It's that silly season (the time between major events like the Game Developers Conference and the Electronic Entertainment Expo) where rumors fly fast and furious about what the biggest companies in the industry have planned. So with that in mind, there's a new rumor that says that the "always online" requirement we have been hearing about for the new Xbox console is actually for the Xbox Mini device. Rumors about the device first surfaced in March of last year.
VGleaks, which has a good track record of fielding rumors that turn out to be true, is the source of these new rounds of rumors surrounding Microsoft's plans for new systems. They claim the "always-on" is tied to the second Xbox console that will be launched at the same time as the Durango-based (or Xbox 720, if you like) machine. Unlike the Durango console, the Xbox Mini will offer Xbox 360 backwards compatibility, but will not have a disc drive.
This new Xbox Mini will require an always-on internet connection and will play XBLA games. It will also supposedly be used as set-top box. Finally it will be able to give the new Xbox Durango console a way to provide backwards compatibility for downloaded games through some sort of link-up. Those who insert an Xbox 360 disc into Durango will be prompted to connect an Xbox Mini, according to the web site..
Another rumor making the rounds today is that Microsoft will host a press event for the device on May 21.
Stay tuned for more details as they become available.