Microsoft's next-generation Xbox will require a new version of its motion-sensing Kinect hardware to operate, and game installation will be mandatory, a new report has claimed.

Kotaku claims to have been provided with new information about Microsoft's next-gen console by a source going under the alias 'SuperDaE' - the same source who allegedly attempted to sell a Durango development kit on eBay and leaked previous information about the next-generation Kinect.

According to the website, a "new version" of Kinect will be included with every console which "must be plugged in and calibrated for the console to even function".

The new Kinect can allegedly track up to six people at a time, while its improved camera can supposedly track thumbs and recognise facial expressions.

Kotaku suggests that the new Kinect's functionality could be related to a patent filed by Microsoft last year, which suggests content providers could be able to sell viewing licenses based on the amount of people watching.

Kotaku's report also states that all next-generation Xbox consoles will ship with a 500GB HDD, and games "must now be installed immediately upon first insertion of the game disc".

Xbox 360

To avoid frustration, the report claims that games can now be installed while they're being played, and the console includes support for multiple simultaneous applications, allowing users to "suspend" a game and switch to an application or second title without losing progress.

Xbox 360 controllers, however, won't be compatible with the next-gen Xbox, Kotaku claims, due to the system including a "new wireless technology". Information provided to the site, however, suggests a "near-identical layout" to the existing 360 pad.

A companion app - presumably SmartGlass - will also be able to take advantage of a smartphone or tablet's motion-sensing capabilities, the site suggests, comparing the functionality to that of Wii U.

The system specs for final retail hardware, the site alleges, are identical to the specs leaked last month.

And there's good news for fans expecting the next Xbox to deliver top-drawer visuals: Kotaku's source suggests that the graphical leap from Xbox 360 to the next-generation Xbox will be similar to the difference between "playing Halo 2 on an original Xbox [and] playing Crysis on a powerful PC".

Microsoft has yet to announce its next-generation console. The latest rumours point to an April reveal.

Source: Kotaku