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Xbox 720 to be offered on a subscription basis?

Microsoft has hinted that subscription plans on the Xbox 360 could be made available on future consoles.

The firm offered the Xbox 360 for a $99 price tag earlier this year, with the provision that gamers took out a two-year contract to Xbox Live Gold priced at $14.99 per month, or $180 per year.

The pilot programme was said to have been a hit and Matt Barlow, general manager for marketing in Microsoft’s interactive entertainment unit argued that “this type of program is pivotal to our business,” noting that it was likely to feature product launches.

This means the as-yet unconfirmed Xbox 720 may also be available on a subscription only basis, although some have argued that this will come at a higher cost than buying the console outright.

Here’s a roundup of what we know so far about the next generation console.

Xbox 720: Will Xbox SmartGlass feature?

Microsoft has announced that Xbox SmartGlass will debut at the same time as Windows 8 launch this week, though it won’t be available for iOS- and Android-powered devices until early 2013.

The service will be rolled out as a worldwide update to the Xbox 360, enabling users to interact with their console through a tablet, smartphone or PC, initially focusing on Microsoft’s forthcoming Surface tablet.

SmartGlass functionality will also feature on some Xbox 360 games, giving players the chance to interact with console games through a touchscreen interface in a similar fashion to Nintendo’s Wii U.

Xbox 720: The latest

Among the rumoured features for the next-gen console is a wearable controller that will allow interaction between the console and players, communicating information through a network of sensors.

This would tie-in with speculation that the Xbox 720 will feature an ‘environmental display’, projecting game worlds across the walls of any room users are playing in. The Xbox 720 is also expected to offer tablet integration and cloud streaming.

With other rumours hinting that the console could be up to six times more powerful than the current generation console, featuring two GPUs, many gamers will be eagerly awaiting the console’s debut.

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