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Microsoft rep (inadvertently) confirms existence of 'new Xbox'

The Xbox 720, or whatever the next Xbox console will be called, has been name-dropped for the first time by Microsoft. 

By Matthew Shaer / August 6, 2012

Is a new Xbox console on the way? Here, a user plays a game on the Microsoft Xbox 360.

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Word of a new Xbox console have been flying around the Web for years. 

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And now, for the first time, a Microsoft rep has confirmed the existence of the device, which is reportedly codenamed "Durango." Speaking to the hosts of the Vergecast, a tech podcast, Windows Live general manager Brian Hall included the "new Xbox" on a list of products that will eventually interface with the forthcoming Windows 8 operating system.

Here's the pertinent quote, courtesy of Kotaku

We did this – we've had Hotmail for – and operated Hotmail for about 16 years. We obviously have Exchange, and Outlook that people use at work. We just decided it was time to do something new and bring the best from each of those – put them together and release it right in time for the new wave of products that we have coming out with Windows 8, with the new version of Office, with the new Windows Phone and the new Xbox.

So no, there weren't any bombshells here – no details on what the device will look like, what kind of content it will run, or even what it will be called. Still, the nature of Hall's comments are telling: He mentions the new console in the same breath as the new Office and Windows Phone software, both of which are expected this year. That suggests that the Xbox 720 might launch sooner than some pundits suspected. Right now, most people expect to see it at E3, the biggest video-game conference of the year, which arrives next June. 

Horizons readers will remember that back in June, Microsoft took the wraps off SmartGlass, an Xbox add-on which will allow users to control the on-TV action via a smartphone or tablet app. SmartGlass works with TV and movie content and video games – and like the forthcoming Wii U, it makes gaming a two-screen experience.

The feature will go live this fall, Microsoft has said. 

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