Xbox 720 to see Spring 2014 release?

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The industry’s most outspoken analyst, Michael Pachter, has a new and bold prediction: the Xbox 720 will arrive Spring 2014 because “it makes more sense.”

Pachter, speaking to x360 Magazine, stated that Microsoft’s next console would do well to arrive before the holiday rush.

“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,” he said.

Analysts, journalists, and gamers alike continue to debate over what features they believe Microsoft will introduce with the Xbox 720. According to Pachter, Microsoft will look to expand the notion of the Xbox as more of a “home entertainment system” than gaming console by enabling it to function as a cable TV box.

“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.

Though Microsoft often receives criticism for its $60 Xbox Live annual fee, Pachter believes that such a function would allow the company to charge further subscription-based fees (for cable TV) and maximize their profits.

“I think this is the biggest part of the next launch, as it will allow Microsoft to participate in the cable TV monthly subscription,” he said. “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.”

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