The interactive capabilities of Microsoft’s Xbox 720

Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox 720 (Next) console will reportedly support wake-on-voice, natural language controls and speech-to-text.

According to The Verge, the above-mentioned capabilities will allow Xbox users to walk into a room and say “Xbox on” to activate the new console.

In addition, Redmond may be investigating the possibility of a Kinect sensor that could be programmed to detect the number of individuals in a room and suggest appropriate multiplayer games after a user queries the Xbox using voice.

Meanwhile, former Microsoft VP of Windows Sales Joachim Kempin told IGN that Redmond is likely to closely follow a Windows 8 design when coding the new user interface (UI) for the Xbox 720.

“I think the other thing they will try, there’s no doubt about it, is it’s going to be more Windows 8-like; maybe it even gets a touchscreen, who knows?

“Most of what’s in there today really is Windows, right? I wouldn’t be surprised if the next round of interface comes even closer to Windows 8 than it is today; maybe it even gets a touchscreen, who knows?”

In other consoles news, Sony’s PlayStation 4 will apparently make its long-awaited debut at a $400 price point, meaning, like its predecessor, the console will initially be sold at a loss.

As CVG notes, Sony will likely adopt a multiple SKU strategy for its new console. As you may recall, the PlayStation 3 (PS3) launched in US with two different SKUs: $499 and $599.