Longtime Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott recently published a blog post sharing his thoughts on Microsoft's planned unveiling of the next generation Xbox. In it, he said Microsoft will initially offer two pricing models for the console: a standalone version for $499 and another that will sell for $299 that requires a two-year Xbox Live Gold commitment ($10 per month for 24 months).
Thurrott correctly pegged the May 21 reveal date nearly a month earlier on Twitter which shows credibility, if nothing else. He originally said Microsoft would unveil the new console on April 24 but changed his prediction to May 21 back in March. Interestingly enough, April 24 is the date that Microsoft announced the May event.
The date was pushed back so Microsoft could better position the device against the PlayStation 4, he said. Full details on the next Xbox (including the launch lineup) will take place just ahead of the E3 trade show in early June. The console is expected to be a hot topic at this year's Build conference in late June as well.
The blogger said the next Xbox is based on the core version of Windows 8 which suggests a common apps platform or at least one that is very similar to Windows 8. Contrary to previous rumors, Microsoft won't offer a stripped down entertainment-oriented version of the console.
To further stir the pot, Thurrott believes the next Xbox will indeed require an Internet connection to use. This has been a topic of hot debate as of late, although he said it isn't as Draconian as many seem to believe.
The official name of the console is also still up for debate but he said he would be surprised if Microsoft didn't just called it "Xbox." Either way, he believes we will see the new console hit store shelves in November - just in time for the lucrative holiday shopping season.