The next-generation Xbox is already in manufacturing stages, a new report has claimed.
According IGN's sources, assembly of the next Xbox hardware started recently at the Austin, Texas branch of Flextronics, the same electronics company currently assembling the Xbox 360, and the original Xbox before that.
"Prior to reaching the manufacturing stage, Flextronics created a new testing group separate from the rest of the company," the report claims.
"This team was solely dedicated to comprehensive marketing, software, and hardware tests of the next Xbox. With that activity concluded, Flextronics started building the hardware."
If true, it's most likely dev kits - not final hardware - that's being put together at the Texas firm. Developers are known to have been working on next-gen Xbox games for some time using high-spec PCs, and getting their hands on more final hardware would be the logical next step.
Microsoft provided IGN with the following statement upon inqury:
"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."