Reports from respected tech bloggers are suggesting that Microsoft may be launching the next generation Xbox, in a reveal press event scheduled for this May. Seasoned Microsoft analyst Paul Thurrot has spoken before about the possible release, and talking about the rumoured “always-online” component, he reiterated that previous Microsoft design documents have mentioned the feature. He said:
“Looking at some of the stuff I got a long time ago, it actually says ‘must be internet-connected to use’ in the notes,” Thurrot claimed. “And that’s all I have, but it does say that.”
Thurrott, who is a highly respected tech blogger, author and podcaster, made his claims in the “What the Tech” podcast, but so far Microsoft have not confirmed or denied the date, or released any launch details. They did however, make a statement to Eurogamer, saying that the company “does not comment on rumour or speculation”.
The price tag for the new Xbox is rumoured to be expensive, and will supposedly cost in the region of $500 (£326) or $300 (£195) for a cheaper version, and will come with a subscription. It is thought that the console will not have a new name, and be called simply “Xbox”, with the UK version costing a little more than in the States.
The new rumours have surfaced during the row surrounding Microsoft over the possible ‘always-on’ nature of the console. Remarks made by Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth caused controversy, as he questioned why there was so much drama over having a console that might have to be connected to the internet. Orth ended his comments with the hashtag – #dealwithit.
Some people are concerned that the ‘always-on’ software may prevent consumers from playing games that have previously worked on old Xboxes.
Microsoft had to issue a statement to appease Xbox customers, saying: “We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter.”
They did not however, offer any comment on whether or not the new console would require an internet connection.
According to Thurrot’s report, there are two other unannounced Xbox-branded machines, the first which was code-named “Yumo”, was apparently set to be an Xbox device solely for entertainment apps and not games. The other product was code-named “Stingray” and is thought to be a new budget-priced Xbox 360 model. Rumours suggest that this device will cost around $99 (£65) and will be released later on this year.