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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