With Sony's next-gen console announcement right around the corner, Microsoft undoubtedly doesn't want to be left behind. According to InRumours, new rumours have popped up about the launch date for the next Xbox, which is referred to in development circles as the Durango. Going by the rumour, the next Xbox should be out in October.

The rumour mostly stems from the recently leaked release date for Bungie's upcoming sci-fi/magic always-online FPS Destiny. The game is rumoured to be one of the launch titles for Microsoft's next console, and its release date may be an indication for that of the Xbox 720, or whatever it's called.

A concept art of what the Durango may look like

A concept art of what the Durango may look like

It was recently revealed that the next Xbox is set to have Siri-esque voice recognition capabilities. According to the report, the technology is very similar to the Siri experience on iOS products. Sources familiar with Microsoft's Xbox project told The Verge that the next-gen console, codenamed Durango, will support wake on voice, natural language controls and speech-to-text.

The report says: “The improved capabilities mean that Xbox users will be able to walk into a room and simply say “Xbox on” to wake up the new Xbox.”

It further states that Microsoft is looking to revamp the Kinect sensor, but the latest rumour suggests that the sensor “will detect individuals in a room and suggest appropriate multiplayer games after a user queries the Xbox using voice.” A Kinect revamp has long been needed to better explore the potential of the motion controller. It is hampered by the Xbox 360’s low USB bandwidth capacity and as a result, only streams low-resolution videos to the console.

Microsoft is also revamping the search service on the Xbox, and the console is expected to announce the results back to users. According to the website, natural interaction and context will be a big aspect of the speech recognition technology in the new Xbox.

Before that, it was revealed that players will have to be constantly connected to the Internet to play games on the next version of the Xbox. The always-online requirement comes because of a new version of Xbox Live—the console’s online service. There were other rumours about the purported specs of the next Xbox. The next-gen Xbox will apparently run on an eight-core x64 AMD processor clocked at 1.6GHz and a D3D11 x 800 MHz GPU. It will also supposedly have 8GB of DDR3 RAM.

With the console, Microsoft is hoping to make Xbox a cohesive part of the company’s software experience. With the built-in speech-to-text service, Microsoft could enable support for typing out messages. Skype will also be making an Xbox debut.

The new Xbox and the next-gen PlayStation will be releasing hot on the heels of one another. Sony may reveal its console on February 20, while Microsoft is gearing up for a late Q2 announcement. While there has been much buzz about the PS4 announcement with fan-made renders flying out of the woodwork, the Xbox fanbase has been itching for more information about the next-gen console.

The architecture of both consoles will resemble that of PCs, according to developers. Microsoft will fully detail its new Xbox at E3, which will be held in Los Angeles from June 11-13. The company is rumoured to hold a separate event to give fans and the media a taste of the new console before E3.

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