Industry analyst Michael Pachter is at it again, this time tapping into his inductive powers of reasoning to shed light on the probable release date of the next Xbox. In an interview with Xbox 360 Magazine, Pachter explained that an Xbox 720 launch during the spring of 2014 would be the wisest move for Microsoft, and one that he believes the company will make.
"If I were a betting man (and I am), I would say a spring 2014 launch makes more sense, since hard core Xbots could get a console without having to compete with moms buying gifts at holiday, and it is likely that they won’t manufacture more than a few million units for launch."
The Wedbush Securities analyst went on to add that the recently announced SmartGlass is a clear sign of what is to come with the next Microsoft console. "It’s pretty clear to me that Microsoft intends to allow the Xbox 720 to function as a cable TV box, allowing cable television service providers to broadcast over the Internet through the box, with SmartGlass as the remote controller, and with the Xbox 720 using Windows 8 to split the TV signal into multiple feeds, allowing consumers to divert different channel feeds to different displays within the home," he said.
There's no denying that Microsoft is intent on making the next Xbox the de facto central hub for all of your living room entertainment, and Pachter believes a subscription-based model that blends the current offerings of Xbox Live with an added television service is the next step.
"There are 85 million households in the U.S. with either cable or satellite TV, and if Microsoft could sell half of them an Xbox 720 and collect a $5 monthly Xbox Live Gold fee from each of them, we’re talking huge profits. This suggests to me (along with the current $99 Xbox 360 financing plan) that Microsoft will seek to get a cable TV provider to subsidize the cost of the box, meaning that we might see an Xbox 720 for $99, if the customer commits to a cable TV subscription for two years."