The rumor mill concerning the next generation console version of Microsoft's Xbox continues to generate new Internet stores. The latest comes from Edge which claims via unnamed sources that Ubisoft's Montreal studios now have what are being called "target boxes" that are based on the reported hardware specs for Microsoft next version of its game console. The article adds that actual next generation Xbox development kits from Microsoft are expected to be made available sometime before Christmas.
These preliminary "target boxes" are in fact PCs but with components supplied by Microsoft. Other game publishers, including Electronic Arts, have these same "target boxes" which have graphics chips made by AMD inside. Naturally, none of this information has been confirmed by any of the parties involved.
Edge further reports that one Sony internal development studio has shut down the creation of Playstation 3 games in favor of making game titles based on Sony's next generation version of the Playstation console. The article claims that these moves might mean that Microsoft and Sony might actually release their new consoles in 2012, the same year that Nintendo plans to launch the Wii U, the successor to the Wii.
While it's more than possible that console game developers could have access to these "target boxes", we are not sure that a 2012 launch date for the next versions of the Xbox and the Playstation is really viable. Microsoft has already said that Halo 4, the next game in their best selling shooter series, will be an Xbox 360 game. If Microsoft really was planning a next gen Xbox console launch in 2012, we are sure that Halo 4 would be a launch title for that console.