By Jonathan Charles | Aug 07, 2012 10:09 AM EDT
Rumors have circulated about Microsoft unveiling the next-generation Xbox 360 console during E3 2013, but the company has publicly denied that the console exists and reiterated that the Xbox 360 is still selling rapidly - until now, when General Manager of Windows Brian Hall referenced the "new Xbox" in a recent statement.
"We've had Hotmail for about sixteen years. We obviously have Exchange and Outlook that people use at work. We just decided it was time to do something new and to bring the best from each of those, put them together, and release them right in time for the new wave that we could have coming out with Windows 8, with the new version of Office, with the new Windows Phone, and the new Xbox," Hall said in an interview during a The Verge podcast.
Studios reportedly have development kits of the next Xbox console. An anonymous person talking to video game website Eurogamer confirmed possession of a development kit and provided a picture of the coding environment. It is not known how the development kit came into possession, or how close it is to the final product.
An internal document has also leaked, detailing Microsoft's in-depth roadmap for the Xbox. Although the document apparently dated from before the 2010 launch of Kinect, it shows a clear drive for the next-generation Xbox console to be a set-top box and a gaming machine, which is a move Microsoft began this generation: TV and media partners continue to be introduced, and SmartGlass provides a second screen for shows and film.
Cloud-only storage is also a big feature, according to the internal document. Microsoft offers cloud saves for content on the Xbox 360, but it is limited and cannot replace the 250GB hard drive. A cloud-only future will probably depend on bandwidth, given the potential for 30GB downloads (the size of Max Payne 3 for PC).
The mention of Windows 8, which launches on October 28, could refer to Microsoft's approach to integrating its products, including the next-generation Xbox. The obvious example of the cross-device integration is the tile-based user interface formerly known as Metro, used in Windows 8.
Video of the comment is below.
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