New Xbox (Infinity? 720?) Reveal Coincides with CTIA Kickoff

Gamers have long speculated about the successor to the Xbox 360, nicknamed the “Xbox 720” by fans and codenamed “Durango” by developers, and it seems they’ll finally get some answers on May 21st at the Xbox Reveal event. But, as those in the wireless industry will have noticed, May 21st is also Day 1 of CTIA 2013. Coincidence? Maybe not.

Xbox Xpectations

With the WiiU already on the market and the PlayStation 4 “revealed” (but not actually shown), Xbox fans have been anxious for Microsoft to announce their next-gen console. And, in an April 24th email, Microsoft answered them with the promise of “A New Generation Revealed” on May 21st, 2013. The rumor mill has picked up speed since: some say it will be called the Xbox Infinity; others that it will go by its first name only, like Cher, Prince, or the third generation iPad; Forbes reports that the controller will have a clickable touchpad that will complement the Kinect; and the most exciting possibility is that the new Xbox will (eventually) incorporate the incredible IllumiRoom technology—an innovative device that enhances gameplay experience with immersive, projected illusions that bring the game into your living room. Seriously—even once you see it, you won’t believe it:


The Opportune Moment?

But what’s curious to me about the new Xbox is that Microsoft has opted to hold the Reveal event on the opening day of CTIA 2013, smack in the middle of the first Keynote Session and a mere hour before the Exhibit Floor opens. It seems like a safe assumption that there are gamers in the wireless industry—can CTIA’s Power Panel compete with the unveiling of the first new Xbox system in 8 years? I fully expect to see attendees live streaming the Reveal on their phones and tablets during the Keynote (and I’m hoping they’ll let me watch over their shoulders). And when the Session is over, and the throng of techies is unleashed onto the Exhibit Floor, will they be talking about the CTIA presentation or the new Xbox? I know what my money is on.

Also consider that Microsoft won’t be exhibiting at CTIA 2013, with their only scheduled appearance being a 20-minute session during the App Summit. In fact, they haven’t exhibited at the main CTIA Show since their uninspired performance in 2009, when their iPhone-haunted Keynote Session and their blah booth were both panned by bloggers and attendees. Since then, they’ve left it to their manufacturing partners to show off Windows Phones and the like at CTIA—perhaps missing valuable opportunities as a result.


Talk is Cheap

I have to wonder whether Microsoft is deliberately attempting to establish a backdoor CTIA presence this year—hijacking the attention of a portion of attendees and tech media, without actually setting up a booth display. “Did you see the new Xbox?” show-goers will ask each other. It may not do much to help the Windows Phone, but they might be able to steal some headlines from their cellular competitors. After all, the company has proven much more effective in the video game arena—it makes sense to ply that leverage in their less successful markets. Of course, if the Reveal disappoints gamers—like the PS4 unveiling did—then the whole thing could backfire big-time.

The Xbox 720: Now with twice as much
Red Ring of Death!

This is just my speculation, though. Maybe the timing is coincidental after all and Microsoft isn’t out to avenge their 2009 embarrassment…but they could still benefit from this. If they play it right, they could put the hurt not only on PlayStation and Nintendo, but Samsung and Apple, too.

photo credits: Reddit, TopTenReviews
photo credit: sethrubenstein via photopin cc


Brent Urmey is an avid reader and writer on a variety of subjects, including social media, SEO, the Wireless industry, and life in Lancaster County, PA. He is a graduate of Drexel University and a survivor of the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse. You can connect with Brent on Google +.