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.
For those that don’t know, E3 is the big video game event that takes place for a couple of days (this year it’s June 6-9) once a year in LA where all the newest and hottest things in the world of video games are announced. Last year for example, we saw our first peek at Microsoft’s Kinect for the Xbox 360 (and the redesigned, slimmer 360), the PlayStation Move for the PS3, and the Nintendo 3DS. Not to mention info on new video games like the latest in Madden, Gears of War, Halo and Call Of Duty.
This year of course looks to bring things up a notch with Microsoft and Sony taking the stage later today for their E3 keynotes (with Microsoft expected to show off a bunch of new games for Kinect and Sony expected to give a whole lot more info on the NGP/PSP 2. And when we say a “whole lot of info” with Sony we mean it– their event is slated to go for 5 hours!). Nintendo takes the stage on Tuesday and they look to have planned some big announcements of their own.
We’ll have all the info on the big 3’s keynotes covered for you back here. If your interested in following along live, here are the links and times for their respective live streams: Microsoft (today 12:30 PM ET/ 9:30 AM PT); Sony (tonight 8 PM ET/5 PM PT); Nintendo (Tuesday 12 PM ET/ 9 AM PT).
Oh, and in case that wasn’t enough for a crazy tomorrow, we also have Apple’s WWDC keynote (beginning at 1 PM ET) with what promises to bring a whole lot of new info on Apple’s upcoming iOS 5 and OS X Lion operating systems, and more info on Apple’s big new product: iCloud (said to be for storing things like your music, documents etc. on the internet– aka “the cloud” because the data is not just on your one device but available for you to access from anywhere you have internet access. What exactly Apple is going to do with iCloud is sure to be very interesting). And who knows, maybe Apple will surprise everyone with a “one more thing” and announce the next iPhone like they have done at WWDC the past 3 years.
Again, we’re gonna have all of this covered for you tomorrow. You’re definitely gonna wanna check back.
While this deal isn’t as mind-blowing as AT&T planning to buy T-Mobile, it’s still pretty insane. What you’ve read above in the title is correct– Microsoft has just bought Skype for a crazy $8.5 billion (yes, that’s billion with a “B”). With the amount of people who use Skype constantly it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out just how huge this deal could be on a whole bunch of levels, but let’s focus on what you really care about: what exactly this all means for you.
On The Microsoft Side
It seems that every big company has their own video chatting service– Apple has FaceTime, Google has Google Talk, and even Microsoft has had one with Windows Live Messenger– with all these companies investing a whole lot to make sure that when you and your friends video chat it’s on their service. This Skype deal will give Microsoft a significant advantage in this game. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Microsoft announce a whole bunch of new Skype apps for Windows Phone 7 (which was already said to be getting a Skype app pretty soon) and Xbox 360 Kinect that makes video chatting from your phone or couch a whole lot easier and better (and yes we know that means that Microsoft will need some new Windows Phone 7 phones with front cameras for video chatting– they also announced yesterday that the next version of Windows Phone 7 will be shown off at the end of the month, and we expect more on this there).
This is great news for anyone with a Kinect or wants a Windows Phone.
For Mac, Android, iPhone and Everyone Else
While this looks to be a great move for Microsoft users, the biggest concern with all of this is for anyone using or planning to use Skype on something like Mac OS X, iPhone/iPad/iTouch or Android. If you’re concerned about all of a sudden losing access to Skype (or Qik, which Skype bought a few months back), don’t be. For this Skype deal to be successful Microsoft will want you to be using their service over the competition (FaceTime, Google Talk etc.) particularly when your on a non-Microsoft product. Sure if we had to guess Microsoft will add certain features to the Windows Phone and Windows PC Skypes before making them available on the other platforms, but rest assured– Microsoft has said that they “will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.”
This mobile video chatting game is getting very intense very quickly– and we can’t wait to see what Apple, Google and all the other competitors come up with next to fight off this new powerful MicroSkype. Stay tuned!
It’s been two weeks since Microsoft made their biggest video game move since the launch of the Xbox 360 5 years ago, launching the truly revolutionary Kinect add-on for the Xbox 360. For those who don’t remember, Kinect is Microsoft’s first attempt at motion gaming, using a bar with three cameras/sensors to track your movements with no need to hold anything in your hands (unlike the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation Move).
So, does Kinect live up to the hype? And more importantly, is this good enough to add to your holiday wish list? We’ve got all those answers and more in our teen review after the break.
The new Xbox 360 Dashboard
Around this time 2 years ago, Microsoft released a major update to the Xbox 360 Dashboard with not just a nicer, sleeker look, but also some new features. Today, Microsoft has done it again. As we mentioned back in our First Look at the upcoming Kinect (which comes out in 3 days!), this new Dashboard features a whole bunch of cool new things beyond being “Kinect ready” (which of course, it is). We’re talking about ESPN (with the ability to watch the latest highlights and even live games on ESPN3), Netflix search (meaning you can now search for movies right on your Xbox), Zune Music and Video Marketplaces (for buying movies/TV shows and streaming music), as well as a tweaked design and everything else we’ve come to know and love from the Xbox 360 Dashboard such as Facebook and Twitter.
We’ve loaded it up on our 360 here (though not without a little bit of trouble before hand. We don’t know why, but if it doesn’t work for you on the first couple of tries be patient), and while I’ve only spent a little bit of time with it, this new update looks pretty solid. As a big sports fan, I really love the excellent quality ESPN video streams in, making catching up on the latest SportsCenter “Right Now” much clearer and easier than on my PC (I mean, it’s full HD and on a TV, like having ESPN on demand!).
The update is out now and is mandatory for all Xbox users (meaning you can’t play any games on Xbox Live without it), so go download it now and let us know what you think. (And if you don’t have Live or have trouble downloading straight to your 360, see Microsoft’s guide here for other ways to install it onto your 360)
Yesterday wasn’t all about phones for Microsoft. After the main Windows Phone 7 event, Microsoft showed off its full holiday lineup—including as you’d very much expect, Kinect and all the new Xbox 360 media features announced along side it back in June. Let me just say this right now– Kinect is AMAZING.
Back at E3 Microsoft made a lot of big waves— a whole bunch of new games, a new Xbox 360, and a whole bunch of info on Kinect, including the revealing of its true name, some demos of launch games, and even a November 4th release date. One thing that everyone was waiting for, the price, wasn’t announced at E3. Don’t worry though Xbox 360 owners, that wait is now finally over as Microsoft has today announced that Kinect will cost $150 and ship with Kinect Adventures when it launches on November 4th.
Yes, unfortunately that’s a lot more than the $84 rumor we heard last year (and yes, the Kinect price is now almost the same price as a new Wii)– and that is just for Kinect, you still need to have an Xbox 360 to plug it into (something that will cost anyone without an Xbox 360– and again, Kinect will work with all 360’s both new and old — at least $199 for the Arcade version). Speaking of the Xbox 360 Arcade… Microsoft also announced today that an updated version of the 360 Arcade (now called the Xbox 360 4 GB, and brings along all the new Xbox 360 features like that new sleek design, WiFi N, and that Kinect port along with 4 GB of built-in storage) will be coming on August 3rd for the same $199 that the old Arcade cost. Oh, and if you can wait until November 4th, you can pick up a new 4 GB Xbox 360 with Kinect and Kinect Adventures for $299 (or the price of the 250 GB 360 sans Kinect).
Microsoft also has put the Kinect up for pre-order starting today, and you can head over to their site here for all the info.
So, do you plan to buy Kinect now that we know the price is $150?
Last week at E3, Microsoft announced the all new sleek, stylish and Kinect-friendly Xbox 360. Offering things like built in WiFi wireless N (the first Xbox to offer built-in WiFi and the first game console to offer support for the latest, fastest and greatest WiFi wireless N), a 250 GB hard drive and that oh so nice new black design it seemed like a great update to usher in the next generation of the Xbox 360.
For new Xbox 360 owners this of course seems like a great deal, but what about for those with the older, original Xbox 360’s from the launch days in 2005– is it worth it to spring for the new update? Read on because we’ve got all those answers and more after the break.
The new Xbox 360 and Kinect– Yeah, your going to want to read on.
Microsoft has kicked off E3 today with their pre-event keynote and wow is this insane. A whole bunch was announced including new info on games like Call Of Duty Black Ops, Halo Reach and of course Kinect (formerly Project Natal) PLUS a new design for the 360– so what you waiting for, hit the more link and get to it.
Kinect isn’t the only thing Microsoft has planned for E3– today they’ve taken the wraps off an all new, sleeker, quieter version of the Xbox 360. Not only does it pack a newer design, but also 250 GB of built in storage, and built in WiFi wireless N (FINALLY!!). Best part? It’s out now for $299 (same as the old Elite), and will be available in stores later this week. So, who else is loving this new design?
UPDATE: Alright so all the info has come out– not only is there the built in WiFi and the 250 GB hard drive, but also 5 USB ports with a special Kinect port (though don’t worry, Kinect will still work with all existing 360’s, just the use of this port means no need for a separate USB and power cable for Kinect), touch sensitive power and eject buttons, and HDMI. Check out our Microsoft E3 wrap up post for all the info on what’s new in the world of Xbox 360.
Pic from Engadget