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Xbox 720 may have Windows 8 base, touch screen says former MS exec

Thursday, 7th February 2013 14:14 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox 720′s interface could follow Windows 8 closely, and may even include some form of touch screen functionality, former Microsoft executive Joachim Kempin has suggested. Are you getting bored of all these rumours yet?

Speaking with IGN, Kempin – who has also blown the lid off Microsoft’s attempts to crush Sony at the console game – spoke about the supposed nature of Xbox 720′s interface.

“I think the other thing they will try,” he predicted, “there’s no doubt about it, is it’s going to be more Windows 8-like; maybe it even gets a touchscreen, who knows? Most of what’s in there today really is Windows, right? I wouldn’t be surprised if the next round of interface comes even closer to Windows 8 than it is today.”

Kempin also stressed that when it comes to Xbox consoles, Microsoft makes next to no profit, instead generating revenue from licenses, deals and its PC arm.

Said Kempin, “On the [Xbox hardware] itself there is no profit. So the profit comes from all the other sources; royalties from game developers, maybe the next Halo version, maybe a new Kinect system and what have you.

“So when you look at that…God…it is such a small portion for their company. It would really be better if they would just spin that whole thing out and let other people run it on their own and not get distracted by it. For me that whole environment is a distraction for the company.

“They need to find out how to get this whole PC environment into the 21st century and to have an interesting, modern interface like they have on Windows 8 isn’t enough. It just isn’t. You have to make these devices work together.”

What do you make of Kempin’s claims?

Meanwhile, Microsoft has responded to claims that Xbox 720 will require an always-on net connection to block piracy and the play of pre-owned titles.

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15 Comments

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  1. FabioPal

    “Are you getting bored of all these rumours yet?”

    Yes: especially when they state the obvious ;)

    MS intention is to standardize the user experience, and it’s not a rumour, it’s a fact.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. MegaGeek1

    I just cant shake this sneaking suspicion that Microsoft is going to loose focus on what the nextXbox is really suposed to be about….

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Dave Cook

    @1 Just be glad you’re not the one writing them eh? ;)

    #3 1 year ago
  4. daytripper

    Any positive rumours yet? based on all the rumours the next xbox would be better off used as a spare toilet lol

    #4 1 year ago
  5. FabioPal

    @Dave: I know that you “must” report all these things, but frankly, is the next rumour going to be “the next Xbox will have an ‘X’ in its name”? ;)

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Kaufer

    Now this makes a lot more sense.
    http://www.vg247.com/2013/01/21/microsofts-xbox-brand-will-be-sold-to-someone-like-sony-failure-is-inevitable/

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Moonwalker1982

    @6

    Yeah about that….no, just no.

    This stuff might not be really good news and all. But MS is well aware of their huge fanbase, alot of them are real gamers who made their console the success it is now, no way MS will alienate them, cause if they do..it’s game over. They need the ‘hardcore’ gamer.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Kaufer

    Not the selling part but the why would someone would suggest xbox need to be “spun off.”

    #8 1 year ago
  9. absolutezero

    I actually own a Surface and well it feels like its been sent out to die. Theres next to nothing to warrant picking it up and actually using it.

    Its nice as hell don’t get me wrong the entire interface works perfectly for a tablet and its innovations with moving between apps and shortcuts etc are fantastic but that counts for naught when I never actually do anything on it.

    So if MS can combine both then I guess it would lead to a far less cluttered front end with a bunch of nice shortcuts and ideas.

    Which actually sounds quite nice now that I think about it. A rumour thats shockingly interesting for me, nothing to do with GPU or RAM or anything that can not be changed because its a fucking closed system and you’ll buy and play them regardless if it 5 a million teraflops.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. orakaa

    @9: I was interested to get a Surface… Pro.
    Surface NT seems to be a totally crazy idea. Too expensive compared to other, more affordable tablets, no possibility to install Windows programs, etc.

    Microsoft can get away with all those mistakes because they’re Microsoft and they have a LOT of money. Any other company would have failed (Surface NT sales numbers are quite poor and well below their expectations, meaning they must have lost a LOT of money, same for Xbox and Xbox 360 on which they didn’t make a profit apparently) .

    Windows 8 isn’t an improvement over 7 and with the evolution of computer use, particularly with the considerable and increasing migration of people over tablets, Microsoft needs to change and adapt (look how the PC sales crashed over the last years, in favor of tablets… and each non-windows device being sold instead of a PC is a loss for Microsoft). They don’t seem to adapt that (at least to me). If their Windows sales and revenues continue to be threatened and their market share keep going down, they might refocus on OS and leave their gaming branch.

    If you had told me that 5 years ago, I wouldn’t have believed it, but now, who knows.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Ge0force

    So MS lets millions of people pay every year for p2p-gaming and access to free webservices, but they make no profit out of it? Maybe they should reconsider spending 500 million dollars on Kinect marketing…

    #11 1 year ago
  12. orakaa

    They are paying and loosing money in order to break through the market. Even Balmer himself and other Microsoft execs recognized on many occasions that they were loosing money with XBOX but that they were “hoping” for it to become profitable someday (I think they were aiming at the third Xbox gen).

    It’s an investment, in hope to win a whole market. Kinect was made with LOTs of money to get some of Nintendo casual market share they managed to get with Wii.

    So no, it is not profitable for NOW. And if their Windows sales decline because of the shift in market (tablets vs PC), they might want to refocus. I am not saying that will necessarily happen, but it’s a possibility: Microsoft is becoming a dinosaur and don’t adapt (well enough) to its market.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Myth

    This guy sounds like a fairly uninformed business person without any insights or data unavailable to the rest of us.

    There’s no doubt that the hardware isn’t profitable – for the PS2/Xbox generation, the hardware was sold at a loss – but this is not news. It’s called the razor-model, after Gillette Razors where they lose money on the first purchase of the razor, but make it back because the blades are proprietary and expensive.

    Microsoft is in this market because they want to expand from their usual markets where they completely dominate, and because they saw a computer in the living room as an amazing opportunity (still is, altho smart phones and tablets are winning). Maybe the pressure on their pc division will make them reassess that eventually, but it’s not happening within the next 5 years – there are so many options for content delivery in the living room that have yet to be explored.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Bomba Luigi

    Don’t really like the Windows8 Design and all that Stuff. But its a Console for gods Sake, as long it can start a Game I have everything I need. Not planning starring on the OS for more than a Second.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. fearmonkey

    I’m not sure if I am all that crazy about a tablet controller. I have an Ipad and i love it, but when I am playing a game, I don’t really want to have to look down and back to the screen all the time. The Wii-us turn the tv off and play it on the controller would be cool though, I dont really know how much id use it though.

    I’m not down on it, but MS will have to convince me its the way to go.

    #15 1 year ago