June 18th 2009 11:48 pm PT

To clarify what Steve said earlier today….

A few people have emailed me regarding something Steve Ballmer said earlier today about a new Xbox coming in 2010. As the Xbox team stated at E3 two weeks ago, we are not even halfway through the current console generation lifecycle and believe Xbox 360 will be the entertainment center in the home for long into the next decade.  Project Natal will be an important part of this platform, but we have not confirmed a launch date at this time.


Edit: Steve clarified his comment to IGN. Thanks Steve.


Xbox 360 By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • shane86

    I think he was referring to the 360 being bundled with natal. These things get blown out of proportion so easily.

  • RockStar AV8R

    In other words… Thanks Steve for blowing our surprise. lol

  • DragonSpawn

    Yeah, seemed obvious to me it was a Natal bundled 360, but there is the possibility of Xbox360 slim, which I still think would be a good idea once they get down to the 45nm chips to improve cooling and reliability.

  • XMomX

    Take your time!!! I have 2 Original Xboxes collecting dust already. Don;t need 2 360s doing the same. But hey…….you build it and I will buy it. :-) But as an ole timer on XBL, hoping I get a loyal user discount coupon. ;-)

  • Megamatman


    I read last week that a “new” xbox 360 would be shipped with Natal integrated into it as well as the Natal peripheral for “old” Xbox 360’s. It could just be that Natal will be just shoved in the box with the current 360 but for some reason I got the impression that Natal would be somehow connected to the “new” 360. hummmmmmm

  • Lord Geoff

    I look back at the carefully parsed words of the announcements and say that it probably is a new system. They were very specific in the words they chose, talking about any 360 that they have sold in the past and any 360 sold in the future. Also, the way they worded their statement of a 10 year lifespan could just mean that they wouldn’t drop it as quickly as the original Xbox, which was phased out completely by it’s fifth birthday.

    It could very well be that we will see Natal sold seperately for current gen 360s and bundled with the next gen 360. Five years is considered the standard hardware cycle and that would be November of 2010, roughly when people are expecting Natal.

  • DarkArmada

    Thanks Major – just as alot of us suspected. Definitely NOT a new Xbox generation, but an evolution of the current hardware in a new SKU… :D

  • AIaskanGrown

    I have always wondered if there will be a new generation from MS sometime within the next year or so, simply because as far as hardware capabilities the ps3 is quite superior.

    however I enjoy the 360 more because of LIVE and because the controller is so much better.

  • A Place for Us

    I could do with a slimmer, quieter Xbox 360.

  • Swamp Thing 71

    I just hope it’s not a new suped up Xbox, I feel it will fracture the community. Besides I already have 2 Xboxes I don’t need a 3rd.

  • IconicSoulJA

    The 360 is getting a 45nm CPU+GPU Chip in one! Much cooler than the 90 and 65nm consoles on the market today!! :) I heard it from IBM themselves :).

  • OmarLobster

    I bet that freaked out Sony… Noooo, we are not ready for another cycle yet …

  • Zartan

    Saying we’re not even halfway through the generation is really silly. Video game generations have typically been 5-6 years at most. The Xbox 360 has been out for 4 years in November. I think it will leave a huge opening for a new company to enter the game space or an existing competitor to steal market share if MS waits until the end of the decade to release a hardware upgrade. I know I’m not waiting until 2016 to get a new CPU/GPU combo for gaming. If that’s MS’s plan then I and many other consumers will move on.

  • CLB509

    I thought it was odd that Microsoft kept strongly emphasizing, at E3 and later on, that Natal “would work on all Xbox 360s”. I figured people would have just naturally assumed that. But it makes sense now, if it’s true that Xbox 360s in the future will have “Natal” built in. Might have been confusion otherwise, with predictable questions like “so do I have to buy the new 360 with Natal built in to use it?” popping up.

  • batkinson001

    2 different processors on 1 chip is really cool (so’s Tegra in the Zune HD – see Zuneboards.com for more on that)… I just got my hands on a Falcon Arcade (Aparently Canada doesn’t get to have Jaspers…. :( ) to replace my very recently dead (E74 with 1 red light) but out of warranty Xenon xbox 360… Sofar I am please with it but it sofar seems to be sluggish on startup (kinda like a PC right before it starts to POST, then boot into windows), Glad for the 256MB memory unit so I can backup my profile and saved games incase the HDD form my old Xenon decided to follow it into console heaven lol… Heck I am not going to even risk trying the old beast of a power brick…

  • batkinson001

    goona Double post and state for the record that Mr. Balmer is a bit crazy…

  • Lord Badr

    If it’s one thing i’ve left from Microsoft is to never, ever believe Steve Balmer…

  • Huch

    This sure seems like a carefully worded, open ended, “clarification.” Why not just come out and say: “Steve Balmer was not reffering to the successor of the xbox 360?”

  • Misaki Ki

    I thought it made sense at first; a new SKU. Still, I’m with the people wanting a longer generation than a shorter on.

  • XxGiZzmOxX

    ^Huch. I agree with you. I think they carefully worded this “clarification” because Microsoft is probably working on something that they didn’t want the public to know about just yet. I mean why else would Ballmer state that The new device will be equipped with technology that is “really, really, close” to an actuality. << his quote. Unless he was referring to Natal. But i never really heard much about this until now, nor I even think that Microsoft might have a ‘new’ console in the making. But for now it wouldn’t surprise me if they were working on a ‘new’ console, I mean they have to some how work out the ‘over heating’ problem they have now wright?

  • Anonymous

    I hope there isn’t another console, give me some time to find another job lol. I can see them putting out another 360 with a bigger HDD, slightly beefier memory and maybe a cosmetic change since the insides are constantly being improved bundled with the Natal. I’ve put a lot of money (To much matter a fact) into the 360 and I wouldn’t mind a 360 that I didn’t have to worry about and an HDMI port would be nice to finally have lol. Yes i still have an ancient 360 it’s been repaired so many times you think I would get thrown a bone but nope. :'(

  • Hawaiian c

    now i was wondering, i know its early but just thinking a head what if they take the 360 hardware and redesign natal in to the 360 meaning replace the IR for the dvd controller..and make a cheap usb or wireless extension censer if your xbox is in different location… and thoughts that already has a 360 gets the natal device by it self..

  • BrooksterMax

    hehe PR issues, was Steve “off message” acting alone or as a maverick!

  • Hawaiian c

    hey speaking of nata major did sony say they was going to beat you with this technology? i remember an e3 conference i think it was 04 05 where sony was showing a concept where i guy was talking to 2 spy girls?? and they had other thing like what natal was doing but it was all concept… not real in game stuff but saying it could happen in next 20 years or so lol man its been that long lol boy time flys by or someone over there is just well thinking slow lol

  • Anonymous

    Major don’t say you’re not even halfway !
    Just say our next gen console is already set but we wait for technology to get cheaper !
    < (^0^)>

  • Agent Klutz

    I would bet that everything said by Mr. Ballmer is true. It’s just like when a rumor comes out about a price drop. Microsoft has to say it’s not true so they don’t lose money on selling consoles. Can’t wait till the new console!! Thanks for the heads up Steve.

  • tasmanian guy

    Really annoyed with Microsoft and loose lips sink ships!

    This will stop people from holding buying the Xbox 360 and go to the PS3, as they know there wont be a new model then!

    Having already been burnt once by the first Xbox (short life span when compared to the ps2) and then again for the Xbox 360 (no hdmi in the launch Xbox’s), I am bit disappointed after purchasing a second Xbox 360 (to get HDMI) that there will be another model with souped up hardware in 2010.

    People should think before they speak even if it meant that they were just bundling the Natal as an add on with the Xbox 360 pack!

  • Jonabob87

    Does no one else think project natal is bullshit?

  • peachy001

    I think they will have the desired specs that they are working to for the next 360, but I would be shocked and annoyed if it came the end of next year. I can’t see it until 2011 or 2012, that would make more sense to me. And I really hope they don’t bring out a slightly improved xbox as the internet rumours have been suggesting. It would really annoy me if I buy a box now and then in just over a year they release a 360 with a little more ram etc. Please don’t split your user base between the haves and the have nots.

    In terms of what I want to see in the next one, well more ram and a hard drive on ALL SKUs is essential. I don’t mind them varying the size of hard drive as they do now, but they need to have one on all the consoles they release. When building a console I want MS to think along the lines of overkill, never put in just enough to do the job, always add more just in case the competition have a beefy setup planned.

  • kRaZy K360

    Hey Major, if you could look up details on the Halo: ODST SE bundle with the controller. Does that come with a battery pack?

  • metallicorphan

    er…you don’t actually say he is wrong there major(he could be referring to a ‘slim’ version),infact it looks like you yourself are tiptoeing around…you just say that this 360 isnt even half way through its lifecycle…thats great,but the ‘Elite’ came out when the 360 wasn’t even a quarter a way through it then :)

  • metallicorphan

    oh and as Fallout 3 DLC(point lookout) has broken its street date for the disc version(its out now),any chance on it breaking its street date for the download? :D

  • Ganon255

    I am ready for some new hardware, just don’t abandon the 360 all together. I like the idea of forward and backwards compatibility. It would be nice to have a new 360 with more power, more storage, Natal, more reliable hardware, and maybe even a blu-ray movie player. Maybe you guys could also add support for future HD-3D games. Who knows, just make it and I am in.

  • twisted poke

    No offense Major, but how does this post clarify anything? You don’t confirm or deny Ballmer’s quotes and offer no information other than what has already been stated. Your “clarification” seems to be nothing more than PR speak. Your post is pretty worthless in my opinion.

  • JHFerry3

    Uh, yeah the 360 will not have a new model with HDMI. Remember that one? Hello Elite.

    Ballmer obviously let it out of the bag. Remember kids, they cant justify a new Xbox unless it has something the old one doesnt and Natal does not look like it can be built in.

  • xTheTruth72x

    How about this? We see a company that, for once, just says what’s up. No crap. No careful words. No opening a thesaurus every 3 words while making the response. Everyone’s life would be a whole lot easier.

  • Snake eyes 211

    the 360 will have a new model.when 2011 or 2012

  • CFR

    There can’t be an “Xbox 360 slim” the only reason it was possible with the PS2 was because about 60% of the space inside of a PS2 was empty. If you wanted a slim 360, you would have to redo the entire console to not take up as much space.

    Natal can’t be built into a console because of where consoles are placed. mine is inside my TV stand, so a camera wouldn’t be able to see me from down there. You would have to mount your Xbox on your TV.

    I think the reason Microsoft and Sony wouldn’t make new consoles yet is because, you can’t really get graphics better than what’s out now. There’s no such thing as “Super HD” or anything higher than 1080p. If there were to be a new console any time soon, it would be completely interface based, probably a better dashboard, better features and stuff like that. Oh wait, you can do all of that with updates over the internet. So there’s no reason to release a new console yet.

  • ImaginedBug

    What made you think linking to a Bing search was a good idea Major? The results don’t even contain anything about this “rumor”. Next time just link to a new article or use a search engine that actually works…

  • metallicorphan


    i for one,am only calling it a ‘360 slim’ for lack of choice of words…i myself don’t think there needs to be a slim version,maybe we should say ‘360 redux’

  • Shamrock

    Better come up with a better cover story than this Major. The guy slipped up and spilled the Beans.

  • Veive257

    I think Ballmer can speak for himself. He’s a big boy. This hype is all silliness.. I’d rather have a keyboard for more control than a camera for less. There’s already a wii for the kiddies.

  • RidinSlow

    Sounds like a cover-up for a mistake. This could mean a couple things. For one (and the most likely) is that Project Natal will launch in 2010. Another guess is that a slim-line Xbox 360 will be releasing next year. Lastly, it could mean an Xbox360 bundled with Project Natal.

    I suppose there could be other scenarios developed from this, but these are my best guesses.

    I love it when executives let slip “secret” information and the try to have the media groups cover it up as a “misunderstood statement.” It always provides a good laugh.

  • waldo15

    Hehe, damage control! damage control! Call us paranoid, but when the entire Xbox machinery goes on the record trying to undo what the big Kahuna did… sounds suspicious.

    One of the posters in here has a good point… you guys denied the HDMI port early in the process and then a new “console” got released, but afterwards all of the 360 SKUs were offered with HDMI. It coul dvery well be that for codename Natal you guys will release it bundled with a specific Xbox SKU (though very unlikely it will be brand new guts) and then later offer it as an upgrade package to the older ones.

    Anyhow, I bet you guys in the offices roll your eyes every time Bald-mer goes on tour. Every MS PR division is put on hold for that…

  • AriesDog

    Steve has a history of saying stuff early and not clearly. I still love his crazy football coach attitude.

  • TreyTable

    Since Major can’t really say it (I would think), I will say that Steve Ballmer should learn to shut the hell up about XBOX and focus on other important Microsoft projects such as Windows 7, Bing, and how they plan to one up the latest product from VMware.

  • Warrengonline

    What Steve Ballmer said earlier today . . .(June 18, 2009) . . Was misinterpreted. Remember, we ALL (who are updated online and order the NXE on CD) got a ‘NEW’ Xbox360 last year. We got a ‘NEW’ Dashboard, a ‘NEW’ Party Chat, a ‘NEW’ Avatar, a ‘NEW’ NetFlix Channel, a ‘NEW’. .etc.. . IF an Xbox720 Natal System was going to be released, so what!? Remember the Phantom – The PC Power console? Or the SNES CD that was eventually turned into the Sony Playstation? Take it for what it is and for what it isn’t. If you TRULY believe 2010 is MS’s new console year, save up your money and be the first in line. If you do not believe, keep on a walking. I want a Natal – errmmm, ‘working’ Natal. Too much of the ‘potential’ has been ‘improvised’. Voice-recognition at 10+ ft away, motion detecting in low-light areas with a distance of 5+ feet away, video chat with ‘air-controls’ with running applications, scanning minute details from 5+ ft – wow, that is unbelievable, but I am waiting anxiously. So Steve Ballmer said some intriguing things – “YEEEEEAAAAH!” (raised hands above head). The Xbox360 rocks as is. (minus the few known issues)

  • hudsmack

    This video is as old as the internet, but gee…who would’ve though Ballmer would have diarrhea of the mouth?

  • DNAgent

    I think I will believe Ballmer since this whole situation just looks like he leaked out the info and now everyone else is in damage control mode & are trying to deny what he said. I mean why would he lie about it or even make a joke about it? It seems as if the info slipped.

  • Shonk

    I think it will be
    what the wii is to the game cube

    the same thing but slightly faster clock speed
    and natal built in

    just make sure it does 60fps 1080p native ms