Microsoft will unveil the successor to the Xbox 360 at a press event at its Redmond, Wash., campus on May 21, pulling back the curtain on its home console plans just weeks before the June Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Media invites went out this morning, and Microsoft exec Larry Hryb posted a blog to hype the event, which will be live-streamed.
“On that day,” Xbox programming director Hryb wrote, “we’ll share our vision for Xbox, and give you a real taste of the future. Then, 19 days later at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, we’ll continue the conversation and showcase our full lineup of blockbuster games.”
Microsoft is the last of the major home console makers to disclose its next generation system. Nintendo’s Wii U was released in late 2012 and Sony threw a lavish press event in February to announce its PS4, although Sony didn’t actually show the system in action.
Both the new Xbox and the PS4 are expected to be released by the end of 2013.
Since Sony revealed some of the details on the PS4, which the company described as a “supercharged PC” with a revamped, touchpad-enabled controller, there’s been plenty of speculation as to what direction Microsoft would take. Hryb’s post that the Xbox announcement will dazzle by presenting a “new generation of games, TV and entertainment” indicates the company will reveal far more than just games.
Press reports have indicated that the Xbox will communicate directly with home cable boxes via an HDMI connection, potentially allowing the system to more easily become an entertainment hub for the living room. Nintendo’s Wii U has made a similar pitch, as its TVii feature lets users search and view favorite programs and movies whether on TV or streaming from providers like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.
The May 21 Xbox announcement will be broadcast live at 10 a.m. PDT on Xbox.com, Xbox LIVE and, for television viewers in North America, Spike TV.
— Todd Martens
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