An unnamed Electronic Arts studio has an early version of the successor to the Xbox 360 in-hand, if a Develop source is believed. The console is reportedly so early it’s without casing, stored inside a PC shell, but still enough for the developers to get a gist of its hardware.
“Quite often when new consoles come around they’re packaged into a PC shell, but actually what’s inside is an entirely new console,” a trusted source of Develop told the site.
The source has reason to believe that the Xbox 360 successor would be in stores by the end of 2012, and that he expects an announcement at E3. He did not confirm this statement, however.
“Why let Nintendo steal the thunder in June [At E3]? It doesn’t want to lose momentum,” said the source. “That’s why I think Microsoft is rushing to make an announcement at E3.”
Though the source doesn’t believe a new console will kill off the Xbox 360.
“Kinect will keep the 360 going for a couple of years, but Microsoft knows that if it slows down now it will face trouble,” the source added.
Microsoft and EA have both declined to comment. The source is not an employee at either company.
In late March, the online portfolio of a Microsoft employee leaked what was supposedly a new Xbox for 2015. The release date would conflict with today’s knowledge.