At 6pm this evening, Microsoft will officially unveil its Next Generation Xbox to the world. The reveal is no more than a few weeks ahead of E3, where until recently (Thanks to Sony’s launch) such a reveal would have taken place. This reveal is just Microsoft’s attempt to gain an equal footing with their Playstation counterpart’s, who premiered the PS4 a few months ago. As we saw with the PS4 launch and their recent announcement of the June 10th press event at E3, there’s way too much detail to talk about at each presentation, so I’m expecting a similar tactic from Microsoft today but we’ll have to wait and see. If we base tomorrow’s reveal on the Sony presentation and use it as a pretty rough framework of what to expect or not expect from an event like this, we can take a guess at we’ll see (or won’t see tomorrow).
So here are the top questions I’ve been asked by people about the event and one’s that I’ve personally been pondering about today’s reveal. If I’m missing something feel free to add it in the comments below.
What are They Going to Call The Damn Thing?
Well first off I’ll put my money where my mouth is and say that I’ll eat my own shoes if Microsoft name the next generation Xbox the “720”. Why? Simply because it stupid. It stands to reason and naming convention that Sony named the PS4, the PlayStation 4, because what can you do when you name all your other consoles Playstation One through to the Playstation 3. Rumored names so far include “Xbox Infinity” (my favorite – It’s an eight on its side. Get it?), “Xbox Fusion” or just the plain old “Xbox”, the last of which seems very hipster to me and a bit to Apple and using the “iPad” strategy.
The main thing we call can take solace in, is that this is the one piece of information we’re absolutely guaranteed to learn tomorrow, no matter whatever else they choose to keep hidden or secret.
So Seriously How Much Will The Damn Thing Cost?
Okay so Sony didn’t reveal any pricing details during its presentation awhile back but if I had to guess, I think that Microsoft will play this card close to their chest too and will keep this a secret until E3 as well. That said, can you imagine if they just came out with the price towards the end of the presentation? Well it may not be as far-fetched as I/you would think… As if they did come out with a price my guess it would be an approximate price and that they may be attempting to make the next Xbox incredibly cheap in order to rack up a massive consumer base right at the begin like they did with the 360.
So why am I thinking this? Well everything on the web to-date point to the PS4 will cost at launch about €320. So… It stands to reason that the Xbox could come with a similar price tag, but rumors over the last few months is that it could much, much less. Perhaps even between €230 and €275. As I said above there is method to this madness. IF this is true Microsoft would be taking a huge loss on the console itself at first, but it would make the console really accessible to the old, current and next generation of gamer’s and nearly everyone would buy one straight away or around December 2013. This would help Microsoft secure themselves at the centre of the family entertainment system and home.
Of course, this could just be a lot of gamer’s really wishing hard and honestly we won’t know until we hear it from Microsoft directly.
Will Microsoft Upstage Sony And Show Their System?
Sony took a serious amount of criticism for not showing the PS4. And why didn’t they? Some believe it wasn’t finalised but that’s not really important anymore, as today we found out they will be revealing the console at E3. Sure, at the PS4 reveal, Sony did show the new controller and some people just don’t care what the console will look like as that has no real bearing on its specs, but come on, was it just me who found it rather weird to have a console reveal where the actual console is not in fact, revealed.
So… All that being said it’s my guess that Microsoft will try to one-up Sony by either announcing the price or showing the system, but not both. They got to leave something for all those hungry journalists at E3 in June.
My hat is on that Microsoft will keep the price hidden until E3 as it’s the more important aspect, in order to better than Sony all they have to do is show the system. Honestly, it would be an easy trump card for Microsoft to pull out of the bag – just by showing Next Generation Xbox.
Finally, Will Microsoft Squash Some Of Those Silly Rumors? Always On, etc…
For some of you that have been following the rumours of this next-gen console, the biggest thing Microsoft can do tomorrow above actually announcing the price point and showing the console is dispelling some of those annoying rumours that have been floating around. The two biggest culprits are somewhat related (and honestly I don’t know if they’re true or not). Firstly, it’s been said that Microsoft will require a constant internet connection for games to be played, similar to PC games like Sim City. This rumour became old fast and it eventually evolved into the idea that it will be up to the publishers to turn that option on and off. My guess is that it was an option at one point or another but the feedback scrapped the idea and it has since been laid to rest unless a publisher needs it for the game. Hopefully Microsoft will say outright whether or not that’s the case and if it is explained, which games or type of games will need it.
Finally, the other major rumour that has been doing the news-sphere is that games must be installed to the hard drive in order to be played on the new system (Theoretically, bad news if you go for an entry model with only 50GB of space). This install rumour could technically work in tandem with the above “always on” functionality, and spell the end for certain retailers as the new Xbox may not play used games. Okay, since the PS4 press event at which they took even more flak for not being up front about this either, Sony had to clarify later in interviews that was indeed the case and the PS4 would still be able to play used games. It’s my guess that Microsoft will come out mid way through the event and give a clear yes or no on both of these issues.
Best case scenario is they say neither are true, but if they say nothing? What if it is true? That would bring a lot bad karma onto the manufacturer and what possible reason other than the financial gain they see in stopping the Used Game market?
Well, we’ll find out everything about Microsoft’s Next Generation Xbox Reveal in a few hours and if we don’t? What then? Watch this space for all the answers…
What else do you want to know about the new Xbox? Let me know in the comments.