After almost three years without an update, and with Windows 8 sales flailing, Microsoft will release a new Xbox just in time for Christmas next year, sources told Bloomberg's Dina Bass and Ian King. Last year Microsoft had said that it wouldn't release a new version of the gaming system "anytime soon," with other sources talking up a date sometime in 2013 "at the earliest." This new Christmas launch makes perfect sense for the video-game nerd anticipated "Xbox 720," as the rumorers refer to it. An Xbox is one of those it toys that gets people lining up at 3 a.m. during holiday shopping craziness. Even the aging 360 console has managed to double the sales of the new Nintendo Wii so far this holiday season, according to numbers from the NDP Group. Microsoft hasn't put out an entirely new console since 2005, which led to riots during Black Friday of that year.
And Microsoft needs a super-anticipated something, since Windows 8 sales fell so flat this year. After whispers that the new operating system wasn't selling well, NDP research group found that sales fell 21 percent for new computers running Windows. The research group doesn't measure sales from Microsoft stores or online, but Microsoft has said most of its sales come from third-party retailers like Best Buy anyway. Windows 8 tablet sales were almost "nonexistent" said the report, making up just 1 percent of all Windows 8 sales. Yeesh. However, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said he is playing the long game on this one, claiming that people will get used to the new look and when they do fall in love with it. Maybe the people will line up for Windows 8 next year, too?
If not, though, the new Xbox sounds like an upgrade that will get gamers excited and buying. As for what exactly the gadget will look like, the rumorers say it will be cheaper and smaller than the 360, which retails starting at $300. In addition, it will have an udpated Kinect controller, a quad core processor, 8GB Ram, Blu-Ray, and augmented reality glasses, according to "leaked reports."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.