Microsoft may finally be preparing to show its next-generation hand on May 21, according to prominent company-loving tech blogger Paul Thurrott. The writer also claims that the new console will simply be called 'Xbox', and will be chasing the Roku and Apple TV market.
Speaking on a What the Tech
podcast (transcribed by AGB
), Thurrott adds to the whispers that Durango will require a constant internet connection to function. What this means exactly is unclear, but a Microsoft employee recently took some heat for making a rather public consumer awareness fail on the subject
Rumours had been circulating for months that Microsoft was going to launch two flavours of the next Xbox console. Thurrott says this was true until recently, but has since cancelled development of the entertainment-only Xbox 'Yuma' model. Or at the very least, it won't appear at launch.
"We have talked for a while about this notion that there might be another version of the Xbox that was just aimed at entertainment—a non-gaming device," Thurrott said. "That device was code-named ‘Yumo’ and they’re not making it. They may make one in the future, but it’s not happening this year.
"Durango is going to be expensive [laughs], you know $500, $300 for the subscription model, that kind of thing, but you know, Blu-ray, blah blah blah, but the thing that interest me, going back and looking at some of the stuff I got a long time ago, it actually says ‘must be internet-connected to use’ in the notes. And that’s all I have, but it does say that."
Thurrott, known for his pro-Microsoft musings on his tech blog, took some time to react to some of the consumer confusion regarding the next Xbox - largely the criticism that the company has been taking for keeping silent on details. He believes that those cheering Sony's PlayStation 4 on haven't seen anything yet.
"It’s amazing to me that, based on like no information at all, everyone is like freaking out about everything. Aside from this online thing, by the way, the number one question I’ve gotten from people is, ‘What does it look like?’ Who gives a shit what it looks like?
"I’ve actually heard from, by the way not one or two people, several people who’ve said, ‘based on what I’ve seen, Sony is going to blow them away.’ Based on what you’ve seen? You’ve seen nothing. What are you talking about? No, but you’ve seen literally nothing from Microsoft.
"The problem Microsoft has has nothing to do with Sony or Nintendo anymore, it’s Roku and AppleTV. The market for hardcore video games, the market of people will always buy the next Gears of War game, the next Halo game, the next Call of Duty game, it’s fairly finite. It’s a decent market, yada yada yada, it’s not the market for tablets, it’s not the market for smartphones."
Bear in mind that it's not clear where Thurrott is getting his information from, so get the vat of salt ready. But considering his close ties with Microsoft, his comments have a little bit more weight than the average pundit. We'll soon see when the company lines up its formal Durango announcement.