Double the size it might be, but can the new Xbox stick it to the competitors?

After Microsoft’s disappointing showing at last month’s E3 show in Los Angeles, at which they showcased neither the successor to the Xbox 360 nor anything else of any interest to anyone, recent weeks have seen a drip-feed of unofficial – though quite possibly deliberate – disclosures about their next-gen console. A freshly leaked (though actually dating back to 2010) Microsoft document claims that the machine is to be launched at some point next year, and is likely to be called the Xbox 720. The document also reveals that the console is to cost about £190; mercifully cheap compared to the cost of a 360 back in 2005. The document leak was then followed by a series of images purportedly of an Xbox 720 development kit. The devkit, codenamed Durango, was supposedly delivered to eager developers in February of this year; a timescale altogether compatible with a 2013 release date.

All of which has led to some feverish speculation as to what Microsoft’s new machine is going to feature. Using a mixture of research (other people’s, mostly), conjecture and opinion, here is the Sabotage Times guide to Microsoft’s upcoming machine:

The looks

A cursory Google Image search for ‘Xbox 720’ reveals that some people ludicrously believe that the console will be in the shape of a giant ‘X’, while others predict a thin, sleek machine not a million miles from the current incarnation. Though thinner and sleeker, obviously, given the 360’s distinct lack of thinness or sleekness. Ahem. Some people also seem to be labouring under the false impression that Microsoft’s new console will look akin to the training ball thing that Luke uses aboard the Millennium Falcon. Though part of me hopes Microsoft do something that left field, what I really want – as I have since about 2001 – is a console the same width as an AV amplifier or a blu ray player; an unobtrusive machine that fits my set up and can pass almost unnoticed. In short, no one bloody knows at this point.

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