Xbox 720 demands games to be preloaded before playing

xbox 720 durangoAfter you’ve excitedly torn off the wrapping paper of your shiny new Xbox next Christmas you will be transported back to a time where you have to wait for the games to be loaded before you play. According to leaked documentation, the next Xbox will feature mandatory game installation.

Leaked development screenshots for the upcoming console, codenamed ‘Durango’ but known to most as Xbox 720, were posted by vgleaks, along with some Windows documentation that allegedly shows the new system’s features.

“Every Durango console will have a hard drive, although its exact capacity has not been chosen,” states the documentation. “It will be large enough, however, to hold a large number of games. All games will be installed on the hard drive. Play from the optical disc will not be supported.”

I am taking that to mean that, when you buy a game you will use the discs to install it on your Xbox and then will only be useful as a backup or, perhaps, a coaster.

To me, this sounds like a retrograde step – it’s kinda taking me back to the days of games on cassettes. True, as a PC gamer, I am used to installing games from Steam but I would expect a dedicated console to get me in to the action almost instantly.

However, the documentation does go on to say, “An installation system is being designed that will allow gamers to begin playing while the game is being installed,”

That may be one way to make this process less frustrating – if you don’t have to wait for the game to finish saving itself to the console before you can play.

The hardware overview also warns that there will be a “high-fidelity Kinect Sensor, which will be required for the system to operate.”

Does that mean the console will be pretty much useless without the new Kinect? Will it come in the bundle or be a necessary extra purchase?

The mention of “Improved ergonomics” on the controller must be a hint the iconic Xbox gamepad has had a redesign.

What do you make of all this?

Hopefully all shall become clear at E3.

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