First Details on Microsoft's Next Xbox

Microsoft went on the record today by announcing many details concerning its next-gen Xbox, currently codenamed Xenon. Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Chief XNA Architect J Allard covered a lot of ground, focusing on what he calls the "HD Era."

"In the HD Era the platform is bigger than the processor," Microsoft's J Allard said. "New technology and emerging consumer forces will come together to enable the rock stars of game development to shake up the old establishment and redefine entertainment as we know it."
Allard described new concepts that will be implemented: Gamer Cards, a profile of key Xbox Live information for each gamer; the Marketplace, where gamers can buy and shop for different in-game content such as skins, vehicles, or maps; Micro-transactions, small-priced items that players can acquire through the Marketplace for as little as .99 cents; and Custom Playlists, allowing developers to no longer have to code in the feature into their games, it's already there for use. The full press release can be found here. For more information about the next-gen Xbox, read the lead story of last night's Late Night Consoling.