Microsoft has had some major success with its Xbox brand since its launch in 2001, and that success has continued into Microsofts second console the Xbox 360. Since the 360’s launch however, the Xbox brand has evolved. Xbox has moved on to its new Windows Phone 7 mobile service, which shows that Microsoft is getting serious about the Xbox lives future. Recently Xbox live and Games for Windows Live have also merged, to bring an Xbox Live like experience to the PC. It is clear that the Xbox is evolving, and we can expect some great changes in the near future. But the real question is, what is the Xbox’s future?
I Beleive that there is potential that the next Xbox will not be a traditional game
console. You may think I am crazy, but hear me out. Microsoft’s next windows
operating system, or better known as Windows 8, has already shown some signs of direct Xbox live integration. There are many rumors of what that integration may entail, some claiming that it will emulate Xbox 360 games, others saying its simply integration of Live into Windows. I think it’s much more than both of those combined, and that there is the potential that the next Xbox will in fact run Windows 8.
You probably think I am crazy, but imagine the implications. A cheap, affordable computer that can not only handle all the basic computer tasks, but also play games dedicated for the platform, it’s a win-win situation. It could work in many ways, use the Keyboard and mouse for windows 8, use the controller for Xbox games. Combining the two into one package would make it the most versatile game console ever conceived, and a device that would be extremely difficult to compete with.
The origonal idea behind the Xbox afterall was a PC that would be dedicated for games, so it is more than possible that Microsoft is going back to that. It would prove to be a system for the masses, capable of handling all the computing tasks anyone would ask for. No longer will be have the strict software limitations brought before us by our current console OS’s, we will have the full freedom of Windows, with the benefit of the Xbox’s great game library. The only limitation will be hardware based.
The hardware will have to be strong for this idea to work. 2-4 gigs of ram is a must, and GPU and CPU are also going to need hefty upgrades. Game console hardware typicaly has to be standardized for several years, which could be a hinderence on this idea. It’s possible that the System could receive upgrades along the line, however those upgrades would only benefit the Windows side of things.
There are some key flaws that Microsoft would need to work out if they ever do take a route like this, stability being one of the most important. The nice thing
about a console is if you buy a game, its going to work without worry. If the
next Xbox runs Windows 8, people would have so much bloatware running in the
background that the games could become unstable, which is unacceptable in a
console. This could easily be fixed by a dual boot solution, the System can
boot into the Xbox OS, or Windows at startup. Security is another concern, that
would be addressed by this dualboot system.