Next Xbox could ship in fall 2013, digital-only unlikely - Analyst

Cowen & Company's Doug Creutz suggests Microsoft might launch new console next year with a cost-effective physical storage solution.

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The next-generation Xbox could launch in fall 2013 and likely won't be digital-only, according to one analyst.

The next Xbox remains a way off, according to Creutz.
The next Xbox remains a way off, according to Creutz.

In an investor note obtained by CVG, Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz said, "Although not yet confirmed by Microsoft, we believe the next-generation Xbox console could launch in the fall of 2013."

This is not the first time a 2013 launch date for the Xbox 360 successor has been mentioned. Earlier this month, a source told MCV that Microsoft was planning to ship its new console next year.

The same source said the system will ship without a disc drive, but Creutz finds this "unlikely." In his note, the analyst said Microsoft may not pursue a digital-only Xbox 360 successor due to various risks.

"We believe a digital-only next-gen Xbox is unlikely given risks to both Microsoft's market share and the gaming ecosystem as a whole from any attempt to kill used games."

Creutz added that Microsoft is potentially eyeing a cost-effective physical solution as a means to lower the initial sticker price of the console and drive system adoption.

Whatever the case, gamers will not learn of the next Xbox through official channels anytime soon. Microsoft said last week that it will not bring new Xbox hardware to the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo this June, with 2012 being "all about Xbox 360."

It has been suggested that the next Xbox is currently in development under the code name Durango. This speculation was stoked last month when a Crytek developer reportedly tweeted about attending a Durango developers summit in London.

For more on the next Xbox, check out GameSpot's rumor roundup concerning the new hardware from Microsoft.

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