by Anton Shilov
04/08/2013 | 11:38 PM
A renowned technology analyst has revealed that while Microsoft’s Corp.’s next-generation video game console will be heavily based on PC technology, it will cost more than an average personal computer. The reasons for Xbox code-named Durango are not completely clear, given the fact that it will compete against mobile devices, PCs and Sony PlayStation 4.
"Durango is going to be expensive – $500, $300 with a subscription – that kind of thing. Originally, they were going to announce this thing on April 24. Now they are going to announce it on May 21. We know there are events occurring this year where we are going to learn more about Durango. E3 is going to occur, Build is going to occur in San Francisco in June when they are going to talk about the developer story because it is a Windows 8 device. It is going to have the same, or basically the same, developer tools and developer APIs," said Paul Thurrott, a well-known Microsoft expert, in the recent What The Tech's video podcast.
Microsoft released the Xbox 360 console in the U.S. back in 2005 at $299 and $399 price-points and it has taken the company quite some time to slash pricing of the product to mainstream $199. With models priced at $399 and $499 the software giant will hardly be able to outsell the Xbox 360 game console at least early in the lifecycle. Mr. Thurrott also revealed that according to his sources, the console would require a constant internet connection
It is also rumoured that Microsoft intends to release a low-cost Xbox 360 version code-named Stingray at $99 price-point later this year, bringing value gaming and advanced entertainment capabilities to customers in budget. While the company is clearly interested in such an offering, given that modern Xbox 360 games cost $50 and higher, the Stingray will barely get popular among casual gamers, but will rather be a substitute for those, who want to play current titles that will not work on Xbox Next.
Microsoft Xbox Next “Durango” is expected to be architecturally similar to the PlayStation 4. It is believed that the future Xbox will be powered by AMD Fusion custom-designed system-on-chip with eight x86 low-power/low-cost Jaguar cores, AMD Radeon HD graphics with GCN architecture as well as 8GB of DDR3 system memory. The console is projected to feature hard disk drive, Blu-ray disc drive as well as robust Xbox Live online service. It is believed that Microsoft Xbox “Durango” has lower-performance graphics sub-system as well as slower memory sub-system when compared to Sony PS4.
An analysis of what is known about the Xbox Next clearly points to the fact that Microsoft had put a great deal of attention to make the Durango a high-quality general-purpose device for the living room, while compromising some of the gaming-related aspects (e.g., graphics performance). The video games for the Microsoft Xbox Next will clearly look better and feel better than titles developed for the Xbox 360 simply because of the eight-year gap in technologies under the hoods of the systems. However, only time will show how future-proof will be Microsoft’s Durango console for the core gamers who demand improvements of titles throughout the active lifetime of the console that could span for eight years, as in the case of the Xbox 360.
Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.