What are new features going to be in the next release of Blender?
I don’t believe that has been decided upon yet. There has been some discussion about a v.2.46 (for new particles, QMC, fake caustics, etc…) before v.2.5 (new api, gui, micropolygon?, etc…) and some developers support this but, as always, the decision rests in Ton’s hands.
wow. either way it sounds awesome. I wonder when is tangent space normal map baking is coming?
That depends on whether anyone has taken intrest in coding it or not and how complex the implementation is.
For anybody that has not already seen (or no where to find)