The next generation of console wars is about to shape up for good, folks, as a set of new reports came out concerning the new Xbox. The news isn't all good, nor is it all bad. But either way, the final word should be coming along in rapid fashion, and we may well see the next Xbox soon.Microsoft
's entry into the next console war
got a little shot of new information today; while just a few days ago, we had heard that the event was set to hit in May, now the reports suggest that the launch event will land May 21. May 21 is actually a good date for the conference, as it's just ahead of E3, which will run from June 11 to June 13 this year, and about a month ahead of the Build conference Microsoft has planned for June 26. The June 26 show is said to be heavy on the content, so having the system shown ahead of that just makes sense.
There's more beyond that, of course; there's pricing and release reports to be had. Pricing is currently suggested to be around $500, with a discount for subscriptions. Moreover, the release date is set for "early November" according to the reports, which would be about right so that Microsoft could focus on the Christmas shopping season.
Perhaps worst of all the news is that, once again, the always-on requirements have re-emerged, suggesting that the used and rental game industries may be in for bad times ahead. Additionally, since there's also word afoot of an ultra-cheap Xbox 360--dubbed the "Stingray"--which will sell for $99, backward compatibility is said to be at a minimum.
Naturally, any of this could change ahead of the ultimate release. With the Sony PlayStation 4 still set to reveal its pricing and release data, there could be any number of possibilities afoot between here and there. But if this goes off as scheduled, Microsoft could have a bad time on its hands. A $500 console in the midst of a bad economy sounds a lot like the mistake Sony made in the early days of the PlayStation 3.
But there could still be a way to pull it out; the games. Microsoft is going to need a huge array of top-quality launch titles. The word "Fallout
" should show up, and just for starters. "Dead Rising" would be a good followup. Getting people who are worried about their jobs to drop half a grand on a game system is going to take a lot more than vague promises and brand recognition.
Still, if this comes out as planned, it's likely that we'll be seeing the next generation in action, and soon, too. With only a few weeks left, the rumor train will ramp up accordingly and we should be seeing plenty more news to follow.