Seattle Times staff columnist Brier Dudley published an editorial earlier this week in which he speculates the announcements Bill Gates could make in his last CES keynote as chairman of Microsoft. Dudley said the following regarding the Xbox:
Saving the best for last, Gates could end his CES run with a bang by making a blockbuster Xbox announcement.
I’ve speculated on my blog that Microsoft may be preparing to license the Xbox gaming platform to consumer-electronics companies. In particular, Microsoft could work with Toshiba to develop a digital video recorder with a hard-drive, high-definition HD-DVD drive and Xbox gaming capabilities. They’re already allied against Sony and other backers of the Blu-ray DVD format, and Toshiba could help Xbox finally penetrate the Japanese market.
Microsoft could also make a splash by announcing plans to give the Xbox 360 an internal HD-DVD drive, putting it on par with Sony’s PlayStation 3 that has a built-in Blu-ray drive.
But then again, Gates may want to keep everyone in suspense about the next Xbox, in case he decides to return to CES after all.