Many gamers are always waiting for the new version of a console. Face it, there will be something after PS3, there will probably be a new Wii, and Xbox 360 is evolving, too. Actually, it’s pretty common knowledge that the next Xbox will be the Xbox 720 (as if Kinect isn’t enough).
But wait…there are rumors going around that the Xbox 720 will be a tablet. What? Yes, you heard me.
In an interview with Develop, Epic Games VP Mark Rein said, “Imagine a future Xbox 360 that is actually a tablet you carry around. It will have more power than 360 does today, with technology like Kinect built right in. Imagine walking into a bar with some friends, propping it up on the table and playing games like Dance Central or Kinect Adventures anywhere you go. Then when you get home that same device will use technology like AirPlay or wireless HDMI to connect to your big screen, you’ll pick up a wireless controller, or use your phone as controller to play games like Gears of War.”
I guess some people think consoles will be left in the dust of smartphones and Apple’s iPad, all of which offer video games as apps. But is there any chance you will be able to buy the next Call of Duty on the iPad? I doubt it.
I really liked what writer David Hughes had to say at Huliq:
“At the same time, this would be a very risky decision for Microsoft or Sony. The tablet market is exploding right now, but the entry of even an ‘Xbox’ or ‘Playstation’ branded device would make the future of consoles just one device among many… Handheld gaming is an important business, but a console that tries to handle mobile gaming and the living room would more than likely fail at both.”
I’m inclined to agree. Why do I need to carry around my Xbox 720 with me? Why should I bring it to class, or to work, or grocery shopping? It’s not like I’d be able to use it at any of those locations. Sure, it would be nice if it had all the capabilities of smartphone, but I don’t have a smartphone as it is an I get along fine.
As Rein suggests, it would be pretty cool to play Kinect games anywhere with friends, but I can’t imagine that screen being big enough to satisfy everyone (I think the recommended distance to stand when using Kinect is like…6 feet? Just look at the screen on that concept design. Any bigger and it wouldn’t exactly be “mobile” anymore). And If you want to play Halo: Reach or Call of Duty? You still have to either bring a controller with you and glue the screen to your face, or have to hook up to a TV using an HDMI cable anyway.
So really, what would a tablet Xbox 720 do for me? Nothing. I probably would never take it out of my living room. As the article on Huliq says, Gamers will revolt if this happens.
What do you think? Is this concept hot or should it be thrown out immediately?