Media Center Xbox 2 On the Cards?

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.

B/R/S groups – making life complicated for URLs

The Amstrad MegaDrive Computer

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?