Is Microsoft already making dev kits for the next Xbox?

Has Microsoft already started putting together the hardware for the next Xbox console? That's the word from IGN, who claims via unnamed sources that the Austin, Texas branch of Flextronics is assembling the components for the successor to the Xbox 360. Flextronics is the main manufacturer of both the current and original Xbox.

The article speculates that these next-gen Xbox consoles are being made as game development kits that will later be sent to game publishers and development studios so they can continue the process of creating launch titles for the next Xbox.

Flextronics would not comment on the report. In a statement, Microsoft said, "We are always thinking about what is next for our platform and how to continue to defy the lifecycle convention. Beyond that we do not comment on rumors or speculation."

Microsoft has already said it does not plan to make any announcements about a successor to the Xbox at next month's E3 trade show in Los Angeles. It's expected that the next Xbox won't launch until at least the end of 2013. Some rumors claim that the next version of the Xbox will have as many as 16 processor cores and be six times as powerful as the current Xbox 360.

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Depending on what they do and how complex or not they decide to go with it having dev kits in the works now could very well be true IMO. If you figure the average game takes ~2 years or so to make then starting now on early dev hardware (with a good idea of what the final target specs will be) puts you in time for holiday 2013 which is when I think we'll see the next Xbox.

Hell the original Xbox 360 dev kit was just a tweaked Mac Pro box with close to the final powerpc hardware inside as they could get at the time, later on they had those nice black 360 dev kits.

GP007 said,
Depending on what they do and how complex or not they decide to go with it having dev kits in the works now could very well be true IMO. If you figure the average game takes ~2 years or so to make then starting now on early dev hardware (with a good idea of what the final target specs will be) puts you in time for holiday 2013 which is when I think we'll see the next Xbox.

Hell the original Xbox 360 dev kit was just a tweaked Mac Pro box with close to the final powerpc hardware inside as they could get at the time, later on they had those nice black 360 dev kits.

The orginal Macpro Xbox 360 Dev kits had a Dual 2ghz G5 CPU the finale had Tri-core - 6 Threaded 3.2ghz Hybrid Power PC 4/5 chip the Mac pro kit had a single X1800 AMD GPU and it also had 512mb of system ram tot. as reported back then here

http://www.xbox-scene.com/xbox.../sep/EEEuEplpEAdQIZjXID.php

notuptome2004 said,

The orginal Macpro Xbox 360 Dev kits had a Dual 2ghz G5 CPU the finale had Tri-core - 6 Threaded 3.2ghz Hybrid Power PC 4/5 chip the Mac pro kit had a single X1800 AMD GPU and it also had 512mb of system ram tot. as reported back then here

http://www.xbox-scene.com/xbox.../sep/EEEuEplpEAdQIZjXID.php

Ok, maybe not as close as I made it sound but it was enough of the base hardware architecture to let devs start early work on their games till final 360 dev hardware was out, or at least it gave them a good idea of how the software side of things would be even if all the horsepower wasn't there yet.