Talking tech since 2003

This morning, a huge list of supposed details regarding Microsoft’s strategy with the Xbox One in 2014 hit the web, and gamers across the Internet have been looking to separate fact from fiction. Among the juicier tidbits include the company’s plan to release a less expensive—and optical drive-lacking—version of the Xbox One console later this year.

The rumors found their way online via the NeoGAF forums, one of the more reliable sources for gaming rumors and reports. A “verified” user going by the handle “ntkrnl” has been posting the details, supposedly because, as ntkrnl puts it, “this is such exciting stuff, and me talking about it ahead of time isn’t going to hurt anything, truthfully. We’re all chomping at the bit for it to come out. This is not bad.”

According to the leaks, the aforementioned drive-less Xbox One would be priced to match the going rate for Sony’s PlayStation 4, at $399. Considering that price disparity was one of the main sticking points for a lot of gamers deciding between the two consoles when they launched late last year, this is a smart move on Microsoft’s point to try and catch up. Moreover, this Xbox One would also boast a 1 terabyte hard drive, doubling the internal storage capability of the current model of Xbone. And that’s pretty important, considering a console lacking an optical drive would be able to, you know, play games on discs.

Interestingly, if true, this would be a great way for Microsoft to work its way back to its original plan for the console—namely, that gamers be limited in the ways they can lend games out to friends and that titles be locked to a certain account (they reversed course in June after public outcry). Somehow the idea that the Xbox One will go all-digital, and completely kill the concept of lending or borrowing games, actually sounds more palatable than having discus but being restricted in loaning them out.

On the flip-side, doing this might alienate retail partners who rely on people coming in and going home with a new game. The alternative there would be stores like GameStop and Best Buy selling digital download codes alongside physical discs, which could still be stocked for the folks who buy the more expensive version of the console. Questions, questions.

As for the rest of the leaks—which includes a Titanfall-themed Xbox One console, mocked-up at the top of this post (with a somewhat higher-res version down at the bottom)—here’s the full list:

    • Forza Horizon: “Fall 2014, probably September. Super sexy weather system and… shit tons of co-op/social stuff. 1080P and open-world, so you can road trip with your bros.”
    • Weather system powered by “the cloud”
    • White Xbone incoming in October with “fancy ass controller”
    • Limited 1 TB box in November
    • Why all the leaks? Scared you might get caught? “I am incapable of fear. Plus, this is such exciting stuff, and me talking about it ahead of time isn’t going to hurt anything, truthfully. We’re all chomping at the bit for it to come out. This is not bad. “
    • Halo Anniversary 2 will be 1080p, iffy on the 60fps, maybe not.
    • Quantum Break is Holiday 2014
    • Multiplayer confirmed for HA2, same devs as Halo Anniversary.
    • Sunset Overdrive is October 2014
    • Is not Phil Spencer
    • Black Tusk cancelled project was called “Shangheist.” May have involved stealing stuff from the Chinese (though I think that may have been a reference to the name and maybe not the gameplay? Not sure…)
    • Fable Legends is Summer 2015
    • Halo 2 Anniversary includes beta for Halo 5
    • Gears of War will probably need a 2.5 year dev time.
    • First Titanfall DLC is 45 days from release, then another one 120 days from release.
    • No Crackdown 3 news this year most likely, since it’s a 2016 title.
    • A list w/dates of the rest of the Tier 2 and Tier 3 countries that Xbone will release in this year, Late April in Scandinavian countries
    • No info/idea on what Rare’s up to, sadly.
    • Games with Gold on Xbox One starting April. “Sooner rather than later”
    • Big OS update in March.
    • Bluetooth adapter is coming at some point.

Click to embiggen:


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