According to a report on Computerworld, a Microsoft job listing on its Careers website provided a bit of an information leak. The job posting has since been deleted, but it said, “Over the next 18 months, Microsoft will release new versions of all of our most significant products, including Windows (Client, Server, Phone, and Azure), Office, and Xbox.”
Microsoft has made no announcements about a new Xbox console as yet, so this is a significant hint. In addition, Computerworld reports that Microsoft’s Brian Hall made mention of a new Xbox in conjunction with other updates like Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Microsoft, for its part, quickly moved to explain that Hall only meant a new software update.
With the job listing pointing to an actual hardware refresh, Microsoft’s PR response seems too facile. However, keeping quiet about a console that’s in development is vital, as an 18-month drop in sales while consumers wait for the next generation could hurt Microsoft’s bottom line.
An 18-month window would put a possible new Xbox console in the holiday 2013 season. While there are no firm details about a new gaming console from Microsoft, some reports claim that it has Blu-ray support, while others claim the new Xbox will come in two flavors, one full-sized machine and possible a smaller set-top box like the Apple TV or Roku media players.
The current Xbox 360 continues to dominate the sales charts, with models that include high-capacity hard drives, Internet connections, and the Kinect motion control system. The original Xbox 360 came out in 2005.