Nintendo’s announcement that it would unveil its new console at this year’s E3, even having it playable, obviously shook the industry more than anticipated.
According to one of Develop’s â€œsenior, trusted, well-placed" sources, Microsoft isn’t taking it lightly, and is set to announce its very own next-generation console on June.
The inside spy says it’s a "very early build with no casing – it is in fact being stored inside a PC shell". "Quite often when new consoles come around they’re packaged into a PC shell, but actually what’s inside is an entirely new console," the source said, clarifying something that was crystal to begin with.
"Why let Nintendo steal the thunder in June [At E3]? It doesn’t want to lose momentum. That’s why I think Microsoft is rushing to make an announcement at E3."
There’s very little other information available, other than that the new console will feature enhanced Kinect support and would be ready for launch before the end of 2012. The source added: "Kinect will keep the 360 going for a couple of years, but Microsoft knows that if it slows down now it will face trouble." The source also says EA’s had their hands on the hardware for a little while, something EA denies vehemently, calling it "â€¦a total fabrication – 100 per cent not true." Additionally, Eurogamer’s sources though say a new console reveal is highly unlikely.
Though the idea of new hardware excites me, I think it’s still too early for either Microsoft or Sony to reveal their new wares – which are undoubtedly already being worked on. Kinect, Microsoft’s motion-sensing peripheral launched only 6 months ago and has sold by the boatload – but has yet to gain the sort of prominence Microsoft would like. Revealing new hardware now could cannibalise sales of the current console and Kinect..although to be fair, the same couldn’t really be said of last gen’s PS2 – which still sells fairly well, especially in emerging markets.
What do you think? Is Microsoft going to surprise us all next month with some sexy new hardware, or is Nintendo going to walk all over E3 again this year?
One last sidenote; If the thing ends up being called the Xbox 720, then I’m out.
Last Updated: May 9, 2011