New Xbox: Five Mad Surprises To Hope For From Microsoft's Next Console (PICTURES) (VIDEO)


Microsoft is set to unveil the next Xbox later on Tuesday at a massive, live-streamed press conference.

It's pretty obvious that the new machine will pack new levels of graphical power, an upgraded Kinect and an all-new 'connected' interface into a spiffy box - and be able to play some amazing new games.

And before the news hits every big tech site is picking through the rumours to find the most likely combination of hardware and software you can expect from the conference.

But if you're still dreaming big about a truly revolutionary new console, what can you hope for?

We've pulled together five big ideas that might - just might- make it into the new Xbox.

Yes, we know, none of these are likely to happen. But we wish they could...

1) IllumiRoom: a room-sized projector for games

Microsoft is definitely developing this amazing projector-screen-interface for some future device, but as far as we know it's not ready to make it into production. Still, we can dream can't we? The idea is essentially to overlay the contours of your living room with an intelligent, dramatic projected display stretching the boundaries of the game beyond the TV.

2) Oculus Rift-style Virtual Reality

Everyone with an interest in gaming wants to try the Oculus Rift, said to be a revolution is 3D headset displays. From what we've seen it could be a transformative tech, if several issues - from weight and resolution down to how to actually make decent games for it - can be sorted out. Maybe it's down to a big-hitter like Microsoft to push that innovation through?

3) Full Backwards Compatibility

This doesn't sound like a major ask - several other consoles have launched with backwards compatibility in the past. But from what we've heard, Microsoft isn't looking to bring 360 games to the new device, especially since it looks set to dump PowerPC for an x86-based architecture. But we can dream.

4) Multi TV Support

Imagine if a console could connect to two TVs at once - extending your playing area, or allowing for full HD, same-room multiplayer like the good old days? No, we don't expect this to happen either - the graphical issues would be immense. And who's really going to drag two TVs into their living room anyway? Oh, but if it was wireless too... *Dribble*.

5) PC Compatibility.

As good as the next Xbox innards are going to be, they're likely not going to match today's highest-spec PCs (at least in potential power). So what if the next Xbox software also ran on Windows 8, high-end gaming PCs? And what if you could play the same games and cross-platform multiplayer? Finally PC and console gaming would be united, and we can all walk off into the sunset, forever.

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