Will Microsoft Unveil an Xbox Tablet Two Weeks After E3?
Two weeks ago, thousands of reporters, analysts, developers and others within the video game industry gathered in Los Angeles for the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo. During the event, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced two new services, Xbox Smartglass and Xbox Music, but made no mention of any new game-playing devices. In fact, the company preceded E3 by announcing that it would not unveil the next Xbox during the show.
Still, the media is under the impression that the Xbox brand will be carried over to Microsoft's first tablet, which is expected to be unveiled this afternoon during the company's press event.
This is certainly possible. Anything is possible. But if Microsoft was serious about developing a handheld, Xbox-branded device, why would the company wait until now to make an announcement?
One could argue that Microsoft is acting strategically. Before E3, all eyes were on Nintendo (NTDOY), which was expected to steal the spotlight with the upcoming Wii U game console. By waiting two weeks, Microsoft could own the spotlight without the threat of competition.
Microsoft may have also been waiting to see what Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) unveiled. What if the long-awaited MacBook Air/MacBook Pro hybrid had proven to be a touch screen laptop? An Apple product of that magnitude could have diminished the value of anything Microsoft planned to reveal.
But even then, it is hard to believe that Microsoft would hold back a major video game announcement -- and deprive itself of the mountains of free press that E3 provides -- to hold a separate event two weeks later.
In other words, consumers should not get their hopes up for a big, video game-related announcement today. Microsoft might unveil a tablet with the Xbox name. But that does not mean it will play Xbox-caliber games.
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