Friday, August 3, 2012

XBox Durango concept art and previsions

After the Wii-U public announcement at E3 2012, I felt like it would be nice if I opened 3DSMax and modelled my vision of what the next Microsoft game console could look like. Here are renders of the result I've come with. Definetely unfinished, but yet styled, sexy and agressive. The main system is inspired by the Master Chief's helmet, and keeps pure, curvy lines.

I even modelled a tablet-like controller to go along with it.

Here is the whole idea:

"The console itself is a 6-cores AMD CPU clocked at 3.9Ghz and embedding 16Mb of cache, associated to 8Gb of DDR3 RAM and an AMD Radeon 6550 GPU + a custom AMD Radeon GPU with DirectX12 support in crossfire mode. The system also embeds 4 USB 3.0 ports, Wi-Fi N, a GPS chipset, a multi-band RF chipset, as well as a custom optical drive with writing capabilities that is supporting proprietary 30Gb media discs. As the reading speeds of the optical drive are very high, the access time to data is lighting-fast and the discs can be used directly as the storage media for savegames, just like Nintendo DS cartridges, and for DLC. No more need for huge Flash memory or for hard disk drives.

The console is a processing powerhouse that can stream games down to the tablet controller via Internet, acting like a personal server, and is optional to the tablet controller. Just like Onlive and Gaikai, at the exception that, in order to make ping time better (audio/visual responsiveness to the input controls), the server is not located at the other side of the country. When using the tablet controller, the controller conducts an automatic, silent, unobstrusive and quick test to determine if the connection to the home console is better or worst than the connection to a remote Microsoft cloud gaming server, and connects to the best one for the best experience possible. User can also force either mode manually in the tablet controller's menu.

This capability to connect to your home console wirelessly, anywhere, allows the tablet controller to remotely access any of the home console's memory content or system features, like media player features (remote recording, playing music for your dog while you are out, playing back real-time audio out to your speakers at home, etc.).

The tablet controller has inferior, but independant, OS and gaming capabilities when used as a standalone mobile device on the go. It can either play technically-inferior games directly from its integrated Flash memory, or connect to your home XBox via a Wi-Fi/3G/4G internet connection to play high-quality games (continue your progress while on the go). It embeds a 2.3Ghz dual-core AMD CPU, 1Gb of DDR3 RAM, 16/32/64Gb HDHC Flash memory, a custom quad-core AMD Vision GPU capable of outputting a 60fps video stream at 1280x720px resolution, as well as dual rumble actuators, a GPS chipset, 6-axis gyroscopic sensors, an accelerometer, a noise-cancelling stereo microphone, one front and one back HD 720p cameras, two amplified headphones jacks, a bluetooth chipset, a wrist strap, stereo speakers, one HDMI out jack (to play on another TV somewhere else), dual analog shoulder triggers (L2 / R2), dual digital analog buttons (L1 / R1), 4 front action buttons, 2 pressure-sensitive analog controls sticks, and a D-Pad surrounded by a circular, rubber-coated and force-feedback enabled scroll wheel that provides steering-like controls for driving games, or that allows to switch weapon quickly in first-person shooters (like a mouse scroll wheel). Up to 4 standard XBox360 controllers can connect wirelessly to the tablet, which comes in handy for multi-player when you are visiting somebody else.

The screen is supporting 3D auto-stereoscopic effect thanks to a lenticular lens system similar to the one of the Nintendo 3DS. When 3D is activated, the horizontal resolution is split in 2, outputting a perceptible 640x720px resolution per eye.

The controller also embeds on its back a miniaturized and wide-angle version of Kinect that is scanning the environnment surrounding the player in 3D at a native resolution of 1280x720px, which represents a 1:1 pixel ratio with the screen resolution. Embedding Kinect into the tablet controller allows the user to move around freely in the house or on the go, and scan his surrounding environment into a virtual 3D world. Also, thanks to the GPS units that are embedded in both the system itself and the tablet controller, the game knows how close you are in meters from the system, and in which exact direction.

As an example of possible fun and innovative applications offered by this new Kinect and the GPS chipsets, imagine a game like Luigi's Mansion where you can leave the living room and move around freely in all rooms of your house in search of a ghost hidden under a bed or in a wardrobe. Since the environment would be captured in 3D by Kinect, this would be an unmatched augmented reality experience because this system has the ability yo hide, partially or totally, the virtual objects behind real-world objects. Imagine running in your friend's home, trying to defend the place against hordes of invading zombies in a game like Left4Dead; they try to break windows, they roam in the house, etc. That would open an endless new world of gameplay possibilities!

When the user wants to play with Kinect at home, he can simply rest the tablet controller near the TV, with its back aligned to point towards the players in the room. Anyway, when using Kinect to track your body, you don't need to hold any controller because your full body becomes the controller.

One tablet controller comes bundled with the system. However, the tablet controller can be bought seperately as a standalone mobile device that can connect remotely to the XBox Live Cloud servers to play high-end games.

The tablet controller (named "XGo") is likely to be sold for 229,99$US, and the XBox Durango is likely to go on sale for 429.99$US. If registering for a 36-months membership to XBox Live Gold at 14.99$US per month, the system can be yours for only 99.99$US, while the bundle can be yours for 159.99$US. A 150$ gift card in free game credits for the XBox Marketplace will be issued to all customers that complete their membership without skipping a payment, at month 37 of their membership."

Other renders, testing different color schemes:

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