With gamers eagerly anticipating the release of Microsoft's (News - Alert) newest console --currently referred to by many as the Xbox 720--a new report emerged that the newest target date maybe, as many expected, the end of 2013, just in time for the holiday shopping season.
The report, issued by Bloomberg (News - Alert) and based on "people familiar with the company's plans", offered the idea that Microsoft would hold off until the big holiday rush to bring out its new game system rather than drop it squarely into a season when there wasn't much going on. However, the second part of most people's projections--that Microsoft would introduce the console at the annual E3 event--wasn't confirmed by the Bloomberg report, instead opening the door to the possibility that Microsoft might instead choose to launch its own press event to introduce the console.
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Reports so far have indicated that the next Xbox release is likely to be an impressive one by most any standard, packing in some terrific hardware like a new Kinect, support for Blu-ray, directional audio systems and even augmented reality glasses. While these aren't confirmed as yet, they have been cited as possibilities. Given that Sony is also developing its own next-gen console, the PlayStation 4 or Orbis, it's not surprising to hear that Microsoft may be looking to pull out all the stops.
Gaming, admittedly, has changed greatly since the first unveiling of the Xbox 360 back in 2005, with smartphones and tablets taking up a surprising amount of game time thanks to quick snippets of games that can be played on the go. It's worth noting as well that, of the 70 million Xbox 360 users, over half of them--better than 40 million by some counts--are also Xbox Live online subscribers. Microsoft has long had the goal of making the Xbox more than just a gaming line, but rather, a full living-room entertainment package.
While some parts of Microsoft's plans have proven more effective than others, there's no denying that they've made some pretty big strides in terms of offering players a lot more in the way of options than just playing. Some of the listed options—are most likely still working off an Xbox World report that provided quite a bit of insight into the potential nature of the upcoming game system--may never actually come to pass, but it's entirely possible that users could be looking at a powerful new gaming system to close out the year 2013.
Only time will tell, naturally, just how far the reports on the Xbox 720--even the name is something of a controversy and may not actually come to pass--were on the correctness scale, but it's still looking like brighter days ahead for the gaming community.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman