Update: Full transcript is added in below.
During the latest “WhatTheTech” podcast, well-known technology blogger Paul Thurrott shared a bit of rumored details regarding the Xbox 360 successor.
Thurrott, citing sources familiar to the situation, claims that Microsoft intends to ship a $500 standard console as well as an alternative subscription model for $300. As speculation has suggested, the new system will require an Internet connection to properly function. A release is supposedly planned for November.
Rumor has it that Microsoft is also planning on releasing a $99 Xbox 360 unit known internally as “Stingray”. This will also be coming in November, allegedly. The system would seem to appeal to consumers who haven’t purchased an Xbox 360 yet and are interested in its games as Microsoft’s brand new console may very well lack backwards compatibility.
“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. And I mentioned before 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 coo price. And so we know that the Xbox 360 does Netflix, Hulu Plus, yada yada yada, and you can make the argument that’s kind of a low cost entertainment device, too.
“Durango is going to be expensive [laughs], you know $500, $300 for the subscription, that kind of thing, but you know, Blu-ray, blah blah blah, but the thing that interest 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.
[Is that a bad thing?]
“I don’t know because I don’t know what it means. You know, when you look at some of the stories that were coming out this week about, you know, I saw a headline that said something like ‘Next Xbox could be okay without an internet connection for as long as 3 minutes’ or something like that. I don’t even know what that means, so for me, Xbox 360 is almost entirely an online experience. Most of the games I play are multiplayer, where you’re playing against other people online. Or you’re using it as an entertainment device when you’re connected to a service like Netflix or Xbox video, so that is an internet-connected device. In this phrase, it says ‘must be internet-connected to use’, you know, that suggests that you can’t even boot into the UI and play—I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t have one.
“Originally, they were going to announce this thing in April—April 24—now they’re going to announce it May 21. We know there are events occuring this year where we’re going to learn more about Durango.
[And it’s a fourth quarter release, right?]
“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. So I think there’s a lot information to come, but I look at all this stuff that I’ve seen about Durango and I think, ‘it’s all positive.’ I don’t really see any bad news here at all. Like to me, everything I’ve seen about this is really positive. It’s amazing to me that, based on like no information at all, everyone is like freaking out about everything. Aside from this online thing, by the way, the number one question I’ve gotten from people is, ‘What does it look like?’ Who gives a shit what it looks like?
“I’ve actually heard from, by the way not one or two people, several people who’ve said, ‘based on what I’ve seen, Sony is going to blow them away.’ Based on what you’ve seen? You’ve seen nothing. What are you talking about? No, but you’ve seen literally nothing from Microsoft.
[I don’t think that’s even a possibility considering how many people use Xbox LIVE… You’re not going to have this mass Xbox audience jumping to Sony.]
“The problem Microsoft has has nothing to do with Sony or Nintendo anymore, it’s Roku and AppleTV. The market for hardcore video games, the market of people will always buy the next Gears of War game, the next Halo game, the next Call of Duty game, it’s fairly finite. It’s a decent market, yada yada yada, it’s not the market for tablets, it’s not the market for smartphones.