Although Microsoft has confirmed that we won't see a new Xbox this year, rumors of future consoles continue to swirl. That's right: consoles, plural. The latest snippets of information leaked by sources supposedly in the know point to a pair of new Xbox consoles, one of which is due out next year.
The Xbox Lite will reportedly arrive in time for the 2013 holiday season. With an expected price tag of just $100, it seems likely to be a popular item. This won't be a discounted version of the current Xbox hardware, though. VR-Zone claims the Lite will use an ARM-based chip rather than the PowerPC-based Xenon CPU in the Xbox 360. No details are provided regarding the Xbox Lite's GPU, but I suspect it won't be difficult to match the horsepower available in the 360's Xenos graphics processor. At the very least, the budget Xbox should be capable of handling the casual games sold through Microsoft's Live Arcade.
Casual gaming seems to be getting more popular—Angry Birds Space was downloaded 10 million times in just 3 days—and a budget Xbox could serve that market well. It would also give Microsoft an inexpensive conduit for other content, such as music and video, and provide another platform that supports Kinect-style motion controls.
According to VR-Zone, Kinect is due for an upgrade in 2015. That's when the site says we can also expect a truly next-generation Xbox, which is purportedly coming a full decade after the 360's initial release.