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Next-Gen Coming 2014?

Posted on June 20, 2012 AT 05:22pm

We all know by now that Microsoft wants to stretch out this current console generation for as long as it can. However, in a recent X360 Magazine interview with gaming research analyst Michael Pachter, the question of when its coming and why was brought up.

To answer the first of those two rather important questions, Michael Pachter was sure we would not be seeing the next-gen in 2013.

If I were a betting man (and I am), I would say a spring 2014 launch makes more sense, since hard core Xbots could get a console without having to compete with moms buying gifts at holiday, and it is likely that they won’t manufacture more than a few million units for launch.

Where things started to get really interesting is when Pachter started talking about Microsoft’s new developments. As an older article of mine shows, I’m rather interested and optimistic about where Microsoft is going with their new additions to their line up, but Pachter is taking the ideas farther than I ever considered Microsoft ever capable of.

It’s pretty clear to me that Microsoft intends to allow the Xbox 720 to function as a cable TV box, allowing cable television service providers to broadcast over the Internet through the box, with SmartGlass as the remote controller, and with the Xbox 720 using Windows 8 to split the TV signal into multiple feeds, allowing consumers to divert different channel feeds to different displays within the home.

This will require some kind of wi-fi connection for each display, so while it clearly will work on smart glass, they also need to come up with some kind of wi-fi dongle to plug into other televisions in the household.

I think this is the biggest part of the next launch, as it will allow Microsoft to participate in the cable TV monthly subscription.  There are 85 million households in the U.S. with either cable or satellite TV, and if Microsoft could sell half of them an Xbox 720 and collect a $5 monthly Xbox Live Gold fee from each of them, we’re talking huge profits.

This suggests to me (along with the current $99 Xbox 360 financing plan) that Microsoft will seek to get a cable TV provider to subsidize the cost of the box, meaning that we might see an Xbox 720 for $99, if the customer commits to a cable TV subscription for two years.  That certainly wasn’t contemplated in 2010, so is not mentioned in the document, but I would bet that is what happens when the box launches.”

The old point Microsoft made a few years ago is coming to mind now, that one day it would be the media hub for the entire house. Now I think it is making that promise into a reality though to what effect is anyone’s guess. Also, can we all agree that the Xbox 720 is a stupid name and we should all stop calling it that until Microsoft comes out and says so?

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