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Microsoft plans two versions of its next Xbox - rumour

One like a set-top box, the other aimed at the hardcore.

Microsoft plans to launch two very different versions of the next Xbox, according to a Digital Foundry report on GamesIndustry.biz.

The first is described as a "pared down machine" to be released as cheaply as possible. It is likened to a set-top box, and will act as a Kinect-themed gaming portal.

The second is a "more fully-featured machine" with optical drive, hard disk and backwards compatibility. This would be aimed at hardcore gamers and released at a higher price-point.

Kinect, Digital Foundry has heard, will be bundled with both SKUs.

Next-generation talk has ramped up in recent weeks, with Edge reporting that the next Xbox will launch late next year.

Digital Foundry believes this is unlikely, however, suggesting a 2013 launch. The console is rumoured to be set for a reveal at E3 2012.

Edge claimed Ubisoft Montreal is currently developing software using "target boxes" - PCs containing off-the-shelf components provided by Microsoft - and that true dev kits will be available before the end of the year.

The report added that a number of other developers also have the target boxes, including a number of EA studios.

French site Xboxygen reported that Microsoft plans to unveil its next console at the CES show in Las Vegas in January 2012.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editorial Director

Wesley is deputy editorial director of ReedPop. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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