- Microsoft is scheduled to announce details about the new Xbox console in May
- The console will likely play a larger role serving up entertainment content
- This event could be a preview for a larger unveiling at the E3 conference in June
The next generation of Xbox could finally be announced this spring.
On May 21, the company will forget about the troubled Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 operating systems and lavish a bit of attention on the Xbox, according to bloggers who cite sources familiar with Microsoft's plans.
The company is expected to share the first official details about the next generation of the popular game console, which might be named the Xbox 720. The May date was first floated by Windows blogger Paul Thurrott and confirmed by technology site The Verge on Monday.
Earlier this year, the gaming news site Computer and Video Games reported that Microsoft was planning an April event for the next Xbox, but it seems that date has been pushed to May.
Since the Xbox 360 was released at the end of 2005 it has sold 76 million units globally and signed up 46 million Xbox live members.
Though not commenting on the date of the event, Microsoft did mention that it would be focusing more on the Xbox's role as a set-top entertainment center going forward. Earlier on Monday, Ericcson announced that it was acquiring Microsoft's Mediaroom property. Mediaroom was Microsoft's try at an Internet TV platform, serving up on demand content to PCs, TVs and mobile devices through partnerships with cable companies.
In an official blog post about the deal, Microsoft corporate Vice President of Marketing Yusuf Mehdi said the sale of Mediaroom would allow Microsoft to dedicate more resources to making the Xbox an entertainment service, delivering content as well as games across devices.
The May event reportedly will be more of a teaser than a full product unveiling, which could be saved for the large E3 gaming conference in June, with a holiday shipping date not far behind. Little is known about the new device so far, though rumors that it would require a constant Internet connection have led to a flurry of outrage online.
Hopefully Microsoft will have learned a little something from the poorly received PlayStation 4 launch event in February. Sony's three-hour event, introducing its first full PlayStation update since 2006, neglected to display the device, show any photos of it or announce how much it would cost.