New Xbox to support Windows 8 successor - rumour

Source claims that re-branded OS for console, PC and mobile will launch within four years

The next Xbox could share a common operating system with PCs and mobile phones, according to a new report.

A source told This Is Next that Microsoft intends to create a single OS for its PC, phone and console businesses within the next four years. The timeframe is in line with Windows 8's expected three-year lifecycle, and suggests that the new Xbox will launch around 2015.

The console will support the successor to Windows 8, which will apparently be rebranded with a new name that better reflects Microsoft's vision of the future.

The report was corroborated in part by comments made by Windows Phone president Andy Lees at the Microsoft Partner Conference on Tuesday.

Lees explained that we are at an "inflection point" in Moore's Law, where all of the key components of a PC can be placed onto a single chip. This has caused a proliferation of different devices with the same fundamental capability.

"The key important thing here, though, is the change that's yet to happen, but it's about to happen - the bringing together of these devices into a unified ecosystem," he said.

"Because if it's possible for the core of the device itself to be common across phones, PCs and TVs - and even other things because the price drops dramatically - then it will be a single ecosystem."

Lees presented two graphs showing sales of relevant devices in 2010, and the same devices' projected sales in 2012. The graph included PCs, mobile phones, and, tellingly, a games console.

"Windows has always spanned different PC form factors, and with Windows 8 we're going to take this to a whole new level, including tablets... We are aiming to provide coherence and consistency across the PC, the phone, and the TV, particularly with Xbox."

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Latest comments (18)

Thomas Luecking6 years ago
The new Xbox will launch in 2013... it can always get a software update though :)
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Tommy Thompson Studying Artificial Intelligence (PhD), University of Strathclyde6 years ago
Not altogether unexpected. I would imagine it would be similar to the MacOS/iOS setup that Apple currently use.
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David Spender Lead Programmer 6 years ago
2015 is way to late for xbox 3 to launch. 2013 sounds more reasonable. In which case perhaps it will have more to do with Windows 8 than its successor?
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Show all comments (18)
Gary Lucero QA Analyst, Advanced 6 years ago
That's all well and good but if MS thinks that PCs can all use ARM chips, they are probably mistaken. Of course by "single ecosystem" they could just mean a single code base which can target Intel, ARM, and possible other CPUs. That seems reasonable enough.
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Steven Pick Lead Graphic Designer, Atomhawk Design6 years ago
Makes perfect sense to Microsoft to bring all these brands together in some unified form. It's sad that the Xbox lost its identity with the new NXE - gone was that lovely Convection Regular custom typeface, replaced with the approved Windows 7 Segoe UI typeface. The Xbox always felt in the old days like it wasn't a Microsoft product by design, it was an outsider, an underdog. It's been allowed up the Microsoft techno-treehouse, but only after a change of clothes and an almost sterilised persona.

Disguised rant over.
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Adam Hay Design Engineer, Imagination Technologies6 years ago

Back in 2006 when I unboxed my 360 I pulled a shiny white powerPC-powered box out and found a little sticker with an xbox logo on it it felt like I was unboxing an Apple :)

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Matt Knopp Recruitment Consultant - Video Games Sales & Marketing, abrs6 years ago
No surprise but will that then open support for games on the PC and Xbox? May re-ignite the PC game industry which lets be honest has been floundering behind Playstation and Xbox...

Or am I just being way optimistic/dreaming? :)
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Tim Hesse Product Development Executive 6 years ago
I smell a sexy, proprietary APU from ATI, in a QuadCore configuration (4 cpus, 4 gpus).
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Fyzard Brown Sales Associate, VideoGameAdvantage6 years ago
One OS to rule them all.....
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Aasif Chaudry Composer & Sound Designer 6 years ago
lol John. I kinda agree on that. I'm wondering if Microsoft will push the 'tile'-based UI that they seem keen on as of late.

The almost understated mention of tablets makes me wonder about the possible integration of devices like the new Wii U. Like the concept of the VMU on Dreamcast which sadly never took off, though Nintendo toyed with the idea with the GBA and Gamecube (Wind Waker?)

Another colleague mentioned how much he wishes Apple would enter the console industry properly and stomp everyone. Looks like Nintendo have seen the path that Apple might have taken, jumped the start, and occupied their prospective spot...?
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 6 years ago
I can imagine Microsoft copying the look and feel of their OS for every device. I can hardly imagine Microsoft being ok with people downloading Firefox to their console and surfing the web.
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I had a feeling this was going to happen a while back. So, the 360 follow-up will be a "PC", and will effectively run Windows. I'm not sure how I feel about it - consoles are supposed to have a "thin" OS, and allow whatever software is running on them to have close to bear-metal access to the hardware - its the only thing that really differentiates a console from a PC (and I guess it being non-upgradable).

Are they trying to blur the lines between PC & console games (again?)
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Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis6 years ago

PC to Xbox gaming has been done on a somewhat disappointing scale and PC players tend to dislike Games for Windows Live (even though I have had no problems and only buy PC games that use it, maybe that is because I have an Xbox account already set up for my gaming though)
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 6 years ago

I see, you did not buy Bulletstorm on release day. One of GfW proudest moments in making sure that what you buy is the last thing you get. When all you want to do is to play single player, the last thing you should be forced to is watching GfW desperately trying to update itself and crash repeatedly in the process until all you can do is toss the game in the corner and wait for a week.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 6 years ago
Michael, console games have been moving further from the hardware with each generation. These days, MS won't approve a game that goes direct to the GPU rather than using DirectX, and this has even prevented some vendors from using particular rendering techniques, as we've seen from Digital Foundry articles.

And, of course, that kind of access becomes less and less important as hardware becomes more and more powerful.
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@Curt: I agree what you are saying is correct, but I'm still not sure how right it is. My experience on the Wii (and also from what I understand about the PS3) has dev very close to bear metal - it makes sense that MS is pushing a different approach, having their driver/PC background.

This still concerns me though - I have been (forced) to use Windows 7, 64bit at work - on the latest and most powerful PCs (& laptops) - and its astounding how *slow* the OS is, compared to XP (or even the earlier OSs).

The 360 still has a fairly thin, and very optimised layer - can you imagine playing games on a 360 where the full-blown W7 OS was present? (ok, apart from the fact that its not specced high enough!).

If whatever OS they are talking about is basically a "new" OS, and not built on the 20 years of Windows legacy code - no worries. But if it is, and it has to support everything Windows does now - that seems like a big mistake to me.
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Micaiah Stevens Owner & Freelance Game Designer, Haven Studios LLC6 years ago
@ Michael, even PC gamers wish they would come out with a 'new' OS. However I think from the PC demos its just a fancy UI strapped onto a win7 machine.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Micaiah Stevens on 23rd July 2011 3:25pm

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