NEWS - Thursday, December 30, 2004

Xbox 2 Announcements at CES?

Xbox 2—Will Bill announce it? The big speculation in the gaming community surrounding this January's CES is whether or not Bill Gates will announce the next-generation Xbox console during his keynote address. Nobody seems to know for sure, and the whole rumor seems to have started because some game sites jumped the gun and assumed that if Gates is delivering the keynote, it must be for something major like that. Of course the truth is, Gates has delivered the CES keynote for years. Our prediction? It's not ready yet. The next-generation Xbox will probably be announced at the Game Developers Conference in March, with more formal pricing and details at the big E3 gaming expo in May. Though developers have been working on games for the next Xbox for some time now, the real hardware just hasn't been produced and shaped into true console form yet. We wouldn't be surprised to see a video touting "the next generation of Xbox gaming" or something vague like that, which will be entirely pre-rendered video that of what Xbox 2 games are supposed to look like, but isn't actually running in real time on real hardware. We can't completely rule out an Xbox 2 appearance, but it doesn't seem likely. The Xbox business will almost surely be mentioned during the Bill Gates keynote, though. It's a big part of Microsoft's business, and their best foothold into the living room so far. They might show a few hot upcoming games and talk about the Media Center Extender, and maybe even show a new Xbox game or two.


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