Last week found one employee of Microsoft at the centre of a rather large-scale PR mess. One of the Creative Directors at Microsoft Studios, an Adam Orth, spoke out on Twitter about the ‘always-on’ rumours circling the still-unannounced Xbox 720. Microsoft apologised for the comments.
“We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday,” the company said in an official statement. “This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers.”
“We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter.”
The rumours continue, however, with renown Microsoft-centric blogger Paul Thurrott adding fuel to the fire, not that Microsoft denied the gossip in the first place. In the video below he talks about the next Xbox console, although it’s possible he doesn’t quite know what “always on” means in the context of all this recent discussion.
“I don’t even know what that means,” he says [transcribed here in full], “so for me, Xbox 360 is almost entirely an online experience. Most of the games I play are multiplayer, where you’re playing against other people online.”
“Or you’re using it as an entertainment device when you’re connected to a service like Netflix or Xbox video, so that is an internet-connected device. In this phrase, it says ‘must be internet-connected to use’, you know, that suggests that you can’t even boot into the UI and play—I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t have one.”
“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,” he adds, with some authority. “And that’s all I have, but it does say that.”
Thurrott also says that Microsoft will relaunch the Xbox 360 (with a codename of Stingray) at just $99 soon, and that he thinks that when the 720 does come about it’ll be around “$500″ or “$300 for the subscription [model]”, suggesting that the big reveal will be on the 21st of May.