Claim: Xbox 720 (Next) won’t be cheap

Paul Thurrott – a blogger with extensive industry connections – says Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox 720 (Next) will be priced at $300-$500.

“[The Xbox 720] is going to be expensive – $500, $300 with a subscription – that kind of thing. Originally, they were going to announce this thing on April 24. Now they’re going to announce it on May 21. We know there are events occurring this year where we’re going to learn more about Durango,” Thurrott told What The Tech’s video podcast.

“E3 is going to occur, Build is going to occur in San Francisco in June when they’re going to talk about the developer story because it’s a Windows 8 device. It’s going to have the same, or basically the same, developer tools and developer APIs.”

According to Thurrott, the console will indeed require a constant Internet connection, an alleged”feature” that has prompted a firestorm of criticism in recent weeks.

“Folks, the next Xbox is going to require an always-on internet connection. I don’t know the specifics of what that means. This piece of information had been communicated to me, along with some other relevant tidbits, in January. It’s true,” he said.

“Will Microsoft change this requirement in the wake of early outrage? Frankly I think we’re too far along in the development process of the next Xbox, codenamed Durango, to make such a change. More to the point, I think that an always-on Xbox is directly in keeping with Microsoft’s strategy for all next-generation platforms.”

Thurrott also noted that Microsoft would be releasing a new version of the Xbox 360 code-named “Stingray” at a $99 price point.

“And you might look at that as two things: backwards compatibility, obviously, suggesting – I don’t actually know this for a fact, but based on the fact that they’re making one – I don’t think that the new Xbox will play 360 games. But that I don’t actually know.

“But, the other one is that, $99, that’s a real cool price. And so we know that the Xbox 360 does Netflix, Hulu Plus, yada yada yada, and you can make the argument that’s kind of a low cost entertainment device, too,” he added.