Next Xbox Will Have Two Models, Just Like The Current Xbox

One of the more maddening aspects of the Xbox 360 has been Microsoft's insistence on a "two-model" strategy. A bare-bones, cheap version, and a souped-up expensive one. It's helped shift units, especially since Kinect's release, but it's also held other Xbox 360 games back since developers can't assume everybody has, say, a hard drive.

I'd like nothing more than to see this strategy go away quietly into the night, but according to a report from Digital Foundry, Microsoft is looking at sticking with it for the next Xbox console.

"It's... believed that Microsoft will continue its successful two SKU strategy", the story claimed, "and indeed take it much further with its new platform: a pared down machine is to be released as cheaply as possible, and positioned more along the lines of a set-top box (the use of 360 as a Netflix viewing platform in the US is colossal) 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."

Interesting. That actually wouldn't be too bad; if only the "hardcore" console had an optical drive, then the "pared down" version would only play Xbox Live Arcade titles, leaving developers of larger, disc-based games free to design for the beefier machine.

Can Microsoft Launch the Next Xbox in 2012? []


    I dont care, just want new consoles! I wanna say hurry up, but I dont want a rush job either lol

    What I would like to know is. . .
    Is the Kinect unit going to be usable on the new Xbox? Or is MS going to release a new Kinect? One thats hardware dribven instead of the slightly laggy software driven current model.

      I would hope both. Backwards compatible for those that have it, and Kinect 2 for people that want better quality.

    One will have a big hard drive and one will have a little hard drive.

    The mention of backwards compatibility has given me a small nerd-rection, If they can fix original xbox emulation so its a bit less stuttery I'll be totally happy.

    The main problems I can see with the clearly different models is development cost since designing 2 machines will cost more and potential inability to upgrade since you probably can't just slap a hdd & optical drive in to make it the more expensive model unless they make them caddy based things

    make a small 20gb model and the 'hardcore' one a 320gb or 500gb... both with optical drives. I think that'd settle a lot of problems, at least with game saves and dlc. The original idea of the 360 with the 20gb was a great idea, but this time for the basic model!

      Well, if they have the ability to save your games in the cloud, I think the smaller unit will be more attractive to some people

        you definitely have a good point there, but also think about how small game saves are anyway, in this sense, I think Microsoft can benefit more from having onboard storage in the form of a small SSD drive (8-16gb) for use with installing the OS, OS updates, gamertags and game saves, this alone would speed up operation of the console significantly for its most basic uses, while still leaving the option for an expandable hdd slot just like the 360.

      It would make sense for the lower speced one to have a resonably sized HD to allow content to be possibly downloaded or sideloaded onto. Seeing as the lower xbox would appear to be aimed at apple TV it would make sense to capitalise on the apples weakness and give it sufficent storage.

    The 2 SKU thing is just a clever marketing ploy so they can advertise their new console as "JUST $299!*" with a big asterisk which basically means you have to supply just about everything short of power cords.

    That said, hard drives are cheap as chips these days. Even the bare-bones model will probably include one.

      I take it you haven't looked at hard drive prices since the Thailand floods...

      too true mate! definitely following you there and it's a good idea, having some inferior amount of flash storage I don't think will cut it for the next Xbox. If a removable hdd were to be included, minimum 20gb.

        stupid reply system and no option to delete or edit! that was a reply for Commander Jao :| (my finger must've slipped on the wrong reply button!)

    Why do we actually NEED new consoles?

    Seriously, what will they do?

      Hmmm, I'd take a crazy guess and say "Play bigger and better games"

      Get consoles closer to PC...

      Because xbox 360/ps3 only have 512MB of ram.

    $170 for 1 TB Hard drive is a pretty cheap LOL

      Are you serious? You could get a 2tb HDD for less than $80 a few months ago.

    Give me full Xbox and 360 compatability (seriously, I do still play Xbox games on my 360, and have asked for Outrun 2 Coast to Coast for Christmas) and I'll be happy.

    Seriously though, I am still wondering what we need new consoles for. But maybe it's me. Maybe I'm not the gamer I once was. Hell, I'm still playing through Metroid Prime (original, through the Wii) and think bits of it look good. I thought Banjo Kazooie N&B still looks impressive. Maybe I need to hate on these games more.

    As for two different models - so long as the "lesser" model is still functional and can be upgraded, and the upgrades aren't obscenely priced this time, then fine. For a decent price I'd even consider getting the lesser model, depending on what it can do compared to the full model. I still use my original 20gb 360, with a wired internet connection and Xbox Live silver - for me, no need to buy anything else.

      I'm glad you singled out Nuts & Bolts which really has some of the best graphics of this generation and because it's not focussed on reality then it won't age and will still look fresh when other titles like Assassin's Creed or GTA start to look stale.

      I just live in the forlorn hope that someone at Microsoft will make a true platforming sequel to Banjo-Tooie using the Nuts & Bolt graphics!

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