Once again, it seems that more details keep ‘leaking’ about the new XBox 720. Most of the time these leaks are more or less just a way to get people talking and let some exciting news out for eager consumers. This is also what we like to call ‘free marketing’.
If you consider the fact that Microsoft wants to allegedly release the new console for $300 with a Blu Ray player and cloud services for gaming it adds up to an interesting situation.
The current standing of online gaming on XBox 360 has people paying $60 a year for XBox Live services. These services include 512 MB of Cloud Game Save Space and then full access to play games like Call of Duty, Battlefield and Madden against other opponents online. XBox Live is far and away the best online service for consoles (when compared to Wii and PS3).
The issue that Microsoft is going to run into is that people won’t be too happy to keep paying for games that are located on a cloud service rather than on disc. Consider the risk of if the network goes down or is simply down for maintenance you won’t be able to play it at all. This isn’t exactly a complete denial of the future of disc or hard copy gaming but the notion is starting to become more real as we get closer to the next generation of consoles. Granted, the risks of getting rid of discs (even blu ray) are too numerous to take the idea of complete cloud gaming seriously at this point.
As of right now – everything is rumors, conjecture and absolute speculation… but one thing is certain.
The XBox 360 and PS3 have reached the end of their life cycle and at this point we should start looking for the first official announcement of a new console.