We're less than one month away from the big reveal of Microsoft's new Xbox gaming console and eager gamers are glued to every word and detail that leaks out about the new device, truthful or speculative.
While much has been talked about, guessed at, and revealed about the hardware and overall setup of the new console, there hasn't been as much chit-chat about the software. Specifically, what Microsoft has in mind for the new interface and all the various Xbox features contained within.
Polygon's Brian Crecente recently published a new bit of rumour-mongering – based on information undisclosed sources close to Microsoft revealed to the site – that hints at some of Microsoft's intentions for the software side of the new Xbox. According to Crecente's sources, the Xbox will supposedly come with the same kind of video-capturing setup that's already been announced for Sony's PlayStation 4 – jealousy, anyone?
The console will allegedly be able to create an ongoing record of one's gameplay, similar to how a DVR can automatically record the show a person is watching in case a viewer wants to skip around, pause the action, or go back to the beginning – the metaphor's a bit stretched for gaming, we realise. The crux of the recording setup, however, is that gamers will be able to go back and pick out highlights of their gaming sessions for eventual upload to sites like Facebook, Ustream, or YouTube (to name a few).
However, Microsoft's also upping the ante a little bit by allegedly allowing the console to focus in on key moments within one's game and automatically fire up the recording if a gamer performs a particular accomplishment. This "snap highlights" feature will allegedly only work in modern games designed for Microsoft's latest console, not any legacy games that might be supported on the new Xbox.
But what's really on everyone's minds – at least, those who wear their Gamerscores on their sleeves – is how Microsoft will handle the concept of in-game achievements on its latest console. According to Polygon, developers will now be able to update achievements and add more for gamers to do at any point after a game's released. In other words, you won't have to wait for new achievements to come via a DLC pack; developers will be able to, say, make and unleash an achievement based on a specific weekend activity they've set up, for example.
Crazier still, developers will now be able to tie in achievements to cross-title gaming. Get a headshot in one game, a quick lap in another, and run over five people in a third and you might have a witty little unlockable heading your way.