Stupid global warming. It's been too hot for life here lately, so I've spent even more time than usual reading industry news and gossip online. You're welcome.
Xbox 720 Leak or Just Hot Air?
Supposed leaked Microsoft documents surfaced on the Internet this week, describing the "Xbox 720," which was planned for launch in 2013 at a cost of $300. It's supposed to launch with Blu-Ray capability and a new version of the Kinect hardware that supports four players, as well as (of course) with greatly enhanced graphical capabilities. Post-720 plans for Microsoft hardware include things like cloud gaming, augmented reality glasses, and even scalabale hardware. You know, I think I already have some scalabale gaming hardware... it's called a PC.
The document, if real, is a bit old, dated in 2010. Plenty of things could have changed since then, particularly the console name, planned launch date, and price. Really the only oddball thing seen in there is the augmented reality glasses, but then, I wouldn't be surprised to see Microsoft trying to get in on the market before the Google Goggles hit the big time (if they ever do.) Internet conspiracy theorists note that the original copy of the document was taken down due to a request from the law firm of Covington and Burling, which Microsoft has used before. That doesn't mean it's real, though. Microsoft is unlikely to appreciate a fake document purporting to come from the company, either.
Star Wars: TOR Considers Free-to-Play Model
Many gamers will admit to being disappointed that BioWare's only showing at E3 was a pitch for future content in the company's MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic. Most BioWare fans, after all, are in it for the company's single-player experiences. Despite plenty of evidence that the game is rapidly shedding subscriptions, EA and BioWare have continued to talk up TOR's launch numbers and insist that they're sticking to the monthly subscription model.
Recently, the game's lead developer finally admitted that the company is considering the option to go free-to-play in the future in order to keep up with the dynamic MMORPG market (most of which is going subscription-free) and compete with new market arrivals. He implied that the pressure to constantly produce new content under the subscription model was difficult for the company, but also noted that BioWare Austin has a full schedule of content development in store for the rest of this year. Will BioWare buckle and take TOR free-to-play in 2013? We'll see.