Microsoft reportedly preparing a new Xbox model for 2012, designed for Windows 8

By Tom Warren, on 22nd Nov 11 1:30 pm with 78 Comments

Xbox LIVE on Windows 8

Microsoft is reportedly preparing a new Xbox 360 model for 2012 that would operate Windows 8.

The new Xbox 360 model would launch in time for the holiday season of 2012 and will reportedly be designed with Windows 8 in mind. Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter believes the new model is not a successor to the Xbox 360, like many recent reports suggest, but an upgraded model. ”Those rumors are silly,” said Pachter in an interview with IndustryGamers. “Microsoft is still selling a ton of Xbox 360s, and they won’t replace the existing one until sales begin to slow.” The current Xbox 360 console has been the top selling console in the U.S. for the whole of 2011. Despite a temporary slip in December (due to shortages), Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console has dominated the charts for 16 out of 17 months.

Microsoft has kept its Xbox brand, hardware and software fresh over the years. The company launched its controller-less console accessory for the Xbox 360 across the world last year. Kinect has sold millions of units and also broken a Guinness World Record. Guinness World Records officially named Kinect for Xbox 360 the fastest-selling consumer electronics device, which sold an average of 133,333 units per day for a total of eight million units in its first 60 days between November 4, 2010 and January 3, 2011.

Microsoft is expected to deliver an updated dashboard and Xbox 360 hardware to make the console compatible with Windows 8. “I think the rumors are based upon leaks about modifying the current Xbox 360 to allow it to operate Windows 8,” said Pachter. “I fully expect a new model of Xbox 360 by holiday 2012, but don’t think we see a new console altogether from Microsoft until 2014.” Several references to the Xbox 360 were discovered in early builds of the Windows 8 kernel. Microsoft revealed at BUILD that the company plans to include Xbox LIVE in Windows 8. The support will allow Xbox LIVE users to play against Windows 8 users in multiplayer games. Async multiplayer will allow Windows PCs, Windows Phone and Xbox 360 users to play against each other using multiplayer and matchmaking functionality.

The Xbox LIVE integration in Windows 8 is identical to Microsoft’s new Xbox 360 dashboard, due shortly. Microsoft started to push beta copies of the Xbox 360 fall dashboard update out to testers earlier this month. The December dashboard update will bring Microsoft’s Metro style interface to the Xbox. Microsoft is also preparing to include YouTube and Bing on the Xbox. Bing users will be able to use Kinect’s voice recognition feature to search for movies, music and other content on their consoles. The new dashboard will also enable Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone integration with Xbox, see a video demonstration here.

Microsoft’s new Xbox 360 fall dashboard update will be made available for existing consoles on December 6.

  • clubdirthill

    Pachter makes some good points, but I don’t see Microsoft fragmenting the Xbox 360 like that. A new console doesn’t make sense in 2012 because the Xbox 360 is currently in the period where it is seeing its highest sales and greatest profit. Also, aren’t they releasing Halo 4 for the Xbox 360 next fall? Won’t that be embarrassing if their flagship franchise’s new game isn’t designed for new hardware. We’ll have to wait and see.

    • Thomas Bundgaard

      Indeed. This is highly unlikely.

      Almost annoys me with this sorta rubbish. Why would MS ruin the Xbox experience for the loyal customers (those who already own an Xbox)? They might update it (smaller size, lesser power consumption etc.), but they won’t break backwards-compability.

    • Robert Wade

      You folks are presuming that games for the original 360 won’t work on whatever the new device is.  If it’s based on the NT kernel but NOT actual Windows 8, then it’s entirely within the realm of possibility that it could be designed to run the older games (to a point) but have all the needed hardware updates to run newer, better, more hardware-hungry games.  Remember, if there’s one thing that Microsoft has maintained, nearly to a fault, is backward compatibility.  This is what has allowed them to keep such a high marketshare in contrast to Apple.  Apple historically has told customers “screw you” if they didn’t want to buy their new machines because they wanted to hold onto legacy apps.

    • Thomas Bundgaard

      While I agree with you, that MS has done a splendid job on the backwards compability, I’m not sure I agree with you on the other point.

      Theoretically MS could probably upgrade the hardware while making sure the older games worked, but I doubt that’s a good idea, especially if they plan on introducing the Xbox Next in a few years.

      Would you say they would make it by software or by hardware-emulation?

  • Ian Walker


  • Jadams

    It will be a new system in 2012. I wont say my sources.

    • Anonymous

      The tooth fairy? Your imaginary friend Simon?

      Pure logic dictates there won’t be a brand new console in 2012. For one, the 360 is still selling extremely well, and secondly, announcing a console the same year it goes on sale generally doesn’t happen. You have no “sources.”

    • Anonymous

      the same logic fails when applied to the PS2

  • s b k

    Yeah I was going to wait for the Star Wars Xbox, but if a newer one comes up I might wait. I see more of a refresh than a whole new machine but still exciting times for Microsoft. 

  • Larry

    Dominated only in the US.  Its about to be passed by the PS3 in world wide sales even though the 360 has been out a year longer.

    Lame reporting.

    • Tuxplorer

      Xbox 360 has COMPLETELY and UTTERLY DESTROYED PS3. When Xbox first came out PlayStation was so far ahead. But Xbox now DOMINATES PS3, and is the number 1 gaming console in the world. That’s why Microsoft is the best!

    • kindlejunkies

      Actually world wide sales PS3 has caught up with the 360.  360 still dominates in the states, but that’s about it.  

    • Anonymous

      Well, that’s nothing to sneeze at. The U.S. has the biggest gaming market, so if you’re going to dominate one, might as well dominate the largest.

    • Tuxplorer

      PlayStation used to DOMINATE the console gaming market. Xbox was MILES and MILES behind. The way Microsoft has DESTROYED PS3 with Xbox 360 is completely unbelievable, and has proved wrong all those pathetic analysts who predicted Xbox would not make any impact.

    • Larry

      Facts they suck when they are not on your side.


      1.  The 360 came out a year before the PS3 and Wii
      2.  For each of their life’s (year 1, year 2 etc) the 360 is in last place in terms of console sales
      3.  The PS3 is predicted to pass the 360 in total world wide sales in 2012.

      Just look at the numbers.  2008 – 2011 the PS3 has bested the 360 in world wide sales and the 360 lost anything gained by that year lead.  

      Imagine if the PS3 had launched at the same time??

    • BadManDuke

      Which like others are saying below, is the single largest market for gaming.

      The fact that Xbox has taken that market away from PS is incredible. Even more so when you look at the previous consoles were at in relation to marketshare.

  • James Matthews

    There will be a redesigned single SKU XBox 360 in fall of 2012.  That is all.

  • Alex H

    Ok I think he’s in the right sort of ballpark, but pretty wrong on all fronts.

    -Firstly, the “new” Xbox won’t operate Windows 8 – the next Xbox OS version will run on the same Windows NT kernel and including better integration with Windows 8, but it won’t be Windows 8.

    -Secondly, with the Wii U launching, the Xbox 360 being 7 years old next year, and the Xbox having seen a hardware redesign recently, if they release a new Xbox model it won’t be another 360 variant!

    I think what he means to say is… Microsoft will launch a new Xbox model next year. It will based on ARM/Tegra hardware. It will run a new Xbox OS built on the NT kernel, which is getting ARM support thanks to Windows 8. It will feature much deeper integration with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 (also moving to Windows NT kernel). It will kick ass!*

    *Personal opinion.

    • Anonymous

      I dont see why they will go tegra / ARM with consules.. Only possible reason MS is going ARM  tablet  is becuase  of power consumption and thickness.. which is relevant for tablets  but not for consoles which has contant power supply. 

    • BadManDuke

      I agree. I doubt ARM could even run existing Xbox 360 games. I think the 6-core PPC w/ dual core GPU rumor is much more probable.

    • Anonymous

      I sure hope it is more than “dual core” lol, my 4870 has 800 for example

    • Alex H

      The reasons I think it will be ARM/Tegra based…

      -Future consoles will be competing with smart TVs and content streamers (AppleTV), the games console as we know it will disappear. As such the next Xbox will be much smaller, more efficient and cheaper, this means moving to more efficient hardware.

      -As long as the thing can pump out 1080p games graphics at 60fps, the graphics don’t need to be “next gen”. Most people accept the current consoles deliver more than adequate graphics. A stepped improvement would be enough. (The Wii U is simply matching XB360/PS3 and launching next year!)

      -If Xbox, Windows and Windows Phone all run on the same kernel and the same ARM based hardware, and an Xbox app is built into Windows for gaming, the same game can essentially run on your TV, phone, tablet, PC, etc. Coupled with cloud storage and syncing, it means you can pick up and play on any device, at any time.

      -Re backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games (@BadManDuke:disqus), I think Microsoft will use some form of virtualisation to provide it. I’m still think they have something up their sleeves to get x86 programs running on ARM hardware in Windows 8.

      I know it’s a stretch to go with it, as it breaks all conventional thinking when it comes to next gen consoles. But if you can just imagine the benefits and rate them above the polygon count, it makes a lot of sense!

      If I had to put money on it, I think they will announce in 2012 and release at the end of 2013. That way they could just about get an Nvidia Tegra system on a chip in it, with a 64bit ARMv8 processor and a ‘Logan’ or ‘Stark’ Tegra multi-core GPU.

  • Chris_0073

    There will not be a new xbox next
    year. They need at least 3 years to develop a new one. If they would be in the
    development stage for 2 years now it would be impossible for Microsoft to keep
    the development a secret to the public. And secondly there is no need to put a
    new console on the market right now. They are finally making big money of the
    thing.  I would say wait till 2014 before the new console comes

    • Anonymous

      You do know that a new console begins development when one is released right?  Microsoft has been working on the 360′s successor since it launched lol.  It takes more then 3 years. 

      Is it that farfetched to believe Microsoft kept it a secret?  I mean, we didn’t get official confirmation of the 360S until the day before it was unveiled. 

  • Anonymous

    You might want to slap a “HIGHLY UNLIKELY RUMOR” tag in front of the post title, as Pachter is known for talking out of his ass.

  • Martyn Metalous

    I still think XBOX is coming to Windows 8, so it doesn’t matter what hardware you buy so long as it complies to the min spec.

    Its a guess/hunch, but makes perfect sense to me.

  • BigChiefSmokem

    Xbox is to PS3, what Word is to WordPerfect

    • Anonymous

      WordPerfect. I haven’t heard that one in years….

    • Anonymous

      You will be hearing more about WordPerfect in the coming weeks.  Novell is suing Microsoft claiming they slowed the Win 95 (yes, 95) release so WordPerfect wouldn’t be compatible (or some nonsense like that).  Bill Gates himself testified today.

    • Deathmore34

      Better? That’s relative to your needs. More features doesn’t mean better, sometimes less works best. To me games come first then everything else, since its a games console. I prefer PS3, despite the fact I have three working 360s.

      Here come the applefag comments because any gamer that doesn’t prefer Xbox or doesn’t like one MS product is automatically labelled an applefag, even though apple doesn’t make games console (yes that’s directed to you arrow smith)

    • Anonymous

      you applefag!

    • Anonymous

      I dont get why some think that if you like the one you must hate the other.

      I have both consoles, I love the PS3. I buy multi-platform games on either console, and the PS3 has some great exclusives like God of War and Uncharted.

      The Xbox is my favorite of the 2 though, its the little things, game updates on the Xbox take a minute, PS3 can take an hour, you get an achievement, you press the Xbox button and the achievement details are right there… many things like that that feel better on the Xbox

  • Anonymous

    If MS plans to push Xbox Live in all Windows 8 PCs, they better expand support of its services in all countries, not just the paltry 35 countries supported today. Otherwise it will be a total failure outside the US and the few countries which fully support Xbox Live!!!

    Do they really think they can challenge Steam and similar services with such poor international support?

    • Abc

      Siri in iPhone 4S is not supported in all the countries. Still iPhone is selling like hot cakes. what do you say about that?

    • Anonymous

      Siri is a side toy for the iPhone 4S, its main strenghts: the store and its multimedia package are supported across most countries. The Xbox Live must have its marketplace and multimedia services enabled across all countries.
      I must be able to choose my real country at Xbox registration, not invent an address in the US just to log in!!!

  • Anonymous

    “Those rumors are silly. Microsoft is still selling a ton of Xbox 360s, and they won’t replace the existing one until sales begin to slow. I think the rumors are based upon leaks about modifying the current Xbox 360 to allow it to operate Windows 8,” Pachter commented. “I fully expect a new model of Xbox 360 by holiday 2012, but don’t think we see a new console altogether from Microsoft until 2014.”
    He never said that the updated model is based on Windows 8.

  • Anonymous

    What do you mean by “to make the console compatible with Windows 8.” ?? Someone explain me please.

    • Anonymous

      could also mean cross-platform play for games which exists on both xbox and win8 through the xboxlive account.. not too sure but thats what am thinking

  • Matt Baldwin

    Just because you’re hot this console generation doesn’t mean you want to be last to hit the next generation scene.  Hopefully MS has learned the benefits of being first (Xbox 360) and the negatives of being last (WP7).  So waiting till sales slow down. . . hogwash.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t have any facts to back this up, but I think that PS3 is still well behind xbox when it comes to turning a profit.  So really, it’s Sony who is desperate to hold off on their next console until the PS3 gives them more return on their investment.  That gives MS even more breathing room to wait and milk 360 as long as they can.

    • Anonymous

      Apple would never hold off innovation for the sake of “milking” an existing product line. That’s just not how they roll.

    • Anonymous

      Who is talking about Apple?  Lets face it, Apple operates in a different realm of existence.  They could release a bag of shit, call it the iCrap, slap their logo on it, and watch the pre-orders jump into the millions.  MS and other companies have to make sure they release products than can be profitable on their own merits.  I want a new xbox as much as anyone else, but ushering in a new console generation when you are just now getting a profit on your last is not a great business decision.

    • Anonymous

      Ask yourself why Apple has such a mindshare that you think they can release an iCrap and it will get millions of preorders. The fact is every Apple product is innovative and useful in some way and that’s why people buy them.

    • Anonymous

      “Apple would never hold off innovation for the sake of “milking” an existing product line.” That is the most hilarious statement of the decade. Apple has milked the ipod line, the iPhone and the iPad… you must be a fanboy, that’s all.

  • Anonymous

    about time. one of the frustrating things about the xbox is that you can’t play media to it from your PC unless you share it via windows media player….which is 100% incompatible with zune and zune pass, which doesn’t live in the same place as other media on the xbox and doesn’t use cloud sync to import all your media from zune. so if you want to play media using the dashboard you CAN’T use zune but you can use your pc, BUT that has to come from WMP on your pc NOT zune. If you want to play zune on your xbox you have to use the APP because the media controls DON’T work. if you exit the app the music STOPS because it wasn’t playing of the standard media controls. Somebody at MSFT sat down and thought “hey guys what a GREAT idea! that is”. Seriously? who hires these guys?

    seriously MSFT?!?!?! your console doesn’t play nice with your OS and your music services? Hopefuly this new software will fix that.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t count on it. It’s all a result of a million competing teams. Nobody is “home” at Microsoft, just a big vacant parking lot of meh.

    • Guest

      Much like your brain.

    • Anonymous

      maybe, or maybe they never tried. either way, can only go up from here.

    • Thomas Bundgaard

      Zune works fine for me, when streaming movies to my xbox.

      edit: the PC program, that is.

  • Karl Cramer

    If I had a nickel for the amount of times Michael Pachter has been wrong I could buy all the game systems. Remember a couple of years ago when he said that a Wii HD was a definite?

    • Anonymous

      You sure the new Wii doesn’t fit that description?

    • Karl Cramer

      1. This was a couple of years ago and he said it was coming out next Christmas. 2. It was supposed to be just a Wii that up-res’d existing games, like how Xbox 360 backwards compatibility did for original Xbox games. Never happened.

  • Harsha G11

    Using windows doesn’t that mean change in architecture ?

    I don’t think that counts as a upgrade to xbox360..

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone know if the current games running win7 can run on windows 8 ARM tablets? If it does and Microsoft manages to create a Steam-like service with multiplayer support it will make windows 8 a sure sucess !! but with the kinda internal sobatage within MS they might not even think of that 

    • Anonymous

      Generally speaking, I would say no, as Win7 games would have been compiled for x86.

    • Anonymous

      But there is going to be Direct X support so there’s till the possibility

    • Larry

      Nice dream.  Game makers focus on sales these days.  If we are talking HD type games the console is the priority (360, PS3, Wii) then maybe on the PC…maybe.  Even it does make it to he PC is usually is just a port.

      If we are talking hand held games the focus was DS but now its iOS, Android and then WP7.  Probably more like iOS, DS, Android/PSP, WP7.

      The market for Windows 8 tablet games (ARM tablet) is NOT going to be your MW3, BF3, Skyrum games its going to be Angry Birds etc…..and then only if Windows 8 ARM tablets even take off outside of the corporate world.

    • Anonymous

      Quite a number of good games make way to the PC.. just have a look at the link below. if Microsoft manages to get those games working on win8 tablets thats it .

  • Anonymous

    Ok, I’m sorry, but is this just pure speculation here from this guy Pachter?  Because your headline Tom made me think there is actual evidence, official statement, or an internal leak.

    • Fludlyt

      You’re right, I won’t place any bets on what an analyst has to say and will wait for something a bit more concrete. I personally don’t think there is a need for a new Xbox until at least Fall 2013. 

    • Anonymous

      New headline across the tech sites: “Commentor Fludlyt confirms new xbox in Fall of 2013!”  Because let’s face it, this “analyst” has as much credibility as any of us.  So then our baseless speculation should be posted as tech article headlines as well.  Journalism…

    • Fludlyt

      Ha I’ve just noticed how my comment could pass off as sarcasm. Take my comment at face value (hence why I clicked Like). You are right as I would not take the word of an analyst over something a bit more concrete (internal leak/preview at E3). Additionally I just bought a new matte Xbox slim so I personally do not have the need for a new Xbox until Fall 2013 as is the ‘other’ rumoured date.

    • Guest

      The analyst says no real new console until 2014. Just maybe another rev of the 360 next year. Sounds about right.

    • Tom W

      Apologies guys, I missed out the “reportedly” from the headline (long day!). I’ve added it in.

  • Anonymous

    The problem with Pachter is he only looks at U.S. numbers….The xbox 360 is being outsold everywhere else on this planet.  Microsoft isn’t going to sit around and watch Sony surpass them in market share with the ps3. 

    I can easily see Microsoft releasing a new console just to be able to claim that they were the best “HD” selling console this generation.    Plus Microsoft needs to do something to appease the dedicated gamer crowd since they pretty much have kicked us to the curb in the last year and half.  Releasing a new console with a strong launch line will surely do that.

    Ontop of all of that.  The drought of exclusive games on the xbox 360 in the last year and half and continuing next year should be a telltale sign of a new console coming.   Microsoft literally has Halo 4 in 2012 and some kinect shovelware…that should immediately have thrown red flags up for any analyst that wasn’t just focused solely on the money side.

  • Anonymous

    Not a great idea launching in 2012 new console will overshadow Halo 4, GTA V and other exclusives coming out. Also I don’t see how an ARM based CPU/GPU can run the Unreal 3 engine when the demo EPIC showed needed 3 GTX 580′s to run. If its ARM based I am going to be very dissapointed I like the huge graphic gaps between console gaming should be advanced not rewinded.

    If anything I think this new Xbox will be a modified 360 running Windows 8 which has the ability to install games right to the hard drive the proper way. Big focus with XBLA, Kinect and games on demand. Might be the size of the Wii and might not even have a DVD ROM drive all downloaded content. Price point of 99-149$.

    This could be like what the PSP-GO was for Sony but of course that failed but maybe if it was done right it wouldn’t. I hope Xbox doesn’t set gaming backwards and once the PS4 comes out I dont want a huge power gap between the Xbox and the PS that would be bad news for us gamers.

  • Aethec

    Making the Xbox 360 compatible with Win8 requires writing drivers and coding a PowerPC HAL.
    That’s software, not hardware ; the only hardware thing they could do is to add a TPM chip…and maybe UEFI, if it isn’t already being used.

  • GreyWolf

    Many of you are misinterpreting this. It doesn’t say there will be a new Xbox. It says there will be a new Xbox 360 model, and that updates are on the way to make interoperation with Windows 8 seamless.

    The “new” Xbox is coming in 2013/early 2014.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Tom,
    Since you’ve sunk to posting random analysts baseless opinions… could you write an article on my speculation. I think the rumors of new xbox this year are true… but they minimize the scope… kinect will be revamped but this time with frickin lasers that can zap you back. Oh and it will be based on a crude version on Win9. Here’s the title you can use with the story “Microsoft working hard on next gen console with lazer support and Win9″

  • Anonymous

    do people want an xbox 360 designed to run Windows 8? don’t people get a 360 to play games? (but on the other hand this would go along with the rumor that you will be able to run xbox games on Windows 8)

    • Guest

      Not particularly. But if MS can successfully substitute W8 for the OS, then that opens up many more options for functionality and interop across W, WP7, and Xbox. On MS’s side, it also reduces the number of code bases they have to manage.

  • Frylockns86

    So does this mean I can finally buy a console and game the proper way with a keyboard and mouse?

  • Morgan Wisbey

    What this guy is saying does make sense however I have seen many other reports that game designers have hit the ceiling as to what they can do with the current hardware. Yes the console continues to be the top seller but to sit on that and just let everyone catch up to you is a bad business plan. Besides this like everything else at this point is pure speculation. People are going to say anything to make a splash and get people to read their stuff. I will be first to go on record stating that not only will the new Xbox be constructed of pure platinum, it will also have the abilility to use total mind control to play games. You can quote me on that.

  • Eberton Konieczny Sobreira

    Despite of your little fights here, I’m very excited for 2012. Lots of updates, games, new hardware…

  • TGR

    This is just taking up space, MS has no intentions on releasing a totally new console next year while the X360 is doing great. 

  • Anonymous

    Just by reading others comments I cant believe MS is even considering doing this. Look at the 3DS sales before price drop reason why people were NOT buying the handheld was the lack of software. Nintendo for sure learned from this and I assume Sony and MS were taking notes.

    Now even if MS gave dev kits to certain devs I can see 5 games come out is that enough to sell the Console maybe if it was sold at 299$ but if it was the full price of 399$ up probably not.

    Also whats going to happen with all the fall premier games Call of Duty, NHL, Madden, NBA 2k, Fifa will those be 720 launch titles to? MS doesn’t need to rush Sony isn’t putting any pressure on them right now unless MS is using these rumors as a bluff forcing Sony to launch a product ASAP but launching in 2012 is kind of ridiculous to me.

    2013 sounds better they have a year to themselfs plus gives devs another year to polish their games. Too many things going on in 2012 I dont think the consumers are ready for Windows 8 tablets, ultrabooks, phones and now a console. I for sure ain’t.

  • Avatar Roku

    Microsoft needs to create a thin client version of Xbox similar to OnLive or Roku box. Sell it for under $100 but require an Xbox Live subscription for anything other than Zune video and music. Not only could this tiny Xbox play all the content you’ve purchased on Xbox Live, but all the video and TV apps that are coming out in the next year. Oh and of course it would be compatible with all the existing Xbox hardware accessories including Kinect and the Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone.

  • Justinjob25

    Ms will have something nice and new because of nintendos new next gen console, somaybe sonys out for now but nintendo is hitting hard. Ms will have somethin nice to counter nintendo, if not than xbox will still be selling and doing fine.