Xbox 720
A concept design photo of Xbox 720

Microsoft's forthcoming next-gen gaming console - the one expected to replace the Xbox 360 - could be called Xbox 8 instead of the popularly believed Xbox 720, according to a report by This Is Xbox. The information, apparently, is from an anonymous source. The gaming and software giant, meanwhile, has reportedly already rolled out developer units of the console, which are said to be equipped with an IBM-manufactured Oban chipset. The alpha version non-console hardware is now in the hands of a few top games developers.

Meanwhile, other product name possibilities include Xbox Loop, a title raised by Microsoft blogger MS Nerd, according to a report on Gamesradar.

"With a heady mix of rumours, tips and speculation, I am now stating that Xbox codename Loop (the erstwhile Xbox Tv) will indeed debut a modified Win9 core. It will use a Zune HD-like hardware platform-a main processor with multiple dedicated assistive cores for graphics, AI, physics, sound, networking, encryption and sensors," a post written by MS Nerd reportedly said.

A report by a site called Zunited suggests the system could be named Xbox Infinity and others indicating Durango could be the title. The latter came to light following a tweet by Sean Tracy, a technical designer for games developer Crytek which read: "Enjoying the Durango developers summit in London. So far, great swag and interesting talks." The tweet has since been deleted.

Finally, a recent report by IGN claims the new Xbox, whatever be its name, is in manufacturing stages at the Austin, Texas branch of Flextronics.

However, Microsoft has consistently denied reports and rumours relating to the Xbox 360's successor.

"Xbox 360 has found new ways to extend its lifecycle like introducing the world to controller-free experiences with Kinect and re-inventing the consoles 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 rumours or speculation," said Microsoft in a statement provided to gaming site IGN.