IGN has reported that the "next Xbox console" is already in the manufacturing stage at a Texas arm of Flextronics in Austin. According to the report, they are assembling the new devices. So does this mean we are going to see a new Xbox sooner rather than later?
Since Microsoft remains firm on the stance that the next Xbox won't be at E3, there is no way the console would be shipping this year. This leaves us to speculate that Flextronics is assembling Developer Consoles, referred to as Debug Units in the industry, for Developers and Publishers to begin readying software for the new machine. Remember, games normally have lengthy development cycles. This is even more true for new hardware.
Microsoft has made this statement:
Xbox 360 has found new ways to extend its lifecycle like introducing the world to controller-free experiences with Kinect and re-inventing the console with a new dashboard and new entertainment content partnerships. 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.
Guess we will wait for E3 to see if there is a new Xbox mentioned there or not.