Everything You Need To Know About The Next Xbox

man playing xbox 360

Microsoft will unveil its next Xbox gaming console May 21 at a big event at its Redmond, Washington headquarters. 

Most of the details on the new console are shrouded in secrecy, but a few nuggets have leaked out in recent months. Here’s everything we know about the next Xbox so far.

According to leaked hardware specs, the next Xbox will have: a Blu-Ray player, 8 GB of RAM, 8-core 1.6 GHz processor, at least a 50 GB hard drive, HDMI port for connecting to your TV, USB 3.0 ports for accessories, WiFi, and wireless controllers.

Microsoft has at least experimented with letting you stream games over the Web instead of using a regular disc. It's possible that feature will make it to the final console for some games.

Kinect, the motion-controlled accessory for the Xbox, will likely get an upgrade with better voice commands and greater motion sensitivity.

Streaming video will be a big part of the new Xbox. In addition to your typical streaming services like Netflix and HBO GO, there are some reports that the console will be able to integrate with content from your cable provider by plugging directly into your cable box.

You may be required to connect to the Internet to play some games. However, this likely won't be a requirement for all Xbox content as previously reported by several outlets.

It could sync with a new 7-inch tablet from Microsoft. That tablet probably won't be unveiled with the new Xbox, but could debut this summer at Microsoft's developers conference.

The operating system will look similar to Windows 8, with a screen of tiles for apps, streaming services, and games. It's also possible it will run on the full version of Windows 8. The current Xbox 360 already has a similar menu.

Xbox already syncs with your smartphone with an app called SmartGlass. The app lets you control the console and read additional information about videos you watch or games you play. Microsoft will likely add new features to SmartGlass for tablets and phones.

The future: In 2014 and beyond, there's been talk that Microsoft will add even more features to the next Xbox. Some reports say there will be a special pair of glasses that will allow for 3D gaming and a projector that puts images on your living room walls and immerses you in the game. There's also talk that Microsoft will release a cheaper console focused on casual gaming and streaming video.

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