Microsoft both giveth and taketh away the biggest gaming news story of the week, as leaked Xbox 720 documents found their way online briefly before being quickly pulled earlier this week. However, as we all know by now, once something is on the Internet, it is never truly lost. There were questions as to the validity of the documents, but industry word on the street pegs them as legit. Let’s get to the good stuff — what will Microsoft’s next-gen console offer the gaming community?
The highlights of the leaked spec sheet include 4-6x more processing power, a potential $299 price point (including a Kinect), an expected ten year life-cycle, and a renewed focus on making the 720 a comprehensive all-in-one entertainment solution with full Blu-ray and 3D support.
The document also reveals that Microsoft will roll out an XTV service (to compete with Apple TV and Google TV) later in 2012, while the console itself could be revealed to the public as early as 2013.
If you’re interested in learning more about Microsoft’s vision for the Xbox 720, including their plans to harness the power of the cloud via mobile gaming hubs associated with individual console accounts, check out PC Mag’s article.
In other gaming news this week, The Last Guardian was absent from E3, the developers of Heavy Rain recruit Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe to star in their latest offering, and the developers of Tomb Raider try to smooth over the “attempted rape” of Lara Croft in the new series reboot.
- One game conspicuously absent from E3 this year was Team Ico’s The Last Guardian. The game is still under development, but could be a year or two away, given developer comments that it will not ship “until it’s absolutely ready.” Enjoy the trailer (again) whilst we continue to wait.
- Black Mesa, a fan remake project of the original Half-Life using the Source engine, rose from the dead earlier this month, releasing a new batch of screenshots on their official website. “Good morning, and welcome to the Black Mesa Transit system.”
- Another game that slipped our attention in last week’s E3 post. The creators of Heavy Rain bring you BEYOND: Two Souls, featuring Ellen Page as a rather defensive (and powerful) telekinetic - the trailer has a bit of a Stephen King’s Firestarter feel to it. Shack News has a hands-on preview, while Joystiq reports that Willem Dafoe is rumored to co-star.
- Journey developers thatgamecompany have now officially completed their 3 game contract with Sony, meaning all their future games will be cross-platform and freely available on all systems.
- THQ has cancelled the latest Saints Row the Third DLC, Enter the Dominatrix, and instead plans to integrate the content into the game’s sequel.
- Developer Crystal Dynamics is now attempting to cushion their comments regarding Lara Croft’s “attempted rape” during their E3 introduction of the latest in the Tomb Raider series, claiming that “sexual assault... is categorically not a theme” in the game.