Navigate to the 54:44 mark to hear Paul Thurrott discuss Microsoft's next-generation Xbox gaming console.
It's no secret Microsoft's been working on a successor to its Xbox 360 gaming console, but while the console's reported specifications have leaked out, one thing that hasn't been revealed is the console's price – until now, that is, according to a new rumor from Paul Thurrott.
Thurrott claims the next-generation Xbox will be "expensive" at launch, costing as much as $500, though it isn't clear if he was exaggerating the amount compared to current console costs. His sources also corroborated claims that the next Xbox, code-named "Durango," will require a persistent Internet connection to function, a feature that has widely been criticized on the Internet.
The report came in the April 5 episode of the "What the Tech" video blog Thurrott's hosts with Andrew Zarian. In the video, Thurrott said the information he's recently been told meshes with information he's previously received.
"Durango is going to be expensive – you know $500, $300 for the subscription, that kind of thing," he said. "But you know – [it will have] Blu-ray, blah, blah, blah. But the thing that interests me, I'm going back and looking at some of the stuff I got a long time ago, [and] it actually says 'must be internet-connected to use' – that's in the notes. And that's all I have – it does say that."
In addition to the next-generation Xbox, however, Microsoft will also reveal a $99 Xbox 360 console code-named "Stingray," Thurrott claims. He added that the $99 console is not the set-top box that Microsoft was rumored to be working on, however. Thurrott said that device was code-named "Yumo" and won't be released this year, though it could come at some point in the future.
Thurrott said he doesn't believe Durango will play Xbox 360 games, though he admitted that he doesn't know for sure. He also added that he doesn't know what the always-on Internet requirement will actually entail.
"I don't know, because I don't know what that means," Thurrott said when asked by Zarian if the requirement was a bad thing. "You know, when you look at some of the stories that were coming out this week ... I saw a headline that said something like, 'Next Xbox could be OK without an Internet connection for as long as three minutes,' or something like that. I don't even know what that means."
Microsoft's next Xbox will be announced in May, according to Thurrott's sources. In the episode, Thurrott said the specific date for the reveal is May 21, adding that the console will be released to the general public in early November.
If Thurott's information is accurate, Microsoft would be taking a drastically different approach than it did with the Xbox 360, which at launch cost $299 for a version that lacked a hard drive and $399 for a 20GB version. By comparison, Sony's PlayStation 3 at launch cost $499 for a 20GB version and $599 for a 60GB version.
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