Xbox 720 more than just gaming with Windows 8

By Alan Ng - Aug 7, 2012

Many gamers are expecting big things from the new Xbox in terms of next-gen cutting edge graphics, but it looks very likely that Microsoft are planning to make their new console, dubbed the Xbox 720, much more than just a gaming powerhouse.

We saw at E3 with the unveiling of Xbox Smartglass that the company is aiming to turn the next Xbox into an glorified entertainment hub and now we have the next massive piece of evidence in realizing this.

Microsoft’s General Manager for Windows appears to have made an almighty slip up, as not only has he officially acknowledged a new Xbox console, but he has also dropped a bombshell by saying it is going to run on Windows 8 as well. As far as we’re aware, including their desktop OS on the next Xbox wasn’t part of the plans detailed in that leaked Xbox 720 document, so this is big.

General Manager Brian Hall revealed the news when talking in a recent podcast with TheVerge. The juicy details come at 1 minute, 17 seconds into the video, but you can check out a portion of his quote below:

“We just decided it was time to do something new and bring the best from each of those and put them together and release it right in time for the new wave of products that we could have coming out with Windows 8, with the new version of Office with the new Windows phone and the new Xbox

This means that the next Xbox console is going to be able to do a lot more than just gaming. Imagine being able to play a few rounds of next-gen Halo and then pause the game, switch over to desktop mode with a single button press and write up a quick document in Word with a wireless keyboard. This could be a game changer for Microsoft and something that Sony would obviously have a hard time matching with no OS themselves.

Or you could even use Windows 8 to download all of your favorite music tracks from the internet and then have them playing when you switch back to gaming mode. Judging by the nature of Brian Hall’s statement, it looks like this is going to be a reality, not a rumor.

What are your thoughts on having Windows 8 built inside of the Xbox 720 – exciting stuff isn’t it?

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.

Also See: Could Microsoft’s Folding Tablet be the gadget of 2018?

  • The more that I think of it … I looked at my living room tonight: Media PC (to use internet easily & do emails occasionally on TV screen), Xbox 360, Comcast DVR & extra HD for video storage, File Server NAS (in another room for file sharing), and cheap Blu-Ray player. Just think. If the Next Xbox is more a PC and runs WIndows 8, all of those devices could be reduced to just one Xbox 720. If they up the hardware, they could cannalbolize every device in the living to be subsumed by the Xbox 720. If I were on the development team, I’d say build all of that capability into it, and then you even threaten Comcast and/or Time Warner cable. Easily, a Windows-PC could do all of that, so I think the Xbox 720 will just be a souped-up Gaming PC.

  • rmxd

    holy sh*t

  • CelticBrewer

    Sounds cool. But will you have to subscribe to XBox gold for it to do anything worthwhile? I’d have an XBox now if it wasn’t for that fact. Second, Sony could put another OS on the device. Android anyone? They already have it running google TV on some of their TV sets.

  • This is the future. I have said forever that they need to sell a COMPUTER for the living room that can double as a DESKTOP. Just think: college students buy XBOX 720 to play games, but they also use it to DOUBLE as a COMPUTER. And, if another suggestion I made to Microsoft goes through, the idea of replacing Comcast’s DUMBASS DVR with a gaming platform that records MPEG files. Whew, the future changes quickly, because Microsoft will really control the living room, as they’ve always been planning to do. BRILLIANT, VERY VERY BRILLIANT!!!

    • Gyest

      Apple have owned my living room for a long time now with AppleTV and AirPlay. It would take a lot to change that.

      • kaz

        owned.. really? kinda niche tbh

      • Granted, maybe Apple okay with AppleTv, but it doesn’t have a real gaming console. Easily with a living room PC, Microsoft could dominate the next generation of consoles, gaming, home entertainment, and be a primary player with TV-watching, DVR-ing, etc. My bet is that the Xbox 720 will be more incredible than most people give it credit for now. If they just add a Blu-Ray player, then they could overtake Sony and give people a reason not to buy the PS4. That’s the only reason most people bought a PS3, if htey weren’t hardcore Sony fans.

  • what would be cool, would be if you bought a game for the xbox 720 running win8, you could play the same game on your win8 PC, with pc quality graphics! Awsome!

  • I really want to see with what new stuff and technologies sony will come up with in order to face the new features of xbox….seems rly tempting and handy even for a ps3 user like me

  • Rupz007

    So basically a PC in the box! What a waste! I have a laptop for that… I’m waiting for the PS4!

    • Mojo

      What do you mean, a waste? Using an existing OS means more time for in-house programmers to optimize the OS to the hardware and less time writing all new proprietary code just to allow you to run Netflix. How is this anything but a win-win?

      Yeah. Less functionality please! makes sense…

    • You’re not seeing the future. I have a separate PC to run Media Center in the living room. Well, what happens when the gaming platform runs Windows 8, so you have a gaming system and a PC that centralizes everything. They’re finally able to integrate all their separate projects into one central computing platform. Watch out Nintendo and Sony: Microsoft will clean up in this next generation.

    • Reality Check

      The XBOX 360 has already dominated this generation of consoles as Sony was in last place from day one. Add in Windows 8, Kinect and the ability to go from one device to another playing the same game and Sony may as well drop out of gaming all together because its a guaranteed loss on their part. The big point that is not mentioned here is that with games being developed right on the Windows 8 OS it opens up the profitability of developers exponentially. They hire a team once that creates a game for all PC and XBOX gamers at once. How would any developer have to think twice about developing first for Windows 8? THE END OF SONY GAMING HAS ARRIVED FOLKS!

      • nissangtr786

        The ps3 is far better then an xbox 360 and has blu-ray. The only thing the xbox 360 has is the grapics card that is better then the ps3 as it has unified shaders and 522mb memory. Sony made a massive mistake putting so little video memory and system ram. In the end the cell cpu was programmed well for gaming that saved it.