Microsoft Denies Xbox 2 Showing At GDC

A senior Microsoft Europe executive responded to increasing speculation that it will launch its successor to Xbox at the San Jose show by saying: “It’s fair to say we won’t be announcing a hardware platform at GDC”.

This news will come as a blow to those expecting that the show would mirror the role played by the event four years ago, when MS chief Bill Gates emerged on stage decked out in an Xbox baseball jacket to herald the company’s arrival in the console market.

But despite all evidence and logic to the contrary, the company’s appearance at the show is set to be limited to talking about games, with J Allard and Robbie Bach presenting two keynote speeches at the event. “It’s fair to say that we are going to be discussing the role of software in games development,” the source confirmed.

Indeed, the programme of events at GDC lists Bach and Allard’s ‘Getting To The Game’ keynote on March 24th as being essentially no more illuminating than telling development attendees “how we can help you finally turn innovation into impact,” and discusses a “faster path to Game of the Year accolades and to the hearts of the mass market”.

Interesting stuff, but many had expected them to also add tantalising new information regarding Microsoft’s future plans in the console market – with many commentators claiming that the GDC show would be the “coming-out party” for Xbox 2 and anticipating a full unveiling.

However, several senior sources have cast doubt on whether Microsoft is issuing denials so as to avoid spoiling the impact of its announcements at next week’s show in San José, and despite this denial, it would still be surprising if the next-generation console was not discussed in some form at the showcase event.