The report issued Friday came via sources "familiar with the company’s plans." The new gaming console is planned to ship in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas sales, according to the people, who declined to be identified since none of this has been publicly disclosed.
It remains to be seen if Microsoft goes solo with its own separate launch event, or if it unveils the new Xbox at an industry event such as June's E3 show.
From past leaks, the console is expected to be called the Xbox 720. Not much is known about the console, but it ie expected to include Kinect 2.0, a Blu-ray drive, an advanced controller, and an A/V port for watching and recording broadcast TV shows.
Other rumored specs, from an earlier leak of a PowerPoint slide deck, include six to eight ARM/Intel x86 cores running at 2Ghz with 4GB of memory, as well as three PowerPC cores for full backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games. Software will ship on dual-layer Blu-ray discs with 50GB of optical storage, the earlier leak said.
The Wii U is the first major new console since 2006, and is a high-definition machine offered in two versions costing between $300 to $350 with a 6.2- inch (16-centimeter) touch-screen controller called the GamePad. Despite its newness, the device sold only slightly more than half as many units as the Xbox 360.