After years of leaks, rumors and speculation, Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox will finally be unveiled on Tuesday during a press conference in Redmond, Washington. Recent reports suggest that the new “Xbox 720,” “Xbox Infinity” or whatever else it might be called will feature vastly improved specs such as an eight-core processor, 8GB of RAM, an 800MHz graphics processor, a 50GB 6x Blu-ray drive, gigabit ethernet connectivity and enhanced TV features. The new console may also require an always-on Internet connection to play games, though reports on that front have conflicted. We’ll know all there is to know shortly, however, and here’s how to watch all the action live from your computer, Xbox or smartphone: More →
We first saw Microsoft’s vision of the future of gaming last year when a patent filing revealed a potential Xbox 720 feature that projects images from a video game all over a room, extending the gaming experience beyond the TV screen. Our interest was piqued again when a video demo of “IllumiRoom” made the rounds earlier this week alongside rumors that the exciting new feature might be available on Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox. The feature would undoubtedly give the next Xbox an edge over rivals but unfortunately, Microsoft has confirmed that IllumiRoom won’t be included in its next-generation video game console at launch. More →
The next-generation Xbox is expected to include high-end hardware and a variety of software improvements when Microsoft announces the system next month. According to a new report from Polygon, the console will incorporate the controversial requirement that users will need an Internet connection to play some games, although the decision on whether a game will require a constant Internet will be decided by the game’s publisher. Polygon warns that Microsoft’s current guidelines can still change, however. More →
U.S. District Judge James Robart on Thursday determined that Google’s Motorola Mobility unit was not entitled to the $4 billion per year it sought from Microsoft for its standard-essential patents. Motorola was seeking royalties from Microsoft’s Xbox gaming system, which utilizes the company’s technology concerning video decoding wireless connectivity. Instead of the $4 billion per year Google had valued Motorola’s patents, the judge decided that the appropriate annual payment was closer to $1.8 million. More →
Even if PC sales continue tanking, Windows 8 could get a significant boost in adoption later this year just from eager gamers picking up the next-generation Xbox. Paul Thurrott of WindowsITPro reports that the next-generation Xbox will release in early November and will run on the “core” version of Windows 8 that “suggests a common apps platform or at least one that is similar to that used by Windows 8.” Thurrott speculates that Microsoft could use the common app development platform as a way to “open up this platform to enthusiast developers” and encourage more development of native Xbox apps. More →
In line with earlier rumors, Microsoft on Wednesday invited members of the press to an event next month for its next-generation Xbox gaming system. The new console is rumored to be equipped with an 1.6GHz 8-core AMD processor, 8GB of RAM, an 800MHz graphics processor, a Blu-ray Disc drive and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity. The next-generation Xbox is expected to be released in time for the holiday season. Microsoft will announce the system at a press event on May 21st in Redmond, Washington at 10:00 a.m. PDT.
The Microsoft (MSFT) executive who sparked controversy after making public statements regarding unannounced Microsoft products is no longer with the company. Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth made news last week when he publicly responded to concerns that the next-generation Xbox might require an always-on Internet connection to operate. Orth said he was confused by the concern and then told customers to “deal with it.” Now, according to unnamed sources speaking with video game industry blog GameInformer, Orth has voluntarily resigned. Microsoft has not confirmed Orth’s departure, however GameInformer states that a call to the company’s headquarters confirmed that he is no longer with the company.
Microsoft (MSFT) reportedly has plans to unveil its next-generation Xbox video game console during a press conference in May. The new console was previously expected to be revealed during a special event in April but Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott now reports that the press conference has been pushed back to May 21st. The Verge then claimed to have independently confirmed the date in a follow-up report. Preliminary details are expected at the May 21st event and then a full unveiling will reportedly follow just a few weeks later at the E3 gaming conference in June. Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox is expected to launch ahead of the holidays this year.
Following a number of reports claiming Microsoft’s (MSFT) next-generation video game console, codenamed “Durango,” will block users’ ability to play preowned games, a new report appears to back up those claims. In a series of purported screenshots from Microsoft’s Durango SDK published by Vgleaks.com, several earlier rumors regarding Microsoft’s next console appear to have been confirmed. Among them is the claim that game play from a disk will not be supported, and users will instead have to install games to the device’s hard drive in order to play. More →
Does Microsoft (MSFT) even need to launch a new Xbox? Despite Nintendo’s (NTDOY) recent release of its next-generation home video game console, the Xbox 360 racked up its twenty-sixth consecutive month as the top-selling console in February. U.S. sales totalled 302,000 units according to The NPD Group’s February data, placing the Xbox ahead of Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation 3 and both the Wii and Wii U. The Xbox 360 holds an estimated 41% share of the current-generation console market in the U.S.
Microsoft (MSFT) is the only major vendor that hasn’t yet announced any details surrounding its new console, but some industry watchers are already convinced that the new Xbox will dominate the next generation of video game consoles. Among them is Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, who believes Microsoft is set to win the next console generation — and his reasoning has little to do with video games. More →
There’s no doubt that the Xbox 360 is one of the best things Microsoft (MSFT) has going for itself right now — not only has the popular console sold 76 million units, but it’s rapidly moved beyond the gaming sphere to become a well-rounded entertainment center thanks to popular content streaming apps for Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu. Per Engadget, Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business senior vice president Yusuf Mehdi told the D: Dive Into Media conference on Tuesday that Microsoft really doesn’t see the Xbox as a mere gaming console anymore and now views it as a comprehensive “entertainment console.” And what’s more, Mehdi said that this gives Microsoft a big long-run advantage over Sony’s (SNE) rival PlayStation console since it “isn’t as good of an entertainment console” as the Xbox. It will be very interesting to see how much Microsoft plays up the “entertainment console” aspect when it launches its Xbox 720 later this year and if the company plans to add any features to the device to improve its appeal as a living room hub.
The Xbox is one of the best things that Microsoft (MSFT) has going for it right now, but one of the console’s founding engineers thinks the company is in grave danger of getting its hide handed to it by Apple (AAPL)… again. Nat Brown, a former Microsoft engineer who worked at the company until 1999 and who was one of the founders of the Xbox project, has written a long post on his personal blog making the case that Microsoft has only been winning the console wars over the past couple of years because Sony (SNE) and Nintendo (NTDOY) have been screwing up so badly. He also tears apart the company’s strategy for allowing independent game developers to create games for the platform, saying that the process for developing and distributing games on the console is far too cumbersome. More →