Report: Next Xbox requires Kinect to function, runs multiple games at once

Microsoft isn't acknowledging the development, or even the existence, of the Xbox 360's successor (codenamed "Durango"), but that isn't stopping potential details from leaking out of Redmond. The latest report comes via console overview documents (known as "white papers") provided to Kotaku by the same source who provided information on the next PlayStation (codenamed "Orbis"), and it spells out some things we've yet to hear. Namely, the console will ship with a new version of Microsoft's motion-sensing camera controller, Kinect, and that the device, "must be plugged in and calibrated for the console to even function," the piece says. The new Kinect -- which we've heard of in the past -- is said to capture up to six people at once, and an alleged image demonstrating the difference between new and old versions of the camera puts much higher specs on said device (1920x1080 color resolution, more trackable joints, improved depth resolution, etc.).

The new console is also reported to employ multitasking, enabling multiple games or apps to run concurrently, similar to mobile phones and tablets; how many apps that could mean is unclear, if true. Sony's PlayStation Vita already employs such functionality, making the claim all the less far-fetched.

The piece also states supposedly final retail hardware specs for Microsoft's next game console, including 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. For its part, Microsoft's staying mum -- "We do 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 told us -- and Sony's the only game in town with even an event scheduled in the near future.

[Photo credit: Kotaku]