Today Microsoft released invites for its pre-E3 Xbox event on June 10th. The vent will follow a first Xbox event on Microsoft’s campus on May 21st, which is widely expected to unveil the console itself.
The June event could have any number of purposes, including the revealing of more game-focused content, perhaps, if the May event is more developer and platform focused. That is TNW’s take, given that the first event is in the Redmond area, it will likely be more tech, and not content-focused.
TNW will be in attendance at both events. Here’s our redacted invite:
The event’s timing and existence are not a surprise, as they have already been hinted at and variously confirmed. The next month and a half are Xbox’s new summer. Whatever Microsoft announces and shows off over its next two events will set the tone for its living room strategy for the coming half decade.
E3 has in recent years shifted to a model whereby most of the keynotes are used to announce exclusive titles or showcase footage from upcoming games shipping later that year. Microsoft is expected to be going big on the multimedia functionality of the next Xbox (rumors of a subsidized console if you buy it in conjunction with an Xbox Live or cable subscription).
With such a large focus on media consumption, Microsoft is therefore likely to split its announcement into two sections; one selling it as a set-top box, the other pushing it towards the ‘hard-core’ gaming demographic.
Sony has already gone down this route with the PlayStation 4, although chose not to unveil the hardware itself during the initial unveiling. Nintendo has also announced that it won’t be doing an official E3 keynote at all this year, instead relying on its popular Nintendo Direct livestream presentations throughout the year.
Both these decisions mean that Microsoft now has a lot of room to experiment with how it wants to unveil the next Xbox, codenamed Durango, and communicate both the technical capabilities and overarching ‘message’ behind its new system.
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