Unstoppable Rumor Mill: Next Xbox Pricing and Reveal Date Leaked
After pushing their plans for a late April reveal, multiple sources are now claiming Microsoft will finally unveil their next-gen, Windows 8 running successor to the Xbox 360 on May 21st.
Veteran blogger and Microsoft watchdog, Paul Thurrott, announced the news on a recent video, but failed to mention his source. Shortly after, though, The Verge went and legitimatized his claim by confirming the May date as the world’s first look at what is now simply being referred to as “Xbox” (either it’s called that or I’m accidentally reporting news from 2001).
Kindly Mr. Thurrott had more to leak regarding the next-gen system, including a $500 price point that, while being on par with the costs of modern tech, still scores a cringe out of me. As I suspected might come to pass, he also outs a $300 bundle that would follow a subscription model similar to the one introduced with Xbox 360’s last year.
Keeping the “always online” hubbub in mind – along with the ensuing PR disaster – Thurrott could only point to older design documents stating an internet connection was required to use the console. Microsoft has refused to confirm or deny the feature, which is condemnation enough until we hear otherwise.
Backwards compatibility, one of the top most requested features when consumers make the transition between old and new hardware, doesn’t seem to be on the plate for “Xbox." The company will instead debut a dirt cheap $99 Xbox 360 bundle. Also, Thurrott says a drive-less version of the new console strictly intended for App usage rather than gaming (a decision rumored way back when) was shelved by Microsoft but may see the light of day somewhere down the road. Again, Microsoft’s next device will supposedly be shown off May 21st with a full reveal, including the system’s launch lineup, likely happening at this year’s E3.
Despite having supported the Xbox 360 early on this gen (adopting a PS3 much, much later), I’m rather dubious about Microsoft in the next-generation. Sony made a strong case for the PS4 in February and their reveal has been stewing in console gamers’ heads ever since: PC-quality graphics, beastly processing power, incredibly developer friendly architecture… The "Xbox” is at a disadvantage without even having shown anything yet. Pair that up with bad publicity and Microsoft needs more than a knockout reveal; they need a precision strike.