Rumor: Xbox 720/Durango to cost $300 with a subscription, $500 standalone

Paul Thurrott is a technology journalist who runs Supersite For Windows. With his high-profile in the tech community, he’s managed to provide accurate reports about the future of Microsoft before. Now, his sources are talking about the Xbox 720/Durango, and Thurrott has appeared on the latest episode of the What the Tech videocast (embedded above) to relay what they told him.

According to Thurrott, he is hearing that the next-generation console will retail for $500, with a $300 “subscription” model also available for purchase. Details on the contract that would go with the subscription contract were unavailable, but Thurott is sure that “Durango is going to be expensive.” The journalist is also hearing that the Xbox 720/Durango will be revealed during a presentation on May 21. A more complete reveal will follow a few weeks later at the E3 Expo. Can’t say there’s anything too shocking about that.

What is surprising is that Thurrott has also corroborated the “always-online” rumor that blew up last week. Writing on his site, Thurrott said: “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.”

Microsoft’s official statement on the matter (via Major Nelson) is a particularly wordy form of “no comment.” But the statement did say that Adam Orth’s comments “do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products.”

I know the evidence is piling up on the “always-online,” but I’ll be very surprised if it’s present in public version of the Xbox 720/Durango.

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John Scalzo is Warp Zoned's Editor-In-Chief and resident retro gaming expert. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at john AT warpzoned DOT com.

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