With the next-gen Xbox quite literally less than an hour away from officially being unveiled, I wanted to quickly drop a post going over what to expect from the event. We've already gone through the PlayStation 4 announcement, but this could still be one of the first console announcement experiences for our young or newly discovered nerds out there. Here's a collection of rumors, some closer to reality than others, about what to expect from today's next-gen Xbox unveiling.
It's actually rather surprising, but everyone's sort of been in agreement about the specifications of the next-gen Xbox. To be honest, they're not that dissimilar to what we know about the PlayStation 4, though you'll have to go to talk to one of our hardware guru to figure out exactly what those differences are.
- Rumor: Leak shows Xbox 720 specs, should rival a high-end gaming PC
- Rumor: Kinect 2.0 specs for Xbox Durango leaked, supposedly with better resolution and lag reduction
- Rumor: Microsoft partnering with content providers to give next-gen Xbox television functionality
- Rumor: Microsoft planning a low-cost Xbox set-top box as an alternative to the Xbox 720
- Rumor: Next Xbox is always online, runs 50GB Blu-ray discs, and blocks used games
Basically, the rumor is that Microsoft is planning to release two SKUs. One that will serve as a set-top box with functionality like Apple TV, but can play certain digital games, and another that's a full blown console. Both are said to be perpetually online, though Microsoft itself has said that single-player games will be playable offline without issue.
Rumors on price have been fairly stable, much like our expectations from the next-gen Xbox's hardware specs. It's worth saying now, however, that we do not expect Microsoft to announce prices at this event. They might not even announce prices at E3. They could take it all the way and only announce the price a month or two in advance of the console's release. Nevertheless, here's the rumors.
- Rumor: Next Xbox reveal set for May 21, launch in early November for $500
- Xbox 720 detailed in leaked Microsoft document: $299 price, 2013 release, Blu-ray support confirmed
- The New Xbox: How would you improve Xbox LIVE?
Yup, that's it. The rumor is the big Xbox will sell for $499 and the small one for $299. There are also rumors about a multi-year contract price plan that will result on either a free console or a cheaper one. That price plan will of course depend on perhaps the bigger mystery: What's Microsoft doing with the Xbox Live system? Will it still cost money to play games online? Will they charge as much or more as with the Xbox 360? Will someone make me a peanut butter sandwich?
Again, surprisingly all the rumors here point to a specific release window: November. This is the same window that we're hearing about Sony. It makes sense, as November is the month that most consoles are released in and also the month most consoles are sold. Got to get that Christmas money.
Start camping out now.
Here's the big mystery: What games will be revealed at the event? To be honest, beyond a couple of already confirmed third party games it's all a big mystery. Here's what games we know about and also a few that we're thinking about.
- Criterion Creative Director not working on a racing game, not Burnout, Need for Speed or Road Rash
- Forzavista trademarked ahead of tomorrow's Xbox event, likely a feature of Forza 5
- Infinity Ward drops a Call of Duty: Ghosts teaser for next week's reveal at the next-gen Xbox event
- Brace yourselves, soccer fans, EA will continue making FIFA games until 2022 - EA Sports dropped a teaser that they would show off the next FIFA at today's Xbox reveal.
- This is Battlefield 4, "Fishing in Baku" reveal trailer is 17 minutes of outstanding visuals
- Respawn Entertainment files trademark for Titan, Blizzard should have put a ring on it
That's only say half of the rumors going around. We could also see Ryze from Crytek and a half dozen other rumored next-gen experiences we've already heard about. If they dropped a Witcher 3 demo on me I might faint.
Beyond Forza, however, we have very little idea of what first party studios Microsoft will be bringing out on stage. Here are some of the rumored studios working on titles for next-gen:
- 343 Industries - Halo
- Lionhead Studios
- Microsoft Studios - Next-gen "core cinematic title"
- Black Tusk Studios
- Playful Learning
- Platform Next Studios
- Skybox Sports
Microsoft could be making it rain games soon.
Uh, well that's about it for now. I could go over some more rumors like what's lined up for Xbox Live (Skype, streaming, Pando, etc.), but I want to publish this before the event actually starts so I hope this will do! Check out our upcoming liveblog when it hits and have fun! Next-gen Xbox, everyone! It doesn't happen very often!