Thursday, November 11, 2004

News: Xbox Next
Posted by JayGo :: 2:49 PM

Finally, after all the rumours about the next Xbox.. we get.. more rumours!

The next-generation Xbox console may come in three different versions, according to a report today which claims that the firm plans to launch versions with and without a hard drive in 2005, and a fully functional PC / Xbox 2 combination in 2006.

Technology website The Inquirer reports that an NDA'd presentation given by Microsoft to analysts and market researchers in the UK pointed to the existence of three hardware versions, with two of them launching next autumn.

Xbox Next and Xbox Next HD would largely be functionally identical, but the latter of the pair features a hard drive and offers increased functionality as a result - which could be anything from Xbox backward compatibility (which the basic model could not offer due to the lack of a hard drive) to media jukebox functions or TIVO-style video recording.

The full article goes on to describe the proposed Xbox Next PC in more detail, and says that the plan may be unveiled in full at CES in January. Now, forgive me here.. but if you're trying to compete with a console in such a dominant position as the PS2 is, why would you try and give them a helping hand by dividing your product up into three lines? Seems very counter-productive to me.

Futhermore, current Xbox users have got used to the benefits of the hard drive. Not needing memory cards, downloading new content, custom soundtracks and all of that. So.. why would Microsoft even consider having a version of their new console which removes all of that, and potential goes back to ol' expensive pain-in-the-ass memory cards?

Of course, this may just be all speculation for now, but not much of this new plan (as bold as it may be) makes sense to lil' old me. Oh well. We'll have to wait and see..

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