Microsoft has been investigating options for a new variant in its Xbox games console line, and it might be bringing out a version that’s a PVR/PC hybrid.
Working with the B/R/S Group, a California-based marketing research company, Microsoft have been conducting focus groups and research on what they’re calling the Xbox Next PC. The proposed unit has a hard disk and CD burner and is a proper PC running Windows.
Microsoft were keen to emphasise that the Xbox was not a PC when it first appeared, but are perhaps happier to blur this distinction now that multifunction home media centres such as Sony’s PSX are gaining coverage. Microsoft’s XNA software solution, enabling easier porting of software between DirectX platforms may make this goal even easier to achieve.
It may be that when XBox Next finally appears, there will be two variants: the next generation Xbox console, and its PC/PVR/console cousin. However, poor sales of the PSX in Japan and lack of US/European launch dates for the console may show the concept to be a bit of a lemon.
For some reason the Xbox Next PC reminds me a bit of those Amstrad PCs you could buy with a MegaDrive built in. Hmmmm – eBay.