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Microsoft may announce next generation of Xbox on May 21

The new console could be pricey and require an "always on" Internet connection.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Microsoft will spill the beans on its next-generation Xbox at an event on May 21, according to Windows blogger Paul Thurrott and a report from The Verge.

Originally scheduled for April, the event was pushed back to May, sources have told the Verge.

That echoes similar information from Supersite for Windows writer Paul Thurrott. In an interview with the video blog "What the Tech" on Friday, Thurrott said that Microsoft had planned to announce the new console on April 24 but then rescheduled the event for May 21. In the video clip of the show, Thurrott's comments about the next Xbox start at the 54:44 mark.

The Verge's sources claim the event will be a small one, offering the first details on the next Xbox, code-named Durango. Microsoft reportedly will unveil the console at the E3 event in Los Angeles in June, with the product hitting shelves later in the year.

Thurrott added even more to mull over. He said "Durango" is likely to be expensive -- $500 for the regular console itself and $300 for a subscription-based model.

Thurrott also chimed in on the controversy over rumors that the next Xbox would require an always-on Internet connection. A creative director with Microsoft Studio got himself into hot water last week when he told people upset over such a requirement to just "deal with it."

If the requirement is true, what does an "always on" connection mean? Even Thurrott isn't sure. But he did say that his previous notes on the device specifically state: "Must be Internet connected to use." He didn't reveal where he got this tidbit, but Thurrott has a good track record for uncovering accurate information about Microsoft's plans.

Microsoft could have more than one console up its sleeves.

Thurrott previously had said that Microsoft will update the Xbox 360 and sell it for $99. Such a development may suggest that the new-generation Xbox won't be able to play 360 games, but that's speculation on Thurrott's part. A $99 Xbox 360 also could be positioned as a cheaper entertainment console to compete with Roku and similar devices.

Finally, Thurrott is citing an early November release for the next Xbox, just in time to lure in holiday shoppers.

Microsoft has yet to reveal or confirm any details about the next Xbox. A spokesperson sent CNET this statement today: "We do not comment on rumors or speculation. We are always thinking about what is next for our platform, but we don't have anything further to share at this time."

Correction at 8:50 a.m. PT: $300 is the rumored price for a subscription-based Xbox.

Updated at 10:00 a.m. PT with response from Microsoft.