Microsoft has announced an Xbox event for Tuesday May 21st, when the company is expected to reveal its new Xbox console.
The Xbox 360 is set to be replaced by "a new generation" Xbox, initially rumoured to be called the Xbox 720 and due for a November release date.
Microsoft will initially offer two prices models for the next Xbox, according to respected Windows analyst Paul Thurrott.
He predicts a standalone version for $499 and a $299 version that requires a two-year Xbox LIVE Gold commitment, at an expected price of $10 per month. Expect similar prices for the next Xbox in the UK.
More after the break
An announcement by Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb said the next Xbox will "mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment".
Hryb continued: "On that day, we’ll share our vision for Xbox, and give you a real taste of the future.
"Then, 19-days later at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, we’ll continue the conversation and showcase our full lineup of blockbuster games. We are thrilled to pull back the curtain and reveal what we’ve been working on."
The next Xbox is set to include a Blu-ray disc drive, in line with the PlayStation 3, as well as a Google TV style interface for bringing the full Xbox entertainment experience to your TV.
A version of the Windows 8 OS interface, plus strong links to the Microsoft Surface tablet and other Windows portable devices, is also expected on the next Xbox.
Microsoft has been expanding its Xbox content and connectivity with the launch of Xbox Music and the Xbox Smartglass smartphone and tablet app.
Xbox Music is a streaming music service to take on the likes of Rdio and Spotify, with free and premium versions available for your Xbox.
Microsoft recently announced that the Xbox 360 maintained its position as the number one console in the U.S. in March, selling more units (261,000) than any other console for the 27th consecutive month.
The next Xbox announcement will be streamed live on Xbox LIVE and Xbox.com on Tuesday May 21st, kicking-off at 5pm GMT.
Written by Joe Cox