Rumours of the next iteration of the Xbox are running wild with news of Microsoft receiving rights for www.xbox8.us and www.xbox8.org yesterday. The URLs simply lead to the page that was set up before Microsoft received the rights. Speculation began when Fusible reported that Microsoft received the rights for the domains from a Chinese cybersquatter through the National Arbritation Forum which handles International domain disputes. Microsoft has also received rights to the URLs XboxPhone.com, XboxTablet.com, XboxLiveTV.com, and XboxCompanion.com. Interestingly, Microsoft has yet to go after the guy who owns Xbox8.com.
Speculation has been running wild since last year’s E3 about Microsoft’s next console, with some claiming it would be called the Xbox720 or Durango. It seems that the new Xbox could either be called the Xbox 8, or the far more interesting Xbox Infinity, though this is again, speculation. Even folks at Twitter are going crazy, wondering what Xbox 8 could mean. It could also be a drive to link the next Xbox to their upcoming OS Windows 8, which uses the Metro UI that Microsoft debuted on their phone OS Windows Phone 7.
Microsoft has been mostly quiet on the topic of the URLs. When asked by Kotaku, a spokesperson replied “Microsoft often acquires various domain names as part of its ongoing business strategy, but beyond that we have no comment.”
The next Xbox? (Mock Image)
The first Xbox was released in 2001 as Microsoft’s entry into the gaming console world. It was then a competitor to Sony’s Playstation 2, Sega’s Dreamcast, and Nintendo’s Gamecube. The year 2002 saw the launch of the Xbox’s online service, dubbed Xbox Live. The console became massively popular with the release of the first Halo game made by Bungie. The system, while not being able to beat the Playstation 2 in sales, was able to outsell Nintendo’s Gamecube by a few million, worldwide. The Xbox 360 was unveiled at the end of the sixth console generation, in 2005, competing with the then announced Sony Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. The console sold out completely on release everywhere except Japan, where the console struggled to gain popularity.
Speculation about the next generation of consoles is running wild owing to the amount of time this generation has lasted; this has been the longest console cycle ever, lasting seven years so far. Microsoft has stated with the release of the Xbox 360 S that they believe that the Xbox 360 is still in the middle of its life-cycle and expect it to last into at least 2015. On the other end, Sony has yet to divulge any information about its next console, which would compete with the rumored Xbox 8 and the Nintendo Wii U, which is the only console that has been announced for the next generation.
Another rumour that has surfaced on the Internet is that the next consoles from Sony and Microsoft would require the user to be always online in an effort to prevent piracy and sale of second-hand games.
Microsoft must be enjoying the free publicity they’re getting thanks to the rumour mills, for a console that hasn’t even been announced yet.