Los Angeles (TheNextXbox) – Microsoft is clearly hard at work on the follow-up to the Xbox 360, the Xbox 720. There are many questions though surrounding just when exactly Microsoft is going to actually release the next-generation console.
What we have done is we have targeted three different timeframes in which Microsoft could release the successor to the Xbox 360. We are going to analyze each of the potential release dates, as they all have plusses as well as minuses to them. Microsoft has some major strategy at play here with the Nintendo Wii U already on the market, and the Sony PlayStation 4 getting ready to release in 2013 as well.
June 11, 2013 Release Date
Major Nelson has started a countdown clock that is going to be ending on June 11, 2013. There are two potentials here, one is that this is the date in which Microsoft is going to unveil the Xbox 360 successor. The other is that this is the date in which Microsoft will actually release the follow-up next-generation console.
If Microsoft were to release the next-generation console in June 2013, they would be able to get a good four month jump on Sony and the PlayStation 4, which is likely to release in October 2013. Microsoft would be able to get a lead and build a great deal of momentum leading up into the holiday shopping season.
With this release date what they could do is to allow themselves to sell out to the early adopters, which they will do whenever they put the console on sale, and they will then be able to re-stock and re-supply for the holiday shopping season to go toe-to-toe with the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Wii U. The biggest downside to this is the fact that the summer release may not build as much hype as Microsoft had hoped as it could get lost in this typically dull period of the year for the gaming industry, and could actually end up hurting their sales in the holiday season.
November 18, 2013
The original Xbox as well as the Xbox 360 have absolutely owned the month of November. Microsoft did extremely well when they released the Xbox 360 in the month of November, and this would likely follow-suit if they chose to use this month again with the Xbox 720. The console would immediately sell out at retail, as early adopters would scoop up the console with the likely launch line-up including a killer app from Bungie.
The big risk here is the fact that Sony is likely to release the PlayStation 4 in October 2013, so they could technically steal a lot of the thunder from Microsoft since they will be first out of the gate and will be first to show gamers the true power of next-generation gaming. This is a risk that Microsoft may not want to take when they consider how pivotal the first year of the next-generation is going to be.
This is clearly the least likely scenario, but Microsoft could let Nintendo and Sony have the upcoming holiday shopping season, let the hype of the Sony PlayStation 4 die down, and then swoop in with a more impressive next-generation Xbox 720. What this would do is sacrifice the upcoming holiday shopping season in terms of the next-generation. With the price point that the Xbox 360 is at though and the games line-up that it enjoys gamers would definitely still be purchasing the console in swarms.
Releasing the next-generation console the following spring would end up with the PlayStation 4 releasing with a cloud overhead, as gamers may want to wait it out for the Microsoft console, which could release at a cheaper price point than the PlayStation 4. The Sony PlayStation 3 released at a $600 price point, which almost priced them out of the reach of a lot of gamers in its first year of existence.
Microsoft may actually want to choose door number one and release on June 11, 2013, when Major Nelson’s clock runs out and strikes zero. This would allow Microsoft to sell out to early adopters, refill the supply chain, and be ready to rock the holiday shopping season and beat Sony before they are even able to release the PlayStation 4 in October 2013.