Xbox 720 logoIt looks like Microsoft might be announcing the next Xbox in a couple of months – according to some rumors online. Windows IT Pro’s editor, Paul Thurrot, recently announced in the Windows Weekly podcast that the Microsoft is going to announce the next Xbox at CES in January next year, and that it will hit the stores in the first half of 2012. The next Xbox is also said to be codenamed ” TEN”, and will support Silverlight, feature a Metro UI, and have a tight integration across various Windows devices including tablets and phones. Apparently the current Xbox 360 has “reached its apex” graphically and had “nowhere else to go”, hence Microsoft’s decision to release the new console.

However, that’s not the only story that’s been floating around. MS Nerd, a well reputed tiptster, had some information to share about the next console as well. Apparently the next Xbox has got a codename “loop” and will “debut a modified Win9 core. It will use a Zune HD-like hardware platform—a  “main” processor with multiple dedicated assistive cores for graphics, AI, physics, sound, networking, encryption and sensors.”

“It will be custom designed by Microsoft and two partners based on the ARM architecture. It will be cheaper than the 360, further enabling Kinect adoption. And it will be far smaller than the 360. It will also demonstrate how Windows Phone could possible implement Win9’s dev platform on the lower end.”

There’s no way to tell which of the rumors are true, or if the real new Xbox is a combination of details from either stories, or nothing at all. However, CES 2012 is only a couple of months away, so we won’t have to wait too long to find out – assuming Microsoft has something to announce next year. And if they do, you can be sure that we’ll be on top of it. Stay tuned.

Filed in Gaming. Read more about Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox 720.

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