There is considerable speculation that Microsoft will release its new gaming console - a revision of the existing Xbox 360 - in 2013. According to some analysts, the "Xbox 720" (as it is being referred to) will arrive with an estimated price tag of just $100 (approximately £60).
The catch is that it will come with a cable television subscription. It is believed the device will release as a dual-mode console and cable TV box, which could revolutionise the gaming and entertainment industries.
The Xbox 360 has performed extremely well in console markets across the world, but sales have begun to slow down, leading to speculation that the console is approaching the end of its life-cycle and needs a revamp to stay ahead of the competition.
"I think Microsoft's got it right [with its console strategy], and I think Sony will keep plugging away because they have an integrated strategy across all of their consumer electronic products. Microsoft, they have a strategy to take over the world. Consoles will have to be multiple purpose devices, though. The Xbox 720, this is my prediction, is going to be your television as well [as your game console]. You'll be able to tune into television through it," Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities was quoted as saying by INC Gamers.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is reportedly holding talks with television service providers in order to strike a deal that could unify the gaming and entertainment industries.
"I'm pretty confident that in the US Microsoft is going to partner with a cable TV provider, so I expect that the console will be priced like a smart phone. I expect you'll be paying $99 for the console with a cable TV subscription," Pachter asserted.
In June, a leaked document on Scribd - a 56 page file describing key features and specs for the Xbox 720 - spoke of a Blu-ray disc drive, improved Kinect sensors (with support for up to four players), tablet integration and cloud streaming. Microsoft soon blocked user access to the document.
Another leaked document gave details of contracts with game developers Bungie and Activision, the publishers of the Halo and Call of Duty games. This revealed a tentative release date of some time in the 2013 holiday season. The speculated price, at the time, was $299 (approximately £190).