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.
In May, Microsoft (MSFT) launched its first subsidized Xbox 360 for $99 with a two-year subscription to Xbox Live Gold. In the run up to the holidays, the company is now adding two more Xbox 360 models with subsidized pricing to the mix. Joining the existing $99 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect bundle is a $99 250GB Xbox 360 and a $149 250GB model with Kinect. Both new models will require a $14.99 per month subscription fee to Xbox Live for two years. More →
The latest number from NPD Group paint a troubling picture for the gaming industry. In the month of September overall sales within the industry — including accessories, discs and consoles — in the United States fell 24% from $1.1 billion in 2011 to $848.3 million, CNET reports. Sales of gaming hardware alone tumbled 39% year-over-year to $210.9 million, while software sales decreased 18% year-over-year from $609.7 million to $497.4 million and accessories fell by 11% to $139.9 million. More →
Microsoft (MSFT) will reportedly launch its Xbox Music service on October 26th and will make it available free of charge, The Verge reports. The streaming service will be offered as either a free ad-supported model or a subscription-based plan similar to the company’s Zune Music Pass, which is available for $10 a month or $100 a year. Xbox Music won’t just be limited to Microsoft’s gaming console, however, as the service will also be available on Windows Phone and Windows 8. More →
The Xbox 360 turns seven this November, which is an awfully long time for a console to still be kicking around. According to a report from SemiAccurate, Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox 360 successor might not arrive until early 2014 because of chip production snags. The site claims the issue is with the next Xbox’s AMD processor, codenamed “Oban.” SemiAccurate says that poor yield rates might push the console from its rumored holiday 2013 launch into 2014 if Microsoft’s supply partners can’t resolve the production issues. Microsoft is reported to be dual or triple sourcing its next-gen Xbox chips to multiple foundries in the hopes the kinks will be ironed out fast. If rumors are to be believed, the next Xbox will come with a Blu-ray drive, upgraded Kinect and possibly bring games streamed from the cloud.
Gamers who are tired of Microsoft (MSFT) hyping Windows 8 and the Surface without spilling any beans about the next-generation Xbox can chill: a new version of Microsoft’s popular gaming system will launch within 18 months at the latest. PC World on Thursday spotted a now-deleted Microsoft job posting stating that the company “over the next eighteen months… will release new versions of all of our most significant products including Windows (Client, Server, Phone and Azure), Office and Xbox.” Since Windows 8 and Microsoft Office 2013 have already been tapped to launch this year, that leaves the new Xbox as the last major candidate to launch in 18 months’ time. As PC World notes, that timeframe means that the new Xbox would conveniently launch right in time for the holiday season in 2013. More →
This past weekend, a supposed Xbox 720 “Durango” developer kit was posted on an obscure developer forum and offered to the public for the price of $10,000. The device resembles a traditional PC tower running a regular debug launcher, leading many to be skeptical about the authenticity of the prototype, which was said to feature an Intel processor, NVIDIA graphics, and “more than 8GB of memory.” EuroGamer’s Digital Foundry reached out to the source of the leak and multiple developers, however, and determined that the system is in fact “genuine.” More →
Microsoft’s next-generation gaming console may be called “Xbox 8,” or perhaps Xbox Infinity, according to a recent report. The software giant recently secured a slew of Xbox-related domains from a Chinese cybersquatter through the National Arbitration Forum, a company that handles international domain disputes, Fusible reported. The disputed names include XboxPhone.com, XboxTablet.com, XboxLiveTV.com, XboxCompanion.com, Xbox8.us and Xbox8.org. Microsoft also has pending cases against the owners of Xboxliverewards.com, Xboxsports.com, Xboxsmartglass.com, and Xboxmusic.com. More →
Microsoft is reportedly working on a new streaming music service that will tie in to its Xbox suite of gaming and entertainment services. Bloomberg on Thursday cited multiple anonymous sources in stating that Microsoft is in talks with major music labels in order to secure licensing for a new streaming music service that will compete with the likes of Spotify when it launches later this year. Details are limited, but the service sounds very much like the Zune service Microsoft already offers, which allows users to purchase digital downloads or stream unlimited custom radio stations. Bloomberg notes that Zune music services will be shuttered following the launch of Xbox Music, and users will be moved over to the new offering. More →
Purported details surrounding Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox video game and home entertainment console emerged earlier this week when a 56-page document leaked onto the Web. The supposed internal document pointed to a $299 price point for Microsoft’s “Xbox 720,” and it also outlined specs for the unit, including Blu-ray support and true 1080p output, as well as a new Kinect 2 motion and voice-based controller. The authenticity of the leaked file was questionable, however Microsoft’s actions in the days that followed suggest that it is indeed the real deal. More →
After saving things for the very last minute in an effort to keep today’s news under wraps, Microsoft is finally ready to get the show under way here in Los Angeles, California. The topic of today’s event is still something of a mystery, though a pair of well-sourced reports from last week suggest Microsoft is about to enter the the tablet game with its first own-brand offering. Microsoft is no stranger to hardware, though it has seen mixed results in the past; the Xbox 360 is still the best-selling console in the world seven years after its 2005 debut, but the Zune player was a mess from start to finish. Nothing is confirmed until we hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, however, so hit the jump to follow BGR’s live coverage of today’s event, which is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Eastern, 3:30 p.m. Pacific.
Rumors and speculation have been flying since Microsoft announced last week that it was hosting a press conference in Los Angeles on Monday, and that might be exactly what the Redmond-based company was hoping for. Early well-sourced reports indicated that a Microsoft-branded tablet is on tap for the event, and a number of subsequent reports have said much of the same. TechCrunch later reported that we should expect a Barnes & Noble collaboration, but B&N squashed that rumor relatively quickly. Next up from the rumor mill? An “Xbox Surface” tablet with a 7-inch display, an ARM based TI processor, full HD 1080p-output and a 28-nanometer AMD graphics processor. An an interesting side note, Microsoft insider “MS Nerd” reported earlier this year that Microsoft would unveil an ARM-based “Xbox Lite” in the near future ahead of a full-fledged next-generation Xbox console, and this very well could be the device his sources were referring to. The full spec sheet for the purported tablet, which was published Monday by Shifted2u, follows below. More →
Microsoft announced this past April that it acquired a 17% stake in a newly-formed Barnes & Noble subsidiary that will focus on Nook tablets and eReaders. What the company may not have mentioned at the time is that the new partnership might also yield a line of Microsoft-branded tablets. Microsoft sent out a last-minute invitation to a press conference late last week, and multiple subsequent reports have suggested that this event will see Microsoft unveil a new line of own-brand tablets powered by Windows RT. According to a recent report from TechCrunch, however, the Redmond-based company plans to take the wraps off a Barnes & Noble joint effort. The site’s sources claim the new tablet will be an eReader-media tablet combo, and it will focus on entertainment thanks to the inclusion of Xbox Live streaming support. Microsoft’s event begins at 6:30 p.m. Eastern, 3:30 p.m. Pacific, and BGR will be on hand to cover the press conference live.
UPDATE: A report from Dow Jones on Monday states that Barnes & Noble will have nothing to do with Monday’s announcements. More →