New Xbox To Be Unveiled By Elijah Wood, Serenaded By Killers

Microsoft teaming up with MTV for half-hour special on May 12.

Attention, die-hard gamers: Peel the controllers off your hands, step away from “Halo 2″ and mark May 12 on your calendars, because that’s when all the top-secret details of the next-generation Xbox will be unleashed.

Microsoft will team up with MTV to unveil the new video game console with a 30-minute TV special hosted by “Lord of the Rings” star (and confessed Xbox enthusiast) Elijah Wood. The show will also feature performances from the Killers, backstage interviews with athletes and celebrities, a sneak peek into the future of the online service Xbox Live, and exclusive insider footage on the making of the new game console.

Although Microsoft wouldn’t confirm any details surrounding the new system, rumors circulating on the Internet have been rampant — everything from an optional hard drive to a new white color scheme.

Kathy Vrabeck, president of Activision Publishing, has said the next-generation Xbox will allow gamers unprecedented ability to customize their gaming experience, and Microsoft Corporate VP J. Allard revealed last month that an Xbox “guide” will serve as an entertainment gateway for players to instantly connect to their games and other players. A customizable play list will allow players to tailor their own music tracks to the games they play.

More than 200 titles will be developed for the new platform this year, Microsoft said. The company has sold more than 20 million Xboxes worldwide since its 2001 launch.

The MTV special will premiere in North America on May 12 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT, and then globally on May 13.