by Anton Shilov
04/25/2013 | 09:06 PM
Microsoft Corp. will launch its next-generation Xbox video game console in November, according to a media report. The software giant traditionally started to sell new Xbox consoles in the U.S. in November so that to catch the holiday shopping season and sell the maximum amount of hardware possible.
This week Microsoft confirmed that it would formally unveil the Xbox Next code-named “Durango” console on May 21, 2013, at a special event. The firm also disclosed that at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June it would reveal additional details about the system as well as the launch lineup of video games. At Build conference in late June the software company will release all Xbox Next peculiarities to a wide group of game developers at Build conference (currently the complete Xbox Next details are available at first-party and select third-party studios working on games for Durango). According to Windows IT Pro web-site, which has a good track-record in predicting Microsoft plans, the next Xbox will launch in early November 2013.
Microsoft released the original Xbox on November 16, 2001; the Xbox 360 was launched on November 22, 2005. Launching in early November will give Microsoft a plenty of time to sell the console in November and then in December during the Christmas shopping season. This could be a way for Microsoft to ensure better positions to compete against Sony PlayStation 4 in the U.S. Besides, early availability may indicate that Microsoft will have plenty of all-new Xbox game consoles to sell this year.
At present it is expected that Microsoft Xbox Next will be available only in one flavor that will cost $499 this year (rumour has it that there will be a $299 SKU with two-year Xbox Live Gold contract for $10 a month). Therefore, Microsoft might want to give its customers some time to realize the potential of the Durango this year and widened the launch window by a couple of weeks.
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. Microsoft is projected to install Xbox 360 core-logic into the new console to maintain backwards compatibility with current games.
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.