Microsoft has pushed the launch of the new Xbox back to next month, according to "sources familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans" quoted by The Verge.
The software behemoth had reportedly been planning an event later this month to unveil its next-generation games console. This has been shunted to 21 May, according to the report, but no reason for the shift was given -- if the April date was ever even accurate.
Microsoft has not confirmed the May date, and when I asked them for comment a spokesman said, "Microsoft does not comment on rumour and speculation."
The next Xbox is due to appear in the flesh at the enormous E3 show in June, with next month's unveiling more of a preview, along the lines of the PlayStation 4 event in February. That shindig left some gamers disappointed that the actual box wasn't on show -- just the new touchpad-packing controller -- so I wouldn't get your hopes up for Microsoft's event.
The Xbox was embroiled in controversy at the end of last week when creative director Adam Orth aired his strident personal views on the rumours about the console requiring a constant 'always-on' Internet connection. Microsoft was forced to issue an apology for his tweets, saying, "We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday.
"This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter."
It looks like we'll have to wait six weeks or so to find out if it'll be always-on or not -- my money's on yes, it will. I have absolutely no evidence or insider info, just a gut feeling that when presented with a choice of whether to screw their customers or not, games companies will generally choose the former option.
I think the idea of having an Internet connection by default is a good one -- patches and updates could download in the background, giving you more play time, less waiting around. Terrific. But requiring an Internet connection to play the games you've paid for, on the console you've paid for, is the opposite of that. It reduces your play time, because Internet connections don't always work.
Are you frustrated at the wait for new consoles? Are you giving up the whole shebang and buying a PC? Do you think always-on is actually a good idea? Play around in the comments below, or on our never-off Facebook page.