Don't expect any official word on the subject until next summer, but details posted on a number of CVs online has reignited talk about the next-generation Xbox console.
Supererogatory dug up the details of four Microsoft employees. One, Jeff Faulkner, says he assumed the role of ‘creative director of Xbox next-gen' in January this year.
Other mentions on the assorted documents include ‘UI and branding support for next-gen Xbox on all forms of media' and the prevention of ‘electromagnetic interference in next-gen devices'.
Though there's been nothing approaching an official word on any next-generation machine bar the Wii U, it is becoming increasingly widely assumed that Microsoft will use E3 2012 as the venue from which it will kick-start the band-wagon on its next iteration in the Xbox series.
What form Xbox 3 could take remains nothing but guesswork for now. It's safe to assume that the advances made in voice and motion control with Kinect will not be abandoned, but don't expect the traditional controller to go anywhere either.
Increased networking functionality is an absolute given, with the integration of an OnLive-like streaming service a distinct possibility.
It would be a surprise to see physical media abandoned entirely, but by the same token the notion of having to put a physical disc in a disc tray to play a game is quickly starting to feel somewhat dated.
The one safe assumption is that the actual hardware itself will take an increasingly unimportant role as Microsoft looks to grow Xbox as service, quite possibly across a number of different devices.