According to the tech site The Verge, which cites anonymous industry sources, Microsoft will host a May 21 press event, where it will show off a device that many analysts believe will be called the Xbox 720. The console would then get a full airing in June, at the E3 conference in Los Angeles. Microsoft has not yet commented on The Verge report, but the dates certainly line up with what we've heard elsewhere.
The Xbox 720 – codenamed Durango – is the successor to the Xbox 360, which first launched way back in 2005.
In 2012, the Xbox 360 was remain the most popular console in the United States, beating out the Nintendo Wii, the Nintendo Wii U (which launched late in the year), and the Sony PlayStation 3. In fact, the NPD Group has reported, in December of 2012 alone, Microsoft sold 1.4 million Xbox 360 consoles to American consumers – a figure that helped shore up what NPD analysts called the device's "dominant" position in the US (hat tip to Engadget).
But things are likely to shake up significantly once the new generation of consoles (of which is the Wii U was the first) hits store shelves. Already, Sony has taken the wraps off the Playstation 4, which is likely to hit shelves in time for the 2013 holiday shopping rush. Sony hasn't actually shown off the console, but it has discussed some of the specs, and they're impressive: an 8-core processor, 8 GB of high-speed RAM, and 1.84 Teraflops of processing power.
So what should we expect out of the Xbox 720 and the Sony PlayStation 4? Well, better graphics, for one. And a more integrated cloud computing platform, for another – maybe even machines that are "always online." Lastly, get ready for more "second portal" gaming platforms, such as SmartGlass, which will make it possible for us to access game content through smartphone and tablet apps.
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