Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer seemingly confirmed rumors of a new Xbox today, announcing that a new system equipped with what sounds like Natal will hit store shelves next year.
Rumors have become reality as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today made remarks at The Executive's Club of Chicago today, during which he reportedly announced that a new Xbox 360 will launch next year.
TG Daily reported on the event, and are saying that Ballmer described the system as being equipped with technology that's "really, really close" to real life, and which has a "natural interface" with what TG Daily calls "a built in camera with the ability to recognize movement and voice." Well TG Daily might not know what that technology's called, but I think we can all agree that it's Natal. So, we're getting some sort of system with Natal incorporated in some way next year.
TG Daily says that it's a "new Xbox 360," but considering they didn't know what Natal is called, I'm not entirely sure if they're sure what they're talking about. Ballmer could have been talking about a new SKU (like the Arcade or Elite) that comes with the Natal, which would match with some rumors, or it could be a new, upgraded system, which would match with other rumors. Or he could have just been talking about Natal in general and TG Daily didn't get that he wasn't talking about a new system.
My money's on a new SKU with a new look, but we'll keep you posted once we know more.
UPDATE: Seems that there's a bit of a communication breakdown going on here. Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg is doing his best to set the record straight regarding these new rumors and his CEO's statements as well. As he tells Kotaku:
"There will be no new console. We're not going to be launching a new console any time soon. I really believe [Ballmer] was speaking about Project Natal."
Which sounds like it confirms my suspicions that the original report wasn't entirely clear on what Ballmer was talking about. As for the possibility of a new SKU, well Greenberg didn't deny it, saying that "yes, we have looked at that, but we haven't announced any details for something like that."