Is Microsoft Developing Two Different Versions of Xbox 720?

Published 2 years ago by

Two Xbox 720 Versions

When Microsoft General Marketing Manager suggested his company might start employing the subsidized subscription model for the forthcoming Xbox 720 — rumored to be called simply ‘Xbox’ — questions arose over just who Microsoft’s target audience is for their next console. However, a new Xbox 720 rumor suggest the idea of targeting multiple audiences is very much a part of Microsoft’s game plan.

In fact, there are even some claims that there will be two versions of the Xbox 720 developed, one geared towards the hardcore gamer, and one geared towards the casual electronics consumer (note the use of consumer and not gamer).

The scoop comes to us from IGN who claim that the console gamers expect to be unveiled at E3 2013 is indeed coming, but it will be one of two SKUs unveiled. The other streamlined device will not be capable of playing the hottest triple-A titles developed for the next-gen, but will instead be based on Microsoft’s Windows 8 architecture, and will be intended primarily  for entertainment app usage.

The site does proclaim that playing downloadable titles (games that require less graphical horsepower) will be possible on this “other” Xbox, but its primary function will be for services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and HD movie rentals.

A complimentary report from The Verge confirms Microsoft’s approach to the next-gen, and additionally claims that the new software Microsoft is creating for this console would be scalable to the point it could be included on mobile devices like phones and tablets. Moreover, there’s the possibility the software could be licensed out to TV manufacturers for incorporation into their set-tops — all but eliminating the need for a console.

While, for the moment, this should be treated as an extreme rumor, it does make sense that Microsoft would find ways to cater to not just gamers, but entertainment users, with their upcoming console. If they can streamline the tech contained in this Windows 8 Xbox then the company might be able to offer it at an affordable launch price, or with a palatable pricing plan.

And, as the report notes, this should not in any way impact the development of the next-gen Xbox — the one that will be capable of delivering high-end graphics, possibly support Kinect 2.0, and may or may not feature an “innovative” new controller.

What do you think about this two console approach for the next Xbox? Do you feel like Microsoft is splitting their attention between two devices?

Source: IGN, The Verge

TAGS: Microsoft, Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One

  • Tyler

    Small typo, “next-fen”.

  • Jack7

    I don’t buy it.

  • Kendall

    They are on to something here.
    Only I would go with 3 models, (perhaps Microsoft will do the same).

    XB Entertainer: A stripped down next gen XBox with enough power for web browsing, video streaming, XB Tv services, a 15 hour HD-DVR, and XB live arcade downloads. Price it at $200.

    XB Gamer: A full featured next gen XBox with all the features of ‘XB Entertainer’ add kinect 2.0, Blu-ray movie drive, a 25 hour HD-DVR, and 6 months of Xb live gold. Price: $400.

    XB Ultimate: A full featured next gen Xbox with all the features of the ‘XB Gamer’ model, add 40 hour HD-DVR (using a solid state drive instead of a standard hard drive), 7″ surface compatibility, and 12 months of free Xb live gold. Price $630.

    • Matt

      You got the framework down, but you got some of the details wrong in my opinion. All three should have Blu-ray players (for movies and games), and the Entertainer should be $100-150, the Gamer $200-300, and the Ultimate $400-500. Also, I’m not so sure about Microsoft putting a SSD in any of them, as they are expensive (I know it’s marked up, but a 256GB SSD runs for $160 right now).

    • Mike.E

      mmm, if you intend the SSD for recording TV (ie: for the DVR function), then that is NOT a good idea. SSD are better for applications that require less re-write. Multiple rewrite is damaging to the SSD, much more so than a regular hard drive.

  • ATG

    I could see Microsoft being very successful this next-gen. I think they’ll dominate. That being said, I’m still getting both Microsoft’s and Sony’s next console. I’ll probably upgrade my PC shortly after these release. I’ll get a new motherboard that supports 2-4 GPUs and upgrade to 32G RAM BEFORE I get the consoles (future-proofing). Then once a really nice GPU is out, a year or two after consoles release to ensure a large margin of performance, I’ll buy ONE. Then a second one later down the line. The CPU will probably be last, I don’t know.

    If all goes according to plan. *sinister laugh* hahaha

    • Matt

      Do you really need 2 graphics cards? Lol.

      • ATG

        Don’t NEED it. But later I might wanna improve performance when games need more juice.

        • yodarlz

          High end PCs: No, I dont NEED 32 GB of RAM, but I have 32 GB of RAM. Why? BECAUSE ITS AWESOME…

        • Matt

          I don’t think games are going to need two high-end graphics cards for a long time.

  • J

    Why even call the pathetic one an Xbox? Microsoft should just release one model of the next gen Xbox and then come out with some googleTV-like product running a version of Windows RT modified to be used with a remote O_o

    • Ryuhza

      So they can sell it to people familiar with the brand.

  • Poncho

    I don’t know how I feel about this. In my humble opinion, this will fracture the userbase. I think the lower-end Xbox will sell more, and developers won’t bother tapping into the full potential of the “next gen” Xbox when the install base for the inferior one is larger. I don’t know, those are just my two cents. But there sure are going to be a bunch of disgruntled kids when their mom buys them the “crappy” version Xbox.

    • David

      ^^ THIS

      Nothing good can come of this if it turns out to be true. We need power not crappy Netflix shovelware.

    • Smikal

      I cannot imagine there’s anyway to make a plan like this work under the same branding. Nintendo could possibly pull this off because they’re already viewed as a casual gamer system; i think its easier for them to dabble in the hardcore market while staying primarily casual. Xbox will only dilute their brand if they pursue this strategy, driving hardcore gamers(read: high volume purchasers)to Sony.

  • Ranter

    I think that’s a bad idea if that’s true. It will be confusing for the consumers with the names alone I mean xbox then xbox 720? Why not just call the DVR version XboxTV and the gaming system itself xbox720?

    With Microsoft’s consoles having a big reputation for the “ring of death” stigma attached to them why in the world would they market multiple devices like that which will mostly likely fail on people with the 1st generation alone? People will buy for sure but in the long run they will turn their heads to Sony.

  • epickman316

    Ok… this is just stupid… i hope they dont do that… since the xbox we all have now can do both why would they split them up… its the dumbest thing ive ever heard, if microsoft does this ill just go back to the playstation.. its that stupid.

  • Ryuhza

    Gamerant, you’ve gotta stop with these fanmade concept pictures. It’s confusing the thick facebook commenters and deterring them from the real article/details.

    They see the picture and think “Oh, that’s what it looks like?” *comment on how stupid it looks and ignore the article itself.

    It happened with the PS4 article some weeks back, and it’s happening here.

    • Jack7

      you do know that the picture in this article is just a xbox 360 slim right? It isn’t a concept pic. it’s sitting in my room right now haha

      • Ryuhza

        Sorry, not talking about that one. When they do updates on facebook, they include a different picture. They included this one, and all the dummies in the comments section think that’s what the Xbox 720 looks like, commenting on that, rather than what the article is really about.

      • Ryuhza

        For the most part, I just don’t like cringing at the lack of any common sense in the comments section of Facebook. A disclaimer would be nice at the very least.

  • Ace

    The way I read this was there would be like a hopper version. It would look like the MAC mini. Basically all it would be is basically everything but gaming (except arcade games)

    Basically you hook it up to any TV and get your Xbox movies/music there along with all the apps Netflix/ESPN/ etc. it’s disc drive would be a blu-ray player and a kinect voice mic built in. There would be only a couple arcade games on it…like the 1-100 type thing they did. Give it a 20-50 gb Hard Drive. There are a decent group of people who use that content exclusively or would just like that kind of stuff on another TV in the house without buying another system. Have even more integration with tablets and package it with a special controller.You offer it for like $150 dollars I feel like it would sell pretty well. Call that The Box

    Then the console you name it something like Xbox Infinity or whatever….and that is jammed with all the tech needed for the next gen.

    Basically what it allows them to do is still get those casual users on board early….a lot of them only bought 360s late in the cycle. Meanwhile you have the expensive next gen console $350ish for the gaming crowd. The Xbox Infinity would be the main focus…but they would have that other console as an option too. They even could go a step further and make it kinect-centric and hire/create a studio to specially create kinect games for it…the system would basically be a modified 360.

  • Dante

    Child on Xmas Morning: “Sweet I got the new XBox!!!! YEAHHHHHHHH!!!”

    Upon closer inspection…

    “Oh wait, it’s the crappy one.”

  • pauly

    A simple fact, if Microsoft do develop two consoles – I cant imagine why, one is costly enough and two is a joke – but if they do, the lesser will definitely fall by the wayside and get little to no attention. All that extra expense will be passed on to us the customers too!

  • Shalkowski

    I wouldn’t mind what they did with the 360 (i.e. 360 or 360 Elite) but having one gaming consul for gaming and another for apps? Yeah, no. That sounds like an awful idea. I mean you have one for hardcore gamers, and then one thats not even really for gaming? Well that escalated quickly. Theres no middle ground. Have a third option for the casual gamer that can still run the games, but costs less money than the souped up one. Yes, 5-13 year olds will still probably complain, but at least its not as big of a deal.

  • Andrew

    Why on earth do these articles keep popping up? The Verge writes one VERY poorly researched article, and EVERYBODY starts claiming that half-baked rumor as something significant! Gods above, the Verge article that was making such outlandish claims had a picture of the supposed “xbox tv box”, that in reality was snatched from an article that was predicting what the actual next xbox would look like. They have no supporting evidence, it’s all less than rumor and hearsay at this point. STOP WRITING ARTICLES ABOUT IT.

  • Avery

    It will suck when I have to sell my Xbox and all the games I’ve acquired over the years for a cheap price because everyone else will be selling their 360s to get the new Xbox, unless they make so that 360 players can continue playing with 720 players. It would hurt the sales of the new console but not the people who continue to play the 360. :I

  • Avery

    Plus what’s the reason of the consumer Xbox version when the Ouya is coming out in April 2013! Look it up because I doubt most of you have heard of it!

    • Yea

      Hell yea