Microsoft just announced that it's going to fill us in on the next Xbox, alias Durango, alias Nextbox, on May 21st. The event will take place at Microsoft's home base in Redmond, Washington, but streamed on Spike TV. Here's what we can expect.
The full lineup of games, according to a post on Xbox big wig Major Nelson's blog, will be announced 19 days later at E3.
The official reveal will clear up a lot of debate swirling around the new console. Reports have cropped up that the next Xbox will require an internet connection to play, and also that it will not be able to play used games. For its part, Microsoft has gone out of its way to distance itself from the furor over these rumors, going as far as parting ways with Adam Orth, who had joked about users who were upset about an "Always On" function, but Redmond's also gone out of its way to neither confirm nor deny them.
Other less incisive rumors include broader, system-wide controls for the Kinect that go down to cable box level, and broader functionality for the Kinect in general.
We're expecting big things from the new console. Even considering the massive importance of Windows 8, the new Xbox might be the most important product to come from Microsoft in a while. It's already massively successful—something Windows 8 still hasn't achieved—and is an avenue to take Microsoft's unified universe into millions of willing living rooms. So, exciting times.