Microsoft's Brian Hall joined us on The Vergecast last week to discuss the company's new Outlook.com launch. His appearance generated a storm of internet speculation around a next-generation Xbox console after Hall appeared to suggest that a "new Xbox" was part of a new wave of product updates arriving soon that include Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.
"The comments to The Verge were not understood in their intended context," says a Microsoft spokesperson. "When Brian mentioned a ‘new wave of products,’ he was referring to the full lineup of products coming later this year from Microsoft, including Windows 8, Office, Windows Phone and of course our fall Xbox update which will bring a host of new consumer experiences like Xbox Music, Videos, Games on Windows 8 and Xbox SmartGlass."
Microsoft officials have not yet officially detailed any plans for a future Xbox console, but a number of leaks suggest one will arrive next year. A recent 'Xbox 720' document leak revealed plans for a $299 console with Kinect 2, and an additional leak appeared to show a possible Xbox Surface tablet too — shortly before the unveiling of Microsoft's Windows 8 Surface tablet. Hall's comments were almost certainly referencing a new Xbox Live dashboard update that recently entered into beta. The update will be available in time for the Windows 8 launch and includes the new Xbox SmartGlass functionality and an Internet Explorer 9 browser.