Microsoft to unveil next Xbox May 21, subsidized version for $300?

By on April 8, 2013, 11:04 AM

Speculation about Microsoft's next-generation console continues to mount as we approach its inevitable unveiling this spring or summer -- likely the former, according to new details from separate sources. It was previously believed that the company was preparing to introduce its latest machine toward the end of this month -- April 24 to be precise.

However, that date has reportedly been pushed back a few weeks. In episode 159 of What The Tech, Paul Thurrott of WinSuperSite.com revealed that the unveiling will now take place on Tuesday, May 21. Separately, Tom Warren of The Verge has spoken with folks familiar with the matter, and that date apparently checks out as being accurate.

It remains unclear what Microsoft has planned for the presentation, though Warren's sources say that it will be held at a small venue and focus on providing "the very first details" about the new Xbox, still known simply by its codename "Durango." Perhaps it will be similar to Sony's recent PlayStation 4 event, emphasizing content and features while reserving everything else -- including a glimpse at the console -- for E3.

Rumors have suggested that Microsoft wants to offer a subsidized version of Durango, building on its ongoing experiment with the Xbox 360. According to Thurrott, this is indeed the case. He's heard that a standard model will fetch about $500 while a subscription option will start at $300. We assume this would lock you into the equivalent of Xbox Live Gold for two years or more, though everything is obviously unconfirmed.

Along with introducing its latest platform during next month's event, Microsoft is expected to share its plans for the Xbox brand in general for 2013. At least one page of that playbook is reportedly dedicated to an updated version of the Xbox 360. Known as "Stingray" internally, Thurrott says the device will go for $99, which would put it in the territory of popular set-top media streaming boxes by Roku, Western Digital and others.




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1 person liked this | cmbjive said:

Now this would be unexpected. It seems Microsoft is going for a lose-lose scenario regarding price. $500 is a bit high for their next console and the subscription based approach will make what seems to be a good price point for a base model a loser for the player over the long run. A two-year subscription based on current Xbox Live pricing will run about $99 (assuming there is no discount).

Combine this with the always-on that the majority of hardcore gamers could care less about and Microsoft is setting themselves up for massive failure for the new generation. Which is sad because I prefer the Xbox controller for FPS.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

^ Unfortunately for us, success is based on sales, not execution or innovation. There will be plenty of kiddies asking for a new Xbox come Christmas time. And they'll get it.

3 people like this | Guest said:

I too prefer the Xbox controller over all others, but if all the rumors about the next Xbox are true, I have literally no interest in it whatsoever. Always on DRM scheme? No thanks. "Subsidized" subscription model? Big no thanks. Anything to do with Kinect? Good lord, no! Anti-used game system? Bah!! It's just one misstep after another from Msoft these days, I can't comprehend what they're thinking.

I'll definitely be going PS4, Sony seems to have actually listened to what gamers want. Shame Ninty went with such a weak, silly system, if they'd actually built a powerful machine I'd have gone with them, but that WiiU is just not attractive at all.

psycros psycros said:

I too prefer the Xbox controller over all others, but if all the rumors about the next Xbox are true, I have literally no interest in it whatsoever. Always on DRM scheme? No thanks. "Subsidized" subscription model? Big no thanks. Anything to do with Kinect? Good lord, no! Anti-used game system? Bah!! It's just one misstep after another from Msoft these days, I can't comprehend what they're thinking.

I'll definitely be going PS4, Sony seems to have actually listened to what gamers want. Shame Ninty went with such a weak, silly system, if they'd actually built a powerful machine I'd have gone with them, but that WiiU is just not attractive at all.

I can find no fault in your logic. And that gets me thinking...what if the shakeup at SE means we start seeing incredible flagship titles from them again..perhaps even some PS4 exclusives? By all accounts the x86-based PS4 is on par with a mid-range gaming rig in most respects. A lot of devs are excited about it - SE and Sony would be fools not to kiss and make up. We haven't seen the actual console yet, which is mildly disturbing, and the controller's "share" button seems like the ultimate fifth wheel. Still, there's really nothing we've seen yet that sounds an alarm. If Sony makes the mistake of blocking used games or commits some other cardinal sin, of course all bets are off. Right at this moment, however, I'd say the PS4 is looking awfully interesting compared to what we know of its competition.

2 people like this | Tygerstrike said:

The always on DRM doesnt bother me as my xbox is always online when Im playing Final Fantasy 11. What bothers me to no end is the anti used game approach that MS has gone after. I cannot tell you how many times I would be talking with a freind and they tell me about a game they played on X360, only to try and find that the game itself is no longer either in print or on the shelves. Oftimes the only way to get it is used. Now MS wants to take away that word of mouth that has made them so succesfull. With used games on the chopping block, MS is about to launch themselves into a mire that they will never crawl out of. Used games tend to be a backbone for the consumers who can scrape enough up to buy the system but not enough to actually drop 60$ on each game. The used game market is what has made X360 the giant it has become. Remember Madden 2010? Remember Assassines Creed? Remember Left4Dead?

These were titles that on launch didnt do as well as they did after launch. I know from my own selling experiences as I ran a GameCrazy store. MS has to remember that its customer base CANNOT always run out and buy the newsest hottest games right when they hit the market. A great chunk of your gamers want a great game at a cheap price. Now MS threatens to take away the real one redeaming quality that gamers get.

JC713 JC713 said:

^ Unfortunately for us, success is based on sales, not execution or innovation. There will be plenty of kiddies asking for a new Xbox come Christmas time. And they'll get it.

Yup. The $300 price tag is reasonable for such a successful gaming system. People will always want the newest gadget.

digitalsyrup digitalsyrup said:

I find it humorous everyone's counting Microsoft out because of a rumor about always on DRM. Not even the leaked documentation say anything about DRM but merely it needing an internet connection.

That's no different than the PSN or XBOX Live or even Wii U's online component. Of course you're going to need an internet connection.

Now, that being said, IF and when Microsoft actually says, this is a DRM requirement, then and only then will Microsoft face backlash from their fans. Personally, I don't think they are dumb enough to do this with the recent #dealwithit fiasco and the PS4 rumor about that console not playing used games that never came true.

Wait till everything is officially announced before bashing a company. I seem to recall a ton of gamers up in arms about the used game issue on the PS4 and all that drama died shortly after the press release in March.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Wait till everything is officially announced before bashing a company. I seem to recall a ton of gamers up in arms about the used game issue on the PS4 and all that drama died shortly after the press release in March.

You realize you are talking to human beings, right? Humans!

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Wait till everything is officially announced before bashing a company.
So much for preventative maintenance. I'll wait till it breaks and f_ks everything up before I decide to work on it. Sometimes you should step in and prevent things from happening.

Edit:

If Microsoft was worried about the bashing, they would go ahead and announce whether it was true or false.

EEatGDL said:

That's no different than the PSN or XBOX Live or even Wii U's online component. Of course you're going to need an internet connection.

Now, that being said, IF and when Microsoft actually says, this is a DRM requirement, then and only then will Microsoft face backlash from their fans. Personally, I don't think they are dumb enough to do this with the recent #dealwithit fiasco and the PS4 rumor about that console not playing used games that never came true.

Actually it was said by Microsoft creative director in case you didn't know [link]

And games needing permanent connection are nothing but a headache. For example I can play in college XCOM in offline mode while I can't play C&C 4 -I don't like it, for I have it because I bought the whole C&C Collection- for example because the only open port is "80" there. And even in the case you do have access there is always the possibility of busy servers, servers down, sporadical internet failures, etc.

Playing offline only needs electric power, which fails a lot less than all those internet variables. If you want to play a single player campaign, you don't want to suffer from a sudden disconnection.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Playing offline only needs electric power, which fails a lot less than all those internet variables. If you want to play a single player campaign, you don't want to suffer from a sudden disconnection.
I'm not so sure that would be the case. I feel as if the Always On-line connection would be an initial check during game startup. After that Alway On-line connection should no longer be needed.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

I find it humorous everyone's counting Microsoft out because of a rumor about always on DRM. Not even the leaked documentation say anything about DRM but merely it needing an internet connection.

Do you even know what DRM is? :P

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

These were titles that on launch didnt do as well as they did after launch. I know from my own selling experiences as I ran a GameCrazy store. MS has to remember that its customer base CANNOT always run out and buy the newsest hottest games right when they hit the market. A great chunk of your gamers want a great game at a cheap price. Now MS threatens to take away the real one redeaming quality that gamers get.

I'm sure Microsoft will go the digital route like Steam where all of their games will be available via digital downloads. Hell, half of xbox 360 games are already available as digital downloads via the marketplace. The new xbox will probably go the same route, but with all of the games and not just the popular ones. If Microsoft wanted to be successful with the "no used games" ideology, at least mimic the best company out there that is currently doing that same strategy. No one has complained (in the US at least) that you can't trade games on Steam.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Meh, I'm still waiting for all the official announcement to be made, Rumors on the PS4 having Anti-Trade in tech has turned out to be false so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of what we have heard from the new Xbox is all rubbish as well.

However, something I liked about the PS4 announcement was the developer focus, Sony know that to sell a GAME CONSOLE it needs GAMES, lots of them, and good ones too, the Xbox has been lacking in this for years and I'm currently worried at this Xbox Event we don't hear a lot on actual games but more on "Features". If this is the case and my suspicions are correct, I can't see the Xbox being a real competitor this time round, again though, time will tell...

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

No one has complained (in the US at least) that you can't trade games on Steam.
One reason is Steam Games are not antiquated the next time you purchase a PC. If console games could be transfered from one console to the next, there would be less complaining.

Guest said:

No thanks Microsoft. Give me a PC running Linux with the Steam client and I'll be happy.

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

One reason is Steam Games are not antiquated the next time you purchase a PC. If console games could be transfered from one console to the next, there would be less complaining.

If games couldn't be transferred between consoles, maybe there would be huge sales on games at Christmas or summertime *coughSteamcough*. It would be nice to get a digitally downloadable version of Halo 2 for $2.99 or lower on xbox live instead of hunting Gamestops for a ridiculously overpriced version. If consoles went the Steam route with cheap/downloadable games then I would be for it. I love Steam. Thanks to the sales, I have well over a hundred games and I paid a fraction of the full retail price.

Footlong Footlong said:

^ Unfortunately for us, success is based on sales, not execution or innovation. There will be plenty of kiddies asking for a new Xbox come Christmas time. And they'll get it.

You are right, but the success of a console comes from it's license fees. You see if many third parties achiev a certain degree of success and find it easy and cheap to develop for Durango, Microsoft will have it's due money. Nintendo Wii sold well. Nintendo Wii sold only it's hardware well. Many publishers abandoned Nintendo, that is why they are not rushing the Wii U.

I'd like to see what Microsoft will give it's consumers for this subsidize. If you get nothing it's just installments. I'd personally would love some good indie games every month. Sometimes you need the simplicity of games like Mark of The Ninja, Bastion, Metal Slug to remember how to do a very unique and fun game.

gingerbill said:

^ Unfortunately for us, success is based on sales, not execution or innovation. There will be plenty of kiddies asking for a new Xbox come Christmas time. And they'll get it.

errr , what you get annoyed about? rumours . The last xbox was a good console that lasted years , why assume the new one will be any different? microsoft hater maybe?

lets wait for something to moan about before moaning at least? I'll buy whichever next gen con seems best , we should know soon.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

errr , what you get annoyed about? rumours . The last xbox was a good console that lasted years , why assume the new one will be any different? microsoft hater maybe?

.

A good console that lasted years? Maybe on Mars.

On earth where I live, the first gen Xbox 360 was a complete disaster from a reliability standpoint and had the highest failure rate of any console I've ever known.

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