Oh boy. If a rumor from Gamespot is to be believed, Microsoft may not be waiting to see if the Wii U is successful before aping its design (like Sony did with the Wii). In an article on what they're looking forward to in 2012, Gamespot drops some serious rumors (with zero sources, unfortunately, so be skeptical):
"There are strong signs suggesting that, like with Nintendo's Wii U, a tablet component figures heavily into the new design," they write. "Speculation as to the form it will take has been rife for the past few months, with some even suggesting that the core of the new platform will be akin to a tablet PC that wirelessly connects to a base station, which in turn plugs into your TV. If this is the case, a premium Xbox Next setup could feasibly include a base station, a tablet, a conventional controller of some kind, and the recently discussed high-def evolution of the Kinect."
We're excited to see Microsoft take their magic 'Box in new directions—as long as they don't ditch the traditional controller in the process. There's some real potential here, even if they are just following in Nintendo's recently laid footsteps.
Is the integration of tablets with traditional consoles really the future of gaming, or are Nintendo and (possibly) Microsoft out of touch with what gamers want? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.