Next Xbox may sell for $499, or $299 with two-year subscription

Longtime Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott writes that the device, which will be unveiled May 21, will run an operating system that "is based" on a version of Windows 8.

Jay Greene Former Staff Writer
Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).
Jay Greene
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The next Xbox, which Microsoft will unveil on May 21, will reportedly cost $499, or $299 for customers who also buy a two-year Xbox Live Gold subscription for $10 per month.

That comes from longtime Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott, who also accurately broke the news of the Xbox unveiling date earlier this month in an interview with the video blog "What the Tech." (His comments about the next Xbox start at the 54:44 mark.)

Microsoft declined to comment on the report.

In a post on his Windows IT Pro site, Thurrott also reports that Microsoft will require users to have the Xbox constantly connected to the Internet in order to use it. That rumor has been a source of consternation for many gamers, who would rather just slide a disc into the device and play.

Thurrott reports that the operating system in the next Xbox "is based" on the "Core," or base, version of Windows 8. That could create a common platform on which developers could create applications to run across other devices, such as PCs and tablets, that run the operating system. And Thurrott suggests that Microsoft will discuss the next Xbox platform at its June developer conference in San Francisco.

The report also notes that Microsoft has shelved for the time being plans to release a set-top box that would not include video gaming, code-named Yuma. Thurrott writes that "plans for Yuma are on hold, and no pure entertainment version of the next Xbox will appear in 2013 (or possibly ever)."

Updated at 3:19 p.m. PT with Microsoft declining to comment.