According to a report hitting Engadget over the weekend, Microsoft's newly-crowned chief architect J Allard has drunkenly revealed the secret weapon that will elevate the next incarnation of the Xbox into a fully-fledged media centre.
The article states that Allard makes mention of a portable hard drive for the new console, designed to transfer media files to be playable on the go, in what has become the latest machine to be dubbed "iPod killer."
The piece reads, "Regarding the Xbox 2 hard drive, I was snowboarding in Whistler, B.C. from February 19 - 26, 2004. We were in a bar called the Amsterdam Cafe in the village one night and J. Allard, the head of Microsoft's Xbox division was in the bar with some friends. I recognized him from a recent Business 2.0 article and we started talking. He bought my friends and I a round of drinks he called Hey Zeuses - they were Red Bull and tequila and they were nasty."
So the scene is set. Now for the bombshell: "Anyway, we were talking about the Xbox 2 and he said their current plan was not to include a hard drive in the Xbox 2 itself, but to offer a portable hard drive as an accessory you could buy separately. Here's the kicker: He said what they were trying to do was to incorporate MP3 (and WMA, obviously) functionality into the portable hard drive and turn the thing into an iPod killer. Basically, the idea was to come up with an MP3 player that was as good or better than the iPod that would also serve as the hard drive for the Xbox 2. And he said they planned to sell them as a loss leader at $100 each."
Amazing lie or incredible Xbox future? You decide!