The Verge mentioned that the Xbox 720 could take a note from Google TV and integrate your cable’s satellite signal into a single UI. Via The Verge’s sources, it was said that the Xbox 720 would connect to set-top boxes using HDMI and combine broadcasts with its interactive interface. On top of that, Kinect—the peripheral that had little use outside of rhythm dance games we had had enough of—will have a greater role when it comes to the Xbox 720’s broadcast services.
Using Kinect’s motion sensor and camera, it will detect multiple users and control playback based on their movement. If a user in its field of view gets up or turns his or her head from the broadcast it will pause the show and resume it once focus has been reestablished.
The Kinect feature seems like a very good idea. While it does present some degree of laziness in that you no longer have to perform the simple button press to pause streaming content, it’s great that the Kinect has finally found an actual use. Before the peripheral was such a non-requirement that it was laughable and the non-rhythm dance games that required it actually ended up being a bother—which is a shame if the game actually showed sparks of potential.
As far as the bigger news with Microsoft looking to nudge its way further into the non-gaming streaming media market, they’ve sold off their IPTV studios to focus on this, so they’re pretty serious about making this a thing. That’s okay as a means to make the Xbox 720 more of a media hub for the family—that’s the big thing with consoles now, being an all-in-one media thing for the entire family to enjoy—but what I would like to hear more about—even in rumor form—is games. The Xbox 720 is a gaming console first and foremost; tell me more about titles that are coming.
No, I don’t care about Gears of War and Halo; these are a given and if you played any game in the series early on, you’re basically playing the rest of the series for the story. No, tell me about titles that should be coming to Xbox 720 or at least what will be implemented to improve the gameplay experience. Hopefully the wait for the May 21st reveal is worth it and the focus is heavily on the gaming experience of the new Xbox and not on trying to selling this console as the next big step in Microsoft’s media initiative or whatever they’re calling this approach.