There have been a lot of rumors about the code-named new XBOX 720 from Microsoft. I'm going to give you the rumors and some thoughts on each one of them. Read on for more...
Rumor: Six times as powerful as XBOX 360
Likelihood: Very likely
Thoughts: This can be likely as it has been a little over 6 years since the XBOX 360 came out. It is rumored that the XBOX 720 will use something similar to a Radeon HD 6670 which would place it at about 6X more powerful than the XBOX 360's Xenos chip which is similar to Radeon's X1800/1850 series of graphics card. The graphics card also is supposed to be 20% more powerful than the Wii U's graphic card, although that is not as drastic.
Rumor: Will use Blu-Rays
Likelihood: Seems likely
Thoughts: Even though Microsoft would be sending some money Sony's way for using Blu-Rays it would make sense. They already lost the HD-DVD battle once before and Blu-Rays would have a higher storage capacity than the DVDs they are using now. It seems likely they would do this as it wouldn't be the first time these companies would have to pay each other for their products. I'm guessing Sony Vaios containing Windows 7 had to pay Microsoft some money for that so it doesn't seem too out there.
Rumor: Will not play used games
Likelihood: Likely to some degree
Thoughts: This has to be the most controversial of the rumors that have come out. Since the beginning of gaming, family members and friends would rent out games to other folks and swap them so they could play games each other owned. Gamers would also sell games that they are done with to stores like GameStop so they can purchase other games. Now with digital distribution like Steam and the e-shops, trading games has been falling by the wayside for some titles. However, I believe gamers still have an expectation that they can swap games they own and also purchase used games to play on their systems. This may be Microsoft's attempt to kill off the used games market and attract more publishers, but I don't believe they will make all used games unplayable on the new system. Maybe just the digitally distributed ones, which to be honest, will not be much of a change if any.
Rumor: Microsoft Points will be phased out
Likelihood: Very likely
Thoughts: A lot of gamers are not a fan of points-based systems. Whether it is Nintendo's points system for the Wii or Microsoft Points for XBOX 360. Somehow you always have leftover points or are 100 points short of buying that 1,000 point game you want so you have to buy another 500 points and then again you have leftovers. Microsoft likes this model as they make a good amount of money on points that are not used up. However, the consumers have spoken and enjoy dollar-based systems like the PSN where you pay exactly what the game costs and don't need to purchase points to get the games you want.
So there you have it. I'll leave you with another interesting tidbit. Apparently in the Real Steel movie trailer they showed in the past it had a logo for the XBOX 720 . Very sneaky Microsoft, very sneaky.