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A spring 2014 Xbox 720 launch "makes sense," says Pachter

Industry analyst Michael Pachter has said it would make more sense for Microsoft to release the next iteration of Xbox during spring 2014.

Speaking with Xbox 360 Magazine, Pachter said if he were "a betting man," a spring 2014 launch makes more sense from a retail standpoint, as there aren't any holidays competing with gamers' wallets.

"And it is likely that they won’t manufacture more than a few million units for launch," he said.

Pachter also touched up on the SmartGlass application, stating it's "pretty clear," Microsoft intends to allow "the Xbox 720 to function as a cable TV box."

"[This allows] cable television service providers to broadcast over the Internet through the box, with SmartGlass as the remote controller, and with the Xbox 720 using Windows 8 to split the TV signal into multiple feeds, allowing consumers to divert different channel feeds to different displays within the home," he said.

"This will require some kind of wi-fi connection for each display, so while it clearly will work on smart glass, they also need to come up with some kind of wi-fi dongle to plug into other televisions in the household.

"I think this is the biggest part of the next launch, as it will allow Microsoft to participate in the cable TV monthly subscription. There are 85 million households in the US with either cable or satellite TV, and if Microsoft could sell half of them an Xbox 720 and collect a $5 monthly Xbox Live Gold fee from each of them, we’re talking huge profits."

As far as the rumored documents regarding Microsoft's plans for its next console which were released over the weekend, Pachter said he expects the firm to release a $99 version of the console, subsidized "if the customer commits to a cable TV subscription for two years."

"That certainly wasn’t contemplated in 2010, so is not mentioned in the document, but I would bet that is what happens when the box launches," he said.

Microsoft has been mum regarding its plans for the next Xbox, but its lawyers tossed a cease and desist order over the document leak.

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