Rumor: Xbox 720 in 2013

The next iteration of Microsoft’s home gaming console will be a reality in 2013, according to the latest report.

Of course, this isn’t the first Xbox 720 rumor and it won’t be the last. But this is the most recent. According to a source cited by Cnet, as of 16 days from now, we’ll be able to say the Xbox 720 will be released “next year.”

The publication pointed to the recent restructuring at Microsoft that took executive Don Coyner away from his position in the company’s “Entertainment Design” division, a move that had been cited as part of a timeline for the Xbox 720 introduction.

The standard in gaming, until now, had been that consoles need to be replaced every five years or so. But for the first time, in this generation, all the major consoles have online connectivity as an integral feature and that connectivity is used to keep the system fresh and updated.

Nevertheless, software only goes so far, and Microsoft has realized that more than either of its competitors. The number of Xbox 360 SKUs and the radical differences between them are dizzying.

There are Xbox 360 owners who have no wireless connectivity, no hard drive, and no HDMI port. On the flip side, there are others who are playing games in stereoscopic 3D with a 250 GB hard drive and built-in connections to their Wi-Fi network.

The Xbox 720 will no doubt bring with it a more stringent and streamlined hardware specification, along with processing upgrades and perhaps even a Blu-ray Disc drive.