The wait is almost over fellow Xbox fans. Get ready because in under a month Microsoft is expected to finally unveil the next Xbox, sending out invites today to an event at their Redmond, Washington headquarters on May 21st. The invite sent out today teased a “special unveiling” that will “mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV, and entertainment.” According to Xbox’s Major Nelson (also known as Larry Hryb, the director for Xbox Live programming), the next Xbox announcement is really a two-part show. The unveiling of the next Xbox and sharing of some of Microsoft’s plans for the console will come on the 21st, while the full lineup of launch games will be announced 19 days later at E3 on June 10th.
In February Sony unveiled their next generation system, the PS4, but they didn’t actually give important details like what the system would look like or how much it will cost. Based on some of the responses to that announcement from Major Nelson and others on the Xbox team, it’s a pretty safe bet we won’t see the same thing happen here (at least when it comes to what the new Xbox will look like).
As for what we can expect, not much is known today but according to some of the more recent rumors expect a much more powerful system that is similar to the PS4 in graphics and specs, as well as updated versions of Kinect and the ability to use your Xbox to control your cable box. As for the name of the next Xbox, it’s still just as up in the air (online it’s been called everything from Xbox 3, to Xbox 720 to its codename “Durango”).
Like with recent Xbox events Microsoft will be streaming it live for all to watch on Xbox.com and Xbox Live as well as broadcasting it on Spike TV, and we’ll of course have what you need to know covered back here. So stay tuned– the next Xbox is almost here.
Back in February Sony officially announced the PlayStation 4 and showed off its new controller, graphics and social features. And while Sony didn’t show what the PS4 actually looks like or say how much it would cost, it did promise that their new console would be available in time for the holidays of this year. The PS4 and the Nintendo Wii U make two of the three next-gen consoles, and over the last year the anticipation has been building over when Microsoft would announce their next Xbox (also known as the Xbox 3, Xbox 720, and Durango). While it was long believed that Microsoft would wait until E3 in June to announce the new Xbox, according to some of the latest rumors our long wait for the next Xbox may end even sooner.
According to a recent reports by The Verge and Paul Thurrott (someone who follows Microsoft and would know about some of their plans), Microsoft may be planning an event to officially announce the next Xbox as soon as May 21st. E3 starts only a few weeks later on June 11th, and The Verge expects Microsoft to announce the next Xbox in May and then use E3 in June to fully show it off.
As for what can expect in terms of the specs for the new Xbox, think of something that will rival the PS4. The next Xbox is rumored to pack an 8-core AMD processor, 8GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive and a Blu-ray drive for playing games (games can also be downloaded from Xbox Live). By comparison, the Xbox 360– which still is a pretty great system with some impressive graphics– has a three core processor and 512 MB of RAM. If these rumored specs are true then expect the graphics on the next Xbox to pretty much blow your mind.
As with the 360, gaming is just one part of what the Xbox can do and the next Xbox is also expected to come with an updated version of Kinect that will allow for better use in smaller rooms, improved tie-ins with Windows 8 and Windows Phone, and the ability to control your TV and cable box. The next Xbox is expected to be available later this year and pricing is rumored to be in the $300-$500 range (or what the 360 was when it came out eight years ago).
All in all, between this and the PS4 it looks like the next video game console wars are finally almost upon us. As always, stay tuned.