Major Nelson is teasing gamers with a countdown timer. Meanwhile, another report suggests that chip production began on December 31, 2012.
We've been figuring E3 2013 as the reveal of the next Xbox, given the info that was revealed on a Microsoft roadmap (which has been mostly accurate thus far). But now Microsoft is offering a little hint that may -- or not -- reveal the next-gen console's big introduction.
The hint is actually provided by Major Nelson who currently sports a countdown timer to the upcoming gaming expo in June. This could merely be a countdown in general, but the overall consensus is that Microsoft is pumping you up for the next-generation console knowing that the cat is somewhat already out of the bag.
Names thrown out into the rumor mill thus far include Xbox 720, Xbox Next and Xbox Infinity – the latter of which is my favorite given that it will be powered by Windows 8 (knock the "8" on its side and what symbol do you get?). Regardless, this console will reportedly launch alongside a cheaper model focused on replacing your cable box, and the next-generation Kinect sensor (standalone and embedded)
Seemingly fueling the countdown debate is additional information about the console's processor "Oban". SemiAccurate reports that final customer silicon likely went into production on December 31, 2012 so that Microsoft can bring the new console to market in time for the holidays. However there's a possibility that Microsoft could run into problems with bugs, yield, and other "various and sundry problems", thus stalling production.
"Any delay of more than a few weeks [beyond December 31] will mean no new console in 2013; there just won’t be enough time to make them," the site writes. "If no one credible leaks news soon, I wouldn’t go stand in line for a new Microsoft console in late August."
Gizmodo adds that the Xbox buildings at Microsoft's campus are currently on lock down, whereas Bloomberg previously reported back in late November that Microsoft wanted the console released in time for the Thanksgiving 2013 shopping stampede. At the time, Microsoft officials were reportedly debating on whether to reveal the console in June at E3 2013, or hold a special, separate launch event later on.
Thanks to Major Nelson, looks like we may have our answer.