There is no doubt that Microsoft will eventually release another console successor to the Xbox 360, even if the Kinect’s success may have given them a bit more breathing room. It’s safe to assume that the mystery-box is already under development, and while concrete facts may be hard to come across until an official announcement is made, new reports claim that the project already has a name. It is ‘Durango,’ which may or may not be an improvement from the previous name of Xbox 720.
That’s the word from Kotaku, pointing to several sources involved in the console’s development. The name may seem a bit too ridiculous or obscure, but the same could be said for the Kinect (originally Project Natal) so this is just as possible as any other. Whether or not the name is being used internally only, or if Microsoft will follow the example of their motion device by announcing ‘Project Durango’ at E3 2012 is anyone’s guess. The name is certainly somewhat disarming, but likely isn’t what Naughty Dog means when calling the next generation of consoles ‘terrifying.’
This rumor won’t be coming as good news to those behind the project in question, since both Sony and Microsoft are doing everything they can to down-play reports of next-gen development. It’s a bit easier to believe that Sony will be giving their developers a few more years to reach the full potential of the PS3, but at this point Microsoft at least going public with their new system can be expected sooner rather than later. If for no other reason, the release of official specs and hardware will keep expectations realistic, with all the rumors of a system six times more powerful than Xbox 360, or even a touchscreen controller to rival the Vita.
What we do know is that developers like Epic are already setting the bar fairly high for what gamers can hope for from the next generation of consoles. Beyond that, the previous generation leap shows that consumers really have no idea what to expect. Aside from an Xbox logo and apparently an in-production name shared with a sport utility vehicle, everything else is hearsay.
That isn’t to suggest that a console by any other name will be well-received by the public. As Nintendo has learned from the release of the 3DS (it’s really not a DS) a product name can generate serious momentum – the main reason they’re considering renaming the Wii U.
Whenever Microsoft decides to announce anything we’ll keep you updated. What names do you think would work best for the next Xbox?
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