Noted Windows blogger Paul Thurrott has details on Microsoft's recently confirmed next-generation Xbox. In an update to his website today, Thurrott claimed the platform will launch in November at $500.
This release window would put the Xbox 720 up against the PlayStation 4, also believed to release during November.
A $300 Xbox 720 will also be available, Thurrott said, though this model will require consumers commit to two years of Xbox Live gold at an expected price of $10 month. If this pricing is accurate, gamers would end up spending $540 overall.
Thurrott said Microsoft's May 21 Xbox 720 reveal event will be the first of multiple announcements for the platform. A second event will follow ahead of the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo in June, where the platform's full launch lineup will be revealed, he said.
Crytek's Kinect game Ryse and a new Forza title, among others, are reportedly part of the Xbox 720's launch lineup.
A third, developer-centric event will take place during the Build conference in San Francisco in late June, Thurrott said.
Concerning the Xbox 720's architecture and specifications, Thurrott understands that the platform is based on the core version of Windows 8. "This suggests a common apps platform or at least one that is similar to that used by Windows 8," he said.
Thurrott also said the Xbox 720 will contain a Blu-ray optical drive and reiterated that the system will require an Internet connection to function. This feature "isn't as Draconian as many seem to believe," he said.
Lastly, the blogger again mentioned that Microsoft will release a third generation Xbox 360 console in 2013 that will be "significantly less expensive" than current models. This console is codenamed Stingray, he said.
Currently, the Xbox 360 starts at $200 for a 4GB unit and scales to $300 for a 250GB bundle.
Thurrott is a noted Microsoft insider and runs Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows.
A Microsoft spokesperson told GameSpot, "We're excited to share more about the new generation of games, TV, and entertainment on May 21, but have nothing further to share at this time."