Microsoft Set To Announce Next Generation Xbox System On May 21
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
May 21 may be the day when Microsoft officially unveils its next generation video game console. While the exact name of the successor to the Xbox 360 isn´t known, it is speculated that it could be called the “Xbox 720.” It was reported earlier this year that Microsoft might keep the console under wraps at least until this summer´s Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3. Microsoft has traditionally kicked off the nearly week-long video game industry trade event with a Monday morning press conference the day before the show officially opens.
However, Microsoft could be looking to do a replay of its 2005 unveiling of the Xbox 360 — which it debuted in a live televised press conference on MTV in advance of that year´s E3. That event, known as the “MTV Presents: The Next-Generation Xbox Revealed” featured celebrities, professional athletes, musicians and Microsoft executives on stage as the console was officially unwrapped for the first time.
This upcoming Xbox preview event was reportedly planned for April 24, but has been pushed back.
The Verge reported on Monday that this event might not be quite as splashy as the 2005 unveiling, and could be held at a small venue and will instead focus on the very first details of the system, which has the official codename “Durango.”
Rumors have also circulated since February that the system may require an always-on connection that requires activation codes for games, which will likely arrive on 50GB-capacity Blu-ray discs. If that is true it certainly could mean the end of used-games — but it also could make it difficult to share games with friends.
This fact has already created some drama as Adam Orth, a creative director at Microsoft Studios, reportedly took to Twitter to question the controversy. According to Cnet, he posted, “Sorry, I don´t get the drama around having an ℠always on´ console. Every device now is ℠always on´. That´s the world we live in. #dealwithit.”
He later apologized but this suggests that there is in fact “drama” over this aspect of what at this stage still is just a rumor. However, this is just one issue that the yet-to-be-unveiled system is facing.
In February redOrbit reported that the new system might not be compatible with Xbox 360 discs — which isn´t surprising if the next generation system moves to the Blu-ray disc platform.
As for hardware specs it has been rumored that the system will feature an AMD 8-core x64 processor, with a D3D11.x 800MHz graphics solution and 8-gigabytes of RAM, but at this point all has yet to be revealed.
Of course the other remaining mystery is what the new system might cost, and rumors are circulating that the system could be as much as $500 with an additional $300 for the annual Xbox Live subscription, but whether that is needed to play any or all games isn´t known as this point.
None of this likely means the end of the line for Microsoft´s Xbox 360, as there is speculation that the company will continue to support the system for a few more years and could sell an updated version for as little as $99.
It is also expected that the new Xbox — whatever it is eventually called — will arrive in stores in November, which remains the traditional release time for a new system. However, Microsoft will likely face competition from Sony´s upcoming — and still also to be officially unveiled — PlayStation 4. Let the games begin.