We can’t wait for the next-generation Xbox console to arrive, and Microsoft has confirmed its existence. Well, an employee has confirmed its existence speaking in a podcast on technology website The Verge.
I wonder what going back to work is like when you’ve confirmed there’s a next-generation Xbox despite your employers consistently stating otherwise?
When asked about the next-generation Xbox console, Microsoft has consistently denied the rumors and focused on the Xbox 360. That’s understandable considering big releases happening again this November, but an employee (probably mistakenly) mentioned the Xbox 360 successor.
The employee said Microsoft will be integrating services into Windows 8 including the new version of Office (Office 15) and Windows Phone. Along with the new Xbox. Amazingly, The Verge podcast team didn’t pick up on the mention. It would have been interesting to see the quick backtracking.
We’re seeing consistent rumors around Microsoft’s next-generation console from leaked development kits to reported hardware. The former leaked earlier in 2012, but video game website Eurogamer spoke with the anonymous obtainer of the development kit and confirmed its legitimacy. There’s a photo of the coding environment, so I doubt that could be faked in person.
We also covered the internal Microsoft document leaked over the internet, and quickly pulled days after, detailing Microsoft’s roadmap for the Xbox brand. It seems Microsoft wants to create a set-top box and develop Kinect further, creating the complete media machine the company has been building later into the console lifecycle.
It also detailed cloud storage, a likely conclusion and replacement for physical hard drives when the bandwidth arrives. That’s not right now, because downloading 30GB games is time-consuming and potentially expensive for customers not using unlimited download limits. It really does need to be instantaneous.
We’ll have to see how the next Xbox is integrated into Windows 8. It’s probable the console’s announcement will show a dashboard looking like the Windows 8 start screen. Beyond aesthetics we’re perhaps going to see a greater push for cross-gaming functionality (games on Windows 8’s store have a Play on Xbox option). If I could buy a game on my Windows 8 devices, play it, save my session mid-level, and then resume on my Xbox, that would be fantastic. Microsoft is offering the integration already with Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2.
Windows 8 launches October 26.