With the Xbox 360 being initially unveiled to the world in 2005, the time is fast approaching for Microsoft to bring their next generation Xbox console to the market place. There can be no denying that consumers are more than ready for a new gaming console, but the prospect of a new gadget from Microsoft inevitably bring about a flurry of speculation surround the specifications.

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We have already been treated to speculation surrounding the possible inclusion of digital video recording capabilities in the new unit, but if recent rumors coming out of gaming news site Kotaku are to be believed then it looks as though the new Xbox console could not only feature a built in Blu-ray player and second generation Kinect motion sensor but also new technology which could prevent gamers from playing used games.

The inclusion of a Blu-ray player seems inevitable, considering the PlayStation 3 has had this technology for the last five years; it would seem like a huge oversight if Microsoft didn’t adopt the same approach, especially when you consider that Blu-ray became the clear victor in the HD DVD versus Blu-ray battle of the formats. The Redmond based company had previously refused to support Blu-ray drives due to the partial ownership of the technology by Sony.

Some people may initially be shocked about the prospect of a new Kinect sensor, with a version that is compatible with Windows machines being set for an imminent release, it would seem a little premature to release an entirely new product. The rumors surrounding the potential second iteration of the Kinect focus on the fact that it may feature a built in processor, something which the first version is said to not contain. This can possibly be taken with a pinch of salt, as The Verge point out the Kinect currently features a Marvell Armada SoC.

Kinect for Windows

But what’s all this about anti-used-games technology being incorporated into the new drive? Well, the information pretty much runs dry on this topic, but Kotaku are indeed reporting that the proposed ‘Xbox 720’ will feature technology built into the new Blu-ray drive which will prohibit users from launching and playing previously owned games. Microsoft already uses a process called ‘activation’ which is designed to prevent users from loading a single copy of Windows or their Office suite onto more than one computer. It is possible that the company is planning to integrate a process similar to that.

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