10 things to expect from from the May 21st Xbox event...

The future of gaming will be unveiled on the 21st. Well, according to Microsoft anyways, since they were pretty much the console of choice for core gamers this generation. But regardless of whether it represents the next big step forward in gaming or not, Microsoft's new console will definitely be unveiled in just under three weeks. The question is with E3 just a little bit after that, what will they show at this unveiling, and what will they hold back for E3? My guess will be that you'll see plenty because this is an even where they will have everyone's attention and won't have to compete with anybody. They'll probably hold back some high profile games for E3, but the biggest news about the next Xbox will pretty much be known after this event. Here's 10 things you can virtually count on to see/find out on the 21st.

1. The Name: It wasn't really a question, or surprising that the next Sony system is called the PS4. The next Xbox's name however has been a subject of huge speculation. I highly doubt it'll be 720, even though that's what it's been called the most. It has been mentioned it might simply be called "Xbox" but given how hard it's been to market Wii U to the average consumer, I doubt that either. Xbox Infinity has been mentioned, which is a strong possibility, as well as Xbox Fusion, which would work as Microsoft has always seen the Xbox as pretty much all your home entertainment fused together in one cohesive box. Either way, we'll definitely know what to call it after the 21st.

2. The Hardware: Sony was called out by many for not showing the actual hardware at their PS4 unveiling, but of particular note was Major Nelson calling them out on it. If Microsoft doesn't show the hardware, he'd look pretty stupid, so expect to see it.

3. Destiny: We know Destiny is a multi-platform game, hell it might be coming to the Wii U. But given that it's Bungee and their history with Microsoft it was a bit jarring to see it at Sony's press conference. I think Microsoft will want to remind people that Destiny is on the new Xbox as well, and odds are they shelled out some major cash for exclusive content, which they will talk about at the event.

4. Kinect will be a focus: Everyone is so concerned about whether or not the next Xbox will always be online and whether it will play used games, they've kind of forgotten about the horror that is Kinect that will be shoved down our throats. Already uselessly shoehorned into otherwise solid titles and responsible for atrocities like this:

I don't expect the "improved" Kinect to be much better frankly. Improved detection doesn't mean better games. But it still sold well to the non-gamer masses so expect it to be in every Xbox and forced onto every game possible. That might be reason enough for me to never buy a multi-platform game on a Microsoft console ever again.

5. It will be always online, but probably not how we think: I really don't think Xbox will require you to be online if you just want to play a game, but "always online" is almost more of a marketing thing. Nearly everything we do in gaming these days has some kind of online component to it, not just multi-player. And that goes for most apps as well. I think that's really all it will boil down to, that's it's pretty much always online because Adam Orth was right, so are we. He was just a being a dick about it which caused his downfall.

6. You won't see Halo: Don't get me wrong, I'm sure they'll at least mention Halo, but if there is one big gun they are holding back for E3, which supposedly ill be more focused on their game line-up, it'll be this one. Quite possibly because it's the only worthwhile original IP they have at this point, which is sad.

7. Illumiroom will be mentioned: Illumiroom might be the first real step towards actual Holodecks, which is pretty damn awesome. Integrating with the next Xbox probably won't happen for years, but I think they will at least mention this as a thing that will happen at some point. Every press conference for new hardware is usually filled with promises of things that take years to come to fruition if they ever even happen, this fits right in that category.

8. They won't talk about price: Odds are we know the price, there have just been too many independent reports pegging the stand-alone console at $500 and a subscription model at $300 with monthly payments. But nobody talks about price when unveiling new hardware, the idea is to get you so excited you don't care what the price is. I wouldn't be completely surprised if they announce pricing at E3, but it's not highly likely there either. Expect an announcement when they are only a few months from release.

9. It will integrate with/take over your cable box: I'm pretty sure Cable & Satellite companies know they are doomed with more people cutting the cord every day in favor of cheaper streaming options. I've been pretty happy with a much cheaper combo of Hulu+ & Netflix for years. One way to stave off this impending doom is teaming up with someone like Microsoft who has always looked at the Xbox as way to completely take over your living room. You can bet it will work with or even replace your clunky box and function pretty efficiently with it.

10. There won't be a lot of games: Did I say not a lot? I'd be surprised if there were more than a handful. In fact even though I earlier said Destiny would be shown, it wouldn't be completely shocking to me if no actual games were shown. Why? Because Microsoft barely considers the Xbox a gaming machine anymore. It something that plays games, sure. But it's more a media center for you to watch Netflix or HBOGO and order pizza with a wave of your hand and to bring you targeted advertising. They may save their entire game slate for E3, which I'm hoping will be great and full of stuff we haven't already seen, but I kinda doubt it to be honest.

Ok, that's all for today, I should have another post up Sunday. It probably won't be an Iron Man 3 review, but I do plan on seeing that by Monday so I'll post thoughts on it soon after.

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