I am not in the practice of posting articles for every single Xbox rumor that passes in front of me. I like to wait and let them marinate and then serve them to you on a nice place setting and watch as you take tiny bird bites and see how you like them. Let’s go over the last few that are making the rounds. Need a refill before we begin?
1. The next Xbox will need to be online. As in always online.
This is the biggie that has everyone up in arms. I am not leaning one way or the other honestly so I will try and give you an objective opinion about both sides. Always online is going to be the future. It is undeniable. There will come a time when almost everything short of a refrigerator or toaster is going to need an internet connection. Microsoft was ahead of the curve when they introduced Xbox Live over ten years ago and made it require a cable internet connection leaving all the 56K users out in the cold. They knew that to have the speed needed it had to have a fast connection and Microsoft also saw that 56K, while being in the majority of homes, was on borrowed time. It was a gamble that paid off, but this is a different gamble altogether. If this rumor is true, Microsoft is hedging their bets on the future of the Xbox brand on it. I know that consoles will eventually require an internet connection for functionality, but I hope that Microsoft is not a generation too soon with it.
The outcry over an always online Xbox may seem like internet fanboy complaining and I hope that is all it is. But there is still a large part of the country that has spotty internet or no internet at all. Hard to believe in this time, but Microsoft has to realize this. I believe that is why Sony has already announced that the PS4 will not require an internet connection to play. They are placing their bets that some people will be turned off by Microsoft making them be online to play and will be waiting on them with arms wide open, ready to accept them into the Sony family. This is not a far-fetched idea when you think about it.
I get the feeling that Microsoft is feeling like Sony after the success of the PS2. They feel they can do no wrong and people will follow no matter what. Sony learned a harsh lesson about that in the first few years of the PS3. They learned they were not invincible and it looks like they are trying to correct a lot of this with the PS4. Be wary Microsoft.
2. The next Xbox will cost $500 straight up with a second model at $300 with a subscription fee.
I think this is a rumor you can go ahead and count on being true. It was most likely the whole reason why they tried the approach last year with the Xbox 360 where you get the console for $99 and agree to a two year subscription to Xbox Live. I think it will be a harder sell for the next Xbox, but that’s not to say it won’t be a success. A $99 360 is an easy sell to some, even with a subscription model. Now, asking $300 for a new console AND a two year subscription may be a bit more of a stretch. If I am going to save and spend $300 on a console I, personally, would just get 200 bucks more and buy my console outright. However, we do buy phones like this so I can see where Microsoft would think this is a viable option.
3. The next Xbox will essentially become your cable box.
This goes back to #1 on the list. Rumors are that the system will be able to connect with your cable boxes and communicate with them. This would fit in with Microsoft’s mission to make the Xbox the entertainment center of your living room. How Microsoft will make this a unique experience like Nintendo TVii remains to be seen. There will need to be some kind of special feeling to this to have some people (me) adopt it. I am sure that Microsoft has some tricks up their sleeve for this.
4. Microsoft is shooting for a late-May announcement for the next Xbox.
May 21 is the date that rumors suggest when the big event will happen. If this is true then it means that Sony will have had three and a half months of time for people to learn the ins and outs of every bit of PS4 info they can find. Did Microsoft wait too long? And because Sony had such a great announcement and Microsoft waited so long, are the expectations unattainable? If they do wait till May 21, why not just do it at E3 a couple of weeks later? Microsoft has wasted valuable time while many have begun to question items about their next console. Let’s hope they blow us all away.
Microsoft are taking so long to announce the new XBOX that Ubisoft will have announced 3 more Assassin’s Creed games by the time they do it
— CEO Kaz Hirai (@KazHiraiCEO) April 10, 2013
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