Reports indicate that Microsoft will unveil the next generation Xbox at a special event on 21st May. Shortly after this event, at the E3 entertainment show in June, we will see much more of the next gen console and associated games and accessories. Further reports say the latest and greatest Xbox will be priced pretty high at around $500, or $300 with some kind of contractual subscription agreement. Also a couple of cut-price Xbox 360 versions were planned but only one will now be introduced.
The May 21st reveal date comes from an interview with Paul Thurrott, a well respected Microsoft focused tech journalist. He says the new console will simply be called the “Xbox”. The Verge says that the event was originally planned for April but has been moved for reasons unknown. The initial event is expected to be a small venue affair to whet gamers’ appetites, with many more details coming out at the big E3 show in early June. Furthermore developers will be able to get clued up about the new console in June as Microsoft has scheduled some Xbox time into the Build conference schedule.
Always on: turns people off
Turning to the “always-on, always-connected” issue that caused a bit of a diplomatic incident last week, Microsoft has apologised for comments made by developer Adam Orth via Twitter. However the apology treads a careful path and doesn’t deny the truthfulness of any of Orth’s statements. The Thurrott interview confirms that plans recently seen to be in place are that the new console “must be internet-connected to use”.
Stingray and Yumo
A final titbit about Microsoft’s upcoming plans concerns a new version of the Xbox 360 that is being designed. This console, codenamed “Stingray”, will be made available at the magic $99 price point. Some people have seen this as a hint that Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox isn’t going to be backwards compatible. A further product code-named “Yumo” and intended purely for Xbox entertainment consumption has been canned to prevent market confusion.