A flurry of reports have suggested that Microsoft will lift the curtain on the Xbox 720 on May 21st. Long-time industry analyst Paul Thurrot has claimed that the proposed next-gen console will launch in ‘early November’ with a price tag of $500 and will also be available for $300 via an as-yet-unknown form of subscription. Thurrots’ claims have been independently backed up by The Verge, who understands the reveal date to be accurate.
At first, Microsoft had reportedly scheduled the reveal for late-April, but coming off a turbulent week for the company in the industry circles – what with the Adam Orth fiasco – the decision to postpone the event seems appropriate, though it is certainly not the only reason for Microsoft. The consumer concern surrounding the potential ‘always online’ component is mounting, but for Thurrot, it’s a prospect that has been written on the wall for quite some time.
Speaking to What The Tech, here’s what he had to say:
“Looking at some of the stuff I got a long time ago, it actually says ‘must be internet-connected to use’ in the notes. And that’s all I have, but it does say that.”
In truth, one of the internal documents Thurrot is referring to was leaked onto the internet recently, itself presenting the machine’s ‘always online, always connected’ ecosystem. What’s more, given how Microsoft has refused to comment on the issue lends credence to the concept of the Xbox 720 requiring an internet connection from day one.
Veering away from the divisive issue, though, the veteran analyst also stated that Microsoft will release a new iteration of the Xbox 360 in tandem with the next-gen console when it comes out in November. This entry point version has been given the title of ‘Stingray’ and will cost $99, which effectively acts as a substitute for not integrating backwards compatibility into the Xbox 720.
What we know for sure is that with the supposed reveal on May 21st, E3 in mind-June and the company’s developer-centric BUILD conference, which takes place from June 26th to June 28th, it’s going to be a busy five weeks for the Xbox milieu.
What do you make of Paul Thurrot’s comments? Would you pay $500 (£326) for the Xbox 720? Let us know in the comments!