Whilst I don’t doubt that MCV have concrete sources here (and I’m not trying to take anything away from their major scoop) part of me thinks that the references to ‘next Xbox’ don’t necessarily mean a ‘next generation’ platform, and that behind the story lies something else.
Perhaps, just perhaps, Microsoft will be bringing out a new version of the current machine, the 360, which will be smaller, thinner, lighter. And not have a disk drive.
Instead, it’ll be marketed as some kind of ‘lite’ version. It’ll be cheaper, come with a decent sized hard drive and, naturally, let you download everything off the Marketplace as before. As as for retail games, well, they’ll all probably be there on the Games on Demand service by 2013.
It’s not that hard a stretch. A new hardware announcement at E3 this year is almost certainly on the cards, but it might not be the all singing, all dancing super Xbox 720/Next thing that we are all hoping to see this Summer on those massive screens.
And if it is, then maybe it’ll launch alongside this Xbox Mini.
Thus, the news today is validated, and honestly, this is the most logical way forward I can think of for this – the UK at least is absolutely not geared up, mass market, for 10GB+ downloads.
Even Microsoft’s official comment on the rumours ties in. “Xbox 360 has found new ways to extend its lifecycle,” it says. “We are always thinking about what is next for our platform and how to continue to defy the lifecycle convention.”
(emphasis author’s own)
“Beyond that we do not comment on rumors or speculation.”
Either that, or whatever’s coming will be streamed, OnLive style, but I’m not buying that there’s much credence to that particular line of thought.
Happy, as ever, to be proved wrong of course.