Rumor: Next Xbox’s TV strategy, offline play, more
posted on 04.10.13 at 07:05 PM EDT by (@admeady)
Play Xbox 360 games through 'Xbox Mini', claims rumor.

Another day, another set of next Xbox rumors.

The first rumor, from The Verge citing “multiple sources familiar with [Microsoft's] Xbox plans,” claims the next Xbox will be able to act as a cable box and take over your TV.

“The functionality will work by taking a cable box signal and passing it through to the Xbox via HDMI, allowing Microsoft’s console to overlay a UI and features on top of an existing TV channel or set-top box,” said The Verge, which added that this is a “key part” of the next-generation system.

The next-generation Kinect sensor, previously rumored to be bundled with the system and required to be connected for the system to function, will be able to detect multiple people and eye movement to pause content when the viewer turns their head away from the TV, according to the source.

Yesterday, Microsoft sold its Mediaroom IPTV solution to focus on its Xbox TV strategy. According to The Verge, Microsoft is planning to introduce a low-cost “Xbox TV” set-up box early next year, as well—but not alongside the next Xbox’s launch later this year.

The second rumor, from VGLeaks citing an unnamed source, details Microsoft’s supposed plans for the Xbox brand’s expansion.

Echoing previous rumors, the source claims the next Xbox won’t support backwards compatibility. However, a separate ‘Xbox Mini’ system (which could be the low-cost “Xbox TV” mentioned by The Verge), which can be connected to the console (similar Xbox 360’s HD-DVD player), will supposedly enable the console to play Xbox 360 games.

“Putting in an Xbox 360 disc into Durango [code-name for the next Xbox] will prompt the user to attach the supporting device that is sold separately,” said the source. “By separating the two devices and their functions it will ensure price competitiveness for both pieces of hardware.”

The ‘Xbox Mini’ is said to be a new model of the Xbox 360. Priced at “$149 or lower,” it requires an internet connection (this is supposedly where the rumors of “always online” for the Next Xbox come from) to function, and is “meant to compete with Apple TV.” It won’t have a disc drive, apparently, but Xbox 360 games purchased through Xbox LIVE can be played on the system.

In the area of “always online” for the next Xbox, the source claims the system will “always be online like any other device, but it will not be a requirement to play local content and it will not prevent playing used games.” Previous rumors have claimed the system must be connected to the internet to play games, and if disconnected, you’d be given a few minutes to regain your connection before your game is suspended.

The next Xbox is expected to be revealed on May 21. Both The Verge and a previous rumor have backed the date.

  • http://kougeru.tumblr.com/ Kougeru

    No one seriously believed the required online thing anyway…I hope. MS isn’t that stupid. However that BC separately purchased device thing is pretty stupid

    • Skerj

      Kind of hard to say who wouldn’t be stupid enough to do something considering some of the decisions that were made this generation. It’s not outside of the realm of possibility that they’d pull that card.

    • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

      I’m not very hardware savvy, but I think the issue with BC in the new consoles are their new architecture. That said, to include BC in the console itself would probably up the system’s price a good amount. I like the mini idea, because it gives you the option for those who want it, and doesn’t up the price for those that don’t.

      As far as the whole online thing goes, I’m pretty jaded. Obviously, every rumor could end up being wrong. But the previous rumors about always online existing in the next Xbox came from pretty big sites (Edge, Kotaku, etc.) who seemed to be very trusting in their sources.

      I guess we’ll see come May 21!

      • rockman29

        yep I think the BC is mainly because of the PPC (IBM power based) to x86 change

        • http://kougeru.tumblr.com/ Kougeru

          I guess this may be true, but considering there’s 360 emulators on PC now days from pirates, I don’t see any reason MS couldn’t make one to work on the next XBOX at no real additional cost to them, just software.

          • rockman29

            possibly

            there is a ps2 emulator, but we have no software B/C

            remember that emulation on pc is not a given, but a privilege, we have been lucky for several generations

            could be different, could be same, hard to tell at this point

            something for the end consumer, i would support

          • LordKaiser

            All 360 emulators so far are all fake.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      Subscription-based BC (PS4 + Gaikai) isn’t equally stupid?

      • LordKaiser

        Nope Gaikai BC is even more stupid than that.

      • http://kougeru.tumblr.com/ Kougeru

        I hadn’t heard about this, but even then this topic is about the XBOX. I’m not trying to compare anything right now

      • Elvick

        We haven’t even heard anything about how Gaikai will work with old games yet. :/

        • LordKaiser

          Will be a worse option than this.

        • LordKaiser

          Will be a worse option than this.

    • MosquitoLemon

      Backwards compatibility was only an industry standard for a single generation, no reason to expect it now (especially when they can make you pay for games you already own via digital ‘classics’)

      • http://kougeru.tumblr.com/ Kougeru

        Wii U has it, PS3 had it (originally anyway, and always with PS1 games). XBOX is really the only one that didn’t have any true BC (a large % of original XBOX games still don’t work on 360. I definitely see your angle though. I guess having this option is better than having no option. Every bit of news/rumors that comes out keeps steering me further away from the new XBOX. I don’t plan on getting a PS4 either, at least for a few years but so far there’s been nothing really negative about it for me.

        Every generation though, it definitely seems like it’s more about company profit and less about games and gamers.

        • MosquitoLemon

          Only one model of the PS3 had it, and they quickly realized it would be cheaper to sell PS2s separately. Nintendo produces their consoles cheap, so BC isn’t a huge loss for them.

          With every generation, portables seem to be more and more focused towards gamers while consoles are aimed towards whoever has money (gamer or otherwise).

          • zweii

            There are actually 3 models that had PS2 BC. 20, 60 and first 80GB models.

            • MosquitoLemon

              Thanks, I was not aware, I had heard it was only the 80gb (then later I found out the 60 did as well because my friend has one)

          • Elvick

            Nintendo didn’t even have b/c until the Wii. So it’s not like they’ve always had it. No one company has always had it.

            Sony did, until they didn’t. Which still bums me out.

            • MosquitoLemon

              GBC, GBA, DS?

              • Elvick

                I was obviously talking about consoles. :/

  • LordKaiser

    If there was a PS3 mini that connects to the PS4 and let you stay logged on 1 console.

    • sunK1D

      Sony fanboys would act like it’s the second coming.

  • Tenshiken

    Even though I tend to prefer PlayStation more, it’s good that Microsoft finally has some good press for their console.

  • Tac-Mex

    So you must buy another hardware to play old games?

    Why don’t just buy an xbox 360?

    • LordKaiser

      Because that mini thing is a Xbox 360.

      • rockman29

        so basically you have to buy two consoles to play games for two different consoles

        how novel… i fully expect MS if they do this to charge out the ass for this, a la their hard drives.

        • LordKaiser

          Yup and to stay logged on 1 console you’ll have to re-buy your 360.

        • DrForbidden

          Well, ‘console manufacturers’ and ‘overcharging on accessories’ have been in bed since forever, so that’s certainly a possibility. The rumour above states, however, that the mini X360 will be priced at ‘$149 or lower’. We should take it with a grain of salt until official announcements, of course.

    • DrForbidden

      Because presumably your X360 will die and you can migrate to the next Xbox without losing your X360 games or having to buy another X360, which costs more.

    • AdamBoy64

      Yeah. I think it makes more sense just to hang on to your 360.
      Unless you’re really tight on space to put your consoles.

  • rockman29

    So their plan is to spread FUD on their own, make offline play possible, and get credit for just doing the proper thing?

    It’s MS, don’t put anything past this company, rated one of the worst US companies by consumers for a reason

    • http://twitter.com/grschu Greg S

      -Make people think the next Xbox will be online only
      -Announce that it will play games offline
      -More positive PR then if they said it would be offline compatible in the first place

  • http://twitter.com/GematsuZero Zero

    Thoughts

    Xbox Mini – I’d rather just keep my 360. I think I’ll just do that.

    Cable box stuff –

    Kinect watching you when you watch TV? That just sounds freaky to me, and completely silly. And the next box can take over my TV? That makes me think of one of those anti virus programs or something, that makes doing anything on your PC more annoying.

    Another thing. When I turn on my cable box right now, it’s not covered with advertisements and junk. The current 360 dashboard is littered with that stuff, which makes me think the next box will be as well.

    It reminds me of the smart glass stuff. Interesting features, but I don’t need some kind of application annoying me during my show, or movie, etc.

    I can grab my tablet to load up cool apps, or on my phone and junk, after the show is over.

    • DrForbidden

      I don’t see the point of that cable box stuff, to be honest…

  • DrForbidden

    “Putting in an Xbox 360 disc into Durango [code-name for the next Xbox] will prompt the user to attach the supporting device that is sold separately,” said the source. “By separating the two devices and their functions it will ensure price competitiveness for both pieces of hardware.”

    About the only piece of good news for the Durango I’ve come across. It certainly adds flexibility for people who want BC but don’t want to be saddled with maintaining 2 Xboxes. Wish Sony came up with an attachment like that for the PS4.

  • shogunknight

    Soo, the always online function is still there. As for the specs, its pretty much a ps4 clone without the extra $150 mini console and XboxTV? It would always boil down to the games, just like it did before

    • MrRobbyM

      Also the price, and the fact that not everyone is going to like the online thing.

  • Knygt

    just buy them both, no more fighting.

    • Warboss Aohd

      finally! A Reasonable Humie

  • http://xcite79.1up.com Keegs79

    I am skeptical think about an add-on to provide BC, especially something to compete against Apple TV but at the same time it will provide them with a focus to hit the market with a device that produces AAA titles while Apple just dips into games with simple small titles.

  • http://www.facebook.com/micheal.scott.315 Micheal Scott

    so why would we buy a Xbox mini to play Xbox360 games
    when we have an Xbox360 for that? so you buy NextXbox and Xboxmini
    just so you can play 360 on next-gen that just sounds so dumb
    sorry im just going to use my 360 for that

    • LordKaiser

      Read my response to the other comments. It’s simple really, because it means that you only have to log in 1 console to switch games. You don’t have to log twice or log off in one console to log on another in case you can’t log to more than 1 machine at once. Also less cables in your home.