If “people familiar with the company’s plans” are to be believed, then Microsoft has a holiday 2013 release in mind for the Xbox 360’s successor. Bloomberg was informed by anonymous sources that the console that’s said to be codenamed Xbox Durango will make its way to retailers in time for next year’s Thanksgiving.
Bloomberg’s tipsters were, unsurprisingly given the sensitive nature of such information, light on details. The only other tangible morsel of information discussed was what Microsoft has yet to decide: where and when to finally show the console to the world. Microsoft is said to be wavering between pulling back the curtain at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June of 2013 and doing so at special event held specifically to debut the next-generation platform.
E3 seems the obvious choice, as the annual Los Angeles convention is usually the site of more major industry announcements than every other event held in any given year. It was not, however, Microsoft’s choice for the initial Xbox 360 announcement. The current Microsoft console’s coming out party was a May 2005 event all its own that was broadcast on MTV.
Durango’s latest rumor arrives barely more than a week after The Verge reported that the console could come in two flavors: original core recipe and extra casual. Sources told the website that the latter will be an affordable “set-top box” that “will run on the core components of Windows 8 and support casual gaming titles.” The Verge also reported that Microsoft plans to announced and release the console in 2013.
It appeared that one of the game industry’s worst-kept secrets — that a follow-up console to the Xbox 360 existed in at least a conceptual phase — had been blown this past August when Microsoft Windows Live General Manager Brian Hall made an offhanded remark about “the new Xbox.” Microsoft responded by saying that Hall’s statements had been misconstrued.