Source Claims Next-Generation Xbox Incognito In EA Offices

Update: EA comments, calling this story a “total fabrication.” Makes sense. Of course, it would also make sense if they were trying to keep a secret.

With Nintendo officially announcing their next console in June, there’s a little pressure being put on Microsoft and Sony. Sony, of course, has other things to worry about right now, but some think that Microsoft will use this lead time to put together something relating to its next console. In fact, one source claims that the next Xbox is already out there, just in disguise. They know because they saw one at the EA offices.

Now, two things strike me as unlikely about this. First, who’s to say this isn’t just a new dev box with integrated updates like Kinect support and so on? It’s packaged like a normal PC, so might it not just be that as well? I mean, I don’t think the tipster is an idiot or anything. I’m just saying a little mistaken information goes a long way towards creating rumors. There are a number of things it could be, and to characterize it as a next-gen system might be taking it too far.

More importantly, though, I don’t think Microsoft would rush the announcement just to take the wind out of Nintendo’s sails, especially since their main competitor is really Sony (the “real gamer” market). Even if the system is to launch in 2012 (unlikely), E3 2011 would be too early to give the game away. They’ve emphasized that the Kinect is adding a year or two of life to the system, and I doubt they’d hamstring themselves by making a premature successor announcement just to hassle Nintendo.

But do I believe there’s next-gen stuff at EA? Sure. I bet Microsoft has finalized some ecosystem-level stuff and has sent it to the majors in order to give them plenty of time to develop for launch. But I’m guessing the actual silicon won’t be settled for another year at least.

[via TG Daily]