Xbox 720 Release Just One Month Away? Microsoft Announces 'Special Unveiling' On May 21

The day Xbox enthusiasts have been waiting for is less than a month away as Microsoft has announced a debut event on May 21.

Rumors have circulated for a while that Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox console would be unveiled on May 21, and that now appears to be confirmed. In addition to invitations sent out to press; Xbox also shared information about the event on its website as well as Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday.

"A New Generation Revealed," Xbox declared.

The event will take place at Microsoft's Xbox campus in Redmond, Wash., and will begin at 10 a.m. PDT. Fans everywhere will be able to watch it streamed live from Xbox Live and Xbox.com as well as on Spike TV.

All signs point to the next Xbox console being unveiled at this event. It is codenamed “Durango” by developers; others have also taken to calling the device the Xbox 720. But its name is just one of many things about the console that remain a mystery.

Despite months of speculation, without any confirmations from an especially tight-lipped Microsoft, enthusiasts remain clueless about the exact specifications of the Xbox 720.

Rumors about the Xbox 720 featuring "always on" connectivity that would require it to be constantly connected to the Internet in order to play games, as well as rumors suggesting the console would lack backwards compatibility, have concerned gamers for months.

But more recent rumors have contradicted such predictions. Some rumors assert that the "always on" feature, which likely will be on the Xbox 720, will not affect offline gameplay. Others have it that the issue of backwards compatibility may be resolved either with the introduction of a set top box-like device being called the "Xbox Mini" that will work with the Xbox 720 to provide backwards compatibility or with Xbox 360 hardware being compacted into a system-on-a-chip to be included in the Xbox 720.

It was Microsoft analyst Paul Thurrot who first proposed the May 21 date for the Xbox unveiling when he spoke with the Web show What the Tech in early April. Prior to that suggestions included an event in April or a June unveiling at E3. The Verge has suggested that we may see a smaller-scale unveiling in May with a larger, hands-on rollout in June, possibly at E3, or even at the Build Conference. But we likely won’t know anything until May 21.

We especially hope that Microsoft doesn’t take a cue from Sony and give out only information about its project without actually unveiling the console. Regardless, the countdown until the next Xbox has officially begun.

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