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FRONTBURNR | September 18, 2014

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#XboxReveal: What We’re Expecting and Hoping For

| On 29, Apr 2013

Next month (May 21st) we’re finally going get a look at the newest iteration of the Xbox at Microsoft’s Redmond campus. People have been clamoring any information they can get their hands on and rumors have been flying for quite awhile concerning DRM on the new system, restrictions on the ability to play used games and an “always on and connected” rumor which just won’t go away.

We believe publishers will make the final decision on whether or not you have to be online in order to play their titles. It should be interesting to watch what publishers choose the online requirement and how much pushback they receive. 

Nine beautiful people from our fabulous team here at FrontBurnr have shared what they’re expecting out of the May 21st reveal of the Xbox “720.” Give them a read and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

What I expect Microsoft to attack at the #XboxReveal, is the culmination of their tireless efforts to seize control of the living room. A wholly integrated set-top TV device/DVR, coupled with IllumiRoom, Kinect 2 and comparable console hardware specs to what we see from Sony’s PS4.

The differentiating factor will be how Microsoft elevates the Xbox Live experience as a key social media network for user interaction and creative discovery tool for media. With a more powerful social platform and strong independent development tools, the next Xbox could lead to a new golden age of creative evolution. With Sony’s key leap forward in media sharing and social media functionality, it will be interesting to see if Microsoft steps up in this regard.

Some hot topics will definitely still need to be cleared up, particularly around DRM, previous generation purchase crossover and used gaming but I believe that no matter what the iteration of these elements are, you will not see a whole sale abandonment of any core demographic. I definitely expect to see a digital download and streaming strategy that competes squarely with Sony’s Gaikai acquisition.

Overall, with the competitive value differentiation being even more blurred from a content and hardware perspective, I expect to see Microsoft create value through non-gaming functionality in particular.


Microsoft needs to address four big concerns: Always-online DRM, used game block, the internal hardware, and what the system looks like. Of course we’re going to see some games and some gameplay, but for the fans that are eagerly anticipating the next Xbox, the aforementioned topics are of the biggest concern.

If Microsoft can clear up the confusion we have prior to E3, they can spend their entire press conference showing us the features and titles expected when the console releases


I’m expecting to see Microsoft brand the system more as an all around “entertainment” system, and less as a game console.

With the movement towards Windows 8 implementation and the more recent emphasis on apps, it’s the logical next step for the company and brand. I would like to see a little bit more about the rumors of “online-only” and ceasing the sale of used games, but I do not expect we will see anything about that before E3.


I’m expecting to see the fanciest cable box ever.

The next Xbox, i expect, will take the focus off the games, which will upset a lot of gamers.



Let’s be honest, the new Xbox will remain focused on the ability to provide multimedia entertainment for the entire family.

While I would absolutely love to see things like Blu-Ray support, 1080p+ and 3D support and improved streaming capabilities, I want the new Xbox to continue to focus on the thing I would purchase it for. Games.

I have spent a small fortune on games from the Xbox Live Marketplace, Arcade and Indie Marketplace. If I can’t use these games on the new system, I will be incredibly upset. I can’t care less about prior disc-based game support but I’d hate to have all my digital purchases go to waste.

On top of that, as the lines between PC and Xbox blur, I wouldn’t mind to see mouse and keyboard support as well. Other than that, I really really REALLY hope that Microsoft limits Kinect-enabled features I don’t mind using them on occasion, but I would like to limit having to flail around like a madman in order to enjoy myself.


May 21st… that is the day I expect to be disappointed by what Microsoft announces.


It’s simple. Over the past few years Microsoft has invested heavily in apps and TV deals. I have a feeling that come next month we will hear all about how the next Xbox will be a DVR and how you can pay extra to access that. For some, that might be what they want. I just want a gaming system that actually play games. And sure, they will have games for their next system, but I feel like that they will take a backseat to whatever media applications they will have. I really, really want Microsoft to prove me wrong and they come out discussing games like Sony did with its PlayStation 4 announcement.

P.S. I think the next Xbox will not block used games and I highly doubt it will be always-online. Also, they will show the console at the event because of this tweet.


The biggest thing I’m hoping to see from the new Xbox reveal is actual gameplay. I want to see what this new generation is capable of when it comes to high definition graphics.

When it comes down to it, all I want is a console that makes me feel like I’m in the game. This is our first date new Xbox. You don’t need to impress me with all the bells and whistles right off the bat. Show me what you got and maybe you’ll get a second date.


I want content, both past and future.

I want to be able to play content that I’ve already purchased, and I want to see less of an emphasis on third party applications and Kinect integrations and more of the great, original IP’s (Dead Rising, Lost Planet, Condemned, etc) that initially drew me to the XBox brand in the first place.


I have low expectations for the new Xbox.

While it would be nice to see Microsoft move from a subscription model for basic services such as online play and party chat, I think the next iteration of Xbox Live Gold will continue to put most things behind a pay wall – instead of offering a service like PlayStation Plus that not only gives you handy features but free content that continues to be free for the remainder of your subscription.

I think we’ll see more of the same from Microsoft, putting more eggs than ever into their Xbox being a central hub for entertainment despite rumors saying it’ll be more gaming focused.

Is there anything the crew missed? Let us know what we left out down in the comments section.


  1. This is the first time I’m seeing everyone’s responses. Interesting hat we all have similar opinions on the issues.

  2. dude

    that was a bit of a unanimous but pessimistic read… hope the next box dispels the rumors and keeps games as it’s focus.

    • I’m actually tremendously excited and hopeful for the reveal. I think the next Xbox will surpass expectations.

      • dude

        I’m re-reading your comment and I can see that now

    • Hey, I thought I was optimistic! :-(

      I prefer Xbox and I am very excited about the new one. I bet they launch it pre holiday season though!

  3. I’m verging on indifferent when it comes to this announce. Obviously I’m interested in the specs and Microsoft clearing up all of the DRM rumors but between the 720 and the 4, I’m leaning toward the 4 and I haven’t even seen the 720 [Guess I haven't seen the 4 yet either, have I? heh]; I suspect my Sony fangirl bias is showing her beautiful head.

    If the Polygon sources are to be believed [] and publishers really will have control over the necessity of a persistent internet connection is true, the 720 will get a closer look from me.

    I’m not opposed to having two systems, I just refuse to have a system potentially crippled by a ridiculous stipulation/constraint on how I choose to use a consumer product I purchased, should wholly own and should be the sole entity with a say in how I use said consumer product. /rant

    The idea of “always connected/always-online” for the 720 gives me horrible flashbacks to the SimCity launch back in March. Microsoft most definitely doesn’t want that black eye.

    • Do we have the same arguments against other types of products? Android, Apple or maybe even pushing it more…Comcast cable boxes for example. Even basic publishing and social networks have clear walls and min. user requirements. All networking systems come with constraints on how they are used. As long as it works and Microsoft doesn’t alienate their consumers on basic usability they should be fine. I think the system is going to blow the doors off of expectations.