Microsoft Apologises Over “Always Online” Comments As Rumours Surface Of Xbox 720 Costing $500

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.”

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“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.

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16 Comments

  1. I need a new 360 really, so a $99 is appealing.

  2. That is great and all, really interesting stuff. Does still leave the only question i’m asking unanswered though; when is the PS4 out in Europe? ;-)

  3. They certainly seem happy enough to let everyone speculate about it at the moment, i guess the publicity won’t do them any harm in the long run.

    • If they don’t comment on every rumored negative now they can deny them when they announce. That way everybody will be busy cheering that “stupid design decision 1 through 15” isn’t there. Then they hope we won’t notice that they never denied “ssd 16”

      (And I expect the same from sony and nintendo, this is not about console fanboyism but distrust to the big game companies)

  4. What?!!! I cant currently watch the video but I can’t make any sense out of those comments he’s made which you’ve noted. Is he speaking in riddles or am I having a special moment???

    • I feel a bit lost too, I guess we’re missing something. On the subject of a super cheap 360, I’d be tempted to give one a spin!

      • I’m glad its not just me then.
        As for the Xbox, spin round twice and you may get a 720.

  5. Seems odd that Microsoft who got so many things right with the Xbox 360 have completely lost control of Durango’s narrative.

    Whereas Sony who ballsed-up the whole pre-launch period of the PS3, and lets be honest took a couple of years to actually get going even when it was released have got things so right with the PS4.
    Sony actually learned from PS3, the balls up of the PSPGo and the indifference to the Vita then?

    • I think we’ll only really know if they’ve learned from their mistakes when they announce a price. The PS3 and Vita were far too overpriced at launch.

    • Sony got the first two [home] consoles right and the third wrong, the nextbox is MS’s third…..

  6. Speaking in tongues me thinks.

    • I agree. That guys crazier than you!

  7. Mircosoft really needs to release some facts about the Durango as they are in danger of most gamers turning their backs on it and ignoring it.Not many people will want to buy an always online $600 piece of kit. If this is part of their stealth marketing in an attempt to make the 720’s impact bigger when they reveal all of the rumours were false(if they are false), they need to sack their marketing department. Sony could nothing and still outsell MS if the rumours are true. I really hope they are not true as MS would be making a huge mistake and we really need a diverse market.

    I wonder if the 720 could create a spilt in the market due to some publishers refusing to have anything to do with it whilst some embrace it’s online DRM?

  8. Whilst Microsoft haven’t confirmed any of this, perhaps it’s more worrying that they haven’t denied it. The lack of communication is bordering on stubborness it seems, to me anyway.

    It seems bonkers to let all these damaging rumours go flying around, not even attempting to piss on the fire.

  9. I seem to be in a very small minority of people who think this won’t have a big effect on the 720’s sales. The vast majority of people won’t even know about this “feature” before they start it up at home; most of the rest probably won’t care.

    Having said that, it’s a deal breaker for me. The next generation will be a single-console generation in my house. I’ve owned every sixth- and seventh-gen console, but I am only planning on buying a PS4 this year.

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