It’s Monday and the Xbox 720/Durango rumor mill is already churning. On Windows IT Pro, veteran bloger Paul Thurrott went over several things concerning the new Microsoft gaming console from pricing to the online nature of the 720/Durango.
The long cited rumor that the 720 would come in a gaming, full version and a media version has been thrown out. This makes sense as most gaming consoles double as media centers anyway. No reason to throw out what has worked for roughly 15 years by making either-or consoles. On the other hand, Microsoft has been attempting to find the perfect way to get into the media swing of things so an entertainment box of some sort isn’t too far off. As it stands, the rumored Yuma “console” won’t see the light of day at the moment.
The most controversial rumored feature was ‘always online’. Thurrott mentioned that this feature is a go and the new Xbox will need to be connected to be used. He went on to say that it isn’t as devious or in his own words, “This is the source of the ‘always on’/’always online’ rumors and isn’t as Draconian as many seem to believe.” That doesn’t seem to change the opinion of many concerning always online functionality. Simply put, many still don’t want it.
According to Thurrott and based on rumors already floating about, Microsoft will come out of the gates with two pricing models for the Durango. One is the full $499 version and the other is $299 with a $10 a month subscription to XBL Gold for 2-years. It should be noted that XBL Gold is about $60 for the year. The pricing of XBL Gold is a means to draw you in by saving you money. With this version, there’s none of that here and will actually result in the subscription version costing more than the standalone by a couple dollars. Thurrott went on to state that the Xbox Durango would launch November 2013—early November to be exact.
The console codenamed “Stingray” was brought up again which will be a cheaper version of the Xbox 360 out now. The specific nature of it wasn’t mentioned, but it’s between being able to play older 360 games since the Xbox 720 might not be backwards compatible or it could be the entertainment box Microsoft wants to jump into. It was noted that it would be cheaper due to the price of manufacturing being cheaper now.
Official name for the console aside, Paul Thurrott said that the next Xbox would be powered by Windows 8 which has been very slow off the block. He also mentioned, “This suggests a common apps platform or at least one that is similar to that used by Windows 8.” He also said that Microsoft could welcome “enthusiast developers” and that the developer aspect—as well as the unveiling of Windows 8.1—would be discussed at the Build conference in June. Also in June, he said that Microsoft would announce the launch titles at E3.
Of course, all of this stands as rumor at the moment and the upcoming May 21 reveal will be the only way to truly know what Microsoft has up its sleeve for the Durago. What do you see the next Xbox coming with and what would you to see dropped or included?