By Vamien McKalin | Apr 08, 2013 11:20 AM EDT
Rumors popping up about Microsoft plans for the Xbox 720 are daily events, and show no sign of slowing down until Microsoft comes out and reveals what is truly going down behind closed doors at Redmond. Until then, we all have to contend with allegedly leaked information.
Well-known blogger and leaker Paul Thurrott got wind of some information about what Microsoft is planning for the future. According to Thurrott's comments on a What The Tech podcast, Microsoft is gearing up to launch a $99 Xbox 360 codenamed "Stingray." However, there is something wrong that information, a big something. You see, Microsoft already has a $99 Xbox 360 on the market, one that requires a monthly subscription, so unless Microsoft is planning to have two of the same product on the market, we don't see how legitimate this is.
What's interesting is that Thurrott comments about a cancelled non-gaming Xbox codenamed "Yumo," that is only for entertainment purposes:
"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."
Here's where things get really steamy. Thurrott said the Xbox 720 would cost a lot, around $500 for the base model and $300 for the subscription model, and that it won't have backward compatibility with Xbox 360 games:
"Durango is going to be expensive [laughs], you know $500, $300 for the subscription model, that kind of thing, but you know, Blu-ray, blah blah blah, but the thing that interests me, going back and 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."
A $500 price tag is quite expensive; not everyone would have the cash to make such a purchase come launch day. That's where the $300 subscription model might play a big role. But one has to wonder, what about countries where the subscription model Xbox 720 just won't cut it, how would that $500 price point affect the console in those parts of the world?
Finally, Thurrott touched on the reveal date of the console. It was reported awhile back that April would be the month Microsoft would announce the Xbox 720, but that date has since been pushed up to May 21 with a full-on release date set for November of this year:
"Originally, they were going to announce this thing in April 24, now they're going to announce it May 21. We know there are events occurring this year where we're going to learn more about Durango," Thurrott added.
As to when the machine will release: "early November, yeah. E3 is going to occur. BUILD is going to occur in San Francisco in June when they're going to talk about the developer story because it's a Windows 8 device. It's going to have the same, or basically the same, developer tools and developer APIs and all that kind of stuff."
Making the Xbox 720 a Windows 8 device could turn out to be a win for Microsoft, or it could turn out to be a disaster due to the current failures of the operating system to gain traction. Time will tell as E3 draws near.