In June at the E3 2011 trade show in Las Vegas, Nintendo proved that the console sector isn't dead after all, revealing the upcoming launch of the tablet-themed Wii U. Now there are reports that Microsoft plans to follow suit with a revelation of its own two years later.
Unnamed sources speaking to Develop are claiming that Microsoft's next-generation console, codenamed Xbox Next, will actually launch in 2013 -- probably during the holiday season -- but it won't make its first appearance until the E3 show that same year, just months before the retail launch across all main regions. There's even speculation that it may see an early 2014 release.
"Few in the games business expect Xbox Next to be in stores before the holiday side of 2013 – this Christmas and the next will likely see Microsoft marketing software for Xbox 360, Windows Phone and its Kinect motion controller," Develop reports.
There are also rumors that Lionhead Studios is working on the next installment in the Fable series called Fable Next which will be a launch title for the next-generation console. There's also talk that EA already has its hands on an early build of Xbox Next but the publisher has flatly denied the claim (much like studios did with the PSVita - must be common practice to deny everything like the government).
Last week brought reports that a handful of resumes and documents pointed to Microsoft's next-generation console currently in development, one of which included a LinkedIn profile of Jeff Faulkner, an "Xbox Nex Gen Creative Director." Although the profile has since been altered, it described him as "Creative Director for Xbox Next Generation, where he guides the vision for Xbox's User Experience Design across Social Media, User Experience, Entertainment, Gesture and Voice Input, Information Design and Brand and Visual design."
Cover up the evidence and deny everything.
Still, it probably should come as no surprise that Microsoft is currently hammering away on a new console. But what would be a surprise is if the console is more of the same but with beefier hardware rather than a game-changing device intent on altering how we perceive console gaming. Oh wait that's Apple's job, according to Valve.