May 21st. That’s the date on the invitations Microsoft has sent off to game sites the world over, inviting them to come see the new XBox unveiled at their campus in Redmond, WA, presumably held up by Don Mattrick with both hands over a cliff above a bowing crowd while they chant in Swahili.
There’s not much more to say, other than to add to the already fervent prayers MS doesn’t do anything too stupid. Never minding the actual presentation–though feel free to offer up a little side prayer that they have more to offer than Sony did, and no, being three weeks from E3 will not be an excuse–all the leaked proposed ideas like mandatory internet connection, mandatory Kinect, some sort of used-games deterrent, and new controllers have been met with all the excitement of a cross-burning at the BET awards. Really, the biggest things the new XBox needs are a Blu-Ray drive (which is all but certain at this point), backward compatibility (which is still technically a question mark, but strongly rumored to be a done deal, with the 360’s chipset built right in), and an overhaul of the Live subscription/pricing/content structure and it’s not like we really needed to wait for a new system for that. Oh, and, if we maybe could avoid having the fuckers overheat and die the first two years they’re out there, that’d be peachy, too. Anything more than that is trying to get honey out of a hornet’s nest. It can be done, sure, but it’s probably not worth it, especially when the 360 already gets so much right.