Microsoft – Allegedly – Has Already Started Making Xbox 720s

Is Microsoft already working on their next console? That’s the claim made by a source speaking to IGN. According to this source, at the Austin branch of Flextronics, manufacturer of the current Xbox 360, production has already begun on the next version of the Xbox, codenamed Durango by Microsoft.

Naturally, this new rumor tracks with news in early 2011 that the company had already begun hiring staffers to work on ‘Next Gen Console Architecture‘, but IGN’s source also provides other very specific details. Apparently, Flextronics started an entirely new testing group, which they made separate from the rest of the company, devoted to the device; this predated production by many months. IGN speculates that it isn’t intended to be the final version of the console, but a dev kit intended for game designers in advance of the new console’s consumer production.

Microsoft, you will recall, straight up ruled out any new console at this year’s E3, so it’s unlikely we’ll see any real news in 2012. A stab in the dark guess says they’ll save the reveal for E3 2013, with a holidays 2013 release window, but obviously this could be completely off base.

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