XBox 720 May Take Over Your TV, Be Joined By XBox Mini
XBox 720 May Take Over Your TV, Be Joined By XBox Mini and XBox Mini Could Provide Backwards Compatibility (via techradar.com/us/news/gaming/consoles/xbox-720-may-take-over-your-tv-be-joined-by-xbox-mini-1143810)
To quote: A rumored new Xbox feature that would allow Microsoft's next-generation console to take over a TV signal could position it to be the ultimate set-top box for gamers.
It's described as a passthrough device between a cable or satellite box and a television, which is along the lines of current Google TV set-top boxes, multiple sources told The Verge (theverge.com/2013/4/10/4208970/next-xbox-tv-entertainment-plans).
The Xbox 720, like the Sony NSZ-GS7 or Netgear NeoTV Prime, would feature two HDMI ports and overlay a new user interface on top of TV channels.
This may be the source of the always-online Xbox 720 rumors, as these specific entertainment services may require a constant internet connection.
The Xbox 720 advantage
Microsoft's new Xbox would have an advantage over Google TV devices, as it can play next-generation video games with a real controller.
The company may also have a leg up when it comes to making deals with content providers simply because it's not Google, which has been spurned by major TV networks in the past.
Finally, Microsoft has 12 years of experience in the DVR overlay field, having launched Windows Media Center during its Windows XP days, and maturing it into an add-on for Windows 8.
Although some cable services would be rolled out gradually, according to The Verge, the basic set-top box functionality will be ready for the Xbox 720 launch.
Xbox Mini rumor
The same report alludes to a low-cost Xbox TV set-top box, which echos an Xbox Mini rumor that popped up today from another source, VG Leaks (via vgleaks.com/microsoft-xbox-roadmap-2013/).
The “Xbox Mini” is not a 360 add-on, it is a stand alone product that contains Xbox 360 functions for gaming, and alone it is meant to compete with Apple TV. Since it is likely it will not have a disc drive, it is being designed with “always online” in mind, and with internet being required for Live functions. Xbox 360 Games can be played on it by purchasing Games on Demand on Xbox Live (for new purchases) or if already purchased, simply download it. This also applies to music and movies. To further clarify, the Durango will also have these (TV) functions, just with next-genration gaming hardware instead of Xbox 360 at a higher price.
When used with Durango, it offers connectivity with it for backwards compatibility with both disc based and On Demand games, and it’s no more different than what Sony will be doing with Gaikai for playing PS3 games on PS4, only with Xbox it will be done locally and not through the cloud. You can control the Xbox Mini under a single interface and not have to worry about switching between devices in a single display input.
These connectivity functions cannot work with existing Xbox 360 units due to the difference in external interface. The Xbox Mini was designed for this along side Durango.
Described as a standalone product with Xbox 360 functionality, the Xbox Mini is said to be Microsoft's way of competing with budget-friendly living room devices like Apple TV.
It doesn't have a disc drive, according to the rumor, but it would be able to play games bought via Games On Demand on Xbox Live. The same goes for downloaded music and movies.
All of this information lines up with the budget-priced Xbox 360 - codenamed "Stingray" - that's said to be on its way.
Xbox Mini price and release date
Although Xbox Mini is not necessarily an add-on, it's said to be able to connect with an Xbox 720 to provide backwards compatibility.
"It's no more different than what Sony will be doing with Gaikai for playing PS3 games on PS4," according to the report. "Only with Xbox it will be done locally and not through the cloud."
This two-box solution is reminiscent of the ill-fated Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on, but Microsoft is probably hoping that this new device catches on right away and doesn't get bogged down in a format war.
Both VG Leaks and The Verge report that this low-cost Xbox machine will debut next year as opposed to releasing along the Xbox 720 console, which is expected to be released this fall.
The Xbox Mini price is suggested to be USD $149 (£97, AUD$141) or lower, putting it in direct competition with the USD $99 (£65, AUD$94) Apple TV.
With an Xbox 720 launch event rumored for May, Microsoft is likely to do two things next month: put some of these rumors to rest, and actually show everyone what its console looks like.
Microsoft Next-Generation XBox to be Revealed at May 21st Event
Today Microsoft spokesman Major Nelson has confirmed plans to officially reveal the next-generation XBox video gaming console at an event to be hosted on May 21st, 2013.
Below are the details, to quote: On Tuesday May 21st, we’ll mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment. On that day, we’ll be holding a special press event on the Xbox campus and we invite you to join us via the live global stream that will be available on Xbox LIVE and Xbox.com. If you are in the US or Canada, you can also watch the broadcast on Spike TV.
On that day, we’ll share our vision for Xbox, and give you a real taste of the future. Then, 19-days later at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, we’ll continue the conversation and showcase our full lineup of blockbuster games.
We are thrilled to pull back the curtain and reveal what we’ve been working on.
A New Generation Revealed
Xbox Campus, Redmond WA
Tuesday, May 21st at 1p ET/10a PT/17:00 GMT (timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?msg=%23XboxReveal&iso=20130521T10&p 1=234&ah=1)
Follow me on Twitter where I’ll share updates leading up to the event.
Update: According to Paul Thurrott, the platform will launch in November at $500, with a $300 XBox 720 also available. However, the $300 model will require consumers commit to two years of Xbox Live gold at an expected price of $10 month.
Finally, below are further details from Here Comes the Next XBox (via windowsitpro.com/paul-thurrotts-wininfo/here-comes-next-xbox), to quote:
Microsoft on Wednesday confirmed that the next Xbox video game console, code-named Durango, will be revealed to the public during a special event at its Redmond campus on May 21. That event will kick off a multi-event unveiling that will continue through June and culminate with the release of the device, which is expected in early November.
On March 28, I exclusively revealed via Twitter that Microsoft had changed the original reveal date for the next Xbox from April 24 to May 21. So yesterday’s confirmation is interesting for two reasons, the least obvious of which is that the news came on April 24—the original date that the firm intended to reveal the next Xbox.
Here’s what I know about the next Xbox (along with some clearly identified conjecture).
Early announce. The initial reveal date was pushed back from April 24 to May 21 so that Microsoft could better position the device against the PlayStation 4, which Sony announced in late February.
Full (end user) announce. Microsoft will fully reveal details about the next Xbox, including the launch lineup of games, on the eve of the E3 tradeshow in early June 2013.
Developer announce? It appears that Microsoft will discuss the next Xbox developer platform at the Build conference in San Francisco in late June, based on clues on the Build website.
Launch. The next Xbox will launch in early November 2013.
Windows 8 Core. The next Xbox is based on the "Core" (base) version of Windows 8. This suggests a common apps platform or at least one that is similar to that used by Windows 8. It also suggests that Microsoft could open up this platform to enthusiast developers. (That last bit is supposition on my part.)
Price. Microsoft will initially offer two pricing models for the console: a standalone version for $499 and a $299 version that requires a two-year Xbox LIVE Gold commitment at an expected price of $10 per month.
No entertainment box. Microsoft originally planned to offer both a “full” version of the next Xbox (with video game playing capabilities) and a lower-end entertainment-oriented version, code-named “Yuma,” that didn't provide gaming capabilities. But plans for Yuma are on hold, and no pure entertainment version of the next Xbox will appear in 2013 (or possibly ever).
Blu-ray. The next Xbox will include a Blu-ray optical drive.
Internet-connected. The next Xbox must be Internet-connected to use. This is the source of the “always on”/“always online” rumors and isn’t as Draconian as many seem to believe.
Another Xbox 360. Microsoft will also deliver a third-generation Xbox 360 console this year that will be significantly less expensive than the current models. The new Xbox 360 is code-named “Stingray,” but it’s not clear whether this device is required because the next Xbox isn’t backward-compatible or because Microsoft simply wants a low-cost entertainment box alternative. (A third possibility- and to be clear, these possible reasons are all speculative- is that the Xbox 360 simply has life left in it and with dwindling component prices in the 8 years since the original launch, the firm can still make money selling such a device).
There’s a lot I don’t know, of course. The name is a big area of speculation, and while I’ve heard nothing official, I’d be surprised if Microsoft didn’t just called it Xbox. I’ve never seen the console, nor have any idea what it might look like.
And in addition to the aforementioned confusion over backward compatibility and the apps platform, there are questions surrounding Kinect (which I understand is integrated and non-optional) and of course the fabled (and possibly imaginary) Xbox Surface tablet. We’ll have to wait and see what Microsoft announces -or what it leaks- to find out more.
On that note, Microsoft’s May event will be broadcast live via Xbox.com, over Xbox LIVE, and on Spike TV if you're in the United States or Canada."
Here is another leak of rumored XBox Now (new XBox Live) specs (Xboxnow.com / Xboxfusion.com):
We are almost at the big event date of May 21st, when under the big tent that Microsoft has setup, we will learn all about the new Xbox Now! console, and just ahead of that event some more information has leaked out, showing that the specs. are very nice.
There is now a full 12 gigabytes of high-speed RAM in the new Xbox Now! console, unlike the previous rumors of only 8gb.
To be precise, there is 4gb GDDR5 on the GPU and 8gb GDDR5 on the 8-Core IBM custom CPU.
The GPU is the first GCN 2.0 GPU produced and was designed by special team of MS+IBM+AMD.
Eric from IBM will be a speaker on the 21st. with more info like the fact the GPU specs. are a mindblogging 4.9 TFlops.
And finally Dutch journalist Jan Meijroos said on Twitter his Xbox Now! papers for Tuesday say 'hands on', that will be real slap on the face for Sony, if the Xbox Now! is right there 'available now' to try out within the big tent for everyone to see and hear in real-action!