Xbox 720

The next-generation rumor mill continues to churn as a recent Microsoft report suggests that the new Xbox will be available in two different versions.

One of these models will be a regular Xbox 720 console (whatever that will be), offering the full line-up of next-generation games and other software. The other model, however, is a simplified, cheaper option for the more casual Xbox user. Essentially the Microsoft version of the AppleTV device, this lower-cost Xbox won’t have the ability to play triple-A titles, but will instead allow users to access Xbox Live titles and other entertainment services, presumably Netflix, Hulu Plus, and of course, the Xbox Live Marketplace. This model will also most likely be running on the new Windows 8 operating system to encourage the new “seamless environment” between home PCs and the Microsoft mobile market.

Tech-site The Verge was the first to break this story, stating:

Multiple sources familiar with Redmond’s plans have confirmed … that the company plans to introduce a low-cost alternative to its Xbox console, designed to provide access to core entertainment services.

If the rumors are true, it could end up being a great tactic on Microsoft’s part in terms of overall sales, as the Xbox 360 is generally the go-to console for those who are unfamiliar with gaming but want a gaming console. Many of the consoles sold by Microsoft have been to a much wider audience than the PS3, and there is a large number of users who use the system for only one or two games, but keep the system for the media services. The information still has yet to be confirmed by Microsoft,  but just like with any “inside source” rumors, we’re sure to hear much more about the next-generation Xbox over the next few months.