Even Microsoft refers to its next-gen Xbox as the Xbox 720, assuming of course that a newly leaked document laying out the company's plans for the console is accurate. The hefty 56-page PowerPoint presentation first appeared on Scribd, though it was later removed at the request of Covington & Burling LLP, a law firm that lists Microsoft among its clients.
According to the document, the Xbox 720 will off four to six times more visual horsepower than the current Xbox 360 does, and it will come packing hardware-enabled backwards compatability for Xbox 360 games, much like the launch PlayStation 3 did for PlayStation 2 games. An updated version of Kinect will be included with the console, adding support for up to four players and improving features like voice recognition and the amount of space required to play.
The doc also lays out how the Xbox 720 will do a better job of making itself an indispensible component of your home entertainment center, with the addition of Blu-ray support, USB 3.0 inputs, HDMI, built-in Wi-Fi using the 802.11n standard, and more. Plans for the release of AR glasses -- referred to as Fortaleza Glasses -- are also mentioned. Assuming this is all true, the expectation in August 2010 was for the console to launch with a $299 price late-2013.
Unfortunately, there's no hard confirmation that the document is real. It's certainly more elaborate than you would normally expect from a hoax, though the Internet has proven time and again that it is capable of some impressive feats of fakery. The takedown request from a Microsoft-repped law firm also raises eyebrows, though it still doesn't prove anything.
The picture of the Xbox 720 as laid out in the leaked document is certainly an appealing one. Microsoft has always intended to grow its gaming console into more of a multipurpose multimedia box, and the purported hardware specs lay out an easy-to-imgaine future based on what the Xbox 360 currently offers.