When it comes to Microsoft there seems to be plenty talk about these days in the rumor and speculation department. There is the upcoming Yahoo purchase possibility that has gained plenty of attention, there is Windows 8, Window Phone future updates, Window Embedded, and even Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and its possible successor.
When it comes to the Xbox, many of the rumors have actually been connected heavily to Windows 8 and features related to it. With the rumored successor to the Xbox 360 there are talks about switching to an ARM processor and even using the Windows NT core, the same core used in Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 and the upcoming Windows 8.
The newest rumor regarding Microsoft’s console is actually for the Xbox 360. Recently Microsoft updated the dashboard in its game console to make it look and feel much more like the Metro interface.
According to market analyst Michael Pacther, Microsoft is preparing a new model of its Xbox 360 in 2012.
This isn’t a brand new console but instead a special version of the Xbox 360 that is upgraded in the technology department to allow the usage of a specialized version of Windows 8.
This is what Michael Pachter,said about the expected hardware update for Xbox 360 to operate Windows 8,“I think the rumors are based upon leaks about modifying the current Xbox 360 to allow it to operate Windows 8,”.
“I fully expect a new model of Xbox 360 by holiday 2012, but don’t think we see a new console altogether from Microsoft until 2014.”
I really am not certain where the analyst gets his information, but I am somewhat uncertain whether it has any merit. On one end, Microsoft’s Windows 8 could be integrated to allow special DVR features, TV services, and app integration. This would be a somewhat similar move to Sony’s PSX (only released in Japan) back in the early 2000s. This device was a full PVR that also had the ability to run PS2 games.
Such a system, however would require both a Power PC and an ARM processor, unless Microsoft is secretly porting Windows to PowerPC which seems unlikely.
Such a setup would be expensive and in the end probably not that practical. It would also fragment the Xbox 360 market and create confusion for consumers.
It seems that every time someone slaps the title “Analyst” by someone’s name, many of those in the media automatically take the information as if its set in stone. It isn’t hard to call yourself an analyst and without real supporting details such a Windows 8 system seems unlikely in my opinion.
At the same time, Microsoft is trying to bring Xbox Live features and even Kinect features into its next version of Windows. I think that if such a product was truly being developed, Microsoft would do better marketing this Windows 8 model as a “Windows 8 Computer Media Center” that happens to also support Xbox 360 game software alongside fully functioning Metro apps.
A product like this could have some traction if it seamlessly could switch between Metro and the Xbox Dashboard through connect, keyboard, mouse, and the Kinect.Game systems are no longer just ‘game systems’, instead becoming multimedia machines that bring the family together and just happen to play games as well.
Such a special Xbox-compatible Media PC could certainly move consoles even further in this direction.
What do you think about the possibility of a Media PC that runs Windows 8 and Xbox 360 apps? Right now I would really take this rumor with a major grain of salt, but if it really existed I would certainly consider a purchase. If such a thing was really produced would you consider making the purchase? Share your thoughts below!