According to a feature on Gamespot, it seems highly likely that, like the Wii U, the next-gen Xbox will also be tablet-based.
Even though the new Xbox probably won’t be revealed until E3 in June, some of Microsoft’s actions point to the possibility of a tablet PC component which wirelessly connects to the base station, which then plugs into the TV.
Given Microsoft’s recent efforts at unification across its Windows, Mobile, and Xbox product lines, it seems clear that the 720 or whatever they end up calling it (surely not that) will be the ultimate personification of that strategy. There are strong signs suggesting that, like with Nintendo’s Wii U, a tablet component figures heavily into the new design. That saucy Windows 8 Metro interface (now also seen on the Xbox Dashboard) just begs to be touched.
Although the tablet probably won’t replace the conventional controller, if it plays as important a role in the new console as Gamespot suggests, gamers should probably start saving their money now.
Actually, that’s probably true for all of the next-gen consoles, which are just getting more and more advanced and adding as many expensive peripherals as they can. Note: not only will you need the tablet to play your favorite new games, but you’ll also probably need the Kinect, which, judging by E3 2011, will be required for just about every top-brand game.
Sure, information on the PS4 hasn’t come out yet, but if they want to compete with all this fancy tablet stuff, they’re going to need to attach something new and expensive. I mean, seriously, the bugs in motion sensor technology haven’t been totally worked out yet, and companies are already moving on to something new. Is a jobless economy really the best time to start throwing hundred-dollar peripherals onto a machine you want young adults to buy? Brace yourselves, gamers.
Anyway, I don’t mean to suggest that tablet technology is a bad thing – it looks like it could be awesome. But I have some anxiety about their potential price tags.