Microsoft Says New Xbox Rumors Overblown

Earlier this week it appeared as though Microsoft executive Brian Hall had hinted that a new Xbox video game console was on the horizon. Now, the Redmond, Washington-based firm has publicly announced that Hall’s comments were misunderstood, and that the company has no immediate plans to release a new Xbox.

Hall made the comments in an interview with The Verge. During the discussion Hall referred to a number of new or upcoming Microsoft products, including the Windows 8 operating system (due this coming October), the new Office business software suite, the new Hotmail online email service (soon to be known as Outlook.com), and, of course a “new Xbox”.

Given that Hall mentioned all of these products in the same section of the interview, many experts — including yours truly — assumed Hall had inadvertently let slip that a new Xbox was on the way soon.

Not so, says Microsoft. In a statement related to Hall’s Verge interview, the company insisted that Hall was referring to a fall 2012 update to the Xbox Live online gaming platform and not a new Xbox console.

“The comments to The Verge were not understood in their intended context,” a Microsoft representative said. “When Brian mentioned a ‘new wave of products,’ he was referring to the full lineup of products coming later this year from Microsoft, including Windows 8, Office, Windows Phone, and of course our fall Xbox update which will bring a host of new consumer experiences like Xbox Music, Videos, Games on Windows 8, and Xbox SmartGlass.”

But, is Microsoft really telling the truth?

It would appear most analysts doubt that. Reports suggest that both Sony and Microsoft will release next-gen consoles in late 2013, in time for the holiday shopping rush. It’s also worth noting that the hotly-anticipated stealth game Thief 4, which has been in development for some time, will be released for new versions of both the PlayStation and the Xbox.

According to Official Xbox Magazine UK, Thief 4 will hit these new consoles in late 2013, indicating that Microsoft probably is getting very close to unveiling a new version of the Xbox after all.

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