(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft will launch the next-generation Xbox in November 2013 priced at $499 (£323) for a standalone version and $299 for a version with two-years of Xbox LIVE Gold, reports WindowsITPro. The new information comes shortly after the folks in Redmond unveiled that it will announce the next-generation console on its campus on 21 May, offering no further details in the meantime.
WindowsITPro's Paul Thurrot, a reliable Microsoft source in the past, has laid out pretty much everything there is to know about the console. Microsoft will reportedly announce all the details about the new Xbox, including the launch line-up of games, at the event. It remains unknown if Microsoft will be like Sony and not actually unveil the flesh of the console, and instead leave gamers hanging until later in the year. That would be a sure bummer.
Interestingly, the next-generation Xbox codenamed Durango will feature a Blu-ray optical drive like Sony's PlayStation, giving users a higher-quality movie format. The Xbox must always be connected to the internet, reports Thurrot, something we've heard in the past. Furthermore, it will be based on several of the same elements of Windows 8, which makes sense given Microsoft's recent efforts to tie together its operating systems across platforms. This may suggest common apps between Windows 8 and Xbox as well.
Past leaks for the Xbox have indicated it will feature some serious power internally. An 8-core 1.6GHz processor, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, an 800MHz graphics card, a 6x Blu-ray drive, USB 3.0, and gigabit Ethernet are rumoured to be included. Additionally, Microsoft is said to be include including the Kinect sensor by default.
Lastly, Microsoft is said to be introducing a third-generation Xbox 360, offering gamers a cheaper version if so inclined, according to the latest report. This suggests Microsoft will perhaps just stick with "Xbox" for the name of the newer version.
Pocket-lint will be covering the Microsoft event in full on 21 May, so make sure to keep it locked to our Microsoft hub. We're sure the rumours won't stop until then.