchange that hinted this might be the case but they said not to read into it:

http://games.yahoo.com/blogs/plugged-in/microsoft-exec-stirs-controversy-always-xbox-twitter-tirade-173337715.html

If they wanted to prevent used games, it would be a good idea (for publishers) but only if they drop the initial game purchase price. If games were 25% cheaper and blocked from resale, that could work out ok.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

There was a Twitter exchange that hinted this might be the case but they said not to read into it:

http://games.yahoo.com/blogs/plugged-in/microsoft-exec-stirs-controversy-always-xbox-twitter-tirade-1737715.html

If they wanted to prevent used games, it would be a good idea (for publishers) but only if they drop the initial game purchase price. If games were 25% cheaper and blocked from resale, that could work out ok.

It's going to be hard to eliminate used games as long as they're on a physical medium. For awhile Sony had redeemable codes in order to play a game online and if the game was sold the new user would have to purchase a redeem code to play online, needless to say that didn't last long. Looks like MS is going to have a go at it too.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #17 of 28
Leave it to AI to ignore the real news: Sony PS4 and Microsoft XBox 720 both using AMD APUs.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Leave it to AI to ignore the real news: Sony PS4 and Microsoft XBox 720 both using AMD APUs.

That was discussed a few weeks ago. Where were you?
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

The thing is, I want to watch my TV, but I don't really want my TV to watch me.  If you get my drift.

What are you saying! I've always thought the people on TV could see me back!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsd View Post

Does this mean that the talking heads can now hear you when you yell at the TV?

I was of the mind that they just pretended not to hear me... Now my brain hurts...

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #20 of 28

The console game market is shrinking or stagnating and Ballmer doubles down on it for growth... OK, makes sense to me.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by forangels View Post

Why is this on AppleInsider?

Because it provides some insight on how AppleTV may eventually end up?

post #22 of 28
AppleTV needs to evolve into an AV Receiver, with a Cable Card connection, and a Clear Qam tuner for basic cable or HD antenna. Runs AppleTV UI. Can drive wired speakers, or wireless 5:1 speakers using AirTunes. HDMI out to TV or Projector.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfrog View Post

AppleTV needs to evolve into an AV Receiver, with a Cable Card connection, and a Clear Qam tuner for basic cable or HD antenna. Runs AppleTV UI. Can drive wired speakers, or wireless 5:1 speakers using AirTunes. HDMI out to TV or Projector.

Thanks! I'll pass this on to Tim.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioFlyer View Post

This thing where it tracks the eyes and pauses when you look away is the most pointless and useless "feature" a phone or tv could have. Stu-Pid! 

 

And talking to your TV á la Siri is preferable?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfrog View Post

AppleTV needs to evolve into an AV Receiver, with a Cable Card connection, and a Clear Qam tuner for basic cable or HD antenna. Runs AppleTV UI. Can drive wired speakers, or wireless 5:1 speakers using AirTunes. HDMI out to TV or Projector.

 

Apple tend to make devices that are sold internationally.  What you propose would make a device of limited use outside the US.  Apple may have to make different devices for different regions, but I think they will try for something more universally applicable.  In Europe, we tend to use satellite rather than cable.  I very much doubt Apple will make a device that drives speakers directly.

 

I will reserve my opinions about the new x-box till it is officially announced and the real specs and capabilities are revealed.  The always-connected requirement strikes me as feature guaranteed to lose sales.  My son mentioned to me that he saw statistics that about 40% of x-box 360's sold have never been connected online.  I can't immediately find the reference but 22 million X-box 360s have been sold and there are 'only' about 8 million active x-box live gold accounts so I think it is well possible.

post #25 of 28
Originally Posted by Dave MacLachlan View Post
Because it provides some insight on how AppleTV may eventually end up?

 

WON'T end up, you mean.


Originally Posted by blackfrog View Post
AppleTV needs…

 

Not in the slightest. 


…AV Receiver, with a Cable Card connection, and a Clear Qam tuner for basic cable or HD antenna.

 

Why would I ever want this product, ever, for any reason? This is the opposite of what needs to happen to television.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

It's going to be hard to eliminate used games as long as they're on a physical medium.

That Microsoft guy on Twitter who mentioned the always-on connection lost his job over it:

http://venturebeat.com/2013/04/10/adam-orth-fired-microsoft-xbox-exec-who-insulted-fans-appears-to-have-joined-the-ranks-of-the-jobseekers/

It may not have been accurate or it might have been because of how it was put across.

They could block used games fairly easily with an always-on machine. Each disc would just have a unique id burned onto it and could be linked to an XBox Live account when inserted or to an XBox id. If someone else tried to use the disc, they wouldn't be allowed to link the disc with another account or console. If they tried to play it offline, it would prevent playing until it was linked. Some could hack their consoles to get round it but the majority wouldn't. It wouldn't necessarily have to stop all resale but each game can perhaps have the restriction to resell once. Publishers must lose a lot of money with used games being passed around as they only make money on the first sale.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer 
Leave it to AI to ignore the real news: Sony PS4 and Microsoft XBox 720 both using AMD APUs.

Not for the right reasons though:

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/150892-nvidia-gave-amd-ps4-because-console-margins-are-terrible

The losses Microsoft and Sony made on their consoles overall is staggering at $2.6b and $4.5b respectively. They had no choice but to go with cheaper hardware this time round and AMD was obviously willing to go to a price NVidia wasn't. NVidia's approach is to go the mobile SoC route with Tegra, which AMD isn't doing and AMD isn't coping well against Intel in mainstream computers:

http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/03/amd-sells-its-austin-hq-for-164-million-to-raise-some-quick-cash/
post #27 of 28

I care even less about gaming than I do about social media. But even I have to admit that both areas represent potential growth for the companies that do it right. For those of you who follow the (better/more plausible) Apple rumors, has there been any indication that Apple is set to turn the Apple TV device into some sort of major gaming console, as well as a better TV watching device???

 

I don't particularly want my TV (my computer, my phone or anything else) watching me. But I would LOVE to have a TV connected device that would get to "know" me and my likes and dislikes, and then go out and find shows that I might want to see. TiVo does an OK job of this, but it's not exactly "magical". Seems that with a better foray into artificial intelligence or maybe just advanced search, Apple could create a device that could/would do this. I don't even watch that much TV anymore  - 5 minutes watching the Real Housewives of X kills 500 zillion brain cells... proven fact! So I'd rather spend my time watching what few shows I enjoy, rather than searching for something I might like... and finding that I've missed the first 20 minutes because I was channel searching that long to find it!

 

Seems like there is so much low hanging fruit that Apple could pick up here. I hear they've got a few bucks laying around that should make this possible. Step 1: Buy TiVo!

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post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by forangels View Post

Why is this on AppleInsider?

Humor?
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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