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Rumor: Next Xbox Controller Will Have Touchscreen

Xbox World magazine claims that Microsoft's next Xbox console will include a Wii U-like touchscreen controller.

Based on info provided by unnamed sources, the magazine states that the next Xbox will be "a matt-black media hub with a mission to bring games to life in your living room with augmented reality, directional sound, and a four-player, finger-tracking Kinect."

Microsoft is reportedly experimenting with a tablet-like controller shape similar to Sony's PlayStation Vita rather than borrow Nintendo's Wii U "bulky unit." The article also describes the controller as to having an HD screen surrounded by the traditional buttons and sticks.

"That touchcreen will be second only to Kinect in how you operate your console," the magazine claims. "It could be a remote control when you're watching TV, a browser when you're on the internet, extra buttons and information when you're playing a game or a portable display when you want to take your game with you."

"Microsoft is playing it safe with the CPU and GPU but running wild with the functions that will change how you play, but it won't be cheap," the magazine adds.

GameSpot made a similar accusation last month, saying the next Xbox console will be tablet-based. It's speculated that a premium Xbox 720/Next/Loop setup could include a base station, a tablet, a conventional controller, and the recently discussed high-def evolution of the Kinect.

This could seemingly spell certain doom for Nintendo if Microsoft releases a more powerful console with a tablet-like controller. Also in Microsoft's cross-platform arsenal would be Windows 8 for desktops and notebooks, Windows 8 for tablets, and Windows Phone, seemingly backing Nintendo up into its little two-console corner.