Report: Xbox 720 to have two different models when it launches

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If you cast your mind back to the original launch of the Xbox 360, you’ll remember that the then next-gen console came in two very specific flavours. Those of us who were a little hard up for cash could go and buy a barebones, “Core” model, while those of us with some more disposable income could get in on the ground floor and buy the console with all the necessary bells and whistles.

And the idea worked splendidly for Microsoft, as the Xbox 360 sold bucketloads of the core model in its initial launch. With a successor on the horizon, the rumour mills are in full spin right now, with one report suggesting that Microsoft might take the idea of two separate next-gen devices and widen the gap between standard and deluxe models even more.

According to a report on Digital Foundry, Microsoft will offer a “pared down system to be released as cheaply as possible, and positioned more along the lines of a set-top box  and perhaps as a Kinect-themed gaming portal”, while “a more fully-featured machine with optical drive, hard disk and backward compatibility aimed at the hardcore would be released at a higher price-point”.

Other reports claim that the Kinect, the hands-free motion gaming device, will come bundled together with the consoles. No one is certain when exactly a new Xbox will launch, but industry rumours point out towards a January 2012 official unveiling and confirmation of the device.

By the sounds of things, it looks like Microsoft could be releasing two distinct machines, as the new core model sounds like a perfect way to market, sell and play Xbox Live Arcade games instead of the traditional disc-based format, which might be saved for the more obsessed gamer.

Last Updated: November 25, 2011

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