Microsoft to unveil Xbox successor on May 21 as Amazon mulls set-top box

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
The set-top box segment occupied by Apple TV and others may get a lot more crowded in the coming weeks, as Microsoft has announced a date for the unveiling of its next generation Xbox console, while Amazon is rumored to be pondering a step into the TV arena as well.

iphone 4s
via Kotaku


Wednesday brought a notice from Microsoft inviting media outlets to a May 21 event on the Xbox campus. The invitation touts "a new generation revealed," and says the event will include a special unveiling.

As Sony did with its PlayStation 4, Microsoft is taking the wraps off of its next-generation console in a special event rather than waiting until this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. A blog post from Microsoft spokesman Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, though, notes that Microsoft will "continue the conversation and showcase our full lineup of blockbuster games" at E3.

The rumor machine has been in full swing regarding the capabilities of the successor to the Xbox 360. Prior leaks have pointed to eye-tracking technology, as well as deep integration with a user's television set. Microsoft is thought to be positioning the device as a living room hub, tying together a user's television, gaming, Internet, and mobile experiences.

Meanwhile, Internet retail giant Amazon is also said to be plotting a foray into the set-top box segment. Amazon's alleged internet-connected device would connect to televisions, providing users with access to Amazon's video services, sources familiar with the device told Bloomberg.

The box is said to be being developed by Amazon's Lab126 division. The Cupertino-based Lab126 has been working on connected television devices for some time, sources say.

The move would bring Amazon into competition with Microsoft's planned gaming console, but also with Apple's Apple TV. Now described by Apple execs as a "beloved hobby," the Apple TV has for years been the company's foothold in the living room. Apple is widely thought to be working on either an update to the Apple TV that would see it gain enhanced capabilities, or a completely new standalone television.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,508member


    I want to get excited, but I think I've finally outgrown the console phase image


     


    I grew up in the 80s, and had an Atari 7800. Over the years, I got more into PC gaming (especially in high school and college), then after college, I got into the Xbox 360. But all of the RRODs turned me off to the platform. So I bought a PS3 which was soon joined by a Nintendo Wii. As the years went on, the PS3 was only used as a Blu-ray player and the Wii just collected dust.




    Long story short, I'm in in my early thirties now -- marriage, work, a kid, and other responsibilities leave me no time to get "lost" in console gaming anymore. My brain only has enough "energy" to muster playing casual games on my iPhone these days.

  • Reply 2 of 19
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Xcellent!
  • Reply 3 of 19
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,544member
    Can't wait. Now that I'm approaching 40, married with 2 kids its just another opportunity to spoil them with new gaming tech and at the same time let me get my hands on it too.

    Too old for games!?! GTFO
  • Reply 4 of 19
    The X-Box is one of the few things Microsoft does right. However this could change if they impliment this "Always On" garbage that's been rumored.
  • Reply 5 of 19
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,931member
    irnchriz wrote: »
    Can't wait. Now that I'm approaching 40, married with 2 kids its just another opportunity to spoil them with new gaming tech and at the same time let me get my hands on it too.

    Too old for games!?! GTFO

    Not when the game is Gears of War.
  • Reply 6 of 19
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I've been wanting an Apple TV with an HDMI passthrough since the original model in 2007. "It just works" falls apart when you have to change your monitor's input from the cable/sat box to the Apple TV to use it. The Apple TV UI needs to be your primary content provider, and anything short of that means it needs to be between your primary content provider so it's always available instantly.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    seankillseankill Posts: 346member
    I think Apple TV is one of the last products of Apple's that I would buy. I'd really like to see them expand its utility, of course, there are plenty of people that it appeals to. Just not me, not enough utility for 100 bucks
  • Reply 8 of 19
    Exactly. I had an AppleTV. Nice enough, but its too isolated... Like a little island that for me was a $100 dedicated Netflix player and that was it. Sold it on eBay waiting for expanded functionality in a future version.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,472member
    Let's hope they didn't put the Metro interface on it.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,931member
    widmark wrote: »
    Exactly. I had an AppleTV. Nice enough, but its too isolated... Like a little island that for me was a $100 dedicated Netflix player and that was it. Sold it on eBay waiting for expanded functionality in a future version.

    Get a Roku.
  • Reply 11 of 19
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post



    Let's hope they didn't put the Metro interface on it.


     


    The latest version of Xbox Dashboard is running Metro, but it works much better with the Kinect controlling it. It's so nice not having to search for the remote when I get home. I turn on the tv and xbox, and then yell at my TV from the kitchen what I want. By the time I've finished throwing together a salad and such I've got Netflix playing whatever series I'm watching at the time and everything is grand.

  • Reply 12 of 19


    I'm looking forward to this. I have a PS3 with Move controllers, but my 3 year old kid can't play with it for a minute without the controller flying out of his hand. I think a Kinect would be ideal. I've held off getting one, waiting to see what the next-gen will be like.

  • Reply 13 of 19

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Seankill View Post



    I think Apple TV is one of the last products of Apple's that I would buy. I'd really like to see them expand its utility, of course, there are plenty of people that it appeals to. Just not me, not enough utility for 100 bucks


     


    The Apple TV was the last Apple product I bought, mainly because it was delayed here. However, having set it up now, I think it is great. While it took a while to get all my media organised, the convenience it offers is amazing. I tried hooking up a MacMini to my TV and using Plex, but I wasn't too happy with it. Now the Mini is the main hub for my Apple TV and I am pleased.


     


    AirPlay is the icing on the cake. It is so convenient to view pictures and videos off the iOS devices.

  • Reply 14 of 19
    The current 360 UI is the Metro interface. It basically looks like a giant advert, it's horrible.
  • Reply 15 of 19

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    I want to get excited, but I think I've finally outgrown the console phase image


     


    I grew up in the 80s, and had an Atari 7800. Over the years, I got more into PC gaming (especially in high school and college), then after college, I got into the Xbox 360. But all of the RRODs turned me off to the platform. So I bought a PS3 which was soon joined by a Nintendo Wii. As the years went on, the PS3 was only used as a Blu-ray player and the Wii just collected dust.




    Long story short, I'm in in my early thirties now -- marriage, work, a kid, and other responsibilities leave me no time to get "lost" in console gaming anymore. My brain only has enough "energy" to muster playing casual games on my iPhone these days.



    This.

  • Reply 16 of 19
    mundtymundty Posts: 10member
    Apple TV is already superior to Cable in almost every aspect. Every time I'm at someone else's house with cable... I find myself spending more time looking for something to watch (both On Demand & Live TV), than I do actually watching something. Why people love cable so much is something I will never understand. You go on Demand and the series you're trying to watch is either Incomplete or Not Available. Then there's the Free Movies section which is a collection of some of the most atrocious films ever made. And all this for the criminal price of $50-100.

    With Apple TV I pay $16 a month for a Netflix & Hulu Plus subscription that surpasses cables Free On Demand section ten fold. And if it's not available on Netflix/Hulu, I can almost always either Rent or Buy it on the iTunes store. Not to mention your entire music collection can be streamed either from your iTunes Library or iTunes Match. It's also quieter than my HTPC and easier to Navigate too.

    I'll admit, it would be nice to have Apps on Apple TV and more 3rd Party Content Providers. But with the amount of content offered by iTunes, Netflix, and Hulu... there's no reason anyone should be saying there's not enough content, that excuse is total nonsense.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    nelsonxnelsonx Posts: 278member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post



    Can't wait. Now that I'm approaching 40, married with 2 kids its just another opportunity to spoil them with new gaming tech and at the same time let me get my hands on it too.



    Too old for games!?! GTFO


     






    Yes sir, you are right! Let the REAL games begin! Never too old for games! Once a gamer always a gamer! image

  • Reply 18 of 19
    nelsonxnelsonx Posts: 278member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    I want to get excited, but I think I've finally outgrown the console phase image


     


    I grew up in the 80s, and had an Atari 7800. Over the years, I got more into PC gaming (especially in high school and college), then after college, I got into the Xbox 360. But all of the RRODs turned me off to the platform. So I bought a PS3 which was soon joined by a Nintendo Wii. As the years went on, the PS3 was only used as a Blu-ray player and the Wii just collected dust.




    Long story short, I'm in in my early thirties now -- marriage, work, a kid, and other responsibilities leave me no time to get "lost" in console gaming anymore. My brain only has enough "energy" to muster playing casual games on my iPhone these days.





    I'm in my fourties and I like games more than ever! REAL games, not stupid little waste of time like Angry Birds on a tiny stupid little screen! You want me to believe that you were playing old great games like... Baldur's Gate and now suddenly you gave up playing real games for... Angry Birds??? Yeah, right! image

  • Reply 19 of 19
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,152moderator
    The X-Box is one of the few things Microsoft does right. However this could change if they impliment this "Always On" garbage that's been rumored.

    The next Playstation looks like it will be stronger competition this time round too. The hardware is going to be amazing with 8GB shared GDDR5:

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/191007/inside_the_playstation_4_with_mark_.php

    Microsoft always seems to get one up on them by releasing their consoles earlier though. I suspect Microsoft will also be unveiling their XBox Surface tablet.

    There are different ways to do always-on. The bad way is like the recent Sim City and Splinter Cell Conviction. That requires a persistent connection. Steam requires an internet connection every time you want to play and while it's annoying, millions of people use it ok.

    I think both Sony and Microsoft need to act to slow down used game sales and that requires an online element. Games should be allowed to be resold once and that's it. Game stores and eBay keep cycling games round and round and after the first sale, the game developers/publishers get nothing. I think developers/publishers would welcome measures like that. They can simply imprint an ID code into a disc, link it with an account or XBox via an online service when the disc is inserted (no manual codes to type, just an activate button) and then send down an authentication file that lets the console play the game without internet. This could perhaps be transferable to a memory stick for sharing a game with a friend. Once the main purchase and resale have been activated online, the game won't activate on another console.

    That's the only need for online restrictions with consoles, there's no real need for a permanent connection. If Microsoft did do something stupid like that, I agree that they'd be handing the console market over to Sony. However, if either one went the route of protecting publishers from resale, they might attract better exclusive games as it could well be more profitable to have a game on that platform.

    I like that they are all basically PCs now and it would be interesting to see what could be done with the PS4 computationally with the shared memory. That's about as close a design anyone has for heterogenous computing. Both CPU and GPU have full shared access to the 8GB of memory. It should mean more games make it to the PC and potentially the Mac and aren't reduced graphically.
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