Microsoft confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets in tech: The next Xbox will be revealed on May 21.
The company on Wednesday morning sent out invites to the media for a product unveiling.
"A New Generation Revealed," the invitation reads. "Don Mattrick and the Xbox team invite you to the Xbox campus for a special unveiling."
The company plans to broadcast the unveiling live on the Xbox, as well as on Spike TV.
Earlier this month, long-time Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott broke the news of the date of the debut in an interview with the video blog "What the Tech."
The Xbox 360 has been the king of consoles in the United States for more than two years, outselling the Nintendo Wii and the Sony PlayStation 3. So Microsoft has been in no rush to debut a new version, preferring instead to let rivals show their hands.
That's why, the unveiling of the next Xbox will be the last from the big three companies in the next generation of video game consoles. In a bid to get ahead of the competition and jumpstart its sagging console fortunes, Nintendo launched its Wii U, which comes with tablet-like game controller that doubles as a second screen, last November. And last February, Sony took the wraps off the PlayStation 4, which will have a far zippier graphics engine and beefier storage than its 7-year-old predecessor.
Microsoft's gathering will come just three weeks before the giant E3 gaming trade show in Los Angeles. The software giant is likely to unveil the technical specifics as well as talk about the entertainment focus of the Xbox that go beyond gaming at its May 21 event. If history is a good gauge, the company will show off some of the biggest gaming titles for the next Xbox at E3.
The always online thing is probably going to deter me from considering this system. But I guess I'll wait for reviews for both the Sony and MS systems. I'm definitely not buying anything until it's been out for at least a year.
Microsoft: Next Xbox will work even when your Internet doesn’t
Should single-player games, Blu-ray playback, and live TV viewing be possible on a gaming console with no Internet connection? Most gamers would say "yes," but they have been worried that Microsoft feels differently; the next generation Xbox has been consistently rumored to require a permanent network connection.
According to an internal Microsoft e-mail sent to all full-time employees working on the next Xbox, "Durango [the codename for the next Xbox] is designed to deliver the future of entertainment while engineered to be tolerant of today's Internet." It continues, "There are a number of scenarios that our users expect to work without an Internet connection, and those should 'just work' regardless of their current connection status. Those include, but are not limited to: playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game."
The quotation also implicitly confirms another rumor: the next Xbox will sport an HDMI input, to allow cable boxes to be hooked up for live TV viewing. Our sources tell us that the console will be able to provide TV listings and similar information.
How far this offline support will extend still isn't clear. It could take the form of a fully offline mode akin to that on the Xbox 360 (insert optical disc, install game, play, all without an Internet connection) or it could be more like Steam (install and activate online but enable subsequent offline play once this has been done).
While one could argue that "installing a game" is one of the "scenarios" that gamers "expect to work" when offline, a more Steam-like approach would be consistent with rumors that the next Xbox will use its Internet connection to block installation of secondhand games.
Still, though the next Xbox won't make everybody happy, it looks like fears that the console will be useless when your broadband goes down have been overblown.
Nice. Fukc Ryan Davis though, that guy is a douche.
Prediction? Seems like the obvious: they are going to go into a direction I'm not very interested in. Cable integration. More Kinect. More family oriented. More internet/online oriented. Less exclusive A titles.