Paul Thurrott, technology blogger and media analyst for everything Windows, has a few things to say about the next Microsoft console. Following the Twitter incident with Adam Orth, Thurrott confirmed that he’s been told by his sources that the next Xbox will require an always-on internet connection.
More to the point, I think that an always-on Xbox is directly in keeping with Microsoft’s strategy for all next-generation platforms, including Windows Phone (all versions) and Windows 8/RT, which are designed to work as if you are simply connected all the time. Yes, they do work offline, of course. But the apps platform on these systems – which will be replicated on the Windows 8-based next Xbox – assumes a connection. Microsoft’s new platforms are integrated conduits for online services.
He also addressed this issue in his latest What the Tech podcast and talked about pricing strategies he believes Microsoft will use.
The next Xbox is code-named Durango. And we have talked for a while about this notion that there might be another version of the Xbox that was just aimed at entertainment – a non-gaming device. That device was code-named Yumo and they’re not making it. They may make one in the future, but it’s not happening this year.
So the new Xbox that comes out this year will just be the Xbox. I mentioned before that they’re also going to sell a new Xbox 360 code-named Stingray that will be $99. And you might look at that as two things: backwards compatibility, obviously, suggesting – I don’t actually know this for a fact, but based on the fact that they’re making one – I don’t think that the new Xbox will play 360 games. But that I don’t actually know. That I’m guessing. But, the other one is that, $99, that’s a real cool price. And so we know that the Xbox 360 does Netflix, Hulu Plus… and you can make the argument that it’s kind of a low cost entertainment device, too.
Durango is going to be expensive, you know $500, $300 for the subscription, that kind of thing.