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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 27
    bdkennedy1 wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 3 of 27
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,166member

    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 ????

  • Reply 4 of 27
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,740member


    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.

  • Reply 5 of 27
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    '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.
  • Reply 6 of 27
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    starbird73 wrote: »
    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."


    [VIDEO]
  • Reply 7 of 27


    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.

  • Reply 8 of 27
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    If only Apple would innovate like this. /s
  • Reply 9 of 27
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    ctmike78 wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 27


    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! 

  • Reply 11 of 27
    Why is this on AppleInsider?
  • Reply 12 of 27
    dsddsd Posts: 186member


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

  • Reply 13 of 27

    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. 

  • Reply 14 of 27
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,506moderator
    <em>The Verge</em>, <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/10/4208970/next-xbox-tv-entertainment-plans">citing</a> 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.
  • Reply 15 of 27
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    Marvin wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 27
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,501member
    Leave it to AI to ignore the real news: Sony PS4 and Microsoft XBox 720 both using AMD APUs.
  • Reply 17 of 27
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    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?
  • Reply 18 of 27

    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...

  • Reply 19 of 27


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

  • Reply 20 of 27

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by forangels View Post



    Why is this on AppleInsider?


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

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