The picture above is a rendering from T3.com of what has been dubbed the xYz. This is the latest rumor out about the June Zune release, and it comes from the generally reliable Team Xbox. They claim that an anonymous-but-reliable source told them that the xYz will be a gaming device "unlike anything on the market today".
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This new device is supposed to bridge the gap between the Xbox and the Zune. It will be a gaming platform that is Internet-capable and can also play and store media. The source also stated that the device's name has not been decided yet, and that the xYz will not have phone functionality. It will be a touchscreen device with a WVGA screen and "hardware features not found on any handheld on the market."
What those cryptic words mean remains a mystery. It could refer to the fact that Microsoft intends to make this handheld a "Live Anywhere" device. They say that the xYz will have a single online marketplace, possibly called SkyMarket. This new mobile will have the ability to play Xbox Live Arcade games, so it's likely you'll be able to purchase and download those from SkyMarket directly to your mobile.
Microsoft's targeting more than just gamers, though. Team Xbox's source claimed that the xYz is also intended to offer Live Search services. Users will have access to map, news, traffic, and online video applications. In order to power all these Internet services, Team Xbox believes that the xYz will make use of WiMax connectivity.
WiMax is a wireless communications technology that gives you wireless access to broadband, as opposed to wirelessly linking you to a local area network like WiFi does. When people talk about 4G, they're talking about WiMax. It's a seriously awesome innovation that hasn't yet seen use on any handset in the market. If Microsoft is the first company to put it on a handset, I'll line up to drop a few hundred bucks on an xYz.