Fresh reports this morning are claiming that the Next Xbox console is already in the manufacturing stage.
IGN speculates that with a 2013 launch now looking very likely, these early machines are possibly “dev units” – that is, basic versions of the machine designed for use by studios currently working on games for it.
It claims that the consoles are being built at the Austin, Texas arm of Flextronics, which is a manufacturer of the current Xbox 360.
A new testing group separate from the company’s other operations is said to have been established specifically for the Next Xbox.
“Xbox 360 has found new ways to extend its lifecycle like introducing the world to controller-free experiences with Kinect and re-inventing the console with a new dashboard and new entertainment content partnerships,” a typically corporate response from Microsoft said.
“We are always thinking about what is next for our platform and how to continue to defy the lifecycle convention. Beyond that we do not comment on rumours or speculation.”