WSJ on Microsoft’s plans for the successors of Xbox:
What Freon stands for is a souped-up successor to the Xbox console — capable of playing games but also offering television capabilities, such as pausing live TV and recording shows onto a computer hard drive, say people familiar with the effort. Though it is unclear whether such a product will ever be built, its core concept appears to have the backing of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, who wrote in an internal memorandum in January that he was a “big fan” of a machine that would combine video services with gaming.
Such a device, which could cost around $500, would have another big advantage: It could beat video-game market leader Sony Corp. to the punch.
Some numbers from the video game industry regarding the installed base: Sony Playstation 2 at 32 million, Nintendo Gamecube at 4.5 million and Microsoft Xbox at 3.5-4 million.