Is Microsoft Already Manufacturing the Next Xbox?

Texas electronics company allegedly begins production.

by Mitch Dyer

The next Xbox console is apparently in the manufacturing stages. According to an IGN source, assembly of the next-generation Xbox hardware started recently at the Austin, Texas branch of Flextronics. This is the same electronics company currently assembling Xbox 360 hardware, and is the manufacturer of the original Xbox.

Prior to reaching the manufacturing stage, Flextronics created a new testing group separate from the rest of the company. 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 — but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see the Durango soon.

The most likely case here is that new manufactured hardware would be development kits, consoles created specifically so game designers know what they’re working with. Microsoft said flat-out it wasn’t debuting a new console at E3, so rumors regarding new manufactured boxes probably wouldn’t stack up to a reveal.

If we’re under the assumption the Durango will release in the next couple years, potentially at a shockingly low retail price, it makes sense that game companies would be working with new development hardware now.

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.

Flextronics, meanwhile, provided IGN with no comment.

The notion that the next Xbox is under assembly is certainly plausible, but without any official word we’re left to continue speculating. IGN will endeavor to bring more information on the next generation as it develops.

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