Microsoft xYz – combining the Xbox and the Zune… maybe

May 16, 2009

Microsoft xYz - combining the Xbox and the Zune... maybeThe iPhone and iPod Touch have been huge successes for Apple. Here is a mobile device that ticks a number of boxes and works as a result. Microsoft is clearly jealous of this success, particularly in light of poor sales for the Zune. Here’s an idea, combine the two, throw in elements of the Xbox and see if that levels the playing field.

The last few months have seen widespread speculation as to where Microsoft is going to go with the Zune. Clearly not working in its current form, there was talk of a ZuneHD and a Zune smartphone codenamed Pink. Now, according to Team Xbox, sources indicate a new device which will combine the Xbox and the Zune – step forward the xYz.

XYz is merely the codename the new device has been given. It suggests a device (Y) which is part Xbox (x) and part Zune (z) but is its own separate entity. XYz is unlikely to have any phone capabilities so would be more competition for the iPod Touch rather than the iPhone.

However, the Xbox elements would suggest some heavy duty gaming being available on the device, possibly even original Xbox titles. This would make the device a direct competitor with the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP, but with all manner of other features thrown in for good measure.

As Sean points out on TECH, a main element of the xYz looks like being ‘Live Anywhere’, a tag line that implies interactivity between Microsoft devices, literally allowing you to watch movies and play games on the go, even if they were originally downloaded to another product. However, without network capabilities, apart possibly from WiMax, this would seem to be conjecture.

This is, for now, merely a rumor based on supposition and inside sources. It’s not yet clear whether the xYz is the same device as the ZuneHD and Zune smartphone or an entirely different offering. Either way, it looks as though Microsoft is working on something big, something which would make for a doozy of an announcement at the upcoming E3.

This device could be a threat to a number of products already on the market but the current information suggests Microsoft might be trying too hard to cram everything possible onto one device. This kind-of approach has not been successful in the past, especially if none of the components is done particularly well.

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