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 →
Microsoft (MSFT) will launch its next-generation Xbox video game and home entertainment console ahead of the holidays this year, and the device will have big shoes to fill. Further solidifying its position among the best-selling consoles of all time, Microsoft’s director of programming for Xbox Live Larry Hryb announced on Twitter Monday evening that cumulative Xbox 360 console sales have surpassed 76 million units. Hryb also said Kinect sales have topped 24 million units and Xbox Live now hosts 46 million paying subscribers. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is currently the fourth best-selling home video game console of all time behind Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii at No.3, and Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles at No.2 and No.1, respectively.
Rumors have been circulating about Microsoft’s (MSFT) next-generation Xbox for quite some time now. Earlier reports suggested that the console may require an always-on Internet connection that could block used games and others claimed it could even include Siri-like voice controls. According to a new report from Kotaku, the Xbox 720 will be capable of running multiple games and services at once by allowing users to “suspend” their current game and switch to a second one without losing their place in the first one. More →
More than a dozen reports to date have suggested Microsoft’s (MSFT) next-generation Xbox console will launch ahead of the holidays next year, and Bloomberg now becomes the latest publication to chime in. Citing multiple unnamed sources, Dina Bass and Ian King report that the new console will launch in time for the Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping rushes. They also claim Microsoft hasn’t yet decided whether it will unveil the console at next year’s E3 gaming expo or at a dedicated press conference. Earlier reports stated that Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox will feature a quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, a Blu-ray disc drive, Kinect 2.0 and a redesigned controller, though no details surrounding the new console have been confirmed at this point.
Now that Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii U is available in North America, all eyes are turned to Microsoft (MSFT) to announce its Xbox 360 successor (code-named “Durango”) and to Sony (SNE) to reveal its PlayStation 4 (code-named “Orbis”). The two consoles are expected to launch in time for the holidays in 2013, but it’s also possible the next-generation Xbox could be delayed until 2014 due to chip production issues. According to CVG, the Xbox World magazine’s penultimate issue has eight pages worth of juicy “Durango” details. Rumored next-gen Xbox bits include a Blu-ray disc drive, Kinect 2.0, directional audio, TV output and input, an “innovative controller” and support for augmented reality glasses – details that corroborate those from a leaked document in June. More →
It is the tenth anniversary of Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox Live online gaming community and to celebrate the software giant is giving select subscribers a limited edition Xbox console for free. According to Larry Hryb, director of programming for Xbox Live, the company is giving away the console only to its most loyal subscribers, in other words, the ones who have been with the service for the longest number of years. The limited edition Xbox comes with in a special box and color scheme, and includes a custom controller and a “decade of entertainment” logo on the side.
Reports that Microsoft (MSFT) is working on an own-brand tablet with a 7-inch display have surfaced once again. Earlier this year, rumors stated that the Redmond, Washington-based company would launch an “Xbox Surface” gaming tablet with a 720p HD display, an ARM-based TI CPU and a 28-nanometer AMD graphics processor. The Verge on Tuesday says that it has confirmed the existence of such a device with multiple unnamed sources. Unlike its high-end Surface tablet, the gaming slate won’t run Windows 8 or Windows RT but rather a custom Windows kernel with an emphasis on gaming. The device is said to be closely guarded and is expected to debut before the next-generation Xbox gaming console.