Microsoft XBox fans, start pinching pennies and saving for the 2013 Black Friday shopping rush, the 2013 Thanksgiving (which would fall right smack on the 28th of November, 2013), or the 2013 Christmas season!
Why? Well, because software giant (rather, giant of all giants) Microsoft is planning to release “something” at any (or all) of those dates. Trouble is, due to Microsoft’s notorious tight-lipped-ness, we don’t even know exactly which device it would be unveiling (or would they be simultaneously revealed? Perhaps only a handful of key people at Microsoft know for sure), as rumours have it that there are several devices on Microsoft’s infamously-secretive pipeline. So let’s go through the most likely suspects then, shall we?
1.] The XBox 720 or XBox 8 or “Durango” (or whatever it is them Microsoft folks decide to call it): This is the device which is the one most-whispered among everyone’s ears these days, thanks in part to the soothsayers (er, folks!) at business news site Bloomberg, quoting (but not naming) people “familiar with the company’s (i.e., Microsoft’s) plans.” Of course, this is the one which makes the most sense, because the XBox is Microsoft’s top-selling video game console, and also happens to be one of its top-selling products (even if we count the many iterations of its Windows™ Operating System) at that. And the timing of its unveiling couldn’t have been more perfect, considering that the Wii U, Nintendo Corp’s successor to its strong-selling but quite-aged Wii video game console, will have been on sale in the U.S. market for about a year then (it went on sale in the U.S. on the 18th of November this year), so any longer and it might build a comfortable head start (in terms of sales) on Microsoft’s upcoming XBox.
And by “delaying” the new XBox’s entry into the market, Microsoft will also have been able to sort of get a glimpse at the Wii U’s feature set, which will then afford it to build a better XBox, so to speak, by virtue of being able to determine which features should go with the upcoming XBox and which ones should be developed further. As a case in point, take note that it has been predicted by XBox World that the upcoming XBox will sport “a new controller with an embedded HD touchscreen”, something which, not so coincidentally, the Wii U already features.
Lastly, perhaps Microsoft, while content with playing catch-up for now, would also like to send Nintendo a Message which goes along the lines of, “Try to make the most of your time being the only next-gen console on the market, Wii U. Enjoy it while it lasts, because the competition is coming sooner than you might expect!”
2.] The XBox TV or “XBox Mini”, as some people would call it: A smaller, less-powerful, and budget-priced set-top-box type of gadget which reportedly will be Windows 8-powered but will be designed to be heavily focused towards some casual video games as well as entertainment apps such as Netflix and Microsoft’s very own (but still rumoured) television service, thereby positioning it to be the main rival of inexpensive, industry-leading products such as the Apple TV and the Roku. However, there persist some rumours that the XBox TV will “still retain the core game-playing technology that is present in the XBox 360” so, as of this writing, we’ll never know how this gizmo will turn out to be.
3.] The Kinect 2: Another very exciting, highly-anticipated Microsoft gadget, either by itself (i.e., as a stand-alone product sold separately) or if bundled with the upcoming XBox. A supposedly-leaked image from this new version of the Kinect reportedly showed fingers and some head-patting, thereby hinting towards more accurate body controls and, hence, more gaming fun and excitement.
4.] The Augmented Reality (AR) Glasses or “Fortaleza”, rumoured to be its Microsoft codename: Again, another hotly-anticipated, excitable Microsoft gadget, either sold separately as a stand-alone product, or bundled with the upcoming XBox. According to a leaked, 56-page Microsoft manifesto (which Microsoft harshly “quashed” via various law firms serving takedown notices on a number of websites), Fortaleza “will serve augmented-reality and traditional video content from the new XBox”.
They (i.e., the AR glasses) were planned to arrive in the market after the new XBox’s launch, at first to be introduced as “devices to enhance standard television viewing”, then “paired with mobile technologies”, and finally “serving content delivered by the new XBox itself.” Need we say more, people? Ah… These exciting times we live in…
Now let’s go back to the next XBox. Rumours have it that this new console will: a.] Feature at least a “six-fold increase in horsepower” when compared to the current XBox 360, which really is achievable, considering that the 360 is already quite dated; b.] Sport a Blu-Ray™ drive just like Sony’s PS3, thereby enabling it to play Blu-ray discs as well as run graphics-intensive games similar to the genre of recent tech demos such as Star Wars 1313; or c.] It won’t carry a disc drive at all (as reported by the tech website MCVUK), but will offer compatibility through some sort of interchangeable solid-state card storage, although it is not known whether this will be proprietary or a more standard format such as SD.
Now which Microsoft gadget (XBox or not) will show up at the E3 (i.e., the Electronic Entertainment Expo) this coming June 11th, 2013, at the Los Angeles Convention Center or at a later, separate unveiling event dedicated solely to the device itself? We’ll never know (your guess is as good as ours), but we’re hedging our bets on the “Durango” paired with the Kinect 2. So start saving now, guys! It’s gonna be an interesting year ahead of us!Tweet