New XBox Console Rumored to Include Natal

xbox-360So, you may remember that I mentioned the tumble that game sales took in May. Well, it should be no surprise that Microsoft is looking at the massive drop in Wii sales and seeing an opportunity there.

What would be surprising would be for them to attempt to capitalize on that opportunity by launching a new console. Well, according to Sam Kennedy at 1UP, that’s exactly Microsoft’s plan.

In their Listen Up podcast, Kennedy was chatting with David Ellis of Microsoft, where they were discussing the new motion-sensing Natal technology, Ellis apparently let it slip that there will be a new XBox console next fall. Yeah, you heard that right. They’re planning another console launch in 2010.

Gamers will also be able to purchase Natal as an add-on for existing 360′s, which begs the question: Why launch another console now?

After all, the odds are that any new console launched next year won’t be the tenological leap that the current generation of consoles was. More likely, they’ll replace some of the problematic hardware in the current 360 platform, possibly upgrade a few minor things, bolt on Natal, and call it good.

So, I guess that leads me to another question: Will anyone actually buy the damn thing?

Well, I have to speculate that they would. After all, most console fanboys will line up out the door for any minor release for their platform of choice, so a brand new platform to trumpet would be sweet music to their ears.

Additionally, it would give Microsoft the chance to move past the Red Ring of Death issues that have plagued the 360 platform, as well as allowing them to coerce owners of older 360′s to move up to a console that offers HDMI compatibility. After all, who was going to upgrade just for the HDMI connector?

There will be two things that decide how well this rumored venture pans out for Microsoft. First, can they get it to market before Nintendo launches Wii HD? If so, they would position themselves squarely to take a chunk out of the substantial Wii owner base.

Second, can they get it to market before Sony launches their motion controller? If you saw the E3 press conference that Sony put on, you have to admit that the Sony motion controller looked much more impressive in demos than Natal did. If Sony manages to put an impressive motion controller on the market in Spring 2010 as they claimed to be planning at E3, it could have an adverse effect on anything that Microsoft releases in the fall.

What do you think? If you had to make the choice, which one of these systems would you choose?

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1 Comment on New XBox Console Rumored to Include Natal

Jake Belland

On June 17, 2009 at 5:12 am

I think a new MS System would be great, as an elite gamer I would pay to have a system with hardware the truly compliments Natal’s awesome capabilities.

This is basically what Nintendo “tried” to do with the Wii, but in the end settled for cheesy pre-programmed hand guestures using an awkward UI; ie. the Nunchuckles…